Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

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askropp
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Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by askropp » 10 Jul 2021 10:33

The following rolls have so far been acquired by members of AHF:

R-1 to R-5 (Aaltuiker - Albertus)
R-185 (Fischer H - Fischer W)
R-301 (Hengelière - Henn)
R-323 (Hipp - Hirschfelder)
R-573 to R-585 (Müller)
R-593 (Naumann - Neckermann)
R-751 to R-752.9 (Schmeling - Schmischke)
R-786 & R-787 (Schwital - Seele)
R-845 (Thias - Thiele)
R-882 to R-884 (Wagenhoff - Wäldchen)
R-931.3 to R-940.7 (Wucherpfennig - Zywietz)

If anybody should know of additional files, please inform me.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Mori » 10 Jul 2021 20:46

Personalakten of Feldmarschalls and of many high level generals are also around.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by askropp » 11 Jul 2021 08:25

Indeed, and people like Dave Danner have parts of many more files, but I wanted to list those rolls which have been completely digitalized.
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RichD-M
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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by RichD-M » 11 Jul 2021 17:01

I'm assuming these are Heer personnel files?

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by askropp » 11 Jul 2021 17:31

Sure.
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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Dave Danner » 16 Jul 2021 00:36

To be noted is that these were Personalakten for active officers and the records were seized in 1945. So they do not include reserve officers and with a few exceptions they do not include officers who were dismissed or released from the Army before 1945 or who were dead. The files of officers considered missing in action were still maintained, so even if they were later confirmed or declared dead, some of them may be found.

I have reviewed every roll from 1 to 548, and dozens of random rolls thereafter, but since my focus is World War I veterans, for the most part I skipped over more junior officers. I did take down some information on more junior officers to assist Hans (123guderian) in his 1939 officer list which used to be on the now-defunct Panzer Archiv forum. I don't know if that list is being updated elsewhere.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Mori » 16 Jul 2021 13:39

Dave Danner wrote:
16 Jul 2021 00:36
To be noted is that these were Personalakten for active officers and the records were seized in 1945. So they do not include reserve officers and with a few exceptions they do not include officers who were dismissed or released from the Army before 1945 or who were dead.
Thanks for the info. I thought some dead officers were included. I'm thinking of Kluge, Rommel or Model, for example (admittedly the last one died a couple of weeks before war end).

When I checked the files, I was struck by the large gaps in everything prior 1939, like files had been cleaned up at the beginning of the war. For example, all the individual evaluations of the inter-war years are missing, although the war period itself is there. In the case of Rundstedt, you still find evaluations dating 1912 or 1913 (IIRC), but nothing thereafter.

Have you any idea what happened?

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Mori » 16 Jul 2021 13:44

Dave Danner wrote:
16 Jul 2021 00:36
I have reviewed every roll from 1 to 548, and dozens of random rolls thereafter,
So many more than the ca. 50 listed above :)

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Dave Danner » 16 Jul 2021 23:06

Mori wrote:
16 Jul 2021 13:39
Dave Danner wrote:
16 Jul 2021 00:36
To be noted is that these were Personalakten for active officers and the records were seized in 1945. So they do not include reserve officers and with a few exceptions they do not include officers who were dismissed or released from the Army before 1945 or who were dead.
Thanks for the info. I thought some dead officers were included. I'm thinking of Kluge, Rommel or Model, for example (admittedly the last one died a couple of weeks before war end).

When I checked the files, I was struck by the large gaps in everything prior 1939, like files had been cleaned up at the beginning of the war. For example, all the individual evaluations of the inter-war years are missing, although the war period itself is there. In the case of Rundstedt, you still find evaluations dating 1912 or 1913 (IIRC), but nothing thereafter.

Have you any idea what happened?
Not a clue what happened, though like you, I also noticed that there are lots of missing documents in the files of the more senior generals/field marshals.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356) - newly digitized

Post by Mori » 08 Aug 2021 20:52

I have just noticed that Bundesarchiv has digitized all Personalakten of officers up from Generalleutnant. This makes more than 1,000 folders. Everything is for free on Invenio, check series PERS 6. It looks like this collection was added very recently, probably no more than a few weeks ago.

