List of forced laborers in Borysław and Drohobycz

Introduction By Zvi Bernhardt and Nolan Altman

General Information About the Lists

Borysław and Drohobycz became important Polish communities between the late 17th century and the middle 18th century due to the discovery of oil.  Jews were employed in all areas of the oil drilling industry, from professionals to manual laborers.  The Jewish population of Drohobycz in 1931 was 12,931. It was 14,000 in Borysław in 1941.

At one point in the 1930's, the oil supplied from the Borysław-Drohobycz area accounted for 75% of all the oil and oil products in Poland. During the German occupation, many of the Jewish workers who were trained in oil drilling services were used as forced laborers to continue the flow of oil for the Germans.

In September 1939 many refugees arrived in Drohobycz on the way to Romania. The Germans left on 22 September and the Red Army came in.  The town was re-occupied by the Germans on 30 June 1941.  The next day a mob formed, led by farmers from the surrounding area, and in the next three days murdered 400 Jews.  In January a Judenrat was appointed.  On 30 November 1941, the murder of the Jews by the Nazis commenced with the execution of 300 Jews in the nearby Bronica forest.  Hundreds more died from hunger and disease in the severe winter of 1941-42.  4,500 were sent to Belzec in March and August of 1942, and 600 more were murdered on the spot.

In September 1942 a ghetto was established for the remaining 9,000 Jews in Drohobycz.  2,300 were sent to Belzec in that month.  Deportations continued into November.  In February and March of 1943, over 1,000 of the remaining Jews were murdered in the Bronica forest.  The last Jews in the ghetto were rounded up and murdered toward the end of May, and the labor camps were gradually liquidated in the next year, with the last Jews being sent to Plaszow in April of 1944.

Units of the German army arrived in Boryslaw in September 1939.  The terrorizing of Jews both by the Germans and local Ukrainians stopped only when the Red Army entered on 12 September.  The Soviets nationalized the oilfields and dissolved almost all Jewish institutions.  Borysław was retaken by the Germans on 1 July 1941, and the next day 300 Jews were murdered in a pogrom staged by Ukrainians with German help.

On 29-30 November 1941, 1,500 Jews were murdered in a nearby forest.  In August 1942, 5,000 Jews were deported to Belzec.  Those remaining were crowded in two ghettos.  In October, another 1,500 were deported to Belzec, and in November a new selection was made with the able-bodied taken for forced labor.  Around 2,000 of the others were deported or murdered.  On 16-17 February 1943, 600 Jews were executed and dumped into mass graves.  Those Jews left in the ghetto and labor camps were murdered on the spot or deported to death camps between April and July 1944.

The "Karpathen Oel" labor camps

In both towns, the "Karpathen Oel" oil company founded labor camps, using the expertise of Jews who had worked in the oil industry. The Jews in these camps were convinced that being such essential workers would save them from murder.  Although those in the Karpathen Oel camps were some of the last Jews to be deported form Boryslaw and Drohobycz, they too were finally murdered or deported to death camps.

What is in the Database

This database is comprised of 62 sub-lists of forced laborers.  There are a number of different types of lists among the sub-lists.  The lists are arranged by occupations, lists of workers at arbitrary dates, or Jews who were part of transfers on specific dates between the work camps at Boryslaw and Drohobycz.  This database is a compendium of smaller lists made at different times for different purposes; as a result, many individuals may appear more than once.  The total number of records is 4,971.

The following is a list of all the sub-lists within this database, and the sub-list reference letter used:

Department Lists Sub-list Reference
Archives J & BA
Barrel Making L
Boiler House O & AN
Bookbinding I
Brush Factory AI
Car Repair AF
Carpentry Z
Central Laboratory AQ
Construction Department H & AH
Crate Factory P & AO
Demolition Crew G & AZ
Electrical Workshop K & AJ
Filter Paper Cleaning E & AK
Fire Department M & AL
Garage N & AM
Group Administration AD
Hospital X & AW
Kitchen Q & AP
Laboratory R
Mechanical Workshop T & AS
Office Staff BB
Paraffin Factory U & AU
Pipe Still V & AV
Push Cart Factory Y
Sawmill AG
Special Laboratory AR
Square - Construction W
Tailoring F
Technical and Office Staff D
Technical Management AB
Warehouse S & AT
  
Other Lists 
Bergen Building Project AA & AE
Employees of the "East" Refinery AC
Group Administration - Drohobycz (List of Jewish Employees 01 Jul 1943) BF
Jewish Chemists, Engineers, Inventors and Specialists - Drohobycz AY
Jewish Employees - (24 Nov 1943) A
Jewish Employees - Drohobycz Central Warehouse (26 Nov 1943) BH
Jewish Employees - "Drohobycz East" Refinery (18 Oct 1943) BE
Jewish Employees - Karpathen Oil AG, Nafta Refinery, Drohobycz BD
Jewish Employees - Karpathen Oil AG, Nafta Refinery, Drohobycz (26 Nov 1943) BG
Karpathen Oil AG - List I BC
List I AX
List II (part 1) C
List II (part 2) D
Men - Jewish Prisoners Transferred From Boryslaw and Drohobycz (14 Apr 1944) BI
Women - Jewish Prisoners Transferred From Boryslaw and Drohobycz (14 Apr 1944)          BJ

DATABASE FIELDS

The fields in the database are as follows:

In the sublists there were six different fields for occupations:

The first two of these fields (BERUF and ERLENTER BERUF) are assumed to represent the profession of the individual before their transfer to the labor camps, while the remaining occupation fields are assumed to be their occupations or activities assigned to them in the camps. These six fields were consolidated into three fields ("Trained Profession", "Assigned Profession", and "Alternate Assigned Profession") in the database. Any values in the BERUF or ERLERNTER BERUF fields appear in the "Trained Profession" field in the database. Values in any of the other original occupation fields were assigned to the "Assigned Profession" field. In a few cases there were values in more than one of the last 4 original occupation fields. In these cases, the second value was assigned to the "Alternate Assigned Profession" field.

For translations of the values in the occupation fields, see the JewishGen Infofile on German occupational terms at http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/GermanOccs.htm.

Acknowledgements

The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of Yad Vashem (Collection # M 04, Group 106) under the terms of the data sharing agreement between Yad Vashem and JewishGen, through its Research Division.

This information is accessible to you today thanks to the effort of the following JewishGen volunteers who are responsible for the data entry and validation of this file: Carole Feinberg (project coordinator), Stephanie Kaye, Barbara Ringel, Jean Rosenbaum, Merv Rosenbaum, Sam Schleman, Alex Sharon, Nancy Siegel, Philip Silverman, Avraham Steinberg, and Moishe Steinberg.  The German Occupations Table was prepared by Nolan Altman, Edward Mitelsbach, and Kurt Friedlaender.

And finally, 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.

Zvi Bernhardt and Nolan Altman
January, 2004

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Last updated 11 June 2004 by WSB