Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What's that, girl? Timmy fell down the well?

Lassie was always ready to help, wasn't she?  But she probably wouldn't have been able to do much to assist with the below projects.  Maybe you can?  The first three are a little more time-sensitive than the others, but it's a long list this time with plenty of options.

Neoklis Girihidis in 1943
When he was a teenager, Neoklis Girihidis saved the lives of 17 Jewish Greek boys from Thessaloniki (Salonika) by guiding them to guerrilla fighters in the mountains and allowing them to escape from the Nazis.  Now, more than 70 years later, he is trying to find out what happened to those boys.  He would like to connect with at least one of them before he dies; he is currently 88 years old.  A story with more details is online.

Please share this story.  It is probably the only way to find the children Mr. Girihidis saved, if any of them is still alive today.  If you have any information on any of the boys, please send a message to sofiachristoforidou@yahoo.gr.

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Two Irish sisters are looking for their mother, who may have immigrated to the United States in the 1960's, possibly to Chicago.  She may have moved because she had two aunts who were living here.  Details about the family's story were published on Irish Central.  The sisters are being assisted in their search by Finders International, which welcomes any information about the mother.

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Dr. Charles Foy of Eastern Illinois University is conducting research for a book on black dockyard workers and longshoremen.  The book will include a chapter on the San Francisco Bay area from 1934 to 1969.  Dr. Foy will be in the Bay Area from July 25 to August 5 this year and would like to interview black dockyard workers and longshoremen or their family members.  Dr. Foy can also arrange to do interviews at other times, either by phone or Skype.  He can be contacted at crfoy@eiu.edu or (347) 200-9893.

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Eduardo Propper de Callejón
The Spanish diplomat Eduardo Propper de Callejón is remembered for having facilitated the escape of thousands of Jews from occupied France during World War II by issuing more than 1,000 visas in Bordeaux in June 1940.  For his efforts, he received the Righteous Among the Nations designation from Yad Vashem in 2008.

The official list of the visas somehow "disappeared" in 1941.  Felipe Propper de Callejón, son of Eduardo, has asked for assistance in locating a visa or travel document issued by his father.  He has never seen one.

Karen Franklin, Director of Family Research at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York, is trying to help Mr. Propper de Callejón.  If you are in possession of one of the visas or travel documents, or know where one can be found, please contact Ms. Franklin.

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Béla Guttmann in 1953
David Bolchover, a writer based in London, is currently working on a biography of soccer coach Béla Guttmann (1899 Budapest–1981 Vienna), a Holocaust survivor whose team won the European Cup in the early 1960's.  Mr. Bolchover would appreciate hearing from anyone who can help answer several questions about Gutmann, or suggest avenues for research:

• Where was he from 1939–1943?  Gutmann was in Budapest in 1939, in 1944 was hiding in Ujpest, and then was in a labor camp in Budapest.  He was probably also in or near Budapest in the intervening years, but that is not known for sure.  Some commentators have suggested he was in Switzerland, but no evidence has been found to support that conclusion.

• When and where were Guttmann and Mariann Moldovan, who met in Ujpest in 1939, married?  Biographical sources say 1942, but she was a non-Jew and intermarriage was against the law in Hungary from August 1941.

• Where did his father, (Moshe) Abraham Guttmann, die?  He was born in Tiszaújhely about 1866–1867 and was alive at the outbreak of World War II but simply disappeared.

• Did his brother Armin Guttmann (1893 Budapest–1945 Buchenwald) have a wife and children?  If so, what happened to them?

• When did Guttmann become an Austrian citizen?  (Bolchover thinks it was in the 1950's and has submitted a request to the Austrian authorities regarding this, so he may find out the answer himself.)

• When was Mariann Moldovan born?  Her father was Pal Moldovan.  She lived in Ujpest before the war and died in 1997 in Vienna.

• Who, if anyone, inherited the estate when Mariann died?

Please send any information or leads to David Bolchover.

