MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM

AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

FORMER GERMAN NAZI
CONCENTRATION AND EXTERMINATION CAMP

Staerkebuch

The Daily Count Book was written by the prisoners-scribes. It was kept in the chief writing chamber on the ground floor in the block of flats no. 24 located in the main camp. After each camp assembly – in the morning, in the evening and at midday in the initial period – the writers recorded the total number of prisoners in this file. All the fugitives, or prisoners who were deceased, transferred, or released in a particular day were mentioned in it individually including basic information about each of them.  The Daily Count Book was kept by several writers at various times: Józef Dziura (no. 1148), Jan Dziopek (no. 5636), Jan Olszowski (no. 6157), Roman Frankiewicz (no. 9430), Leopold Paździora (no. 39232), Stefan Ajdukiewicz (his number has not been established).

The file consisted of several volumes and two of them have survived in the original. They are stored in the Archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Both of them are bound in green covers with some stickers on the cover which inform us about its content. The sheets inside are A4 size and they are lined. The entries are made in black and red ink. The pages of the file are numbered: in volume I from 1 to 562; in volume II from 1 to 384.           The following information about each prisoner was entered into particular blanks: the ordinal number, prisoner’s category (Haftart), prisoner’s number, name and surname. A profession was mentioned additionally in some cases.

Each new entry started with the word “Stärke”. Except for the title, the writer made a note concerning the amount of alive male prisoners, who were at that time at the main camp and at the male camp in Birkenau. Then he has listed names and surnames of the deceased prisoners who were registered on the basis of their death certificates (Totenmeldung) drawn up by the camp hospital. Among this group there were also prisoners which were put to death with a phenol injection, shot by The Wall of Death and starved to death in a bunker. In the case of large executions, the deceased were assigned to particular days. Subsequently the writer registered the transferred prisoners. In many cases, however, the transfer entry is not equivalent to the fact that the prisoner was actually transferred to the other camp or prison. There were some cases in which the so-called transferred prisoners were taken away to the appointed town with the aim of executing a sentence. Afterwards the writer listed those who were released from the camp. Each release was registered on the basis of a command of the camp manager who had received those decisions from the political branch of a camp. At the end he registered the fugitives from KL Auschwitz. However, the fugitives were removed from the record of the camp after three days.

Creation

The preserved two volumes of The Daily Count Book cover the period from 19.01.1942 to 17.06.1942 – volume I as well as from 17.06.1942 to 19.08.1942 – volume II.

Preservation

When the camp authorities were burning the files in January 1945, the Daily Count Book was hidden by Erwin Olszówka (no.1141) at the chief writers’ chamber. On 10 June 1961 The Main Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes in Poland handed over both volumes of the Daily Count Book to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim.

Database: “Stärke”

The “Stärke” database was drawn up on the basis of the two preserved volumes of the book. It contains 26,200 personal records of prisoners who died, ran away, were released or transferred during the period from 19 January 1942 to 19 August 1942. The unified database has been included in the Central Register of Prisoners kept by the Digital Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.

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