Re: German Reparation Files #germany #records

Corinna Woehrl (nee Goslar)

Hello Michael and list-readers,


I can only inform you about the procedures at the Hamburg State Archives:

Here you will find restitution files (called Wiedergutmachungsakten) for people who lived in Hamburg prior to their escape or deportation.

You can search by name via

The main department is 351_11 Amt für Wiedergutmachung, but you will also find files in other places.

Please keep in mind that the information can be disturbing: you will find a lot of rejection in early documents (depending on the person in charge at the office - sometimes they were the same people who had also been on duty during the Nazi era). In my experience, later (after ca. 1960), the tone of the correspondence changed and was more respectful. 


I'm not quite sure - but think the files for people from former eastern provinces (e.g. Posen) are kept at the German State Archives which you can search via the following link


So you have to know in which city the person you are seeking information about had lived. Then you have to ask at the local archive where the files ("Wiedergutmachungsakten") are stored.

In general, they are a great treasure as they often include a résumé and other correspondence revealing lots of family details. 


The general retention period is 30 years after the death of the 'subject' for whom the record was compiled - if you are a direct descendant, you can get insight earlier.


Kind regards from Germany


Corinna Wöhrl, Hoisdor (near Hamburg), Germany

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