Documents

This section of the Website is dedicated to present interesting family or genealogical documents. Please, send them to:
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or P.O.B. 8235, Ramat Gan. 52181. ISRAEL.


I Am Addicted To Genealogy Ribbon


Document No. 1

Das Patent uber die Judennamen (Law for Jewish Names) issued by Joseph II


German version sent by Henry Wellisch from Toronto, Canada


Here is the patent for names (German version)as it applied to Jews in Hungary (also in Slovakia). Please note that I did not write the Umlaute, that is for instance the word "fur". In this instance there should be 2 dots over the u.

"Wir Joseph der Zweite, etc.


Zur Vermeidung aller Unordnungen, die bei einer Klasse Menschen im politischen oder gerichtlichen Verfahren und in ihrem Privatleben entstehen mussen, wenn die Familien keinen bestimmten Geschlechtsnamen, und die einzelnen Personen keinen sonst bekannten Vornamen haben, wird fur gesammte Erb1ander allgemein verordnet."

§ 1.
Die Judensehaft in allen Provinzen zu verhalten, dass ein jeder Hausvater fur seine Familie, der Vormund fur seine Waisen, und eine jede ledige, weder in der vaterlichen Gewalt, noch unter einer Vormundschaft oder Kuratel stehende Mannsperson vom 1-ten Janner 1788 einen bestimmten Geschlechtsnamen fuhren, das weibliche Geschlecht im ledigen Stande, den Geschlechtsnamen ihres Vaters, verheirathet jenen ihres Mannes annehmen, jede einzelne Person aber ohne Ausnahme einen deutschen Vornamen sich beilegen und solchen Zeitlebens nicht abandern soll.

§ 2.
Alle bisber in der judischen Sprache, oder nach dem Orte, wo sich einer entweder fur bestandig, oder auch nur auf eine Zeit anfgehalten, z. B. Schaulem Joplitz, Jochem Kollin, u. s. w. ubIich gewesene Benennungen, haben ganz1icb aufzuhoren.

§ 3.
Jeder Hausvater wird den fur seine ganze Familie und jede einzelne Person den fur sich angenommenen bestimmten Vor- und Geschlecbtsnamen langstens bis letzten November 1787 an den Ortsmagistrat, oder an die Ortsobrigkeit, wo er zu wohnen, oder sich aufzuhalten befugt is, in deutseher Sprache schriftlich anzuzeigen und diese Anzeige mit einem gemeinschaftlich vor den Kreisdeputirten und dem Kreis- oder Oberrabbiner unterfertigten, jedoch ungestempelten Zeugnisszettel zu erproben haben; dass er dermal auf bestandig den Familiennamen N. mit den fur eine jede Person bestimmten besoudern deutschen Vornamen angenommen, edoch von dem Gescblecht N. herstamme und zuvor den Namen N. N. efuhrt habe.

§ 4.
Mit 1-tem Janner 1788 mussen die Beschneidungs- und Geburtsbucher ohne Ausnabme in deutscher Sprache gefuhrt, dann alle Geborene, Gestorbene und Getraute eben nicht anders, als mit den deutschen Vor- und ihren auf immer bestimmt angenommenen Geschlechtsnamen eingetragen werden.

§ 5.
Die im § 3. anbefohlenen Zeugniszette1 mussen von den Ortsobrigkeiten, oder ihren Beamten wohl aufbewahrt, bei der nachsten Conscriptionsrevision dem Revisionsoffizier vorgelegt und von demse1ben fur das Jahr 1788 zum erstenmal beide Namen, namlich derjenige, den ein jeder bisher gefuhrt hat und sodann auch der auf bestandig angenommen bestimmte Vor- und Gescblechtsnamen in deuscher Sprache eingetragen werden. In den Conscriptionsbuchern fur die nachfolgenden Jahre aber, werden nur die neu angenommenen Namen ohne den vorhin gebrauchlich gewesten zu erscheinen haben.

