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 08/05/2019  IAJGS Conference in Cleveland Activity Summary

The 39th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Cleveland, Ohio concluded on Friday and was a great success. The German-Jewish SIG (GerSIG) was able to greet a number of familiar and several new faces at our breakfast, lunch and annual meeting. As promised, I'm providing a summary of GerSIG's conference activities and news. 

Databases that will become available through JewishGen's all Germany database in the next few weeks:

  1. Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) Family Tree Index (Phase I) including Salomon Bacharach Family Tree, Abraham Simon Lehr Family Tree, Bach Family Tree - Fischach, Dreyer Family Collection, 1877-1935, Fridberg Family Collection, 1938-1962, Isaac Meyer Frank Family Tree, Stammbaum der Familie Loevinson, Löwenthal Family (Ladenburg), Marc Family, Arolsen Collection, 1788-1972, Miloslaw Jaffe's Family Tree, Oppenheim Family Collection, 1938, Prerauer Family Tree, Robert Singer Family Tree, Rudolf Jakob Simonis Collection, Wolf Family Collection, Goldschmidt-Schloessinger Family Collection

  2. Index benefits include surnames and locations not otherwise noted in the LBI Catalog

  3. Data from Jewish Genealogy in Bavarian Swabia ( - with many thanks to the creator of the site, Ralph Bloch

  4. Aufbau Family Notices (currently available at ) - see below for the continuation of the indexing project

Call for Volunteers

GerSIG has four ongoing projects - Württemberg Family Registers, East German Gatermann Vital Records, Surname Adoption Lists (West of the Rhine) and Aufbau Family Notices

For more information on each project see
Please join our growing team of indexers by contacting our Volunteer Coordinator, Renée Klish (

GerSIG Website 

A new website was released at the Warsaw Conference in 2018 - please visit To see an example of the resource we would like to build, please visit the page for Karlsruhe at 

Select New Resources

German Refugee Rabbis in the United States of America -

Index of all 1939 German Minority Census data -

Peter Landé's index to the Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland has been updated through the letter S - the database is available at and the original cards can be seen through . Peter's database allows for additional search criteria such as the town of birth.

Jewish Places - - Work in progress (only available in German), introductory information in English at

Obermayer German Jewish History Awards - - Nominations Due September 8, 2019

Obermayer Anniversary Awards - - Nominations Due September 15, 2019 

GerSIG mailing list

Even if you are a member of the Facebook group, please also join the GerSIG mailing list. Visit , log in to JewishGen and then select the German Jewish SIG list. This list reaches additional members who share an interest in German-Jewish family history. Please post introductory message, questions regarding brick wall ancestors and best practices for using German-Jewish resources, including websites. 

Other Facebook Groups focusing on German-Jews: 



JEWS - Jekkes Engaged Worldwide in Social Networking:

San Diego 2020 

GerSIG is looking for suggested speakers to sponsor to give several lectures at next year's IAJGS conferences. Prior year speakers include Malgorzata Ploszaj, Dr. Bettina Joergens, Stephen Falk, Dr. Yochai Ben-Ghedalia, Joachim Hahn, Bozena Kubit, Gerhard Buck, Bernhard Purin and Friedrich Wollmershäuser, who have spoken on German Records and various German-Jewish communities including those in Upper Silesia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Nassau and Munich. Please forward your suggestions to Alex Calzareth.

Honoring Fritz Neubauer

Thanks to John Lowens for composing the following tribute on behalf of GerSIG: .

“I hope that this helps.” - There are over 500 messages from Fritz Neubauer in the GerSIG Email list archives with that closing phrase. With the illness and passing of Fritz Neubauer, GerSIG lost an irreplaceable helper and friend. .

He taught languages at The University of Bielefeld in northern Germany but if you were to visit him in his office there you’d assume his field to be Holocaust history.  Next to Dr. Neubauer’s desk was a collection of Shoah memorial books containing the names and details of Holocaust victims. When GerSIG members posted messages about “brick walls” in their German Jewish family research, Fritz routinely searched this personal library and, sometimes, found the missing relatives. Many of his GerSIG messages gave families of Shoah victims their first concrete information about their lost relatives. His help to GerSIG, JewishGen and Shoah research included providing translations. He was an expert on the tragic history of the Lodz Ghetto. The U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington has 2,400 pages of letters from Ghetto residents to friends and relatives outside, which Fritz helped translate and index. A search for Fritz Neubauer at will reveal what we were hoping for when GerSIG was organized at the 1998 Conference.

Thank you, Fritz Neubauer. You DID help. We have lost a dear friend. May his memory be a blessing.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to next year's conference, the 40th, which will take place in San Diego, California. 

Please stay in touch through our mailing list and through Facebook!

Alex Calzareth 

Director of Research for Germany

on behalf of the GerSIG Team

 07/26/2019  The 39th IAJGS Jewish Genealogy Conference in Cleveland

The JewishGen German-Jewish Special Interest Group (GerSIG) looks forward to seeing many familiar faces, first-time attendees and those new to researching Jewish ancestors in Germany. Please send us a quick email at to let us know if you’ll be joining us in Cleveland.

There are two GerSIG meal events during the conference:

Tuesday, July 30 at 8 AM - Breakfast with the Experts with Roger Lustig and Alex Calzareth

Thursday, August 1 at 12:15 PM - GerSIG Luncheon where Karen Franklin and Alex Calzareth will speak on new indexing for historical compiled German-Jewish Family Trees and other German research updates

Registration for the meals closes on July 20th. The breakfast appears to be sold out but tickets can still be purchased for the luncheon.

