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PA;E 18A By Hillel Kuttler Jewish Exponent PHILADELPHIA--Three years ago, David Mink began volunteering at the Phil- adelphia Jewish Archives Center, helping to index its microfilmed collection of ledgers from the city's long-defunct Rosenbaum. Blitzstein. Lipschutz and Rosenbluth banks. The early 20th-century banks doubled as agencies to facilitate im- migrants' money transfers to relatives in Europe to book ship passage here. A fellow volunteer eventually pointed out some interesting infor- mation to Mink: A March 26, 1923 entry had been made for $98 that Mink's grandfather. Jacob Pseny, had paid to bring over a cousin. Fraitel Szklarz of Moselle. France. Another entry showed Pseny's transfer of $104 to his grandmother's brother, Avrum Gruber, of Siemiatis, Poland. Neither relative bought the ticket-- probably because of U. S. immigration restrictions, Mink speculated and Pseny received a refund. By Aaron Leibe| Washington Jewish Week It was September 1941 and a unit of the Einsatzgruppen (Nazi Action Groups) had ordered Zvi Michaeli. his brother, father and some of their neighbors to strip, "and then we went to the grave," he said. His father put his arm around him and pushed him down into the pit when the shooting started, thus saving his life. He says blood dripped on him. and then it stopped. (His father and brother did not survive.) Michaeli's chilling testi- mony of the murder of some of the 3,446 Jews in Eishyshok, Lithuania. is part of "Hitler's Hidden Holocaust," a docu- mentary to be shown on the cable National Geographic Channel on Aug. 2 at 10 p.m. The film focuses on the Nazis' mass murders of Jews in Eastern Europe, particu- larly in Ukraine. in which the Einsatzgruppen followed the HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 31, 2009 Experts agree: High tech sparked genealogy "I was absolutely flab- utilizing new social media, Jewish genealogyconferences Still, genealogyfundamen- bergasted," Mink said of the such as MySpace and Face- were convened, tals--curiosity, persistence discoveries, book, which link researchers Another pivotal develop- andpenandpapertointerview Thanks to the Internet, with roots in specific towns mentwas the fall of commu- relatives--willnevergooutof Jews today can experience and enable them to hold vir- nism two decades ago, which style. Decadeswillpassbefore such Eureka! moments from tual family reunions, removed many barriers to allrecordsofinterestaredigi- the comfort of home. Most of "It's a big thing," said accessing historical records tized and put online, if ever. thePhiladelphiabankrecords Halpern of technology's role in the former Soviet Union Indeed, JewishGen'sshtetl-, are available on the popular in Jewish genealogy today, and Eastern Europe. town- and country-specific WebsiteJewishGen.org--just "People have found lost rela- But the popularity of per- "'special-interest groups," or one exampleofimprovements tives bygoingontothese sites, sonal computers and of the SIGs.continually fundraise in in Jewish genealogy in the I've found a lost relative on Internet increased research order to support the transla- digital age. JewishGen." possibilities exponentially, tionintoEnglishandthedigi- Such technological ad- We'vecomealongwaysince leading to even more of Eu- tization of European records vancements will be front and interestingenealogyexploded rope's local and national civic ofinterestto manyofthesite's center at the International in thelate1970swiththepub- records being digitized and 300.000 registered users. Association of Jewish Ge- lication of African-American made avaiLable online. That notwithstanding, nealogical Societies confer- author Alex Haley's novel, The improved service and Jewish genealogists today ence. tO be held Aug. 2-7 at Roots, and the screening convenience, in turn, have face political obstacles to the the Sheraton Philadelphia of the namesake television made genealogists' trips to releaseofrecordsbycountries Center City Hotel. At last mini-series, dusty European archives an like Belarus, Ukraine and year's Chicago conference, a SuchbooksasArthurKurz- option rather than a neces- Rumania.duetotheirgovern- session on maximizing one's weil's "From Generation to sity, said Warren Blatt. Jew- ments' "Communist mental- research on Google proved so Generation" and "Finding Our ishGen's managing director: ityorprivacy"considerations. popular that three such talks Fathers"byPhiladelphianDan "You can access records" according to Blatt. are scheduled this time. with Rottenberg soon sent Jewish through the Internet. "It re- Progress onVarious Fronts other sessions covering the genealogists to the National ally is a revolution." he said. Researchers see hope in the capabilities of Google Earth Archives. Ellis Island and The wealth of information ascension of the young and in plotting important family municipal offices throughout today means that someone's progressive Dorin