Archive holdings at the Munich Office

Overview of the holdings

Second World War and its aftermath

  • Central Name Index
  • Reports of returnees / Interview of returnees from 1945
  • Index of returnees (from 1950, sorted according to units, about 2.2 million data on returnees)
  • Missing persons’ photo collections (from 1950/51, about 1,000,000 soldiers)
  • Lists of the Ad Hoc Commission on Prisoners of War (UN, 1951 – 1953, about 1,300,000 missing persons / missing persons in the East)
  • Lists of civilian prisoners “The German Deportees in the USSR/The German civilian internees abroad outside the USSR” (1951 – 1953)
  • Missing persons’ photo collections of the German Red Cross (from 1957, about 1,400,000  missing Wehrmacht soldiers by unit)
  • List of missing civilians of the German Red Cross (from 1959, about 120,000 cases)
  • Information from the Soviet/Russian Red Cross in missing persons cases (missing civilians and Wehrmacht soldiers, about 400,000 cases)
  • Transport of returnees/late returnees (1954 – 1956, Friedland camp)
  • Documentation on camps: Deportation routes, camps, detention areas (returnee reports)
  • Prison cases in the GDR, prison lists (approx. 1960 – 1982)
  • NKVD camps/special camps on the territory of the Soviet Occupation Zone/GDR (index cards and Combat Group against Inhumanity, lists of returnees)
  • Children's Tracing Service: Posters, photo collections, photo indexes (1945 – 1985)
  • Transport of returnees and sick persons from the Soviet Union (1946 – 1948)

Conflicts and disasters of the present

These indexes usually contain the search and index cards of individual cases, which are customary in international tracing, as well as Red Cross Messages received through the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, and evaluations of state lists provided on certain groups of fates or immigrants.

  • Vietnam index: started in 1975, the index is still kept up-to-date; tracing requests and reports are still received today; it contains about 53,000 personal data on persons sought and searching.
  • Iran/Irak index: started in 1982 (2nd and 3rd Gulf War), index is still kept up-to-date; up to now about 9,400 personal data/reports on persons sought and searching.
  • Irak index: started in 1991; up to now about 1,900 tracing requests/person reports.
  • Yugoslavia index: tracing requests of all Balkan wars since 1991; about 590,000 person reports contained: tracing requests on 70,000 missing persons, about 540,000 Red Cross Messages.
  • Albania (about 6,000 tracing cases since 1990)
  • Eritrea (about 3,800 tracing cases/person reports since 1980)
  • Lebanon (about 10,800 tracing cases/reports since 1982)
  • Rwanda (about 1,950 tracing cases/reports since 1994)
  • Somalia (about 6,700 tracing cases/reports since 1991)
  • Sri Lanka (about 1,800 tracing cases/reports since 1987) and other countries: focus on Africa and Southeast Asia

Documentation holdings of the Tracing Service Hamburg Office

  • Family reunification GDR (cooperation with GDR authorities, detention camps, statistics, 1961 – 1989)
  • Assistance, advice and emigration from the Soviet Union, Poland, CSSR and Romania (from 1954)
  • Prison cases in Eastern Europe and the GDR (from 1950)
  • NKVD camps on the territory of the Soviet Occupation Zone/GDR, research methods, information on returnees, individual cases (from 1950)

Research holdings of the Tracing Service in the GRC regional branches

(formerly regional enquiry services)

  • Individual cases from the regional branches (from 1948)
  • Research indexes of GRC regional and local associations

Research holdings of the Evangelisches Hilfswerk für Internierte und Kriegsgefangene (EHIK)

  • Tracing and support indexes
  • Camp and unit indexes (from 1948)

Research holdings of the GRC Tracing Service of the GDR

  • Central file of the GRC Tracing Service of the GDR
  • Transport documents: transfer of the German population from the former German Eastern territories and the Sudetenland to the GDR (1948), transports between the Soviet Occupation Zone and the Western occupation zones (returnees and civilians, 1945 – 1948, camp sites (quarantine, resettlement and detention camps on the territory of the Soviet Occupation Zone/GDR (1946 – 1949))
  • Children's Tracing Service: children's photo index (from 1945)
  • Children's Tracing Service: “Kindererfassungsaktion” (children transport lists by departure and destination, from 1948)
  • Grave research on the territory of the GDR, collection of grave evidence/grave lists: Graves of Soviet soldiers and victims of Nazi persecution (from 1950, by location)
  • Transport of patients from the Gronenfelde transition camp (from 1946)
  • Collections on war hospitals, collected from several sites in the Soviet Occupation Zone (from 1942)

Special research holdings

  • Research into “specialists” (scientists, engineers and craftsmen deported to the USSR, 1950 – 1956)
  • Research into members of the Foreign Legion (special index)

Research holdings/group research

  • “Determining individual fates on the basis of unit groups”: Assessment of missing persons cases based on the fate of the units (about 1,200,000 cases)
  • Research on selected battlefields/battle areas and units (from 1950)

Special indexes

  • Children's Tracing Service, characteristics index: characterisation of predominantly nameless missing children according to physical features, finding places and outfits (1945 – 1960)
  • Index of the Gronenfelde transition camp near Frankfurt/Oder (July 1946 – May 1948, releases of German prisoners of war and civilian internees 1,050,000 releases, 2,300 microfiches)
  • Camp archive: collection of information on returnees about conditions and circumstances in approx. 12,800 places of detention (started in 1947 by the Collecting office for returnee messages in Stuttgart, continued by the Munich Office as of 1950)
  • GRC personnel (nurses, auxiliary nurses and those responsible for relief work): personnel indexes and files of individual GRC regional and district branches (collection, covering periods of service in the Second World War)
  • Tracing index of the Tracing Service of the GRC regional branch in Berlin: about 1.5 million index cards (from 1948 to 1989)

Archive on the history of the GRC Tracing Service

The documents acquired from all of the above-mentioned tracing service institutions of the German Red Cross document the history of the GRC Tracing Service, in particular the planning and implementation of tracing projects (interviewing of returnees, missing persons lists, missing persons’ photo collections, contracts with foreign archives), assessments, special inquiries, the exchange of tracing requests with the sister societies of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as the activities of the German Red Cross in the field of family reunification and welfare and health assistance.

Photo collection

About 6,000 photos of returnees/late returnees, searching children, encounters. Picture collections on the history of the GRC Tracing Service.

Maps / Plans

Collection of topographical, political, historical and military maps (Wehrmacht maps) as well as special maps for tracing purposes (groups of fates, places of deportation and camp areas).

Archive and documentation centre

Please note that we can only grant you access to the archive and documentation centre after a written pre-registration/request. We will be pleased to inform you prior to your visit about the requirements for viewing the records. The contact details of the archive and documentation centre can be found here. .

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