Prior to the Nazi rise to power, Breslau had one of the largest Jewish communities in Germany, with 20,202 members in 1933. By 1939 this had dwindled to 10,309. Many "Polish" Jews were expelled to Poland in 1938 and deportations of the remaining Jews began in 1941 and 1942. Three of the early transports, with about 1,800 Jews, were sent initially to the neighboring Silesian towns of Tormersdorf, Grüssau and Riebnig. Subsequently from these interim camps, those Jews who had not already died were sent on to Theresienstadt (1,050 Jews), "nach dem Osten" (to the East, unspecified, but probably death camps) (546 Jews) and to Auschwitz (98 Jews).
Alfred Konieczny in his excellent book, "Tormersdorf, Grüssau, Riebnig, Obozy przejsciowe dla Zydow Dolnego Slaska z lat 1941-1943" (Wroclaw 1997 Wydawnictwo Universytetu Wroclowskiergo), describes in detail the events which led up to the deportations and includes the deportation lists used, in revised form in this material.
The name lists are organized by family name, given name, maiden name, date of birth, place of birth, and place of residence – in some cases the deportees came from neighboring towns. The is followed by a month citation, probably the month in which the deportees were collected, and a notes field which lists titles, dates of death, etc.
This collection does not include information as to where each deportee was ultimately sent. In the case of those sent on to Theresienstadt this information can be obtained from Theresienststädter Gedenkbuch, which lists all German Jews sent there. When issued, the German government's revised Gedenkbuch, which will include Silesia, may be helpful in identifying where others were sent.
There were a number of other transports from Breslau, some of which are included in the Captured German Records Collection held at the United States National Archives and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is hoped that these lists will ultimately also be computerized and made available.
This information is accessible to you today thanks to the efforts of Peter W. Landé and several volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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