07 June 2007

More Galicia in SLC: Gesher Galicia SIG

Gesher Galicia SIG (special interest group) will meet at 3.30 p.m. Monday, July 16, at the IAJGS conference.

The program, according to research coordinator Pamela Weisberger, will include:

1.Updates on Gesher Galicia's research initiatives, including the cadastral map/homeowners lists acquisition project, Galician town and region research group work, research grant program and more.

2. Brian Lenius, author of The Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia, will provide a short primer on conducting on-site research in the Lviv Historical Archives. Mark Halpern will discuss the new Lviv archive microfilms of vital records for Galician towns recently added to the LDS catalogue.

3. JewishGen yizkor book translation project update.

4. A documentary film presentation by Will Kahane: Rimalev, the Seventh House: Of the few thousand Jews who lived there before the war, only about 80 surviving Jews made their way back to Rimalev (Grzymalow) from all the surrounding areas in 1944. Kahane, born Velvel Yisroel, was the first and last Jewish child to be born there after WWII on September 7, 1945, following liberation by the Russians.

In 1996, he joined a group of Holocaust survivors on a trip to Skalat to dedicate a memorial on a mass grave site. He journeyed to his shtetl with a local Jewish guide, to find the house where he, his father and grandfather were born.

Built by his family generations ago, his goal was to see if the place still existed and to view it once more after leaving in December 1945 for a displaced persons camp in Germany at the age of three months. He also searched for the tiny village of Ostra Magilla, where his mother, her brother and several of the Skalat survivors were hidden during the war. Although small--only 10 houses--this village rescued many Jews.

Will continued on to Lvov and met, in a hotel restaurant, a black-robed monk who was a member of the Studite order of the Ukrainian Uniate Church, and knew the story of Kahane's great-uncle, Rabbi David Kahane, author of Lvov Ghetto Diary, who was rescued by Archbishop of Lvov Andrei Sheptytski who saved many other Jews during WWII. He led Will to the monastery where the rabbi was hidden for a time during the war. The massive walls and surprising human skeletons found inside of them hinted of an unfathomable world of mystery. Will is studying for his Masters in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton College in New Jersey. He recently made two films: Auschwitz Memories and Lest We Forget.

A summary will be included in the The Galitzianer journal's summer edition, for those who cannot attend.

Have information to share with other Galician researchers? For more information, click here and here.

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