About this collection
This collection contains index cards recording German soldiers who were killed in World War II. On August 26, 1939, the High Command of the German Wehrmacht began operating an information center for war casualties and prisoners of war. It was called the Wehrmachtsauskunftstelle für Kriegsverluste und Kriegsgefangene (WASt). In 1943, part of the agency was moved from Berlin to Saalfeld/Saale and another part to Meiningen. Beginning in January 1946, the agency was renamed the "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). On January 1, 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.
During the war and post-war period, the Deutsche Dienststelle submitted a notification of death for deceased individuals to the pertinent local Civil Registry. Therefore, in many German death registers, the "Informant" listed on a death record is the wartime agency.
What you can find in the records
Deaths are for the most part recorded by hand on pre-printed index cards. Depending on the available information and on the form used, you may generally find the following details in these records:
- Last Name, Given Names, Birthdate and Birthplace
- Unit, Reserve Unit, Identification Number, Rank
- Date of Death, Time of Death, Place of Death and Type of Casualty
- If known: Burial Date, Location and Number of Grave
- Cross-reference to Casualty List
More about using this collection
This collection is searchable using the search form, which among other things allows you to search by Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, Birthplace, Date of Death and Place of Death. Under "Browse this collection,” you can select the Box Number Range and Box Number of the cards desired.