Which sources have been used?
The so-called register lists provided the basis for reconstructing the Jewish community in the early 1940s. Other sources include personal index cards and lists in commemorative publications. Places and dates of death are derived from In Memoriam, camp death registers or obituaries. A variety of other sources were also used, as clarified below.
Register lists of Jewish residents in each municipality were compiled in keeping with Ordinance 6, issued by the Nazi forces of occupation on 10 January 1941. They were drawn up primarily between February and May 1941 and were based on forms that Jews were required to complete themselves. Many municipal authorities compared these lists with the population register.
Most of these lists are preserved in the Archives of the Zentralstelle für Jüdische Auswanderung, which belong to the collections of the NIOD. The other lists come from local archives and appear in the chart at the end of the publication of
Marnix Croes and Peter Tammes, 'Gif laten wij niet voortbestaan'. Een onderzoek naar de overlevingskansen van joden in de Nederlandse gemeenten 1940-1945. [“We will not allow poison to survive.” Study of the chances of survival of Jews in Dutch cities and towns 1940-1945]
In cases where no such list had been preserved for a given community, we used alternative sources, such as data from population registers like personal index cards. We also used reconstructions of Jewish communities in various memorial books and databases generated by other researchers.
The register lists invariably give the person’s name, date and place of birth and address, and in many cases they also provide information about family composition and the occupations of family members.
Data from the register lists (or, in their absence, another source as mentioned above) were linked to sources giving the date and place of death. In Memoriam was the main reference used here. This book contains the names of the deceased who ‘were deported from the Netherlands and have no known grave’. Consequently, it lists almost none of those who died at a camp in the Netherlands, were executed for fighting in the Dutch Resistance, committed suicide, or died of ‘natural causes’.
Wherever possible, these gaps were filled with data from other sources, such as the death registers from Camp Westerbork, Vught concentration camp and Camp Amersfoort, the Honour Roll of Resistance fighters, obituaries from the Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad and Het Joodsche Weekblad, as well as burial books kept by Jewish cemeteries and records of suicides compiled by the Jewish Council.
As an additional check, the sources listing dates and places of death were compared with the lists of survivors compiled and published by the Jewish Coordination Commission (JCC) immediately after the war, often known as the ‘Eindhoven lists’ after the JCC’s initial location. These printed lists can be consulted at various places including Amsterdam University Library and the Jewish Historical Museum. The data were also compared with data that various researchers have collected about survivors. (These sources are not open to the general public.) People appearing in both sources with exactly the same data have not been included in the Monument.
Linking of the basic sources
The sources mentioned above were linked in the first place by flagging perfect or near-perfect correlations of full name and date and place of birth. The findings were then checked for possible inconsistencies. Approximately 89 per cent of all possible matches were generated automatically in this manner, besides which another 5 per cent could be established manually. Persons who are listed in In Memoriam but not in the register lists are included in the Monument. We have no data about these individuals, except for their full name and their places and dates of birth and death. They have not been assigned to a family and have no address.
The next step was to link these basic personal details to sources giving additional data, such as information about a family’s household effects. These data come from inventories. Inventories were sometimes found in a Jokos file and sometimes in the archives of the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg. We also checked for a Liro card for each person included in the Monument. Lists of pupils at Jewish schools were also incorporated, as well as data about Amsterdam shops with Jewish owners and the members of a Jewish football club.
In addition, diamond workers’ registration forms are included, which over five hundred diamond workers completed to request exemption from deportation. The market cards of the Amsterdam Jewish market vendors (often including passport photographs) have also been added to the site. These supplementary data are included so as to provide a picture of people’s everyday lives.
Literature, archives and memories
A great many books and archives contain information about the lives of people included in the Monument. These sources have been used to make biographical notes. The source for the information is always given beneath the text. When visitors to the website supply fresh information, it is indicated with the phrase ‘Addition of a visitor of the website’. Nearly 20,000 biographical notes were written in the first two years, 7,000 of them by Ies Lipschits.