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Totenbuch - Auschwitz III

The Book of...
The Book of...

Description of the document

The Book of Deceased Prisoners of KL Auschwitz III-Monowitz, kept in archives, pertains to male prisoners, who died in the KL Auschwitz camp. This document has a form of an A5 notebook, and is composed of two parts. In the first part of the Book of Deceased from Monowitz, the information were recorded by the main writer of the hospital, Stefan Heymann (No 68488), while in the second part by Felix Rausch (No 68626), who played a function of a second writer in the hospital office. The first part is prepared on pages with small, and the second with wide ruling. Both parts of the book are kept manually. The records are kept with ink, ordered chronologically.

There are manually prepared columns on 68 pages, where each writer noted basic information about the deceased prisoners. The first part of the Book of deceased includes: the date of transferring the body ("Datum"); prisoner number (Hftlg. Nr” – Häftling Nummer); the block number, where the prisoner was kept before the death („Block. “); number of the block where they died („Gestorben in Block“). Second part of the book includes more information about the deceased prisoner, the date of transporting the corpse ("Transp."); prisoner number and their category ("Häft. Art Nr. “); first and last name („Name“); block number („Block“), date and place of birth („Geburtstag. u. Ort“– Geburtstag und Ortstag); time of death (literally: when they died – „wann gest. “ – wann gestorben); place of death (literally: where they died –„wo gest. “ – wo gestorben); reason of death („Todesursache“).

Time of preparation

The Book of Deceased Prisoners of KL Auschwitz III-Monowitz embraces the period between 16.11.1924 and 15.01.1945. It includes 1858 records, referring to male prisoners of various nationalities, deported to KL Auschwitz between 3.02.1940 and 3.12.1944.

History of retaining a document

The main writer of the hospital, Stefan Heymann, helped to save the Book of Deceased from Monowitz. In January 1945, before evacuation of the camp, he hid documents from Häftlingskrankenbau nearby the hospital barrack.

 After the war, the Book was found by a resident of Monowitz, Władysłał Bartula, who after the release came back to Monowitz, and occupied one of the post-camp barracks, built on his parcel. As it turned out, during the war that barrack served as a camp hospital. In April 1947, while cleaning the septic tank located nearby, he discovered a metal tin with documents from the camp hospital in Monowitz. There was the Book of Deceased of KL Monowitz among the found documentation. The following day, he brought it to the national Museum in Auschwitz, after what in 1948 the documentation was handed to the District Commission for the Prosecution of German Crimes in Cracow. On 8.11.1978, the Commission for the Prosecution of Hitler's Crimes in Poland handed the Book of Deceased Prisoners of KL Auschwitz III-Monowitz to the archives of the National Museum Auschwitz Birkenau in Auschwitz.

A database:

In 2002, works on complete digitalization of the Book of Deceased Prisoners of KL Auschwitz III-Monowitz were commenced in the Digital Repository. At first, the document was scanned. Afterwards, all records from the Book served to create a database, which includes 1858 personal records. Another stage of work consisted in verification of records with the original, and complementation of missing data. During the next phase, iconographic material in a form of scans of the Book was added to separate records. The developed database was incorporated into the Central Register of Prisoners, kept by the Digital Repository of National Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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