Notice of Proposed Holocaust Category Structure Modification

+12 votes

Well, it took us long enough to get all our ducks lined up, but we think we have everything covered now.  Please see the draft of the final proposed new structure on the linked page, where you can easily compare the current structure that we have completely outgrown at this point to the now finalized draft proposed new structure that was originally presented in G2G June 30.

We are allowing a review/discussion period of 8 days and welcome input from all interested members, but we especially solicit input from the categorization project.  

The structure will be finalized on September 30 and we will begin to implement the new plan on October 1.

EDITED to correct the semantics - this is the final opportunity for discussion.  The draft was proposed 3 months ago, which resulted in this final proposal now.

EDITED 9/23 to add project_leaders tag to ensure that any interested projects have a full week to consider this final proposal (in complete accordance with previously existing procedure) for the new Holocaust category structure.

WikiTree profile: Space:DraftHolocaust
in Policy and Style by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (748k points)
edited by Gaile Connolly
A question.

 There were about 10,000 children who came to the UK in the immediate pre war period (kindertransport)

Would these children be sub-categorised under Persecution victims?
Absolutely, Helen.  They would belong in the Emigrated subcategory of Persecution Victims, as currently proposed.

It sounds like maybe we should add another subcategory for Kindertransports … your thoughts?
At this point, I am totally lost.

It's gotten so complicated, I have no idea what to put in the profiles.

Deborah, first I need to thank you PROFUSELY for all the work you have been doing to fix the sticker and profile box mess we started with.  You have so quietly been plodding along in the background on this gigantic task that most people probably don't have any realization of all the work you have accomplished on this.

The biggest reason for the complications is the 3 month delay between the draft proposal and this final proposal.  I am hopeful that we are near the end of the process now and the new category structure will be implemented within a few more weeks.

Right now, I would say don't worry about the category changes that will be happening soon - that shouldn't impact the sticker parameters.  If it does then we can hopefully use Editbot to make whatever changes are necessary and having all the stickers at least matching each other will facilitate that.

Thank you again for all that you have been doing - I think we need to find a special badge for you.

4 Answers

+6 votes
Thanks, Gaile.
by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (558k points)

THANX for your comments on the working page.  Here is my response to them:

You may need to extend your dates ....if this is a draft, then it needs to go to g2g for a week for discussion (the step you're in as of 22 Sep), then after THAT week, make any changes/adjustments, and present the final plan in g2g, where it remains for a week. 

This is not the draft.  The draft was presented in G2G June 30 (see "Related Questions") below this one.  This is the final plan and I have allowed 1 day longer than a week.

The user who created the extra "Holocaust Victims in ____", was she contacted? She is with a project, but may have created these on her own. 

I have no idea who created all these categories, but whoever it is (a) never attempted to contact the Holocaust project before fouling up our category structure with them and (b) has not attempted to contact us in the nearly 3 months since the draft plan was put out for discussion (which included noting that these categories do not belong in the project's category structure).

"There will be a very large number of profiles in the Holocaust Died category - will this be a problem? SO will there be a Victims and a Death category BOTH? The victims cat says "died while imprisoned." Redundant? 

A big part of this is changing the meaning of the word "victim" as we used it before and are planning to use it now.  We used to call those who died "victims" and those who didn't "survivors".  We are now recognizing that all those who were persecuted were victims, regardless of whether they were dead or alive at the end of World War II.

The NEW category named "Persecution Victims" is a top level category that includes both those who survived and those who died.  There are several subcategories for the different means that led to survival, but only 1 subcategory for all those who died.  This is because the great preponderance of them died while imprisoned and it is only rarely possible to have information about the circumstances of their deaths to be able to subcategorize them into starvation, illness, individual killing, mass killing, suicide, forced labor, and medical experiments.

The OLD Victims category that only included those who died, subcategorized by camp/ghetto, will no longer exist.  The brand new category "Died" is one subcategory of the brand new "Persecution Victims".  The only thing that you might call redundancy (which I don't consider redundancy) is that people who were imprisoned in 1 or more camps/ghettos, whether they died or survived, will have the appropriate camp/ghetto category(ies) in addition to the one subcategory of Persecution Victims that is appropriate for them.

