Gurs Deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau
(As Reported in the Aufbau Newspaper)

Introduction By Dr. Chantal Simon

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database

Background

The Aufbau Newspaper

The Aufbau Newspaper was started in 1934. It originated as a 12 page newsletter, published in New York, for the German-Jewish club. Printed in German, it was full of advice for new German Jewish immigrants arriving in the United States. The Aufbau flourished and developed, starting to publish news for its exiled German Jewish readers in 1936. It became more widely read, circulating throughout the United States. With news from German Jewish refugee communities elsewhere in the United Kingdom, South Africa, South America, and even further afield, Aufbau became a 'must-read' for those anxious for news about the situation in Europe and their families spread across the world.

When World War II broke out, the Aufbau became an authoritative source of information on the Jewish situation in Germany. Its detailed reports and lists were later used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. After the war, the paper helped those trying to relocate family and friends by running notices in its "searching for" and "saved" columns. The paper still runs these columns today.

The Gurs Internment Camp

The Gurs Internment Camp was the largest internment camp in the South of France. It was constructed in a month and a half on eighty hectares of land on the heath land of Gurs. The internment camp originally had about four hundred huts and was enclosed by a double barbed wire fence. It was opened in 1939 to house refugees and soldiers from the Spanish Civil War. In 1940, the French started sending 'undesirables' there, including refugees, French and Basque political activists. Many internees perished as a result of harsh living conditions.

The Statute on Jews, issued on the 3rd October 1940, led to their large-scale internment from the Autumn of 1940. Gurs became home to many Jewish natives of France, Baden in Germany and Jewish refugees from central Europe. Although Gurs was always French-run, and many internees did gain right of passage from there to Portugal and on to South Africa, Chile and the USA. between August 1942 and March 1943, six convoys took several thousand internees from Gurs to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Most did not survive.

The lists of these deportees to Gurs were published in the Aufbau Newspaper and this database is a transcript of those lists.

Database

This database includes the names of 2,007 people deported from Gurs to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The fields for this database are as follows:

Acknowledgments

The information contained in this database was indexed from the Aufbau issues detailed in the database. The donor compiled the list and donated it to JewishGen for publication in its Holocaust Database.

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.

Nolan Altman
June, 2009


Searching the Database

This database is searchable via JewishGen's Holocaust Database.


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Last Update: 07 June 2009 by MFK