FAQ deutschland (Germany)

December 2000

Please send any corrections or suggestions to goertz@cyberspace.org




Q1: What and where was Germany? 
Q2: What were the administrative areas of Germany in 1895? 
Q3: Where do I write for birth certificate for someone born in Germany? 
Q4: How do I find locations and maps for Germany? 
Q5: When were civil registers introduced in Germany? 
Q6: Where can I get more information on Germany? 
Q7: Are there emigration records available? 
Q8: How can I find information on ships and immigrants? 
Q9: What are the German dialects? 
Q10: Where did Germans live outside Germany in 1937? 
Q11: Are there genealogical publishers in Germany? 
Q12: How do I send money to Germany? 
Q13: How do I handle Umlaute in computer messages? 
Q14: How do I get German census records? 
Q15: What are the present 16 German states? 
Q16: How can I get news on Germany in German or English on the net today? 
Q17: Where can I find military records? 
Q18: Can you describe the German school system before WWII? 
Q1: What and where was Germany? 
A1: The answer depends on the time frame: 
If Germany is merely a geographic region, then this term is ageless. 
If you mean a political country with definite boundaries, then we 
have to divide recent German history for genealogical purposes into  
three periods: 
1) pre-1806             2) 1806-1871           3) 1871-1918 and later. 
=== 1) The Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, as the medieval Germany was 
called, had its capital in more recent periods in Wien (Vienna) and 
perceived itself as the successor of the Imperium Romanum of ancient Rome. 
Its link to Rome for a long time in the middle ages was the Pope  
who claimed for himself the right to crown and approve the Caesars (Kaisers). 
This resulted in a power struggle between Pope and Kaiser about who was 
lord of whom. The Kaiser perceived himself also as the head of "the" church 
who was to uphold and preserve the true doctrine and reserved for himself  
the right to approve the appointments of bishops (and of the pope). 
The last great struggle in Germany between Catholicism and the new wave 
of change was the 30-Years-War (1618-1648) which was a disaster for all 
For practical purposes, genealogy starts after 1648 due to the destruction 
of most records during this unfortunate war. 
By that time the title of Kaiser had been vested firmly in the Catholic  
Habsburg dynasty of Austria who was elected by the collegium of 
Kurfuersten (electors). In 1800 the electors (of the Kaiser) were the 
3 archbishops of Koeln (Cologne), Mainz and Trier and the 
4 secular electors of Rhine-Pfalz, Brandenburg, Sachsen(Saxony), and  
The Kaiser was also elector and king of Boehmen. 
The boundaries of Germany as an empire were as follows: 
(I suggest that you consult the Encyclopedia Britanica historic maps  
for details) 
In the East -Austria including Bohemia,Moravia excluding Hungary,Galicia; 
 Pommern,Schlesien,Brandenburg excluding the later East and West Prussia; 
In the South-Triest,Tirol, excluding Switzerland 
In the West-some areas in today's France,Belgium excluding the Netherlands. 
   (The Western boudaries were constantly challenged by France) 
In the North- Holstein excluding Schleswig and Denmark. 
=== 2) In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Europe and abolished the German 
empire and the title of Kaiser for Germany (capital:Wien or Vienna). 
The Kaiser in Wien-Vienna was demoted to Kaiser of Austria with no  
power in the rest of Germany. After Napoleon's final defeat, the Wiener  
Kongress (Congress of Vienna) in 1815 redrew the maps of Europe.  
The title of German Kaiser was not restored. Austria with Boehmen and 
Maehren remained outside the German states. 
The big loser was the Catholic church which had lost her wordly  
possessions and vast land holdings in the secularisation of 1803  
(Reichsdeputationshauptschluss). The big land grab and exchange  
and reshuffle at that time involved many of these Catholic lands. 
The German kingdoms, grandduchies, duchies and various principalities  
were loosely united by various federations with no capital of Germany. 
Terms like German government or German army have no meaning for this time  
period until 1871. 
=== 3) In 1871 Germany as an empire with a Kaiser was restored with 
Berlin as the capital of Germany and Prussia and with the Prussian king also 
having the title of German Kaiser. Austria remained excluded from Germany. 
The three Kaisers were: 
Wilhelm I (1871-1888) 
Friedrich III (99 days emperor of 1888, who died of cancer) 
Wilhelm II (1888-1918). 
All monarchies in Germany were abolished in 1918, Prussia was declared 
defunct in 1945 by the Allied victors.  
