• New regulations in Poland on release of civil registration records

    From sig@geshergalicia.org sig@geshergal@21:1/5 to All on Thu Oct 3 13:54:55 2019
    X-No-archive: yes
    Gesher Galicia recently learnt that the Polish Ministry of the
    Interior had earlier this year introduceda an amendment to the law of
    2015 that applies to Civil Registration Offices. The amendment is
    referred to as:
    "Art. 128. - Transfer of civil registration books to archives - Law on
    civil registration records",
    and forms part of a law of February 21, 2019.

    The first paragraph sums up the existing law, with a 100-year rule for
    making birth records held in civil registration offices publicly
    accessible, and an 80-year restriction on marriage and death records.
    The text then creates a new obligation on the staff in civil
    registration offices (USC) to find proof of death for people listed in
    birth books and marriage books, before such books are made accessible
    - even if a book is more than 100 (or 80) years old. If this
    obligation was carried out meticulously to the letter, it would be
    virtually impossible to clear any birth or marriage book issued in the
    past century for public release.

    The next paragraph of the text appears to make things somewhat easier,
    by allowing the transfer of a book in some circumstances, even if the
    death certificate cannot be found.
    " ...If it is determined that the death certificate has not been drawn
    up for the person and no information on death has been registered and
    that the person has not been issued a PESEL number, the head of the
    registry office is entitled to forward the books to the appropriate
    state archives, after the periods referred to in paragraph I [that is,
    of 100 years or 80 years]."

    A PESEL number is a sort of social security number, which a person
    would keep throughout their lifetime, and which is used to record
    events including births, deaths and marriages. The PESEL system was
    introduced in the 1970s.

    It remains to be seen how strictly staff in civil registration offices
    search for death records (records that would otherwise be due for
    release) of people named in birth and marriage records. Even at best,
    there are likely to be considerable delays in making these books

    A transfer from USC Warsaw to AGAD of around 30 Jewish vital record
    books (from the former eastern Galicia) was expected in February of
    this year, but was delayed at the time for reasons apparently
    unrelated to any new regulations. After further delays, it was
    expected to arrive in September, but has still not appeared. It is
    unclear whether at least the death registers in this consignment (with
    death records up to 1938) will be transferred this year. Death
    records, of course, are not included in the new regulation.

    For further information, please contact: info@geshergalicia.org
    Please do *not* reply to this email.

    Tony Kahane
    Research Coordinator and Board Member, Gesher Galicia https://www.geshergalicia.org/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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