A Useful Resource - the 1939 German Minority Census

 I've been doing some follow-up work on some the individuals involved in the black market passport racket run by Jürgen Ziebell in 1938 in Berlin. I had come across a possible result on the MyHeritage site and signed up for a free two week subscription. One of the resources mentioned was the 1939 German Minority Census. The MyHeritage site didn't have all of the information that one would expect from a census, so I did some more digging.

My first stop was the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) which had a reference page for the census. The German title was "Reichssippenamt Volkszählung vom 17.05.1938 durchgeführt 1939". This was the second of two Nazi-mandated censuses (the first was in 1933) designed to identify all Jewish individuals in the country. The entries on the census form included:
  • first and last name
  • date and place of birth
  • race-based questions about maternal and parental grandparents
  • level of education
  • whether any members of the household resided outside the home
The USHMM also had an external link which led me to the Mapping the Lives site. This site has not only data from the 1939 German Minority Census, but also other sources and is proving to be an excellent resource for tracing some of the Jewish clients of Ziebell.
Below, for example, is the entry for Louis Georg Hagen. When I first began researching these individuals last fall, I was, in many instances, working in the dark and had no idea of the fate of many of the individuals. But the Mapping the Lives site often provides data on the ultimate fate of these individuals.
I searched for one of Louis' brothers, Hermann Hagen, and his entry shows a very different fate.
I am in working on reviewing all of the Jewish clients for whom I had insufficient information to identify with confidence in the genealogical records. The fact that the Mapping the Lives site gives birth dates as well as addresses in 1938/1939 definitely helps in narrowing down the field of possibilities.


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