Democratic ideals which should have called for a referendum in the eastern 
areas of Germany after World War I before handing them over to the new  
Poland were even more violated after World War II: 
Eastern Germany was cleansed of its ethnic German population and given  
to Poland and Russia. 
The Western powers were silent on the ethnic cleansing of original Prussia  
and Eastern Germany resulting in 12 millions of German refugees. 
The only countries which notably agreed to a referendum after World War II 
was France who tried to claim the Saarland and Denmark who tried to claim 
more of Schleswig. 
Q2: What were the administrative areas of Germany in 1895? 
A2: In 1895 Germany consisted of 
the kingdoms of 
  Preussen (Prussia)-see faq.preussen           capital:Berlin 
  Bayern (Bavaria)                              capital:Muenchen 
  Sachsen (Saxony) -not the Prussian province   capital:Dresden 
  Wuerttemberg                                  capital:Stuttgart 
the grandduchies of 
  Baden             -see faq.baden              capital:Karlsruhe 
  Hessen -not the Prussian province             capital:Darmstadt 
  Mecklenburg-Schwerin                          capital:Schwerin 
  Mecklenburg-Strelitz                          capital:Neu-Strelitz 
  Oldenburg                                     capital:Oldenburg 
  Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (in Thueringen *)     capital:Weimar 
the duchies of 
  Braunschweig (Brunswick)                      capital:Braunschweig 
  Sachsen-Meiningen (in Thueringen *)           capital:Meiningen 
  Sachsen-Altenburg (in Thueringen *)           capital:Altenburg 
  Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (in Thueringen *)        capital:Coburg 
  Anhalt                                        capital:Dessau 
the principalities of                               
  Schwarzburg-Rudolfstadt (in Thueringen *)     capital:Rudolfstadt 
  Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen (in Thueringen *)    capital:Sonderhausen 
  Waldeck                                       capital:Arolsen 
  Reuss older lineage (in Thueringen *)         capital:Greiz 
  Reuss younger lineage (in Thueringen *)       capital:Gera 
  Schaumburg-Lippe                              capital:Bueckeburg 
  Lippe                                         capital:Detmold 
the free Hanseatic cities of 
  Luebeck, Bremen and Hamburg 
and the Reichsland of 
  Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine)           capital:Strassburg 
NOTE: * Thueringen was a geographical, NOT a political region. 
In 1890 the population figures were for 
Germany: 49 millions, and  
Preussen: 31 millions, amounting to about 63% of the total German population. 
Q3: Where do I write for birth certificate for someone born in Germany? 
A3: If I ask you: where do I write for birth certificate for someone 
born in the USA in 1772 or 1840 or 1895, what would you answer? 
If all you know is Germany as a birth "place", nobody would be able to 
help you. 
Q4: How do I find locations and maps for Germany? 
A4: An atlas is usually not the best tool to locate small towns or 
villages. Maps of scales 1:25,000 (Messtischblatt) or 1:100,000 
(Karte des Deutschen Reiches and Kreiskarten) and gazetteers 
(Ortsverzeichnis) are. 
The best German gazetteer is 
  Meyers Orts- and Verkehrslexikon des Deutschen Reiches,1912 edition, 
   which is available on microfiche in the LDS Family History Centers. 
  It lists the places and the jurisdictions of the churches,and  
  courts (A.G = Amtsgericht). 
There is LDS microfilm #068814 available of 
   Karte des Deutschen Reiches, scale 1:100000, 1km = 1cm 
   which may be loaned thru the LDS Family History Centers. 
   It covers Germany for 1914-1917. 
   Topographical Maps (Messtischblaetter 1:25000) may also be 
   purchased from 
     Bundesamt fuer Kartographie und Geodaesie  
     10785 Berlin, Germany 
     E-mail: kart@ifag.de 
 or from some regional institutes. 
One US source of maps is 
the American Geographical Society Collection 
        of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Library 
P.O. Box 399 
Milwaukee, WI  53201 
Telephone:  414-229-6282 
WATS:  800-558-8993 
FAX:  414-229-3624 
If you are not able to visit the library yourself, they will photocopy maps 
in their collection for a minimum fee. 
   Maps of 83342 towns and cities in Germany: 
   Ortssippenbuecher are books on certain and few places in Germany 
which contain historical listings of families of these places: 
Q5: When were civil registers introduced in Germany? 
A5: Civil registers of births,marriages,deaths were introduced in 
    1876. The Civil registry office is called Standesamt. 
In some areas civil registers were introduced by the French before 1876: 
Elsass-Lothringen and Rheinland in 1792, Hessen and Hessen-Nassau in 1803, 
Westfalen in 1808, Hannover in 1809,Oldenburg in 1811. 
