Review - 20 Years Facts & Files / 1999-2019


One of Facts & Files’ first projects investigated the role of insurance companies in confiscating Jewish life insurance policies during the Nazi era. On behalf of the
International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC), Facts & Files consulted more than 50 archives in 11 countries to collect information on the policies and their owners.


On April 17, 2000, the German news magazine “Der Spiegel” published an article on the start-up Facts & Files. Titled with “Old files, new facts” it also reinterpreted our firm’s name. The article is online here.

2001 ongoing

We started the research commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museums in Washington, D.C. on the former “NS-Archiv” des DDR-Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit im Zwischenarchiv Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten  at the Federal Archives Berlin in 2001. Later we also conducted research at the archive of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records. Our research is part of the USHMM International Acquisitions and Reproduction Program which aims to compile files from European archives that document the persecution and massacre of the Jewish people in Europe.


Facts & Files was commissioned by the Foundation German Museum of Technology, Berlin to organize and index the corporate files of the company Telefunken GmbH from the years 1903 till 1950 which are held at the German Museum of Technology, Berlin. Telefunken was founded as joint venture by Siemens & Halske and AEG in Berlin in 1903. It was a radio and TV-set company. Please see for the finding aid online here.


From January 21, 2015, our exhibition “Shot in Moscow…” German Victims of Stalinism at the Moscow Cemetery Donskoje 1950-1953 was shown at the Memorial Leistikowstraße in  Potsdam. The online edition of the German news magazine “Der Spiegel” reported about the “speaking walls” of the KGB prison  at Leistikowstrasse in Potsdam.


Facts & Files received the Grimme Online Award for the website ‘Youth Opposition in the GDR’ in 2005. Facts & Files curated the website, and did the research, interviews, and editing. www.jugendopposition.de highlights youth resistance in the GDR against the state. Particularly striking was that punks also belonged to the youth resistance. The punks came together in the cultural park Plänterwald in East Berlin in the 1980s.

2006 ongoing

The Viktoria-Luise-Platz in Schöneberg was completed in 1902. The former meadow was developed by the Berlinische Boden-Gesellschaft AG, which was founded by the Haberland family. Herbert M. Gutmann, whose property is researched by Facts & Files since 2006, became co-shareholder of the company. Eugen Gutmann was co-founder of the Dresdner Bank AG. His son Herbert worked at the board of the Bank for decades, and was also on the supervisory board of the Berlinische Boden-Gesellschaft AG until 1933.


In 1922, after many years of digging, the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. The exhibition ‚Tutankhamun – His Tomb and his Treasures‘ recreates the Pharaoh’s tomb as Carter found it, with stunning replicas of all the objects. Since it opened in 2008, the exhibition has toured many cities worldwide. Facts & Files produced educational material, researched the exhibition‘s images and footage, and obtained their licenses.


For many decades, the Gallery Heinemann was one of Germany’s most prominent art dealers, until it was ‚aryanised‘ by Friedrich Heinrich Zinckgraf in 1939. The German Art Archive of the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg commissioned Facts & Files to compile the business records of the Gallery Heinemann in an online database, accessible at http://heinemann.gnm.de. The website went online in 2010 and makes information on approximately 43,500 works of art accessible.

2011 ongoing

Facts & Files has been organising collection days for the crowdsourcing project ‘Europeana1914-1918’ for seven years. Most of the handwritten sources from the First World War collected on Europeana1914-1918.eu can be transcribed using the online-tool www.transcribathon.eu, specially designed by Facts & Files and Olaf Baldini. Facts & Files has also organised so-called Transcribathons in various cities competitions across Europe.

2012 ongoing

The Working Group Applied History of the Association of German Historians organized a panel discussion about “History between scholarship, education and business” on March 25, 2015 in Hamburg. Frank Drauschke was invited to share our experiences in the field. A workshop addressed the training of historians at universities, and an ethic codex for the Public and Applied History sector.


In April 2014, 144.317 data records of the Berlin restitution offices were made publicly available for research on the website www.wga-datenbank.de.

Facts & Files had been commissioned by the State Archive Berlin to do the editorial processing and prepare the online presentation of the data records. In the end of the year all over 430,000 data sets are published online.

2013 ongoing

From the year 2013 on, Facts & Files has been supervising the archive of the German Red Cross (GRC) General Secretariat in Berlin. The archive primarily holds files from the General Secretariat of the GRC from 1951, as well as the records of the GRC of the GDR, an extensive collection of Red Cross newspapers, audiovisual media, advertising materials and a billboard collection, from which this poster is from.


Facts & Files researched the history of the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (NGG). The history of NGG goes back to the General German Cigar Workers Association, which was founded in 1865. This makes the union the oldest labour union in Germany. Facts & Files curated an exhibition, created a website, and wrote a book on NGG’s 150 years of history.


The book “Stolen Legacy” by Dina Gold tells the story of the author’s search on her family’s history and the company H. Wolff the family owned in Berlin. It also documents the issues of the restitution claims for the property looted by the National Socialists. The book was published in summer 2015, and we conducted research on behalf of Dina Gold at Berlin archives.


Since April 2016 Facts & Files had been researching on the provenance of several art pieces belonging to the Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen. The Wilhelm Hack Museum was founded in 1979 and includes the Municipal Art Collection of Ludwigshafen, and a collection of medieval and modern art donated to the city by Wilhelm Hack in 1973.


Ka-We: This is what the city Königs Wusterhausen is called in Berlin and Brandenburg, for which Facts & Files wrote a concept for its monuments and memorials. The city is well-known for its palace and the Funkerberg is particularly popular among techies. The photograph shows work being done on the transmitter-mast on the Funkerberg at a dizzying height of 200 metres. The mast was created seven years before the famous ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ at the later GE building in New York City.


On behalf of the University of Cologne, Facts & Files had prepared a report which looks at the entanglement of the National Socialist regime with the university’s charitable foundations, honorary titles and grants awarded to academics and institutes. The assessment included research on honorary doctors, members and senators of the University of Cologne, the members of the Board of Trustees, donors to the university and the activities of associated institutes and their employees during the Nazi period.


The Neue Automobil-Gesellschaft (NAG) was founded as a subsidary of the AEG in Berlin-Oberschöneweide. The depicted racing car by NAG is part of the motor vehicle collection of the German Museum of Technology Berlin. The provenance of the motor vehicle museum’s collection has been researched by Facts & Files. The research aimed to investigate whether motor vehicles of the collection were sold under duress or confiscated after the National Socialists came to power in 1933.


This advertising leaflet for tourists praises the sights of Berlin even before the Wall was built. The essential sights, such as museums, libraries and archives, which are essential for the work done by Facts & Files, are missing. In 2019, we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution and the fall of the Wall. Thanks to these two events, we can also celebrate the foundation of Facts & Files 20 years ago.