Category Archives: genealogy/history/culture

Translation request Polish – English (Grunes, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)

Hi all,

I posted the following request to 2 newsgroups of which I am a member: jri-pl ( and jewishgen (soc.genealogy.jewish) (see also for both and more newsgroups).

(scroll down for the responses and further explanations on this topic)

Subject: Translation request Polish – English (GRUNES, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)
Dear all,

I am looking for a translation and an explanation on a document which I received from the State Archive in Rzeszów, Poland (Archiwum Panstwowe W Rzeszowie).

Can you please tell me what this document is about and please translate it for me?

Gershon Lehrer

Antwerp, Belgium


Continue reading Translation request Polish – English (Grunes, State Archive in Rzeszów (Poland)

Transportation lists of the transports which left from Mechelen/Malines during the holocaust

Update (15 March 2016): I have come across a list on the website of the German ´Das Bundesarchiv´´s Memorial Book (see:  I have merged their information (mainly the number of deported persons) with the information I have had before (on the website of ´Das Bundesarchiv´, you´ll find similar lists for The Netherlands and France).

I recently asked for a list of all transports which left the Mechelen/Malines kazerne (barracks) (Mechelen is the Dutch variant and Malines is the French variant of the name of the Flemish city which is about 25 kilometers south from Antwerp) during holocaust.

I wanted the overview so that I could place the names I received on some lists in the right context.

As I assume that there might be more out there with an interest in the list, I am publishing it here.

One transport to note is transport XX. Transport XX was attacked between Boortmeerbeek and Haacht (which is about 15km from Mechelen) by brave Belgians and thanks to these Belgians (Jean Franklemon, Georges Livschitz and Robert Maistriau) 231 deportees out of 1631 succeeded to escape the train. Out of the 231 escapees, 26 people died during the action which happened on 19 april 1943. You can read more about this episode on the following website:

Please note that you can find more about the list and transports in the following publications:

For more about the museum visit their website at where you can read the following introduction:

Of these 25,835 people, 576 escaped during the journey. 24,019 of the remainder would die: they were either gassed in Birkenau or died in the slave labour camp of Auschwitz or during the subsequent death march. Just 1,240 deportees – or less than 5% – returned to Belgium in May 1945. 32 Gypsies were among the survivors.
When war broke out, the Jewish population represented approximately 1% of the Belgian population. At the end of the war in 1945, 50% of all civilian casualties were Jewish.
The transportation of over 25,000 Jews and Gypsies was a German crime, carried out by the Nazis. However, their plan could not succeed without the cooperation of:

  • the Belgian civil service that, as a whole, principally accepted the persecution of the Jews and within the framework of the law, cooperated with the occupier
  • Belgian collaborating paramilitary parties and organisations who would present themselves as Jew hunters

This cooperation strongly contributed to the end result: a death toll of 44% of Jews. With this, the figures of the ‘Final Solution’ in Belgium lie between those of France (25%) and the Netherlands (80%).

Here is the list with the transportations:
Continue reading Transportation lists of the transports which left from Mechelen/Malines during the holocaust

Meni Philip and his movie “Let There Be Light”

Do you remember the article on the BBC which I mentioned before in another post on this blog?

Now, you may become shocked when you’ll compare what I read and watched recently about the former “Charedi” singer Menachem Philip, (please forgive me for using the word “Charedi”. I never knew about that word until I moved to Israel for my studies).

Menachem, or Meni as he’s called nowadays, became a secular Jew. He divorced at 32 years old from his wife. He sees his children two hours a week. Meni has got some siblings who followed his lifestyle and became secular as well.

Meni is nowadays a movieproducer after having followed film studies.

He has got a website

The Israeli program “Chadashot Shishi” aired a small documentary (12:02 minutes) about Meni’s movie “Let there be light” which tells us Meni’s and some of his siblings’ change of lifestyle.

Rabbi Uri Weinberg’s songs

See also Rabbi Uri Weinberg A”H (Uri Ben Menachem Halevi) [18 May 1923 – 17 Adar 5772 (11 March 2012)]

Me dancing with Rabbi Uri Weinberg at my wedding in Jerusalem (August, 2004)

A few years ago I posted on a newsgroup my request for more information regarding the Dunera story. Rabbi Uri Weinberg from Jerusalem told me about it while I studied at the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Rabbi Uri escaped from Germany at the age of 16 and went to live in Liverpool. As a German citizen he was deported to an Australian prisoners camp with the SS Dunera.
Rabbi Uri Weinberg has an extraordinary memory and remembers every detail from long ago as it was yesterday.

He is indeed a very special person for which I feel honored to have met him.

I do remember being told once that there are tapes circulating on which he is telling his personal story and also one tape on which he is singing the Shabbos songs. Those songs are how he learned it as a young boy in Germany. As his mind is very sharp, I strongly beleive that we can rely on the “Nussach” on the tape as being the correct one for “Yekkes”.

Not long ago someone from New York contacted me after having found my posted newsgroup message on the Internet. He did send me a copy of the tapes with the songs in MP3 format. I am very glad to have these files.

Now I am still waiting for the tape with his personal story.

I uploaded the tape with the songs to give everybody with an interest in the songs, the chance to listen to it, on my website (the links are beneath this article).
I hope that whomever has got more information on Rabbi Uri Weinberg, will share it with me (Please mail me or use the comment box).
I in return will share some information which I do have in my possession, but for obvious reasons I cannot share everything on a public site.

Part 1:

Part 2: