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All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Re: Locating the Victim [Siemens/IBM human tabulation]
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2010, 12:05:15 am »
Locating the Victim: An Overview of
Census-Taking, Tabulation Technology,
and Persecution in Nazi Germany
DAVID MARTIN LUEBKE
SYBIL MILTON
Nazi persecution of racial victim groups presupposed not only precise legal
definitions and close cooperation among multiple governmental agencies, but
also sophisticated technical procedures for locating those groups according to
complex age, occupational and racial criteria. This article shows how a variety of
administrative tools — including two national censuses, a system of resident
registration, and several special racial databases — were used to locate groups
eventually slated for deportation and death, as well as the possible role played in
this process by Hollerith tabulation technology. Patterns in the expulsion of Jews
from Germany suggest that aggregate census data may have been used to
guide this process as well. The precise role played by punched-card tabulation
technology remains a matter of speculation. However, it is certain that as early as
1933, Nazi officials and statisticians envisioned a future in which the racial char-
acteristics and vital statistics of every resident would be monitored through tabu-
lation technology in a system of comprehensive surveillance. While the ‘tinal so-
lution” was in no sense caused by the availability of sophisticated census-taking
and tabulation technologies, concrete evidence suggests that Hollerith machines
rationalized the management of concentration camp labor, an important element
in the Nazi program of “extermination through work. ”
The task of locating and persecuting racially defined
victim groups posed a mammoth challenge to the
administrative bureaucracy of Nazi Germany. At a mini-
mum, it required the close cooperation of civil authori-
ties with the national police, the Reich criminal detective
forces (Kriminalpolizei or Kripo) and the political police
(Geheime Staatspolizei or Gestapo), the Nazi party, the
German railroad, the German Army, and civilian
authorities in German-occupied territories, to say nothing
of the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps (part of the
SS or Schutzstafl'el Central Office). Achieving ethnic and
“biological” homogeneity in Germany entailed the social
exclusion and eventual destruction of minority groups
considered alien and inferior — particularly Jews, Roma
(“Gypsies”*), the mentally and physically handicapped,
and persons of mixed African and German descent” —
which in turn presupposed a lengthy process of defini-
tion, segregation, and isolation, as well as a modern bu-
"We have not used the temi “Gypsy” and its German equivalent
"Zigeuner" because of their pejorative connotations. "Roma" is the
broadest term of ethnic sell-description used for this group and ap-
plies to “Sinti" (Z1 central European subgroup) and "Roma" (a term
often used to describe Balkan subgroups). “Romani" is the adjectival
form of Roma.
reaucracy willing to implement it. In the words of Gotz
Aly and Karl Heinz Roth, each “selection” at the
Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp “fulfilled a
prior selection on paper.“
The bureaucracy of persecution has been studied since the
Nuremberg trials in 1946,’; but fcw scholars have explored
the personal data and statistical bases required to implement
interrelated and incremental Nazi policies of exclusion and
destruction. Historians of Nazi Germany have all but ignored
the subject — with the outstanding exception of Aly and
Roth -—- while most historians of computing technology have
overlooked the misapplications of statistics and computing
technology during the Nazi periodm This is due only in part
to a dearth of evidence. In the spring of 1945, the German
police authorities that had been in charge of deportation
destroyed most files not already lost in bombing raids (a
notable exception was the Gestapo subdistrict office in Wtirz-
burg).““5 l~‘urthermore, the SS and Gestapo were not in the
habit of publicizing their inner workings. Thus fundamental
questions remain open. How, for example, Was the regime
able to collect its information‘? Was this information used to
persecute racial victims in Nazi Germany and occupied
Europe, and if so, how? Finally, what role did mechanical
tabulation technology play in the process?
IEEE Annals ofthe History ofComputing, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1994 25Page 2

Locating the Victim
Tools of Enrollment
The answer to the first question is perhaps the simplest.
The Nazi regime gathered its information with two relatively
conventional tools of modern administration: the national
census and police registration. Of cotuse, not every Nazi
persecution was based on information contained in census or
police records, nor were the data always used for the pur-
poses of political, eugenic, or racial persecution. During the
phase of the Nazi consolidation of power (1933-1934), the
purging of Jews and political opponents from the civil serv-
ice, courts of law, cultural institutions, and public health
administration was implemented by complex ad hoc screen-
ing mechanisms based on questionnaires that routinely in-
creased in number and length. For example. provisions under
the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums
(Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service)
of April 7, 1933, required that all employees and job appli-
cants complete a four-page questionnaire proving their
“Aryan” ancestry and political loyalt)/.'5‘" Similarly, the
applicants for membership in the Reichskulturkammer
(Reich Chamber of Culture) — required for any cultural
activity in Nazi Germany —— were required to complete a
questionnaire that screened potential members by race and
political affiliation. It would be equally misleading to sug-
gest that pattems of Nazi census-taking betray a continuous
intent to commit genocide against Jews and Roma from an
early date in the Nazi regime. The structure of decision-
making in the Nazi state was at first too complex and, per-
haps more important, too chaotic, to sustain such a conclu-
sion.‘3"° Despite these limitations, however, leading statisti-
cians in government and industry loudly announced their
intention to apply their craft, with the help of mechanical
tabulation technology, to accomplish what Aly and Roth
have called the “total enrolment" of Germans along racial
and eugenic lines. To be sure, the use of tabulated punched
cards from censuses and other data to identify specific indi-
viduals remained a technical impossibility until after 1945.
But the balance of evidence suggests that registration data.
census forms, and — used in the aggregate — tabulated cen-
sus data facilitated the speed, efficiency, and thoroughness
of racial persecution and exploitation characteristic of Nazi
Germany.
The national census. The urgency of assembling compre-
hensive personal data was reflected in the speed with which
the Nazi regime began to compile it. Only four months after
Adolf Hitler was appointed German chancellor in January
1933, his government launched an ambitious program to
compile, catalog, and diagnose comprehensive information
on all aspects of the lives of all Germans. While that goal
was never reached, the struggle to attain it began at once.
The new regime announced a national census on April 12,
1933, even before opposition parties had been outlawed and
the Nazi dictatorship had been consolidated?) Already the
regime possessed the legal means to pursue its obiectives,
disregarding all political opposition: These were the so-
called “Reichstag Fire” decrees of February 28, 1933, issued
26 IEEE Annals ofthe History ofC0mputing, Vol. 16, No.
on the authority of German President Paul von Hindenburg,
which gave Chancellor Hitler arbitrary dictatorial powers.“
These decrees specifically enabled the central government to
suspend civil liberties and usurp the authority of state and
local governments, which the new regime promptly didfw
This permitted the regime to enforce a degree of uniformity
in census-taking that had proved impossible in 1925, the last
time a nationwide census had been held, when qualms and
hesitations by state and local governments had complicated
the process.“ It is therefore no accident that the first Nazi
census followed the subordination of state governments to
the central authority in Berlin.
In June 1933, the regime mustered some 500,000 poll-
sters, consisting mainly of teachers, war veterans, unem-
ployed persons, storm troopers and members of the SS.“
These census-takers used a questionnaire that was modeled
on the 1925 precedent, with an important difference: The
1933 form directed new questions at married women about
their date of marriage and the number of children they had
bome.“ These data were specifically intended to guide
“positive eugenic” policies designed to promote the fecun-
dity of “racially superior,” “Aryan” women. This was, to be
sure, a relatively modest objective, especially in light of
what was to come. But Nazi genocide emerged in part from
the complement of “positive eugenics" — that is, “negative
eugenic” policies designed to destroy “unwanted” racial or
genetic elements in the German population.” Thus a racial
and eugenic agenda was evident from the start of Nazi cen-
sus-taking.
In light of these pretensions, it is perhaps ironic that Ger-
many was a latecomer, both to census-taking and to the
electrical tabulation of census data. This was due mainly to
the late date of German unification. While the United States
had held decennial censuses since 1790, the first all-German
census dates only from December 1, 1871. After 1875, a
census was taken every five years until 1910. World War I
interrupted this continuum, and one census occurred under
the unstable conditions of the Weimar Republic (1925);
many of the statisticians who organized it, such as Friedrich
Burgdorfer, also played leading roles in later Nazi censuses.
Likewise, Hollerith machines had been used to tabulate the
decennial American census since l890.9‘im Despite the rela-
tive youth of census-taking in Germany, a strong continuity
existed between the Nazi censuses and their predecessors.
Indeed, many leading statisticians and census officials wel-
comcd the arrival of Nazi rule, and the new tasks and chal-
lenges it posed to their profession. In 1934, for example, the
president of the State Statistical Bureau of Thuringia, Johan-
nes Mtiller, noted with satisfaction that “The days
when...statisticians were first and foremost scientists are
over" (quoted by Aly and Roth] p. 13). In a similar vein,
Willy Heidinger, the director of the Dehomag Corporation,
IBM’s German subsidiary, offered an especially liubristic
assessment of the future role of statisticians and tabulation
technology in the Nazi state:
We are recording the individual characteristics of every
single member of the nation onto a little card... We are
3, 1994Page 3

proud to be able to contribute
to such a task, a task that
makes available to the physi-
cian [i.e., Adolf Hitler] of our
German body-social the ma-
terial for his examination, so
that our physician can deter-
mine whether, from the stand-
point of the health of the na-
tion, the results calculated in
this manner stand in a har-
monious, healthy relation to
one another. or whether un-
healthy conditions must be
cured by corrective interven-
tions..._ We have firm trust in
our physician and will follow
his orders blindly, because we
know that he will lead our na-
tion toward a great future.
Hail to our German people
and their leader! Z7
(H)
A new day had dawned, when W
statistical science and technology
would take on new problems, such
as political opposition and “racial
hygiene." As states were growing
more dependent on Berlin, a cen-
tral institution assumed greater
authority over census-taking na-
tionwide: This was the Statis-
tisches Reichsamr (Reich Statistical
Office, or SRA). headed by
Burgdorfer. Although state statisti-
cal bureaus were responsible for
collecting the data, the 1933 census
decree centralized overall authority
for the analysis and publication of
census data with the SRA.“‘“
The I933 census was processed
in record time; this can be attrib-
uted not only to public resources
invested in that project, but to
technical innovations as well.l°
Although German businesses had
used punched-card tabulators and
sorters for decades, German statis-
ticians were only beginning to
realize the potential applications of
this technology to social policy.'9'3"3Z In the state of Prussia,
the processing of census data was fully mechanized — for
the first time in German history — through tabulators and
sorters leased from Dehomag (see Figure l). Dehomag was
also contracted to enter and tabulate all data from Prussia,
which at that time comprised about three-fifths of the total
German population.” All the other German states tabulated
data manually. as in the past. To meet a May 30, 1934,
(b)
Figure 1. The Dehomag I)-11 tabulator (a) and sorter (b) manufactured by the Ger-
man Hollerith Machine Co. (Courtesy US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washing-
ton, D.C. Photographer: Arnold Kramer.)
deadline for the completion of data processing, about 900
Dehornag keypunch operators and editors, punching and
verifying around the clock in three 7‘/2-hour shifts (see Fig-
ure 2), transferred data on about 40 million Prussian citizens
onto 60-column punched cards at a rate of 150 cards per
person per hourlm These cards were then processed with 35
Dehomag sorters with a capacity of 24,000 punched cards
per hour, 13 combined Dehomag sorter-tabulators with a
IEEE Annals ofthe History of Computing, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1994 27Page 4

Locating the Victim
1
Figure 2. Women clerks entering 1933 census data onto
punched cards for the German Hollerith Machine Co.
The table posted at the front of the room specifies that
column 22, hole 3, classifies Jewish individuals and hole
10 specifies nationality (e.g., Poles). This photograph was
first published in the official commemorative program
for the dedication of the new Hollerith factory in Berlin-
Lichterfelde on January 8, 1934. It was also printed in the
April 1934 issue of the corporate publication Hollerith-
Nachrichten. (Courtesy Annegret Ehmann, Berlin.)
capacity of 20,000 punched cards per hour, and 25 Dehomag
tabulators with a capacity of 12,000 punched cards per
hour.m° Some of these Hollerith machines were of a type
specialized for counting cards sharing as many as 13 cate-
gories at once.’°'“ Already by March 1934, all the categories
of data had been sorted and tabulated. Included in this proc-
ess was a special census of religiously observant Jews (so-
called Glaubensjudenfi The speed of this data-processing
system erased all initial misgivings among Prussian census
officials about the effectiveness of mechanized census-data
tabulation. Meanwhile, the profitability of Dehomag’s col-
laboration encouraged it to build a Hollerith machine factory
in Berlin-Lichterfelde. (The Berlin facility was not, however,
Dehomag‘s only plant: The first plant — located in Villing-
en — was purchased in 1918, and the second factory in
Sindelfingen near Stuttgart was bought in about 1920.35)
In terms of technique and personnel, the second Nazi cen-
sus of May 17, 1939. was an even grander affair than the
1933 census. The muster of census-takers increased 50 per-
cent to 750,000, Who. as a result of the territorial annexa-
28 IEEE Annals oflhe History of Computing, Vol. 16, No. 3.
tions of 1938, now also included Austrians.“ The process of
tabulating data was now fully mechanized throughout Ger-
many and centralized under the authority of the SRA, which
had doubled in size to include a staff of more than 5,000
employeesfw The SRA itself conducted the census in the
states of Prussia, Oldenburg, Lippe, Schaumburg-Lippe, and
the Saarland; elsewhere, the SRA assigned responsibility for
collecting census forms to state-level statistical bureaus. The
Sudetenland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
were not included because those territories had been ac-
quired too recently and because the Czech census of 1930
was regarded as adequate. To tabulate the 1939 data, De-
homag leased the labor of 1,200 kcypunch operators and
editors.” Technical improvements also accelerated the tabu-
lation of 1939 census data. As early as 1933. the SRA had
exploited the enhanced speed and capacity afforded by De-
homag’s new punched cards with rectangular holes, which
permitted the number of data categories contained on each
card to increase from 45 to either 60 or 80, depending on
which of two standard card sizes were used. In the 1933
census, 60-column cards were usedfw After 1933, the SRA
had its I-lollerith machines rebuilt to accommodate either the
60-column or 80-column cards, and for the 1939 census used
the more capacious 80-column cards."““ (Figure 3 shows an
80-column card used by the SS Race Office.) Some of the
data were processed with a stripped-down, high-speed ver-
sion of the new D-11 model Hollerith.1“‘” Once again, tabu-
lation was completed within a year.
Resident registration. While the statisticians in Berlin
were compiling their data, the second tool of enrollment was
being developed at the local level. This was the requirement
for all residents to register with the local police. Present-day
Germans are accustomed to reporting their residence and
other personal data to local police, but few realize that this
obligation is a legacy of the Nazi regime. The Reichs-
meldeordnimg (Reich Registration Law, or RMO) of January
6, 1938, required that all inhabitants of Germany (including
foreigners) report any changes in residence to local po-
lice.m' By 1941, its stipulations had been extended to Aus-
tria, the Sudetenland, and territories annexed from Poland.“”"
Failure to comply with the RMO was punishable with six weeks’
imprisonment (RMO"' IV, §26, 1-3). Inside Germany proper,
these data on domicile were exchanged among local police
forces (and still are). The explicit purpose of resident regis-
tration was social control. Artur Kaab and Erich Liebermann
von Sonnenberg. architects of the Reich Registration Law,
wrote that the system of resident registration was
the indispensable basis of activity for numerous authorities
that work...at the national level and which are therefore de-
pendent on registration material reported in town and
country throughout the Reich. Fragmentary data and in—
complete information would serve the Reich Postal Service
[and] the Reich Statistical Office...no less poorly than the
Kripo and the Gestapo... Considerations of a security na-
ture figure more prominently in the Reich Registration Law
than in earlier state registration laws (quoted by Aly and
Roth] p. 45).
1 994Page 5

