Database of Inmates of the Concentration Camp Litoměřice (Leitmeritz) 1944-1945
Author: Miroslava Langhamerová
In the official German documents the concentration camp Litoměřice was called Arbeitslager Leitmeritz or SS Kommando B 5. Over 18,300 inmates passed through the camp between 1944-1945, coming from Poland, the former Soviet Union, Slovenia, France, Germany and former Czechoslovakia. Its inmates also included Belgians, Italians, Dutch, Serbs, Croats and Bulgarians. A numerous group numbering 4,000 inmates consisted of Jews mainly from Poland, Hungary, former Czechoslovakia, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and other countries.
"Database of Inmates of the Concentration Camp Litoměřice" demonstrates how fast, in less than a year, as many as 4,500 inmates died in the camp due to ruthless exploitation of human resources (cheap labour force) coupled with harsh living conditions.
The aim of the database is to provide researchers and the general public with on-line access to the list of prisoners. It is based on the original documentation from the time of the German occupation and the early post-war period. In total, about 60 sources of different nature and informative value were used for its compilation.
While working on the project, the original camp records kept in the collections of the Terezín Memorial, out of which 10,313 individual records were obtained (some cards were used on both sides) served as a point of departure. Other camp documents are in the care of the National Archives in Prague under the collection Okupační vězeňské spisy (Occupation Prison Records) – transport lists and labour commando lists and so-called Lagerstärke, a book of arrivals and departures which also provides records of prisoners' death.
Well-preserved transport documents have also become an important source. Their copies were provided to the Terezín Memorial by the International Tracing Service (ITS) in the German town of Bad Arolsen. Further, the Gedenkstatte Flossenbürg (Flossenbürg Memorial) significantly helped in the development of the database after its staff had discovered, in the National Archives in Washington, the so-called Hauptbuch (Main Book) of the core concentration camp Flossenbürg. This has become an essential source.
Post-war materials, especially various records and memories which served as an additional source have not been omitted either. They are kept mainly in the Terezín Memorial, in the Archive of the Czech Security Forces and the Gedenkstatte Flossenbürg.
The resultant database is the product of long-standing analytic work during which the individual sources were compared and the most credible data were sought. In the next stage, the database will be continuously updated and supplemented with newly obtained information.
Problems encountered when working with the database
With respect to the kind and origin of sources, which are often contradictory, no precise data are available for all the imprisoned persons. The amount of data about each inmate may , therefore, substantially differ. All the data come exclusively from historical sources.
- Name and Surname: there is a considerable variability in the spelling of names, which makes it difficult to determine the correct form of the names and to identify the individual persons; when searching for a specific name, only the word root with the symbol * may be used (for example Rachlewski, Rachmanov, Rachnitzer - Rach*, or Holuj, Pocalujeff, Schlujew, Wolujko -*luj*)
- Date of Birth: if the date varies in different sources, the alternative one is given under "Date of Birth 2"
- Length of Imprisonment: if available, the dates of arrival and departure of an inmate are given
- Reasons for Termination of Imprisonment: transport – transfer of an inmate to another camp; death – due to illness or for unknown reasons; execution – death penalty executed under the so-called "special treatment" (Sonderbehandlung); beaten to death – murdered by a guard or auxiliary camp staff; discharged – released before the camp´s liberation; liberated – survived the war and was sent home and repatriated by the medical and health personnel after May 8, 1945
- Transport to: name of the repressive facility (concentration camp) to which inmate was taken
- Final Termination of Imprisonment: last known place of detention with the date and reason for its termination (death, liberation, discharge)
- Work Position/Commando: names of companies to which an inmate was assigned to work, or type of labour commando
- Note: information on the concentration camps or their branches where inmate had been imprisoned before transport to Litoměřice