Anhalt introduced them in 1850, Prussia in October 1874, Bayern, Sachsen, 
Lippe,Mecklenburg,Wuerttemberg and the Thueringen mini-states in 1876. 
Other genealogical sources are church records which list births, baptisms, 
marriages, deaths, burials. 
One source which is widely overlooked are court records at the Amtsgericht. 
Of special interest are the land deed records with no published survey known. 
Other court records are Erbrezesse, Erbvergleiche (probates), Pupillenakten (or 
A remarriage of a widower/widow was always documented in the Amtsgericht 
stating in detail the estate rights of surviving children as well as 
rights and duties of parents and step parents. This is a source at the 
Amtsgericht which is widely unknown and untapped (and unfilmed by the LDS). 
If you are looking for records which describe the life and tribulations 
of your ancestors, you cannot miss looking at the court records. 
See Georg K.Schweitzer:German Genealogical Research, 1992 
p.154-156: Andere Gerichtsakten. 
Q6: Where can I get more information on Germany? 
A6: Do not overlook the obvious place to do your homework:  
A general encyclopedia in your local library. The Encyclopedia Britannica 
may just do fine for general questions and maps. 
     Try some of the web sites like 
For diseases in church books: 
For keyword searches in  soc.genealogy.german: 
For German postal codes and locations consult: 
For listing of Archives, Nobility Archives, and Special Archives try: 
For search of missing persons after WWII, contact: 
Chiemgaustr. 109 
81549 Muenchen 
Telefon: 089 6807730 
Fax: 089 68074592 
Internet: http://www.rotkreuz.de/suchdienst/ 
email: DRK-Suchdienst-Muenchen@t-online.de 
Zentralstelle der Heimatortskarteien, Kirchlicher Suchdienst, 
       Lessingstr. 3, D - 80336 Muenchen 
   The best web search engines for German genealogy are: 
If you have no access to the Web (www), you can direct web files to 
your email box by sending a request to 
with the message HELP or 
    get http://..... 
Consult also 
     Germanic Genealogy (by Edward R.Brandt et alii), 2nd edition. 
           1997, St.Paul MN, 517 pp.,1st edition, 1995. 
published by Germanic Genealogy Society, PO Box 16312 
   Saint Paul, Minnesota 55116-0312 
If you are looking for a certain family names in Germany, consult the 
International Genealogical Index (IGI) for Germany at your local 
LDS Family History Center. This will give you some idea of the past 
geographical distribution of family names in Germany. 
A good way to ask fellow researchers for information is to subscribe to (free)  
Send the message LISTS (in the body) to 
            or to 
and you will get a listing of what is available. 
For mailing lists see also: 
The best email address finder for Germany is 
Q7: Are there emigration records available? 
A7: The state archives have many emigration records which were 
filmed by the LDS FHL. 
For details see: 
     Learned, Marion Dexter, 1857-1917: 
    Guide to the manuscript materials relating to American history 
          in the German state archives, Washington, D.C., 
    Carnegie Institution of Washington. Publication no. 150 , 1912, 352 p.: 
                     -also Kraus reprints NY 1965- 
     (there are a number of updates in two volumes done by the LOC Manuscript  
      Division,call no.L173.L4 Suppl. 1929-1932). 

Most of the material listed by M.Learned relates to Prussian and Bavarian 
archives.  I am listing the archives which M. Learned tried to evaluate 
as to emigration records:
Ducal House and State Archives
State Archives
State Archives
Hauptmeldeamt der Polizei
House and State Archives
House and State Archives
State Archives
Privy and Central Archives
Central Archives
House and Central Archives
State Archives
REUSS-GERA (Younger Line)
State Archives
Ducal Archives
House and State Archives
State Archives
State Archives
Central State Archives in Dresden
Ministerial Archives in Bückeburg
Archives of the Principality
Archives of the Principality
Archives in Arolsen
Archives in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg
Frankfurt am Main
The 19th century saw three periods of emigration from Germany: 
1852-1854 caused by the gold rushes (100,000 annually); 
1866-1873 caused by the post-wars of 1866 and 1870-1871 (100,000 annually) 
1880-1881 caused by a depression with 220,000 German emigrants via the 
  ports of Antwerp,Rotterdam and LeHavre. 
1880-1884 saw figures of 160,000 German emigrants annually. 
1886 saw a minimum of 83,000 emigrants. 