Figure 3. SS Race Office (Rassenamt-SS) punch card issued by the German Hollerith Machine Co., dated June 12, 1942.
Among the 63 items of information recorded in the 80 columns were year of birth, place of birth, profession, marital
status, religious affiliation, year of marriage, total male children, total female children, nationality, height, weight, racial
elements, labor and military service, and the examiner’s number. (Courtesy Giitz Aly, Berlin.)
Registration bureaus were created in police precincts
across the country and were instructed to report any change
in residence to the SRA in Berlin, which used the informa-
tion to update local population totals.“ Resident registration
thus enabled the government to keep tabs on the physical
location of all Germans. including those whom it chose to
persecute. The Reich Registration Law enabled the regime to
require, in a decree of July 23, 1938, that all Jews carry
special identification papers imprinted with a large. black
letter “J” for Jude.“ These procedures were augmented after
the war began: In conformity with a decree of September 6,
1939, all hotels, hostels, and hospitals also reported their
guests.“
Locating the victim
How did the Nazi state use this data to locate its victims?
The answer to this question is complex, in part because the
structure of decision making in the Nazi state was often sur-
prisingly haphazard. Eventually, registers of specific victim
groups were compiled systematically from a variety of
sources. But this was a relatively late development, the re-
sult of increasing centralization of police authority and the
preparations for war. A long road had been traveled to reach
that point. Prior to I938 and l939, efforts to locate victims
were hampered by what has been called the “totalitarian
anarchy" and “polycentrism” of the Nazi state. Party and
government institutions battled constantly for power and
influence, not just in matters of data collection but in virtu-
ally every other area of activity as well. These competing
institutions set goals of data collection too ambitious for the
means available to them. Moreover, matters were compli-
cated since coherent definitions of various victim groups
emerged only gradually between I933 and 1939.
The sheer number of state and Nazi party institutions col-
lecting specialized racial data was astounding. To name but a
few examples, the Rassenpolitisches Amt (Racial Policy
Bureau or RPA) of the Nazi party launched a project to
compile a comprehensive register of all Jews, Roma, so-
called “asocials,” and other racial “aliens” living within
German borders. Meanwhile, the head of the Reichsstelle fiir
Sippenforschung (Reich Office for Genealogical Research),
Dr. Achim Gercke, began laying the groundwork for what he
hoped one day would amount to a “Reich Genealogical
Catalog” which would contain the racial pedigree of every
German.“ By 1934, the Protestant churches in Berlin had
begun a genealogical card catalog to assist in proving (or
disproving) Aryan descent'u'”'5” In 1935 and 1936, the
Reiclzsgesundheitsaml (Reich Health Office) started compil-
ing a card catalog of genetically diseased persons. In 1936,
the Kripo established a Reichszentrale fzlir die Bekzimpfimg
der Zigeunerplage (Reich Central Ollice for the Fight
against the Gypsy Plague). In the same year, a Rassenhy-
gienische and Beviilkerungsbiologische Forschungsstelle
(Eugenics and Demographic Biology Research Unit) was
created within the Reich Health Office under the direction of
Dr. Robert Ritter to accomplish the systematic registration
and fingerprinting of all Roma living in Germany.5'55 In
addition to authorities at the national level, regional police
officials also attempted to locate Jews. In February 1936, for
example, the political police of Wtirttemberg, noting the
recent “influx of German and...foreign Jews,” ordered that
each and every newly arrived Jew was to be interrogated and
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. I6, No. 3, I994 29Page 6

Locating the Victim
registered with the Stuttgart central ofl'iee.5° Thus, through-
out the 1930s, the process of locating victims was neither
centralized nor systematic. Competition between state and
Nazi party agencies resulted in administrative confusion and
the proliferation of institutions charged with the same gen-
eral tasks.
The l933 census illustrated the effect of the lack of coher-
ent definitions: Complete as its coverage was, the category
of observant Jews (Glaubensjuden) was inadequately de-
lineated. Nonaffiliated Jews and the descendants of mixed
marriages between Jews and Aryans remained statistically
indistinguishable from other Germans. Thus the 1933 census
counted 499,682 Glaubensjuden,” but missed perhaps as
many as 240,000 nonpracticing Jews and persons of part-
Jewish descent. The problem boiled down to subjectivity.
How, one statistician asked, was a respondent to know what
race he or she belonged to, in the absence of objective racial
criteria? A much simpler approach, he suggested, would be
to inquire after Aryan or non-Aryan descent.“
For the same reason, Roma also escaped detection. Nearly all
were Christian, and there was no provision in the 1933 census for
identifying them on a racial basis, although a Bavarian law of
July 16. 1926, and a similar Prussian decree of November 3,
1927, mandated special identity cards (with fingerprints and
photographs) for all Roma above the age of six. These cards
were to be filed with the police, local registry offices, and labor
exchanges. Despite this partial registration of Roma in two of the
largest Gerrrra.n states, data was reported only to the Munich
headquarters of the “Center for the Fight against Gypsies in
Germany,” but not to the SR/51.5359 Thus the 1933 census was
deficient for creating a database for the systematic racial perse-
cution of Jews as well as Roma. Moreover, no national register
of persons suffering from supposedly hereditary diseases had yet
been created and thus could not be reported to the SRA when the
1933 census was tabulated; this would later be assembled by
other ministries.
One explanation for these shortcomings is that the data es-
sential for the implementation of Nazi racial policy devel-
oped incrementally after 1933. In 1933, these objectives
were still not fully defined and the bureaucratic process of
destruction was not yet centrally coordinated. Not until
September 1935 did the Nazi regime even determine who,
for the purposes of racial definition, was Jewish. The Blur-
schutzgesetz and the Reichsbrirgergesetz (Blood Protection
Law and Reich Citizenship Law. known together as the
“Nuremberg Race Laws”), along with their supplemental
decrees, resolved that problem by defining “Jewishness” not
by faith, culture, or any other criterion based on self-
identification, but by ethnic ancestry.m‘°" Broadly speaking,
every Jew was grouped into one of three racial categories: A
*Raul Hilberg and others have shown that even the racial definition
of Jewishness propounded at Nuremberg rested on a cultural founda-
tion? An individual's race was determined by that of his grandparents.
This, in turn was determined on the basis of their religious practice.
The argument was based on the false assumption that prior to 1900,
intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews was rare. For analyses of
Nazi policy toward part-Jews, see articles by Biittner 1989“ and
Noakes 1989.“
30 IEEE Annals ofthe History of Computing, Vol. 16, No.
“full” Jew (Volljude) was any person with three or four
Jewish grandparents; a first-degree Jewish “hybrid”
(Mischling ersren Grades) had two Jewish grandparents; and
a second-degree Jewish hybrid (Mischling zweiten Grades)
had only one Jewish grandparent. In view of these legal in-
novations, top Nazi officials were keenly aware of the in-
adequacies of the 1933 census as a tool for locating racially
defined victim groups. In October 1936, the national Chief
of Security Police, Reinhard Heydrich, noted with acid frus-
tration that
Since the [Nazi] seizure of power, it has been ascer-
tained that a large proportion of the Jewish population
living in Germany has allowed itself to be baptized as
Protestants or Catholics with the intention, following a
change of residence, of avoiding occurring as Jews in
registration records and furthermore to hamper the ef-
forts of other authorities, particularly the political po-
lice [i.e., Gestapo], to establish individual cases of
Jewish ethnic descent (quoted by Aly and Rothf p. 69).
Heydrich referred here to local civilian resident registration of-
fices (Einwohnenneldetimter), not to resident registration by the
police. Many localities implemented the RMO simply by trans-
ferring existing EinwuhJwrnu2la'ei1'mter to police authority.
The shift from a “polycentric” to a more systematic and
centralized operation to locate groups targeted as “racial
aliens” coincided with two major developments in the Nazi
state: first, the emergence of a monopoly over police powers
in the hands of SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, and second,
Hitler’s decision to launch a major European land war. The
consolidation of police authority under the SS gave Himmler
the power to impose greater uniformity on the process of
identifying victim groups, as well as the ability to persecute
them systernatically.“ In addition, Hitler intended the war to
serve as the pretext for a massive racial and eugenic
“cleansing” of German society. lt is no accident, for exam-
ple, that Hitler hackdated his authorization for the so-called
euthanasia program to kill institutionalized physically and
psychiatrically handicapped people, and persons identified as
having hereditary diseases or defects, to the same day that
the German army invaded Poland.“
The 1939 census and the Reich Registration Law must be
understood against the background of these parallel devel-
opments. The more sophisticated 1939 census was designed
to fulfill Heydrich’s demand for explicitly racial criteria of
social classification.“ In contrast to 1933, the 1939 census
contained a supplemental questionnaire (Ergéinzungskarte)
that required respondents to report if any of their grandpar-
ents were Jews. This questionnaire enabled government
statisticians to classify individual Jews not by religious ob-
servance, but by the racial categories of the Nuremberg Race
Laws: full Jews and Jewish hybrids of the first or second
degree.“'°W“ Each form also required identification of the
**As a matter of administrative convenience. the 1939 Ergii'nzrmg.r~
karts ignored certain rronracial factors affecting the distinctions be-
tween “hybrids” of the first and second degree. (See the SR/\’s 1940
publication,” p. 84, note.)
3, 1994Page 7

