Riese and Gross Rosen Prisoners and Transports, July 1944

Introduction by Peter Landé

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database


Riese, with its sub-camps, was established in 1943 in Lower Silesia, now Dolny Slask in Poland. With the advance of the Russians westward, it was decided that the existing headquarters for Hitler and key military organizations (Wolfschanze) in East Prussia were not safe and that new facilities needed to be established. This mountainous area in South West Poland was selected and construction of various complexes (Dörnhau, Erlenbusch, Falkenberg and Fürstenstein) was begun.

Initially Russian and Polish forced laborers were used, but in 1944 it was decided that Jewish male prisoners from various concentration camps would be utilized, primarily Hungarian. In all, about 13,000 prisoners were used as forced laborers with an estimate of 4,900 deaths.

As the Russians approached, some of the prisoners at sub-camps were forcibly marched / shipped to Mauthausen and Flossenbürg, while others were liberated by the Russians. For a more complete description of the Riese complex see the United States Holocaust Museum's Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos 1933-1945. See also the JewishGen Holocaust Database for the Klooga Forced Labor Camp Prisoners who were also used for the building of Hitler's underground headquarters complex.


This database is made up of 5 separate lists with a total of 4,806 records. The individual lists are enumerated below along with the number of records:

List # Description Records
List 1 Riese Prisoners (See Note 1 below) 3,657
List 2 Prisoners Who Died in the Local Hospital After Liberation 157
List 3 11-Jun-1944 Transport from Gross Rosen to Tannhaussen Sub-Camp. 147
List 4 29-Sep-1944 Transport from Riese (Sub-Camp of Gross Rosen) to Auschwitz (For execution in the Auschwitz gas chambers) 489
List 5 19-Oct-1944 Transport from Riese to Auschwitz (Probably for the gas chambers) 356

The fields for this database are as follows:


Note 1: List 1-Date of Death. The absence of a death date does not mean that the person survived, since he might have been sent on to Mauthausen / Flossenbürg, but at least gives the researcher an initial place to look.

Note 2: List 4-Prisoner Classification. The table below will assist researchers with the abbreviations from List 4:

Abbreviation Classification
Gr. Greek
J. Jewish
Pol. Polish
Ung. Hungarian


The information contained in this database was indexed from the copies of lists available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The original source of the material for Lists 1 & 2 is Dorota Sula's Arbeitslager Riese, a sub-camp of Gross Rosen, published by the Gross Rosen museum in 2003. The original source for Lists 3, 4, & 5 is held at the Gross Rosen Museum with copies at the USHMM. Bettie Black, Joan Maplesden, Kurt Friedlaender, and Natalya Likholatnikova, JewishGen volunteers, compiled Lists 1 & 2. Peter Landé, from the USHMM compiled Lists 3, 4, & 5.

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, Vice President of Data Acquisition and Coordinator of JewishGen's Holocaust Database files.

Nolan Altman
June 2009

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Last Update: 10 May 2010 2009 by MFK