Thursday, February 23, 2012


Those of you interested in Genealogy may have seen some articles in the news lately, about the attempted posthumous conversion of well known Holocaust victims such as Anne Frank and parents of well known survivors such as Elie Wiesel. 

This is a Mormon practice that troubles many.  The LDS church officially promised to end the practice in 1995.  In spite of that, there are still a few isolated cases of it happening against the church's stated policy. 

As a genealogist who has benefited from the generous help of Mormon volunteers and from the work done by the LDS in rescuing and photocopying and digitizing many many records of Jews in Eastern Europe I find myself very conflicted.

There are millions of Mormons.  I suppose the actions of a few extremists, in such a large group, can be understood as hard to prevent totally.  According to what I've read, the Church approves it only if done by the descendants of the people being posthumously converted.   These descendants then stand in as proxies in the conversion ceremony.

Anne Frank died as a teenager and never had descendants, so there can be no pretense of even following their own rules.

As a Holocaust survivor, and the family member of a number of Holocaust victims, I find the whole idea of "converting" people who were killed because of their religion repugnant.  The concept of conversion by someone else's will also makes no sense to me at all.

I wish the LDS leadership would reconsider this practice, as some other past practices have been reconsidered in the past and then changed. I can't view it as anything less than disrespectful and offensive.


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