It's an excellent decision. Until now, these documents were freely available but came with a red slip stating "no copy allowed" (while the same documents were fully open at NARA). They reversed their policy.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356) - newly digitized

Post by pintere » 10 Aug 2021 16:46

Mori wrote:
08 Aug 2021 20:52
I have just noticed that Bundesarchiv has digitized all Personalakten of officers up from Generalleutnant. This makes more than 1,000 folders. Everything is for free on Invenio, check series PERS 6. It looks like this collection was added very recently, probably no more than a few weeks ago.

It's an excellent decision. Until now, these documents were freely available but came with a red slip stating "no copy allowed" (while the same documents were fully open at NARA). They reversed their policy.
Are you sure these are the same records as they are in the A3356 collection? I just checked out a couple files on Invenio and these Personalakten are definitely missing some documents that were in the A3356 Personalakten.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Mori » 10 Aug 2021 18:30

I am certain they are the same records. I have made page by page comparisons for several high ranking individuals from which I already had the NARA A3356 version.

However, there can occasionaly be losses between what was microfilmed in the late 1950's at NARA and what BAMA digitized in 2021, as files may have been pulled and flipped through a lot. To give just one example, it's now the 4th version of Erich von Manstein's Personalakten that I get: I have a copy made by someone who didn't know better than taking pictures of the microfilm reader at NARA (probably dating 2005) ; a black & white copy made by an insider at BAMA (until now one wasn't supposed to duplicate these files), a color copy made by a visitor at BAMA, and eventually the clean color images on Invenio. I suppose many more researchers asked for this file in particular, multiplying the chances for damage & loss.

Bottom line: NARA can be more complete marginaly, while it is also much less legible.

Also, someone at BAMA added copies of those name cards found in the T78 series, but I don't think any other documents were added. Whenever BAMA were donated private papers, they opened another file under Nachlasse (Nxxx).

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by askropp » 11 Aug 2021 08:14

Of course this is generally good news. The more there is online, the better. But I have certain issues with Invenio. It is sometimes inaccessible (I'm not sure if this happens deliberately or due to crashes), it is slow and not very user friendly. I spent 90 minutes there last evening and did not manage to look up more than two or three files. For example, I looked up Luftwaffe files, and when you close the current file and return to the list, you will always land at the top again, so you have to scroll down endlessly if you search for someone at the bottom of the list. It is not possible to place bookmarks, but you need to restart with every visit. You will also be kicked out (on short notice) after an hour or so. Working with NARA files in JPEG is much quicker and easier. As far as I know, you cannot download whole files from Invenio, is this correct? I had to make screenshots of important documents. And finally, I understand why the generals came first, but I prefer the alphabetical system.
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by Mori » 11 Aug 2021 09:21

No doubt Invenio could be more user-friendly. There is quite a room for improvement.

Most official sites only offer "page by page" access of their files, which I consider nonsense. If you goal is to share data, why make it difficult to access. For Invenio as for most similar sites, there are workarounds allowing users with some technical acumen to get local copies. Hence after a short while a more user-friendly version is available.

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Re: Personalakten (NARA A-3356)

Post by askropp » 11 Aug 2021 12:34

I just looked up the PA of General der Flieger Hugo Schmidt and found a download function (in the upper right corner) for the first time. For some reason, it seems to be linked to certain files.

PS: This is apparently a totally different interface, it is also much faster than the old one.

PPS: As there seem to be very few PA with the new interface, those are the ones I found so far.

Luftwaffe:
Ruggera, Schmidt (Hugo), Schulz (Julius), Schweickhard, Ziegler (Günther), Zoch

Heer:
von Roques (Karl), Ritter von Speck
Er ist wieder da. Aber auch dieses Mal wird er nicht siegen!

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