The cholera outbreak of 1892 reduced the numbers slightly. 
Here are some figures of emigrants from Germany via German,Belgian, 
  Dutch, and French ports: 
Year                   to USA      to Brazil     to Canada 
1885                   102,224     1,713         692 
1886                    75,591     2,045         330 
1887                    95,976     1,152         270 
1888                    84,424     2,412          88 
1890                    85,112     4,096         307 
1891                   108,611     3,710         976 
1892                   107,803       779       1,577 
During the same period the breakdown according to ports were 
French ports (mostly LeHavre):         32,491 
Bremen:                               417,438 
Hamburg:                              216,622 
Antwerp:                              118,016                 
other German ports, (mostly Stettin):  13,880 (1,735) 
The South German areas had more emigrants of trained tradesmen than 
Prussia and notably Mecklenburg. 
The number of non-German migrants, notably from Russia and  
Austria-Hungary, via German ports is considerable: 
1891:                   Germans     non-Germans 
Bremen                  59,673         80,148 
Hamburg                 31,581        112,658 
Stettin                  1,891         3,271 
   total                93,145        196,080 
Bremen                  59,897         69,521 
Hamburg                 28,072         80,676 
Stettin                  2,214          1,215 
   total                90,183        151,412 
(Ref.:Meyers Konversations=Lexikon, 5th ed.,vol.4,Leipzig-Wien 1897, 
  pages 856,867-868) 
Prior to the 1830's, most German immigrants went to LeHavre, Antwerp, 
Rotterdam, or Amsterdam as embarkation points.  However, this changed in 
the 1830's when the senates of the strategically located port cities of 
Bremen (1832) and Hamburg (1836) passed laws organizing the "emigrant 
trade," making the trip quicker and safer and generating a profit at the 
same time.  Consequently, these two ports dominated emigration traffic 
for the subsequent era of mass emigration after the 1830's. 
Other suggested records for research in Germany are: applications for 
release of citizenship and the actual releases from citizenship, various 
kinds of passports, applications for consens (permission) to emigrate, police 
permits, settlement of estate and tax matters including expropriation of 
property for debt payment and lists of debts that emigrants had 
incurred, records of emigrant property was sold at auction, and payment 
of departure taxes (up to 10% of property in Prussia).  Also records of 
expulsion and the church records (Kirchenbuecher). 
Records of minor children who were transported at public expense.  And 
many newspapers at the time also printed extensive passenger lists as 
well as samples of immigrant correspondence and search notices for 
relatives who had immigrated earlier and had since been lost. 
See also: 
Q8: How can I find information on ships and immigrants? 
A8:    Lists of passengers arriving at U.S. ports have been 
maintained by the Federal government since 1820.  U.S. Passenger 
Arrival Lists generally provide the name, age, and country of 
origin for each arriving person.  Relatively few U.S. lists prior 
to 1890 show the town or city of origin; later lists provide the 
specific place of last residence and/or birthplace, and much 
   Passenger lists are arranged by port, and then chronologically 
by date of arrival.  The National Archives in Washington (see Q#8 
above) has custody of these lists, which have been microfilmed. 
Indexes to most ports were prepared by the WPA, but they are not 
complete.  The following chart shows the five major U.S. ports of 
entry on the Atlantic coast: 
Port       Passengers   Lists       Indexes 
New York       24.0 M   1820-1957   1820-1846, 1897-1948 
Boston          2.0 M   1820-1943   1848-1891, 1902-1920 
Baltimore       1.5 M   1820-1948   1820-1952 
Philadelphia    1.2 M   1800-1945   1800-1948 
New Orleans     0.7 M   1820-1945   1853-1952 
The second column shows the number of passengers, in millions, 
that arrived at each port between 1820 and 1920.  There are also 
lists for several minor ports, as well as the Canadian border. 
 British passenger ship records for transatlantic departures  only,  
and only beginning about 1895, are in the Public Record Office in Kew.   
They are on paper, in boxes organized by port of departure, and (roughly)  
by date of departure.  They have not been microfilmed. The only way to see them 
The lists themselves contain less information than the equivalent US 
arrival lists.   
    THESHIPSLIST-L -- is a mailing list for anyone 
    interested in the ships our ancestors migrated on. Subjects include 
    emigration/immigration, ports of entry, ports of departure, ship 
    descriptions and history, passenger lists and other related 
    information. To help with your questions, there are many regular 
    members of the list, with a wide range of expertise and resources, who 
    are ready and willing to assist and guide you on your search. 
