Archival Resource of the Stutthof Museum

The creation of the archival resource of the Stutthof Museum and its later method of description had a specific history of its own. This was mainly caused by the loss of camp documentation during the evacuation of KL Stutthof, as well as later storage of these documents.
Preparations for the liquidation of the camp began in January of 1945. During this time period, a large amount of documents from the political department and the hospital were incinerated. The remaining documents were packed and transported alongside the evacuating inmates. In the Spring of 1945, the SS crew abandoned the documents in a roadside ditch, in the Lebork area. Upon crossing the area, the Soviet Army had recovered the documents and sent them to the ZG PCK (eng. Governing board of the Polish Red Cross) in Warsaw. From there, some of the files were transferred to the Archive of the Main Commission of Researching Nazi Crimes, and where they remained to 1965. Documentation concerning evidence of inmates was stored by the ZG PCK.
The Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo was established on March 12, 1962. One of the statutory objectives presented to the Museum, was to gather and describe the surviving documentation of the Stutthof concentration camp and any other materials concerning it. By the end of the 60's, the greatest amount of effort was placed on the recovery of camp files that were located in other archives. The official agreement for the accumulation, storage, and description of materials from KL Stutthof was made by the Chief Directorate of State Archives on August 3,1964. In the years 1979-1989, microfilms of the entire camp file collection were made.
Currently, the archive consists of 69 thousand archival units, with the volume of 125 running meters. The base of the archive consists of the Konzentrationslager Stutthof files. The remaining documents create four types of collections: Surveys of former inmates, Documentation of former inmates, collected materials, and recollections.

Crew of the Konzentrationslager Stutthof (67 828 jednostek archiwalnych)
This is formed by the office files of the camp created during its existence in the years 1939-1945. During the managing of the archive, the method of recreating the internal organizational structure of the camp was used.
Department I- Kommandantur (headquarters)
Department II- Politische Abteilung (political department)
Department III- Schutzhaftlager (camp)
Department IV- Verwaltung (administrative and economic department)
Department V- Lagerarzt (camp doctor)
Department VI- Schulung (training of the crew)
Economic Plants of the SS

Documentation of former inmates
This collection contains document materials that concern the inmates of Stutthof, however, they do not belong to the files of the KL Stutthof crew.
They were organized with the following outline:
Legal correspondence: post cards, letters written by the inmates to their families and mail coming into the camp.
Illegal correspondence: secret letters written in Stutthof.
Camp resistance movements: lyrics of poems, songs, prayers and pictures created by the inmates.
Other materials concerning inmates: different documents not created in the camp, such as birth certificates, identity cards of the Society of Fighters for Freedom and Democracy (ZBoWiD), etc.

Surveys of former inmates
This collection contains surveys, that had been filled out by former inmates of the camp in the years 1962-1972. Information gathered by this method allowed the completion of the inmate evidence record. Around 800 surveys had been completed.

This collection contains approximately one thousand recollections of those who had survived the camp. Gathered into this collection are: video and/or audio recordings, original written memories and statements, copies of accounts, transfers in the form of microfilm. Hitherto, around 650 accounts had been gathered. Some of these had been rewritten (27 volumes).

Collected Materials
This collection contains documents of thematic diversity. The gathered original documents, copies, photocopies, photos etc. were sorted according to the following thematic sections:
I. Free City of Danzig
II. Resistance
III. Nazi Occupation
IV. World War II
V. Stutthof
VI. Other concentration and death camps
VII. Other camps and prisons
VIII. Trials of Nazi criminals
IX. Pomorze Gdanskie (Gdansk Pomerania) - after World War II

Museum Artifacts
Museum Artifacts are form a completely separate section in the archive. This collection consists of over 1,200 exhibits that can be categorized as:
1. Post-camp objects involved with its functioning: beds, tables, benches, „operating table“ and other equipment from the camp hospital, equipment from the crematorium, Zyklon B gas cans, whips, inmate clothing, shoes, bowls, spoons, objects of personal use brought by the inmates and later confiscated.
2. Illegally crafted objects of personal use belonging to the inmates: knifes, boxes, caskets, cigarette boxes, ashtrays, sowing needles.
3. Illegal artwork of the inmates: drawings, pictures, portraits, decorative caskets, rings, signets, crosses.
4. Postwar works of art on the subject of martyrdom, dedicated to the memory of the victims of Stutthof: statues, paintings, drawings, graphics, posters, photos, musical compositions etc.

Access to the archive is intended for educational-scientific and presentational purposes. Access can be granted with the approval of the Director of the Stutthof Museum in Sztutowo, to a written request from the person interested. The archive is open from Monday to Friday, in the hours 8:00 to 14:00. It is recommended that earlier notification is made. Tel. nr. + 48 55 247 83 53 extension 223.