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During World War I, a married couple in Vignacourt, France, Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, took more than 4,000 photographs of Allied soldiers who were billeted in the area.  Due to circumstances related to the war and the family the glass negatives lay ignored and forgotten for decades, but they survived and there is now a project to try to identify British soldiers in the photos.  Read about the "Lost Tommies" project and look at the photographs, conveniently posted on Facebook and available to everyone.  If you can identify anyone, instructions on how to send the information is included in the article about the project.

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The next request for assistance is again related to the United Kingdom and a war, but this one is for World War II.  The new International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), being built to honor those who served in Bomber Command, has sent out an appeal for letters, photographs, and oral testimonies of Caribbean and West African crew members, which will be included in the center's digital archive.  An article about the search for information about these black war heroes gives some background about the IBCC and information on who to contact to send materials.

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A new site, the USAF Basic Military Training Flight Photograph Project, aims to collect copies of the approximately 119,000 U.S. Air Force basic training photographs from the creation of the modern Air Force in 1947 to the present day.  The collection currently includes photos from all bases that conducted USAF basic training, including Lackland (Texas), Parks (California), Sampson (New York), and Sheppard (Texas).  The intent is to include USAF basic training that was conducted overseas.  The site also has a "Memories" section, where people can post their comments about basic training.

In addition to the photos that are currently being processed, the project is looking for donations from former airmen and their family members.  Instructions on how to send electronic or print copies can be found in a light-hearted article about the project.

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Richard Ayer tugboat
The San Francisco Maritime Museum is currently working on the restoration of a New Deal mural in the museum. You can help if you have any photographs of the building's interior taken prior to 1976 showing the Richard Ayer murals.  These photos will be useful in reconstructing the painted-over images which featured his abstract nautical themes with fish, ship parts, and relief designs.  Some clues even came from a home movie of the 20th anniversary get-together of the UC Berkeley 1919 graduating class!  If your personal archives show even a glimpse of any of the rooms, please contact National Park Service Historical Architect Todd Bloch.

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The New York Public Library has another crowdsourcing project.  This time it's transcripts from the library's Community Oral History Project.  The project includes narratives focused on Greenwich Village, Harlem, SoHo, Upper East Side, veterans, Latinos, and more.  Volunteers are sought to go through computer-generated transcripts of the oral narratives and make corrections.

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Aufbau, founded in 1934 in New York City, is a journal focused on German-speaking Jews around the world.  During its history it has included announcements about births, marriages, deaths, and other events, including many related to the Holocaust.  The Aufbau Indexing Project is a volunteer effort to create a free every-name searchable index so that genealogists and other researchers may more easily find the names they are seeking.  While you need to know how to use a spreadsheet, knowledge of German is not required.

Aufbau itself is also available free online.  Digitized issues for 1941–1950 are on Rootsweb, and for 1934–2004 at the Internet Archive.

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If oral histories and newspaper announcements sound boring to you, how about decoding Civil War telegrams?  This is another crowdsourced project.  Almost 16,000 top-secret telegrams saved from military communications during the Civil War were saved and are now held by the Huntington Library, along with the cipher books to crack them.  The project page has all the information you need to get started.

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The Washington Post has launched a crowdsourced black history project on Tumblr, somewhat in conjunction with the anticipated opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in September 2016.  While the opening of the museum is national news, not everyone will be able to attend, and the "Historically Black" Tumblr project creates an opportunity for people to participate in another way.

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A man in Newfoundland, Canada and a jewelry store owner are trying to find out who the lovely woman is in a photo in a locket.  Was she a soldier's sweetheart?

The locket was among the personal effects returned to the family after Sergeant Charles Reid died during the Battle of Beaumont Hamel in World War I.  It came in a box from a jeweler in Oban, Scotland.  The store is still in business, but its records don't go back to 1916.

A CBC article has more details about the locket and the family.  If anyone recognizes the woman or has any information which might help in the search, send a message to the e-mail address given in the article.

