Details from the files

The information is taken from

  • Affidavit of the claimants
  • Affidavits of the witnesses
  • Information in the various application forms
  • Expert reports on the claimants
  • Court proceedings
  • Information from the International Tracing Service (ITS), Arolsen

The affidavits were submitted on various occasions, often years apart:

  • Initially, a "description of the course of persecution with a detailed account of the physical injuries claimed [...] also persecution fate of closer relatives (wife, children, parents, etc.)" is requested, see letter from a compensation office
  • Subsequent detailed inquiries by the offices/courts in the event of ambiguities or inaccurate information (time, place, surroundings)
    • Simon Chester: "To provide the exact personal details of his parents and all his siblings" (further details requested)
    • Motel Friedman: "The claimant is ordered [...] to describe and provide evidence of (1) his fate and his experiences relevant to the disputed claim from the time of his escape from the Rokitno ghetto in August 1942".
    • Abraham Gelbart: "The plaintiff is ordered to describe his living conditions during his deprivation of liberty and his living conditions after his liberation in an affidavit within a period of two months. For the period of deprivation of liberty, he is to state in particular the nature of the work he performed, any maltreatment, illnesses and such events that left a particularly stressful impression." (Decision of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, 18.5.1967)
    • Malka Jewerowicz: "In your letter of June 15, 1968, you demand a list of my residences during the war and my life story."
    • Chassia Perski: "(2) How many weeks or months passed between the invasion of the German troops and the applicant's escape from Iwenitz? (further details requested)
    • Marie Szumer: (1) Where and when (how long) she was together with her husband from the beginning of the war and where she saw him for the last time. We also need the same information about all her children, including those who have died in the meantime." (Damage to life, further details requested.)
    • Rose Weiss: Elaborate identity check
    • Others: Zohar Zipora; Sam Koperwas; Sarah Wieder; Jakob Wandermann; Bronka Stern; Abraham Kanarek, Rose Weiss
  • The examination of the statements is comprehensive:
    • All of the claimant's statements are examined (e.g. statements regarding compensation for loss of liberty, coat of arms/global application),
    • compared with statements made by witnesses in their own proceedings,
    • Documents from immigration authorities are consulted,
    • Information provided by claimants to other organizations (e.g. CM/1 applications)  evaluated,
    • information obtained from "Heimtauskunftsstellen"
  • Examples:
    • Calol Finkelstein, discrepancies in statements, letter from the State Office dated 29.11.1967: "The claimant also submitted such a loss of liberty (note: refers to statement of 27.2.1950) with his statement on oath on 12.9.1956. In contrast, the claimant stated the following loss of liberty to Dr. Pineas..."
    • Salomon Stein: "(I) have requested further medical documents from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bern and from the Medical Board in Tel Aviv".

Even years later, compensation is reclaimed if new findings have emerged: see Aaron Wajsblatt. Edmund Thaler.

  • "A medical report for Jewish invalids, which has now been received by the State Office and was prepared in Ulm on June 13, 1947, shows that the claimant was in the Red Army and suffered post-traumatic neurosis in Stalingrad in 1942 as a result of being buried." (Edmund Thaler file, letter from 1967, following which compensation for imprisonment, granted in 1950, was withdrawn).

Details from Databases

Further Sources

Difficulties and Problems

The following problems arose when compiling the biographies:

  • Spellings of ghetto and camp names. Spelling mistakes, e.g. "Netzweiler" instead of "Natzweiler". In addition, there are language-specific differences, especially in ghetto and town names: Kauen (German), Kaunas (Lithuanian), Kowno/Kovno (Russian). See the ghetto list, status 20209. An older version of the list contains additional information, see Ghetto list, status 2014. Phonetic spellings were also often used.
  • Spellings of claimants' names: Spellings often differ even within the same file. Spelling mistakes were also often made when creating documents (prisoner index cards etc.). There are also German or Polish spellings of a name.
    Incorrect dates of birth. Misspellings when preparing documents, deliberately incorrect information provided by claimants, e.g. to pretend to be older in order to avoid deportation.
  • Inaccurate dates when changing camps. Supplementary/more precise information can be found in camp descriptions. The information from the files was supplemented accordingly.


The biographies refer to other topics such as

  • the "Polenaktion" in 1938 with Max Czuper, among others
  • the November pogrom
  • Bunkers near Mühldorf by Samuel Tandlich
  • Count Bernadotte's rescue operation with Dwora G.
  • Operation "Desert" by Maks Hilfstein
  • Court proceedings against war criminals
    • in Lilly S.: Proceedings against Alois Dörr
    • in Gittl Grilliches: Trial against SS Unterscharführer Ernst Runde
    • with Herman Schubert: Trial against Hildebrand and others
  • Frankfurt Auschwitz trials against concentration camp personnel by Moniek Dymant and Boris Piekny
  • the odyssey of the "Exodus" with Henia Weissblum
  • Hungarian labor companies, e.g. in the case of Salomon Reich. More than 10 claimants mentioned these in their statements.