Destroyed identities – the digital reconstruction of Auschwitz-Birkenau victims’ data December 27, 2019

I ran across this recently – Destroyed identities – the digital reconstruction of Auschwitz-Birkenau victims’ data December 27, 2019:,1398.html. A long article, but this should give you an understanding of the task they are looking to achieve.

More than 1,200,000 entries from the post-camp documentation have been created by the Digital Repository of the Memorial Site. So far, more than 60 per cent of the 400,000 prisoners registered in the German Nazi concentration camp have been identified.

One of the most important goals of the Repository is to collect dispersed documentation of transport lists to Auschwitz-Birkenau. ‘We must remember that about 900,000 Jews deported in mass transports from German-occupied Europe – women, children, and men – were murdered in the gas chambers immediately upon arrival at the camp without registration. There are no post-camp records of them. Transport lists may help us to establish their names,” said the Director of the Museum, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński.

At the moment, the existing database, which contains information on persons registered in Auschwitz, is being merged with the data from the transport lists. Consequently, as early as in May 2020, the search results at will be enriched with over 420,000 names from the transport lists of Jews deported to the camp.

It was meant to be total extermination – apart from physical annihilation in gas chambers and crematorium ovens, the plan also included the extermination of the identity and memory of the victims. Before the liberation of the camp in January 1945, the SS authorities ordered the destruction of all documentation created during the operation of Auschwitz. According to estimates, over 90% of the source materials were destroyed.

‘For more than 20 years, we have been carrying out tedious digitisation work aimed at the one hand at preserving the source data – archives, and on the other hand at restoring the names of the victims. The work of the Digital Repository does not focus on documents, but on people, names, numbers, dates of birth and any other often very fragile traces of people. Those who were torn out of their daily lives by violence, who were led to suffering and death. The Digital Repository’s records of the names of Auschwitz prisoners do not only serve as a source of research and education activities but above all to commemorate all those imprisoned and murdered,’ Krzysztof Antończyk, head of the Digital Repository, emphasised.



About ICT Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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