German WWII reparations records online? #germany #holocaust #records

David Brostoff

I don't seem to be able to find a searchable online database for German WWII reparations records.

Any recommendations?

Thank you,

David Brostoff

Peter Heilbrunn



This is difficult if not impossible to search  on-line. My experience is that you need to write to or visit the appropriate archive. There is a central archive at the Finance ministry in Berlin

Bibliothek, AfR-Archiv, Rückerstattungsarchiv
Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste
und offene Vermögensfragen
- Dienstsitz Berlin -
DGZ-Ring 12
13086 Berlin

Telefon: +49 (0)30 - 187030-1163
Fax: +49 (0)30 - 187030-1140
E-Mail ohne Kunstbezug:

E-Mail mit Kunstbezug: Kunst-BRUEG-Archiv@...


State archives may also hold the records. My father was born in Hessen but in 1939 married and lived in Cologne. I was advised to contact the NRW Archive who eventually sent me a disc with over 500 pages of correspondence. There may be a charge for this service but my documents came free.  If your relative lived in NRW then the contact details are

Landesarchiv Nordrhein-Westfalen

Abteilung Rheinland

Schifferstr. 30

47059 Duisburg

Telefon  0203  98721-327








Peter Heilbrunn

Tel +44 (0)1494 725966

Amersham England


Judith Elam

Hi David -  you can search here.  If you get a hit, you can then contact the archive to ask them to send you the records.

Judith Elam

Corinna Woehrl (nee Goslar)

Hello David,

there are often two types of reparation files:
- the personal ones - reparation for "damage on life", for not being able to have finished school or studies, prosecution, etc.
- and those concearning assets/property.

As they mostly include very personal documents and information it would be problematic to put them online from the data-protection-aspect. They are open for reviewing publically 30 years after the death of the applicant, sometimes also younger family-members are mentioned who's rights also have to be protected.

All these files are mostly situated at the regional State Archives. So you will have to know the city in which the family member lived before emigration, flight or deportation. These files are named "Wiedergutmachungsakte". Most of the State Archives have a system to research the files online, yet the files themselves will have to be reviewed locally or you request scans.

The helpful link Judith sent is just for the "Landesarchiv Berlin" and includes the files for Berlin and people from former Eastern Provinces.

If you mailed the name and last known living place, we could perhaps help locating the documents.

Regards from Germany
Corinna Wöhrl, Hoisdorf (near Hamburg and Luebeck)

Reuven Mohr

this link does not seem to cover files that are not kept in Berlin state archives;

Reuven Mohr

Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>

There are a few American lawyers that specialize in representing descendants of WWII people who had their property stolen. Maybe they could provide help?
Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY

Lewis, Megan

Many states in West Germany had standalone reparations offices.  (It might be all of them did but I don't remember off the top of my head.)  Those are the records you want to start with.

Do you have any family papers about restitution?  That might give you an idea of which office handled their claim.  For German Jews I assume that the office for the state that they were from would have handled the case, but I don't know for sure.  As someone already mentioned the Berlin office covered eastern areas (East Germany and the parts of Germany that were given to Poland.)

If you have done an ITS/Arolsen Archives search for the people in question, and there are records, the central names index card or the T/D (case) file may indicate the relevant office.  For example anything marked BLEA was a case handled by the Bavarian state office.

USHMM has United Restitution Records for Toronto (partial), Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.  If it's possible that the claimant would have gone through one of those offices send me an email and I can check the indices. The rest of the records for Canada are at the Canadian Jewish Archives.

Finally I do not know if the Leo Baeck Institute would have relevant materials but it cannot hurt to check their archives catalog.

Megan Lewis, reference librarian
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Lewis, Megan

I found some more information about United Restitution Organization files.  The records of several individual offices are at the Central Archive for the History of the Jewish People: London (administration & personal files), Frankfurt (administration & personal files), Berlin (personal files), Munich (personal files), Cologne (personal files), Tel Aviv (administration and personal files) and Jerusalem (personal files.)

Personal files are closed to the public for privacy reasons but there is no information about access for family members in the CAJHP catalog record  You will need to follow up with them for more information.

Megan Lewis, USHMM

David Selig

Hi all.  From my own experience, the link already mentioned
indeed is searchable.    Takes a little working out, but I found it a very useful primary source.  

I went to the Landesarchiv, consulted some of the files there from my family, and then asked for copies, which were sent to me. 

I was also told by a kind archivist there, that another archive is available in Berlin. 
This is the "LABO", which (apparently) in the provincial archive for specific categories of reparation requests. 
These concern (as far as I have ascertained) claims concerning - 
- health
- imprisonment
- education issues. 
I have heard that these often contain detailed and personal "stories". 

I know that there are several files there on my own family. 
These cannot be copied , but can be photographed on site.  They need to be ordered in advance, and then studied on site. 

Landesamt für Bürger- und Ordnungsangelegenheiten (LABO)   
Abt. I - Entschädigungsbehörde   
Opfer des Nationalsozialismus   
I A 45   
Fehrbelliner Platz 1   
10707 Berlin   
Telefon: +49 30 90269 5145   
Fax: +49 30 90269 5100   
E-Mail: andrea.pahlke@...  

Good luck
Best David SELIG