    For a free subscription, send message 
There is a mailing list: 
    _theshipslist-l_ THESHIPSLIST-L -- A mailing list for anyone 
    interested in the ships our ancestors migrated on. Subjects include 
    emigration/immigration, ports of entry, ports of departure, ship 
    descriptions and history, passenger lists and other related 
    information. To help with your questions, there are many regular 
    members of the list, with a wide range of expertise and resources, who 
    are ready and willing to assist and guide you on your search. 
    theshipslist-l to theshipslist-l-request@rootsweb.com 
See also 
TITLE(s):        Germans to America :  lists of passengers arriving at U.S. 
                 ports /  edited by Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filby. 
                 Wilmington, Del. :  Scholarly Resources,  c1988- 
                 v. :  ill. ;  24 cm. 
                 Vols. 1-9 include dates "1850-1855" in subtitle. 
                 Includes bibliographies and indexes. 
                 ISBN: 0842023151 (vol. 1) 
 The series contains abstracts from passenger arrival lists for the five  
major U.S. ports of arrival:  Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York,  
and Philadelphia.  It does not include arrival records for any Canadian  
ports, although it may contain the names of some Germans who entered  
through one of the U.S. ports covered, and who later settled in Canada. 
Partial cont.:   
v. 1. January 1850-May 1851 --  
v. 2. May 1851-June 1852 -- 
v. 3. June 1852-September 1852 --  
v. 4. September 1852-May  1853 --  
v. 5. May 1853-October 1853 --  
v. 6. October 1853-May 1854 --  
v. 7. May 1854-August 1854 --  
v. 8. August 1854-December 1854 --  
v. 9. December 1854-December 1855 --                    
v. 10. January 1856-April 1857 - -  
v. 11. April 1857-November 1857 --  
v. 12. November 1857-July 1859 --  
v. 13. August 1859-December 1860 --  
v. 14. January 1861- May 1863 --  
v. 15. June 1863-October 1864 --  
v. 16. November 1864-November 1865 --  
v. 17. Nov. 1865-June 1866 --  
v. 18. June 1866-Dec. 1866 --  
v. 19. Jan. 1867-Aug 1867 --  
v. 20. Aug. 1867-May 1868 --  
v. 21. May 1868-Sept. 1868 --  
v. 22. Oct. 1868-May 1869 --  
v. 23. June 1869- December 1869 --  
v. 24. January 1870-December 1870 --  
v. 25. January  1871-September 1871 --  
v. 26. October 1871-April 1872 --  
v. 27. May 1872-July 1872 --  
v. 28. August 1872-December 1872 --  
v. 29. January 1873-May 1873 --  
v. 30. June 1873-November 1873 --  
v. 31. December 1873- December 1874  --  
v. 32. January 1875-Septe er 1876 --  
v. 33. October 1876-September 1878 --  
v. 34. October 1878-December 1879 --  
v. 35. January 1880-June 1880 --  
v. 36. July 1880-November 1880 --  
v. 37. December 1880-April 1881 --  
v. 38. April 1881-May 1881 --  
v. 39. June 1881-Aug. 1881 --  
v. 40. Aug. 1881-Oct. 1881 - -  
v. 41. November 1881-March 1882 --  
v. 42. March 1882-May 1882. 
v. 43. May 1882-August 1882 --  
v. 44. August 1882-November 1882 --  
v. 45. November 1882-April 1883 --  
v. 46. April 1883-June 1883 --  
v. 47. July 1883-October 1883 --  
v. 48. November 1883-April 1884 --  
v. 49. April 1884-June 1884 -- 
v. 50. July 1884-November 1884 --  
v. 51. December 1884-June 1885 -- 
v. 52. July 1885-April 1886 --  
v. 53. May 1886-January 1887 --  
v. 54. January 1887-June 1887 --  
v. 55. July 1887-April 1888 --  
v. 56. May 1888-November 1888 --  
v. 57. December 1888-June 1889 --  
v. 58. July 1889-April 1890. 
v. 59  May 1890 - November 1890.(ISBN 0-8420-2667-3). 
v. 60  Dec 1890-  May 1891 
    (to be continued) 
SUBJECT(s):      German Americans  Genealogy. 
                 Ships  United States  Passenger lists. 
                 Immigrants  United States  Registers. 
                 United States  Emigration and immigration. 
                 Germany  Emigration and immigration. 
OTHER ENTRIES:   Glazier, Ira A. 
                 Filby, P. William,  1911- 
                 Call #: 929.273 G3735 
For US list of holding libraries of the "Germans to America " series see 
                 Walker, Mack.: Germany and the emigration, 1816-1885. 
