Personal Documents of Military Provenance until 1945

Here you will find above all information on documents which used to be kept at the former Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) and the former Zentralnachweisstelle (ZNS).

Personal documents of military origin are kept in various departments of the Federal Archives. If you are looking for information about a particular military member, it is best to fill in both the usage application form (Benutzungsantrag) and the form “Order for a person-related research”, which are available for download on this page. Please include as well some form of official photo identification (for example a copy/scan of your passport or your driver’s licence). Please send these forms signed and scanned or by post to the Personal Information Department (Abteilung Personenbezogene Auskünfte, PA). They will, if necessary, involve other departments.

The Federal Archives’ department PA in Berlin-Reinickendorf identifies evidence of war captivity of German soldiers, assists in clarifying missing persons’ fates and provides information about

  • former Members of the army, the Reichsmarine (1918-1935), the Kriegsmarine (1935-1945) and the air force,
  • civil servants, employees and workers of the Wehrmacht,
  • members of the entire male and female retinue, the Organisation Todt and the Reichsarbeitsdienst (Reich Labour Service).

The Federal Archives‘ department Military Archives (MA) in Freiburg provides information from the personal files on officers and civil servants of the Wehrmacht, from Wehrmacht court documents and from documents that have been preserved on the awarding of medals and decorations of the Wehrmacht.

For attestations of service periods from the area of the police, in the first instance the authorities succeeding the former police offices should be contacted if these were located in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. If such a request is not successful or if the police office in question was located outside the borders of the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3rd, 1990, a request should be addressed to the Federal Archives’ branch in Berlin-Lichterfelde.