MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Leichenhalle

The mortuary book...
Leichenhalle (The...
Leichenhalle plan -...
Block 28 Auschwitz...

Description

The mortuary book was kept by Stanisław Ryszler (no. 16439), a kapo of Leichenträger kommando. Leichentrager kommando was responsible for taking corpses of dead prisoners or prisoners killed in the camp hospital, prisoners shot against the Death Wall, prisoners hanged at the assembly square or prisoners who died in residual blocks to the mortuary located in the basement of Block 28. The mortuary book witnessed the numbers of almost 23,000 dead prisoners, whose corpses were collected in the mortuary before they were cremated. Before any assembly, records of the mortuary book were compared with records of the death book kept by the office of the hospital.

The mortuary book is a small notebook in hard cover. A recorder made columns in which he wrote: prison number of a dead prisoner, date of transfer of a corpse to the mortuary, and place (number of a block or kommando) where a prisoner died or were killed.

Creation

The preserved mortuary book consists of four volumes and covers the period from 07/10/1941 to 31/08/1943. Volume I contains records from 07/10/1941 to 28/02/1942 and volume II contains records from 01/03/1942 to 30/09/1942. Volume III covers the period from 30/10/1942 to 11/12/1942 and volume IV – from 12/12/1942 to 31/08/1943.

Preservation

Copies of the original mortuary book were secretly made by Stefam Markowski (no. 64914) who worked in Leichenträger kommando. He handed over the copied fragments of the book to Stanisław Kłodziński (no. 2019), the originator of this mission, who was a nurse in the camp hospital at the infectious diseases ward in Block 20. His collaborator was Józef Róg (no. 6644) who worked in a kommando outside the camp. He smuggled these copies attached to his shank. After a certain time, the original mortuary book was smuggled along the same route. The documents taken from KL Auschwitz were sent to Teresa Lasocka-Estreicher in Cracow.

            There also survived a coded secret message of Stanisław Kłodziński to Teresa Lasocka-Estreicher dated 20/11/1944. This secret message says about sending the mortuary book outside the camp. It reads as follows: The books (…) the numbers themselves stand for the dead, murdered and killed by phenol injections, who went through Leichenhalle, you have four of them.

Database: “Leichenhalle

Based on the preserved four volumes of the mortuary book, a database was created. It contains 22,941 records from 07/10/1941 to 31/08/1943.

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