Sunday, January 5, 2020

Visualizing the Holocaust's Impact

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Avraham Rutner, had a lot of descendants.  I've used the incredibly useful and easy-to-use tool at to visualize his family, as I've reconstructed it so far.  And what is incredibly visible--and emotionally difficult to see--is how the Holocaust decimated this extended family.
Descendants of Avraham Rutner, per

Avraham Rutner lived in what was Darva, Austria-Hungary.  Most of his descendants lived in that town and the general nearby area through the 1940s, although by that time it was Kolodne, Czechoslovakia.  In the middle of WWII, it again was part of Hungary, which shielded the area from Jewish deportations until 1944 (with the exception of those taken to Kamenets-Podolsk in 1941 where they were murdered)--but when the deportations started in 1944, the area's Jews were decimated very quickly.

My great grandparents were among the few Rutner descendants who had emigrated before WWII.  But their cousins back in Eastern Europe were still living their lives and having children through the early 1940s.  Nearly all of those children and their parents were killed.

Along either side of the above image are the years in which people were born.  Look at how many young children were born in the 1930s and early 1940s--and who were then murdered.  This is the impact on one family.  Now multiple this by all of the peers of Avraham Rutner and their descendants across Europe.  That is the Holocaust.

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  1. Wow. That is an amazingly horrific graph. Thank you for all the work you are doing to preserve the memories of all these people.

  2. Thank you for posting this.

  3. Powerful image. Amazing research.

  4. Thanks for this powerful reminder.

  5. Thank you for this visual. May I have permission to use it and talk about your story in a 9th grade English report I am doing?