Muzeum Gross-Rosen w Rogoźnicy - Archiwum (z siedzibą w Wałbrzychu)
- Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoźnica: Archive in Wałbrzych
Initially, at the point of its establishment in 1940, the camp in Gross-Rosen was a branch of KL Sachsenhausen, founded to exploit local deposits of granite. From 1 May 1941 Arbeitslager Gross-Rosen was an autonomous concentration camp with its own network of 77 dependant sub-camps across Lower Silesia. This was one of the harshest of the labour camps, where prisoners were employed on particularly hard tasks, among them the construction of an underground complex intended as the headquarters of the supreme command of the Third Reich in the Owl Mountains. Some 125,000 prisoners passed through the camp and its sub-camps, and the number of lives they claimed was probably about 40,000, among whom the largest single group was Jews from various different countries. The museum is the custodian of the former site of the camp and the quarries. It is now a local-authority funded institution. The Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoźnica came into existence in 1947.The main task of this institution is gathering historical documents connected with the KL Gross-Rosen, scientific research, popularization of the historical knowledge about World War II, and protection of the camp's relics and their presentation. The Museum is composed of three departments: Holdings' Protection, Scientific Research, and Education. The important part of the Museum is an archive.
Archival and Other Holdings
The archive of the Gross-Rosen Museum possesses the following kinds of documents:
- Written documents (the camp's death-registers, diaries and testimonies of the prisoners, the transport checklists of the prisoners, the copies of trial records concerning the camp (after 1945), collections of various documents (mostly letters of the former prisoners) created after 1945, the extracts of the death registers concerning the prisoners.
- Questionnaires concerning the life in the camp prepared by the Museum.
- The letters (also: written beyond camp censorship, so-called grypsy).
- Photographs: photographs of the camp and its branches, the prisoners and members of the staff.
- The maps of the camp. The archive comprises above all secondary documentation in the form of copies (microfilms, photocopies, scans) from other archives, at present some 10,000 items. Among its original documents there are books of deaths, transport and evacuation lists, some 3,000 letters from the camp, and over 600 photographs. It sources other materials through painstaking research in the archives of the Polish Red Cross, the IPN, the State Archives, and the archives of other museums of martyrdom. At its foundation, a questionnaire was composed for former prisoners for the purpose of gathering and supplementing their biographical details. The museum also records eye-witness accounts and interviews on audio and video tape. All information on ex-prisoners is entered into a centralized computer database, which contains the names of more than 100,000 prisoners.
Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication
A. Skibinska (ed.), chapter 4.
The Archive of the Gross-Rosen Museum is open: Monday-Thursday 8.00 - 14.30.