The annual GerSIG business meeting will take place after the luncheon on Thursday, August 1st at 1:45pm.

There are several presentation related to Germany and German-speaking Jews throughout the conference:

Sunday, July 28 at 4:15 PM - After the Shoah, Honor Your Family by Restoring German Citizenship, Stolpersteine, and the Ancestral Tour by Miriam Zimmerman and Michael Loewenstein

Monday, July 29 at 1:45 PM - Resources for Researching Refugees in World War II: The Case of Max Neugass by Karen Franklin

Tuesday, July 30 at 9:15 AM - Jewish Genealogy in the Germanies by Roger Lustig

Tuesday, July 30 at 1:45 PM - The Strauss Family of Cleveland - a Pioneering Jewish Family by Linda Levine

Friday, August 2 at 9:15 AM - The Flatow Fiction: When Records Deceive by Roger Lustig

Additional presentations touch on the German-Jewish immigrant communities in Ohio:

Monday, July 29 at 9:15 AM - An Introduction to the Cleveland Jewish Archives by Sean Martin

Monday, July 29 at 10:45 AM - Researching Louis Loeb, a Cleveland Native Son and Jewish-American Artist on the World Stage by Joy Kestenbaum

Monday, July 29 at 3:15 PM Genealogical Gems: Jewish History and Research in Central Ohio by Toby Brief and Elizabeth Plummer

GerSIG will also be at the SHARE fair held on Sunday, July 30 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM .

 05/03/2019  Indexing Volunteers Needed!


I am the somewhat new volunteer coordinator for GerSig projects. I wanted to announce that we will be needing individuals to assist in indexing various records which will then be put online at JewishGen. Some of the projects require very little knowledge of German. Others vary in difficulty to include reading handwritten records from the 1800s into the 1900s. Most of these projects can be done in the comfort of your home, as the material is available online.

Roger Lustig sent out information about these projects last year. They include indexing the East German Gatterman films and the indexing of the Wuerttemberg family registers. Information on these projects can be found on our website at in the What's New section. GerSIG is also looking to complete the indexing of the notices and obituaries in the Aufbau newspaper, additional details are available at .

If you have any interest in assisting in these projects, please send me an email at my home address: Let me know your “expertise” in reading German script, or reading German, in general.

I look forward to hearing from you, and look forward to meeting you in Cleveland. Thanks in advance.

Renee Klish

 07/02/2018  New Project: Württemberg Family Registers

Dear all:

Yet another project. This one's for people who can deal with fairly ugly records in German handwriting, and for people who would like to set up spreadsheets for others to complete. It's larger than the others I just announced.

Württemberg is renowned among genealogists for its carefully-kept family registers. On one sheet, one can find the dates & places of birth, marriage and death of the head of household and spouse(s); the names of the parents of each one; and the names of the children, along with their dates of birth, etc. and possibly a cross-reference to the sheet for the family that *they* established. Emigration is often noted, as well. The ones in question were kept for most of the 19thC and into the 20th; and some of the heads of household were born well before 1750.

The Baden-Württemberg collection of Gatermann films--the first one to appear on line--contains over 150 registers of this kind from over 70 localities. Some of them duplicate others, but in the interest of maximum legibility, I think it's best to index them all. Since these are Gatermann films, there are no originals left to check.

As with the Hessen Gatermann project, I propose making a short index, i.e., not transcribing most of the detailed information. Here's what I think we should capture:


--item number in the collection

--image and/or sheet number

--Role (husband, wife, 2nd wife, etc.)

--For heads of households and spouses:

----Given name and surname

----Year and town of birth

Many if not most of these communities were relatively small, meaning that users of the index will want to check several, if not all the sheets in a set, because it's generally likely that people with the same surname were in fact of the same family. That's why indexing the parents ought to be sufficient. (If we were doing everyone on a sheet, the project would take years and years.)

This is another project where people who can't read the handwriting can contribute by entering the first 4 items on the list above, and otherwise setting up an entry grid.

Here is a spreadsheet containing a list of registers and an example of the index.

Please email me at this address if you'd like to participate.

Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA - research coordinator, GerSIG

 07/01/2018  New Project: Surname adoptions west of the Rhine--in French!

Here's another project based on records available via

The NALDEX project has indexed/transcribed the contents of surname-adoption registers from Prussia and Lippe-Detmold, and more such will be added soon. These registers had one line for each household, though they sometimes mentioned more than one person.

In what's today's Germany west of the Rhine, Jewish surname adoption took place in 1808 following Napoleon's Decree of Bayonne. The records of these events are scattered all over the region, many of them still in the local registry offices that have maintained civil registration since 1798.

Fortunately, several thousand of them are preserved on films that has put on line. They differ from other surname-adoption lists in several ways:

1) There is an entry for each person in a family.

2) They are written out instead of being in printed tables.

3) They often contain the dates and places of birth for children.

4) They are usually in French.

So, for those of you who would help out were it not for the difficulty of German language and script, here's your chance! Most of these records are fairly legible and in handwriting that anyone would recognize today.

If you'd like to help out, please write to me at this email address. Please let me know if there's a particular region you'd like to work on.

Also: if you have copies of *other* lists of this type, please let me know. They, too, should be transcribed and indexed. What's on film is a fraction of the whole.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Roger Lustig Princeton, NJ USA research coordinator, GerSIG

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  • Last Modified: 07-30-2018
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