Arolsen Archives quietly adds 13 million more WWII records…

It was only last summer when Arolsen Archives- International Center on Nazi Persecution expanded its database to 13 million records on displaced persons and Nazi persecution victims.

Now, the database has doubled in size with records on forced laborers and deportations to concentration camps. It is quite the gift to have these documents online at this time.

This free database is well-worth searching if you had relatives or ancestors who were displaced or persecuted during WWII. The records are available for downloading without requiring registration.

The English database only can be searched by names or topics. I recommend searching by names. The results can be filtered by religion, nationality and family status.

With the database being so large, it naturally will have some errors. My grandfather’s name is spelled as Sergej and Serzej and his birth date is listed as March 21 and April 21 on the database.

Here are some tips to take full advantage of this wonderful database:

  • Remember that people during WWII lied on records to survive so be open-minded when viewing records. My grandfather lied that he was born in Bialystok, Poland, instead of Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Use a text document to keep track of which relatives and ancestors you have searched.
  • Consider every possible relative and ancestor who was affected by WWII. A document on a distant cousin could have information that can breakdown a brickwall.
  • Don’t ignore matches that seem off by a month, day or year for birth dates. The dates may have been mistyped for the database.
  • Another date issue is the switching of Julian calendar dates to the current Gregorian calendar. It can affect dates involving immigrants from the former USSR. Check out this page for more information.
  • Use every known spelling of your relatives or ancestors before giving up searches on them.
  • Remember village, town and city names can change over time. Before eliminating matches by location, research the locations for name changes.
  • Germans switch y’s to j’s and v’s to w’s. Also vowels may be switched, too.
  • Make sure to view all the results for your searches, even matches with limited information. Check out the records for each match to confirm whether they are connected to your family.
  • Remember to download records, even those that are not definite matches.
  • When you find different spellings for your relatives and ancestors, consider using those spellings when searching for them in other databases.

If searches come up empty, requests to Arolsen Archives can be made here. It could take up to 2 years to receive a response by e-mail.

Arolsen Archives still has about 4 million records to post online. Follow this blog with the top right button to learn about the next update to this database.

Related posts:

Massive database reveals priceless information on rebels of the Russian Revolution

Database of political terror victims in the USSR explodes past 3 million

Major update to WWII database honors 75th victory anniversary

New WWII Soviet Army database gives faces to veterans

Ancestry.com quietly adds incredible WWII database

The summer can be a quiet time for genealogy research until a new database appears online.

Out of curiosity to see if any new documents have appeared on Ancestry.com for my immigrant relatives, I discovered “Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees, 1939-1947”.

The incredible database of 10.1 million documents, obtained from Arolsen Archives- International Center on Nazi Persecution in Germany, provides names, birthdates, birthplaces, nationalities and addresses of foreigners present in Germany from 1939-1947 and Nazi persecution victims.

Here is a sample document from the database:

I highly recommend searching for any relatives or ancestors who could have been in Germany during 1939-1947. I was surprised the seven documents I found on my mother’s family were new online.

Arolsen Archives- International Center on Nazi Persecution has 13 million documents on Nazi persecution victims and war refugees in its database. The documents on my relatives posted to Ancestry aren’t available on that database.

To begin the search on this database, start here. The results can be narrowed down by first and last names, birthdates, birthplaces and relatives’ names.

Here is the database narrowed down by ethnic groups: Jewish, Polish, Soviet citizens (people from the USSR were lumped together), Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Hungarian, French, Bulgarian, Greek, Yugoslavian and Italian.

Since the database comes from Germany, y’s will be turned into j’s and v’s into w’s. I’ve also seen g’s turned into z’s and incorrect vowels within names.

This database could piece together family stories from WWII. With the 75th anniversary of WWII’s finale coming, many more records are likely coming online from Arolsen Archives. This blog will post when more records become available online.

Related posts:
10 million records added to WWII victims database
Database of political terror victims in the USSR explodes past 3 million
Newest Ancestry.com database will turn brickwalls into dust