The first image is the most basic form of record card held on the ITS database, from which all other information can be gradually followed up. It gives confirmation of the person we are looking for in the form of name, date and place of birth, and last known address.
It also gives a partial address: Amtsgericht Bln. Schöneb; that is, Amtsgericht Schöneberg, Grunewaldstraße 66-67, 10823 Berlin, Germany. It is a district court.
The second image gives the same information but also supplies some hand-written additions.
We can also see the date this form was scanned and uploaded into the ITS database (2013) – little wonder we didn’t find anything 10 years ago, then.
The next image is another page of the same form. I had hoped that this would give us confirmation of whether or not Hermine entered Auschwitz, as shown by the 3 marked boxes, as follows:
- Auschwitz Häftl. P. Bg. = Häftlingspersonalbogen (or Häftlings-Personal-Bogen) – A prisoner registration form (i.e. standardized concentration camp prisoner intake form containing personal, family, arrest, transport and other descriptive information about the prisoner; such forms were typically filled out by prisoner-clerks and then signed by the prisoner near the bottom lefthand corner; the information gathered on such a form was subsequently used to create a Häftlingspersonalkarte [= prisoner registration card]; such forms are found in the Individual Documents sections of some concentration camp record groups of the Incarceration Documents section [e.g. Individual Documents male Buchenwald, current ITS Archives designation: 184.108.40.206], where they are easily searchable by name). See also entries for: “H.P.K.”, “Häftlingspersonalkarte‖ and “v.g.u.”;
- Effekt.Verz = Effekten-Verzeichnis (or Effektenverzeichnis) – A list or register of personal effects (i.e. which were typically seized upon arrival in a concentration camp or other place of incarceration);
- Tod. Meldg. = Todesmeldung – A death notification.
In our case, however, these marks only show that the Auschwitz records were checked, not that anything was found. The uncertainty in this regard continues, then.
The fifth and sixth images depict another search form, again confirming the personal information that allows us to know we have the right person.
The seventh picture is a scan of a letter from Max Heyn (see Werner’s page for more on Dr Heyn) concerning the search for Hermine. We have a considerable amount of correspondence at home between Dr Heyn and my father.
The eighth picture is a scan of a letter from the state authorities in Köln, again with confirmation of the family details and search.
Next is a scan of letter confirming various members of the family and the nature of the search.
The tenth image shows further correspondence from Dr Heyn. It is interesting to note the range of dates across the paperwork generated by my father’s search in order to understand how lengthy a process it was to try to ascertain information and, ultimately, to have death certificates issued, which were required at a state level.
The next image also contains information of the search being conducted through Dr Heyn.
Below is further confirmation of this search in relation to the requirement to obtain a death certificate.
Transports – deportations
In the next scan, as I understand it to date, we can see the stations through which the transports passed in the region, and on which dates.
It is basically stating that they don’t know which transport Hermine might have been on from Gleiwitz (see Hermine and Else’s pages for further explanation of this issue). The letter provides a list of stations around the known deportation period, containing the transports of people being deported in horrific conditions ‘to the East’, as it was often euphemistically stated in German documents.
The final three letters are also part of these early attempts by Werner to get some resolution about what happened to his family, and to get death certificates issued, which were required as part of the BEG process for compensation, I believe. One says, in essence, ‘proof of death is not available; we are therefore not in a position to provide a death certificate’. Anyone who has ever tried to finalise the affairs of someone who has died will understand something of the scale of difficulty this would have created. And that’s before one factors in that anyone in this position would want to know whether or not they should keep looking for a loved family member.