Our genealogy services
Specialized in German Jewish History
Our expertise and genealogy services cover a wide range of historical areas and subjects. One specialty is Jewish history in Germany, its former Eastern provinces (Western and Eastern Prussia, Silesia), Poland, or the Habsburg Lands (Austria, Hungary, Galicia…). This includes the rich Jewish life of the 18th and 19th century up until the 1930s, but also the Shoah and all of its aftermath, as well as emigration before and after the war.
Finding relatives, documents, and graves
We have found graves of long lost ancestors and addresses of family members. But we have also traced down distant relatives, found unknown mothers and fathers (albeit deceased), were able to locate photographs and documents. Our work has even resulted in restitution cases and German passports for survivors and their families.
“Can I get a German passport?”
The short answer: German citizenship may be closer than you think! After a recent change in citizenship law, it has become a lot easier for descendants of persecuted people to become German. Have you been unsuccessful in claiming citizenship before? You have a new chance now. For example if your ancestors lived in Germany but were Polish, if you were rejected on grounds of only one (grand)parent being German or if your parents were not married.
Dual citizenship or a career in the military are no longer an obstacle. Contact us to see how we can help you, your children and grandchildren become German.
German Citizenship Full Service
Our citizenship flat fee covers everything from first consultation to the moment you pick up your citizenship certificate at the nearest German consulate, worry-free. We find all the historical documents you need and take care of the tedious German paperwork. As your representative, we take care of all questions of the German authorities. Our long-term experience and expert knowledge of the process will get you to citizenship faster than the average applicant. Ask us for a quote today!
Translating old German script
Previous generations relied on handwriting – but today in the computer age, typing is the way to go. Consequently we have often lost the ability to read old handwriting, especially in other languages or older scripts. One of GermanGen’s key skills is reading old German handwriting from Kanzleischrift to Kurrent or Sütterlin. We’re here to help you decipher your family’s handwritten treasures and letters and offer qualified translations into English.
Traveling to the roots
Have you ever wanted to see where your ancestors lived? To get a sense of place and space? We’ll help you prepare your roots trip to the places where your ancestors lived and spent their day to day. Roots trips will give you a better understanding of the past and make new memories for yourself and your family. Take your children and grandchildren on a journey that will create lasting impressions for generations to come.
These engraved brass “stumbling blocks” are permanently installed into the pavement in front of the last freely chosen physical address of persecuted people in many European countries. The act of sinking them into the pavement, to make the absence visible, is often accompanied by a ceremony to remember the lives lost. We’ll help you find the pre-war address of your ancestors for Stolperstein memorials and coordinate your interests with local Stolperstein initiatives.
Success stories of our family history research
An unknown sister — Leipzig, 1920s-1930s
The client’s father was born in Leipzig and managed to emigrate to Palestine as a young man, but died when the client was an infant. We found his birth entry at the local registry and discovered that he had a sister, unbeknownst to our client. This younger sister sadly perished in Auschwitz. Our client was finally able to add her name to Yad Vashem’s pages of testimony, and she was not forgotten anymore. We also managed to find a photograph of our client’s father as a boyscout in a publication on Leipzig’s Jewish community.
An unknown mother — Berlin, 1920s
The client was born in 1923 and came to Palestine with father, mother and sister in the 1930s. Yet she always had a distant memory of another mother. After her parents passed, she discovered that there had indeed been another woman. Her real mother had died from the flu in 1925, and we managed to find her beautifully-preserved grave on the Berlin Weissensee cemetery. Its heartbreaking inscription made the client realize that her father was so overwhelmed by grief that he decided to lie, calling his second wife “mother”. This client was a sweet old lady and she developed the habit of calling regularly until she passed away a few years ago, blessed be her memory.
Child from the DP camp — US Occupation Zone, 1950s
The client was born in a so-called “DP camp”, a camp for survivors of the Nazi camps immediately after the war, in the US occupation zone of Germany. He came to Israel with his parents as a child. After the death of his father, and, later, his mother, he found a document that stated that his biological mother had given him up as a child and his mother was only his step-mother. We directed him to the archives of ITS Arolsen, where he could find more information on his real mother.
A trove of letters — Habsburg Poland, 1900s
The client had gotten hold of a trove of historical letters, written by his great-great-grandfather and his family. We managed to decipher and translate the letters and found out details about the family’s former property in Habsburg Poland.
Orphan boy — Berlin, 1930s-1940s
The client was born in 1938 and spent the war with foster parents in Berlin. In 1946 he came to Palestine with the Youth Aliah, as his mother was Jewish. We could shed light on the mystery of his childhood survival and found that his mother had escaped to England, where she later died of cancer. We also managed to find a cousin in Israel. When the two men met for the first time, the (initially skeptical) cousin exclaimed: “He looks just like the grandfather!”. Finally we managed to get a sizeable sum for property that his late mother’s family had owned in East Berlin, and got him a German passport.
German Citizenship — Berlin 1930s / New York 2020s
The client’s mother had left Berlin on a Kindertransport in the 1930s and grew up in New York. Her daughter, now retired herself, heard about a recent change in German citizenship law and finally wanted to get a German passport. We took care of the process and within this were able to unearth a great amount of details on the family history. The client got German citizenship within a year.
As of 2023, our hourly is € 120 at a minimum of 5 hours research.
Book a consultation – and find out how we can help you bring your family history to the next level:
We’re looking forward to hearing your family history!
If you have very limited financial means and/ or are a Holocaust survivor, please contact us for special rates.