Einwanderungszentralstelle (EWZ) Anträge

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The Einwanderungszentralstelle (EWZ) Anträge (Immigration Center Applications) is a collection of records consisting of more than 400,000 applications by ethnic Germans living outside Germany during the period 1939-1945. These were people applying for naturalized German citizenship.

The actual documents were formerly kept in the so-called "Berlin Document Center" and since 1992 have been part of the Berlin (Finckensteinallee 63; 12205 Berlin) Bundesarchiv [Federal Archive] (D).

Microfilm copies of these records (publication A3342) are now also stored with the United States National Archives in Washington, DC. They may be ordered at a cost of $34US plus shipping and handling. You may contact James Kelling, james.kelling@arch2.nara.gov, to find out which roll holds the surname you are seeking. Once you know which ones you want, films may be ordered by calling 1-800-234-8861 or (202) 501-5235 and must be paid for with Visa or Mastercard.

The applications are arranged by country or region of origin and thereunder alphabetically by family name. Each application might include several forms and other documents already described in other EWZ series, along with additional correspondence. The applications represent only a fraction of the total number of ethnic Germans who were considered for naturalization by the EWZ.

The nine series (totaling 3,724 16mm microfilm rolls) are as follows:

  1. Series EWZ-50 for the USSR
    (c. 110,000 files for ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union, reproduced on 843 rolls).
  2. Series EWZ-51 for Rumania
    (c. 82,000 files reproduced on 700 rolls).
  3. Series EWZ-52 for Poland
    (c. 100,000 files for ethnic Germans from areas within the 1939 boundaries of Poland, reproduced on 701 rolls).
  4. Series EWZ-53 for the Baltic countries
    (c. 73,000 files for ethnic Germans from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, reproduced on 587 rolls).
  5. Series EWZ-541 for Yugoslavia
    (c. 23,000 files for ethnic Germans from regions within the 1941 boundaries of Yugoslavia, reproduced on 150 rolls).
  6. Series EWZ-542 for France
    (c. 14,000 files for ethnic Germans from France, reproduced on 223 rolls).
  7. Series EWZ-543 for Bulgaria
    (c. 700 files for ethnic Germans from Bulgaria, reproduced on 6 rolls): C052-C057.
  8. Series EWZ-544 for applicants from Wehrmacht, Organisation Todt, SD or SS personnel
    (c. 7,677 files for ethnic Germans from various lands, reproduced on 76 rolls).
  9. Series EWZ-545 for Süd-Tirol
    (c. 77,000 files for ethnic Germans from Süd-Tirol, processed by ADERST, a forerunner of the EWZ, reproduced on 438 rolls).

Each file within these series might contain some or all of the following documents:

  • Identity papers that establish an applicant's ethnic German background (Volkstumsausweis) or resettler status (Umsiedlerausweis)
  • a "family form" (Stammblatt) that identifies the ethnic backgrounds of an applicant's parents, spouse, and children
  • a naturalization application form (Einbürgerungsantrag)
  • a declaration of naturalization (Einbürgerungsverfügung, usually abbreviated Vfg.)
  • a copy of the naturalization certificate (Abschrift der Einbürgerungsurkunde)
  • related correspondence.

The extent and format of records for each country or region varies considerably. Application files for ethnic Germans from France, for example, contain the most extensive documentation of any series. By contrast, application files from Poland and Yugoslavia appear more routine and less detailed in documentation. One viewer of a film reported finding the following information:

  • Name, birth date and location of head of family, names of spouse, their children and the parents of both spouses
  • Marriage date and location of head of family
  • Whether the parents of each spouse were already deceased, died in war, were also applying to immigrate or were staying
  • which camp the family was being sent to
  • all correspondence regarding the application and this could be lengthy; some correspondence exceeded 20 pages and included hand-written letters of application and descriptions of homes and contents that would have to be compensated by Germany for their loss in the move.
  • Some applications included family trees up to four generations as the applicants had to prove their German descent.
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