§ 6.
Wird allgemein erklart, dass diese Anordnung auf die bis letzten Dezember 1787 von der gesammten Judenschaft unter den bisherigen Namen ausgesteltten Urkunden keinen Einfluss nehme, welche in ihrer vorigen Wirksamkeit unabanderlich zu bleiben haben, auf was immer fur eine Art die Unterfertigung gesehehen ist."

§ 7.
"Um aller Arglistigkeit vorzubeugen und dieses Gesetz in volle Wirksamkeit zu setzen, werden folgende Strafen festgesetzt: a) derjenige Rabbiner, der mit 1. Janner 1788 anfangend, die Geburts-, Trauungs- und Sterbefa1Ie nicht in deutscher Sprache und nicht nach den bestimmten Namen eintragen, oder die Bucher nicht in deutscber Sprache fuhren sollte, wird zum erstenmal mit 50 fl. zu bestrafen, das zweitemal aber sogleich seines Dienstes zu entlassen und fur dienstunfahig zu erklaren sein;
b) derjenige, ohne Unterscbied des Geschlechtes, der seines auf bestandig angenommenen deutschen Vor- und Geschlechtsnamens sich kunftig nicht, sondern eines andern bedienen sollte, wird - wenn er vermoglich ist - ebenfalls mit 50 fl. zu bestrafen, ist er aber unvermoglich, aus allen unseren Staaten mit seiner Familie abzuschaffen sein, doch haben alle auch unter einen anderen Namen von ihm ausgestellter Schuldscheine und Verbindlichkeiten, wenn er dessen uberzeugt wird, gegen denselben immer zu gelten!
c) derjenige, der seine Zeugnisszettel his letzten November 1787 oben anbefohlenermassen nicht beigebracht haben wird, ist entweder mit 10 fl. an Geld, oder im Unvermoglichkeitsflle mit 8-tatiger offentlicher Arbeit unnachsichtlich zu bestrafen;
d) alle diese Strafgelder sollen mit einer Ha1fte derjenigen Gemeinde, zu welcher der Schuldige gehort; mit der anderen Halfte aber demjenigen zufallen, der so einen Unterschleif entdeckt und angezeigt haben wird.

Gegeben in unserer Haupt- und Residenzstadt Wien den 23. Tag des Monats Juli 1787. Joseph m. p., L. S. Carl Graf PAlffy, kon. hungar Hofkanzler m. p., MichaeL Vlassics m. p, Gregor Joseph Szabo m. p."

Emperor Joseph II issued an order for Jews to take pernament names on July 23, 1787.

Rough translation of the decree done by Gyorgy Ujlaki Budapest, Hungary.

Source: Bergl Jozsef, magyarorszagi zsidok tortenete. Kaposvar 1879. Reprinted Kaposvar n.d.


1. §.
All the Jews living in the provinces are ordered, that all heads of households for their families, custodians for children in custody, all unwed young men, who are not under the power of their father or custody, must adopt a definite family name (Vorname) by January 1, 1788. Unwed young women shall take the name of their fathers, married women shall take the name of their husbands; therefore each and every person, w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n are obliged to take a German surname and keep it for life.

2. §.
All previuosly used names, i.e. Jewish names denoting the place of birth or residence are to be forgotten for good.

3. §.
All heads of households who adopted names for themselves and for their families, or individual, who adopted names for themselves, must register their surnames and personal names by the last day of November 1787 in German (language) to those town or village authorities, where they live or their residential permit is valid. The registration form does not need stamps, but must be signed by the representative of the district and district or chief rabbi.

4. §.
From the beginning of January of 1787, the birth and circumcision records must be kept in German, in the same way: all birth, marriage and death records must contain German surnames and personal names.

5. §.
The registration forms mentioned in 3. §. must be preserved by the authorities and during conscription must be handed over to theconscription official, so that these names are recorded, during the first time including the old names, in special books.

6. §.
(This paragraph stipulates that the adoption of new names does not effect the validity of documents created before this decree.)

