Since 2017 there is new hope for information that will clarify the fate of German and Soviet prisoners of war and internees whose personal fates have not yet been documented. An international project is now enabling further research to be conducted on an ongoing basis in the archives of the Russian Federation.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a joint statement on 22 June 2016. In it they publicly announced the German-Russian cooperation project on the search for and digitization of archive documents entitled “Soviet and German Prisoners of War and Internment”.
Within the framework of this joint project, existing archive materials are to be located, systematically recorded and made accessible. The aim is to shed light on the personal fates of many people from both countries, to give the missing persons their names back, and thus to enable a dignified remembrance for future generations.
This project is a continuation of the GRC Tracing Service's previous efforts to clarify the fates of German prisoners of war and internees. On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office, the National Association of the German War Graves Commission (VDK) is coordinating the overall international project. Other project partners involved in researching Russian prisoners of war and cataloguing the relevant archival holdings are the German Historical Institute in Moscow and the Federal Archive.