International Tracing Service (ITS) Collection Specialist to be at upcoming Conference


Diane Afoumado assists family researching the ITS collection.

Diane Afoumado, PhD., Chief, International Tracing Service (ITS) Research Branch, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will be visiting the upcoming FEEFHS conference, bringing her database, and presenting background on the records available for research and doing lookups.  These records extend beyond the persecution of the Jews and may be of interest to anyone who may have relatives who were persecuted or displaced during WWII.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, DC, is the United States’ repository for the International Tracing Service (ITS) collection. Afoumado indicates that the “ITS collection contains diverse information about the persecution and murder of Jews and non-Jews—Poles, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and persons with disabilities—under Nazi rule.”

“The International Tracing Service helps people find their families and learn their fate using several millions of documents. The Holocaust Survivors and Victims’ Resource Center ensures that the individual experiences of survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi-era persecution are collected, preserved and disseminated for future generations.

The ITS collection contains various documents such as:

• Camp arrival listsPolish-Victims-Flyer

• Grave locations

• Transport lists

• Prisoner cards

• Forced labor lists

• Death lists

• Displaced person applications for assistance

• Deportation lists

• Emigration applications/questionnaires

• Registration and work cards, sometimes with photographs

Ms. Afoumado will provide a special presentation on these records and the services of ITS on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Plaza Hotel.  Conference participants and public are invited to attend.  She will also be present at the Tuesday Ask the Experts Workshop.

Dr. Diane F. Afoumado is Chief of the ITS Research Branch at the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Formerly Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris, she worked for the two French Commissions related to compensation to Jewish victims. She also worked as a Historian for the Archival Division of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine – Mémorial de la Shoah.

She is the author of several books: L’affiche antisémite en France sous l’Occupation, (Berg International, 2008); Exil impossible. L’errance des réfugiés juifs du paquebot « St.Louis » (L’Harmattan, 2005), co-author with Serge Klarsfeld of La spoliation dans les camps de province, (La documentation française, 2000). She participated in the following publications :  Repicturing the Second World War. Representations in Film and Television, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Evoking Genocide. Scholars and Activists Describe the Works That Shaped Their Lives, (The Key Publishing House Inc, 2009), and wrote more than twenty articles related to the Holocaust.


CSI Meets Family History at FEEFHS

Gerry Schmidt

Gerald Schmidt

Gerald Schmidt, a former member of the San Francisco Police Department CSI Unit and recipient of the Crime Scene Investigator of the Year Award, will give the closing keynote address, “Family History Research – the CSI Connection,” at the FEEFHS Eastern European Family History Conference, to be held in Salt Lake City, August 12-15, 2014.

Schmidt, who has over thirty years of experience with investigative systems and methodologies, recently traveled to Germany and Poland to visit his great-grandfather’s place of birth, the culmination of research done and assistance gained while attending two previous FEEFHS programs.  You can read more about his experiences on this blog.


Conference Registration is now Open

Registration is now open for the 2014 Eastern European Family History Conference.  This year’s event will be held at the Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City, conveniently located next door to the Family History Library.  Having access to the records at the library is paramount to the assisted research offered during the pre-conference workshops.

We have some great courses and activities planned.  Check the website for the complete schedule at a glance, class descriptions, and presenters.  Hope to see you there!


Time Flies!!!

I can’t believe it is April 2014 already.  It seems like we just finished wrapping up the fall workshop.  Time flies when you are having fun, or so they say.  Hope y’all had a great holiday season, have enjoyed the snow, glad to see the tulips blossom, and are ready to enjoy another learning and research week with us at FEEFHS.

Once again, FEEFHS has elected to hold its annual conference in Salt Lake City, at the Plaza hotel, conveniently located next to the world’s largest genealogical library, the Family History Library or FHL.  The format has changed a bit, in an attempt to offer more classes.  Pre-conference workshops will also be offered.  The schedule at a glance is almost up.  We hope to see you there!


Prize Winners Announced

Judy Shappee with 2014 Registration Certificate

Judy Shappee with 2014 Registration Certificate

First of all, of the almost 80 people at the banquet, only five read the note on the banquet announcement page about deciphering the meaning of the Cyrillic script in the title of Thom Edlund’s keynote address title.  Not that this surprises me. After all, I posted it so long ago, that someone had to remind me along the way as well.  Still, the challenge was on –  written thus:

Door Prizes:  Thom Edlund’s closing keynote presentation is likely to both educate and entertain.  But can anyone tell me what that Cyrillic script says?  Figure it out, write it on the back of your banquet ticket, and you will be entered into a drawing for one of several great door prizes to be given out at the closing banquet.”

Congratulations to Judy Shappee and Kathe Richards for a successful translation. In the title,  “Это Я?”- Genealogical Research 
and the Road to Self-Discovery, “Это Я?”pronounced “eta ya”, means “This is me?”   The winner of a certificate good for full registration to the 2014 workshop was Judy Shappee.  Congrats Judy!

And a special thanks to Judy and Kathe as well as Vicki Orem, Lisa Dittmer, Nicole Schimke, and Dave Dowell for actually reading the website thoroughly enough to find this little gem of a challenge.  I think I’ll create another one next year – that was fun!

And the rest of the door prize winners are:

Peg Ivanyo presents door prize to Anne Norris

Peg Ivanyo presents door prize to Anne Norris

Leslie Evanoff – winner of One Year World Explorer Membership to

Anne Norris – winner of FamilyTree Maker 2012 software donated by

Maria Eppich – winner of a $25 gift certificate from Family Chartmasters

Rick Tischler – winner of a certificate good for a four-night stay at the Plaza Hotel

Thanks to our door prize donors!

State Winners:  This year FEEFHS was host to participants from 24 states and two Canadian provinces.  The first to register from each state or province (speakers, committee excluded) were announced at the banquet.  Each will receive a certificate good for one digital FEEFHS journal from our archives.  Congrats to all!