The person who created the "Holocaust Victims in ____" categories is visible on the Change History link. I created at least some of them, and I was following the existing template at the time. Happy to change strategy, but no one alerted me that this was a problem.

THANX for taking this interest and coming forward to discuss how these categories need to be handled, K.  I don't know what "existing template" you were following, and it's good to add new categories that are needed, but the (old) Victims category was only intended to have subcategories for camps and ghettos, plus two others - "Other" and "Unknown Location".  As it turns out, that plan was not adequate, and the gaps it left are being corrected in the new plan now under final consideration.

I just looked at the Holocaust Victims in Poland page and see that its subcategories consist of all the existing subcategories of Holocaust Victims for the camps/ghettos that are in Poland plus some towns in Poland that are now also unintended subcategories of Holocaust Victims.  

There is statement on the page that says:

Please categorize profiles into the appropriate subcategory when there is specific information. 

In spite of that, there are 16 profiles on the page.  I looked at the first 4 or 5 and see that names of camps and ghettos appear on each one, although the profiles I looked at are very poorly sourced (citations with only a title and/or family trees).  These profiles should be in the correct camp/ghetto category and not in the Holocaust Victims in Poland category.

If these people lived in Poland (as opposed to having been transported there by the Nazis to be killed) then the category for their village/town/city in Poland could also be on their profile.

Whether any of these people died in a camp/ghetto or in another location in Poland as a result of the Holocaust, there will be an appropriate subcategory of the new Holocaust Persecution Victims category in which they belong.  The combination of geographic location where they lived and the appropriate Holocaust subcategory(ies) for their deaths make a Holocaust Victims in xxx (where xxx is a country) or Holocaust Victims at xxx (where xxx is a village/town/city and not a ghetto/camp) superfluous so, as long as these are not part of some other project that can justify their existence, my recommendation is to delete this group of categories - of course, after correctly categorizing all profiles now in them.

If, in the process of adding the category for the correct camp(s)/ghetto(s) that are missing from the profiles now in the country or town categories, a camp/ghetto is discovered that is missing from our list then we need to add a subcategory of Holocaust Victims for that camp/ghetto.  It would be good, when doing that, to name it Holocaust, {name of camp/ghetto} instead of Holocaust Victims at {name of camp/ghetto} since that will be the correct category name under the new structure.

I will start work on getting the correct camp/ghetto categories on all the profiles in the country and town subcategories.  Anyone else who wants to join the effort - please, by all means roll up your sleeves and jump right in.

THANX again, K, for explaining this. 

+6 votes
Thanks, Gaile. This is a great proposal and it will be great to see a resolution of the problems with the current structure (in particular, it will be good to be able to categorize survivors in camps now).
by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (310k points)
0 votes

Hi Gaile,

Unfortunately, it appears that this was never submitted through the Category Liaisons for review before coming to G2G - and that is a very important step in making sure all projects can weigh in on the proposal. For now, I would ask that this discussion be closed and the formal steps followed.

While everyone who is browsing through G2G can chime in as they see this question, skipping the Liaison review makes it much more difficult to allow everyone a chance to review the proposal since there are not enough tags available in a post to catch all possible projects/members.

by Steve Harris G2G6 Pilot (313k points)
This is getting like a Kafka novel.  Very disheartening for Gaile who has put an awful lot of work into this proposal, with first post on g2g three months ago! And now, without any prior support of, or communication by, either project leaders of the Holocaust project or categorization people she is put back to square one.

Does Gaile know she has been appointed as "Liaison to the Categorization Project"? Should have been given the Categorization Badge (huh?), but not visible on her list of badges...

How is it disheartening? It doesn't mean that the work is wasted, but must be discussed by others as well. That is part of the collaboration process and it has worked for several projects since this process has been in place. It just takes a little more time so that the word is out, fewer users/PMs are surprised by changes, etc. It's NOT square one, Jan.

Steven, at the time the draft was presented in G2G, there was no liaison review process.  As it happens, I was appointed the Holocaust project's liaison to the Categorization project's new liaison group July 8, following a few days of discussion about this new group with the project leader who asked me to accept the designation.

