e-Guide to Concentration Camp Documents now Available in French

The e-Guide is a digital tool that contains explanatory information on documents issued for Nazi persecutees in order to make them easier to understand. As of this week, the elucidations on documents from concentration camps can be retrieved also in French.

Readers find in the e-Guide explanatory information on prisoner registration cards, personal effects cards and other documents. The e-Guide details not only the function a document had in the concentration camps, but also the significance of single dates, numbers and markings. In this way, it facilitates users’ reading our documents to understand an individual’s fate.

Nazi documents can help to clarify biographies

The prisoner registration card issued to Paul Goyard, for example, does not only reveal when he was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. You can also read from the card issued on 14.05.1944 that Paul Goyard was born in Digoin in France on 28.12.1886 and that he was living with his wife in Saint-Denis when he was arrested. Additionally, the card discloses the reason for his arrest: Political prisoner from France. The National Socialists assigned Paul Goyard a prisoner number that they recorded on the card along with the painter’s distinguishing features. Further documents give reference to and evidence of the objects Paul Goyard had with him and the clothes he wore when he was arrested.


»The e-Guide is a unique digital possibility to get informed about the documents preserved in the Arolsen Archives. The new e-Guide in French gives explanatory answers to minor questions like the meaning of abbreviations, but also to major contextual questions such as how personal effects cards, prisoner registration cards and other formats were used in the concentration camps.«

Christiane Weber, research associate with the Arolsen Archives


The e-Guide has existed since 2018. We started publishing guidance on types of documents issued to concentration camps prisoners, displaced persons and civilian forced laborers in English and German. The Arolsen Archives preserve many documents of equal importance to people speaking other languages, though. That is why we had translations of the e-Guide on concentration camp documents made in Polish and Russian as of 2021 and in French now.

With the publication of the French e-guide version on the documents from concentration camps, another milestone of the project has been set. “The project has not yet been completed with that”, emphasizes Christiane Weber. The e-Guide will continue to grow.

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