Dear Ms. Dejehansart,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
For World War II German Navy personnel information, you may wish to contact the Bundesarchiv - Abteilung PA, Eichborndamm 179, 13403 Berlin, Germany. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Dear Emile Dejehansart,
We identified some additional information that may be useful for your research. The National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242) contains a number of series related to the German Navy. More information about these Captured German Records can be found on our website. Most of these records are microfilmed copies of original records that have been returned to the Federal Republic of Germany, and--as Jason noted above--you may contact the Bundesarchiv for further information about them and other German naval records.
Additional information about specific series like the Records of the Headquarters of the German Navy High Command (OKM) (Microfilm Publication T608), can be found in the National Archives Catalog. You can use the “Advanced Search” feature to search within a record group (e.g. Record Group 242). Most of these records have not been digitized. You may contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at email@example.com for assistance with these records.
German Guides (GG) to many of these records are also available online in the National Archives as German Guides in the Records of the National Archives and Records Administration (Record Group 64), and others are available via our Microfilm Catalog. To access them, select the main microfilm catalog link from this site: https://www.archives.gov/publications/microfilm-catalogs-0. From the main Microfilm Catalog page, select "microfilm," and then type in the microfilm publication number you are interested in (e.g. T608) and click on "search." A listing of the publication title(s) will appear. Click on the name of the publication. That will take you to a summary page. On the right hand side of the page will be a PDF file. Click on "View Important Publication Details." This is a listing of the contents of the microfilm rolls (i.e. the German Guides).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Again, we hope this information is helpful, and best of luck with your ongoing research!
Thank you very much for all this very interesting information.
The contacts with the NARA and the BundesArchiv are indeed very difficult with the Covid crisis.
Your help is all the more essential to me.
Another German citizen also interests me: Gerhard MAY.
I only know that he was born in Breslau in the 20's; that he was a prisoner of war at CCPW 26 in Belgium (the Erbisoeul camp); that he survived and then emigrated to the USA.
His son, Wolfgang Peter MAY, who would have been a hero of the Vietnam war, wrote a book ("War around us") in which he evokes a little the detention of his father in Erbisoeul.
According to him, he would have undergone a real "hell".... which does not correspond at all to the (Belgian) information usually communicated about this camp.
I would like to know more about this.
Unfortunately, both have died in the meantime and are buried in Denison/Texas (the father probably at the beginning of 2000 and the son on April 2, 2016).
Maybe someone can help me with this too...as, more broadly, with everything relating to the (many) escapes of German prisoners held in Belgium after the Liberation.
Thanks in advance to all of you.
Dear Emile Dejehansart,
We have some additional information related to your follow-up questions. We located one reference to an individual named Gerhard May image 135 of this file in the series Second Release of Name Files Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts in the Records of the Central Intelligence Agency (Record Group 263). We cannot confirm whether or not this is the same individual you are interested in, but the documents have been digitized, and you can view them online in the Catalog. You may also contact RDT2 at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about these records.
We also located numerous records related to Belgium and concentration camps and related to Belgium and prisoner of war camps that may be of interest to you. You may explore these and similar records in the Catalog. If you have questions about specific records, please contact the reference unit listed in that Catalog entry.
Since Gerhard May emigrated to the U.S., you might also search for records related to displaced persons and immigration. The National Archives does have records of the Displaced Persons Commission in Record Group 278, but the records consist of policy and administrative files; they do not include files relating to individual displaced persons or lists of names of displaced persons. The individual case files have been destroyed, but you can survey our RG 278 holdings (34 series total) on the National Archives Catalog. We would be happy to provide more information concerning any of the records that appear to be of interest for you. Again, you may email RDT2 for additional information about these and similar records.
In addition, immigrant visas, both quota and nonquota (and supporting documentation), issued by the Department of State to aliens at U.S. embassies, legations, and consulates overseas are surrendered to U.S. immigration officials upon admission to the United States. The immigrant visas and associated documentation accumulated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service between July 1, 1924, and March 31, 1944, were maintained by the central office in Washington, DC in the Visa Files. Subsequent immigrant visas were filed in the Alien Files (“A-Files”) or the Certificate Files (“C-Files”). Those records are preserved, but remain in the custody of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For more information on the different types of files and how to request access to them, please see that agency’s “History and Genealogy” website located at: https://www.uscis.gov/historyandgenealogy.
Historical records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service are located at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. - Textual Reference (RDT1), but they do not typically include records of individuals. You may email them at email@example.com for more information.
For information concerning prisoner of war camp reports compiled by the International Red Cross, we suggest you contact the International Tracing Service (ITS), Große Allee 5 - 9, 34454 Bad Arolsen, Germany. You might also wish to search for documents available online in the Arolsen Archives.
Finally, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum might also be able to offer some additional information about CCPW 26 in Erbisoeul.
Again, we hope this additional information is helpful!