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ICRC versus CWGC Records: What we don't know.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
14 minutes ago, LDT006 said:

The VDK has ...

Is there any proof ...

 

Luc - what an interesting post. This is just the sort of thing I am looking for - proof - evidence - location of records - how to access records - facts facts facts.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions - what we need are facts.

Tom

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LDT006
51 minutes ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

 

Luc - what an interesting post. This is just the sort of thing I am looking for - proof - evidence - location of records - how to access records - facts facts facts.

A lot of people have a lot of opinions - what we need are facts.

Tom

 

Fact is that VDK has lists but will not provide them to researchers, family enquirers might have better luck.

PM me if you want a list of cemeteries for which the VDK has a burial register, just try to get a copy of these.

 

Secrecy: I have been told that the German government prohibited access to those lists (and other official documents) to prevent German citizens finding out the (horrific) details of death and the "inhumane" movements of the remains by the enemy after the war.

 

Some lists for German cemeteries in Belgium (or copies of) are easily available in Brussels, the same could be true for France. I remember someone telling me at Arras? but I never investigated this. Copies are sometimes also available in the communal archives.

Finding these takes a lot of time and not everybody will or can reveal the location due to copyright.

 

I have mailed corrections to CWGC (using CWGC documents) when their description for German cemeteries was incorrect, this was accepted and changed till a few years ago but they no longer seem to care about the correctness of the information on their website.

 

Luc.

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AOK4

I am not a native English speaker, but thought that "f.i." is a well known English abbreviation?

 

I know for sure that most of the original German lists for Northern France were kept in the Perenchies office of VDK when VDK took over the German cemeteries in France in the 1960s/70s. However, the files were transferred to Kassel rather recently (ca 10 years ago?).

 

Jan

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
21 hours ago, LDT006 said:

 

Fact is that VDK has lists but will not provide them to researchers, ...

PM me if you want a list ...

Secrecy: I have been told that the German government prohibited ...

I have mailed corrections to CWGC (using CWGC documents) when their description for German cemeteries was incorrect, this was accepted and changed till a few years ago but they no longer seem to care about the correctness of the information on their website.

 

Hello Luc - An extremely interesting post which contains information of great interest to me and others. I cannot PM you, however if you put my full name - Tom Tulloch-Marshall - into Goggle and scroll a short way down the results page to "Independent Researchers The National Archives" that will give you an email address where you can reach me. Please do that.

Tom

 

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
On ‎26‎/‎03‎/‎2020 at 00:03, LDT006 said:

 

Fact is that VDK has lists but will not provide them to researchers, family enquirers might have better luck.

PM me if you want a list of cemeteries for which the VDK has a burial register, just try to get a copy of these.

 

Hello Luc - Thanks for your advice off-forum. It would be extremely interesting to find out exactly what records the VdK at Kassel hold, and I wonder if anybody might know of any researchers who physically visit that archive ?

 

With regards to the issue of what specific information I had received from Kassel - as I told you, that should be published by a third party quite shortly.

Tom

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AOK4

I have been several times at Kassel to see the archives. However, these burial lists are not considered part of the archive, which is one of the problems.

The archive itself consists also for a part of copies from the archive of the Ministry of Exterior (for the period 1919-1945). One has to remember that the archives of the VDK were also largely destroyed during the 1944/45 bombings.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
17 hours ago, AOK4 said:

I have been several times at Kassel to see the archives. However, these burial lists are not considered part of the archive, which is one of the problems.

 

That is astounding - does Germany not have a Freedom of Information Act as the UK has ?

Tom

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Jaeger6
9 hours ago, Tom Tulloch-Marshall said:

does Germany not have a Freedom of Information Act as the UK has ?

A law that guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of press is Article 5 of the Grundgesetz (constitution). But the second paragraph says:

"Diese Rechte finden ihre Schranken in den Vorschriften der allgemeinen Gesetze, den gesetzlichen Bestimmungen zum Schutze der Jugend und in dem Recht der persönlichen Ehre."

"These rights find their limits in the regulations of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of young people and in the right of personal honour."

Maybe the VdK refers here to the right of peronal honour which might be violated by a detailed description of particular circumstances.

Another disadvantage here is the federal system that hands over most of the general laws to the Länder. Every Land has its own Freedom of Information Act (in Kassel it is the Hessian law) which is usually closely connected to a data protection act. Usually it says that private information about a specific person can be published only 120 years after his birth. So the information about many soldiers have been open to public for only a few years. I have to deal with this problem time and again when doing ancestral research.

Edited by Jaeger6

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AOK4
23 minutes ago, Jaeger6 said:

A law that guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of press is Article 5 of the Grundgesetz (constitution). But the second paragraph says:

"Diese Rechte finden ihre Schranken in den Vorschriften der allgemeinen Gesetze, den gesetzlichen Bestimmungen zum Schutze der Jugend und in dem Recht der persönlichen Ehre."

"These rights find their limits in the regulations of the general laws, the legal provisions for the protection of young people and in the right of personal honour."

Maybe the VdK refers here to the right of peronal honour which might be violated by a detailed description of particular circumstances.

Another disadvantage here is the federal system that hands over most of the general laws to the Länder. Every Land has its own Freedom of Information Act (in Kassel it is the Hessian law) which is usually closely connected to a data protection act. Usually it says that private information about a specific person can be published only 120 years after his birth. So the information about many soldiers have been open to public for only a few years. I have to deal with this problem time and again when doing ancestral research.

 

The problem is indeed with the interpretation. Plenty of communes make the death certificates public via f.i. ancestry. However, VDK probably uses a strict interpretation about the data they have of the deceased soldiers as it would open a box of pandora in Germany if the data of WW2 fallen f.i. would be made public and it would be clear who belonged to certain organisations or military units... VDK already is every now and then in the eye of some storm about whether or not these men should still be commemorated by name on cemeteries etc.

 

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