For what it may be worth, I have never received any contact whatsoever in my new role as liaison and I was completely unaware of the new step inserted (on the page you linked) between publicizing the draft and final proposals for discussion.  Since this process was already underway prior to the Categorization project's change in procedure, it should continue to its conclusion under the procedure that was in place at the time it was begun.

I will add the leaders tag to the question to ensure that it is called to the attention of all projects.  There is still a full week remaining before the September 30 finalization date.

Thank you.

PS For reference, my response to Natalie Trott's information about the process in this June 24 question was:

I *LUV* the documentation of the category structure planning process you linked - actually, it's a formal description of exactly how I went through this process four years ago when the Holocaust project started.  Now that the need to revise the structure has become apparent, I started the process in this question, by seeking input on what needs others can see for categorization of Holocaust profiles, after which I plan to design a structure to incorporate all the input.  These two steps are a prelude to where your plan starts by drafting a proposed structure, then opening it for discussion before finalization, both of which are also my intention.

In accordance with that, the draft I proposed was opened for discussion in this June 30 question and, after making modifications that grew out of that discussion, the current question allows 8 days for discussion of the final proposal.  Please note Natalie's comment, made on the proposal's page and quoted above, in which she interpreted my semantic error of calling this a draft, rather than a final, proposal to mean that I need to allow a week before submitting the final proposal.  As I explained, this is the final proposal, not the first draft.  Apparently, after your answer now, she added the link to your process page to her comment.

Hi Gaile,

This process has been in place a couple years now just not regularly enforced. When Natalie and I joined forces as Co-Leaders for the project, we have worked to ensure that the process is followed to the best of our abilities. In short, this process is not new and no new steps have been added.

In regards to your liaison position, this requires joining our Google Group to see the discussions. This should have been relayed by the Leader who asked you to fill this role.
The Holocaust google group is very quiet. Perhaps you mean the category google group? Please send me an invite. Thanks.
+4 votes


I've reviewed the draft specification, and, overall, it looks good.  In particular, I like how you can categorize camps/ghettos independent of survivors (your point #2).  I expect for some survivors, more than one of these categories will be used such as when the ghetto and one or more multiple camps are known.

I do have two specific questions though and a suggestion.  Both questions are under Holocaust Persecution Victims:

  1. You may know the individual survived, but not know additional details such as if they escaped or were liberated.  By dropping a general Survivor category, I'm not sure how this is reflected.  What are your thoughts?
  2. Holocaust Emigrated could mean two things.  For example, does it mean emigrated before/during the war, or does it mean after the war, or does it mean both?  Clarification guidance may be important here.

As a suggestion, I think it would be beneficial to have a category for the post Holocaust displaced persons' camps.


by Myles Bogner G2G1 (1.7k points)

Thank you for your thoughtful and valuable input Myles.  I agree that for survivors, as well as those who died, they may have been moved around from one camp/ghetto to another - maybe even several times - and this structure is designed to allow them to be in multiple camp/ghetto categories.

Your #1 - you are absolutely right and that is something that I missed.  We need another subcategory of Persecution Victims to allow for these cases.  The only name I can think of is Survived by Unknown Means but I don't like that very much and would much rather have a shorter name.  Suggestions for this category name are welcome (hint, hint).

Your #2 - the Emigrated category is intended to be a means by which persecution victims survived, therefore it can be before or during the war.  After the end of the war, the means by which they survived was not emigration, even though many did emigrate then.

We can certainly consider adding displaced persons' camps if there is a need for these.  Another group of categories I did not include is for the kindertransports.  My goal is to keep the category structure as simple as possible, while still meeting all genealogy needs, so I'm inclined to set up the basic structure now without those, but plan to add them later if it is determined that they are needed.  Of course, if a case can be made for their usefulness, they'll be added now.  Rationales for or against, anyone?

I actually think the Survived by Unknown Means category name isn't bad.  I currently do not have other suggestions.  I'll post by September 30th a suggestion if I can come up with something.

My rationale for including the displaced persons camp is simply one of interest.  I think it would be very neat to be able to readily see all those on Wikitree that were in a certain displaced persons' camp.  Survivor marriages occurred in these camps.  Therefore, the life stories of these survivors would be able to more easily viewed as well as the stories of their descendants.

By adding these categories now, as we recategorized existing profiles, these new categories can be added at the same time in lieu of optionally having to go back at a later date.

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