Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay
Researching Bavarian Jewish Communities
Presentation by Bill Peterson
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Because of the continuing COVID-19 epidemic, This meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Tampa Bay will be a virtual meeting (Webinar) held online using Zoom.
Reservation requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2020
Time: Zoom sign in 1:30-2:00 PM
Program - 2:00 PM
Place: Zoom website – RSVP to email@example.com to receive sign-in instructions.
Program (Zoom Meeting): Researching Bavarian Jewish Communities
Speaker: Bill Peterson
In this presentation we will discuss Jewish communities in Bavaria, with a focus on history and areas of interest for researching family context. Bavaria is at the crossroads of Central Europe. There were Jewish communities there since the Middle Ages. Its recent history includes some of the most notorious Nazi party sites (Beer Hall Putsch, Nazi Party Rallies, Nuremberg Laws, Landsberg where Mein Kampf was written), and one of the earliest concentration camps (Dachau). After WWII it was the site of several Displaced Persons (DP) camps, the Nuremberg trials, and many US military bases through the Cold War until today. It was home to over 500 former Jewish communities and 223 cemeteries. Even now Bavaria is home to active Jewish communities, museums, and memorials to lost communities. Many American German Jewish families have origins in Bavaria and its major regions of Franconia and Swabia.
Bill Peterson, who serves on the Program Committee for the JGSTB, is a retired Army officer and Air Force civilian who spent his military career as an analyst and educator. He served two tours of duty in Germany (three years in northern Bavaria and four in southern Bavaria). During this time, he and his family traveled extensively throughout Germany and Europe, visiting many Jewish historical sites. He also traveled extensively in the Middle East, visiting Israel, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt, where he toured historical Jewish remnants. Bill served as a Jewish Chaplain’s Council certified Jewish Lay Leader in Germany, Egypt, and Kuwait, and he was a founding member of the military Jewish community at Riyadh Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Storm. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in History, and a M.S. in Geography (Area Studies, Middle East and Africa), and of the University of South Florida with a M.S. in Library Science. Bill has worked on his family history since the mid-1980s using microfilm at the National Archives and LDS libraries before the advent of the Internet. His family history interests are in Prussia, Vienna, and Sweden, and in his wife’s Galician family area.
For further information about this program and how to attend it, contact Chris Burklund by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org. An RSVP is required for security purposes to receive sign-in instructions.