7. §.
(This paragraph contains punishments for breaching the degree. A Jew not using his/her new name could be punished with expulsion, if it was found out for the second time. Rabbis were also punishable for not keeping the books in German. The half of the income from these punishments went to the city or village authorities, the other half was given to those who reported others for not conforming with the decree.)

It was signed by
Mihaly Blaisics, Jozsef Gy. Szabo, Emp. Joseph II and count Karoly Palffy.

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Document No. 2

Toleranz Act


English resumed version sent by Gyorgy Ujlaki, Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian Jews were emancipated by the force of Law 1867:XVII.
In my rough translation:

1§.
The Israelite population of the country is declared to hold all the civil and political rights as the Christian population.

2§.
All legislation, customs and decrees that contradicts this law are abbrogated.

Source of the Hungarian translation: Laszlo Gonda, A zsidosag Magyarorszagon. 1526-1945. Budapest 1992. p.270.

Original source: Csiky Kalman, et al: Corpus Juris Hungarici. 1836-1868. Budapest, 1896. p. 354.

The Kaiser und Konig (Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary) was not Joseph II! And it was not an imperial act, but a law proposed by count Gyula Andrassy and passed by the Hungarian Parliament. It was passed without a debate!
Joseph II DID NOT emancipate the Jews of Hungary! On March 31, 1783 he published a decree, titled SYSTEMATICA GENTIS JUDAICAE REGULATION (Regulation pertaining the Jewish people). It decreed among others:
Jews could settle in free royal cities, rent land, manufacture, trade, but must not infringe the hereditary rights of nobles and guilds. Hebrew could be used only in liturgy. After his death most of his decrees were revoked.

Toleranzpatent - Act of Emancipation

Details of the Austro-Hungarian Act of Emancipation of Jews. Down below are two articles I found in the Encyclopedia Judaica sent by Tom Venetianer from Brasil.

TOLERANZPATENT, edict of tolerance issued by Emperor Joseph II on Jan.2,1782 for Vienna and Lower Austria (and subsequently for other provinces of the empire). It was one of a series of patents granted to the major,non-Catholic denominations of Austria, guaranteeing existing rights and obligations and laying down additional ones.

The final version was less liberal than Joseph II's original drafts. The Toleranzpatent confirmed existing restrictions against any increase in the number of tolerated Jews; however, they were encouraged to engage in large-scale business, to set up factories, and to learn trades (although becoming a master craftsman remained prohibited); to establish schools and attend universities. Upperclass Jews were encouraged to integrate socially.

The concluding article exhorted the Jews to be thankful and not to misuse their privileges, particularly not to offend christianity in public, an offense which would result in expulsion. At the same time insult or violence done to a Jew would be punished.

With its leitmotif of making the Jews useful to society and the state through education and the abolishment of economic restrictions, the Toleranzpatent influenced much contemporary legislation in Germany.

Although welcomed by N. H. Wessely and other luminaries of the Haskalah, it was viewed with misgiving in conservative Jewish circles, in particular by Ezekiel Landau, who characterized it as a gezerah ("a disaster"); he was especially troubled by the order that within two years no document in Hebrew would be legally valid. Even Moses Mendelssohn expressed misgivings over the new type of Christian enticement. Nonetheless, the edict was a significant milestone on the road to full emancipation.

Bibliography: P. P. Bernard, in: Austrian History Yearbook, 4-5 (1968-69), 101-19 EMANCIPATION IN AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY. The first period of emancipation in Austria made no change in the status of the Jews. But on the basis of the general constitution of the empire (March 4, 1849), which contained an article on "civic and political rights" being "not dependent on religion," all restrictions on Jews were abolished. With the abrogation of this constitution on Dec. 31, 1851, however, the ancient disabilities were renewed in aspects of life ranging from the acquisition of real estate (Oct. 20, 1853) to the employment of mate and female Christian domestics. It was only during the 1860s that emancipatory laws were reinstituted.