                 Cambridge, Mass.,  Harvard University Press,  1964. 
                 284 p.  21 cm. 
                 Harvard historical monographs,  56 
                 Bibliography: p. [253]-275. 
OTHER ENTRIES:   Germany--Emigration and immigration. 
                 Harvard historical monographs,  v. 56. 
                 CALL #: JV8014.W25 1964 
Transcriptions of passenger lists for 404 ships have been uploaded  
by the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild as of 16 February 1999.  
Approximately 500 volunteers continue to transcribe lists that will  
be uploaded as they are completed.  
Q9: What are the German dialects? 
A9: A brief summary of the German tribes and dialect groups  
    as of 1937: 
            Niederdeutsche (low German or platt speaking): 
Franken  (in Niederfranken) 
Niedersachsen (in Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen, Ostfalen, Westfalen) 
Altpreussen (in Ostpreussen, Westpreussen) 
Baltendeutsche (in Latvia, Estonia) 
Friesen (in North and East Friesland) 
            Mitteldeutsche  (Middle high German speaking) 
Franken (in Rhineland, Lorraine, Luxemburg, Pfalz-Palatinate, Hungary,  
  Yugoslavia, Siebenbuergen-Transsylvania) 
Schlesier (in Silesia) 
Sudetendeutsche (in Bohemia, Moravia) 
Zipser (in Slovakia) 
            Oberdeutsche (Upper high German speaking) 
Franken (in Ostfranken-Bavaria) 
Alemannen (in Schwaben, Elsass-Alsace, Schweiz-Switzerland, Vorarlberg) 
Bavarians-Austrians (in Oberpfalz, Niederbayern Oberbayern, Tirol, 
  Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Styria, Heinzen) 
Q10: Where did Germans live outside Germany in 1937? 
A10: A summary for 1937 lists the following statistics in 1,000: 
  Austria                           6800 
  South Tirol                        225 
  Liechtenstein                       10 
  Switzerland                       2950 
  Alsace and Lorraine               1580 
  Luxemburg                          286  
  Eupen,Malmedy,Belgium              100 
  Netherlands                        100 
  North Schleswig                     35 
  Canada                             400 
  USA                               5200 
  Mexico                              13 
  Brazil                             900 
  Argentina                          230 
  Chile                               40 
  Paraguay                            15 
  Other Latin America                 25 
  Australia                           77 
  Asia                                21 
  Southern Africa                     51 
  Eastern Europe (expelled by Stalin's policy of ethnic cleansing  
   after WWII and sanctioned by the Western powers at Yalta) 
    Estonia                           23 
    Latvia                            70 
    Lithuania                         40 
    Memelland area                    80 
    Danzig                           379 
    Posen and West Prussia           325 
    East Upper Silesia               300 
    Teschen-Silesia                   40 
    Central Poland                   350 
    Galicia                           60 
    Volhynia                          65 
    Ukraine                          395 
    Crimea-Krim                       45 
    Volga German ASSR                392 
    Siberia                          120 
    Caucasus                          75 
    Bessarabia-Moldavia               90 
    Dobrudsha                         25 
    Bukovina                          96 
    Old Rumania (pre-WWI)             93 
    Sathmar                           40 
    Siebenbuergen-Transsylvania      230  (many were not expelled) 
    Banat and Batshka                790 
    Croatia, Slovenia                160 
    Bosnia                            16 
    South Styria, Crain               70 
    Hungary                          505 
    Carpato-Russia                    15 
    Slovakia (Zips)                  150 
    Sudetenland (Bohemia,Moravia)   3100 
There have been some calls recently for books in English on 
     the German exodus and ethnic cleansing in East Germany and 
     Eastern Europe: 
    Thorwald, Jurgen: Es begann an der Weichsel.  1951  
                      Das Ende an der Elbe. 1952. 
            English:  Flight in the winter; 
                 [New York]  Pantheon  [1951] 318 p.  22 cm. 
                 CALL #: 940.542 T52F 
    De Zayas, Alfred M. 
         Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung der Deutschen aus dem Osten. 
            English: The German expellees :  victims in war and peace / 
                   Alfred-Maurice De Zayas ; [original German version 
                   translated by John A. Koehler]. 
                 New York :  St. Martin's Press,  1993. 
                 xlii, 177 p., [24] p. of plates :  ill., map ;  22 cm. 
                 Includes bibliographical references (p. [161]-169) and 
                   index. CALL #: DJK 28.G4D413 1993 
    De Zayas, Alfred M. 
         Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung der Deutschen aus dem Osten. 
            English: A terrible revenge :  the "ethnic cleansing" of the east 
                   European Germans, 1944-1950 /  Alfred-Maurice de Zayas ; 
                   [original German version translated by John A. Koehler]. 
                 1st pbk. ed. with additions. 
                 New York :  St. Martin's Press,  1994. 
                 xlii, 179 p. :  ill., maps ;  21 cm. 
                 Includes bibliographical references (p. [153]-171) and 
                   index. CALL #: DJK 28.G4D413 1994 
OTHER ENTRIES:   Germans  Europe, Eastern  History  20th century. 
                 World War, 1939-1945  Refugees. 
                 World War, 1939-1945  Atrocities. 
                 Population transfers  Germans. 
Q11: Are there genealogical publishers in Germany? 
A11: The two best known publishers are 
   C.A.Starke-Verlag in D-65549 Limburg/Lahn (refugees from Schlesien) 
       best known for  
         Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (for noble families only, 
           many volumes since 1951 in series of graefliche, freiherrliche, 
           adlige Haeuser, available in major libraries) 
           seeks to update the Almanach de Gotha (1764-1944) as well 
           as Gothaischer Hofkalender (1765-1942) 
         Deutsches Geschlechterbuch - Genealogisches Handbuch  
           Buergerlicher Familein (for non-noble families), 
                with regional and general volumes  
          (many volumes since 1889, available in major libraries) 
         E-mail:    starkeverlag@t-online.de 
   Verlag Degener & Co, D-91403 Neustadt/Aisch 
       best known for  
         Deutsches Familien-Archiv (noble and non-noble families) 
          (many volumes since 1952, available in major libraries) 
All these serials contain concise family histories written by  
individual family historians and published according to uniform  
guidelines set by the two publishing houses, published as complete  
volumes as well as individual single prints. 
If you seek to publish your family history with good public exposure,  
this may be the way for you to go. 
Both houses also publish a variety of genealogical periodicals. 
In the USA: 
       German Genealogical Digest - GGD - HOMEPAGE  
Q12: How do I send money to Germany? 
A12: For reimbursing simple postage, buy 2 international reply coupons 
     (IRC) at your local post office. 
There are high bank fees in Germany for US$ denominated cheques. 
If you have a VISA or other credit card which issues credit card cheques, 
you can send DM denominated cheques which are credited with the full amount. 
You may also send DM cheque thru 
 RUESCH Intl. 
 700 Eleventh St, NW 
 Washington D.C. 20001-4507 
  (charge is  US$ 3.00) 
  http://www.ruesch.com . 
Q13: How do I handle Umlaute in computer messages? 
A13: Many computer users are tempted to use built-in umlaut features 
(extended character sets) that come with various PC or MAC softwares. 
They are intended for your home printer use and NOT for internet posting. 
My suggestion is that umlaute be written as "a or ae, "o or oe, "u or ue. 
Internet messages should be sent in text (ASCII) format and not in  
PC(Windows) or MAC specific format since other computers would read umlaut garb 
You may miss out on responses to your messages, if you neglect this  
It is bad netiquette to assume that only Window-based umlaut character 
sets are acceptable. 
Q14: How do I get German census records? 
A14: German census records generally have not survived the wars.  
The results were published in various volumes of "Statistik des  
Deutschen Reiches" since 1871 and give population numbers only, no names. 
Prior to 1871 the various local governments compiled census records 
and mostly published numbers only. Census records with names have  
survived in a few isolated cases only, after the numbers were extracted and sen 
The German term for census is Volkszaehlung, and that is exactly what  
was done: Counting heads. 
Q15: What are the present 16 German states? 
A15: Present Germany is a federal republic consisting of 
   16 states: 
Land (State):                 Capital:        Postal areas (PLZ): 
Berlin                        Berlin          1 
Brandenburg                   Potsdam         0,1 
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern        Schwerin        1,2 
Sachsen                       Dresden         0,2,3 
Sachsen-Anhalt                Magdeburg       0,2,3 
Thueringen                    Erfurt          0,3,9 
Schleswig-Holstein            Kiel            2 
Hamburg                       Hamburg         2 
Bremen                        Bremen          2 
Niedersachsen                 Hannover        2,3,4 
Nordrhein-Westfalen           Duesseldorf     3,4,5 
Hessen                        Wiesbaden       3,6 
Rheinland-Pfalz               Mainz           5,6  
Baden-Wuerttemberg            Stuttgart       6,7,8 
Bayern                        Muenchen        8,9 
Saarland                      Saarbruecken    6 
Q16: How can I get news on Germany in German or English on the net today? 