respondent’s place of birth and residence, which further
facilitated the process of locating Jews. To ensure the most
exact racial information possible, this supplemental form
was to be delivered in a separate mailing to the statistical
bureau responsible for its processing. While there was some
confusion about which bureau was meantfw it seems that
the SRA was implied. In any case, it was the SRA that in
1940 published the tabulated results from the Erg£inzungs-
karren.“
The 1939 census form also asked citizens to declare all
skills of potential use to the military.” Indeed. the tandem
goals of racial persecution and military preparation emerged
clearly in the arrangements for tabulating the national census
of 1939. The minutes of a meeting of key ministerial offi-
cials held at the SRA on September 6, 1939, record that
The representatives of Reich Interior Ministry and the
Reichsfiihrer-SS [Himmler] considered it an essential
priority for their work to draw up lists of names of for-
eigners and persons of foreign ethnic affiliation
(V0lkstumsgehr'irigkeit,), as Well as to separate data on
Jews and Jewish hybrids. Accordingly. the fulfillment
of the aforementioned tasks were recognized as an
“immediate program,” for which the Reich Statistical
Office promised a likely completion date at the end of
November 1939.
In response to the urgent wishes of the Military High
Command and the Reich Labor Ministry, the comple-
tion of these tasks will be followed by the preparation
of a professional census (professions in combination
with social structure). for which the Reich Statistical
Office requires a time period until the middle of next
year H940] (quoted by Aly and Roth 1984,? p. 25).
The 1939 census enabled Himmler and Heydrich to iden-
tify populations of nonaffiliated, nonpracticing Jews and
persons of part-Jewish descent who had eluded earlier regis-
tration attempts. Preliminary census results published in
early 1940 indicated that 330,892 full Jews, 72,738 first-
degree hybrids, and 42,811 second-degree hybrids still re-
sided within the German boundaries of May 1939.” (A large
proportion of the German Jewish population had died, emi-
grated, or been expelled between 1933 and 1939.) Compara-
tive machine analysis of census data enabled Reich statisti-
cians to determine the exact geographic, demographic, and
professional composition of Nazi Germany‘s largest victim
group.“ It also enabled the SRA, acting on orders from Hey-
drich and Interior Minister Wilhelm Friek, to extract an
“Ethnic Catalog” (Volkszumskarrei) of racially non-Aryan
residents from the i939 census data. On December 10, 1942,
Frick announced its completion: "At the common instigation
of myself and [Heydrich].” He Wrote,
the [SRA] has produced a V0lkstumskartei...from basic
material in the national census 0f...l939. Each individual
card contains the surname (also maiden name), personal
name. residence (including district and community). sex,
date of birth and information conceming religion. mother
tongue, ethnic affiliation [i.e., race], profession, for house-
hold heads the number of children under the age of l4 liv-
ing in his household, and a declaration (yes or no) whether
arable land is under cultivation.”
Meanwhile, data from resident registration files also pro-
lnitially, the index cards of Jewish
residents were to be marked with a
black letter As of March 1940, the
file card of each full or part Jew
was marked with a black tab affixed to
the top of the card.
vided the informational basis for another new database: the
“Catalog of the People” (Volkskarlei). The primary function
of the Volkskarzei, decreed on April 21, 1939, was to facili-
tate the military draft.“ Placed under the jurisdiction of the
Ordnmzgspalizei (regular uniformed police) and maintained
at the local level, the Volkskartei augmented existing resi-
dent registration databases with a uniform, nationwide sys-
tem of index card files detailing vital statistics and occupa-
tional information on every person resident in the Reich. All
Germans between the ages of six and seventy were required
to fill out a card indicating
' year of birth,
~ profession.
- employment history,
~ physical disabilities,
' name and marital status,
- level of education,
' foreign language ability and history of travel outside
Germany,
' areas of specialized knowledge,
~ ability to drive cars, ride horses, or fly airplanes,
' record of military service, and
' place of residence.”
These cards were sorted locally by year of birth and gender to
facilitate military conscription. But the Volkskanei was also
linked to the project of racial enrollment from the outset. Ini-
tially, the index cards of Jewish residents were to be marked with
a black letter “J,” and as of March I940, the file card of each full
or part Jew was marked with a black tab affixed to the top of the
cardjm This was accomplished by comparing Volkskanei cards
with records of the special identification papers every full Jew
was obliged to carry. The explicit purpose of specially labeling
Volkskarrei cards of Jews was “to obtain a general overview of
the Jewish population still remaining in a locality” and because,
in the event of war, it was best suited to facilitate a
“comprehensive labor draft” (Gesamtarbeilseinsatz) of Jews.“
After 1939, German efforts to accumulate precise statisti-
cal data on the populations under its rule extended to occu-
pied and annexed regions of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Vichy
IEEE Annals of the History 0fC0mputing, Vol. 16, No. 3, 1994 3lPage 8

Locating the Victim
France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The registration of
Jewish property and persons was especially complete in the
occupied Netherlands.” In occupied eastern Europe, the Nazi
state relied on census data compiled by the Interior Minis-
try’s Publications Unit.” Both inside Germany proper and in
German-occupied Europe, local registration and Jewish cen-
sus data were linked to the distribution of J-stamped identi-
fication papers. Star of David badges, work permits for Jews,
and ration cards. Ultimately, these bureaucratic forms were
the essential prerequisite for the roundup, intemment, and
deportation of Jews. The cooperation of local statistical of-
fices throughout German-occupied Europe more than com-
pensated for the isolation and paucity of German police per-
sonnel, spread thinly across the lands Germany had
conquered.
We can gauge the significance of the 1939 census and its
derivative. the Vnlkstmnrkartei, by comparing their results
with the Gestapo’s earlier efforts to accumulate a compre-
hensive catalog of German Jews. Four years before, in 1935,
SS Major Adolf Eichmann was assigned the task of organiz-
ing the compilation of “Catalogs of Jews” (Judenkarteien)
on the basis of congregational and Jewish communal mem-
bership lists. On August 17, 1935, his superior, Heydrich,
had ordered all Gestapo district offices to retrieve the mem-
bership lists of all Jewish congregations and communities
and to assemble the data in a standardized format, for the
explicit purpose of enforcing Nazi racial laws.” Heydrich’s
instructions to these offices stipulated that
A Jewish register shall be established to list all Jews in
Germany. This register should be based on
[congregational] membership lists provided in triplicate
by all Jewish organizations to every district office.
These membership lists should show the actual status as
of 1 October 1935. These membership lists should be
obtained front the local and district level.... Two copies
of the submitted membership lists are to be transmitted
to me no later than 1 November [i935]. The third copy
is to remain at each local [Gestapo] office for evalua-
tion and for the creation of a district register. Any
changes are to be sent automatically on a quarterly ba-
sis; such supplementary records are also to be transmit-
ted in triplicate. These records should list new members
as well as those removed due to resignation, death, or
emigration. These supplemental lists are to be sent to
me on the first day of the month following each quar-
terly report... Reports indicating no data are also man-
datory.“
But this effort remained incomplete for the same reasons
that the 1933 census had proven inadequate: Although they
included greater numbers of nonpracticing Jews, congrega-
tional and communal lists offered no advantage for the sys-
tematic identification of half- or quarter-Jews, let alone for
the identification of Jewish converts to Christianity. More-
over, Eichmann’s resources were insufficient, and initially
the project made little headway. Some evidence suggests
that the Volkstumskartei was consciously intended to com-
pensate for the defects of the Judenkartei.”
32 IEEE Annals ofthe History of Computing. Vol. 16, N0.
lt should be emphasized that even before the Gestapo be-
gan to compile its Judenkartei, a parallel effort to had begun
to catalog the Romani population of Germany. Throughout
the 1930s, the same process of centralization that character-
ized the compilation of data on Jews also occurred for Roma
and Roma married with Germans. Special provisions for the
registration of Roma under the Reich Registration Law were
decreed in December l938.'”'W' Increasingly, the project of
locating Roma was concentrated in the Krip0’s “Reich Cen-
tral Office for the Fight against the Gypsy Plague” and their
comprehensive “racial scrutiny” of the Romani population in
the Reich. Based on Dr. Robert Ritter’s conclusion that the
“Gypsy Problem” was best solved with the tools of “racial
science,” Himmler ordered the cataloging of all Roma by
degrees of “racial purity.” Accordingly, the Kripo used Rit-
ter’s system of racial notation, in which “Z” (Zigeuner) indi-
cated “full Gypsy”; “ZM+" (Zigeunermischling) meant a
“Gypsy hybrid” of predominantly Romani blood; “ZM” in-
dicated a Gypsy hybrid with equal amounts of German and
Romani blood; and “ZM—" indicated a Gypsy hybrid of pre-
dominantly German blood. This racial classification was
virtually identical to that used for Jews, and ultimately
served the same purposemg
As with Jews, the process of locating Roma was carried
beyond the borders of Germany in 19391 The registration of
Austrian Roma was begun in late October 1939; a similar
census of Roma was conducted in the Protectorate of Bo-
hemia and Moravia in August 1942. The Dutch Ministry of
Justice had already created a central register of Roma in
1936. In early 1941, a central Dutch registry of Roma, no-
mads, aliens, and stateless persons in the occupied Nether-
lands was opened to facilitate the implementation of German
measures for the arrest, internment, and deportation of Dutch
Roma.” In France, the Vichy Commissariat for Jewish Af-
fairs under Xavier Vallat held jurisdiction over the fate of
Roma, as part of its responsibility for the administration of
“measures for the maintenance of racial purity/’35
In Germany, the massive project to identify and locate all
Jews and Roma was, for all intents and purposes, completed
by the end of 1940. To be sure, the Volkstumskartei required
rather more time to complete (until December 1942), but
most of the necessary information was available before the
first deportations of German Jews began in October 1941 .“
The data behind deportations
Census data and resident registration data helped the Nazi
regime locate victims on a national scale, but were they used
to guide the planning and administration of deportations?
The answer would require detailed knowledge of the Ge-
stapo‘s internal bureaucratic procedures, and this informa-
tion is still not fully established. Any conclusion about the
overall use of centralized ethnographic databases and the
role of mechanical tabulation in the process of deporting and
killing the racial victims of Nazism must therefore remain
tentative. Given the importance Heydrich attached to na-
tional ethnographic databases and considering the pan-
European scale on which Adolf Eichmann operated as the
Gestapo’s supervisor of deportations, it seems likely that
3, 1994Page 9

