WGA Akten

Explanatory Notes on the Database as of April 1, 2015

Up to now edited datasets for names beginning with the letters A-Z were published in their entirety online.

Additional datasets will be added to the database as the project continues.


How to use the online database

The online database is largely based on the information found on the index cards that were created by the restitution offices for each new case file.

In some cases, index cards or file numbers exist for which the Berlin State Archive has no corresponding case files. Most case proceedings have more than one dataset. The datasets naming only those injured parties not identical with the claimants are listed with the word “cross-reference” (Verweis) in the database.

The following fields can be searched:


Case (Claimant) usually contains name, date of birth and address of the claimant
Against (Defendant) contains information on the defendant, usually “the German Reich” (das Deutsche Reich)
Injured party contains information on the injured parties, if other than or in addition to the applicant
Subject contains information on the property and possessions claimed for restitution; also contains notes on art and cultural property and assessment of the relevant files
File number contains one or more reference numbers issued by the restitution offices for the claims submitted


Sample records:


Case (Claimant) Against (Defendant) Injured party Subject File number
David Cender (*13.10.1899), 12, Rue pasteur, Metz/Frankreich the German Reich David Cender und Ruta Cender, geb. Zylbersztajn (Ehefrau) Edelmetall.- Hausrat.- Musikinstrumente.- 2 Gemälde: Marc Chagall, Halbporträt eines bärtigen alten Juden mit schwarzer chasidischer Mütze und einem schwarzen Mantel mit Pelzkragen, Öl, 1912; Jakob Adler, jüdischer Wasserträger mit zwei Eimern auf einem Platz in einer kleinen Stadt, Öl, Entziehungsort: Lodz.- Pelze.- Kleidung.- Haushaltssilber.- Listen mit näheren Angaben zu Kunst- und Kulturgütern. Beschlagnahmt in Lodz, KZ Auschwitz, 1940, 1944. 11/13 WGA 16449-51/59; 11 WGA 772-775/63
Gemeinde Addas Jisroel, Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland the German Reich   Bibliothek des Rabbinats der Israelitischen Synagogengemeinde, bestehend aus ungefähr 1500 Bänden rabbinischer Literatur.- Ohne nähere Angaben zu Kunst- und Kulturgütern. 23 WGA 1933/JRSO
Clara David, geb. Hagen, 16 Roland House, Roland Gardens, London SW 7 the German Reich Carl Hagen Nachlass Bankguthaben. 11 WGA 1537/51
Verweis   Martha Danziger, zuletzt wohnhaft: Breslau   52 WGA 3273-3276/59


The file numbers are usually divided into three or four parts: [restitution office number] WGA [serial number] [year the claim was filed]. Some file numbers also include abbrevia-tions or acronyms, for example, when the claim was filed by an organization such as the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization Inc. (JRSO).

Case files can be ordered from the Berlin State Archive using the file numbers. For example, a case file with the file number 11 WGA 1537/51 can be ordered and cited as follows:


Landesarchiv Berlin (LAB), B Rep. 025-01, No. 1537/51


While great care has been taken in preparing the database, errors may still arise. Moreover, there may also be inconsistencies in the data, particularly regarding names and addresses, as a result of the variations in spelling found on the index cards.