Archives and memorials
There are various sources that can be used to research the biographies of victims of political persecution. Below you will find an overview of archives, databases and memorial sites in Brandenburg that can help you with your research.
Brandenburg Main State Archives
For a search in the Main State Archives you can submit an informal written request in which you state your research question. You will receive the search result after about six weeks. If necessary, you can then arrange for an appointment to view the files in the reading room. If the research is part of an educational project, you should examine the files first to find out about the relevance of the source.The content of the files can be emotionally overwhelming and therefore their examination should be carefully prepared for.
Am Windmühlenberg 3
Phone: +49 (0) 331 5674-0
Fax: +49 (0)331 5674-212
Contact person: Dr. Monika Nakath
Numerous documents containing personal data from the time of the Nazi regime are kept in the Federal Archives. For a search you must submit an informal written request stating the subject and the purpose of your enquiry. Research and consultation are always conducted on the premises of the Federal Archives. Minor queries can be handled by the staff of the Federal Archives. The result will be communicated to you in writing. This process may be subject to fees.
Phone: +49 (0)30 187770-0
Fax: +49 (0)30 187770-111
Department of archive services
Phone: +49 (0)30 187770-420 or -4111
International Tracing Service Bad Arolsen
You can submit a written application for scientific research to the International Tracing Service. To do so, use the form on their website. The research request can be related to a specific person, but also to a certain topic. In the location-based search, you can search for places, districts, companies or other similar information. If the search service has any entries, you will get the information free of charge after signing the user statement. A fee will be charged for sending documents: € 0,30 to € 0,90 per copy and € 5,- for a DVD containing the information.
Internationaler Suchdienst Bad Arolsen
Große Allee 5-9
34454 Bad Arolsen
Phone: +49 (0)5691 629-0
Fax: +49 (0)5691 629-501
The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority “Yad Vashem” is a memorial site in Israel that commemorates and scientifically documents the Nazi extermination of Jews. The website contains a database with names and biographical details of 3.6 million Holocaust victims, which you can search online. You also have access to the photo archive and various directories, such as transport directories, information on Jews who chose to seek suicide rather than deportation, and directories of survivors from the concentration camps. This database contains the largest collection of Holocaust related publications that can be accessed online.
For enquiries: International Institute for Holocaust Research
Phone: +972 2 6443480 or +972 2 6443479
Since many people from Brandenburg also lived in Berlin for a certain period of time you can use the research guide of the Berlin Co-ordination Office for the Stolpersteine to access databases and archives for information on these people.
Memorials in Brandenburg
Memorial for the Victims of Political Violence in the 20th Century Lindenstraße 54/55
In its permanent exhibition, the Lindenstraße Memorial deals with the continuity of political persecution. The multimedia exhibition guides the visitor through different periods of time, focussing on persecution during the Nazi era, during the Soviet occupation and at the time of the GDR.
In 1935 the Nazis set up a “Hereditary Health Court” in this house with the task of deciding on forced sterilisations. This court gave forced sterilisations a legal standing. After the People’ s Court was relocated from Berlin to Potsdam in 1939 the house in Lindenstraße was used as a remand centre for political prisoners. A large number of members of various resistance groups were detained here, sentenced and later executed at other locations.
In 1953 the compound was taken over by the GDR’s State Security and continued to function as a remand centre.
Memorial and museum Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg
The Sachsenhausen concentration camp was established by the Nazis in 1936. It is located in Oranienburg just north of Berlin. The camp served as a training site for concentration camp commanders and was used to house an SS contingent. From 1936 to 1945 approximately 200,000 people were deported to Sachsenhausen. Beginning in August 1941 the Nazis murdered between 13,000 and 18,000 Russian prisoners of war at this site in ten weeks.
Due to the Red Army’s advance in spring 1945, the camp was evacuated by the SS on 21 April 1945, and the remaining prisoners were forced to embark on a death march. Polish and Russian units reached the camp on 22 and 23 April and liberated it. In August 1945, following the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the Soviet Allies converted the site into a “Soviet Special Camp”. The “Soviet Special Camp” was closed in 1950.
From 1962 until the reunification of Germany it was one of the three “National Memorial Sites of the GDR”. Since 1991 the memorial has been run by the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation.
Straße der Nationen 22
Memorial to the Victims of Euthanasia Murders in Brandenburg an der Havel
Since 2012 a permanent exhibition at the Brandenburg an der Havel memorial has commemorated the over 9,000 people who were murdered by the Nazis at this location between January and August 1940 as part of the “Euthanasia programme”. The Brandenburg “killing centre” was one of six sites in the German Reich where more than 70,000 mentally ill and handicapped people were murdered as part of “Aktion T4”.
14770 Brandenburg an der Havel
Ravensbrück Memorial Site
The former concentration camp Ravensbrück was the largest concentration camp for women. It was built by the SS in December 1938 and liberated by the Red Army in April 1945. During this period an estimated 28,000 prisoners were murdered here. In 1959 the “Ravensbrück National Memorial Site” was built here, and since 1993 has been run by the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation. Since 2013 the permanent exhibition “The Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp - History and Remembrance” as well as smaller more detailed exhibitions may be visited here.
Straße der Nationen