We were asked to see whether we could possibly learn the fate of Edith JACOBOVIC.
Edith JACOBOVIC in December 1943
Initially, all we knew about her was that she was born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia on 25 August 1926, the daughter of Eugen JACOBOVIC and his wife Rozalia nee KLEIN.
The only other fact we were given was that "in 1944 Edith arrived in Stutthof concentration camp and since then all contact with her was lost"
Sadly this is one of those searches for which there will never be a full answer. All we can establish, because records are incomplete, is that Edith was one of the many who perished, and probably in Stutthof.
Here is the sequence of the search. It illustrates well what can be done in order to try to piece the pieces together:
As the only point of contact which we had was Stutthof, we started by making contact with the Museum there.
The answer - left a lot to be desired.
In essence the letter says that the museum Stutthof in Sztutowo confirms that based on their archives the following information is available
regarding this concentration camp prisoner:
Edith Jakubowics , born 25.8.1926 in m Kassa was sent to the Concentration Camp Stutthof by the Riga SIPO [Security Police].
In the camp her prisoner number was 56724.
There are no further details in existence in the Museum records regarding her remaining time in the camp.
We now had one further point of contact - the town of Riga.
Research over the Internet brought us the following background information:
Firstly Stutthof:- A valuable background to this place of horror is provided in Jewishgen.org
While it concentrates primarily on the German Jews, it also mentions the Czechs:
In 1943, the camp grew larger and established an extensive system of sub-camps, with prisoners primarily from Poland,
but also substantial numbers from Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia and elsewhere.
The full article can be read at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/germany/stutthof.htm
The Journal AVOTAYNU is the definitive publication for Jewish genealogy. in 1997 it published an article by Peter Lande under the title of
Stutthof Concentration Camp: A Major New Source of Data, Valuable Yet Frustrating which you can read by clicking here
These documents made it clear that Edith and her mother must have been among those Riga Jews who were shipped by the SIPO Security Police from Riga to Stutthof, a distance of 728 km. Goggle maps has provided us with the map of that journey.
In our effort to learn about Edith we made contact with numerous individuals and Institutions which are concerned with the Latvian Holocaust era in general and Riga in particular. These included
- the Latvian Special Interest Group of Jewishgen
the Centre for Judaic Studies University of Latvia
- the Jewish community "Shamir", Riga, Latvia.
- the Jewish Survivors of Latvia, Inc.
- a member of the Society of Survivors of the Riga Ghetto
- the Jewish Museum of Riga
- Alfred Winter, author of a book "The Ghetto of Riga"
- the Riga Judaic Studies Department of the University of Latvia
- the State Archives of Latvia
- the Holocaust Era Archives of the International Tracing Services of the Red Cross [ITS] in Bad Arolsen, Germany
and many more individuals who research the events of those times in Latvia.
Eventually we received the answer:
To: "David Lewin" <davidlewin [at] btinternet [dot] com>
Subject: Re: Search for Edith Jacobovic
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 20:05:08 -0400
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Edith Jacobovic and Edit Jakubovics are one and the same person.
Edith/Edit was initially sent to Auschwitz, then Stutthof, then Riga and then back to Stutthof again.
The document you sent me was mistranslated --it shows her as arriving FROM Riga.
This had initially puzzled me since I knew that there had been no deportations from Hungary to Riga.
The bad news is that the records for prisoner #56724 fall into a gap in Stutthof records --so I cannot establish her fate.
ITS records are based on the Stutthof material and thus have nothing. As a small consolation I did find two Stutthof cards relating to
Edith when she ARRIVED from Riga. I will put these into the mail to you tomorrow.
And so this search closed with the
sad realisation that we will never know when Edith died, only that she did in that horror which was the Stutthof Concentration Camp,
the first Nazi camp built outside of Germany and was the last camp liberated on May 10, 1945 by the Soviet Army. People from 26 different nations had been kept there, a testament to the scale of the Nazi war effort.
If you can help or provide any further information about this particulr Jacobovic family [ however the name is spelled], please e-mail us at davidlewin [at] btinternet [dot] com