April 21, 2022
Many people honor those who died in the Holocaust on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. However, those of us within the Jewish community celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, which falls on April 28 this year.
This day is recognized because it is the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in which 50,000 Jews were killed for their defiance against the Nazi regime. While this number seems like a lot (and it is), it is just a drop in the bucket of the millions who died in what Jews call the Shoah—The Holocaust. Because of the mass elimination of Jews, as of today, only 4.7 million have been identified. Essentially, 1.3 million Jews have still not been named. As someone with Jewish heritage, this breaks my heart.
In researching my Jewish heritage, I have found several great resources. For general research, the Midwest Genealogy Center has some great books to help get you going:
- Getting Started In Jewish Genealogy
- Jewish Genealogical Society Newsletter
- Sourcebook for Jewish Genealogies and Family Histories
They also have some great resources for researching and finding your family that was in the Shoah:
- How to Document Victims and Locate Survivors of the Holocaust
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos
- Registry of Jewish Holocaust Survivors 2000
I have also found some great resources online for your Holocaust victim and survivor search, such as Yad Vashem. This is the world’s largest Holocaust museum located in Israel since 1953. Their program, the “Names Recovery Project,” has been collecting the names of victims and survivors since it began. Maybe you have a family member who survived, or maybe know of someone with a family member who survived. You can register them in the Shoah Survivor and Refugee Registration, which helps researchers know who was in the ghettos and when.
Maybe this research doesn’t apply to you, but you still want to do something to remember those who died in the Holocaust? I have just the thing. The World Memory Project is a joint initiative by Ancestry.com and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This project allows you to help make the museum’s records searchable on Ancestry. To date, almost 2 million records from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum have been added onto Ancestry!
So, on this somber day of remembrance, what are some of the ways you plan to contribute to further your research or possibly the research of others?
Midwest Genealogy Center