Jakob Gruschka – ITS records

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Finally, having realised that I was working with the English rather than the German spelling of Jacob/Jakob, I have now been able to locate his records. Until now, I have only had the entry of death notification on the Bundesarchiv website to consult.

The first image  below is the initial record card, located in the International Tracing Service database at the Wiener Library, London.


The second and third images are of the now-familiar yellow search form, filled out from information supplied by relatives trying to obtain definitive information about their missing loved ones, back in the 1960s. They also needed death certificates for many different reasons, including in order to claim compensation for the loss of family, property, businesses, and so on.

This form suggests/queries whether Jakob was deported from the Beuthen/Breslau area in Upper Silesia, although the initial record card suggests that the family seem to have supplied the information that his last address was in Berlin.

Jakob Gruschka ITS record


Jakob Gruschka ITS records

The next two images give the personal identifying information, and the fact that Jakob was ‘a merchant’/kaufmann, which seems to have been a standard type of designation. Given that Jews had been stopped from carrying out most work of their own choosing since 1933, I doubt it means very much. Here, it states that Jakob’s last known address before imprisonment was Ring 6, Beuthen, O/s.

It also confirms what we thought we knew from family documents, which is that Rosa, his wife, had died some years previously: he is noted here as being verw. (verwitwet)\widowed.

Jakob Gruschka International Tracing Service database
Jakob Gruschka

The stamp on the first page indicates that he was imprisoned and that a death certificate has been issued. The second page testifies that he was deported to Auschwitz in 1942 – he is noted as being verschollen – missing and presumed dead.

Below is a scan of a letter enquiring into Jakob’s disappearance, on behalf of his daughter Margot, then living in New York. She and Werner were in regular letter communication over this time, trying to find some level of resolution to the many missing family members.

Jakob Gruschka

The scan below shows a letter confirming Jakob’s address and other identifying details, and confirms that he was ‘evacuated to an unknown destination’ on 13 June 1942. The image on the right gives similar information; the family members wrote many letters, often having to repeat information many times.

Jakob Gruschka
Jakob Gruschka

The last form (below) confirms that ‘subject to final approval’ Jakob is assumed to have been sent to Auschwitz I.

Jakob Gruschka






Update: Thursday, 12 March 2015

Having found from the information above the transport date and area from which Jakob was transported, I went back to the scans of transport lists that I found online when looking for information on my grandmother and great grandmother. I was able to confirm that Jakob was deported from Beuthen, as assumed. The proof is now found for another family member.

Jakob Gruschka transport list

The ‘Transports to Extinction’ section of the Yad Vashem website gives quite a lot of information about the likely possible destinations for this transport. At the end  it states, “There are no known reports about the further destiny of the Beuthen Jews deported on June 13. Apparently nobody survived.”

The available information about the transport is extracted here as a PDF: Yad Vashem_Transport from Beuthen Oberschlesien