The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum is providing access to these databases, containing partial information on prisoners of and deportees to Auschwitz, as a way of commemorating the victims of the Nazis. At present, information on about 180 thousand registered Auschwitz prisoners is available online.
We should remember that the Nazis destroyed most of the documents they created and that a list with the names of all Auschwitz victims does not exist. If the name of a person looked for does not appear in this database there is still a chance it is included in other documents, which are not online yet. To find out more you should contact the Office for Information on Former Prisoners.
About the available data
Since 1991, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has been creating a data base containing source data on the victims of the camp. It is based on original SS records. It will probably never be possible to compile the names of all the people deported to Auschwitz, since the Archive holds only about ten percent of the documentation created in Auschwitz. The great majority of the records were destroyed on orders from the SS; other archives around the world hold a small portion of the documentation. The data that we are making accessible is more than a valuable source of historical information. It is also a memorial to the people whose tragic fates are enmeshed in the history of the Auschwitz camp.
The currently available databases contain information from the following collections:
The Digital Repository—Prisoners of and Deportees to Auschwitz
There are about 650 thousand individual personal records, compiled on the basis of 70 separate collections of original documents, in the Digital Repository at present. 281,134 entries are searchable online. It should be clearly stated that the number of records is not equal to the number of prisoners. There were more than 400 thousand prisoners registered in the camp. The names of many prisoners are repeated, sometimes with variant spellings, in different document collections. In addition, many of the documents we deal with are incomplete. There is ongoing authentication of all the available data about people imprisoned in the camp. In future years, more document collections will enhance the resources available online.
Additional information can be obtained by writing to the Digital Repository.
This data base uses the partially preserved Death Books (Sterbebücher) of Auschwitz Concentration Camp prisoners. The 46 volumes of political department (camp Gestapo) record the deaths of almost 69,000 prisoners who were registered in the camp and who died between July 29, 1941 and December 31, 1943. Their names have been entered in the data base.
Limited number of records
When using the data base, please remember that the death certificates cover only registered prisoners who died in the period mentioned in the previous paragraph. The overwhelming majority of victims, mostly Jewish, perished in the gas chambers immediately after arrival, without being entered in the camp records, and without their deaths being noted in the German documents (see FAQ - frequently asked questions).
Sample death certificate
Below is the death certificate issued by the Politische Abteilung (camp Gestapo) for Auschwitz Concentration Camp prisoner Janusz Pogonowski. Prisoner no. 253, Pogonowski (who went by the name “Skrzetuski” in the camp) arrived on the first transport of political prisoners from the prison in Tarnów on June 14, 1940.
He was an active member of the underground camp resistance. He was hanged during a public execution, along with eleven other prisoners from the surveyors labor detail, on July 19, 1943. This was a reprisal for the escape of four prisoners from this labor detail and for contacts with civilians outside the camp.
His heroic behavior at the time of his execution remained etched in the memory of the prisoners. Without waiting for camp commandant Rudolf Höss to finish reading out the sentence, Janusz Pogonowski kicked the stool out from under his feet and hanged himself. He was 21.
The death certificates contain the following fields:
Death certificate of Janusz Pogonowski
- Certificate no.
- date of issue
- first and last names
- place of residence
- date of death, time of death, place of death – always Kasernestrasse Auschwitz (Barracks Street, Auschwitz), not the camp (!)
- date and place of birth
- father’s first and last names
- mother’s first and last names
- spouse’s first and last name
- pronouncing physician
- reason of death (fictitious)
The “denomination” field in the death certificate of Janusz Pogonowski reads “Katholisch”, other documents may contain one of the following religious affiliations:
- Bibelforscher - Jehovah’s Witnessböhmisch-mährische Religion - Czech-Moravian religion
- buddhistisch - Buddhist
- evangelisch - Ewangelical-Lutheran
- glaubenslos - Atheist
- gottgläubig - Believes in God
- grekokatholisch - Greek Catholic
- griechischorthodox - Greek Orthodox
- husit - Hussite
- katholisch - Catholic
- konfessionslos - Unaffiliate
- mosaisch - Mosaic (i.e., Jewish)
- moslemisch - Muslim
- orthodox - Eastern Orthodox
- religionslos - Agnostic
- russischorthodox - Russian Orthodox
- unbekannte Religion - Religion unknown
An analysis of the “denomination” item shows that the majority of the registered prisoners in the Death Books were Roman Catholic (31814 persons - 46,8%) and Jewish (“Mosaic”) (29125 persons - 42,8%). Others belonged to the following denominations: Greek Orthodox (3,6%), Evangelical-Lutheran (3,4%), and Greek Catholic (1,6%). This item is left blank on 1,275 (1,9%) death certificates.
The Gypsy Family Camp Record Books
The Nazis entered information on the Roma prisoners in sector BIIe of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camp in two Record Books. The origins of this so-called Zigeunerfamilienlager are connected with the deportation by the Nazis of the first transport of Roma from Germany on February 26, 1943.
