How should I interpret this Buchenwald camp card?

7

On Fold3, I found an Inmate Card showing a late cousin who was imprisoned in Buchenwald. He returned safe after the war, and died in 1961, but the card raises a question here, because it has a stamped date and text referring to another camp, which is Sachsenhausen.

The card can be seen in full for free (with registration) at Fold3:

enter image description here

What I like to know is the meaning of the stamped text 6.2.45 KL Sachsenhausen. Does it mean that he came from Sachsenhausen, or was he sent there at this date?

Enno Borgsteede

Posted 2016-02-28T22:23:50.080

Reputation: 1 385

Did you make any progress on this issue? – lejonet – 2016-04-06T20:55:44.497

Not really, because I didn't have time to search for Sachsenhausen records. The most important issue for me was how to interpret this card, and your answer was perfect for that. Thanks. – Enno Borgsteede – 2016-04-09T14:20:23.307

Answers

7

I understand it as follows: He arrived in Buchenwald 26 January 1945 ("26.1.45 eingel.") and was send to Sachsenhausen on 6 February 1945. This is however not verifiable just from the card. The transport might not have happened.

You could send an inquiry to the memorial site of the former Buchenwald Concentration Camp for additional information. You could do the same for the camp in Sachsenhausen, see their archive.

The memorial site at Buchenwald also recommends to contact the International tracing service in Bad Arolsen for research about concentration camp prisoners.

lejonet

Posted 2016-02-28T22:23:50.080

Reputation: 5 041

4

To put this card in context, we can look at the information pane on Fold 3. This image is from NARA microfilm publication A3355, roll 0012B, Miscellaneous Lists and Registers of German Concentration Camp Inmates, Originated or Collected by the International Tracing Service described as "Lists and Registers of German Concentration Camp Inmates, compiled 1946-1958, documenting the period 1942-1945."

These are part of a larger group of seized records, Record Group 242. A3355 consists of 189 rolls, and a roll list is available from NARA (offline). However, a roll list is available from the website of JewishGen.org, as part of Peter W. Lande's article The "Captured German Records" Collection. Be sure to read the fine print (it is a tiny font) which shows the different numbering system between NARA's copy of the microfilms versus those held at the USHMM. NARA roll 12 is part of this group of Buchenwald records:

Reels 10A-66 A3355 at NARA Buchenwald

This material was collected after WWII and consists of a mixture of Buchenwald concentration records on prisoners and post-war interviews of survivors. The entire collection is alphabetical with males listed in USHMM Reels 29-87 (NARA 10A-62), and females USHMM Reels 88-93 (NARA 62a-66).

The information on each prisoner/survivor varies widely, ranging from simple basic information such as name, date of birth, category of prisoner, and fate e.g., deceased or transferred, to detailed information on the individual and his/her family and previous places where that person had been held. The number of files is not known but it clearly does not include all prisoners/survivors.

The collection is generally alphabetical though occasional files are out of order, two reels (88 and 89) have been reversed, and Reels 66 and 67 are intermingled. All categories of prisoners are included and these have not been separated as is true of many other collections. Legibility is variable with the bulk of the USHMM copies in poor shape, while the NARA copies are generally legible.

As you can see from the info pane on Fold3, Roll (12B NARA) is BLUM-BRAN.

Earlier in the article, Lande says:

There are no camp records per se for such famous concentration camps as Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Stutthof (there is a separate collection for that camp) and Neuengamme, much less the "death camps" in Eastern Poland such as Sobibor. However, this does not mean that there is no information on camps not directly included in the collection. This is true since the Germans constantly transferred prisoners from camp to camp, so that there are many lists of transfers to and from Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück and other camps, i.e., other than the death camps.

Unfortunately, if no records for Sachsenhausen survived, then we can't look for a corresponding arrival or departure record from there.

I was not able to find a Reference Information Paper that describes this microfilm publication on NARA's website. However, you can download RIP #(115) The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Complex: World War II and Postwar Records. Starting on printed page 328 (page 338 of the PDF), there is a list of the materials from that camp. On page 331 (page 341 of the PDF), items numbered 59 and following indicate that arrival lists and transfer lists to and from Buchenwald exist for Mauthausen. If you could locate a finding aid or discussion of the records for this camp which included a list or register from Mauthausen, and find the corresponding record for that prisoner in this collection from Fold3, that might give you enough context to interpret your cousin's record.

You could also contact NARA via the links on the page http://www.archives.gov/contact/ or email them at inquire@nara.gov.

Jan Murphy

Posted 2016-02-28T22:23:50.080

Reputation: 22 994

2

I believe the notation on your card "Kriegsdientzeit: 26.1.1945 Bu" means that your cousin was serving time at Buchenwald on January 26, 1945. He was sent to Sachenhausen on February 6, 1945. Note that on the line with the Sachenhausen stamp, the notation is "Wohnort: Amsterdam" (residence Amsterdam). This has nothing to do with which camp he was sent to.

I have a similar card from Buchenwald that I found on Fold3 for Marian Noiszewski. Marian's card has the following notation:

Verhaftet an: 7.9.44 wo: Warschau Arrested on September 7, 1944 in Warsaw

  1. Mal eingeliefert: 12.9.44 KL Da First time transported on September 12, 1944 to Dachau

  2. Mal eingeliefert: 25.9.1944 KL Na Second time transported on September 25, 1944 to Natzweiler.

Under this, on the next line is written 26.12.44 Bu Which I think means the third time transported on Dec 26, 1944 to Buchenwald.

There is a stamp at an angle across this last notation that reads "26.12.1944" KL Natzweiler"

I think this all means that Marian was arrested on September 7, 1944. He was sent to Dachau on September 12, 1944, then sent to Natzweiler on September 25, 1944. Finally he was sent to Buchenwald on December 26, 1944.

Colleen

Colleen

Posted 2016-02-28T22:23:50.080

Reputation: 21