1 Reply Latest reply on Mar 7, 2017 7:26 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Berlin Document Center question

    Judith Haran

      I'm doing background research for a novel about OSI. I'm trying to figure out if any of the "biographical" records from the Berlin Document Center were among the records microfilmed onsite between 1968-1972 (it looks like some were, judging by images I've found on the axishistory forums, but I've also found articles and books that refuted this idea.)  If so, how far did they get in the alphabet?  If not, when were they microfilmed? Was it only in 1994, before it was transferred back to German custody?

        • Re: Berlin Document Center question
          Rachael Salyer

          Dear Judith,

           

          The microfilm copies of the biographic collections held by the former Berlin Document Center (BDC) were accessioned by the National Archives in 1994. These collections, totaling approximately 39,000 microfilm rolls, include: personnel records for SS (including Waffen-SS) officers and, to a lesser extent, SS enlisted personnel; membership registries and associated correspondence of the Nazi Party; documentation on membership in Nazi-affiliated or -sponsored organizations; and records relating to the naturalization of ethnic Germans during World War II.

           

          Researchers can access these collections (and their accompanying finding aids) in the Microfilm Reading Room (Room 4050) at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

           

          There are many useful resources that document the history of these records. For instance, there are several informative posts in the National Archives' blog Pieces of History about the Berlin Document Center and other Captured German Records. Here are two examples by Sonia Kahn:

          https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2016/08/10/the-gems-of-record-group-242-foreign-records-seized/

          https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2016/08/24/the-return-of-captured-records-from-world-war-ii/

           

          For a comprehensive look at the records, we recommend that you review the finding aid for the BDC records: The Holdings of the Berlin Document Center: A Guide to the Collections and The Holdings of the Berlin Document Center: A Guide to the Microfilm (both by the Berlin Document Center, 1994).

           

          Additionally, a history of the American and Allied, public and private projects in which these records were created or assembled, exploited, described and microfilmed can be found in: Robert Wolfe, ed., Captured German and Related Records, A National Archives Conference (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1974) 279 pp. [ISBN 8214-0172-6] [LC 74-82495].

           

          Best of luck with your research and novel writing!

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