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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Responses to the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names


Introduction

Yad Vashem is committed to collecting names of Holocaust victims and preserving Pages of Testimony in its Hall of Names. For Yad Vashem, these tasks have immense national and international significance.

Over the course of approximately one month after the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names became available online, Yad Vashem’s website had 3,029,930 visitors, from 163 different countries. 39% of these visitors were from Israel, 33% were from North America, 24% were from Europe, and 4% were from the rest of the world.

Since the Central Database became available online, Yad Vashem has received responses from many people. Among the most exciting responses were those that reported that searching the Central Database made them aware of names of family members that had been previously unknown. Today, decades after the Holocaust, individuals around the world are able to conduct in-depth research about their families and communities. In writing to Yad Vashem, people have added that the Central Database has enabled them to find family members that they believed were lost, by searching for information about people who submitted Pages of Testimony.

To send a response about the Journey of Discovery, or other educational aspects of the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, please write to: stories.names@yadvashem.org.il

The following are a selection of responses to the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names.


"Always Wondered If My Ancestors were Jewish"

My name is Peggy Kepler. First of all, I think your site is great and just out of curiosity I ran some of my ancestors’ last names on the search. I have always wondered if my ancestors were Jewish, both on my father’s side and my mother’s side.

On my mother’s side, their last name was Gruenberg and they came to the US around 1890 from Riga, Latvia and spoke German. They had dark, curly hair and my great uncle had darker skin, even though he was Caucasian. We have pictures of them in Latvia when they were children.

My father’s relatives also came to the US about the same time from Hungary. His father’s name was John Toth.

As I searched for both these last names, they came up in your database. No one ever mentioned being Jewish or having Jewish relatives when we were growing up. No one was really religious, except on my father’s side, many became Christians and went to a Methodist church.

Since you no doubt know much more of the history of the area, the names and the families, do you think that since there were many Toth’s from Hungary that were Jewish, and that many Gruenbergs from Latvia were Jewish, that everyone having those last names were Jewish?

Peggy Kepler


"Pleased to Forward Copies"

I am contacting you because during a recent search for victims of the Holocaust, I found what I believe to be two relatives:

1. Benjamin Albaum
2. Yosef Albaum

They were my grandmother's brothers, my great-uncles. I have photographs of each of them, along with Yiddish messages roughly translated. I also have a little more information on their lives. I would be pleased to forward copies of the photo's and information on to you, if you wish. I would also appreciate further information on the acquaintance Moshe Akerman, who submitted the information in 1956. I noticed that he submitted 33 names at the same time all unrelated and most from different locations, and wondered how he received the information.

Best Regards,

Fiona Baxter-Swartz
Canada


"Establish my Genuine Family Connection"

Dear Sir,

For quite some time I have been rather desperately trying to get in touch with a relative of my family of which Sarah Simons Gosler is just one treasured name.

In your database there is mention that details of Sarah Gosler were submitted to you by a relative of Sarah Gosler by the name of Marianne (Dazzo) Trompetter. My question is, is it at all possible for you to supply me with the address of Ms.Marianne Trompetter, or otherwise request her permission for me to contact her?

My name is Leo Meijer. My grandfather Heiman Meijer (1875-1928) had a sister Klaartje Meijer (1876-1943) who married Levie Simons. (1879-1943) Their son Leo Simons (1911-1944) married Sarah Gosler. Klaartje Meijer was an aunt of my father Leo Meijer (1904-1985).

I trust that the above information may assist to establish my genuine family connection with Sarah Gosler but I will gladly supply any additional information, if required. I do hope that you can help me to get in touch with Ms. Marianne Trompetter, it would mean a lot to me. I will immediately confirm receipt of your reply, whatever your decision.

Thanking you most sincerely for your kindness,
Yours,

Leo Meijer
Australia


"Details which I would Like to Record Now"

My late father came from the small shtetl Kruk in northern Lithuania. His parents were Zvi Hirsch and Menucha Leiserowitz (nee Joffe). My grandfather was a grain merchant who died in 1930. His wife, son Shmerel and daughter Chana Musha Muller and her husband and children died in the Holocaust. I have been unable to find any information on the Shtetl or the Leiserowitz family.

Three brothers migrated to South Africa and changed their name to Lazar as did my father who was sent to join his uncles in 1923 as an 18 year old. Sadly when I was growing up we just did not ask any questions and now it is too late.

I did register my grandmother and uncle and aunt when we visited Yad Vashem when we visited Israel some years ago. At the time I did not know the surname of my aunt or the names of her husband and children. I have subsequently met a survivor who gave me these details which I would like to record now. Channa Musha and Mendel Muller, children Zivia and Miele. Mendel was a dentist in Shavel. Zivia would have been born in about 1938 as she was just a bit older than me. Can you advise me as to how I can try and find out what happened to these individuals? Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,
Vicky Rogut (nee Lazar)


"Thousands of Thanks for the Memory of All these Victims"

Dear friends!

I am the daughter of Gerda Kraus, born in Vienna November 10, 1918. Her mother and stepfather were killed during the war. Ernst Lustig and Melanie Lustig. I have – to the best of my knowledge – found both of them in your fabulous database.

Just before the war, my mother was sent to Sweden, where she met my father (Danish and not Jewish) who was in the Danish resistance movement. They married in Sweden and came back to Denmark after the war. I have, in my possession, hundreds of letters sent to my mother from Ernst and Melanie Lustig. Letters describing their situation, and letters checked by the Nazis before sending off to Sweden. Describings have been removed by the Nazis.

Thank your so much for your enormous work with the database, and thousands of thanks for the memory of all these victims.

Kind regards,
Susanne Hooge
Denmark


To send a response about the Journey of Discovery, or other educational aspects of the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names, please write to: stories.names@yadvashem.org.il