Jewish Concentration Camps
Concentration camps are internment centers established to confine minority and national groups and political prisoners. During World War II the Nazi government of Germany administered several concentration camps and relocation facilities. The camps were of two general types:
- Death or extermination camps where virtually everyone who arrived was immediately killed.
- Camps where people who arrived were either immediately killed or assigned to labor camps.
Camp officials kept records of Jews who were used for slave labor. Some of the concentration camp records that survived the war were seized by British, Soviet, and U.S. military forces. In the United States these records can be found at:
- United States Holocaust Research Institute
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, D.C. 20024-2150
- National Archives and Records Administration
and 8th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20408
Documents of camps in Poland are found in the Polish State Archives, the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, and in archives of the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Owicim and the Majdanek Museum Archives in Lublin. There are also university libraries, regional museums, local archives, collection of private individuals, and other sources from concentration camps.
At Auschwitz: 400,000 survived selection, 905,000 did not. The names of 230,000 survivors are known. Almost all of the Auschwitz records were destroyed by the retreating Germans. The names of the survivors that are known are primarily from records of other camps which included information that the prisoner originally came from Auschwitz.
There are a few databases on the Internet with information about people in concentration camps, and more information is being added. See the following web sites for information:
This site has information from yizkor books, including a list of Austrian Jews in concentration camps.
This site is for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Under the topic "Collections and Archives" is a searchable database of prisoner registration forms from Auschwitz.
The Family History Library has some concentration camp records. For example, death registration records from the Mauthausen, Austria, camps are available on microfilm:
- Totenbuch, Konzentrationslager Mauthausen, Jan. 7, 1939–Apr. 29, 1945 (Death Register, Concentration Camp Mathausen, Jan. 7, 1939–Apr. 29, 1945). Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 19–. (FHL film 0812876–0812877.)
Records associated with concentration camps and Nazi persecution of Jews are discussed in "Holocaust, Jewish (1939–1945)" in this outline. An example of these, which is listed in the catalog under Concentration Camps is:
- War Crimes Case Files, 1945–1959. Suitland, Maryland: National Archives and Record Administration, 1992–1994. (On 45 FHL films beginning with number 1788042.)
Check for similar types of records in the Family History Library Catalog.