On Dec. 21, 1867, emancipation was achieved in Austria with the promulgation of the new fundamental laws in which article 14 assured "complete freedom of religion and conscience for all" and that "the benefits derived from civic and political rights were not dependent on faith and religion. "In any event," the article continued, "religious faith should not collide with the fulfilment of civic obligations."

In Hungary the townspeople tended to oppose granting rights to the Jews, whose numbers were constantly increasing. However, the lower aristocracy, whose economic progress was connected with the commercial activity of the Jews, and who were generally the standard-bearers of national liberalism, actively supported the Jews. As a result of their influence the demand "to give to the Jews all those rights from which the on-aristocratic population benefits" was included in the instructions of the provincial assemblies to their delegates in parliament, These instructions resulted in the law making the Jewish religion a "government recognized religion,"abolishing the "tolerance-tax," and declaring "the Jews equal in their civic rights to the other citizens who were not of the nobility." Therefore, public and government offices, including positions in the war ministry, which were not reserved for the nobility, could be occupied by Jews (1840). The Upper House however did not ratify the law, and the king would not even agree to the abolition of the "tolerance-tax."

The Austrian government consented only to the extension of the right of residence to the Jews. Magyarization was made a prerequisite for Hungarian Jewry before it could achieve emancipation. The Jews have "to speak the language of Hungary and to sing its songs" so as "to cleave to the fatherland, which we have acquired for ourselves." But Orthodoxy, in the words of a Moses Sofer, claimed that emancipation "having III the same rights as the other inhabitants of our country -- proves that it is the Will of God to maintain His people in the Exile for a prolonged period, therefore the Jews should be roused to ask for mercy and pray for Redemption.

The assimilationists and reformers claimed that declarations of the Orthodox had "strengthened the opponents of equality," and had caused the Upper House in 1844 to deny even the abolition of the "tolerance-tax" (abolished two years later by the Austrian government, after exacting "compensation" from the Jews for losses anticipated as a result of the abolition), Direct negotiations conducted by the Jews with the Austrian government, without taking into consideration the national rule in Hungary, angered the Hungarian nationalists and brought about a deterioration in their relations with the Jews.

During the first days of the Revolution in 1848, the Hungarian Parliament deliberated on the issue of equality for the Jews. Even the Liberals, who in principle demanded it, were mostly of the opinion that such equality must be gradual and conditional to preliminary "reform" of the Jews. The Parliamentary Assembly, on March 14, 1848, decided to grant to the Jews the right to vote, but had to rescind this decision because of demonstrations and riots against Jews in several Hungarian towns (in most cases in connection with the admission of the Jews into the National Guard)[***].

The riots were not suppressed by the government, which even exerted pressure on the Jews to relinquish their rights "of their own free will."

The patriotic activity, however, of many Jews during Hungary's war of independence created a bond between the Hungarian national cause and the Jews, strengthened by severe fines imposed on the Jewish communities by the victorious Austrians. On July 28, 1849, the government presented a motion to the Founding Assembly in Szegedin (Szeged) stating that "every believer in the Mosaic faith born on the soil of Hungary, or who has settled on it legally, shall benefit from all those civic and political rights which the believers of other religions enjoy."

This emancipation turned out to be only a gesture, because the rule of the Hungarian government was rapidly disintegrating. Jewish emancipation was to become, legal only with the establishment of Austria-Hungary as a dual monarchy. The two Hungarian houses of parliament, on Dec, 20/27, 1867, declared one of the fundamental laws of Hungary to be that "the Israelite inhabitants are equal to the Christian inhabitants in their civic and political rights" (art. 1) and that "all the laws, usages, and decrees which are in contradiction with these are hereby abrogated" (art. 2)

Bibliography: N. Katzburg, in: Antishemiyyut be-Hungaryah 1867-1914, (1969)

[***] NB from me: being a "Hungarian Jew"? Well all these laws of emancipation were abolished after WWI.Hungary was also one of the first countries to implement "numerus clausus". That much for the Magyar tolerance of Jews!!!

