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Documentation on the persecution of Jews

Since the start of the 1960s, the Federal Archive has been working to document the names of those Jewish citizens who were sent to their deaths or deported as a result of persecution in Nazi Germany. The first edition of the remembrance book "Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft in Deutschland 1933-1945"  [Victims of the persecution of Jews under the Nazi dictatorship in Germany 1933-1945] was published in 1986 in close collaboration with the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen. This was extensively revised on the basis of newly available source material subsequent to reunification, and the second edition was consequently published in 2006. Since the end of 2007, an online version of the remembrance book has been available on the internet, where it is being updated in a few months. At present it contains nearly 160,000 names.

An initial register of Germany's Jewish inhabitants was produced in the Federal Archives in 2002/03 within the context of compensation for Jewish insurance claims. It has been, and is being, continually updated and amended since the end of 2004, initially by a project group then, since 2008, as an ongoing job at the Federal Archives. The list of Jewish inhabitants in the German Reich 1933-1945 (usually known as the list of residents for short) gives information on the lives and fates of around 600,000 people who resided in the German Reich (within its borders of 31 December 1937) at any time between 1933 and 1945, and who were persecuted by the Nazi state on the grounds of their Jewish ancestry or their Jewish faith. This collection of data is not directly accessible to users in order to protect the interests of survivors and next of kin, due to restricted rights of use on the part of the different data suppliers and due to the as yet incomplete compilation process. However, the Federal Archives issues information from it in line with the Federal Archives Act.

A vital source for the revised edition of the remembrance book and the compilation of the list of residents were the cards giving additional information on ancestry and education, which had to be filled in by every household as part of the census on 17 May 1939. If a household member stated one Jewish grandparent, following routine statistical analysis the cards would be sent to the Reich Office of Genealogy (present record group R 1509), where around 85% of them ultimately ended up. This explains how a large number of the Jews living in Germany on the eve of the Holocaust came to be known by name. The data on the additional cards were processed in a separate database and have been accessible to users of the Federal Archives since 2001 in its reading room in Berlin-Lichterfelde.


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