14 January 2007

Auschwitz: Online database

Today's suggestion: Search all of the databases you come across for your names (and variations) of interest. You may find nothing, but sometimes shocking news may be discovered.

My maternal grandfather Sidney Fink was born Szyja in 1898, raised in Suchastow near Skalat, and arrived in New York 1914 - he never spoke of relatives caught up in the Holocaust. My understanding, from both sides of the family, was that everyone had left very early and no one had been caught up in the tragedy.

Based on that, I did not pursue the matter.

But when I saw a recent JewishGen notice about the Auschwitz searchable database, I clicked on it and entered FINK. To my great surprise, I found a list of 12 individuals who had perished there. All were born in the same general area and bore the given names as known family, including another Szyja, born in 1889.

I had seen some of these names previously in the Jewish Records Indexing-Poland databases, but had not pursued them into Holocaust-era resources. For the same reason, I hadn't checked Yad Vashem's database for this branch of my family. However, it is now on my priority to-do list.

So check every database, even if you think there's no possibility of finding information.

Readers should check the Auschwitz Web site, but understand that it contains only a small portion (about 10%) of the original records, as most were destroyed.

The on-site Auschwitz Archives also holds some 70,000 photographs and more than 8,000 letters and postcards. It is my understanding that information on the photographs and documents will be put into a database, along with the scanned items, as the archive continues to develop an integrated computerized system.

Researchers may e-mail the archives, muzeum@auschwitz.org.pl, for more information.

1 comment:

  1. Many of companies are providing and maintaining an Online Database and it services, suggestions are mentioned above are very precious and informative thanks for sharing this.