Thursday, June 17, 2010

Brest Ghetto Passport Photos in Yad Vashem Photo Archive

I just discovered something today and thought I'd post here in case there are others who didn't know about it.

I contacted Yad Vashem for a Ghetto ID that I couldn't find in their online database. I received the copy this morning along with instructions for getting the photo from their online Photo Archive at:

The Ghetto ID had a big black rectangle for the photo so I was really disappointed when I first looked at it. When I went to the online Photo Archive, I found a good quality scan of the original photo. I immediately started searching for others and was amazed at the significantly better quality of these pictures over the ones on the scans of the Ghetto IDs. They look more like real people now, not bad copies of a newspaper was very moving (keep a tissue handy).

There is a trick to searching this archive, at least for the Ghetto ID photos. Yad Vashem has a technical difficulty that prevents us from searching on the person's name. Luckily, we know the parent's given names from the IDs and we can search on that. Search tips...

-use the Advanced Search

-in the first box, General Text Search, enter the mother or father's given name. You'll have to play with the exact and soundex search options and different spellings...the soundex is ok but not great. Do not try searching with a surname...the parent's surnames do not appear on the IDs so they are not in the descriptions in the Photo Archive

-in the Place box, enter Brest for an exact search

-click on a search result to get a slightly larger photo to save (use right mouse click to save)

-there is no "back" button after you view an individual photo so you'll have to do the search again (make note of where you left off reviewing the search results) Correction: while there is no back button, there is an "up" button in between the next and previous buttons...this takes you back to the search results.

The great-great-grandfather Mojsze Gersh Tokar. The photo on the left is the image on the scan of his Ghetto ID. The photo on the right is from the Yad Vashem Photo Archive.

1 comment:

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Dr. Bill ;-)
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"