Frequently Asked Questions
I cannot install the Google Toolbar. How can I use ShoahConnect?
Soon, it might be possible to use ShoahConnect without installing the Toolbar, but, currently, your only option is to find a computer capable of installing the Toolbar. Note that you only need to use the Toolbar to associate your email address with Pages of Testimony. Once you have done this, you can use any computer with Internet access to make contact with relatives or submitters for those Pages.
While installing the ShoahConnect button for the Google Toolbar, I see the message "Privacy Considerations: Sends current page address to www.shoahconnect.org when clicked." What does this mean?
When you are viewing a Page of Testimony on Yad Vashem's website and click the ShoahConnect button, the Toolbar tells ShoahConnect what Page you are viewing. The "Privacy Considerations" message informs you that clicking the button tells ShoahConnect what webpage you are browsing when you click it. This is currently necessary for ShoahConnect's operation, but soon might not be.
I installed the Google Toolbar, but cannot find the ShoahConnect button on it. Where is the button?
The Toolbar should run horizontally across the top of your web browser, and the ShoahConnect button should appear as a on it. If the button does not appear, install it from this link.
When I followed the link to install the Google Toolbar, the instructions were in the wrong language. What should I do?
Go here and select the correct language from the dropdown menu near the top, if needed. After installing the Toolbar, install the button from this link.
What does "Allow contact from town researchers?" mean?
The main use of ShoahConnect is to connect relatives associated with the same Page of Testimony. However, some people looking for information about a relative from town X would like to contact non-relatives associated with a Page where the victim lived in town X. Often, this is to ask, "Do you know what happened to my relative, who, like your relative, lived in town X?" By allowing contact from town researchers, you agree to be contacted by such people who are interested in a town on a Page you associate yourself with. You can change this option at any time by going to My Account. As always, your email address will not be revealed to an inquirer unless you respond to the inquiry.
What does "Receive email about updates to this website?" mean?It means that you agree to receive email from ShoahConnect about updates to this website, such as new features. An example of a new feature would be a bulletin board on the website for discussions about finding submitters of Pages of Testimony. (If you have an idea for a feature you would like to see on ShoahConnect, please contact us.) These emails will only come from the ShoahConnect webmaster, and, as with all other aspects of the site's operation, will be totally non-commercial. You can change this option at any time by going to My Account.
Does ShoahConnect work with documents on Yad Vashem's website that are not Pages of Testimony?If you associate yourself with such documents as a relative wanting to contact the submitter and contact and by contacted be other relatives (the default), then you will be notified if anyone else does the same. However, ShoahConnect will erroneously refer to the document as a Page of Testimony. We hope to resolve this problem soon.
The submitter of a certain Page of Testimony does not have email access, but wants to hear from relatives. Can I use ShoahConnect as the submitter, on his/her behalf?
If the submitter is alive and wants you to be the point of email contact, you can use ShoahConnect as the submitter. Please make clear to anyone who contacts you through the site, though, that you are not the submitter, and please do not share the submitter's contact information without getting approval from the submitter first.
I am the spouse/child/grandchild/nephew/etc. of a deceased submitter. Can I use ShoahConnect as a member of the immediate family of the submitter?
If the submitter is deceased, and you are wondering whether you qualify as "immediate family," please note that this phrase has intentionally not been defined, because its meaning varies from family to family. A general suggestion is that you should have some knowledge of the victim listed on the Page, or be in contact with someone who has, or have access to documentary material about the victim.
I think I might be a relative of the victim on a Page of Testimony, but I am not sure. Can I use the "I am a relative..." options?
Yes. If you make contact through ShoahConnect with the submitter or a relative of the victim, be sure to explain why you think you might be a relative.
When I list the Pages of Testimony associated with my account, some of the dates of last contact are links that allow me to send a contact message and some are not. Why can I not send a contact message now?
This is either because nobody you may contact has associated an email address with the Page of Testimony, or because you have contacted all of the submitters associated with the Page using ShoahConnect within the past 30 days. ShoahConnect imposes the 30-day wait to prevent submitters from being spammed. Note that, if a submitter replies to you, you can carry on a regular correspondence by email, without any wait.
Why does the "remember me on this computer" option not work for me?
Probably, because your web browser is not accepting cookies. You must instruct your web browser to accept cookies from ShoahConnect in order for this option to work. Also, if you are accessing from a computer on which more than one account has been created, only your email address will be remembered, and you will still have to enter your password. This is to prevent users of shared computers from using others' accounts.
Why am I seeing the message "There has been an application error!" ?
This is an error message returned by Yad Vashem's website, independent of ShoahConnect. If you receive this error, you must start a new search from Yad Vashem's website.
Is there any cost for using ShoahConnect?
No, use of this website is free. We are also non-commercial, we do not profit in any way (e.g., there is no advertising).
This is great! How can I help?
You will be helping all ShoahConnect users if you encourage submitters of Pages of Testimony, genealogists, Shoah researchers, etc. to use the site. The more users there are, the more matches there are likely to be. Do you belong to a genealogical or Shoah-related organization? If so, tell your fellow members, ask your webmaster to link to us, and ask your newsletter editor to write about us (or ask me to write something). Blogs and social bookmarking websites can also be great ways to promote this endeavor. Perhaps, you will unknowingly refer someone to ShoahConnect who matches your own Page associations. You could also help by volunteering to translate parts of the website into another language.