4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2020 11:48 AM by Sylvia Naylor

    Seeking records on liberation of "Kalmenhof" in Idstein

    Silvia Berger-Hönge Newbie

      Hi, I am searching for information on the liberation of a children's home called "Kalmenhof" in Idstein near Wiesbaden, Germany in 1945. During the Nazi era more than 700 children were murdered in the "Kalmenhof" during the euthanasia program after 1939. US Forces occupied Idstein in March 1945. It was most probably the 76th Infantry Division. I wonder if NARA has any specific documents such as after-action reports or reports of investigations. Record Group 338 is supposed to contain information.

        • Re: Seeking records on liberation of "Kalmenhof" in Idstein
          Alice Lane Tracker

          Hi Silvia, I found a preview of a book on google books entitled  Jews in Nazi Berlin: From Kristallnacht to Liberation.  I am not sure if this is what you are seeking but thought I would pass it along to you anyway.

           

          https://www.google.com/books/edition/Jews_in_Nazi_Berlin/JhYb73CHmt8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22Kolmenhof%22+liberation&printse…

           

          Thanks for posting on History Hub,

          Good Luck in your search.

          Alice Lane

          Researcher Volunteer

          • Re: Seeking records on liberation of "Kalmenhof" in Idstein
            Sylvia Naylor Scout

            Dear Ms. Berger-Hönge,

             

            Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub!

             

            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located 23 file units for the 76th Infantry Division in the series titled Unit Histories, 1943-1967 and Historical Files, 1943-1945 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338). We also located the series titled World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1981 (Record Group 407) that includes records of the 76th Infantry Division. In addition, we located the series European Place Name Index to the Series "Case Files, 1944-1949", 1944 - 1949 in the Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) that may include Idstein and/or Kalmenhof. Unfortunately, the cards have not been digitized and need to be checked physically. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

             

            Please note that 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.

             

            We hope this information is helpful.  Best of luck with your research!

             

             

              • Re: Seeking records on liberation of "Kalmenhof" in Idstein
                Silvia Berger-Hönge Newbie

                Thank you so much for your information about the Kalmenhof in Idstein, Germany! It is unfortunate that the records have not been digitized. As far as I have heard from eye-witnesses who were children in 1945, the hospital was liberated on March 27, 1945. People here in Idstein say that about 300 handicapped children were murdered in this hospital and buried in the graveyard behind the hospital. There was a trial against two doctors and  several other people who were involved in the crimes. This trial took place in January 1947 in Frankfurt and it was covered by an informant of the MG in Wiesbaden. The six-page document is in Record Group 260 in the Intelligence Division. At the moment the emotions here in Idstein ar running extremely high since only very few bodies have been interred.

                 

                I really wonder if the Division H-85 under the leadership of Ary van Harlingen who was in charge of the detachment here in Idstein during the summer of 1945, left any reports on this special hospital here in Idstein.  I have a newspaper article that stresses that US Forces used the Kalmenhof as an Army hospital in 1945. The liberators must have witnessed something.  I would be very grateful if you had any ideas concerning how to continue the research concerning what really happened here in Idstein during the summer of 1945. I can send further information and documents concerning the Kalmenhof. Thanks so much for your reply!

                  • Re: Seeking records on liberation of "Kalmenhof" in Idstein
                    Sylvia Naylor Scout

                    Dear Ms. Berger-Hönge,

                     

                    Thank you for posting your follow-up request on History Hub!

                     

                    As we mentioned in our previous response, you may want to look into records of the 76th Infantry Division in the series titled Unit Histories, 1943-1967 and Historical Files, 1943-1945 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338) as well as into the series titled World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 - 1981 (Record Group 407) that includes records of the 76th Infantry Division.  By looking at these records you might be able to determine what medical units were in that division. 

                     

                    Insofar as medical unit records that might mention the facility being used, you may find medical unit records in the series titled World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 (Record Group (RG) 407), Unit Histories, 1943-1967 (RG 338), and Records of Historical Unit Medical Detachments (HUMEDS), 1940-1955 (RG 112).  For access to these series, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                     

                    We also searched for Military Government Detachments as the records may contain information you are seeking.  We searched the National Archives Catalog for any records on Military Government Detachments in Germany and located 13 series, 272 file units, and 6 items.  Bulk of the records are located in the Records of U.S. Occupation Headquarters, World War II (Record Group 260).  Please note that some of the records have been digitized and may be viewed using the Catalog. For access to the non-digitized records, please contact the unit listed in the description.

                     

                    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 various NARA units. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

                     

                    We hope this is helpful.  Best of luck with your research!