Document No. 3

Original Name Change Document issued in Hungary on 26.9.1787

Sent by Henry Wellisch from Toronto, Canada

Document No. 4

Copy of an e-mail sent by researcher Dan Seligman to H-SIG JewishGen in reference to the use of Old Documents for genealogical deduction


In our families' research we have used this technique also and it is a great satisfaction when a deduction theory or circumstantial evidence is proven later by documentation


As example I can mention the name of David Goldstein's first wife Jutka Josefowits

From: DonaldS261@aol.comAdd
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 02:29:23 EST
To: "Hungarian SIG"
Subject:Re: h-sig digest

Dear friends,

Several researchers have asked me to post an example of how I presented speculations about ancestry in my genealogical books. The following is a paragraph that I included in my addendum to the documented and "proven" relationships in my Strasser Family Genealogical text:

"Several Jewish census records of Maglod prior to the name change mandated in 1780 are available. It is interesting to speculate about which of the Jewish families listed might be ours. We know that Marton Strasser was born in 1764 and was therefore 8-10 years old during the census of 1772-1774. Nine of the 15 Jewish families listed in Maglod in 1772 had at least one son below the age of 16 years. Because the Strasser families were prolific during this period, it is unlikely that an 8-10 year old Strasser child would not have had some siblings. This narrows the choices to just 5 families.

Ashkenazi Jews recycle names. Several of the possible families contain names that are completely unknown in our family (e.g. Adam, Michael, Isaac, Herchel). Only one family is left with a set of names that bears a relationship to later first names in our family. In particular, both the husband and the wife in this family had a relationship to the name "Abraham”, one that is often the given name of a first-born son in the Strasser genealogy. In addition, the two other names in their patronyms have strong parallels to the later children born to Martón Strasser, suggesting that these later children were born soon after the death of their grandparents and were therefore named after them.

Thus, it is possible that Abraham Lazar and Esterza Abraham were the parents of Marton Strasser: he named his last three children Abraham, Lowi and Emanuel. This couple had 2 sons and 1 daughter under the age of 16 in 1772.

If they are our ancestors, this also gives the names of Marton Strasser’s grandparents: Lazar and Abraham. While it is impossible to absolutely establish a relationship, the speculation is intriguing."

There is no problem with presenting a reasonable speculation about this distant period in our ancestry where records are either unavailable or inconclusive, so long as the theory is presented as such.

Good luck to you all!

Don Seligman

Document No. 5

Copy of an e-mail sent by researcher Georges Graner to H-SIG JewishGen in reference to the issue mentioned in document 4 above.


From:Georges.Graner@ppm.u-psud.fr
Subject:First names
To:"Hungarian SIG" h-sig@lyris.jewishgen.org
Date:Thu, 1 Apr 1999

Dear H-siggers,

Don Seligman explained yesterday that one of the clues to assign a family is the fact that first names are often "recycled". I would like to insist on this fact by giving the example of the jewish community of Metz, in France, for which excellent records are available for the period 1718-1792.

There was a well respected rule there: the first male child born after the death of the grandfather would get his grandfather's first name. This rule is so strict that it can even be used to find the date of a death.

For instance, if the grandfather's name was Salomon and the sons of the family are called Isaac (1744) - Moise (1746) - Salomon (1748), you can be 99% sure that the gf died between 1746 and 1748. You may even have two different Salomon in two branches of the family.

How well this rule can be valid for Hungary is of course a question.

Georges GRANER

Document No. 6

Burials in the Presov Orthodox Jewish Cemetery

A JewishGen InfoFile

URL http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/presov-o.txt/

PRESOV (Slovak); Eperjes (Hungarian),
town in E. Slovakia.

In 1930 there were 3965 Jews there.

This is a partial list of burials in the Presov Orthodox cemetery. The list was given as gift to JewishGen by Mr.Michael R. Futterstock who received it from Mr. Desidor Landau, head of Presov's Jewish Community.
There may be some errors because the original was handwritten and the copy not always legible.
(Extract of some family names with an eventual connection to our families. Any disclousure will be more than welcomed).

