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The new arrivals...


One of the partially preserved documents stored in the archives of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum includes the Lists of Newcomers (Zugangslisten), which contain basic personal data of the prisoners registered in KL Auschwitz. One of the Lists contains the names of prisoners brought within one transport. Such lists of newcomers were made based on the Personal sheets (Häftlingspersonalbogen) of the prisoners, filled in during their admission to the camp and arranged according to the camp numbers. They were drawn up in 12-14 copies. One copy of each list was stored in a closed cabinet in the admissions office, while the other ones were passed to all branches of the camp administration. Other documents were prepared on this basis, recording everything that happened with the prisoner from the very moment that he crossed the gate of the camp until the end of his stay in the camp. No one apart from the political branch was entitled to make changes of any kind, e.g. involving the spelling of names.

The lists were written by prisoners working in the admissions office (Aufnahmebüro), of the political branch (Politische Abteilung). Initially, the admissions office was located in block 1 in Auschiwtz I, then in a wooden barrack, on the site of the administrative block. Later it was transferred to the guardroom (Blockführerstube), located next to the gate with the inscription Arbeit macht frei. The admissions office was headed, successively, by SS-Oberscharführer Wilhelm Edmund Clausen, SS-Oberscharführer Hans Stark and SS-Oberscharführer Josef Houstek. Several prisoners worked on drawing up lists at various times, including Kazimierz Smoleń (no. 1327), Karol Bock (no. 486), Otto Szubert (no. 7595) Jan Trembaczowski (no. 9504), and Erwin Bartel (no. 17044).

The lists of newcomers were written according to the order of the numbers issued. In addition to the number of the prisoner (“Häftl. No.” – Häftlingsnummer), they include first and last name (“Zu- und Vorname”), date of birth (“Geb. Dat.” – Geburtsdatum) and place of birth (“Geg. Ort.” – Geburtsort), occupation (“Beruf”), nationality and the category to which the prisoner was assigned in the camp. The occupation was entered according to what the prisoners stated. The headings above the list of names included the date of arrival of the transport and the name of the facility which sent the prisoners to the camp. The list of prisoners was followed by the signature of the political branch manager or of the head of the admissions office. The lists of newcomers were typewritten in German on loose A4 sheets.


Partially preserved lists of newcomers include information on the prisoners brought to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp between 7 January 1941 and 22 December 1941. During the registration they were assigned numbers from 8235 to 25015. Such lists of newcomers were drawn up in the camp for both men and women.


In September 1944, prisoners working in the admissions office of the camp Gestapo secretly drew up copies of the Lists of newcomers. They were taken outside the camp by a prisoner called Reinhold Puchała (no. 1172), who was then working on the construction of barracks in Kochłowice, near Katowice. When leaving the camp to work, he handed copies to his sister, who gave the copies of the Lists of newcomers to the mother of Kazimierz Smoleń, Helena Smoleń, who hid them. After the war, in the presence of a representative of the Cracow District Commission for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes, she handed them to Tadeusz Wąsowicz.

Database: “Zugang”

On the basis of partially preserved Lists of newcomers, in the 90s the “Zugang” database was drawn up with 16,680 personal entries. The unified database was incorporated into the Central Register of Prisoners held by the Digital Repository of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. In recent years, the lists of newcomers have been scanned.

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