Death certificate

Not really an issue just some food for thought. The death certificate is from Auschwitz. It contains a wealth of information, address in The Netherlands, father and mother, and cause of death (heart attack).

The first item to consider is the certificate number of 21427 for the year 1942. The implication is that by August the camp has had 21000 deaths that were recorded. As 17 August is the 229th day of the year, that implies a death rate of over 900 per day.

The second is the amount of detail in the death certificate. Father, mother, address are all correct. Note that it even has the correct birth locations for the parents (I've validated those locations in previous research).

The logistics of keeping these accurate records amidst the volume of deaths is mind boggling. Each time I further my research into this family line, I learn more and gain an even heavier heart. 

A question to now consider, if I was following the normal genealogy route of working up the tree, how much weight and reliance would you give to the information in this death certificate as the informant is unnamed. How did the camp get this information? Did each passenger on the transport from Westerbork have a folder? About 1500 people per train so that's a lot of paperwork. Did they just toss the folders for those sent immediately to the gas chambers or request the folders for those selected to work in the camp. 

Thanks for looking, I just needed a few moments to discuss this.


Submitted byEEon Tue, 02/15/2022 - 18:20

David, the record you are using, from Auschwitz, is one I have no familiarity with. I will cross-post this to EE's Facebook page in hopes that others experienced with Auschwitz records can offer more insight.