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Glossary

  • Penitentiary Camp

    While labor was already regarded as an essential component of the penal system before the Nazis' seizure of power, they reinterpreted the idea of disciplinary labor in the penal system for their own benefit, i.e. adjusting it to their conceptions. The prisoners kept in the penitentiary camps had to do hardest labor day by day and were exposed to their guards' high-handed violence. In the so-called Emsland camps, the prisoners were used to cultivate the marshland. Others had to help with the construction of roads and bridges. In the last war months, i.e. from autumn 1944, most inmates of the camps were assigned to the armaments industry.

  • Personal Effects

    Personal belongings taken from the prisoners when they were deported to a concentration camp. The International Tracing Service (ITS) still keeps about 3,200 of these personal effects from Neuengamme and Dachau. The kind and number of the stolen objects were noted down on the so-called effects’ cards.

  • Police Prison Camp

    The Police prison camps and police prisons the Nazis set up on the German-occupied territories varied widely with regard to their structure and functions. The fact that they were not subordinated to a centralized command makes it difficult to define them. In Norway, the Netherlands, the Reichskommissariat Ostland as well as the Reichskommissariat Ukraine, they generally were under the control of the pertinent German civilian administration, whereas they answered to the military administration in Belgium, France, Serbia and Greece, to the pertinent Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in the countries of Europe's East and South East and to the national authorities in charge in Croatia and Italy. The German-administered police prison camps on the occupied territories operated under various designations or names, which pointed to the functions the camp type in question had, such as Auffanglager (Reception Camp), Durchgangslager (Transit Camp) or Sammellager für Juden (Assembly Camp for Jews).

  • Police Transit Camp

    see Police Prison Camp

  • Predecessor Organizations of the ITS

    Upon request by the Headquarters of the Allied Forces, the British Red Cross set up the Central Tracing Bureau in February, 1944, to register and be able to trace missing persons. Administration transferred to the International Refugee Organization in July, 1947, and it was renamed the International Tracing Service on 1 January, 1948.

  • Prisoners of War

    The Nazis frequently recruited members of the Allied armies they had taken prisoner for forced labor. The ITS preserves documents on these prisoner-of-war assignments only. Generally the institution cannot provide any information or initiate any investigations on prisoners of war.

  • Prisoner’s Identification Sheet, Prisoner's Card

    Form sheets used to register prisoners in concentration camps.

  • Protective Custody Camp

    To bring Schutzhaft (protective custody) into practice, the Nazis opened Schutzhaftabteilungen (protective custody departments) in police and Gestapo prisons, as well as partly in regular prisons and penitentiaries. A large number of the persons detained there were deported to concentration camps after a while.

  • Protective Custody Camp for Juveniles

    The Nazis used the camps they euphemistically called Jugendschutzlager (Protective Custody Camp for Juveniles) and Jugendverwahrlager (Detention Camps for Juveniles) to intern and systematically re-educate children and adolescents who did not follow the Nazi ideology. The camps were controlled by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt.

  • Protektorat

    A government under a formal protector; The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established in 1939 by Nazi Germany in the Czech Republic. Jewish emigration was banned in October 1941. Many of the Jews remaining after the emigration ban were deported to Theresienstadt and then on to Auschwitz.