1939 Resettlement (EWZ) Records Help Page

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

FIND A FHL FILM NUMBER FROM A CASE NUMBER

FINDING ALL ANCESTORS IN EWZ

EWZ Anträge (Application) RECORDS
 

Introduction

The Galizien German Descendants 1939 Resettlement Records database has been extracted from documents stored in the Berlin Document Center known as the Einwandererzentralzelle (EWZ) records (literally Immigration Center), which were captured by the US government at the end of World War II. These records were created by ethnic Germans applying to resettle in German controlled areas from former German areas/villages of the USSR (Russia), Latvia, Estonia, Poland (including Galicia), Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and France in 1939. At that time Russia and Germany had divided Poland roughly along the Narev, Vistula and San rivers as part of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and many ethnic Germans either did not want to live in the Russian controlled territories or were forced to immigrate to Germany.

The Berlin Document Center records contain much more than just these resettlement records. But, these EWZ records contain very valuable information about German families from 1939 to 1945. The EWZ records are divided into:

  1. E/G Kartei: Basic index cards arranged alphabetically by family surname, including the National Archives (NARA) number on the left and the FHL microfilm number on the right.

  2. Stamblätter: Family pedigrees arranged by case number (Note: case numbers are only found in the E/G Kartei. Some (about 64,000) have been transcribed into GGD's database).   Many of these are now available online. See GGD explanation here for how to access them.

  3. Anträge: Applications for German citizenship. They are arranged by country name and then by family surname. They are only publically available at the US National Archives. The digitized microfilms can be purchased online or they can only be viewed in person at the College Park, Maryland National Archives facility.

Microfilms of the E/G Kartei and Stammblatter records are available online at FamilySearch and in US National Archives Microfilm Publication A3342. See GGD explanation here for how to access them.

To give you some idea of what information is contained in EWZ records here are some examples of EWZ documents courtesy of BlackSeaGR.org.

Further information about the EWZ records can be found at Dave Obee's volynia.com Page and BlackSeaGR's EWZ Q&A page and as Dave Obee says about these records "it appears that each one has some files that are not included in the other sets. It pays to check all three".

Dave Obee has also put together an excellent overview of these resettlement files at:http://feefhs.org/sites/default/files/guide/emigration_and_the_EWZ.pdf


Finding a FHL Film Number From a Case Number

The GGD 1939 Resettlement records are only an extraction of a limited earlier filming of the Stamblätter records ('Stammblätter, 1940-1941' in the church Family History Library (FHL) catalog). Not all case numbers were filmed in this earlier filming! but we believe all case numbers are found in the later 1939 - 1959 filming. Case numbers are shared amongst a number of individuals so you may have to do some work to find your number.

  1. Finding your Stamblätter case number: Case numbers are best found in the GGD 1939 Resettlement Records database. First find your individual in the GGD database:

    1. Use your GGD membership password to login to the database. (you can also use the username guests with password guests)

    2. View Your Individual: For example Nicholas Gauer b. 1855 is found at this link. You are looking for an entry like this [Reference Number: 132288] in the page. This is the EWZ case number and if you see this you can proceed to step "2.".

    3. If you don't see the "Reference Number:" entry on your individual's page you will have to follow the links to each individual shown. In our example Nicholas Gauer has two related individuals Katherina Heuchert and Regina Gauer. If you click on the link for Katherina Heuchert there is no "Reference Number:" so we try the link for Regina Gauer. Once again we see that Regina Gauer has no "Reference Number:" on her page. Looking to her related family we see Adelheid Nerbas and Georg Nerbas. Since Case numbers were most often assigned to men clicking on Georg's link will take us to his page and we finally see [Reference Number: 132288].

    4. Now we have the case number for all of these individuals. In our example the case number is "132288".

    5. If you use the static web pages (bottom of this link) rather than the recommended database, "User ID" is the EWZ case number.

  2. View the Stammblätter, 1940-1941 page in the FamilySearch Catalog. The Film Notes on this page cross reference case numbers with LDS film numbers. In our example Nicholas Gauer in our GGD Resettlement database is referenced in case number "132288" and the Film Notes show case numbers "131550-134961a" are found in LDS film number "1364524" so a copy of the original Stamblätter for Georg Nerbas should be found on that LDS film. However, since the data is for the Georg Nerbas family, the only information about Nicholas may be that he was Georg's father-in-law, with date and place of birth. Viewing all of the original documents for case number "132288" on the LDS film will confirm how much more, if anything, can be learned about Nicholas Gauer from this case number.