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Molly Marcus, a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Chestnut Hill College, is looking for transracial adoptees that fit all of the following descriptors to share their experiences by participating in an in-person or phone interview:

• 25–35 years old
• Hispanic/Latino (defined as "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race")
• Adopted by white parents by the age of 2, in a closed adoption
• No contact with birth relatives prior to the age of 21

The interview will take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete.  It will be audio recorded and transcribed.  To ensure confidentiality, all transcriptions and materials will be stored in a locked cabinet accessible only to the researcher.  Identifying information will be kept separate from interview materials, and fictitious names will be used to protect the identities of all participants.

The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Chestnut Hill College.  The chairman of the IRB is Dr. Kenneth Soprano, whose e-mail address is irb@chc.edu.  He can also be reached by phone at (215) 248-7038.

If you meet the above criteria and are interested in participating in this study, contact Molly Marcus at MarcusM@chc.edu or (215) 821-8022.  If you know of other individuals who may fit these criteria, please share this information with them to spread the word.

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Pepperdine University’s Culture and Trauma Research Lab is seeking participants who are descendants of European immigrants who emigrated after World War II for an important psychological study on generations.  Participation involves the completion of an online survey which will take about 15–20 minutes.  Individuals may be eligible if:

• They are 18 years of age or older and
• Their parent or grandparent emigrated from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia (formerly known as Czechoslovakia), Austria, Hungary, or Romania between 1945–1952

This study will create a more robust understanding of the long-term impact of specific immigration factors.  Participation in the study is voluntary and confidential.  Each participant will receive a $10.00 Amazon or Starbucks gift card for completion of the survey.  This study is being conducted under the auspices of Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the study, contact the principal investigator, Melissa Duguay, at Melissa.Duguay@pepperdine.edu or (818) 971-9877, or Mia Singer at mjsinger@pepperdine.edu.

If you are able to send out a news blast about the study, post information on your social media pages, or distribute flyers, please let them know.

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The JewishGen Yizkor Books in Print Project is looking for Yiddish speakers who are at least mildly proficient with using MS Word and have about 2 to 3 hours a week available to devote to a project that publishes translations of memorial books (Blach Buchs) of destroyed Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.  The project needs help with translating captions of images and placing them into newly translated books using MS Word in preparation for publishing.  People fluent in Yiddish with knowledge of Word would be very helpful to the project to facilitate the ability to publish books more quickly.  All work on the project is done by volunteers.

The original books were written in the 1950's–1970's, mostly in Yiddish and some in Hebrew, by survivors and former residents of the towns.  The Yizkor Books in Print Project has already published 46 books.  See http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/ybip.html for a listing of currently available books.

Books are sold at very low prices to enable this unique literature that captures the intimate history of the shtetlach to be available to as many people as possible.  The project is part of JewishGen.org, the primary online source of Jewish genealogical information, and is not-for-profit.

If you can help in any way please contact Joel Alpert, the project coordinator, at joel.alpert@uwalumni.com.

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Donna Gilligan is a museum archaeologist and material culture historian now working on a Master's thesis on the topic of the visual and material culture of the Irish women's suffrage movement.  The year 2018 will mark the centenary of the first time any women were granted the national vote in Ireland.

As part of Gilligan's research, she is attempting to trace and record information and images on the Irish suffrage movement.  She is appealing to people who hold or know of such objects to contact her with details.  If you have any information or inquiries relating to Irish women's suffrage, contact Gilligan at donnapgilligan@gmail.com.

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Harald Hadrada on window
An online archive of Norse and Viking culture is in development, funded by the Irish Research Council, and contributions are being sought.  While it's likely that the majority will come from museums and other such institutions, individuals are invited to contribute items also.

"Do you happen to have any Viking-related material lying around the house?  Maybe a helmet or two, or a sword or dagger?  Perhaps there’s a longboat buried in your garden.  If so, or even if you have something a lot less dramatic to offer, you should get in touch with the World-Tree Project, which is being launched today by UCC’s school of English with the objective of creating the world’s largest online archive for the teaching and study of Norse and Viking cultures."  Also acceptable are translations of Norse poetry, films of Viking reenactments, and original artwork.

Read about the background of the project, then visit the World-Tree Project to see what's there so far and how you can add to the collection.

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