I found in the naturalization files of both my great-grandfather and of my grandfather, that they published, as was stipulated by law, in a local newspaper an announcement in which they publish their intention to be naturalized as Belgians.
Part of naturalization file 21875N from my great-grandfather in which it is written when the announcement appeared in the "Le Matin"
Before they naturalized they were stateless citizens because when my great-grandfather Gerschon Lehrer was born in Ustrzyki-Dolne, it was Austrian. After the First World War it became Poland. My great grandfather lived at that time in Dresden (Germany) and Poland took away the nationalities from all citizens that were not in the country for a long time, hence my great-grandfather and grandfather automatically became stateless (source: naturalization file 21875N). (update April 11th, 2011 -> check my new post “Citzenship status of Galician Jewish refugees after World War I“)
I was trying to find the newspaper. In the naturalization papers I read that my great-grandfather published the announcement in the “Le Matin” (on the 15th of June 1952) and my grandfather published it in the “Het Handelsblad” (no specific date was given).
I posted a few times in a few newsgroups/forums with as subject Jewish Genealogy a short explanation on the files in the Belgian archives.
I hope to publish once an article on my blog with more details about my experience in the archives, for the moment being I think it could be useful for other researchers to read the following short explanation according to my view:
Usually all documents were kept in twofold. One copy stayed in the city/town and the other copy went to the state archives in Brussels.
In Antwerp you have a few boroughs which have separate administrations and were independent cities/towns . Nowadays these cities/towns are part of Antwerp, the most interesting boroughs for Jews researching their ancestors is: Borgerhout, Berchem and Antwerpen. The archives from the other boroughs besides, Antwerp, are not in the felixarchief (each city could choose whether to save the files or whether to throw them away). Continue reading →
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 tapes are 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 believe that we can rely on the “Nusach” 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 whoever 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.