Jewish Life in Eastern Europe

The Concentration Camps
Konzentrationslager: Buchenwald

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BUCHENWALD, near Weimar, Thuringen, Germany



Beginning in July 1937
, only men were imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Women were only sent there from 1944 onwards.
Most of the women prisoners arrived in 1944-45 from other concentration camps, especially Auschwitz, Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen.

In January 1945, most of the concentration camps in Eastern Europe were being evacuated as the Russian armies were getting closer. Many of these prisoners were brought to Buchenwald; eventually the camp would be overfilled. Other prisoners already in Buchenwald had to be moved elsewhere to accommodate the newer arrivals....

Buchenwald was eventually liberated on 11 Apr 1945.

Today, one can find and peruse thousands of registration records from camps such as Buchenwald, questionnaires ("fragebogen"), used to interrogate both prisoners and others found in the camps who survived, the latter created after the war had ended, these inquiries led by the "military government of Germany.". These documents were collected after World War II and are presently on microfilm, found both at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. (Reels 29-87 for men, 88-93 for women), and at the National Archives (Reels 10A-62 for men, 62A-66 for women.)

The forms varied in what information was asked for and recorded. Usually on the prisoner records you will find their name, date of  birth, category of prisoner, their nationality, what previous camps they had been interned in, whether they had died in the camps or whether they were transferred to or from another camp (this was done fairly often.) Often one can find their town of their birth and even their home address or perhaps their address in the ghetto. Were they single or married? What were the names of their parents? You can read about Vaclav Pisinger, who seemingly was part of the Resistance during the war. For those who curious as to what was asked of him during these inquiries, click here.

These microfilmed records of Buchenwald prisoners are no doubt incomplete, i.e. there were probably more prisoners interned in Buchenwald than those whose information is recorded on these films--both those who died in the camps and those who survived.



What information was gathered from the prisoner?

What happened to him?

 Izrael Buskowoda


Izrael Buskowoda was a Polish Jew, born on 7 Oct 1905 in Warschau (Warsaw). He lived in Littmanstadt (Lodz Ghetto, probably)) at Ul. Poludniowa 58, corner of Warthegan (?). He worked as a "turner." His wife's name was Ruchla nee Pranie (?). His father's name was Kaufmann Chaim (from Warschau), his mother Chaja nee Gliksman.

Also listed was a physical description:
He had a slim build and an oval-shaped face, brown hair and brown eyes. His ears were "labst"?
He spoke both Polish and German.


He was arrested 10 Feb 1942 in Petrikau (Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland).

Izrael Buskowoda died 12 Dec 1944 at the age of thirty-nine, "set off/Abgesetzt" on 15 Dec 1944.

  What information was entered onto these cards?  
  Above the word "Konzentrationslager" is an indication that Izrael Buskowoda is a  "Pol. Jude." I can't say whether this was written here because he was Jewish or not. There is a line reserved for Religion, but here at least, it is not filled out.

1. Kind of Detention
2. Prisoner Number
3. Surname, First Name
4. Date Born (day/mo/year)
5. Residence
6. Religion
7. Occupation
8. Nationality
9. State


10. Parent's Name (may include woman's maiden name)
11. Race
12. Residence of Parents
13. Wife's Name
14. Race (of wife)
15. Address of wife
16. Children
17. The Sole Supporter of the Family or of the Parents
18. Primary Education
19. Time of Military Service (from-until)
20.  Time of War Service (from-until)
21. Physical characteristics:
      Height, Figure, Face, Eyes, Nose,    Mouth, Ears, Teeth, and Hair
22. Infectious diseases or physical defects
23. Becomes a pension (=rent)(?)

The Inmate Registration Ledger


Numerical registers exist for tens of thousands of Buchenwald inmates. This is in addition to the actual registration cards and transport lists that are available on microfilm. The registry entries contain the prisoner number, religion, date of arrival at Buchenwald, date of birth, surname, given name, and importantly, if the inmate died, where and on what date.

You can see above on the first entry that prisoner number 56463 was Nander Berlovits, arrived at Buchenwald on 6 Mar 1944, birth date 10 Jan 1896. He perished at Auschwitz on 10 Jun 1944.

Seemingly, the last entry for a Ludwig Weiss, indicates that this inmate presumably survived the camps since there is no indication of a date and place of death.

Read accounts of their time in Buchenwald concentration camp, as told by survivors of the camp for the Museum's exhibition "Walk in My Shoes: Collected Memories of the Holocaust":

Shiku Smilovic
Alter Pisarek


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