Tracing Holocaust Survivors and Victims
The following is a brief guide to help you search for Holocaust survivors/victims and to acquaint you with the resources available in the Holocaust Memorial Center Library Archive. For specific questions, please check with the reference librarian on duty.
NAME - LOCATION - HISTORY:
Check the name of the person whom you are searching and the name of the town where the person originated. Locate the city on a map and note surrounding towns and area. Learn what happened to the city during the war and identify the governing bodies or occupying forces. If possible, ask relatives or persons who would know where the survivor/victim went and what happened. Get as much information as possible, including the European spelling of the person’s name, age, address and names of relatives.
INTERNATIONAL TRACING SERVICE, BAD AROLSEN, GERMANY:
Forms available at ITS website: http://www.its-arolsen.org/en/service/downloads/family-request-forms/index.html#c438
Requests are also accepted at:
Each of these will search the ITS documentation as well as their own vast archives.
JEWISH GENEALOGY WEBSITE:
Check www.jewishgen.org website for names, locations, registers, and current research by topic and location. Pay special attention to the ‘Infofiles,’ Jewish Genealogy Family Finder, Cemeteries and Special Interest Groups links.
Search the www.avotaynu.com website for useful, up to date, articles in your area of research. Use the latest Avotaynu CD to search by keyword. A copy is available in the HMC Library Archive. For up-to-date news, subscribe to online Avotaynu Nu? What’s New?
Contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Survivor Resource Center at 202.488.6112.
Check American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee files at http://archives.jdc.org/Sharedlegacy/search-names. Photographs and text searching also available.
Check Miriam Weiner’s Routes to Roots website www.rtrfoundation.org to identify Jewish archival records in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Moldova.
Check USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education online catalog of survivor who gave their oral history at http://vhaonline.usc.edu/Search.aspx Also searchable by relatives, subject and place name.
Check Memorial Books for the town(s) where the person originated and numerous registers. The HMC has a very extensive collection. The website www.holocaustcenter.org/memorial-book-index has a list of the memorial book cities.
If the person was imprisoned in a concentration or slave labor camp, write directly to the address or find out where the records are currently being kept.
Check Yad Vashem, www.yadvashem.org, for
- Dape Ed - Pages of Testimony, where persons have registered names of people who died in the Holocaust. Click ‘Shoah Victims’ Database.’
- Archival lists - Under ‘New on website’ click ‘Shoah Related Lists Database.’
- Archival records - Hire a researcher to check their extensive archival and photographic files.
Check displaced persons camps records and periodicals which appeared at the time. HMC has microfilm copies.
Check HIAS Records, Location Service, 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York 10001, 212.613.1424. Fax: 212.967.4442. Email: email@example.com. Fee per search.
To locate persons who may have gone to Israel, Mrs. Batya Unterschatz-Landsman conducts research for a fee. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Address is 91 Derech Hazeitim, Moshav Beit Zeit, Israel 90815. Fax 0972-2-5346573. Be aware that the person’s last name my have been changed to a Hebrew version of a European name.
Write to Landsmanschaften societies. Place ad in their newsletters or ask the head of the society to speak with members regarding the person(s) in whom you are interested.
Place an ad in TOGETHER, published by the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors by emailing email@example.com. This magazine has started a ‘Searches’ column and they accept notices for publication.
Place ad with firstname.lastname@example.org. Serena Woolrich, President of Allgenerations, Inc., administers this email group of survivors and children. The notice will reach the survivor community quickly and efficiently.
Place an ad in Generations of the Shoah International Newsletter (www.genshoah.org) Email: GSI@genshoah.org