Finding German Military records

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All personnel rosters and card indices (Stammrollen und Karteimittel) of the Prussian Army, the transition army (Übergangsheeres), the Army (Reichswehr), and the Imperial Navy (Kaiserlichen Marine) were burned in an air raid on Berlin in February 1945. Medical records have been preserved of those soldiers who were being treated in military hospitals (Lazarett). The records, mostly with personnel roster extracts (Stammrollenauszügen) are for those born from 1870 and later. They are stored at

   Krankenbuchlager Berlin 
   Wattstrasse 11-13 
   13355 Berlin 

and for those born before 1890 are stored at

   Bundesarchiv - Militärarchiv 
   Wiesentalstraße 10 
   79115 Freiburg/Breisgau 
   http://www.bundesarchiv.de/standorte.php 

Lists of Prussian and other German officers are generally available in book series with titles such as Rangliste der Königlich Preussischen Armee. These books were published, for the most part, on an annual basis at least since 1796; some have been reprinted.

An overview of the Prussian army and its military church records can be found in Lyncker, Die Altpreussische Armee 1714-1806 und ihre Militärkirchenbücher, and Die preussische Armee 1807-1867 und ihre sippenkundlichen Quellen; also in Eger, Verzeichnis der Militärkirchenbücher in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

A list of pre-1914 Imperial German military units can be found at http://users.hunterlink.net.au/~maampo/militaer/milindex.html

Many German state military records are available at their respective state archives. These records generally cover the period up to 1920.

World War II German military personnel may have service records at

   Bundesarchiv - Zentralnachweisstelle 
   Abteigarten 6 
   52076 Aachen 
   http://www.bundesarchiv.de/standorte.php 

or at

   Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) 
   Eichborndamm 179 
   13403 Berlin 
   http://www.com-de.com/wast/ 

The focus of the WASt holdings, center on those reported to be prisoners of war (POW), missing in action (MIA) or killed in action (KIA). Members of the Navy, and other records are also held.

The Bundesarchiv does not have any records for Navy personnel. Requests for information may be sent to either office; they will be forwarded as needed to the appropriate office.

German military cemetery listings for World Wars I and II can be found online at http://www.volksbund.de/

For civilian records, one must write to the appropriate agency or to ministry archives (e.g. justice, finance, railroad, post). Those who had relatives in NSDAP positions can request information from the Bundesarchiv or, soon, the US National Archives.

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