Learning More About Jewish Communities in the Shoah

Here are some resources for learning more about Jewish communities that perished in the Shoah:

  • The Encyclopedia Judaica
  • The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life before and during the Holocaust
  • Jewishgen 
    Use the links at the top of the page. Choose Projects, and go to ShtetLinks. If you are unsure of the exact name of the shtetl, use their ShtetlSeeker, always using the "Sounds Like" option. You can find this tool under Databases/General/ShtetlSeeker.
  • Google 
    Enter the name of the town. If there are too many hits, add the word "Jewish" to the search.

Researching Your Family

The more you know the more you are likely to find out.

Start with all known family members. Do not assume they do not know anything, or that they have already told you everything. If you do not ask a question specifically, you may never find out what is known, and you may deprive yourself of your best resource. 

  • Jewishgen 
    You may need to register to search. Use their family finder, both for searching and for registering. Use the Databases link. Always search using the "Sounds Like" option. You may search by last name, or town, or both. Jewishgen has many tips scattered on their site. 
  • Ellis Island 
    Although you may access this directly, there is a better search engine at Jewishgen. Go to their home page, and at the top, click the Hosted Orgs link. You will need to register on both sites.
  • Tombstones are often helpful for learning a parent's first name, especially the father. 
  • Death certificates may contain the correct place of birth. This depends on who supplied the information. 
  • Yad Vashem 
    All pages of testimony are online and searchable. 
  • Yizkor books
    Go to the Yiddish Book Center to order a reprint of an original and to learn how to find an English translation, or to the New York Public Library to read an original on-line, and to learn how to find an English translation. 
  • Ancestry.com 
    costs money, but gives access to census records. They sometimes have brief trial memberships. 

Researching Holocaust Communities • Map of Remembered Towns
Click below on a town to read the Remembrance essay that has been submitted:
ntopol • Bagamer • Baranovice • Bilke • Braslav
Chortkov • Chudnov • Crakow • Delatyn • Dokshitz
Dolhinov • Dubina • Dzyatlava • Gusyatin
Kamin-Kashirskiy • Karlsruhe • Kavarsk • Kiev
Konigsberg • Kosov • Kovno • Kremenets • Lechevitz
Memel • Mishnitz • Niederstetten • Nowy Dwor
Nowy Korczyn • Parfianov • Priluki • Pryzemsyl
Ptiatynce • Radom • Radymno • Rakhov • Rohatyn
Sokol • Sosnowiecz • Stepan • Tarnopol • Ujfeheto
Vienna • Warkaw • Zabludow • Zhetel