Prisoners Hospital block 20 in Auschwitz I
In the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum there is an original Record Book of block 20 hospital. It is a register of male prisoners admitted to the contagious diseases ward in block 20 in the mother camp Auschwitz I.
The document is a wide-ruled-paper notebook, 15 x 20 cm, bound in dark cover. It contains 321 pages. Columns, in which data on the “patients” of block 20 was entered, were filled in by hand. Each page is divided into the following 9 columns: the date of the entry (“Tag”), item no. (“Lf. No..” - Laufende Nummer), prisoner number (“Hftl. No..” - Häftling Nummer), name and surname (“Name u. Vorname” - Name und Vorname), date of birth (“Geburtsdatum”), place of birth (“Geburtsort”), block or subcamp, to which prisoner belonged (“Block”), date of leaving block 20 (“Tag des Abg.” - Tag des Abgang), date of death (“Tag des Todes”), remarks (“Bemerkungen”).
In addition to this basic information, the recorder also noted the nationality of prisoners next to their surnames. The death of the prisoner was marked in the “remarks” column with the “+” symbol. Additionally, every row of a prisoner discharged from the hospital to the camp was coloured with blue crayon, whereas rows of deceased or killed prisoners were coloured red.
The majority of the entries were made by the prisoner Stanisław Głowa (no. 4661), assigned to block 20 as recorder. He was assisted by: Roland Goryczko (no. 34717), Rev. Stefan Szwajnoch (no. 62541) and Władysław Długocki (no. 45667).
The contagious diseases ward housed prisoners suffering from typhus, starvation diarrhea, tuberculosis, meningitis, erysipelas or from general weakness. These prisoners had different fates. Many of them, were chosen to be exterminated in numerous selections made by the Lagerarzt in hospital rooms. They were slain in one room on the ground floor of block 20.
Depending on the time, patients from block 20 were taken care of by, among others: Stanisław Suliborski (no. 2876), Jan Pakowski (no. 8633), Romuald Sztaba (no. 10997), Stanisław Dziurski (no. 13484), Jan Nowak (no. 17380), Stanisław Kłodziński (no. 20019), Józef Mężyk (no. 18858), Jerzy Reichmann (no. 10424), Władysław Fejkiel (no. 5647), Władysław Tondos (no. 18871), Heno.yk Suchnicki (no. 19456), Tadeusz Szymański (no. 11785).
The Record Book of Block 20 hospital is kept in chronological order. It consists of two parts. On the first page there are entries bearing the date of 18.09.1942. The last prisoners noted in this volume were admitted to the ward on 19.03.1943. The other volume covers the period from 21.06.1942 to 27.10.1942.
Document preservation history
On 10.06.1961, the Main Committee for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes in Poland gave the preserved Record Book of Block 20’s hospital to the Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau National Museum in Oświęcim.
Database: “HKB 20”
On the basis of the original Record Book of the hospital in block 20, the “HKB 20” database containing 5470 records was created in 1999. After scanning the data from the Record Book, individual records were attached to the corresponding pages, making the illegible entries decipherable. Then, every record was checked with the original and corrections were made. The database developed this way was incorporated into the Central Register of Prisoners kept by the Digital Repository of the Auschwitz-Birkenau National Museum.