Second World War - Picture and Documents
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Looking for relatives who are missing as a result of the Second World War and the division of Germany

The GRC Tracing Service has been dealing with the consequences of the Second World War, the “Iron Curtain” and the former division of Germany for decades. Even 75 years after the end of the Second World War, many thousands of people still submit requests every year to search for and clarify the fate of war-missing relatives.

The Central Name Index with about 50 million (digitized) index cards provides information on the fate of more than 20 million people who went missing in Germany during the Second World War and its aftermath. In many cases, only now does newly acquired information from the archives of the successor states of the former USSR bring certainty to relatives.

Perhaps the GRC Tracing Service can also answer your tracing request for a missing Wehrmacht soldieror displaced civilian from your family.

Who we can help

Employee handling documents

The GRC Tracing Service can support you in tracing and clarifying the fate of missing persons from the Second World War.

Can the family member you are looking for be assigned to one of the following groups?

  •   Missing Wehrmacht soldiers and missing civilians
  •   Prisoners of war and civilian internees
  •   Children who have been separated from their families
  •   Prisoners in Soviet special camps in the former Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), as well as political prisoners in the GDR

Then you can submit your online tracing request hereor you can contact asupport centre of the Tracing Service in a GRC regional or district branch near you.

Submit a tracing request

Online tracing request Second World War

Online tracing request form pertaining to the Second World War

We will gladly deal with your tracing request. If we are to search successfully for missing persons and for documents on prisoners of war and civilian internees, we need detailed information on the person sought and, if applicable, on the circumstances of the loss of contact. Please fill out the form as accurately as possible. We will inform you of the results of our investigations in writing; if necessary, we will also contact you by telephone in the course of our investigations.

Online tracing request form pertaining to the Second World War

You can also submit your tracing request using our PDF form and send it by post or e-mail.

Please note the following information:

If you have your permanent residence not in Germany but abroad, please contact your local National Red Cross/Red Crescent Society first. They will check your tracing request with regard to jurisdiction and data protection guidelines before forwarding it to the GRC Tracing Service for initiating further investigations in Germany.

Tracing and fate clarification inquiries related to the Second World War

People in front of notices with information about missing persons

Perhaps you too are now between 60 and 90 years old, or older, and your own past or that of your family is on your mind?

Or were you born later and thus belong to the successor generations of families directly affected by the war?

Around 20 million people in Germany were either looking for someone or were being sought at the end of the Second World War. Many of them still suffer today from their wartime ordeals, regardless of whether they experienced them as adults or as children. The impact of these traumatic experiences often only becomes apparent in the later stages of life, so that many of those affected then contact the GRC Tracing Service.

People of the following generations are also increasingly concerned with the unresolved fates of their relatives. Many children who grew up without their fathers because they had been killed or went missing in the war are now interested as adults in the fate of their fathers and their own origins. Many legacies contain material documenting the fruitless search for missing relatives. Many families resume efforts to find missing relatives and inquire at the GGRC Tracing Service about the current status of investigations. After receiving a message in which the fate of their relative is clarified, further inquiries about the person’s last stages of life and place of death often follow. The wish of these people - even decades later - to obtain certainty about the fate of their missing relatives remains understandable. The GRC Tracing Service is intensively dedicated to this humanitarian task and, thanks to its extensive data records, can provide further information in many cases.

You will find an overview of the archive holdings here. »

  • Questioning of former soldiers and prisoners of war

    Prisoners of war and missing persons

    The GRC Tracing Service supports relatives in clarifying the fate of prisoners of war and missing persons from the Second World War. This allows many families to finally get certainty.
    read more

  • Characteristics card for identifying nameless children

    Children's Tracing Service

    The Children's Tracing Service of the GRC is dedicated to children who were separated from their families due to flight, expulsion or evacuation in connection with the Second World War.
    read more


The Tracing Service is available to you personally in a GRC regional or district branch near you.

Please address your tracing and fate clarification request in connection with the Second World War to:

German Red Cross 
Tracing Service Munich Office
Chiemgaustraße 109
81549 Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89 / 680 773 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 680 745 - 92
E-mail:  info(at)


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