From the archives of The Galitzianer

Published since 1993, The Galitzianer is the quarterly newsletter of Gesher Galicia. A selection of articles from recent issues have been put online, and more pieces will be added to this website in the near future. Articles may also be browsed by issue number or by article type. Members of Gesher Galicia can download full PDF's of past issues, and can opt to receive their subscription to the The Galitzianer in either digital or paper format.

From (May, 2010) ·

The Story Behind the Photograph

by Peggy Morrow

I was delighted to receive a third photograph of my great-grandmother Gittel from my father’s cousin. When I started genealogical research three years ago, I had not even known her name.

Now I had immigration records, census records, birth records, death certificates, and other family information that had helped fill in some of the knowledge gaps about family members and key dates. I was able to determine that my great-grandparents had immigrated in the 1890’s from Korolowka, Galicia, now Oleyëvo-Korolëvka, Ukraine, the town where 38 Jews survived the Holocaust by hiding in caves for a remarkable 344 days.

But this photo was a little different. With her enigmatic smile and unusual hand positions, great-grandma seemed to be playing charades and sending the viewer a message. The photo reminded me of those that photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz had taken of the hands of his wife, artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Looking at Gittel’s clothing, I wondered if the photo had been taken prior to her immigration to America.

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Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people research their Jewish family roots in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, which is today southeastern Poland and southwestern Ukraine. Our organization's primary focus is researching Jewish roots in Galicia, but the diverse community records in our databases contain names that span all the ethnic and religious groups who once lived in this region.

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