Nu? What's New?
The E-zine of Jewish Genealogy From Avotaynu

Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Volume 13, Number 1 | January 1, 2012
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.

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Happy New Year!

Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Victims’ Lists Online
The Buchenwald Memorial Foundation has placed a list of 38,000 confirmed victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp online at The website is in German. There is also a link to a separate list of Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp victims at

Click “Namen” at the left to browse through the list alphabetically. Click “Recherche” to search by name. On the search page “Vorname” means “given name,” and “Name” is the box in which to place the surname. Click “Suchen” to search. The search engine will provide results of all persons whose name Starts With the search parameter. There is no wild-card search capability. Information provided is birth date and place and death date.

To appreciate the content of the entire site, start at To the left is the link to the Buchenwald death list. Below it is a link to numerous photographs of the camp. Then there is the link to the Mittelbau-Dora site followed by a link to photos of that camp. Next is a link to a site about forced labor (Zwangsarbeit). Finally there is a photo exhibit and then a link to information about Topf & Sons, the manufacturer of the ovens at Auschwitz.

I had difficulty linking to the various sites using Internet Explorer and Firefox, but no difficulty using Chrome. If you experience problems, the links are defined below.

Photos Buchenwald
Photos Mittelbau/Dora
Forced Labor
Photo Exhibit
Topf & Sons

Experts in Central and Eastern European History To Lecture at 2012 Conference
The 2012 International Conference of Jewish Genealogy will include some of the top experts in Central and Eastern European history and record access. They include:
  • Zsuzsanna Toronyi, chef archivist of the Hungarian Jewish Archives
  • Ladislau Gyemant, professor at the Dr. Moshe Carmilly Institute, Faculty of European Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania. He is the AVOTAYANU Contributing Editor for Romania
  • Albert Stankowski, Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Alexandrs Feigmanis of Riga, Latvia, historian and authority in family history and history of the Jews in Latvia. He is also AVOTAYNU Contributing Editor for Latvia
  • Yale Reisner, director of the Genealogy Department of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, Poland
  • Denis Vasilevich Lisejchikov, head of department of scientific use of documents and the information of National Historical Archive of Belarus
Grzegorzy Zamoyski, Head of the Research Center on the Jewish History at the Polish State Archive in Rzeszów.

There will be a roundtable discussion about genetic versus cultural traits moderated by Marc Fellous, Professor in Genetics at Paris VII University; with Henri Atlan, professor emeritus of biophysics and director of the Center for Research in Human Biology at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, director of studies at École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and former member of National Consultative Ethics Committee; Joshua Feingold, Director of Research Emeritus at Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM); Joel Zlotogora, Department of Community Genetics, Israeli Ministry of Health, Jewish disease Specialist;, Doron Behar, Senior Physician at the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the Rambam Medical Center, Haifa.

The subject of “Holocaust and Genealogy” will be covered in a variety of talks. Among the speakers is Patrice Bensimon, who will talk about the archives of Yahad-In Unum Association (Father Desbois organization). Philippe Landau, responsible for the Consistorial Archives, will speak about the Jewish genealogies prescribed by the Vichy government. Jürgen Sielemann, of the State Archives in Hamburg, will compare German Holocaust memorial books and data bases with the Yad Vashem data base and memorial books of other countries. Nathalie Zajde, lecturer in Psychology, University of Paris VIII St Denis will speak on “Transgenerational Transmission of the Holocaust Trauma.” Finally, Sara Valentina de Palma, Research Associate in Contemporary History (Dept. of History, Faculty of Humanities, Siena University-Italy) will discuss “I and My Name. Names and Identity Among Children in the Holocaust.”

Information about the conference, which will be held at the Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel in Paris from July 15–18, can be found at In addition to the program, which is still forming, there is information about registration and hotel accommodations.

JewishGen Plans Basic Four-Week Genealogy Course
 JewishGen will present its Basic Four Week Genealogy Course from January 12 – February 12. It includes five lessons delivered online:
  • Introduction to Data Collection

  • Techniques for Organizing Your Data
  • Internet Search Strategies
  • Downloadable Lessons on Census
  • Passenger Arrivals and Vital Records.

Tuition for the course is $80. The fee is waived if you qualify
for the Value Added Service having made a $100 donation to JewishGen's
General Fund within the past 12 months. As a value added member the system will recognize you and not ask for payment.

Registration and additional information can be found at

JewishGen Holocaust Database Grows to 2.4 Million Records
As part of its year-end reports, JewishGen announced that its Holocaust Database, located at, now has 2.4 million records from more than 190 component databases. The database continues to grow, thanks in large part to partnerships with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem. They have also begun to receive original research by JewishGen users and academics.

Some recent additions include Assorted Romanian and Dutch Lists; Miskolc, Hungary (and surrounding towns) victims; and Piotrkow Trybunalski (Poland) Ghetto Tax List.

If you are interested in assisting with data entry, or have a database appropriate for the JewishGen Holocaust Database, contact Nolan Altman,
JewishGen Vice President for Data Acquisition at

Manchester, England, Burial Records Online
Manchester (England) and District Council of Synagogues, which calls itself the Representative Body of Orthodox Synagogues in the Greater Manchester Area, has created a website of burials at Searching provides the name of the deceased, year of death and cemetery where buried. Additional information requires registration and payment of a fee. Lorna Kay,  Chairman of the Manchester Regional Group of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain states there are about 30,000 records and is not comprehensive—it is a "work in progress" according to the webmaster.

To submit a Page of Testimony, go to Click the words “Submit Additional Names.”

Join the ranks of Yad Vashem’s worldwide network of volunteers working in one-on-one outreach efforts with Holocaust survivors and members of their generation to recover the names of Shoah victims before they are lost forever. For ideas and resources on how to launch a names recovery campaign in your area, visit Yad Vashem’s Community Outreach Guide for updated program information on the project in Israel and in Russian speaking Jewish communities around the world.

Yad Vashem has provided a 10-minute Pages of Testimony tutorial video at the site to learn how to help survivors and others from their generation to fill out Pages of Testimony. To volunteer for the project or for more information contact
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