material derived from the I939 census and resident registra-
tion was used in developing the overall plan of deportations.
But how? Aly and Roth suggest that census data facilitated
Heydrich’s decision to deport all Jewish war veterans above
the age of 65 to the Theresienstadt ghettof We also know
that SS statistician Richard Korherr regularly supplied the
Gestapo with information derived from the SRA‘s census
data on the number and location of Jewish hybrids (see Hil-
berg‘s bookf p. 188, n.; p. 427, n. 24: pp. 469, 735). On the
other hand. over half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were
already dead before Interior Minister Frick announced the
completion of the Volkstumskartei in December 1942.
Still, the process by which the deportations of Jews was
coordinated offers us a glimpse of where the Gestapo ob-
tained its information and how they used these data. Re-
sponsibility for the overall administration of deportations
was centralized in Adolf Eichmann‘s office, since he was
assigned to serve as the Judenreferent (Jewish expert) at
Gestapo headquarters in Berlin. The process of deportation
varied slightly by locality, but generally followed a consis-
tent pattern. Each deportation from Germany proper began
with a directive from Eichmann’s bureau stipulating the total
number ofJews to be deported in a specific roundup. In turn,
this was accompanied by detailed instructions that assigned,
among other things. train timetables and the quota of Jews
each locality was to produce. In Gem1any, deportations were
carried out by Gestapo offices at the district and subdistrict
levels. which enlisted the aid of local police, rural gen-
darmes, district administrators (Landriite), and the local
administrations of Jewish communities to translate the des-
ignated quotas into lists of specific persons for deporta-
tion.'3'“'m7 In short, Berlin dictated aggregate numbers,
while local police and Jewish communal officials drew up
lists of the names and addresses of individual deportees.”
There is still no definitive information about local deporta-
tion lists. and whether socioeconomic factors or professional
skills were factors in Jewish communal decisions about the
allocation of any individual or family to a specific transport.
Current historical evidence suggests that after the Gestapo
assigned a specific quota to Jewish communities in Germany
and Austria, the community itself was required to select their
own members for each transport.
Where did Berlin get these totals? Some evidence points
to the Judenkartei. As we have seen, Jewish communities
had been forced to supply membership lists to the Gestapo
since October 1935. I-Ieydrich‘s decree on the creation of a
uniform Judenkartei also provided for quarterly updates,
which the Gestapo compiled from local lists. Despite Hey-
drich’s complaints, Jewish communal lists were the best-
established source of information about the numbers and
locations of most Jews. and among the several index card
catalogs on the Jewish population, the Judenkartei was the
oldest. The earliest roundups clearly made use of these regis-
ters. After the Crystal Night pogrom of November 1938, for
example, the Heidelberg Gestapo office ordered the deporta-
tion of all adult male Jews to the Dachau concentration
camp. A local official composed a list of 56 names from a
local Judenkarteidg The Judenkartei seems also to have
provided the basis for mass expulsions of full Jews from the
states of Baden and the Palatinate on October 22, 1940.“ The
deficiencies of the Judenkartei are revealed in the fact that
the Gestapo did not, in these instances, dictate quotas of
deportees. This was partly because Jewish communal lists
were not designed to provide information classified by racial
The course of
deportations suggests that the
Judenkartei was used with census
and registration data (and their
derivative databases).
criteria. Further, the Gestapo district office in the state of
Baden initiated a catalog of racially defined Jews only afier
the deportations of October I940 were already accom-
plished.”
The course of subsequent deportations, moreover, sug-
gests that the Judenkartei was used with census and regis-
tration data (and their derivative databases). Communal
membership lists could not fail to miss a certain number of
Jews: In Dusseldorf, for example, one deportation missed 23
women not included among the members of the Jewish
community, among them two women who had converted to
Lutheranism and become nurses (Diakonissen).“" After Oc-
tober l94l. each phase of mass deportations was directed —
at least officially - against groups of Jews that were de-
fined with a degree of demographic, occupational, and racial
precision that exceeded the limits of information available
from the Judenkartei. The initial wave of deportations in late
1941 and early 1942 was directed against full Jews under the
age of 65. But the first wave also excluded Jewish hybrids,
Jews married to Aryans (with or without children), and those
hybrids who counted as full Jews because they practiced the
Jewish religion (so-called Geltungsjuden) but were not mar-
ried to Jews, physically infirm Jews over the age of 55, Jews
whose work was considered vital to the war effort, and
stateless Jews.“‘“ Later deportation waves in 1943 erased the
exemption of foreign Jews and Jews previously exempted
because of their work or infirmity.“ Finally, one of the last
waves of deportations in 1944 aimed to deport Jewish hy-
brids who had previously not been systematically affected by
earlier deportations from the Reich.
As H.G. Adler notes, the precondition for every deporta-
tion was accurate knowledge of how many Jews in a particu-
lar district fitted the racial and demographic descriptions in
Berlin’s quotas.” Any central database capable of supplying
such information had to maintain reasonably exact statistics
on the age, ancestry, marital status, occupation, and nation-
ality of Jews in every locality in Germany. Communal lists
(and the Judenkarteien) often supplied the basic informa-
tion,°° but this had to be corrected for data they did not con-
tain. We know that local Gestapo offices sometimes oh-
tained this information from police registration file cards.“
But only the 1939 census contained data on the age, ances-
IEEE Annals ofthe History of Computing, Vol. l6, No. 3, I994 33Page 10

