The 1939 census was conducted in all of Germany, Austria and the
Sudetenland. The records for Thuringia and some Ruhr and Rhineland cities,
e.g. Cologne, Dortmund, were lost as were all records for Austria. The
remaining records were digitized by the Bundesarchiv (not the USHMM) and are
available at the USHMM and, presumably, the Bundesarchiv. While there is
unrestricted use of these records at the USHMM, the agreement with the
Bundesarchiv bars the museum >from putting this collection on the web.
The digitized collection has some significant advantages over the film
One does not need to know where an individual resided in 1939 in
order to find his/her record and, since one can search by any field, one can
locate all persons born in or resident in a particular locality, who
registered in the census.
One should be aware that many Jews had left Germany by 1939 and that many
of those who remained attempted to avoid completing the requisite forms or
falsified the information, e.g. entered one Jewish grandparent rather than
Nevertheless, the census remains a valuable tool for all genealogists
interested in 20th century Jewish life.
Peter Lande Washington, D.C. firstname.lastname@example.org