WGA Akten

Example of a file card © Facts & Files Img. 1: Example of a file card


Example: Detail of a file © Facts & Files Img. 2: Detail of a file


The record group of the Berlin restitution offices in the Berlin State Archive (LAB, B Rep. 025)

The Berlin State Archive houses more than 800,000 case files from the Berlin restitution offices. Following the enactment of the Restitution Decree (Rückerstattungsanordnung, or REAO), in 1949, the restitution offices, located in West Berlin, began reviewing restitution claims submitted by victims of Nazi persecution. In 1957, the Federal Restitution Law (Bundesrückerstattungsgesetz) was enacted, which also included property located in East Berlin that had been confiscated or otherwise acquired by the Reich, the NSDAP, the state of Prussia or others. The Berlin restitution offices were also responsible for these cases.

Index Cards

The staff of the restitution offices created index cards for each case file listing the claimants, the injured parties, the defendant and the affected property. The index cards are organised alphabetically by the claimant’s name and by the injured party’s name.
(Example: Img. #1)

Some index cards also include the claimant’s address at the time when the claim was filed and the claimant’s address at the time when the damage was incurred.

All of the information on the index cards has been transcribed and entered into a database at the Berlin State Archive. The datasets corresponding to these index cards will be edited as needed in the course of the project.

Provenance Research

Afterwards, additional information on cultural property, such as art collections, libraries and antiquities, will be collected and added to the relevant case files in the data base. (Example: Img. # 2)

If detailed information on art and cultural property is available, this will be mentioned in the database entry, as well as whether the restitution file contains lists of art and cultural property. If no information is available, the following note will be added to the database entry: “No further information on art and cultural property.”