Locating the Victim
try, status, occupation, and nationality of every Jew. Even
the 1939 census had certain limitations; its data were current
only to May 1939 and could not account for changes in the
Jewish population between 1939 and 1941. By the outbreak
of war in September 1939, for example, the Jewish popula-
tion of Germany had decreased to about 185,000, largely as
a result of emigration, expulsion, and suicide.“‘°"°2 The cen-
sus thus required constant updating to provide exact data for
deportations. Indications are that resident registration filled
some of these gaps. According to instructions issued by the
Interior Ministry on April 10. 1938, local police throughout
Germany were obligated to report any changes in residence
to the SRA,“ which updated census records as the statistical
"basis for wide-ranging goals of economic and population
policy.”'3
Armed with these data, the Gestapo often proved able to
anticipate with remarkable accuracy the total number of
deportees for each racial, status, and age category. On No-
vember 18, 1941, for example, the Stuttgart Gestapo in-
formed district administrators of Berlin’s instructions to
deport 111 Jews from the town of I-laigerloch and 19 from
the town of Hechingen. The order exempted foreign Jews,
Jews living in mixed marriages, and Jews over the age of 65.
Local administrators almost met their quota: On November
27, lll Jews from Haigerloch and ll from Hechingen were
deported by truck to Stuttgart and by train to Riga, where
they were later killed. Henry Friedlander has pointed out that
local Gestapo officials frequently ignored Berlin's stipula-
tions to exclude elderly Jews or part Jews.“ For instance,
two persons in an April 1942 deportation from Wiirzburg
exceeded the age limit of 65.“ But the point here is that irre-
spective of whether such orders were obeyed, Eichmann’s
quotas seem to have been guided by precise information
about aggregate statistics of the age, status, and “racial char-
acteristics" of individual Jews.
Nevertheless, the Gestapo often did not have a clear idea
of how many full and part Jews resided in a particular dis-
trict. In the case of a 1942 deportation from Franconia, for
example, the local Gestapo office in Wiirzburg felt com-
pelled to ask a district administrator (Landrar) to provide
data about the number of Jews resident in the towns of Bad
Neustadt, Unsleben, and Oberelsbach. The mayors of these
towns supplied the mandated quotas of full Jews and Jews
living in mixed marriages, presumably from police residen-
tial registers. In this instance. Berlin had overestimated the
total by about 30 percent, and the actual deportation included
several persons above the age of 65, who should have been
exempted.“
Irrespective of whether the Judenkartei, the national cen-
sus, or the Volkstumskarzei provided the data required to
implement deportations, the second primary tool of enroll-
ment — resident registration -— provided the necessary cor-
rective for the deficiencies of the other three registers. In
this connection it is important to bear in mind that the 1939
census was intended in part to fill lacunae in registration
files, especially concerning Jewish hybrids. Only the 1939
census provided a database comprising the requisite racial
and demographic overview needed to craft the complex and
34 IEEE Annals ofthe History 0fC0mputing, Vol. 16, No.
many-staged process of coordinated deportations from vari-
ous German and foreign localities to distant ghettos and
concentration camps in the newly occupied East.
Conclusion: The role of Hollerith
technology
The precise role played by punched-card tabulation tech-
nology in the bureaucratic apparatus of persecution is still
partly speculative, and therefore our conclusions are tenta-
tive. As we noted above, Hollerith machines processed Nazi
censuses designed to identify, locate, and describe the per-
sonal characteristics of individual Jews and non-Jews; they
may also have been used by the SRA to keep census figures
up to date with the Volkskartei. Although circumstantial
evidence suggests that census data were used to guide
overall logistical planning of deportation from Germany, we
can only speculate whether the SRA supplied the Gestapo
with the statistics it needed to dictate quotas of Jews desig-
nated for specific local deportations. The SRA almost surely
did not preserve and update central punched-card files on
specific victim groups: Instead, the cards appear to have
been destroyed after each census tabulation was complete.
Further, technical limitations probably prevented any other
institution from developing fully mechanized card files on
individual members of targeted victim groups. Finally. while
the parallel deportations of Roma were also based on com-
prehensive and systematic residential, demographic, and
genealogical registrations by local police and public health
authorities, it is doubtful that census data were used in their
deportation and subsequent murder. The paperwork required
for the identification and killing of the handicapped also
utilized tabulation technology, although it is not known
whether Hollerith machines were used in the process of their
destruction.
If indeed the Nazi state did not exploit fully the potential
of Hollerith technology to facilitate racial persecution. this
was not for lack of ambition or cooperation from Dehomag.
Director Heidinger’s vision of a totalitarian future in which
every resident would be monitored and manipulated in a
system of “comprehensive surveillance” was shared widely
by Nazi party and German state officials. Figure 4 shows a
poster issued by Dehomag that suggests this vision. There
was also a substantial increase in the number of institutions
using punched~card tabulators and sorters in Nazi Germany.

By the end of the war, Dehomag had approximately 300 customers (counting each public authority as one customer), using about 2,000 Hollerith machines, each consisting of two card punchers, several verifiers. one sorter, and one tabulator.” Virtually all of these machines were leased from Dehomag, although during the war every new lease required prior approval from the military high command and the government could force private firms to surrender their machines to “enterprises of greater importance to the war effort.":' The list of governmental and Nazi party institutions using Hollerith machines included the Nazi Party Treasury, the Reichspost (postal system), the Reichsbank (central bank). the Reichsbahn (national railroad system), the Ministry of Air Travel, the War Ministry, the Army, Navy, and Air Force High Commands, the Armaments Ministry, the central SS personnel office,“ and numerous city govemments. The SRA remained one of Dehomag‘s largest customers, with about 40 Hollerith machine sets at its disposal.

The sizable demand for Dehomag’s services in the public sector resulted in the formation of a special department to deal exclusively with leases of equipment to government agencies.”

Official enthusiasm for Hollerith technology redounded to the commercial benefit of Dehomag. As a result, Dehomag grew both in work-force and market share, though it remained an IBM subsidiary, even throughout the war years.

ln early 1945, Dehomag’s regional director in Saarbriicken, Jakob Haring, estimated that the corporation had grown to employ over 10,000 people throughout Germany, 8,000 of them at the central offices in Berlin. More important, Dehomag succeeded in overcoming competition from the Powers and Siemens-Halske companies to establish a near monopoly over punched-card tabulation technology in Nazi Germany: Haring estimated that 1" or every competitor’s machine, “there were ten [Dehomag] Holleriths at work.“

The Nazi regime’s ambitions for punched-card technology are perhaps best illustrated by the state institution created to manage the labor force and flow of materiel in a total war economy. This was the Maschinelles Berichtswesen (Mechanical Reporting Institute, or MB), a branch of Albert Speer’s Armaments Ministry. The MB (as well as its precursor within the Army Munitions Bureau) sought to provide a nationwide system of data transfer, whereby individual industrial firms engaged in war-related production would report available supplies of labor and materiel via telcx to regional offices of the MB, which would then tabulate the information and pass it on to central offices in Markisch-Rietzms The central office produced monthly national status reports. which were delivered to Hitler, Speer, and other planners within a month of data collection."

The MB held out the promise of continuous, massive, and detailed scrutiny over major aspects of economic and social life. For example, the monthly statistical reports were to include data on the numbers of prisoners of war, conscripted laborers from eastern Europe, and Jews exploited in more or less slavelike conditions by each industrial firm.” All in all, the MB dealt with about 700,000 workers. This system was first tested in the Breslau area in late 1943, and despite technical difficulties was expanded to the rest of Germany in 1944 and early 1945. By that time, of course, Allied military gains had begun to impede the MB’s progress to the realization of what one historian has described as the Nazi “fantasy of a thoroughly punch-card encoded society.”'2 Important though it was to the exploitation of labor in total war, the MB played no direct role in the bureaucratic apparatus of genocide. In one respect, however, some evidence suggests that Hollerith technology performed an important function in implementing the genocidal policy of “extermination through work.” Starting in mid-l943 (about the time that deportations from Germany of part Jews and Jews in mixed marriages began), the Nazi regime shifted its Figure 4. Poster issued by Dehomag and published in the October 1934 issue of Hollerith-Nachrichten. It reads “Surveillance [Ubersichtj through Hollerith punched cards.” (Courtesy Gotz Aly, Berlin.)

