Gary Mokotoff, Editor
Volume 10, Number 20 | October 2, 2009
This edition is going to 8,562 subscribers
Every government puts value on preserving its history. That is why we have national archives. Genealogy preserves history; the history of a family. It cannot be done without access to records, just as historians cannot preserve a nation's history without access to records. It is a greater good than the right to privacy. It is a greater good than the risk of identity theft.
Footnote.com Allows Access to Holocaust Collection Free in October
Footnote.com and the U.S. National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) have announced the availability of more than one million Holocaust-related documents and an index at the Footnote.com site. For the month of October 2009 the records are available at no charge.
NARA records at the site include:
• Concentration camp registers and documents from Dachau, Mauthausen and Flossenburg.
• The Ardelia Hall Collection of records relating to the Nazi looting of Jewish possessions, including looted art.
• Captured German records including deportation and death lists from concentration camps.
• Nuremberg War Crimes Trial proceedings.
Also included are nearly 600 interactive personal accounts of those who survived or perished in the Holocaust provided by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
I found locating the search engine difficult, passing through a minefield of search engines for other companies (undoubtedly ads) and a Footnote ad for a free trial offer. If there is an easier way to search the Holocaust collection and print or save documents, my apologies to Footnote. The following procedure is recommended.
Sign up (or log on) before using the site because the ability to save or print documents is not possible without joining Footnote.com, at least as a free-access user. (You can view documents without signing up.) Sign up at http://www.footnote.com/, then link to the Holocaust Collection from the home page. The Holocaust Collection page does not have a search function (those shown are ads for other web sites). Instead, click the words “National Archives Records” which will bring you to http://go.footnote.com/holocaust_records/. Click on an individual collection, for example “Dachau Entry Registers” if you want to search that collection only. Instead, use the search function to the right of the screen. It permits searching the entire Holocaust collection (actually the entire Footnote collection). The resultant display identifies which Holocaust collections have search results and immediately below which other Footnote collections satisfy the search request.
The search engine has a wildcard feature. Searching for “Mokot*” resulted in the only Mokotow record in the Holocaust record: the Dachau Entry Register for Jean Mokotowicz. He arrived at Dachau on January 25, 1945, having been deported from France to Auschwitz in 1944. I knew there were other Mokotows interned at Dachau. The collection is a work in progress. Many of the sub-collections are not complete.
• Flossenburg Entry Registers (50% complete)
• Dachau Entry Registers (14% complete)
• Mauthausen Death Books (50% complete)
• WWII German Documents Among War Crimes Records (70% complete)
• WWII Captured German Records (3% complete)
• Ardelia Hall Collection: Wiesbaden Administration Records (98% complete)
• Ardelia Hall Collection: Offenbach Administrative Records (60% complete)
• Ardelia Hall Collection: Offenbach Photographs (66% complete)
• WWII OSS Art Looting Investigation Reports (100% complete)
• WWII Nuernberg Interrogation Records (90% complete)
The project incorporates social networking tools that enable visitors to search for names and add photos, benefit from comments and stories, share their insights, and create pages to highlight their discoveries. There will be no charge to access and contribute to these personal pages. So that visitors may more easily access and engage the content, Footnote.com has created a special Holocaust site featuring:
• Stories of Holocaust victims and survivors.
• Place where visitors can create their own pages to memorialize their Holocaust ancestors.
• Pages on the concentration camps - includes descriptions, photos, maps, time lines and accounts from those who survived the camps.
• Descriptions and samples of the original records from the National Archives.
The Holocaust collection is the latest in a continuing partnership between Footnote.com and the National Archives to scan, digitize, and make historical documents available online. There are many other collections of potential value to the Jewish genealogist. Searching for the name “Mokotoff” identified 42 items in their collection including naturalization records from New York City that included my grandfather and his brothers; a number of 1930 census pages that could not be found in the Ancestry.com index; and numerous newspaper records, including at least on Jewish newspaper: Heritage Florida Jewish News.
A subscription to Footnote.com costs $11.95/ month or $79.95/year. The home page shows a seven-day free trial. After inspecting the complete collection, it might be worthwhile to take out at least a one-month subscription to capture the documents of interest. Footnote claims to have 60 million documents with “millions added monthly.” You can browse their list of collections at http://www.footnote.com/browse.php.
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