The Blaze posted a story today about an Israeli-based social media genealogy company that is using the Internet to help match property stolen by the Nazis to heirs of the victims. A website called My Heritage founded by Gilad Japhet lets people build their family trees on line. The names on that website are being matched up with the names of businesses and properties seized by the Nazis during the reign of Adolph Hitler so that restitution can be made to survivors and heirs.
The article reports:
“We are only just seeing the huge impact that social media will have on Holocaust history,” said Robert-Jan Smits, the director-general of the European Union’s commission for research and design. “We are moving from dusty archives to digitized databases.”
One of the driving forces behind the new push has been Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of Israel-based MyHeritage, a social media website with about 70 million registered users worldwide that lets individuals build their own family trees online.
A few months back, Japhet read a report about the Claims Conference’s list of over 40,000 buildings, stores and factories that could not be matched with their original owners. Japhet matched some names on the list to the millions of names that users had posted on MyHeritage’s family trees online.
This is fantastic. The article explains:
Japhet put together a team of five employees and had them write a computer program that automatically matches the names on the Claims Conference’s list with those on the virtual family trees. So far, they have been able to match about 150 names on the list with names on the family trees. They expect to continue working on this project for several more months.
Nothing can make up for the suffering the Jews went through under Adolph Hitler, but it is wonderful to know that members of families who lost everything will be compensated.