Das Bundesarchiv

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Quelle: Bundesarchiv B 198 Bild-00050 / Fotograf: o.Ang.

The Lastenausgleichsarchiv (War Indemnity Archives) is located in the former municipal hospital of Bayreuth. It is part of the Department B (Federal Republic of Germany).

The brick building, erected at the beginning of the 20th century, had all later additions removed and the core was restored to its original condition. After renovation and rebuilding, it now houses a public area, workshops and offices. A new stacking centre wing was constructed for the storage of the archival material.

As its most extensive archival stock the Lastenausgleichsarchiv acquires the files of the Ausgleichsverwaltung (War Indemnity Administration), more than 30,000 linear metres. These files document the losses of the expelled persons and refugees from the former eastern territories of the German Reich and the German settlement areas in east central Europe and southeastern Europe at the end of the Second World War. Completely in stock are the Feststellungsakten (Files of Approved or Denied Indemnity Applications) of all Ausgleichsämter (War Indemnity Claims Offices) that substantiate the damages and losses of farms, businesses and real estate.

Further activities of the Ausgleichsämter are documented by preserving a sampling of records. Of unique interest is the collection Ost-Dokumentation (about 145 linear metres). In about 30,000 first-person reports it reflects the experiences of the German people during the last months of the Second World War as well as economic and social conditions in the former eastern territories. Furthermore there are more than 15,000 Gemeindeseelenlisten (Parish Registers) by which the residents of municipalities within former eastern territories of the German Reich are reconstructed.

The reading room, with 28 places, offers ideal conditions for research into flight and expulsion at the end of the Second World War, regional history and family histories of the former eastern German region as well as the social and society history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Holdings from a service library are available to users to support their research.