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An extraordinary find for Jewish records

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A memorial register of Jewish burials turned up for auction in Brooklyn

The New York Times this week reported that several rare documents scheduled for auction were withdrawn after being spotted by a genealogy researcher. They included bound burial records for the Romanian towns of Cluj-Napoca and Oradea, whose Jewish residents were nearly all murdered by Nazis during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews perished in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp during the Holocaust.

The Cluj-Napoca register, handwritten in Hebrew and Yiddish, was spotted online by a genealogy researcher who alerted Robert Schwartz, president of the Jewish Community of Cluj.

“Usually if a person dies, he is remembered by his community and his family,” University of Cluj professor Zoltan Tibori Szabo told the Times. “But in the case of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Eastern Europe, there was nothing left of them — even their documents were robbed and disappeared. You cannot reconstitute the history of a community without documents. We don’t even have a list of their names.” Thanks to the genealogist who noticed the records for sale in the online auction catalogue, a bit of this history may be reclaimed.

You can read the original New York Times article HERE

Copyright © 2021 by California Genealogical Society

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