Database on victims of Auschwitz death camp being updated - museum

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Names of over 60 percent of the 400,000 prisoners registered in the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz have been established, announced the Auschwitz Museum on Friday. Work on the database is being carried out by the memorial site's digital repository.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is providing access to its database, containing partial information on prisoners of and deportees to Auschwitz, as a way of commemorating the victims of the Nazis. Museum Director Piotr Cywinski stated that the repository has already processed more than 1.2 million entries from post-camp documentation.

He added that one of the most important goals of the repository was to gather dispersed documentation containing transport lists to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He pointed out that about 900,000 Jews, deported in mass transports from European territories occupied by Germany, were murdered in gas chambers immediately after arriving at the camp without being registered. "There was no post-camp documentation about them. The transport lists will help to determine their names," he said.

According to a communique from the memorial site's press service, the database containing the names of the registered prisoners and is being consolidated with the transport lists. "Thanks to this, already in May, 2020, the search results on the site will be expanded to include 420,000 names from transport lists of Jews deported to the camp," noted the statement.

Pawel Sawicki, a press office representative, indicated that before the liberation of the camp in 1945, the great majority of the records were destroyed on orders from the SS. According to estimates, over 90 percent of the documents produced in the camp were destroyed.

Currently, the repository's database includes over 100,000 places of birth or residence of the deportees. Citizens of several dozen countries are registered.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later and became the main site for the mass extermination of Jews. There was also a network of subcamps in the complex. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war.

The camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945, and declared a national memorial site in 1947.