This collection was indexed by World Memory Project contributors from the digitized holdings of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, RG-15.098: Starosta Miasta Krakowa, 1939-1945. Wykazy Dow?dow Osobistych (Kennkartenlisten) Wydanych Zydom (Sygn. 450). For more information about this collection, click on the collection title above to access the USHMM’s catalog record, or email [email protected]
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About Kraków, Poland, Police Registration Cards for Jews and Poles, 1940-1941 (USHMM)
This database contains details extracted from various change-of-address and registration cards submitted to the police station by both Jews and non-Jews in the municipality of Krakow.
The original questionnaires are held by the Polish State Archives in Kraków.
After invading Poland, the German army occupied Kraków in the first week of September 1939. Military authorities initiated immediate measures aimed at isolating, exploiting, and persecuting the Jews of the city. They required Jews to report for forced labor, form a Jewish Council, identify themselves by means of a white armband with a blue Star of David, and register their property.
In early March 1941, the Germans ordered the establishment of a ghetto, to be situated in Podgorze, located in the south of Krakow, rather than in Kazimierz, the traditional Jewish quarter of the city. This required that the non-Jewish population move out before the Jewish population could be forced in. By March 21, 1941, the Germans had concentrated the remaining Jews of Krakow and thousands of Jews from other towns in the ghetto. Between 15,000 and 20,000 Jews lived within the ghetto boundaries, which were enclosed by barbed-wire fences and, in places, by a stone wall.
The Germans established several factories inside the ghetto, among them the Optima and the Madritsch textile factories, where they deployed Jews at forced labor. Several hundred Jews were also employed in factories and forced-labor projects outside the ghetto. Among the businesses utilizing Jewish forced laborers was the firm German Enamel Products (Deutsche Emalwarenfabrik), owned by Oskar Schindler, located in Podgorze, and later moved to Plaszow.
The SS and police conducted the first large-scale deportations of Jews from the Kraków ghetto to killing centers in June 1942, and destroyed the ghetto in March 1943. Only about 2,000 Jews of Kraków survived the war.
What's in the Records
Details vary widely by form, but details in this index may include the following:
- birth date
- religious affiliation
- address as of July 1939
- marital status
- information on spouses and children
These records are primarily in Polish.
Additional details about these victims may be included in the original records. While the index is freely accessible from Ancestry.com, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the images can be ordered at no cost from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Click here for ordering information.
More information about Jews in Kraków during the Holocaust is available in the online Holocaust Encyclopedia.
Films of prewar Jewish life in Kazimierz, Krakow's Jewish quarter, and street scenes in Krakow are also available on the Museum’s website.
Click here to watch the video testimony of Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a Pole who ran a pharmacy within the confines of the Krakow ghetto.