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Hi guys! My name is Holly Bress. I have known for years that I come from a Jewish family on both sides. My great grandmother was a Wiseman and on my father's side his father was Polish with the name of Bress. I have been travelling throughout middle and Eastern Europe and have been visiting the synagogues. I have seen many victims with the surname Briess, which I think could have been anglicised. I feel very confused about my heritage. When visiting the synagogue in Budapest the guide told me I was definitely Jewish and welcomed me. I'm not sure if this is the place to post and I am sorry if I'm wrong. Could anybody help me discover my past?
Hello Holly and welcome to the forum!

Just to let you know, the first 3 posts are moderated to help keep out spam and bots.

What is it exactly you would like us to help you with?

If your mother and grandmother were/are Jewish, then you are as well!
Welcome to the forum! As SMR stated, if you mother and her mother were Jewish, so are you. Do you have any specific questions we can answer?
(09-13-2019, 02:03 AM)h0zzyb33 wrote: [ -> ]...When visiting the synagogue in Budapest the guide told me I was definitely Jewish...

...I have seen many victims with the surname Briess, which I think could have been anglicised...
How would this guide be certain? Were the synygogues in eastern Europe in charge of keeping records on births, deaths and marriages? Given that Hungary was under Austro-Hungarian rule, I'm assuming that such records were kept by local governments, with the possible exemption under the brief period of Ottoman rule during which previous functions of government have been rendered obsolete.
I myself have a very distant relative of whom I'm near certain was Jewish, given that the other person named likewise is a dead wringer for one: https://www.myheritage.de/names/simon_karpa and would like to trace this ancestor. Possibly making matters more difficult than in your case, my grandmother's grandfather (Simon Karpa), who most likely wasn't born before the early 1800s, is documented to have lived in Macedonia (recently renamed "North Macedonia"  Rolleyes) The only known synagogue I was able to find in Macedonia is located in Skopje. Would it be feasable to look there for any records of this ancestor or am I looking in the wrong place?
Answering your second quote, it's actually the other way around, if.
Alan_Boskov wrote:...I myself have a very distant relative of whom I'm near certain was Jewish...

As far as certainty goes, there's no longer anything to debate: https://www.geni.com/search?search_type=people&names=Karpa

Around 20 years ago, my uncle sent me these as well as related handwritten documents and charts. Since then, my dad passed away. So, I don't yet know where the sources he had to work with are stored. What I do have are the following. Since on the one document the Cyrillic happens to be hand-written, it'll be difficult to dicipher these names and titles, for the time being. The printed alphabet would of course be no problem.
On these documents, simon Karpa is listed as #159. Marked with pink are his descendants, also not documented with dates of any kind.
Detective work is fun and I'll certainly invest quite a bit of time researching. What interests me most is as to why this relative ended up in Macedonia, either voluntarilly or as a result of fleeing persecution in his former place of residence of which I would like to find out as to what fate his relatives may have suffered in this case and to where any other possible survivors have dispersed to. In fact, if it were possible, it would be most interesting to trace this relative as far into history as possible.
If he had not converted over, there's a chance that records might still exist at the synagogue, in case records were stored there whatsoever. I have the e-mail adress of the Rabbi there. However, I don't wish to waste his time with untranslated documents and requests, initially. I would, in any case, contact him, if there is no other recourse and only with translated documents.
Here's what I've got, so far:

[attachment=51][attachment=52][attachment=53]
(06-23-2021, 06:51 AM)Alan_Boskov wrote: [ -> ]
Alan_Boskov wrote:...I myself have a very distant relative of whom I'm near certain was Jewish...

As far as certainty goes, there's no longer anything to debate: https://www.geni.com/search?search_type=people&names=Karpa

Around 20 years ago, my uncle sent me these as well as related handwritten documents and charts. Since then, my dad passed away. So, I don't yet know where the sources he had to work with are stored. What I do have are the following. Since on the one document the Cyrillic happens to be hand-written, it'll be difficult to dicipher these names and titles, for the time being. The printed alphabet would of course be no problem.
On these documents, simon Karpa is listed as #159. Marked with pink are his descendants, also not documented with dates of any kind.
Detective work is fun and I'll certainly invest quite a bit of time researching. What interests me most is as to why this relative ended up in Macedonia, either voluntarilly or as a result of fleeing persecution in his former place of residence of which I would like to find out as to what fate his relatives may have suffered in this case and to where any other possible survivors have dispersed to. In fact, if it were possible, it would be most interesting to trace this relative as far into history as possible.
If he had not converted over, there's a chance that records might still exist at the synagogue, in case records were stored there whatsoever. I have the e-mail adress of the Rabbi there. However, I don't wish to waste his time with untranslated documents and requests, initially. I would, in any case, contact him, if there is no other recourse and only with translated documents.
Here's what I've got, so far:

Thank you for sharing your research with us! 

