Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tarnow:Not to Be Forgotten-- Do You Know This Family??

Does anyone recognize the name, Frieda BALSAM or Frejda BALSAM (also known as Beile)? Frejda/Beile was the second wife of my great uncle, Tobias GUTTMANN. Beile died in 1927.
Frieda Balsam was born in 1929, so she may have been somehow related to Beile. Do you know the relationship?? Her photo is from USHMM/Vienna Museum of Natural History Collection, found in the USHMM Photo Archives. The mug shot was taken by the Nazis of individuals in the Tarnow Ghetto, in about Spring, 1942. The Guttman & Balsam families were from Tarnow.

The following is a USHMM description, in part, of the Nazis purpose for taking the mugshots & doing research studies, that was provided with the photos:

"The Institut fuer deutsche Ostarbeit (Institute for German Work in the East or IdO) was a Nazi research institute established in Krakow during the German occupation whose mission was to gather information and make evaluations about Poland's population and resources and their potential for exploitation. Among its tasks was the research and identification of 'racial types' in Poland in order to help devise and implement a plan to restructure Polish society along racial lines. It was believed that such a restructuring would foster 'Germanness,' eliminate 'racial mixing' and otherwise help 'secure the military victory and political leadership of the German people' in occupied Poland... The Institut fuer deutsche Ostarbeit (Institute for German Work in the East or IdO) was a Nazi research institute established in Krakow during the German occupation whose mission was to gather information and make evaluations about Poland's population and resources and their potential for exploitation. Among its tasks was the research and identification of 'racial types' in Poland in order to help devise and implement a plan to restructure Polish society along racial lines. It was believed that such a restructuring would foster 'Germanness,' eliminate 'racial mixing' and otherwise help 'secure the military victory and political leadership of the German people' in occupied Poland.
The Tarnow study was a joint project of the IdO and Dr. Dora Kahlich-Koenner, a racial anthropologist from the Anthropology Institute of the University of Vienna. Kahlich-Koenner, who was at this time involved in a study of full and racially-mixed Jews living in Vienna, sought to examine a large group of Jews from Poland, the ancestral homeland of most Viennese Jews, in order to gather comparative material for her Viennese investigation. The Tarnow racial study was conducted between March 23 and April 2, 1942, only a few months prior to the mass deportation of Jews from the ghetto...."