Syd Mandelbaum, founder of the DNA Shoah Project, is creating an international database of “genetic testimony” about the Holocaust.

by Debra Rubin

NJJN Bureau Chief/Middlesex

November 16, 2009

An international DNA database is helping Holocaust survivors and their offspring solve nagging mysteries and perhaps unite with long-lost relatives.

The DNA Shoah Project at the University of Arizona uses “genetic testimony” to identify unnamed victims of the Shoa, unite family members, and even assist European governments to identify victims.

Syd Mandelbaum, a scientist and son of Holocaust survivors, cofounded the nonprofit initiative with University of Arizona geneticist Dr. Michael Hammer.

On Nov. 1, he came to Congregation Beth-El in Edison to discuss the project. Afterward, volunteers took sample cheek swabs from audience members, a number of them Holocaust survivors.

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