I can't find any Cyrillic writings... but if you need help maybe this swiss association could help you with the Macedonian texts.

https://www.baar.ch/vereinsliste/27954

I found it in the internet and can't say if they can /want to help. But they care about the Macedonian language, they say.

.... just checked their website, I think it's a little orphaned. Maybe I have time later to do some research.
Here we go! In Karlsruhe is a macedonian society: http://www.am-ka.de/

I'm pretty sure that they will help you, the scene in Karlsruhe is vivid and the people frienly. Good luck!
Karlsruhe being the city housing the provincial government is quite stately, similar to Bonn and The Hague.
I would recommend visiting cities which have been left intact. In other words, haven't been destroyed and rebuilt using modern architechture. Rastatt is one of them. Then, there's the Roman settlement Civitas Taunesium, if you're into archeology.
As far as friendliness is concerned, I'd recommend visiting Gent in the Flemish part of Belgium. Unlike Germany, the Flemish have an open-minded tavern culture, much as the Brits, Dutch and Danes do.
The last time I had visited Macedonia was before the breakup of Yugoslavia. My intention wasn't to visit the relatives of which I've never met. But rather as a transit visit on the way to Greece. That was my favorite former country in Yugoslavia, not only because it was friendly. It was also even less developed than Croatia and Serbia with their Soviet type block house urban construction. As far as I know, the Macedonians were never involved in the two horrible secular conflicts of which the Croats, Serbs and later Bosnian converts to Islam were. Whether or not that's the reason for an easy going society or not, I did indeed meet Serbs and Croats, later on, who were, to varying degrees, post-traumatic stress sufferers.
My grandmother met my grandfather, during one of the last Balkan wars, as she was a nurse in the lazarett of which my wounded grandfather was delivered to. After which she moved in with him in Bulgaria. I'm assuming, her close relatives have remained in Macedonia proper and that all of the ones surviving and their desendants are certain to speaking at least two languages. Now I'm talking myself into paying them a visit  Idea   Undecided
(06-24-2021, 05:24 AM)Alan_Boskov wrote: [ -> ]Karlsruhe being the city housing the provincial government is quite stately, similar to Bonn and The Hague.
I would recommend visiting cities which have been left intact. In other words, haven't been destroyed and rebuilt using modern architechture. Rastatt is one of them. Then, there's the Roman settlement Civitas Taunesium, if you're into archeology.
As far as friendliness is concerned, I'd recommend visiting Gent in the Flemish part of Belgium. Unlike Germany, the Flemish have an open-minded tavern culture, much as the Brits, Dutch and Danes do.
The last time I had visited Macedonia was before the breakup of Yugoslavia. My intention wasn't to visit the relatives of which I've never met. But rather as a transit visit on the way to Greece. That was my favorite former country in Yugoslavia, not only because it was friendly. It was also even less developed than Croatia and Serbia with their Soviet type block house urban construction. As far as I know, the Macedonians were never involved in the two horrible secular conflicts of which the Croats, Serbs and later Bosnian converts to Islam were. Whether or not that's the reason for an easy going society or not, I did indeed meet Serbs and Croats, later on, who were, to varying degrees, post-traumatic stress sufferers.
My grandmother met my grandfather, during one of the last Balkan wars, as she was a nurse in the lazarett of which my wounded grandfather was delivered to. After which she moved in with him in Bulgaria. I'm assuming, her close relatives have remained in Macedonia proper and that all of the ones surviving and their desendants are certain to speaking at least two languages. Now I'm talking myself into paying them a visit  Idea   Undecided

I lived in Karlsruhe for 20 years and now I still work here, so I'm not exactly a visitor   Cool  !
How do you like the way Karlsruhe has changed during the past 20 years?  Sick Cry
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