Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mac indexing software for World Archives Project

I wrote previously about the World Memory Project (WMP), a collaboration between the USHMM and to index USHMM-held records using’s indexing software from their more general World Archives Project (WAP). In fact, if you look at the World Archives Project site, you’ll see all the World Memory Project projects now are listed as part of their large World Archives Project list.

One of my earliest blog posts (just over two years ago) was on the topic of Giving Back Through Indexing, and suggesting volunteering for online indexing efforts as a way of giving back to the genealogy community. At the time FamilySearch’s was the largest effort (and probably still is) and had yet to launch WAP.

The World Archive Project also lists as partners many genealogy societies, including (among Jewish groups) JewishGen, JGS of Los Angeles, and JGS of Southern Nevada. makes all databases indexed through the WAP available for free through their site, although access to images is not free, and sometimes not available at all on In some cases, like with USHMM records, the images may only be viewed at the host organization itself.

One of the criticisms I had of the’s WMP and WAP projects when I wrote my earlier article was that they didn’t have Mac indexing software. As a Mac user I was especially disappointed in not being able to participate in these projects.

Apparently, back in October launched the Mac version of their indexing software (they call it the Keying Tool). I hadn’t noticed that until now, so I downloaded the software and gave it a spin. Like the similar software for FamilySearch indexing, the user interface is a bit clunky. My biggest problem

Database of Polish Victims of the Nazis

There’s an interesting database listing Polish victims of the Nazis, organized by a group of Polish government and non-government organizations, and sponsored mainly by Polish media organizations.

The site is connected to three Polish organizations: the Institute of National Remembrance, the Foundation for Polish-German Reconciliation, and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It is also sponsored by a number of Polish media organizations, including the Polish Press Agency and several Polish TV stations.
The site,, is unfortunately only available in Polish. Luckily, it’s not too hard to use without knowledge of Polish, especially if you use Google Chrome and the built-in Translate feature. Even without Translate, you can get around the site. This is what the search page looks like: Search Page
A quick translation of the fields:
Nazwisko (Surname)
Imię (Given name)
Imię ojca (Father’s name)
Imię matki (Mother’s name)
Miejsce urodzenia (Place of birth)
Data urodzenia (Day of birth)
Data śmierci (Day of death)
dzień (day)
miesiąc (month)
rok (year)
SZUKAJ is Search, and CZYSC is Clear.
You can search for a surname alone, but apparently not a town alone. If a surname has too many hits, it will force you to fill in additional search fields to help pare down the umber of results.
Victims listed in the database include Polish soldiers who were killed, prisoners of war, resistance fighters, concentration camp prisoners, those persecuted for reasons of race (aka Jews and Gypsies), those executed by the Nazis, those sentenced to death by German courts, slave laborers, displaced persons, children, civilian casualties (such as from bombing raids), etc.
This list is not exclusively, nor even predominately, Jewish. The site was not set up as a memorial to Jewish victims of the Nazis, but rather as a database of Polish victims of the Nazis, some of which happened to be Jewish. In fact, one looking at the site might wonder if Jewish names in the database are more of an afterthought than a primary section of the database.
There are many sources of data in the database, and each listing will tell you which source they came from, which can help you track down further information. Data sources I’ve noticed include:
International Tracing Service (Bad Arolsen) (
Jewish Historical Institute (
Polish Red Cross (
State Archive in Krakow (
Obviously this database is not complete, and it’s not going to be 100% accurate (and certainly not complete when it comes to Jewish names). It is still useful to supplement the other existing databases out there, and to give you some direction on possible research routes. For example, if you see records from the International Tracing Service, you can contact them to get more information on the person you find.
You can also contribute data to the database, although I have not tried to do this. They have a questionnaire that you can fill out on individuals, listing their name, parents’ names, birth date and location, nationality, religion, place of residence before the war, education, occupation, political organization membership, social activities, etc. This is, unfortunately like the rest of the site, only available in Polish. I’m not sure what would happen if you filled out the form in English.
Of course, when searching for information on Jewish victims of the Nazis, the most important database is the Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. One important distinction between these databases, beside’s focus on Poles and Yad Vashem’s focus on Jews (with obvious overlap), is that’s database contains victims who are not necessarily people who were killed. Prisoners of camps, etc. even if they were not murdered, are contained in their database.

For example, the database includes two people with the surname Trauring, the couple Ferdynand and Stefania Trauring, who I know to appear on Shindler’s lists. They show up in the database as prisoners of the Gross-Rosen sub-camp in Brunnlitz, which happens to be where prisoners working in Oskar Schindler’s factory were interned. Whether this couple survived the war or not, they are listed in the database as having been prisoners. That’s an important distinction.