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Documentation archives and investigation resources

The following archives can all be found at the GRC Tracing Service Munich Office irrespective of their place of origin.

Since 1982 the GRC Tracing Service Munich Office has been the Central Information and Documentation Centre for the GRC Tracing Service.

Second World War and its aftermath
Current conflicts and catastrophes
Archive of the Tracing Service Hamburg Office
Archive of the GRC regional branches
Archive of the Protestant relief organisation
Archive of the GRC Tracing Service of the GDR
Archive of the special research team
Archive of the group investigations
Special files
History of the GRC Tracing Service
Photo collection
Maps and plans
Address and opening times of the Central Information and Documentation Office

Research archive of the Tracing Service Munich Office

A view of the archives of the Central Name File E. Gurian/DRK tracing serviceSecond World War and its aftermath

  • Central names file (digital)
  • Returnees‘ reports / returnees’ survey from 1945
  • Returnees’ index cards (from 1950, sorted according to unit, ca. 2.2 million data sets on returnees)
  • Missing persons’ list (from 1950/51, ca. 1,000,000 soldiers
  • Lists of the ad-hoc Commission for Prisoners of War (UN, 1951 – 1953, ca. 1,300,000 missing persons/missing persons in the East)
  • Lists of civilian prisoners “German deportees in the USSR /German civilian prisoners outside the USSR” (1951 – 1953)
  • German Red Cross missing persons’ picture list (from 1957 around 1,400,000 missing soldiers sorted according to units
  • GRC list of civilian disappearances (from 1959, ca. 120,000 cases)
  • Information from the former Soviet Union – today the Russian Red Cross – on the cases of missing persons (Civilian missing persons and missing soldiers, ca. 400,000 cases)
  • Returnees’ transportation/ethnic German repatriates (1954 – 1956, Camp Friedland)
  • Camp documentation, displacement channels, camps, detention centres (Returnees’ reports) (Link: Special files/camp archive)
  • GDR cases of arrest, list of prisoners (ca. 1960 – 1982)
  • NKVD-camp/special camp in the region of the Soviet occupied zone/GDR (Index cards and Combat Group against Inhumanity, lists of returnees)
  • Children’s Tracing Service: posters, picture lists, picture files (1945 – 1985)
  • Transportation of returnees and sick persons from the Soviet Union (1946 – 1948)

Research into parts of the former Yugoslavia E. Gurian/DRK tracing serviceCurrent conflicts and catastrophes

These files usually contain the trace and data cards on individual cases used for international tracing, as well as Red Cross reports that have been received via the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, above all in connection with the so-called “family messages”, as well as evaluations of consigned government lists regarding the fate of specific groups or migrants.

  • Vietnam file: Started in 1975. The index continues to be managed; tracing requests and reports are still coming in. It contains ca. 53,000 tracing requests and messages regarding missing persons and those searching for them.
  • Iran/Iraq file: Started in 1982 (2nd and 3rd Gulf War). The file is still being managed and so far contains 9,400 data sets/reports on missing people and those searching for them.
  • Iraq file: Started in 1991. Up to the present 1,900 tracing requests and personal reports.
  • Yugoslavia file: Tracing requests from all the Balkan wars starting in 1991. Ca. 590,000 personal reports received: Tracing requests on 70,000 missing persons, ca. 540,000 family messages.
  • Albania (ca. 6,000 tracing cases from 1990)
  • Eritrea (ca. 3,800 tracing cases/personal reports from 1980)
  • Lebanon (ca. 10,800 tracing cases/reports from 1982)
  • Rwanda (ca. 1,950 tracing cases/reports from 1994)
  • Somalia (ca. 6,700 tracing cases/reports from 1991)
  • Sri Lanka (ca. 1,800 tracing cases/reports from 1987) and other countries: focusing on Africa and south-east Asia

Documentation archives of the Tracing Service Hamburg Office

  • GDR family reunification (collaboration with GDR offices, reception camps, statistics, 1961 – 1989)
  • Supervision, counselling and emigration out of the Soviet Union, Poland, CSSR and Romania (from 1954)
  • Cases of arrest in eastern Europe and the GDR (from 1950)
  • NKVD-camp in the Soviet occupied zone/GDR region, investigative methods, returnees’ details, individual cases (from 1950)