emphasis from straightforward killing in open fields, gas chambers, or so-called euthanasia institutions, to a more complex and sometimes contradictory policy of killing their victims through forced labor. To facilitate the movement and exploitation of concentration camp labor, the Abreilzmg Arbeitseinsatz (Labor Allocation Division) within each concentration camp was equipped with Hollerith machines and SS personnel to operate them, with the assistance of prisoner clerks. The arrival, transfer, or death of every camp inmate was recorded onto individual punc
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Re: Locating the Victim [Siemens/IBM human tabulation]
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2010, 12:26:08 am »
Official enthusiasm for Hollerith technology redounded to the commercial benefit of Dehomag. As a result, Dehomag grew both in work-force and market share, though it remained an IBM subsidiary, even throughout the war years.

ln early 1945, Dehomag’s regional director in Saarbriicken, Jakob Haring, estimated that the corporation had grown to employ over 10,000 people throughout Germany, 8,000 of them at the central offices in Berlin. More important, Dehomag succeeded in overcoming competition from the Powers and Siemens-Halske companies to establish a near monopoly over punched-card tabulation technology in Nazi Germany: Haring estimated that for every competitor’s machine, “there were ten [Dehomag] Holleriths at work.“

The Nazi regime’s ambitions for punched-card technology are perhaps best illustrated by the state institution created to manage the labor force and flow of materiel in a total war economy. This was the Maschinelles Berichtswesen (Mechanical Reporting Institute, or MB), a branch of Albert Speer’s Armaments Ministry. The MB (as well as its precursor within the Army Munitions Bureau) sought to provide a nationwide system of data transfer, whereby individual industrial firms engaged in war-related production would report available supplies of labor and materiel via telcx to regional offices of the MB, which would then tabulate the information and pass it on to central offices in Markisch-Rietzms The central office produced monthly national status reports. which were delivered to Hitler, Speer, and other planners within a month of data collection."

The MB held out the promise of continuous, massive, and detailed scrutiny over major aspects of economic and social life. For example, the monthly statistical reports were to include data on the numbers of prisoners of war, conscripted laborers from eastern Europe, and Jews exploited in more or less slavelike conditions by each industrial firm.” All in all, the MB dealt with about 700,000 workers. This system was first tested in the Breslau area in late 1943, and despite technical difficulties was expanded to the rest of Germany in 1944 and early 1945. By that time, of course, Allied military gains had begun to impede the MB’s progress to the realization of what one historian has described as the Nazi “fantasy of a thoroughly punch-card encoded society.”

Important though it was to the exploitation of labor in total war, the MB played no direct role in the bureaucratic apparatus of genocide. In one respect, however, some evidence suggests that Hollerith technology performed an important function in implementing the genocidal policy of “extermination through work.” Starting in mid-1943 (about the time that deportations from Germany of part Jews and Jews in mixed marriages began), the Nazi regime shifted its emphasis from straightforward killing in open fields, gas chambers, or so-called euthanasia institutions, to a more complex and sometimes contradictory policy of killing their victims through forced labor. To facilitate the movement and exploitation of concentration camp labor, the Abreilzmg Arbeitseinsatz (Labor Allocation Division) within each concentration camp was equipped with Hollerith machines and SS personnel to operate them, with the assistance of prisoner clerks. The arrival, transfer, or death of every camp inmate was recorded onto individual punched cards. processed in Hollerith tabulators, and reported weekly to the central lnspectorate of Concentration Camps in Berlin-Oranien-burg. There is solid documentary evidence (see Figure 5 on the next page) indicating that after mid-1944, Hollerith offices were installed at the main concentration camps at Mauthausen, Ravensbriick, Flossenbiirg, and Buchenwald. and were probably present at Auschwitz and other main camps as w'ell.g7'9B These Hollerith offices may have rationalized the management of the flow of prisoner laborers to and from industrial subcamps, as well as prisoner transfers between the tnain concentration camps. It may also have provided the central authorities in Berlin with a continuous overview of available prisoner labor reserves.

Figure 4. Poster issued by Dehomag and published in the October 1934 issue of Hollerith-Nachrichten. It reads “Surveillance [Ubersicht] through Hollerith punched cards.” (Courtesy Gotz Aly, Berlin.)
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Re: Locating the Victim [Siemens/IBM human tabulation]
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2010, 12:39:42 am »
Counted for Persecution; IBM's Role in the Holocaust
http://www.stockmaven.com/ibmstory.htm
by Merry Madway Eisenstadt
Washington Jewish Week
September 17, 1998


Machines have no national allegiances and no moral code. They become powerful instruments for good or evil in the hands of human beings controlling them.

In the 53 years since the end of World War II, IBM Corporation, headquartered in New York state, has never fully clarified confusion surrounding its relationship with its German subsidiary, or the nature of technical advice and service provided by the German firm to the Nazi state.

How do you tell the story of a government's systematic plot to murder an entire people? How do you capture the enormous scope of suffering within the confines of museum space and the limited attention spans of visitors? This was the charge for U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum planners and historians as exhibits were being conceived in the early 1990s.

Bringing together stirring symbols and real evidence was part of the answer: A mountain of shoes conveys the magnitude of the slaughter of a society's cast-offs; a narrow, closed-in tower of family photographs illustrates the vibrant lives of the victims before persecution their humanness and what was lost.

To portray industrialized annihilation, the team preparing the exhibition, considered many options including a crematory, noted Sybil Milton, former senior historian at the museum's research institute. Milton regarded that stark symbol as inappropriate for a museum in Washington, D.C. since such objects were best left on site at memorials in the death camps.

Instead, Milton recommended the Hollerith machine to convey the unfeeling bureaucracies at work during the Holocaust. Invented in the United States in 1884 by 20-year-old German- American engineer Herman Hollerith as part of a contest to improve the speed and accuracy of calculating the U.S. census, the machine was used for census-taking by most European governments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Hollerith's method used cards to store data which he fed into a machine that compiled the results mechanically. Each card represented a person, and each hole punched on the card was accorded a specific meaning corresponding to occupation, education, health or some other characteristic.

Throughout the early 1900s, Hollerith machines, consisting of card punch presses, card feeders and sorters, and tabulators, became increasingly automated and faster. As the machines evolved in the 1940s, 80 variables or categories of information could be tracked on a single card.

Hollerith had founded the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896, and expanded to European markets as the U.S. Census Bureau manufactured its own machines to cut costs. Later in 1911, Hollerith's company merged with two others and became the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R). In 1924, C-T-R changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) to reflect its growing multinational presence.

By urging the display of the Hollerith, Milton hoped to convey how did you register people? How did you handle these statistics, she said, while leafing through stacks of documents in German relating to population registration systems, which accelerated dramatically only four months after Adolf Hitler was appointed German chancellor in January 1933.

On the museum's fourth floor, a glass-encased display extending from floor to ceiling on Technology and Persecution contains two of the Hollerith machine components manufactured by IBM's German subsidiary: a punch card press and card sorter, donated by an East German museum. The third component a Hollerith tabulating machine has been removed because of exhibit space congestion, said permanent exhibit curator Dr. Steven Luckert.

"All governments gather information about their citizens," the exhibit reads. "The Nazi regime, however, used such information to track political opponents, enforce racial policies and, ultimately, implement mass murder."

As early as 1934, various government bureaus began to compile card catalogs identifying political and racial enemies of the regimes. The 1939 census became the basis for a national register of Jews. That year, German census forms for the first time included explicitly racial categories: Jews were identified not only by religious affiliation, but by race as well. Within three years, the completed national register of Jews and Jewish Mischlinge (mixed-breeds) was to provide the basis for Nazi deportation lists. Most of those deported perished in the Holocaust.

The exhibit section on the Hollerith notes, "During the 1930s and 1940s, Hollerith machines were the best data- processing devices available. The Nazi regime employed thousands of people in 1933 and 1939 to record national census data onto Hollerit punch cards. The machine on the left sorted the cards according to criteria such as residence, religion, and marital status. The tabulator on the right counted the sorted cards."

The SS used Hollerith machines during the war to monitor the huge numbers of prisoners shipped in and out of concentration camps. The machines were manufactured by DEHOMAG (Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, or German Hollerith Machine Company), a subsidiary of IBM since 1922.

A map with a legend showing location and concentrations of Jewish population and mixed breeds, dated May 17, 1939, also is displayed at the exhibit. An accompanying description notes, The 1939 census gave the regime precise information about the location and size of Jewish communities in Germany.