A16: Deutsche Welle Radio broadcasts international news in German on the 
hour every hour. As a special service DW offers news by free e-mail.  
Mailing lists will bring you  news broadcasts automatically. 
The texts for all German news broadcasts can be found on the World Wide 
Web at: "http://www.dwelle.de/today/nrdeu.htm" 
To subscribe to free  mailing lists,  
send an e-mail to "majordomo@dwelle.de" 
In the body just write command 
 "subscribe nachrichten."   (daily news in German) 
 "subscribe newsline"       (daily news in English) 
 "subscribe markt"          (daily market news in German) 
 "help"                     (if you want info on other services) 
If you have another address where you'd rather get the mail, just 
include it in the text as well, behind the command! 
Q17: Where can I find military records? 
A17: Military records: 
In 1867 the armies of all but four German states were integrated 
into the armies of Prussia. From that time on, soldiers of any German 
state (except Bayern, Sachsen, Baden, Wuerttemberg) were only recorded 
in the military records of Prussia. Unfortunately, most Prussian military 
records of the Heeresarchiv in Potsdam were completely destroyed  
by British planes in April 1945. 
For Prussian military information, one has to rely on pre-1945 publications. 
There are, however, military church books maintained by the military 
chaplains for individual regiments which have been filmed by the LDS FHL. 
The military archives of the Saxon, Bavarian, Baden, Wuerttemberg armies 
have survived and are deposited, respectively, at 
Staatsarchiv, Archivstr. 14, 01097 Dresden; 
Bayrisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Postfach, 80501 Muenchen; 
Generallandesarchiv,Noerdliche  Hildapromenade 2, 76133 Karlsruhe; 
Hauptstaatsarchiv, Konrad-Adenauer Strasse 4, 70173 Stuttgart 
Of special interest may be military court records of desertions involving 
emigrants which need to be researched. 
For Wehrmacht WWII soldiers contact: 
 * Deutsche Dienststelle (ehemals Wehrmachtsauskunftsstelle), 
       Eichborndamm 167, D - 13403 Berlin 
           E-mail: wast@com-de.com 
The "Volksbund" Organization  collected data on over 2 Million German  
soldiers who died or were missing in action during World War I and  
World War II : 
           E-mail: volksbund.kassel@t-online.de 
Q18: Can you describe the German school system before WWII? 
A18: Between WWI and WWII most schools were gender segregated. 
Everyone started at primary or Volksschule, grades 1-4 (age 6-10) 
At age 10, grades were split: 
 1) continue Volksschule, grades 5-8 (ages 11-14) followed by a  
   Berufsschule and Lehre of 2 years to learn a trade (ages 15-16)  
 2) OR continue secondary school (Ober-Realschule, Oberschule  or classic  
  Gymnasium, Oberlycaeum for girls) after passing an entrance exam. 
  Grades were called Sexta (5), Quinta (6), Quarta (7), Unter-Tertia (8), 
  Ober-Tertia (9), Unter-Sekunda (10), Ober-Sekunda (11), Unter-Prima (12), 
  Ober-Prima (13). Students were called Sextaner,...,Ober-Primaner. 
  After passing the final exam (Reifepruefung), you had earned the Abitur 
  and qualified for university admission and military officer training. 
 3) OR continue secondary school (Realschule, Mittelschule, Lycaeum  
  for girls) for 6 grades giving you Realschulreife, Sekundareife, 
  Mittelschulreife or "das Einjaehrige" which was required for higher  
  schools of learning below university level and reduced military  
  service ("einjaehrig Freiwillige")  
Oberschule usually offered foreign languages English (starting in grade 5),  Fr 
Gymnasium offered Latin (starting in grade 5,grosses Latinum), Greek (7), 
English or French (9). 
Grosses Latinum was required for students planning to major in theology, histor 
Latin courses whenever Grosses Latinum was required. Language studies  
continued to final graduation, not just for a semester or a year. 
Realschule usually offered foreign languages English (5) and French (7). 
Old report cards or transcripts (Schulzeugnis) are often still available 
at the schools or state archives (under Schulsachen back to the 1800s). 
Write to Schulverwaltung, city, Germany and be as specific as possible. 
In Prussia the Schulsachen would be deposited under the Regierung records. 
Universities have their own archives where records on faculty and students 
may be deposited.                                                         
Updated December 31, 2000