Book of Remembrance and guestbook in the foyer of the Documentation Centre at the Memorial. Photo by Bernd Horstmann. Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation
A second edition of the Book of Remembrance for the prisoners of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was published in 2005. Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation

Register of Names

Shortly before the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated, the SS burned the prisoner registry, thus destroying the most important source of information on the names and background of the people imprisoned in the camp.

In the early 1990s, the Memorial’s staff began systematically collecting other material which contained names of Bergen-Belsen prisoners, such as transport lists and death certificates, and recording this information in a database. Intensive research has enabled the Memorial to compile an index with data on more than 52,000 people who were imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The success of this project has depended on the encouragement and wide-ranging support of survivors, who have played a key role in creating this index, as well as close cooperation with other memorials and institutions around the world.

The register of names is a starting point for recovering more detailed information on individuals, different groups of prisoners, satellite camps and transports. Without this list, it would be impossible to reliably determine the age structure or death rates among the prisoners. Collecting and recording prisoner data is therefore part of the fundamental research into the history of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. It is also a prerequisite for responding to the many enquiries from former prisoners and their relatives regarding the fate of individuals.

About 120,000 people are estimated to have been imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and the Memorial continues to collect and record biographical information about these prisoners. A comparable database with the names of the POWs held at Bergen-Belsen has not yet been created.

Based on this register of names, the Memorial published the first edition of a Book of Remembrance in 1995 containing biographical information for around 25,000 prisoners. A revised and expanded version of the book was published in 2005 with the names of around 50,000 prisoners.

The bilingual (German/English) Book of Remembrance is available from the Bergen-Belsen Memorial for EUR 28 plus shipping. The book is free of charge for survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Neither the Book of Remembrance nor the register of names is anywhere near complete. For this reason, the Memorial staff would like to ask for your help: If you know the name of a former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp prisoner, please send us an e-mail with his or her biographical data or ask for a form to fill in. If you have any questions about the Book of Remembrance or would like information on the fate of a relative, please contact us:

Bergen-Belsen Book of Remembrance - Introduction (PDF)