Inventory Description

Original personal effects, envelopes.

Among the effects from Concentration Camp Dachau, there are also the possessions of 21 prisoners who had obviously stolen these objects themselves. These 21 persons had first been imprisoned in Concentration Camp Buchenwald, before they came to Concentration Camp Dachau. They were so-called "BV" prisoners, i.e. they were under "Befristete Vorbeugehaft" (temporary preventive detention). These 21 persons were taken from Buchenwald to Warsaw on 19th July 1943 where, as functional prisoners in the newly established Concentration Camp Warsaw, they were supposed to keep those prisoners under guard who had to abandon the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto that had been destroyed and liquidated in May 1943. The task was to search the ruins for any valuable objects, usable building materials, and also for surviving Jews. The prisoners of Concentration Camp Warsaw were transported to Dachau in the summer of 1944. None of the 21 functional prisoners had possessed any effects before their departure from Buchenwald, but now they arrived and owned foreign currency, watches, gold chains etc. Eyewitnesses and documents give account of these functional prisoners acting extremely brutally towards the prisoners of Concentration Camp Warsaw.

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History of Ownership

The personal effects of the inmates of the Dachau concentration camp were discovered during the camp’s liberation. Until 1946, objects of value remained at the office of inquiries at Dachau, the International Information Office, which was charged with returning them. After that office was dissolved, the personal effects were divided into objects of value and personal documents. Objects of value were transferred to the Hamburg Tracing Service of the German Red Cross, while personal documents were given to the Bavarian State Commissariat for victims of political, racial and religious persecution. In December 1957, the Tracing Service of the Hamburg German Red Cross transferred the preserved personal effects from the Dachau concentration camp to the Office of Administration of Domestic Restitution in Stadthagen. In 1963, these – together with objects from the Neuengamme concentration camp – were given to the ITS. The Hamburg Red Cross had received the items “from an American office in Frankfurt,“ but could no longer determine at what point in time. The personal effects also include Wehrmacht military passports. These include objects from family members of Wehrmacht soldiers persecuted for political or other reasons and imprisoned in concentration camps before 1945.