Auschwitz Work Cards

Introduction By Peter Landé

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database

Background

One of the major frustrations facing genealogists seeking to establish the fate of their relatives in the Holocaust is that, while they can often establish when and where a person was deported, there are major gaps in information as to what happened to them after arrival in camps other than "death camps", – e.g., Sobibor.  This problem is particularly significant for Auschwitz, where approximately 1.2 million prisoners "arrived" but only about one quarter to one third of them were "entered" – i.e., given prisoner numbers and entered as forced laborers.  The others were murdered on arrival and never "entered" into Auschwitz records.  This gap in information has resulted in many researchers and reference books listing the date of transport arrival as date of death.

The Auschwitz Museum has published a book with the fragmentary records from death books (less than 100,000 names), but, unfortunately, most of these records were destroyed as the Germans fled before the Russians.  Separate books list Sinti and Roma victims.  The Auschwitz Museum has also published three books identifying persons on transports from major Polish cities, but, again, this does not establish those who were "entered."  JewishGen volunteers are currently examining transport records from Auschwitz, mostly those from 1944 and early 1945, and when these names are entered into a database, some of the information gap will be closed.

When the Russians occupied Auschwitz, they took records back to Moscow, where they were held in the Osobyi archives.  Some years ago, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) microfilmed large parts of these archives, including one small collection of 852 Auschwitz work cards.  These are available at the Museum in collection RG 22.002M, Reel 10A.  All of the persons identified in this collection are Jews.

While the largest number of Jews identified in this collection are Polish, virtually every European nationality is included – and there is even one American.  Most of these persons probably died in Auschwitz, a few can be identified in survival lists, and some are identified as having been transferred to other camps.  These transfers, particularly to camps located in Germany, took place in late 1944 and early 1945, and, in such cases, the fate of that person can be further traced from records for these camps.  In some cases, additional personal information is given, such as facial and body descriptions.  Where such additional information exists it is indicated, but the information itself has not been entered.  In addition, many of the cards contain handwritten notations relating to specific work assignments.  These are often difficult to read and have not been included in this database.

Copies of these microfilmed cards will be sent to persons making such requests to the Registry of Holocaust Survivors, registry@ushmm.org, or Survivors Registry, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2126.

Database

This database includes 852 Jews from the Auschwitz work card collection.  The fields of the database are as follows:

Acknowledgments

The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM RG 22.002M; Reel 10A).  This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of Peter Landé, a volunteer at the USHMM.

In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible.  Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy.  Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.

Nolan Altman
May 2006


Searching the Database

This database is searchable via JewishGen's Holocaust Database.


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Last Update: 20 Nov 2006 by WSB