This database was compiled by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. The Claims Conference was founded in 1951 as a body to negotiate with the German government for material compensation for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. The conference administers the Program for Former Slave and Forced Laborers, a one-time payment for persons "compelled to perform work in a concentration camp...a ghetto, or a similar place of incarceration under comparable conditions."
The Conference had the responsibility of verifying the assertion of an individual that he or she had been used as a forced laborer during World War II. In order for these claims to be approved or rejected, it was necessary to locate documentary proof of such forced labor. In order to do this, the Conference employed people in Israel and the United States to examine documents held in various archives and to look for the names of the claimants.
A database was prepared using materials held in Israel's Central Zionist Archives and Yad Vashem. Those names in the resulting database were then compared with the names of claimants. Presence of a name on this database does not necessarily mean that an individual was either a claimant through the Program for Former Slave and Forced Laborers nor a survivor, but rather an individual whose name appeared in record(s) held in the Central Zionist Archives or Yad Vashem in Israel.
While the information relating to each individual varies, in every case it includes family and given name and "place of persecution", as well as a citation of the document from which the name was taken. In some cases, birth information is given.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) has the finding aids for the original source material underlying this database. The finding aids consist of two files listing the sources in the Central Zionist Archives and in Yad Vashem.
The following fields appear in the database:
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Place of internment
- Source document (see below)
- List code: Internal code identifying the exact source
- Remarks by Claims Conference
There is no concordance/source list for this datafile. However, all the material did come from two major sources: JM documents were part of the Romanian Ministry of Defense collection, while the M39 documents came from the Odessa Oblast Archives. Both of these collections are also available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM).