Re: Standesaemter and Birth Certificates #germany


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 7/25/2006 fritz.neubauer@uni-bielefeld.de writes:
Lars Menk wrote:
Paragraph 61, sub-paragraph 1 of the German Personenstandsgesetz (law of
vital status) >from 08 Aug 1957 says that "the inspecting and examining of
registers of vital statistics and granting of vital status documents may
only be claimed by the authorities in the context of their responsibility
and by persons to which the record refers as well as by their husbands, ancestors
and descendants. Authorities have to indicate the purpose. Other persons only have
a right to inspect and examine the registers of vital statistics and to be granted
vital status documents when they make a legal interest credible."

<<My comment:
It is true that a legally valid birth certificate can only iussed to
descendants, but sometimes one can negotiate with the Standesamt clerks
for some kind of copy that does not have the official stamp on it and
from a legal perspective is therefore not valid as an official birth
certificate. I wonder how one can call this, "inoffizielle Kopie"
(inofficial copy) or something like that. I think I once got one this way ...
perhaps that helps >>

=====I stopped requesting documents >from Standesamter a long time ago. Whenever
possible I contact City or State Archivists. I discussed this at the
International Jewish Genealogy Conference in London in 2001 (it should be
available >from the conference records). Archivists are highly trained academics
who enjoy converting their raw data and dry pages into living history, unlike the
town clerks for whom your enquiry is more of a nuisance.

==With the information you already have on your ancestral family, you can
help round out the history of the town in which they lived, and of its Jewish
population--something that is highly valued by most German archivists. When
posing your query, drop a hint that you will repay with extensive
information--and make sure you live up to your promise.

==I have been told by more than one archivist that I would do well to
present myself as a researcher, journalist or historian, rather than just a
descendant. I guess that puts me in the category of "Other persons only have a
right to inspect and examine the registers of vital statistics and to be granted
vital status documents when they make a legal interest credible," as Lars Menk
explains. It seems to work. More than that, many archivists have really
gone out of their way to provide me with copies of documents that I had never
dreamed of, and background information on life in the location 50, 100, 200
years ago, its economy, its Jews, etc . . .

Michael Bernet, New York MBernet@aol.com

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