Tag Archives: autosomal DNA

Extreme Genealogy – Arrival in Berlin and First Visit to the Berlin Bundesarchiv


Flight to Berlin and Arrival Thursday, August 11, 2016 My trip from Los Angeles to Berlin went smoothly with a layover in Keflavik Interntional Airport.  It is the cleanest airport in the world. It felt more like an igloo than an … Continue reading

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Who Was Joseph Smith?


The early life of Joseph Eugene Smith is a complete mystery.  Joseph’s son Morton and Morton’s daughter Karen have researched Joseph for over 20 years, yet they still don’t know who he was.  Hopefully by reading his story, someone may come forward with … Continue reading

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DNA Pilot Study on Missing Identity Holocaust Children – 2013 IAJGS Conference


In August 2012, I was invited to give a lecture at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in Boston, MA, on our pilot project to identify two missing-identity child survivors of the Holocaust.  Please enjoy the video of my talk that … Continue reading

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Who Am I? What is My Name? Part V – Gertrude and Sonia’s Escape


Gertrude and Sonia Preiss-Spiro’s names are listed on the transport to Auschwitz of 141 women from Pawiak prison in Warsaw on 24 August 1943.  Pawiak prison was originally used by the Polish judicial to incarcerate criminals, but after the Nazi … Continue reading

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Who Am I? What is My Name? Part IV – Wolfgang and Adele’s Eyewitness Account


Charlotte Schössow Rebhun was the oldest of four children of Emil and Margarete Schössow from Berlin.  Charlotte, like her friend Gertrude Spiro, was a Christian woman who had married a Jew.  Charlotte’s husband Max Rebhun had moved from Poland to Germany and settled in Berlin, … Continue reading

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Who Am I, What is My Name? Part III – Gertrude and Sonia Spyra


A mystery within the mystery of Pnina’s identity is the fate of Gertrude Spyra and her daughter Sonia. As the parties responsible for smuggling Pnina from the Warsaw Ghetto, Gertrude and Sonia may have left behind clues about Pnina’s parents. … Continue reading

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Who Am I? What is My Name? Part II – Pnina, Wolfgang, and the Warsaw Ghetto


Convinced that my surname was Rebhun, I contacted Rebhuns around the world. Though the BBC, CNN, and the international press featured my quest, I initially received no responses. Finally in March 1997, the Munich Red Cross relayed a reply from … Continue reading

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