[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] EWZ/BDC Research

Jerry Frank jkfrank at home.com
Sat Nov 10 07:47:10 PST 2001

For those of you researching family that was forced out of eastern regions 
back to Germany during WW II, these microfilms can be a major source of 
information.  I know personally of one woman whose father died during this 
resettlement.  She had no photo of her father until she found one on the 
card file from the EWZ/BDC records.  Many of these cards include pedigrees 
that go back 4 or 5 generations.

A general description of the content of this material can be found 
at   http://pixel.cs.vt.edu/library/berlin.html

It is significant that the report on that page fails to include the fact 
that many Volhynian and Russian Poland Germans are also included in these 

Tom Stangl, who has done a great deal of research on these microfilms, 
recently updated and clarified some of that information in a recent posting 
to another mail service.  He has kindly agreed to allow me to repost that 

----------------Start Tom Stangl message--------------------------------------

There are over 8,400 rolls of 16mm microfilm in the EWZ collection, which 
is part of a 70,000 roll collection from the former Berlin Document Center 
[BDC], which housed the German government documents captured in WW II.  Of 
these, 3,210 rolls are Antraege files--applications for naturalization 
1939-1945, which are organized by Region [e.g., "Russia", "Poland", 
"Rumania", etc.], and alphabetized by surname within Region. There are 843 
rolls which cover the Antraege of the German ethnics who came from "Russia" 
[including Ukrainian Volhynia]--these films are the EWZ50 series. Another 
701 rolls cover "Rumania" [Bessarabia, Dubrodscha, Bukovina]--these are the 
EWZ51 series. In addition to these series of films, there are groups of 
Antraege films for "Poland" [EWZ52--701 rolls, including Polish Volhynia], 
the "Baltics" [EWZ53--587 rolls], as well as several other regions 
[Yugoslavia, France, Bulgaria--379 rolls].

Besides the Antraege files, there were card files kept on each applicant 
for naturalization. These were the "E" cards [EWZ card--for everyone over 
age 15, and unaccompanied children younger than 15], and the "G" card 
["Gesundheitskarte"--Health card--for everyone over age 6; photos are often 
attached], which were combined into one alphabetical file covering all of 
the regions [Russia, Rumania, Poland, etc.], and were filmed as the EWZ57 
series. There are 1,964 rolls of film in the E/G Kartei [EWZ57] series.  A 
separate set of files called the Stammblaetter [EWZ58] contains copies of 
the Personalblatt from the Antraege file, plus a photograph of the 
applicant. There are 740 rolls of EWZ58 films. These files are arranged in 
EWZ number order [2 to 1,046,998].

Any of these films can be purchased from our Archives for $34 per roll 
postpaid to US addresses, or $39 US per roll postpaid to international
addresses. They can be ordered by telephone by calling toll free in the US 
at 1-800-234-8861, or toll at 301-713-6800 during working hours at the 
Archives [Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm EST]. However, you must know the 
film number of the film you wish to purchase, and there is no catalog 
available from which to order. The films cannot be rented or loaned from 
our Archives. The Archives has rudimentary indexes of these films [first 
and last name only on each roll of film], but has not made the indexes 
available outside the Microfilm Reading Room at Archives II. I am telling 
you these details so that you may fully understand the difficulties you 
would have to obtain these
films from our Archives.

The Mormon Church [LDS] has purchased a full set of the EWZ57 and EWZ58 
series of films. The LDS renumbered their copies of the films, so that it 
is not possible to use the LDS numbers to ask our Archives for assistance 
in obtaining an individual applicant's records on other series of films. A 
cross reference between the Archives film numbers for the EWZ58 series and 
the LDS numbers for this series has been posted on the Internet by Dave 
Obee <daveobee at home.com>. I am not aware of any cross reference being 
available for the EWZ57 series. The LDS has these films available for 
rental in North America at their local Family History Centers. I do not 
know whether or not
these films would be available in any of the LDS libraries in Europe.  A 
few years ago, the American government returned the hardcopy EWZ documents 
to the Bundesarchiv in Germany. A full set of the microfilms are in both 
our National Archives and the Bundesarchiv. I do not know the policies of 
the Bundesarchiv in regards to anyone in Germany accessing or purchasing 
these microfilms.

Researchers in the US and Canada, who are members of GRHS and AHSGR, have 
been purchasing rolls of EWZ film to do research on their families. Upon 
completion of their research, they have been donating the films to GRHS or 
AHSGR. The donated films are stored in the headquarters of each 
organization. Volunteers from GRHS have been indexing these donated films 
and posting the extractions on the Internet [Odessa Digital Library]. If 
your surname is among those posted on the Internet, much of your research 
has already been done; and it can provide you information about which 
records you might wish to obtain from either the Archives [by ordering your 
own copy of the film] or by requesting hard copies from the GR headquarters 
which has custody of the donated film.
---------------End Tom Stangl message------------------------------

Websites for the 2 organizations mentioned in the last paragraph 
are:   http://www.grhs.org    and   http://www.ahsgr.org

Please do not contact me personally for any further information about this 
resource as I do not have anything more.  Please use the links included 
throughout the above message along with those at the Pixel webpage to 
access more information.

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
jkfrank at home.com

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