Investigative archive of the Tracing Service of the GRC regional branch

(so-called state investigative services)

  • Individual cases from the regional branches (from 1948)
  • Investigation files from the GRC regional and local branches

Investigation archive of the Protestant relief fund for internees and POWs (EHIK)

  • Tracing and supervision files
  • camp and unit files (from 1948)

Investigative archive of the GRC Tracing Service of the GDR

  • File boxes from the investigation archives of the GDR. E. Gurian/DRK tracing serviceGRC Tracing Service central names file of the GDR
  • Transportation documents: Transportation of the German population from the historical German eastern territories and the Sudetenland in the GDR (1948), transportation between the Soviet occupied zone and the Western occupied zones (returnees and civilians, 1945 – 1948, camp locations (quarantine, re-settler and reception camps from the Soviet occupied zone and GDR regions (1946 – 1949)
  • Children’s Tracing Service: children’s picture files (from 1945)
  • Children’s Tracing Service: “Recording the children” children’s transportation lists according to places of departure and destination from 1948.
  • Grave investigation in the region of the former GDR, collection of grave certificates/lists: Graves of Soviet soldiers and persons persecuted by the Nazis (from 1950, according to place)
  • Transportation of the sick from the Gronenfelde release camp (from 1946)
  • Collections from field hospitals, collated from some of the sites in the Soviet occupied zone (from 1942)

Investigation archive of the special investigations

  • Investigation of “specialists” (abducted scientists, engineers and skilled crafts workers in the USSR, 1950 – 1956)
  • Investigations into the members of the Foreign Legion (special file)

Investigative archive/group investigations

“Establishing the fate of single individuals from the group”: Analysis of missing persons cases on the basis of the fate of the unit (ca. 1,200,000 cases) Investigation into selected battlefields/zones and units (from 1950)

Special files

  • Research in the special file E. Gurian/DRK tracing serviceChildren’s Tracing Service, memorial maps: Characterisation of mostly anonymous lost children according to physical features, place of discovery, and attributed property (1945 – 1960)
  • File on the Gronenfelde release camp near Frankfurt/Oder (July 1946 – May 1948, release of German POWs and civilian internees 1,050,000 released, 2,300 microfiche films)
  • Camp archive: Collection of returnees’ reports on conditions and situation of the ca. 12,800 detention centres (begun in 1947 from the collection point for returnees’ messages in Stuttgart, managed since 1950 by the Tracing Service Munich Office)
  • GRC staff (nurses, nursing assistants and persons completing civil service): personnel files and files of single GRC regional and district branches (collection, regarding the periods of service in the Second World War)
  • Tracing file of the Tracing Service of the GRC regional branch of Berlin: ca. 1.5 million index cards (from 1948 to 1989)

Archive on the history of the GRC Tracing Service

The files taken on by all of the above described tracing service facilities of the German Red Cross reflect the history of the GRC Tracing Service. In particular, they reflect the planning and the execution of investigative projects (returnees’ survey, missing persons’ lists and picture lists, agreements with foreign archives), the assessments and also special investigations, the exchange of tracing requests with the affiliated organisations of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement in the area of family reunification and material and health aid.

Photo collection

Ca. 6,000 pictures of returnees/ ethnic German migrants, searching children, meetings. Photo collections on the history of the GRC Tracing Service.


Collections on the topographical, political, historical and military maps (Wehrmacht maps) as well as special maps relating to Tracing Service investigations (fate groups, abduction locations and camp sites).

Address and opening times of the Information and Documentation Office

GRC Tracing Service
Munich office
Chiemgaustraße 109
81549 München

Monday to Thursday: 9.00 - 15.00 Uhr
Friday: 9.00 - 12.00 Uhr

Entry is only possible after written pre-registration/request. We will inform you in advance of the data protection laws relating to the review or submission of documents.