A Genealogical Recreation of Destroyed Communities
Until now, Holocaust memorialization projects have focused mainly on the retrieval of the names of Shoah victims. These efforts have culminated in Yad Vashem’s three million name database.
The International Institute of Jewish Genealogy, in a vast, innovative, multi-year project, proposes to mobilize genealogical science and skills to recreate destroyed Jewish communities throughout Europe, primarily by reconstructing the webs of kinship that bound the victims to others living in their community (and beyond) on the eve of the Holocaust. Family trees will be developed for the victims using new technology that merges genealogical information from several extensive databases now available on the Web and elsewhere. Beyond that, the family trees will constitute the essential building blocks for a genealogical reconstruction of the destroyed communities at the local, regional and even international (cross-boundary) levels. In this way, the individuals on these trees will be restored to their place on the Family Tree of the Jewish People and will cease to be a “Lost Generation”.
An exploratory study is underway on five selected communities to test the feasibility of the project design. Because of its scope, the project will be conducted in collaboration with other groups of researchers.
The project director is Dr. Sallyann Amdur Sack.
Click here for a progress report on the project to end 2008.