28 Jul Needle in a haystack?
Needle in a haystack?
Finding somebody’s ancestors may be extremely difficult, especially with limited amount of info. A few photographs, details about long lived family members based on oral history, a few notes…and a strong wish to still find something before it gets too late to fulfill the mitzvah to pass on the history of your grand and great-grandparents or even their parents and families to your own children.
I am happy and also proud that this summer I was given the opportunity to help an American couple, Joanne and John Reicher to find what they were looking for: any possible info about John’s grandfather and his family whose several members disappeared during the Hungarian Holocaust. We knew very little at the beginning: the surviving family members who got to the US only talked about the Budapest years but where their ancestors came from and where their resting place could be remained untold.
I could only succeed after doing some genealogy research in the Family Research Center in Budapest, Wesselényi utca and contacting extremely helpful and knowledgeable people such as Tamás Lózsy at the Archives of the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community and later on with a new piece of info showing us the region, Gyöngyi Magó, the author of her excellent book about the history of the Jewry of Kalocsa and its surroundings. Gyöngyi, an incredible woman, has a mission to share everything she found out about the lost Jewish community in Kalocsa and its surroundings that once thrived there. She passes on her knowledge to the people, especially the young generation in her hometown and worldwide through a great documentary titled “There was once..” by Gabor Kalman: http://www.therewasoncefilm.com/
I am truly helpful for every piece of help.
Now I can tell you my first-hand experience: it’s never too late and never give up starting the research because you think you haven’t got enough info in your hands. I’d encourage everyone hesitating to start planning a root tour: don’t postpone it. Start it today!