We’ve added a new collection of WWII records from Germany. The Germany, Military Killed in Action 1939-1948 collection contains index cards for about 2 million German soldiers killed during WWII.
Researching German WWII soldiers can be tricky because many service records were destroyed during the war. 1939, the High Command of the German Wehrmacht began operating an information center for war casualties and prisoners of war. Initially, the agency was called WASt (short for Wehrmachtsauskunftstelle für Kriegsverluste und Kriegsgefangene). In 1946, it was renamed Deutsche Dienststelle für die Benachrichtigung der nächsten Angehörigen von Gefallenen der ehemaligen deutschen Wehrmacht (German Office for the Notification of Next-of-Kin of Members of the Former German Armed Forces who were Killed in Action). The name is commonly shortened as Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt). In 2019, that service became part of the German Federal Archives as the newly established Department PA (Information on Personal Data related to World Wars I and II) and is based in Berlin-Reinickendorf.
The index cards in this collection contain information that can help research German soldiers who were killed in WWII including:
- Birthdate and Birthplace
- Unit, Reserve Unit, Identification Number, Rank
- Date of Death, Time of Death, Place of Death, and Type of Casualty
- Burial Date, Location, and Grave Number (if known)
These records are written in German but can be interpreted using the following example: