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Jewish Genealogical Research in German-speaking Regions
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Aufbau Indexing Project

Aufbau Indexing Project Overview

This project will index birth, marriage, death and other similar notices from 1952 issues of Aufbau, a newspaper which was published in New York from 1934 to 2003 and was read by German-Jewish refugees living throughout the United States and around the world. In about 1940, Aufbau began to publish announcements of births, bar/bat mitzvahs, engagements, marriages, and deaths. This project is a continuation of the Aufbau Indexing Project, conceived of by Harry Katzman about 25 years ago, which thanks to many volunteers resulted in about 50,000 indexed announcements already available at JewishGen's German-Jewish SIG (GerSIG) is now continuing this project and the previous and future results will be published as a JewishGen database. Knowledge of some German is helpful but is not necessary.

Aufbau Indexing Project Instructions

Notices were placed for different life cycle events, in both German and English. Key German vocabulary is provided below.

What should be indexed? - All individual notices (obituaries, births, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, deaths, and bar mitzvahs) - Do not index individual names in other sections such as 'Personalia', individual articles and advertisements

If you have trouble deciphering a notice please leave a comment in the last column Remarks/Comments Please continue to read below to see what information should be entered in which columns.

Event/Record Type
This indicates the type of notice. Please enter one of the following codes. In the brackets are the key German words to look for.

D = Obituary (Death) - These notices (almost) always have a black border. [Tod, Ableben, Hinscheiden, verschied, entschlief, starb, gestorben]

T = Thank you (for any event) [For Deaths-Danksagung or Statt Karten (instead of cards)], will also have a black border]

X = Birthday [Geburtstag]

A = Anniversary [Goldenen Hochzeit (50 years), Silbernen Hochzeit (25 years), __ Hochzeitstag]

B = Birth [Geburt]

R = Bar Mitzvah or T = Bat Mitzvah

E = Engagement [Verlobung]

M = Marriage [Vermählt, Hochzeit]

U = Unknown or Unable to determine Each Aufbau issue generally arranged family notices in the above order. If you encounter a type of notice that is not described above please enter a 'U.' Examples of these notices are shown at the bottom of the page. 

Event Date
Enter the day, month and year in the separate fields provided, for example: December 29, 1951 would be entered as Event Day: 29, Event Month: Dec, Event Year: 1951. In German the date is preceded by the word 'am' (on the)

There are multiple name fields depending on the type of notice.
For obituaries and birthdays enter each person's name on a separate line, for example, if there are two deaths or two birthdays. Enter each person's name in Surname and Given Name. If a maiden name is provided (preceded in German by geb.) then enter it in Maiden Name.

For these notices, you may encounter people who anglicized their names. In those case enter the current names in the fields described above and their former names in Other Surname and Other Given Name. This also applies to women who show a former married name (widowed, or verw.). A former name may also be indicated by früher or previously. Be careful though as that more frequently denotes a former residence.

For births and bar/bat mitzvah notices, follow the above instructions for the child's name and the instructions below for the parents' names. Even though the fields say 'Groom' and 'Bride' they should be thought of as 'Father' and 'Mother.' For notices containing information on an engaged or married couple (Marriage, Engagement, Anniversary, Birth, Bar/Mat Mitzvah):

Enter the husband or father's first name in Groom's Given Name and his surname in Groom's Surname Enter the wife or mother's first name in Bride's Given Name. Only enter a surname in Bride's Surname if a maiden name is provided.

If there is more than one surname for a father/husband or mother/wife, such as due to shortening a surname or anglicization, enter the other surname in round brackets '( )'. For example Flegg (formerly Flegenheimer) would be entered as 'Flegg (Flegenheimer).'

For obituaries the surviving family members will be listed. Their surnames only should be entered in the Survivors field. Each surname should be separated by a comma. Please list each unique surname only once. This field can also be used to note the surnames of children placing birthday or anniversary notices for their parents.

Only the original places of origin in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia or other German-speaking places should be recorded. Copy the punctuation for each place as it appears in the notice. If their are multiple towns listed separate each one with an ampersand (&)
Examples: Weingarten (Baden), Göllheim/Pfalz, Frankfurt a.M. The place of residence after emigration will not be recorded. For birthdays and obituaries use the Town of Origin field. If you are indexing places of origin for a married couple or parents of a child enter the husband/father's town of origin in Groom's address and the wife/mother's town of origin in Bride's address.

For couples, it can be confusing to know which town is associated with which person. For consistency, list the town of origin that is on top or on the left in Groom's address and the one on the right or the bottom as Bride's address unless it is otherwise clear which town applies to which person. If only one is town is listed use the Groom's address field.
How should umlauts be handled? If the name is printed with an umlaut (ä,ö,ü) or an ß you will need to covert those characters as follows: Examples: Bär -> Baer Löwe-> Loewe Grün -> Gruen Strauß --> Strauss

Examples of Notices and Indexed Fields Obituary

Event: D, Event Day:7 , Event Month: Dec, Event Year: 1952, Surname: Mannheimer, Given Name: Emma, Maiden Name: Einstein, Town of Origin: München, Survivors: Hené, Maney Birthday

Event: X, Event Day:10 , Event Month: Oct, Event Year: 1952, Surname: Michel, Given Name: Julius, Town of Origin: Osthofen bei Worms, Survivors: Michel, Kahn


Event: A, Event Day:27, Event Month: May, Event Year: 1952, Groom's Surname: Bramson, Groom's Given Name: Joseph, Groom's Address: Hamm a. Sieg, Bride's Surname: Tobias, Bride's Given Name: Johannah, Bride's Address: Köln a. Rhein


Event: B, Event Day:13, Event Month: Sep, Event Year: 1952, Surname: Marx, Given Name: Ronald Felix, Groom's Surname: Marx, Groom's Given Name: Helmut, Groom's Address: Hagen, W., Bride's Surname: Simons, Bride's Given Name: Hannelore, Bride's Address: Hamm, W.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah

Event: R, Event Day:14, Event Month: Jun, Event Year: 1952, Surname: Oppenheim, Given Name: Jack, Groom's Surname: Oppenheim, Groom's Given Name: Günther


Event: E, Event Day:15, Event Month: Aug, Event Year: 1952, Groom's Surname: Hofmann, Groom's Given Name: Rudi, Groom's Address: Breslau, Bride's Surname: Pfeffer, Bride's Given Name: Susanne, Bride's Address: Lübeck Marriage

Event: M, Event Day:21, Event Month: Jun, Event Year: 1952, Groom's Surname: Salomon, Groom's Given Name: Otto, Groom's Address: Köln a. Rh., Bride's Surname: Laserstein, Bride's Given Name: Elenor, Bride's Address: Königsberg, Pr.