The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/press/death-books.002



Macabre Bureaucracy of SS Shown in Published Lists of Dead
 By LAURINDA KEYS
 Associated Press Writer
     FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The macabre, meticulous bureaucracy of
 mass murder became public knowledge Wednesday with publication of
 the "Death Books from Auschwitz."
     It is the first widely available listing of people killed at the
 Nazi death camp.
     The SS officers who ran Auschwitz detailed the doomed prisoners'
 births, home towns, and families records, along with the death
 dates. They lied about the cause of death.
     "The Gestapo constructed these death book pages to look like
 normal municipal records of people who happened to have died on
 Barracks Street in the town of Auschwitz," wrote editors Sibylle
 Goldmann and Jan Parcer in the introduction.
     The three-volume set holds "the death records of murdered
 prisoners, based on the partially preserved original death books
 which the Auschwitz concentration camp authorities compiled with
 incredible meticulousness," wrote to Poland's foreign minister,
 and Auschwitz survivor, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski in the forward.
     The Nazis listed 400,000 prisoners as having been kept in the
 camp, but more than 1 million, most of them Jews, were taken
 directly from the trains to the gas chambers. Their names never
 recorded.
     The SS commanders did record the names of 69,000 people who died
 at the camp. The records were used in 1964 in the prosecution of
 war criminals, but were buried in a KGB archive in Moscow until
 1991.
     In February of that year, researchers from the Auschwitz Museum,
 at the site of the former concentration camp in southern Poland,
 were granted permission from Soviet authorities to examine them.
 Within a year, the new Russian authorities had handed over the
 documents.
 
     (Copyright 1995 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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