    This particular LDS film is now available online at THIS location.  Use our EWZ online explanation page to learn how to find this online picture yourself.

  3. Unfortunately, the Stammblätter, 1939-1945 records series, much larger than the 1939-1941 series, is not available either online or via microfilm unless you travel to the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.  You would have to contact FamilySearch to find out why. This series starts with film # 1796579.

  4. There is an alphabetical index of all 2.9 million records held in the Stammblätters available at: Einwandererkartei, 1939-1945, but only some of these are available digitally, and only at a Family History Library. This series starts with film # 1797322.

  5. Please contact GGD if you cannot find the [Reference Number: 132288] case number information or if you have a problem finding the case number in the Film Notes of the LDS film.


If you DON'T know your individual's Case Number OR if you just wish to find all EWZ records for your ancestors: 

  1. Because the GGD Resettlement index is limited to the earlier filming of Stamblatter records we recommend you search for your ancestor surnames in the EWZ E/G Kartei index at this link or at the alphabetical index mentioned above. Again, only some of these are available digitally. If any records of individuals who interest you exist, you will find their case numbers in the upper left corner of cards in this index, once you view the film..

    For example Elisabeth Bachmann is found in film "I0045" in the EWZ E/G Kartei index. Film "I0045" indexes individuals alphabetically from "Bachmann, Elisabeth" to "Bachmeier, Florian". The LDS film number given for those individuals is "1797366". So you need to view LDS film "1797366" to find Elisabeth's Stamblätter case number. (not digitally available)

  2. Once you have the case number(s) you use Dave's case number index at this link to find the LDS film number(s) you need. In our example above you locate Elisabeth's case number in Dave's index and that will give you the LDS film number of her Stamblätter record(s).

  3. Unfortunately, you can no longer order a microfilm for viewing at a local FHC.  If it is not available digitally, you can only view it at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


EWZ Anträge (Application) Records 

The EWZ Anträge Records are an alternative to the E/G Kartei and Stamblätter records and may contain information not found elsewhere. There are some fragmentary indexes of individuals in these Anträge records at this link on Odessa3 or this link on GRHS (membership required) but for the most part you will have to use this table to determine which collection of the EWZ Anträge films you are interested in.  Another Odessa3 link shows the listing in another way and has a very fast search engine to find actual surnames, but only on some of the EWZ 50 records, albeit thousands of them. When using the search for surname or village name, be sure to select War Records. Often ö is depicted as oe as in Koenigsau.

  • EWZ 50, EWZ-USSR, (approximately 110,000 files for ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union, reproduced on 843 rolls)

  • EWZ 51, EWZ-Rumania,(approximately 82,000 files reproduced on 700 rolls)

  • EWZ 52, EWZ-Poland, (approximately 100,000 files for ethnic Germans from areas within the boundaries of 1939 Poland, reproduced on 701 rolls)

  • EWZ 53, EWZ-Baltic,(approximately 73,000 files for ethnic Germans from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, reproduced on 587 rolls)

  • EWZ 5410, EWZ-Yugoslavia, (approximately 23,000 files for ethnic Germans from regions within the 1941 -boundaries of Yugoslavia, reproduced on 150 rolls)

  • EWZ 5420, EWZ-France, (approximately 14,000 files for ethnic Germans from France, reproduced on 223 rolls)

  • EWZ 5430, EWZ-Bulgaria, (approximately 700 files for ethnic Germans from Bulgaria, reproduced on 6 rolls)

  • The USSR (EWZ 50) and Poland (EWZ 52) Collections are the most probable collections to have Galizien Germans. Finding your ancestors in these films requires you to visit the College Park, Maryland National Archives facility in person as this is the only known location where these films can be viewed! If you do visit this facility there are apparently indexes of which surnames are found on which films to assist you to choose the correct film. If anyone knows of an online index of which surnames are found on which EWZ 50 amd EWZ 52 Anträge films please contact GGD.