13 March 2007

Tashkent refugee cards - new online database

In a boon to genealogists, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has placed online a database of 152,000 Jewish refugees who were in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, during 1941 and 1942.

According to the USHMM, more than 1 million Jews from the FSU, including annexed territories of Eastern Poland, the Baltics, Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, passed through Tashkent as they fled before the German army.

Many evacuees reached Central Asia in this era. The USHMM database was prepared from the evacuees' card catalog in the Central State Archives of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

From 2004 to 2006, Central Asia Research Project researchers, led by Prof. Saidjon Kurbanov, selected and digitized 152,000 cards of Jewish evacuees. The USHMM provided funding; Kurbanov and his team compiled the database and card images.

According to Kurbanov, the cards list only people whose initial stopping point in Uzbekistan was Tashkent. It does not include those who arrived after February 1942.

Data on the front of the card includes: family name, given name, father's name, relationship to head of household, gender, year of birth (or age at registration), place of birth, profession (education), nationality (Jewish), former residence, work place before evacuation, position, current residence/address, current place of work (organization and position), and reference/registration number in the Registry books (list number, page number and individual number on the list).

The card reverse (if there is one) contains (for dependants under age 16): Family name, given name, father's name, relationship to head of household, year of birth (or age at registration). I also found one card in a different format for a minor male, age 14.

The search engine is excellent. Search by just the first letter of the first or last name or location. Text comes up for several fields in English and scrolling to the right will bring up the same text in Cyrillic. This is a great help for those researchers who may not know how to spell the names they are looking for in Russian. Spelling is not standardized so some creative thinking may be required.

Clicking on the left-most column will bring up a digital image of the front of the registration card and, in some cases, the back of the card.

A search for TALALAI produced eight cards. Two of them information on the back, listing additional family members and addresses. Some of these individuals had previously been in my records only as small children, with no other information.

Of the names I found in this database, I already knew about the family branches from Moscow and Bobruisk, but a branch in Romny, Sumskaia USSR was a new one for me, and had clues to additional information.

Only 1,000 search results are listed at one time. When I conducted a Mogilev, Belarus search, the results also included people from Mogilev gubernia, as well as Mogilev Podulsk which is nowhere near Mogilev, Belarus.

A worthwhile database to be sure. Search here.

Let's hope that Professor Kurbanov is hot on the trail of card catalogs in other Central Asian archives.


  1. Anonymous8:04 AM

    I know about this scheme but can anybody tell me why when I typed in, on this Kurbanov's website, first and last names of my relatives (specifically Berish and Enya Golger, Mordko and Ghitlea-Mirca Bronshteyn, my great-grandparents) who were in Uzbekistan in 1941-1944, I got no results?


  2. Thank you!
    Do you know any way I can keep searching for someone who is listed in the database? what became of him?

  3. Anonymous4:34 AM

    I found my granfather and granmother with my mother Tashkent refugee cards through "Jewish Family History - Ancestry.com".

    I was very excited... After many years..