The GRC Tracing Service has comprehensive holdings. They form the basis of its investigations and document these over decades.
The heart of the archive and the documentation centre is the Central Name Index (ZNK) with approximately 50 million index cards from over 75 years of tracing service work. It provides information on more than 20 million fates of people who became searching and missing persons as a result of the Second World War and its aftermath. It documents tracing requests, fate reports, individual fates of refugees and returnees; furthermore, it contains information on war stations of soldiers and civilians, on imprisonment, internment, death or release, expulsion, flight, as well as on the division of Germany.
It also includes databases and card indexes on special groups of fate of the Second World War as well as, for example, applicants for emigration from 1947 onwards, as far as the GRC and official agencies have knowledge of them. These contain, among other things, information on the fates of children, resettlers and deportees, home patients and inmates, as well as emergency service personnel at the GRC. The so-called camp archive, which is based on statements made by war returnees, contains information on 12,800 prisoner-of-war and internment camp sites. The archive also holds historical maps and an extensive collection of photographs related to the Children's Tracing Service, flight and expulsion, homecoming and the history of the GRC Tracing Service.
Correspondence on emigration endeavours, including the questionnaires from the German Embassy in Moscow (1955 - 1957), on the emigration of people in need of help, on fate and deportation routes, is also part of the archive and documentation centre, as are documents, notifications or proof of endeavours to leave the former Soviet Union.