Poznan, Poland


The following resources are for research on the Jews of Posen Province during the period of Prussian/German administration of the territory, which is now in western Poland.

1.  Luft, Edward David, The Jews of Posen Province in the Nineteenth Century: A Selective Source Book, Research Guide, and Supplement to The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835, Washington, D.C.:  Edward David Luft, ©2015, xxiii + 1,967 pp. + maps and illustrations.

The book contains about 10,000 annotated titles on the Jews of Posen Province while under Prussian/German administration and a little before and a little after. The book is a total of 1,990 pages long. It covers an area not covered extensively by Edward David Luft's friends, Dieter Ellmann, and his wife, Angelika Ellmann-Krüger. See item 2, below; and here. Book review by Sonja Nishimoto in her blog, here, including the announcement of a talk on the book at the Library of Congress and photographs of the talk on 21 March 2016. For the author's Library of Congress talk about the book, see this.

2.  CD review: Ellmann-Krüger, Angelika, and Ellmann, Dietrich, Bibliographie zur deutsch-jüdischen Familienforschung und zur neueren Regional- und Lokalgeschichte der Juden [Bibliography on German-Jewish Family Research and on Recent Regional and Local History of the Jews], Volume XXIII, No. 1, Spring 2007, pp. 67-68. For a full text review of the publication online, see http://www.avotaynu.com/books/KruegerLuftReview pdf and here. Reprinted in Stammbaum: The Journal of German-Jewish Genealogical Research, New York:  Leo Baeck Institute, Issue 31, Summer 2007, pp. 43-45. It is available in full-text here, select Issue 31 and scroll down to page 43. Slightly revised, and in Polish translation by Kamila Bodył, in Makowski, Krzysztof A., et al., eds., Studia Historica Slavo-Germanica, Poznań:  Wydawictwo Poznańskie, Volume XXVIII, 2008-2010, 2011, pp. 269-272.

3.  Luft, Edward David, The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835: Revised Edition, Bergenfield, New Jersey: Avotaynu, ©2004, 278 pp. DS135.P62P636. http://www.avotaynu.com/books/posen.htm

4.  Luft, Edward David, Stop Thief! The True Story of Abraham Greenthal, King of the Pickpockets in 19th Century New York City, as Revealed from Contemporary Sources, ©2015, by Edward David Luft, Washington, DC, 178 pp., including bibliography, pp. 135-166; and index, pp. 167-178; at the Library of Congress, HV6651.L84 2015.

The author was inspired to write the book because of the myriad errors in the Wikipedia article on Greenthal, some of which have now been corrected. The book contains over 400 footnotes and an extensive bibliography, with almost all of the information taken from newspaper articles, archival sources, or personal observations, such as a visit to the cemetery where he and members of his family are buried. The author also visited Brazil, Germany, and Poland to do the research and had the help of a researcher in Liverpool, England. Among the most interesting discoveries was the actual ship arrival record in New York from Liverpool for Abraham and his wife for the first time in 1851. The author also discovered Abraham's original birth record showing the exact date of Greenthal's birth. In addition, the author discovered one of the earliest mug shots, showing Greenthal in 1877 and, separately, his brother, Hirsch. Abraham was the leader of the "Sheeny Gang," but the book also shows him as a husband and a father. Chapter 10 provides genealogical data on the family. Click on Continue at the lower right-hand side to display the book in full-text.

5.  Edward David Luft's bibliography, a complete list of his publications (over 200 entries).

6.  Edward Luft Collection finding aids at the Center for Jewish History, New York City. Note that post-2009 contributions are listed under the name of Edward Luft but are not included in the finding aid so check for additional boxes in the Edward Luft Collection, starting with Box 11. Some parts of the Collection may be available online, anonymously and without charge, in Digibaeck.

7.  Posen (now Poznań, Poland) Community Collection 1834-1987:  http://digifindingaids.cjh.org/?pID=2443919 

Most of this collection is available online, anonymously and without charge, in Digibaeck.

8.  Heppner, Aaron, and Herzberg, Isaak, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden und der jüdischen Gemeinden in den Posener Landen [From the past and present of the Jews and the Jewish communities in Posen Province], Koschmin-Bromberg, 1904-1914, 1921, Breslau, 1927-1929, 1034 pp. Available on 17 microfiches, catalogue no. J-23-112/1, from Inter Documentation Company bv, P. O. Box 11205, 2301 EE Leiden, The Netherlands. The 1909-1928 edition of the full 1034 pp. is online. The 1914 edition, 188 pp., is available in full-text at http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/publication/8195 but lacks the town by town analysis which makes the later edition so valuable. This book in German, describes every Posen Jewish community at the beginning of the twentieth century. Accessing the wbc.poznań website may require that users download and install DejaVu, as explained when first accessing the website. The book is very useful in describing the situation of the Jews in Posen Province at the beginning of the twentieth century and earlier history on a town by town basis. If the entire book is too large to download all at once, researchers can locate the community of interest and download it for translation into another language, such as English, through the use of an online translator.

9.  Breslauer, Bernhard, Die Abwanderung der Juden aus der Provinz Posen [The emigration of the Jews from Posen Province], Berlin:  Berthold Levy, 1909, 19 pp., http://www.gehove.de/antisem/texte/breslauer_abw.pdf. For the English translation by Irene Newhouse, see here. The English translation of the book does not contain the tables at the end, which can be seen in the German version on the gehove....pdf website.