A total of 20,943 Roma from various German-occupied countries are entered in the Books. They included 10,849 woman and girls and 10,094 men and boys. Over 10,000 of the people registered in the Books were children and young people aged under 15. Over 370 children were born in the camp; the Books note the death of 350 of them. It is estimated that at least 21,000 of the 23,000 Roma deported to Auschwitz were murdered.
The Polish political prisoner Tadeusz Joachimowski (no. 3720), assigned to be a “scribe” or “writer” in the “family camp,” secretly removed the Books from the prisoners’ scribe chamber in July 1944, just before the liquidation of the family camp on August 2, 1944. Joachimowski and two fellow prisoners buried the documents on the grounds of the family camp. The Books were dug up in 1949. The Gypsy camp Record Books were thus saved from destruction by the Nazis. Now the Books have been preserved in archival form in the Archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, creating a data base that will be useful to researchers and historians. In 1992, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the German Sinti and Roma Documentation and Culture Center in Heidelberg, Germany, published the Memorial Book of Gypsies in Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1992. It contains the names of all the Roma registered in the Zigeunerfamilienlager. Information is included in the following fields: surname, first name, date of birth, place of birth, camp number, category, and a place for “remarks” that usually contains information about death, but sometimes also about transfers, transports, and so on. The original transcription has been preserved. The last field contains information referring to the remarks.
Fragment of the Gypsy Record Books
Terms used in “category”and “remarks” field
Data in the “category” field:
- Z.D.R. - Roma from Germany
- Z.Prot. - Roma from the Protectorate
of Bohemia and Moravia
- Z.Pole - Roma from Poland
- Z.stls. - Stateless Roma
- Z.Franz. - Roma from France
- Z.Holl. - Roma from The Netherlands
- Z.Belg. - Roma from Belgium
|Z.Jug. - Roma from YugoslaviaZ.Kroat. - Roma from CroatiaZ.Ung. - Roma from HungaryZ.Russ. - Roma from RussiaZ.Lit. - Roma from LithuaniaZ.Norw. - Roma from NorwayZ.Span. - Roma from SpainZ.Slov. - Roma from Slovakia|
Entries in the “remarks” field:
- Au., Au.I - Auschwitz I
- Rückv., Rückverl., Rückfällig, - transferred onward
- B.A.II.d, B.II.d - men’s camp
- Gest., Gestorben, +, G. - death
- Sk - penal company
- Birk. - Birkenau
- Netzweiler - Natzweiler camp
|Quarantäne - quarantineTr., Transp., Transport - transport Verl. - transferred toB.II.f - prisoner hospitalZurück - transferred backZug. - new arrivalFKL - women’s camp|
The Memorial Books include information on almost 60 thousand Poles deported to Auschwitz. The contents are based on partially extant archival documents and correspondence with former prisoners and their relatives.
This data is the fruit of years of research by Museum staff and was published from 2000 to 2006 by the Museum in cooperation with the Auschwitz Preservation Society in three Memorial Books:
- Księga Pamięci. Transporty Polaków z Warszawy do KL Auschwitz 1940-1944 [Memorial Book: Transports of Poles from Warsaw to Auschwitz 1940-1944] was published in 2000. It contains approximately 26 thousand entries on men, women, and children from Warsaw and Mazovia, including some 13 thousand deported to Auschwitz from Pawiak prison after being arrested in street roundups or in operations against the resistance movement, and another 13 thousand deported from the transit camp in Pruszków after the fall of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944.
- Księga Pamięci. Transporty Polaków do KL Auschwitz z Krakowa i innych miejscowości Polski południowej 1940-1944 [Memorial Book: Transports of Poles to Auschwitz from Cracow and Other Localities in Southern Poland 1940-1944] was published in 2002. It is dedicated to the approximately 18 thousand Poles sent to Auschwitz by the German Security Police from prisons in Cracow (Montelupich), Tarnów, Wiśnica Nowy, Rzeszów, Muszyna, Nowy Sącz, Sanok, Nowy Targ, and Zakopane. The list opens with the first transport of political prisoners from the prison in Tarnów, made up of 728 people, mostly young Polish patriots. The date of its arrival in Auschwitz, June 14, 1940, is regarded as the date when the camp was founded.
- Transporty Polaków do KL Auschwitz z Radomia i innych miejscowości Kielecczyzny 1940-1944 [Memorial Book: Transports of Poles to Auschwitz from Radom and Other Localities in the Kielce Region 1940-1944] was published in late 2005 and contains information on approximately 16 thousand Poles deported to Auschwitz from the occupation-era Radom District, mainly from the prisons in Radom, Kielce, Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Piotrków, Końskie, Sandomierz, and Pińczów, where they were held after being arrested during roundups, searches, and entrapment operations on the streets, on trains, and at train stations.