The Numbers of the Dead

This present register of deaths can make no claim to completeness. Far more than the 11,089 inmates included in the memorial book did not survive their deportation to Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp. The book does not include the names of some 3,000 sick and dying inmates who were deemed unfit for work and deported by the SS in the spring of 1944 to the Lublin-Majdanek and Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camps. A further 2,250 seriously ill inmates, who departed for Bergen-Belsen on a transport from the Boelcke barracks in early March 1945 and are presumed to have been killed, is also not included.

When the Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen Concentration Camps were vacated, the SS also transferred about 15,000 inmates to Mittelbau Concentration Camp between late January and late March 1945. Several hundred inmates died railroad cars before arrival, or shortly thereafter. The SS did not record the names of many of these dead, and they are also absent from the memorial book. Due to gaps in the camp records, no details are known about the several hundred inmates who died in the days immediately prior to the abandonment of the Mittelbau camps. The names of most of the approximately 1,300 concentration camp inmates whose bodies the American soldiers found in the Boelcke barracks on 11 April 1945 and who were buried anonymously in the cemetery of honour at Nordhausen are also not listed. This is also the case for the estimated 10,000 victims of the evacuation transports and death marches of April and May 1945. The precise number of people who perished after deportation to the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp will remain forever unknown. The older estimate of 20,000 deaths among the inmates of Mittlebau-Dora is almost certainly too low.