Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

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Acrimony45
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Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Acrimony45 » 14 Apr 2022 11:20

Hi,
I have been trying to contact the Bundesarchiv in Berlin regarding the personal files of two SS men (Hscha. Johann Blank and Martin Sommer). My inquiry to them was that since I live in the USA and not in Germany, if they could have the files digitally scanned and sent to me (for a fee, of course).
I have emailed them multiple times over the course of last year and twice this year, and have received no reply other than the automated messages confirming that my email was sent.
I would attempt to establish contact with them via telephone, but my command of the German language is nowhere near as proficient enough to have an entire conversation with an archivist about digitizing material.
I'm wondering if maybe I'm doing something wrong, or I'm not contacting the right people who can handle my request? I know of someone who also reached out to them for digitizing archival material, but they responded to that person promptly and gave them the files they needed in a relatively short period of time. Therefore I can't think of any other reason as to why my inquiries are being ignored.
I'd appreciate any advice/help I can get with this matter.
Thanks!

smetanin albert
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by smetanin albert » 14 Apr 2022 14:00

Hello,
The best specialist (copying) in this area is Mike Constandy

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... p?t=126505

P.S. Indicate (write) the exact data of these people/SS men!
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Mori
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Mori » 14 Apr 2022 14:34

smetanin albert wrote:
14 Apr 2022 14:00
Hello,
The best specialist (copying) in this area is Mike Constandy

https://www.forum.axishistory.com/viewt ... p?t=126505

P.S. Indicate (write) the exact data of these people/SS men!
Mike works in the US, not in Berlin. Can he really help when it comes to documents in Germany...?

He offers fine service as long as it is limited to making copies of documents. You have to be extremely specific what you want a copy of, which requires to already be very familiar with the source and its organization. You can't expect any research from Mike.

Unless this changed recently (and why should it?), you will receive pictures of the computer screen on which the microfilm is displayed, not direct scan of said microfilm. This is different from the service offered by http://www.digitalhistoryarchive.com. However, Mike and DHA have agreed to share business, and DHA will probably refuse to copy Personalakten.

Acrimony45
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Acrimony45 » 14 Apr 2022 15:22

Hi,
Yes, that was what I was thinking as well when I saw that he was based in College Park, Maryland…the files I’m trying to get scans of are held in Berlin-Lichterfelde.

smetanin albert
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by smetanin albert » 14 Apr 2022 18:12

My friend will go to Berlin at the end of April.
In Berlin, you can also copy the originals if there is no ban (it costs time and money)
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Acrimony45
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Acrimony45 » 14 Apr 2022 22:09

True, but since I live in the USA I'm not able to visit the archives in person...and as far as I know travel to Germany is hereby restricted unless you have "an urgent need" to travel.

smetanin albert
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by smetanin albert » 15 Apr 2022 06:58

Mori,

I think you've never bought Rs series files in Berlin, so you write optimistic. Berlin has strong restrictions on such information. I ordered many rolls in the US( and without problems).

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Mori
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Mori » 15 Apr 2022 07:48

smetanin albert wrote:
15 Apr 2022 06:58
Mori,

I think you've never bought Rs series files in Berlin, so you write optimistic. Berlin has strong restrictions on such information. I ordered many rolls in the US( and without problems).
I thought the same as you until BA-MA shared 1000+ Personalakten on its website. I once accessed the exact same files in Freiburg and researchers were not allowed to copy them (although no one checked). Obviously, Bundesarchiv changed its policy last year or so, since everything is now on free download, not to mention a mirror on wwiidigitalarchives.org.

Acrimony45
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Acrimony45 » 15 Apr 2022 08:13

There are only certain SS officer's personal files available on the wwiidigitalarchives.org website

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Hans1906
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Hans1906 » 16 Apr 2022 16:08

I don't like your avatar in this context.

Info in the english language: https://www.bundesarchiv.de/EN/Navigati ... /home.html

If all of this is still not enough, then contact a German-speaking user here in this forum.


Hans
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Loïc
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Loïc » 17 Apr 2022 00:56

But you can get personal datas about a soldier like that without being of his family...?

it seems quite complicated with them,
last year after having received a reply from a correspondant with curiously a french name who firstly wrote me in german then in french to complete the search, I tried with his email and...Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender...it no longer works

discouraging

Mori
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Mori » 17 Apr 2022 08:57

Loïc wrote:
17 Apr 2022 00:56
But you can get personal datas about a soldier like that without being of his family...?
Yes.

Same goes with French archives, by the way.

AFAIK, 2 categories of data may still be restricted when it comes to personal data: Military justice cases and nominal lists of spies. Even then, you can access the files, under close supervision from the staff, and without any possibility to make copies. (See footnotes in Messerchmidt for German sources, in Miot and Le Gac for French sources).

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Loïc
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Loïc » 17 Apr 2022 13:19

Bizarre, had been rejected twice in the past...nothing whithout next of kin and assigns

standard reply letter they send you :?
bunder.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Mori
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by Mori » 17 Apr 2022 18:03

What exactly did you request?

All officer files (Army + SS) were microfilmed in the US before documents were shipped back to Germany. No restriction whatsoever to access them when visiting NARA. This also means it has little sense to block them in Germany.

smetanin albert
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Re: Unable to Establish Contact With the Bundesarchiv

Post by smetanin albert » 18 Apr 2022 09:10

Hello,
This suggests that you have not encountered the sophisticated German bureaucracy, because. You got SSO rolls for free.
Access to RS files in Berlin is strictly restricted.
You order a case, but you will not receive it in its entirety.
Sometimes you have to wait a very long time.
Archive employees independently determine the number of copied documents (5-6 sheets).
In the near future - restrictions on RS files will not be removed!

At prices in Berlin - these SSO rolls will be "golden".
One personal file in the archive costs about 120 euros
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