The Twentieth Train
Introduction by Stephanie Weiner
This database includes 1,638 deportees who were on the 20th transport train from Mechelen that was ambushed on its way to Auschwitz.
This database is generated from a list of deportees appended to the book The Twentieth Train: The True Story of the Ambush of the Death Train to Auschwitz by Marion Schreiber (Grove Press, 2000 edition). The list is found on pages 269-308, and is a republication of a list from the English translation of Stille Rebellon, published in Germany in 2000. Four deportees were not assigned arrival numbers.
The list was compiled by Nazi officials at the city of Mechelen, also known as Malines, which lies between Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium. The deportees boarded the twentieth transport from Mechelen to Auschwitz on 19 April 1943. Nazi officials assigned numbers to each person based on the date of arrival in Mechelen.
Marion Schreiber, a Brussels-based journalist and former editor at Der Spiegel, tells the story of three young men who, on 19 April 1943, ambushed a Nazi deportation train carrying 1,638 Jews headed for Auschwitz. This was the 20th Transport from Mechelen. They freed 17 young men and women; 23 deportees died in the effort, and 231 fled the convoy. Most of the deportees chose or were forced to stay aboard, and some of them survived Auschwitz.
"Spelling of names is inconsistent since many deportees did not hold ID cards and often preferred to use the Belgian versions of their Jewish names."
The Liste Speciale, which prefaces the main list, denotes camp members who had been returned to Mechelen following an attempted escape from the nineteenth transport.
Some deportees on the general list were, in fact, sent on to Auschwitz at a later date. Their final transport numbers are displayed in Roman numerals in the Comments column.
This database includes 1,638 deportees.
The fields of the database are as follows:
The information contained in this database was indexed from a list in the Appendix [pages 269-308] in the book, The Twentieth Train: The True Story of the Ambush of the Death Train to Auschwitz by Marion Schreiber, in the Grove Press edition published in 2000. The Dewey Decimal Number is 940.53183 and the Library of Congress Call Number is DS135.B4 S3813. Grove/Atlantic Press, Inc. was kind enough to permit the addition of this database to the JewishGen Holocaust database list. This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of Stephanie Weiner, a JewishGen volunteer, who is responsible for the transcription of this file.
In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.
Searching the Database
This database is searchable via JewishGen's Holocaust Database.
Last Update: 16 May 2010 by MFK