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I have a relative who is looking into her family history. According to her aunt many of her relatives on her father's side (Beinhorn) were victims in the Holocaust. Do records exist online that she might be able to search for them? (Their first names have been lost to history, so the relationships between individuals will be a key element to these records in order to piece the family history together.)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Yad Vashem site has a database of people who perished in the Holocaust. It includes records from the Gedenkbuch and individual pages of testimony. The data records include dates and places of brith and residence prior to deportation, and may also include names of parents and other biographical inorfmation. The pages of testimony are particualry valuable, as they are often submitted by surviving relatives, whose information may also be reported on the form.

Here are the search results for the Beinhorn last name. You will need to filter by location, as there are quite a few names.

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The need to rely upon such "pages of testimony" in the absence of more usual sources brings into sharp relief the assumptions that we make (in other circumstances) about the reliability of second- or third-hand reports. –  Fortiter Jan 5 '13 at 7:07
    
In my experience with such records, I found two main classes: one class, submitted by surveying relatives, and the other submitted by researchers. While these documents are not sourced, they certainly offer valuable guidance about where to seek primary sources. –  Gene Golovchinsky Jan 5 '13 at 7:17
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Not a lot of Holocaust records are online, but Fold3.com has a few and Ancestry.com has a partnership with the USHMM to index and put some online. And keep in mind that many Holocaust records for some areas, especially the eastern front (modern-day Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) did not survive at all. For example, the records for the Belzec death camp were destroyed.

I would recommend that your relative post her query, with as many names, towns, and dates that she knows, on one of the JewishGen.org e-mail listserves. She should also contact Yad Vashem in Israel and see if they can help do a look-up in their files, only a small number of which are online.

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You may have more success a few years from now than you would have now. A wealth of documentation has become available only since archives in the former Soviet bloc nations began to grant access to Israeli researchers.

In 2004, Yad Vashem had approximately 2.7 million names. Today it has 4.2 million. They expect the 1.8 million or so names that are still unknown are likely to be found in the archives they can now access.

Yad Vashem is copying all the documents, including passports and records of building superintendents.

See the Jerusalem Post April 5, 2013 article about this. The article did not state how much of these records will be available online, but it is obvious that the Yad Vashem will soon be the best place to go for Holocaust records.

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Ancestry (working with JewishGen) has just made a number of Holocaust records available:

Poland, Martyred Jewish Physicians, 1939-1945 (2465)
Germany, Bergen-Belsen Prisoners Liberated at Farsleben, Death Train From Bergen-Belsen, 13 April 1945 (2018)
Germany, Jewish Arrivals to Buchenwald on Jan 22, 1945 (2746)
Germany, Breslau Deportations of Jews, 1941-1942 (1845)
Lublin, Poland, Initial Registrations of Jews, 1939-1940 (6535)
Poland, Jewish Prisoners of War Registration Cards, 1939-1945 (2938)
Poland, Auschwitz-Buchenwald Transport, January 22 & 26, 1945 (4359)
France, Hidden Jewish Children, 1939-1945 (4080)
Krosno, Galicia, Poland, Jewish Inhabitants (3298)
Hungary, Hungarian Jewish KMSZ (Military Forced Laborer) List, 1938 (4497)
Poland, Riese and Gross-Rosen Prisoners and Transports, July 1944 (4806)
Romania, Tîrgu Mureş Deportation List, 1944 (4596)
Rovno, Ukraine, Victims Killed in the Kostopol Forest, 1942 (5166)
Poland, Forced Laborers in Borysław and Drohobycz, 1939-1944 (4971)
Poland, Częstochowa Forced Laborers, 1943-1944 (4610)
Arad, Romania, Jewish Census, 1942 (9698)
Belarus, Jewish Partisans, 1941-1944 (8451)
Poland, Lódz Ghetto Work Identification Cards, 1940-1944 (13280)
Liepaja, Latvia, Holocaust Memorial Wall (6428)
France, Jewish Deaths During Deportation, 1941-1948 (7346)
Switzerland, Jewish Arrivals, 1938-1945 (21730)
JewishGen Yizkor Book Master Name Index (17306)

New York, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Remittances for Russian Jews, 1916-1917 (98)
New York, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Remittances for Polish Jews, 1915-1918 (2396)
New York, U.S., Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Remittances for Romanian Jews, 1917-1918 (149)
Lithuania, Jews Saved by Passports From the Japanese Diplomat Chiune Sugihara, 1940 (2140)
Germany, Women in Flossenbürg Branch Camps (Hans Brenner Book Lists), 1944-1945 (15842)
Kisvárda, Hungary, Records Before Deportation, 1944 (3516)
Germany, Dachau Inmates, Possessions Upon Entry, 1933-1945 (2839)
Germany, Deaths in Mühldorf, Nov 1944 - April 1945 (1857)
Łódź, Poland, Vital Records of Jews in the Łódź Ghetto, 1939-1944 (61502)

The numbers in brackets are the number of records in each dataset.

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Thank you for this update. My relatives ancestors originated in Hungary, so I'm guessing the KMSZ is the most relevant. –  fbrereto Jun 28 '13 at 17:22
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