SurnameFirst NameDate of Death
BERLIENERPanna Breindl bas Slomo13 elul 5693
EISENBERGReizel bas Jaakov Josef Zena Meir6 nisan 5692
GOLDSTEINR'Avruhom28 svat 5678
GOLDSTEINJehosua Smuel R'Aser Jehuda ben Ri16 sivan 5664
GOLDSTEINJicchok ben R' Aser Jehuda4 sivan 5779
GOLDSTEINM' Jechuel ben M' Jochanan8 ijar 5679
GOLDSTEINM'Avruhom ben M' Jochanan????
GOLDSTEINR'Jehuda Ariel bn R'Jicchok Eizik3chesvn 5698
GOLDSTEINFeige Cvetl bas Jesiahu Zena Aser Ari????
GOLDSTEINJicchok B' Jesiahu2 ros chodes 5698
GOLDSTEINAvruhom ben Mose9 adar 5690
HUBSCHMANNR'Zeev ben R'Alex Zuse19 chesvan 5696
HUBSCHMANNR'Chaim ben R' Avruhom aba Greimann B R'Avruhom4 svat 5696
HUBSCHMANNJicchik ben R' Cvi Nebel12 av 5696
LUSTBADERMine bas Slomo Zena Cviros chodes tamuz 5681
RITTERPinchus ben R' Chaim Josef21 tamuz 5686
SCHONFELDM'Pinchus ben M' Jisruel4 av 5684
SCHONFELDReizel bas Jisruel12 tevet 5701
SCHONFELDPerl bas Pinhas Zena10 adar bejs 5595
SCHONFELDChlapec ben Pinches6 tamuz 5685
WOHLR' Eliezer ben Cvi9 chesvan 5679
WOHLBaruch DrJechuelben R'Mordechaj28 tevet 5696
WOHLRuchel Bile bas Naftali Jesiahu Zena Nachman13 elul 5679
WOHLJisruel ben Smuel20 adar 5701
WOHLHendel bas Mose Zena26 av 5700
WOHLRivke bas Avruhom Zena Cvi25 adar bejs 5687
WOHLCvi ben Eliezer4 nisan 5682

Document No. 7

Burials in the Presov Neolog Jewish Cemetery

A JewishGen InfoFile

URL http://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/presov-o.txt/

PRESOV (Slovak); Eperjes (Hungarian),
town in E. Slovakia.

In 1930 there were 3965 Jews there.

SurnameFirst nameMaiden name Birth dateDeath date
GOLDSTEINImrich-18331892
HUBSCHMANNBertaSCHWARTZ1863 1932
HUBSCHMANNKatarina-1889 1963
HUBSCHMANNMoric-1891 1963

Document No. 8

Copy of an e-mail sent by Louis Schonfeld moderator of the H-SIG JewishGen internet list in reference to the astronomic project undertaken by Tom Venetianer.


A message and a plea for help-

Tom Venetianer has undertaken a sacred mission. He has obligated himself to creating an everlasting memorial for the Slovakian Jewish victims of the Holocaust. He is coordinating a massive volunteer effort to transcribe the information found on the Slovakian Jewish deportation lists. Since nearly all Slovak Jews were deported to Auschwitz, labor camps and other locations this will be the most comprehensive list of all Jews living in Slovakia in 1942, the year the deportations started. Yad Vashem has finally agreed to release many of the lists and registration forms prepared and used by the Germans and their agents to facilitate the extermination of Hungarian and Slovak Jewry. Credit for the release of these important documents should be given to JewishGen and the United States Holocaust Museum; to JewishGen for providing the carrot of free labor (volunteers), and to the USHMM, the success of which, has encouraged Yad Vashem to share its vast repository of information, and thereby fulfill its original mission of Memory and Remembrance.

Eventually, through the efforts of Tom Venetianer and his volunteers the number 90,000 (those killed out of a pre war Slovakian Jewish population of 110,000) will become more than just a number. Each number will be connected to a name, a town, a date of birth. Not only will this effort substantiate the number of those murdered, but the tragedy of their deaths will reverberate for generations to come. Less likely, but possible is that victims never before identified may yet be identified, and those who found it difficult to mourn an abstract and amorphous death, may finally have a measure of closure (if that is possible in relation to anything dealing with the Holocaust).

