The 1939 Stanislawow Census & Passport Project



Participants: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; The Herzl Institute at The University of Haifa; Jewish Galicia & Bukovina; and Gesher Galicia, Inc.

Project: indexing 20th century census and passport records acquired from the Ivano Frankivsk State Oblast Archives and creating a database for free searching online and on-site at the USHMM Archives.


1. RG 31.013M: Ivano-Frankivsk State Oblast Archives records, Reels 24–38 (List of Residents by Street – 1939) 
2. RG 31.064M: Applications of the Jewish residents on the Stanisławów County of Poland (now Ivano-Frankivsk Region of Ukraine) for obtaining passports – Reels 1–111

1. Project Synopsis: The Census

In August 1939, approximately a month before the Nazi invasion of Poland and the Soviet occupation of Stanisławów (today Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine) a census was taken of the entire city. The census encompassed approximately 14,400 households, averaging 4-5 individuals per household. Since religion was recorded, Jewish listgghouseholds/individuals can be readily identified. This census is the last pre-World War II list of residents of this very important city in what was once eastern Galicia. All the religious, social, and political currents in Jewish life were evident in Stanisławów, one of the larger towns in Galicia, where 55 synagogues and prayer houses, including one of Sadigura Hasidim, existed between the two world wars.

The census is on 15 rolls of microfilm in the USHMM in Washington, DC, which have been digitized and provided to indexing collective. This project will create a index of all the residents of Stanisławów from this census, which will become a searchable database in the archives of the Museum, and online in two places: Gesher Galicia’s All Galicia Database and Jewish Galicia & Bukovina’s website’s database. The databases will be free to search – without log-ins, restrictions or passwords — and researchers will be able to request a scan of the original census pages from the USHMM Archives.

2. Project Synopsis: The Passport Applications

This collection contains applications for obtaining passports enabling Jewish individuals and families living in towns throughout the Stanislawow district to travel abroad for business, medical treatment, vacations, study or emigration. Applications were submitted for review and approval to the county executive office during the years 1918 to 1938 (approximate.) A typical file contains correspondence with foreign embassies and consulates, original passports, correspondence with the Polish government officials justifying travel abroad, various copies of documents and certificates in towns throughout the Stanislawow district/oblast. These are an invaluable resource for genealogists.

The indexing project will cover given name, surname, address/house number, town, dates, ages and family members. Researchers can request a photocopy/scan of the entire passport application directly from the USHMM. photoThe photographs in these passports may be the only visual record of families lost to the Holocaust and the applications may offer knowledge of previously unknown family members.

The counties in this district were: Dolina, Horodenka, Kalusz, Kolomyja, Kosow, Nadworna, Rohatyn, Stryj, Sniatyn, Tlumacz, Zydaczow and passports come from residents of towns in these counties. The passport images cover 100 microfilm reels.

Importance of this project

Without indexing, the valuable information in these records cannot be easily accessed. Although there is a finding aid at the Museum, the films can only be viewed if one visits the USHMM in person, as the images cannot go online. The films were received by the USHMM in 1997 and 2008, but given the number of records and the time involved in trying to search through the collection, most genealogists have never tried to examine these records.

The census contains information on each household, as well as detailed data on each individual. The total number of records is estimated to be 60,000 -7 5,000 (half of them Jewish) in a 14,000-page census. The passport applications provide information on the households, photographs and details on where the family was traveling, whether within Europe or abroad for the purpose of emigration.

Consider that only recently Ukrainian researcher, Alexander Dunai, located the passport application for Daniel Mendelsohn’s Uncle Shmiel (Jaegar) about whom The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million was written. Dunai found it only last year, randomly, while looking for something else, but if a passport index and database had existed when Mendelsohn wrote the book, he could have easily identified and accessed the record. (See images at end of this application.)

Key Audiences

Genealogists seeking to trace their roots in this part of the world (Galicia, Poland, Ukraine) constitute the primary audience for the material. The material, however, has the potential to be of broader interest to scholars specializing in Jewish history and the Holocaust, including examining the relationships between the Jews and their Polish and Ukrainian neighbors. Because ALL the records will be indexed–not just the Jewish ones–the information should prove invaluable to researchers on many levels. One of the goals of the Herzl Institute is to interest academics and PhD candidates exploring this type of material by making it more accessible.

Indexing of the Stanislawow census is about to start and we anticipate completion of the census within 12-18 months, with the passport applications to follow. Partial indexes may be placed online as work continues.

Because this is a costly project, we will be offering donors the opportunity to receive the entire Excel files, once completed for both sets of records. The donation amount for these Excel files will be $250 each (census or passports) or $500 for both sets of records. While we cannot share the images at this time, they can be ordered from the USHMM and Gesher Galicia will facilitate the ordering process for donors. All donations to this project are tax deductible in the United States

Examples of passports, passport applications and census records that will make up the Stanislawow Project

Alex Dunai recently discovered the passport of Shmiel Jaegar, who was the subject of Daniel Mendelsohn’s “The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million,” in the Ukrainian archives. By creating a searchable database it will much easier to determine the existence of these documents and the images can be ordered directly from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Excerpt from “The Lost: A Search of Six of Six Million”


These two collections of records cover people born in the mid 19th century through 1939, who lived (or were born in) a variety of towns covering the Galician/Polish/Ukrainian landscape.


Generations of the Stein Family – 1896 – 1930


Personal statements on behalf of a passport application, like this one by Dr. Jerzy Rosenbaum, will be indexed by name, enabling researchers to follow a surname lead (discovered during a database search) and request the entire application folder. Having the database available at the USHMM where the records are kept, will also be an asset in their serving on site researchers.


Police reports on a passport applicant may hold essential genealogical information.


The cover page of Martha Itte Berner’s passport application in 1928. She was from the town of Bohorodczany.

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.

Search our free All Galicia Database, Map Room, and Archival Inventory today, and learn about our terrific member benefits for genealogists, researchers, and families, starting at just $36/year. You can join online!