History of Salonika Jews: Nehama J. Histoire des Israelites de Salonique Thessaloniki: 1936-1978. 7 vols. Introduction by Mathilde Tagger
The first 5 volumes of the monumental work "Histoire des Israelites de Salonique" by Joseph Nehama (1880-1971) were published between 1935 and 1939. They cover the period from the beginning of the Romaniote settlement in Salonika through the Sabbatean outbreak (1669). The manuscripts of the sixth and seventh volumes were ready in 1940, but were not yet proofread or revised. Because of the war, the author had to stop his writing. On the eve of the Nazi occupation of Salonika, Joseph Nehama fled to Athens but, unfortunately, was caught there in 1944 and sent to the death camp of Bergen-Belsen. Nehama survived the horror. After the extermination of more than 90% of the Ladino speaking community of Salonika, he had a unique concern: to publish a full dictionary of the Judeo-Spanish language. He succeeded. The dictionary was published in 1968. In the meantime, he continued to work on his historical manuscripts, completing and revising them. Joseph Nehama died in 1971. His family gave the authorization to publish the manuscripts of the 6th and 7th volumes to the Jewish Community of Salonika. They were published in 1978 in one book. Joseph Nehama studied at the Ecole Normale Orientale, the teacher training school, of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Paris. He was the headmaster of the AIU School in Salonika and later on became the General Inspector of the Middle East AIU schools. Till his last day he was a member of the AIU Central Committee.
These seven volumes include massive information on the Salonika Jews, on their history, literature, life, culture and folklore including hundreds of names of the outstanding among them: Rabbis, community leaders, commerce and industry dealers etc. Because of its comprehensiveness and the information it contains, the book became a rich source for genealogical research for Jews having their roots in Salonika. Nevertheless, an important tool was missing- a general name index.
Check for possible alternative spellings:
- preceding the surname: aben, ben, al, el are possible alternatives
- interchangeable letters:
o or u are possible alternatives- simple or double letters used in alternative spelling
b or v are possible alternatives
c or k are possible alternatives
sh, ch, sci, sch, ?, are possible alternatives for the ?sh? sound
ch, h, kh (guttural) ? may be interchangeable
dj, g, tch, tsh, ç, ? may be interchangeable
g may or may not be followed by a u or h in possible alternative spellings
s or z are interchangeable alternatives at the end of names
We acknowledge the tremendous contributions and lifelong dedication of Mathilde Tagger, z"l who made this index available. For many years, and right until her untimely death, Mathilde Tagger was a very close friend and collaborator with Jeff Malka. Together they worked to promote Sephardic genealogy research and educate the public about its enormous potential. Mathilde compiled this information based upon the original source material: Klarsfeld, Serge. Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. Paris, 1978.
In addition, we express our grateful appreciation to Dr. Jeff Malka for his monumental ongoing effort to collect and make accessible Sephardic genealogical information, and for his generosity in contributing his extraordinarily valuable collection to JewishGen.
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