The Hollerith's role is cited in a book written for the museum, The World Must Know (Little Brown and Company, 1993) by former museum research institute director Michael Berenbaum, now director of the Steven Spielberg-endowed Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

"The Hollerith made it possible to process vast quantities of data in a relatively short time," Berenbaum writes. "During the war, the Hollerith was used to identify and allocate conscript labor. Whether the machines were used to compile deportation lists of Jews in Germany cannot be determined. But in many concentration camps, the political section of the Gestapo used the Hollerith to process the records of those who entered.

"The IBM technology was neutral; its use by the Nazi regime was malevolent. Clearly, its potential was understood by the German manufacturer," Berenbaum states, citing an exuberant statement by DEHOMAG director Willy Heidinger in 1934 about the future role of statistics and tabulation machinery in the Nazi state:

'We are recording the individual characteristics of every single member of the nation onto a little card. We are proud to be able to contribute to such a task, a task that makes available to the physician of our German body-social [i.e. Adolf Hitler] the material for his examination, so that our physician can determine whether, from the standpoint of the health of the nation, the results calculated in this manner stand in a harmonious, healthy relation to one another, or whether unhealthy conditions must be cured by corrective interventions. We have firm trust in our physician and will follow his orders blindly, because we know that he will lead our nation toward a great future. Hail to our German people and their leader!'

The German census, tabulated by Hollerith machines, was one of several population identification systems used to track groups in the Nazi state. Taken together, these systems resulted in distribution of uniform photo identity cards to all inhabitants of the Reich, mandatory under the law of 10 September 1939, according to Milton.

Special regulations of 27 September 1939 also resulted in the distribution of the now infamous 'J-cards' for Jews. Similarly, Jewish personal and business property was inventoried after 1937 in complex financial reports that were utilized for the Aryanization of Jewish businesses at artificially low prices.

Whether, in fact, census data calculated by Hollerith tabulation technology actually was used in drawing up deportation lists is unclear, Milton says. Census data and resident registration data helped the Nazi regime locate victims on a national scale, but were they used to guide the planning and administration of deportations? "The answer would require detailed knowledge of the Gestapo's internal bureaucratic procedures, and this information is still not fully established," writes Milton and colleague Dr. David Martin Luebke in a published study, Locating the Victim: An Overview of Census-Taking, Tabulation Technology, and Persecution in Nazi Germany.

In addition, over half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were already dead before the completion of the national Ethnic Catalog based on 1939 census data.

Milton adds today, "We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists. It was a back-up system because it was too broad a system, providing aggregate counts of population groups," she explains. "However, when they would check a deportation list against what is known as the number of Jews in a town, then the Hollerith list would provide the evidence that, 'Yes, this figure is reasonable. We know we have X number of Jews, X number of Roma [Gypsies] registered' in a town like Heidelberg, and therefore, we know that this might have been used as back-up material."

But Milton emphasizes, "Once you get into the concentration camps, then Hollerith tabulation was definitely used. It is definitely used to register prisoners."

Milton explains, In January 1946, the former French prisoner Jean-Frederic Veith, imprisoned at Mauthausen from April 1943 to April 1945, testified before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg: 'Certainly I saw prisoners of war. Their arrival at Mauthausen took place, first of all, in front of the political section. Since I was working at the Hollerith, I could watch the arrivals, for the offices faced the parade ground in front of the political section where the convoys arrived. My knowledge of Aktion K [Operation Bullet, referring to orders to execute all prisoners of war discovered attempting to escape, excluding Americans and British] is due to the fact that I was head of the Hollerith service in Mauthausen, and consequently all the transfer forms from the various camps.'

Punctuating her point, Milton produces a record dated Dec. 11, 1944, of a prisoner labor transfer between Flossenburg and Mauthausen concentration camps, marked to the attention of the camps' Hollerith departments. Another document stamped Hollerith erfa=E1t (registered by Hollerith) shows a list of deceased prisoners, including their names, nationalities, prisoner numbers and other information.

Milton also points out a prisoner registration card of Polish Jewish prisoner Symcho Dymant at Weimar-Buchenwald concentration camp, dated Dec. 24, 1944. This card is also stamped registered by Hollerith. The cards, said Milton, are stamped Hollerith, and in terms of the Mauthausen [and] Auschwitz records, are extremely compromising. This was widely used in the concentration camp system, and there's no question of it.

The Holocaust museum's exhibit was praised by the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History specialist on the Information Age, Peggy Kidwell. "The Holocaust Museum is very successful in suggesting to visitors the scale to which the Holocaust was an organized enterprise," she said. "The Hollerith display," she added, "shows how these techniques are used when your business becomes extermination of peoples."

As a rebuttal to the Holocaust museum's display and published work by Milton, Luebke and other historians, a retired IBM Germany employee specializing in the history of technology and database management, Dr. Friedrich W. Kistermann, has argued that German authorities did not use the tabulating machine results of the 1933 and 1939 censuses to locate the victims during the Holocaust.

Kistermann says, "A single person was never the target of a population census, but only the grouped and accumulated data were the target of the census. Therefore, a personal identification was never used in population census work."

He also argues that the 1939 census information about descent and educational background was a separate questionnaire, with resulting data being maintained separately on supplementary cards tabulated manually.

In addition, Kistermann cites the incompleteness of the data gathered, making it unsuitable for use. "At the occasion of the 1939 German census, every step had already been taken to identify and locate the German Jews." He insists, "Nazi organizations and bureaucratic administrations instituted and used every means and procedure to identify, locate, isolate, deprive, exclude and deport the Jews. These institutions used ordinary office equipment and supplies: paper, forms, index cards, pencil, ink and pen and typewriters. However, without further discovery of documentary proof, which seems most unlikely and even unnecessary, there is no evidence that Hollerith machines and census work were used, as indicated in published articles and books and in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum."

Senior research scholar William Seltzer at the Institute for Social Research of Fordham University in New York City disagrees. "There appears to be only one instance, that is, the 1939 German census, where information obtained in a regular population census permitting the identification of specific individuals may have been used operationally in the Holocaust. In addition, census-based aggregates for small geographical areas can be used to assist in the identification of population concentrations to facilitate persecution and apprehension...

"This approach appears to have been used in the Netherlands when small-area tabulations of population data by religion from the 1930 Dutch census made up one of several data sources used in the development of the so-called 'dot maps' of Amsterdam," he says. "These maps, which showed areas of the city where the density of the Jewish population was the highest, were used in planning Nazi-inspired attacks on some of these neighborhoods in February 1941."

While agreeing that the 1939 census would have required continuous updating to be completely useful, Seltzer said, "The census took place as planned. The Jews were registered, as planned, and the card files fulfilled their function when the deportations began. The Gestapo had access to a more current data source so that while micro data from the 1939 census may have contributed to the compilation of the deportation lists, it was probably not the exclusive, or even the primary source."

The value the Germans assigned these machines for census work in its occupied countries, as well as military accounting needs, is obvious from military and Justice Department documents preserved at the U.S. National Archives. At the outbreak of World War II, the German army assigned a group of officers to seize immediately in occupied countries all business machines, punched cards and similar paraphernalia, notes Harold J. Carter in a Justice Department report, Jan. 14, 1944. This took place in Poland in 1939, in France, Belgium and Holland in 1940, and in the Balkans in 1941.

Even without census-taking technologies, including Hollerith machinery, the Shoah and persecution of millions of others political dissidents, homosexuals, the handicapped, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses and other groups would have taken place, emphasize Milton and co-author Luebke, now an assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

"Hitler's preoccupation with racial purity and the escalating radicalization of state policies of persecution, segregation and coercion after 1933 were sufficient to bring about genocide, with or without punched-card technology," they write. "Moreover, the architects of the 'final solution' utilized technologies that were well known long before the Nazi ascent to power in 1933. However, both the Nazi party and state aggressively mobilized the knowledge and skills of various professions for implementation of their racial agenda. Similarly, DEHOMAG and the official statisticians of Nazi Germany contributed in no small way to the comprehensive enrollment that facilitated so vast and deadly a persecution."

Emphasizes the museum's permanent exhibit curator Luckert, They [the German government] didn't necessarily need the Hollerith machines to compile information on people. They were collecting it from a variety of sources. It may have made some of their work easier, but it wasn't a necessary precondition for mass murder. But having lists and records were of vital importance in identifying people.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately