Das Bundesarchiv

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Allied Occupation Zones (1945-1949)

Access may be gained in the Federal Archives to the archives of the central organisations of the occupation zones after the Second World War and of the German organisations in the service of the Allies. It contains audio-visual sources as well as current records in conventional form, and is supplemented by collections and records of private origin. You will find information about archives of the Soviet occupation zone on the reference page German Democratic Republic.

The holdings of the Federal Archives on the western occupation zones include

insofar as the Federal Archive has been provided access to these and they have not already been destroyed in the administrative agencies or transferred to foreign archives. The Federal Archive may to some extent at least take reproductions or duplicates.

The Federal Archives also has at its disposal

You will find further information on the reference pages GDROfficial printed archives, Library, Pictures and posters, Film, Maps, plans and technical drawings, Military bodies and associations, Personal papers and Collections.

Special groups

Research options

Advices for reference

The regulations governing the use of the reference service are contained in the Federal Archives Act (BArchG), the Federal Archives access regulations, the Federal Archives cost regulations and the reading room regulations of the Federal Archives. Please note that specific legal and contractual provisions may apply in the case of access to personal records and archives of private origin with copyright implications. In the case of holdings in the GDR section, as a rule the access restriction period as per § 5 (5) BArchG [Federal Archives Act] is shortened as far as possible in the interests of unrestricted research work. The 30-year term of access restriction has been lifted for the holdings of the Archive Foundation for Parties and Mass Organisations of the GDR in the Federal Archives. However, the terms specified in § 5 of the Federal Archives Act must be observed for archives relating to individual persons.

Reference locations

Several places provide a reference service for the Federal Archives: