Máramaros (Region) Yizkor Book

Project Name: Translation of the Máramaros Region Yizkor Book

Project Leader:
Moshe A. Davis

JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld

Project Synopsis

This project supports completion of the translation into English of the entire contents of the Marmaros Yizkor Book entitled Sefer Marmarosh: mea ve-shishim kehilot kedoshot be- yishuvan u-ve-hurbanan (The Marmaros Book: One Hundred and Sixty Jewish Communities in their Prime and in their Destruction), compiled and edited by S.Y. Gross and Y. Yosef Cohen. Originally published in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1983 by the Beis Marmaros (The Federation of Jewish Survivors of the Marmaros Region).  A second, expanded edition was published in 1996.  Translations of this expanded edition will be placed online.  Except for two introductory chapters, translated into Yiddish and English and published with the Yizkor Book, the entire document is in Hebrew.

The 645-page book consists of two main sections.  The first, seven-chapter section provides a comprehensive overview of the entire Marmaros region, together with its Jewish history, Torah, and culture.  The second section consists of individual articles describing the history, community structure, and notable personages of each of the approximately 160 separate towns and cities in the region with a Jewish population.  A small third section describes the Federation of Jewish Survivors of the Marmaros Region (Beis Marmaros) in Tel Aviv.  Because of the region's numerous historical border changes, almost all the towns in Marmaros have had multiple names.  Therefore, an integral part of this project is the preparation of online indices, which will cross-reference the variant town name names.

Key Audiences

Jewish genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this region constitute the primary audience for the material.  However, the material has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and society in this region.

Project Importance

Yizkor books are unique sources of information on once vibrant towns, primarily in central and eastern Europe, whose Jewish populations were destroyed in the Holocaust.  Written after World War II by émigrés and Holocaust survivors, yizkor books contain narratives of the history of the town, details of daily life, religious and political figures and movements, religious and secular education, and gripping stories of the major intellectual and Zionist movements of the 20th century.  The necrologies and lists of residents are of tremendous genealogical value, as often the names of individuals who were taken to extermination camps or shot in the forests are not recorded elsewhere.  Usually written in Hebrew or Yiddish, these important books are not accessible to most users, who cannot read these languages.  Thus, the translation of these books into English unlocks this information to many more researchers all over the world.  The JewishGen Yizkor Book Project received the award in 2002 for outstanding contribution to Jewish genealogy by the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Sefer Marmarosh is a unique historical and genealogical resource because of its encyclopedic scope and extensive coverage of an entire region that today spans two countries and historically experienced many border changes.  At one time Máramaros was a state within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, located on the northeastern border of the Empire, with Galicia to the north and Romania to the east.  With the breakup of the Empire in the aftermath of World War I, northern Máramaros was given to the newly-formed country of Czechoslovakia, and southern Máramaros was given to Romania.  During World War II, all of Máramaros was occupied by Axis Hungary.  After the war, southern Máramaros again became part of Romania, while the northern area became part of the USSR.  Since the breakup of the USSR in the early 1990s, this northern part of Máramaros became the southwestern extreme of the Republic of Ukraine.  Today, former Hungarian Máramaros is located in both the Maramures region of northern Romania, and the Zakarpatska Oblast, Ukraine.  Thus, this yizkor book should be of interest to researchers of Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Ukraine, and to those interested in the many important Rabbinical figures and influential movements (such as the Vishnitz and Szatmer Chassidim) based in the Máramaros region.

Project Description

Approximately 100 pages are now online or in the process of being translated by volunteers. To expeditiously accomplish the remainder of the project, JewishGen will hire a professional translator to translate 486 pages.  The project coordinator will select the order in which to translate the chapters and will work closely with the translator to ensure a grammatically correct and idiomatic translation.  Specific tasks the project coordinator will perform include proofreading, editing, and preparing the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project.

Estimated Cost: $18,225


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Updated 17 Sep 2011 by WSB