E. Randol Schoenberg, grandson of Arnold Schoenberg, chaired the session at the annual conference of the Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) at which PtJA Project Consultant Dr. David Fligg delivered a workshop. This year’s conference took place in Jerusalem in early July, and attracted over 800 worldwide delegates.
David’s session, ‘How to use field-work to find family information: A Czech case-study’, was an interactive presentation exploring on-the-ground research methods. It used three geographical areas connected to David’s research on Gideon Klein – Moravia, Prague and Auschwitz – to show how various types of archival research can be utilised to create a comprehensive family portrait. David also talked about the importance of visiting the actual places where people lived. He said, “The workshop looked at how we can discover often unexpected and fascinating information when visiting those places connected to the people we’re researching. To get a sense of ‘place’, there’s no substitute for seeing first-hand where, and how they – in my case, Gideon Klein and his family – lived.”
It was entirely appropriate that Randol Schoenberg chaired David’s session. He is at the forefront of Czech-related Jewish genealogical research, and President of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. As an attorney, he represented Maria Altmann in her suit to obtain five Gustav Klimt paintings. She won her case before the Supreme Court of the United States against the government of Austria in 2004. This has recently been dramatized in the film, The Woman in Gold, where Randol is portrayed by Ryan Reynolds.