For us, and others it should never be "only" the number six million, it should also be the number one repeating itself six million times; or as Judith Miller so hauntingly expressed this concept as the title of her book, One by One by One. Sadly, through repetition our thoughts are suffused with these aggregate numbers, even though we are keenly aware that each victim resulted from a singular act of murder. In Tom¹s statement introducing this project he makes use of a folk saying found in several cultures. He writes: "There are three times a person dies. The first time is when that person is found deceased. The second time is when that person is buried; and the third time when that person is no longer remembered." Collectively, we did little at that time to halt or even slow the tide of destruction. Surely some measure of recompense is required? By remembering those who died perhaps we can provide a measure of relief (for ourselves). At that time only a handful were found deceased and not incinerated, even fewer were buried. We should, at the least, try to avoid the third type of death by remembering who the murdered were and who they wanted to be. The Jewish people have been given many appellations throughout the centuries. One of them is particularly appropriate here: Rachamim benei Rachamim - The compassionate children of those were compassionate. By assisting Tom in this work you can supplant each number with a name, and in the end we will know who were these six million men, women and children cruelly dehumanized and anonymously processed in the death factories and killing fields.

In the not too distant future it will be exceedingly difficult for the uninvolved and uninitiated to accept the thought that so many innocent souls were destroyed for no fathomable reason. Yad Vashem has collected "only" 3 million pages of testimony. Yet there are millions of additional names that can be found on transport lists, in Yizkor books and in registration documents. Many of these documents and lists have been given to Yad Vashem over the years only to lie unindexed in shipping cartons stored in closets and other locations throughout the institution.

To use a phrase coined by others: Rather than curse the darkness, I would prefer to bless the USHMM which by its very existence has prompted Yad Vashem to verify their longstanding claim that they hold the largest collection of Holocaust documents in the world. If we must pay the price of voluntary labor in order to liberate these documents, it will accrue to our benefit. For this reason alone numerous volunteers should come forward and assist Tom in this holy mission. However, even a more compelling idea should inspire each of us to become part of this noble effort. We are also a people who pride ourselves in remembering, and respect others who remember; to the extent that one might assign us the belief, that at the end of one's days only memory remains, and hope is its legacy.

Yad Vashem is located on a mountain in an area of hills and valleys in Jerusalem designated the Memorial Forest. Therefore, it is appropriate to cite the famous prophecy of Yechezkel/Ezekiel. I offer my translation from the original Hebrew interspersed with interpretive thoughts:

And I was set down in a valley full of dry bones; there were many dry bones and I prophesized that these bones will yet live, yet there was despair since the bones were so utterly dry, but I prevailed and a spirit came upon them and hope won over despair. Our ancestor's bones of which we have so little knowledge and the ashes of our martyrs of which we have so little memory have been neglected and abandoned for too long, perhaps that is why they (and us) are so utterly dry. And the prophet Yechezkel continues: "I bring spirit onto you who were slain..and behold a rattling and bones drew near, bone to matching bone....And G-d commanded me: From the four directions come, O spirit, and blow into these slain ones that they may live.. and they lived, - a very, very vast multitude." Can spirit nourish these dry bones so that they may live once again, at least in our hearts and minds. We unceasingly and passionately search for these dry bones so that the prophecy may be fulfilled in our time, and through this our spirit rises and gives life.

Thank you Tom and all those who will help him and remember them.

Best wishes,

Louis Schonfeld

P.S. Tom has just informed me that he has received the first set of deportations lists. These lists have already been assigned to the first wave of volunteers. We expect to receive many more lists in the weeks and months to come. Therefore, the need for additional volunteers will be unrelenting. Please contact Tom Venetianer [tom.vene@uol.com.br]to offer your assistance so that no name will be ommitted, no victim forgotten.

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