Confederation of Jews in Germany

Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland

by Peter Lande

INTRODUCTION

The "Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland" (Confederation of Jews in Germany), a renamed but long existing roof organization for a variety of Jewish activities in Germany, came into existence in the late 1930s.  It continued activities such as supporting Jewish schools, orphanages, and hospitals, but under pressure from the Nazi government, also became the intermediary in Nazi programs to seize Jewish assets.  For example, it participated in the charade whereby German Jews were forced to trade in their real estate, bank accounts, stocks and bonds and insurance policies in exchange for "residences" in Theresienstadt.  However, the Reichsvereinigung also continued its welfare activities and was often the depository for all types of documents left by Jewish emigres or deportees.  For example, a cousin of mine, who had worked with my father in preparing the Lande family history, left the Reichsvereinigung a copy of these genealogical charts before she was sent to Auschwitz.  Others left last wills and testaments or lists of property as they emigrated to Brazil, the United States or other countries.

The voluminous files of the Reichsvereinigung are held by the German Bundesarchiv in Berlin, but are also available on fiche at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.  This massive collection includes material up through 1944 and consists of thousands of fiche (a single fiche number often includes 2-5 fiche) with the result that it is difficult to locate material on any individual.  Some years ago, in a partial effort to make access to this material easier, the Bundesarchiv prepared an alphabetical list, with relevant fiche number, of all persons with files in this collection, and these are noted below.

It should be noted that these are by no means all the names mentioned somewhere in the collection.  For example, the handwritten list of Berlin Jewish community members, with names crossed out as they were deported, was not indexed, nor was the list of children in orphanges.  It may be possible to computerize some of these lists at a later date, but for now, the following list gives genealogists a place to start.  It also permits the researcher seeking information on seized property, bank accounts, and insurance policies, often with the names of major German institutions which are still in existence, to locate graphic evidence of the extent of the plunder, under legal guise, inflicted on German Jews.

The fiche may be examined in Berlin or Washington.  Persons unable to visit either location may write to the Archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024 for copies of files on particular individuals or contact me, Peter Lande.  Please be reasonable with such requests.

The fields included in this list are as follows:

Surname
Given Name
Other Surname (Maiden)
Fiche #

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We owe our most sincere gratitude to Peter Lande, without whose effort this information would not be available to you today.


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Last updated Dec 30 2001 by RdR