Dobrincu sitesinashtetI.andofGoogle Europe to document their modest efforts to document as director general of the Translate in searching and ancestors' lives, his or her family "gets pretty Rumanian national archives. e-mailing.abroad, said Phila- Jewish genealogy societies big, pretty fast." added Blatt. Dobrincu's appearance at delphia conference program quickly deveioped throughout "You have to do triage to fig- the Philadelphia conference chair Mark Halpern. NorthAmerica, Israel, Europe ure out where you're going to (which, at press time, was not Jewishgenealogistsalsoare and Russia, and international spend your time." finalized)wouldbeanopportu- Documenting ttt,00 other Shoah Nazi army into Eastern Eu- Two, three, fourormoremen stopped in the summer of horrified."theauthorsays."He rope, murdering communist usuallyfiredtheshots.Dirtwas 1941. Heinrich Himmler. hadfounditeasytoorderother leaders and "agitators," but spreadoverthebodiesandonce head of the Nazi SS and of people t'o kill, but to be in the primarily Jews. thepitwasfilled.itwascovered the Einsatzgruppen. ordered presenceofpeoplebeingshotin The documentary, well with lime and top soil. that no more photos be taken large numbers into a pitand to done. but. naturally, de- "The fact that there are because some had made their hear their screams and moan- pressing, is told by academic people who were murdered way back to Germany. ing and to see their writhing experts, supplemented with who rest in unmarked graves Yet. the surreptitious pho- was more than he could stom- photos of the Jewish commu- in people's gardens or in areas tography continued."We have ach and he started screaming nities before the Nazis came. subject to economic develop- a number of photographs of hysterically,'Killthemquickly, of the roundups, of the mass mentmyou could have su- the mass shootings because kill them quickly.' "" killings and of the places to- permarkets built on people's peopletakepicturesofthings Himmler's reaction was day. "Hidden Holocaust" also graves--is a kind of second that are of interest to them." one Of the problems with this includes footage of the actual victimization,"DavidMarwell Marwell says. kind of mass murderBit was executions in which viewers of NewYork'sMuseumofJew- Berenbaum goes one step too personal, according to see German soldiers firing at ish Heritage says in the film. further in his explanation. Berenbaum. He notes two people in the pit, and another The Nazis managed to "It was powerful it was at- other problems--the killings soldier, apparently bored by murder an estimated 1.5 tractive, it was meaningful, werepublicandwere"awaste the continuing murders, million Jews by this method, it was fascinating and it was of bullets." calmly smoking a cigarette, butnumbers, inasense, mask something, at least on a sub- So. although the Ein- The gruesome story Of the what was going on. liminallevel, they were proud satzgruppen continued kill- murderswas usually the same. "The real story is not the of. They wanted to document ing throughout the war. The Jews were concentrated in numbers killed, but all the it for history," he says. these methods "preceded" the center of town and driven Jews beingkilledintownafter Himmle: attended one of the death camps and were intothecountryside.Somemen town. village after village ... these "actions" in Minsk. and the reason for the invention were taken away and forced to family by family, person by althoughhewasgoodatgiving of the [more efficient] death dig a pit. Then, the Jewish men person, one by one. bullet by orders to murderJews, seeing camps," Rhodes says. were brought to the pit in small bullet." says Michael Beren- the killings in person appar- Until recently, these mur- groups, where they were shot. baum of theAmerican Jewish ently bothered him greatly, ders in Eastern Europe have Following that, the Nazis and University. according to Richard Rhodes. been overshadowed by the theirlocalhelpersmurderedthe The photographic evidence author of Masters of Death. industrial Holocaust of those women and children, was supposed to have been "Heinrich Himmler was camps. The pioneer in the ef- nity "for him to see what we're doing, and for us to talk to him about the need to open up the records for Holocaust re- search. Jewish genealogy and historical research," explained Haipern. "This is something that researchers of Rumania should be exoited about." Meanwhile, technology's applications to genealogy pro- ceed in ways that no one from the Kurzweil-Rottenberg era could have imagined. DNA testing allows people to de- termine whether they share a common'ancestor, and the DNA Shoah Project helps re- unite those separated by the Holocaust. Face-recognition and photo-tagging technolo- gies can also show whether people are related. Halpern finds such develop- ments absolutely fascinating. "It's likewatching'CSt' and using some of the tectiniques they use." he said. "When you're doing genealogy, you're not solving crimes, but you're solving a puzzle, and are being a detective." Reprinted with permission from the Jewish Exponent, www.jewishexponent.com. fort to learn about this largely unknown part of the Shoah has been Father Patrick Des- bois. who published "The Ho- locaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews" last year. The French priest--who, with his team. has covered 50 percent of Ukraine during the past five years, finding 850 extermina- tion sites and interviewing 823 eyewitnesses--makes an appearance in "Hitler's Hidden Holocaust." Why was the murder of 1.5 million Jews previously large- ly overlooked? Rhodes thinks is it because the territory was part of the Soviet Union. where "it was difficult to do historical research." Much information has emerged since the Soviet Union broke up in 1990, he notes. Whatever the reason, time is running out for finding those mass graves. "It's one minute to midnight ... to identify those killing fields." says Berenbaum. Miss your bubbe? iPhone app puts her in your pocket By Brooke Engel Cleveland Jewish News Brad Kleinmarr has such a good time at his weekly dinners at Jack's or Corky & Lenny's with his bubbe An- nette Kleinman Markell. he wanted to figure out a way to have herwith him all the time. That drive led him to develop iGavolt, an application for Apple's iPhone that launched last month on iTunes. Grandma Netty, 84, has something to say about ev erything. Kleinman. a 1999 graduate of Beachwood High School, wanted everyone with an iPhone or iTouch to be able to get a dose of his grandmother's kvetching and well, her nudging. So he recorded her. Users download the file from iTunes to their"iDevice" for a one-time fee of 99 cents, then select any of 15 audio clips to play. "You look too skinny.., eat some farfel." urges Netty. "Are you going to get married before I die? I only have a few years left, you know." "Why don't you call me any more?" The one-time fee includes free monthly upgrades and also features a"gram rap" op- tion that has grandma Netty rapping to different beats. Apple's platform makes it incredibly easy for develop- ers to distribute the app to their international audience, says Kleinman. 28. He is ex- cited that Jewish kids and their parents--all over the world will be able to enjoy grandma Netty. "Eventually we would like to have other Jewish grandmothers send in their own pictures and audio clips that can be incorporated into future updates," says Kleinman, noting thathe has already received requests for the grandpa version of iGa- volt. plus requests for Italian and Russian grandmas. To get his application ap- proved, Kleinman became a licensed Apple developer (see accompanying box). "The one-time fee allows us to develop as many iPhone apps that we want in a year time frame." ex- plains Kleinman. If you're not a developer or an experienced programmer, he adds. developing an iPhone application can get expensive--anywhere from $5.000 to $15,000 in development fees, based on the intricacies of the ap- plication you are designing. iGavolt is a joint vefiture between Kleinman's Beach- wood company WorkSmart eMarketing and Vokal In- teractive, a Chicago-based iPhotie application develop- ment company. WorkSmart originated the concept, recorded the audio files, and is marketing the prod- uct. while Vokal developed the application. Kleinman is using viral marketing, social media and blogging to promote the application. Apple receives 30 percent of all sales, which leaves about 70 cents per down- load for the two companies to split evenly. "We're also donating 10 percent of the proceeds to the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland." says Kleinman. For Kleinman. being Jewish is like being a part of a special club, and it's a grandmother's job to ensure children feel that way. "The grandmas and grandpas I know have de- veloped a Cool vernacular that mixes Yiddish with everyday speech hence the title iGavolt, a play on the words of oy gevalt." he explains. And what does Markell think of her grandson's latest venture? Well. computers are a pain the neck. she says. So it's probably safe to say she .won't be downloading herselfkvetch- ing on her iPod anytime soon. Brooke Engel is a free lance writer. This article fi,! appeared in the Cleveland Jewish News. How to develop your iPhone app 1. Devise the app that you want to build. 2. Fill out paperwork and become an official developer with Apple. Annual cost: $100. 3. Once approved, download Apple's SDK, a developer's tool kit that includes tutorials to help you build your app. 4. When your app is built, tested and ready for iTunes, submit toApple for approval. You will need to fill out paperwork with technical details about the application and associated graphics.Apps are usually approved in 1-3 weeks. 5. Once approved by Apple, developers receive an e-mail with a link to their application on iTunes. Developers can market their application any way they want. i