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About the project

What is the portal "Forced labour in the National Socialist State" about?

At www.bundesarchiv.de/zwangsarbeit the information portal on forced labour under the National Socialist regime has been reviewed contentwise and technically implemented by the Federal Archives in cooperation with several archival institutions at home and abroad. It is funded by the foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“ and is aimed at

  • former forced labourers and their relatives,
  • the general public interested in history and
  • scientific and local history investigation.

What does the portal offer?

  • The category archive holdings is being developed at the moment. Several German and foreign archives, memorial places and similar facilities will provide information about their archival documents on National Socialist forced labour. With the aid of a comfortable geografically oriented search users can find information about recruitment and deployment of foreign civil labourers and prisoners of war, organisation, planning and the environment of the workplaces or the living conditions of the forced labourers. The variety of the archived material ranges from personnel files and subject files of the police via files held by the agricultural administration or medical files to photo, film and poster collections.
  • Starting with a basis of more than one thousand headings users can browse through a comprehensive online library on forced labour in the National Socialist state in the category literature, which will be updated on a permanent basis
  • In the category History briefly structured texts provide some basic information on the deployment of foreign workers in the empire and in the Weimar Republic as well as on the deployment of prisoners of war in World War I – the deployment of forced labourers with a civil or military background under the National Socialist regime – and about the situation of "Displaced persons" and "Repatriations" of forced labourers from the Soviet Union as of May 1945.
  • The category Payments informs about the compensation efforts and measures on rectification since 1945 until the present day.
  • In the area Documents there are galleries with pictures and informative documents on the deployment of forced labourers in the National Socialist state. In addition, there are eye witness reports and biographies of former forced labourers.
  • In the category Links a detailed directory provides access to further and specialised internet platforms

How is the portal complemented and updated?

  • For completion and update purposes the Federal Archives provide an online data management module with the aid of which involved institutions can enter, complete and amend their inventory data in the data base themselves. Therefore, the portal provides permanently a steadily growing and up-to-date proof of archival documents on forced labour.
  • To help keeping the portal up-to-date is up to any interested party. Any facility that would like to take part in the project and provide information on the list of archival holdings is very welcome to do so.
  • The Federal Archives neither charge any costs for placement, provision and presentation of data nor do they so for maintaining the portal.
  • An Internet connection with a common browser is sufficient for updating the portal. The entry is made straight into an online data base and will be available on the Internet immediately.
  • Individual inventory data can be exported from the data base and be transferred to the individual system using a specific module.

How long will the project last?

  • The development phase of the project will last from 1 April 2007 until 31 March 2009. The individual modules will be further extended, developed and completed during the development phase.

How does the participation of a facility in the project work?

The most important indications for archives and other facilities who want to participate with their own input are available as a pdf download in several languages.