Polish Jewish Prisoners of War Registration Cards

Introduction By Peter Landé

· Background
· Database
· Acknowledgements
· Searching the Database


The Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw provides a small but unique picture of Polish Jews, in this case as soldiers captured by the Germans.  The collection consists of registration cards for 2,939 soldiers, almost all of whom were Jewish, mostly from Eastern Poland, held by the Germans at various Wehrmacht camps, which are identified on each card.  (While all were Polish soldiers, some were born outside Poland, including Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Belarus).  The cards themselves do not establish their ultimate fates, but in all probability, they were later sent on to concentration camps.  A random check indicated that most if not all of these names are not included in ITS (International Tracing Service) records.

The collection is unique in that, in addition to the usual information such as name and date and place of birth, the cards usually include a mug shot and a fingerprint, as well as military rank, previous civilian profession, given name of father (sometimes with local address), and mother's maiden name.

Unfortunately, there are a number of problems involved in accessing/utilizing this information.  First, the JHI index, which is the basis of the list, is limited to family and given name, year and city of birth and father's given name.  Second, many of the cards are handwritten and difficult to read.  Third, in many cases there is more than one registration card and the information on a single individual is contradictory.  Finally, the JHI editors who prepared the finding aid often changed the spelling of names and places of birth as they saw fit.  This is particularly a problem with regard to places outside Poland, where names were sometimes omitted or given in their Polish spelling even though the soldier gave a "foreign" spelling, e.g. Wien was changed to Wielun.  For all of the above reasons, researchers should be flexible/imaginative as they consider whether a name is of interest to them.


This database includes the names of 2,937 Jewish prisoners of war.

The fields for this database are as follows:


The information contained in this database was indexed from the files of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM RG-15.059M; 8 reels).  The original source of the document was the Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw.  Copies of individual cards will be sent in response to requests sent to the Archives, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, D.C. 20024 or by email at USHMM.org.

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 the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.

Nolan Altman
December 2008

Searching the Database

This database is searchable via JewishGen's Holocaust Database.

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Last Update: 28 Dec 2008 by MFK