Some German History and Cultural Resources

The following selection of CRL microform sources focuses on German history and culture. The subjects are as diverse as German drama from the 16th century to Nazi propaganda from World War II, and the history of Freemasons to the prototypical illustrated family magazine.

Alpha Com Sachsen

Germany. Reichskolonialamt R1001.
The German government archive has microfilmed more than two million pages of documents from the German Colonial Office regarding its colonies in Namibia (Südwest-Afrika), Togo, Cameroon, Tanzania (Deutsch-Ostafrika), Papua New Guinea, some islands, and China. An online finding aid in German can be found here.

Harald Fischer Verlag

This periodical is profiled in German Illustrated Periodicals on page 10.

Hoover Institution

Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei. Hauptarchiv. NSDAP Hauptarchiv
A collection based on the archive originally established by the National Socialist Party to preserve the most valuable documentation on the party’s background and history from 1890–1945. Included in the set are the papers of Himmler and Streicher.

IDC Publishers

Freemasonry: Early Sources on Microfiche, 1717–1870: from the Grand Lodge Library in the Hague
This collection compiles documents on European Freemasonry from its official founding in 1717 to the Paris Commune of 1870. Included is the Kloss collection which contains the private library of Georg Kloss, the 19th century German Freemason and masonic scholar. An online fiche guide can be found here.

Nazi Propaganda Literature in the Library of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research.
The Nazi propaganda contained in this rare collection provides one of the few contemporaneous German references to the Holocaust and literature rationalizing anti-Semitism as a scientific necessity. An online title list can be found here.

K.G. Saur Verlag

Illustrirte Zeitung
This periodical is profiled in German Illustrated Periodicals on page 10.

Nazi Party Archives: Akten der Partei-Kanzlei der NSDAP: Rekonstruktion eines verlorengegangenen Bestandes
This microfiche edition was prepared from copies dispersed among a number of German repositories, after the original archive was lost.

Pressearchiv zur Geschichte Deutschlands Sowie zur Internationalen Politik, 1949–1960 
This set contains more than 250,000 press clippings related to German history between the years 1949–1960. Major events included in the articles are the founding of East and West Germany and the GDR Revolt in June of 1953. A finding aid can be found at here.

Privatbanken in der NS-Zeit.  Rundschreiben der Wirtschaftsgruppe Privates Bankgewerbe 1934–1945 
The microfiche in this collection details the stunning way in which German banks systematically deprived Jewish citizens of their property and possessions during Nazi rule. The set contains a list of victims who had their wealth confiscated by the Nazi regime, so it is of interest to those researching individuals as well as institutions. A guide to this collection can be found here.

National Archives

Official and Personal Papers of Prussian Military Leaders (formerly in the Heeresarchiv)
This subset of NARA’s Captured German Records includes German military records antedating World War II.  The collection is organized by individual names.  CRL owns only a portion of this subset.

Boyen, Hermann von, 1771–1848. Papers of Hermann von Boyen, ca. 1787–1848.
Von Boyen was a Prussian field marshal during the disastrous war against Emperor Napoleon I.  He fought against the French in the War of Liberation and was minister of war from 1814–19 and 1841–1847. This collection of von Boyen’s private and official papers chiefly consists of “correspondence, memoranda, manuscript studies on military and political subjects, tables of organization and distribution of the Prussian Army, and records containing data relating to the military budget . . . .”

Gneisenau, August Wilhelm Anton, Graf Neidhardt von, 1760–1831. Papers of August von Gneisenau, ca. 1785–1831.
Gneisenau was a Prussian field marshal during the Napoleonic Wars and was the Prussian army’s leading strategist during the War of Liberation against the French (1813–15).  This collection of Gneisenau’s private and official papers includes muster rolls and other records of Prussian Army units.

Groener, Wilhelm, 1867–1939.  Papers of General Wilhelm Groener, 1870–1939
Groener was a World War I general and an interwar political figure. As quartermaster general, he organized the Ebert-Groener Pact, which positioned the military in support of a new republican government, provided it upheld the authority of the traditional officer corps. Groener later served as defense minister and interior minister in the Weimar Republic.

Seeckt, Hans von, 1866–1936.  Papers of General Hans von Seeckt, 1866–1936
Von Seeckt fought in Poland, Serbia, Romania, and Turkey during World War I.  From 1920–1926 he was chief of the German army.  Von Seeckt also was a member of the Reichstag and a military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek in China (1934–1935).

Records of the German Foreign Office Received by the Department of State: Records of Northern Superintendency
CRL has acquired in microfilm from the U.S. National Archives and other institutions most of the German Foreign Ministry records seized during World War II.


German Books Before 1601
This microfilm set includes a selection of German books on all subjects published before 1601. The initial selection is based on the Short-title catalogue, but also includes works in the Bodleian, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and other sources. This is an ongoing collection project, with additional reels received periodically. Individual titles are not cataloged in CRL’s catalog.

German Drama
This ongoing collection project features plays published from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. It also includes opera libretti and translations of plays written in languages other than German.

Research Publications, Inc.

German Baroque Literature
This collection contains more than 6,000 German-language titles, primarily from the period after the Late Renaissance and before early classical writers emerged. The collection has material from many of the famous authors of the day, as well as important material from lesser-known writers. An online reel guide can be found here.

University Publications of America

U.S. Military Intelligence Reports: Germany, 1919–1941
This set reproduces U.S. military intelligence reports held by the U.S. National Archives. These reports were compiled by military attaches and their staff to report on internal politics, socioeconomic conditions and foreign affairs in addition to military matters. The time period covers the aftermath of the first World War up to the first two years of World War II. A guide can be found here.