Archive Study on SBZ/GDR Record Groups

The signet of the SED party at the building of the Central Comittee of the SED in Berlin is removed. 23.1.1990 Berlin. © Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-0123-027 / Oberst, Klaus / CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Study on Archives with Record Groups from SBZ or GDR in Berlin

Facts & Files was commissioned by the Berlin Commissioner for the Study of the SED Dictatorship in 2021 to conduct a study on archives with record groups from SBZ/GDR Provenance in Berlin from 1990 to 2021.

The aim of the empirical study was to take stock of and evaluate the archiving and documentation of holdings from the Soviet Occupation Zone/GDR provenance in the state of Berlin. The empirical study is part of several evaluation studies on coming to terms with the SED dictatorship in the state of Berlin, which were approved by the Berlin House of Representatives in 2017. The House of Representatives had named various thematic focuses for the evaluation, including the rehabilitation of victims of political persecution, the social debate on the GDR dictatorship as well as historical-political education and democracy education. In October 2018, the Berlin Senator for Culture entrusted the Berlin Commissioner for the Study of the SED Dictatorship with the implementation (doc 18/0717).

For the archive study, data on the surviving archive holdings was researched and evaluated using qualitative and quantitative surveys (including interviews with experts), in particular with regard to preservation, digitization and use.

We addressed the following questions:
1. which archive holdings with SBZ/DDR provenance, i.e. which originated in the SBZ/DDR, are available in Berlin archives?
2. how have these holdings been handed down?
3. what preservation, indexing and digitization measures have been carried out since 1990?
4. where do the archives see a current need for action and support?

The study was presented on April 18, 2024. Click here for the press release by the Berlin Commissioner for the Study of the SED Dictatorship.


The study is available for downdload here (in German).


Frank Drauschke
Frank Drauschke
P: +49 (0)30 / 480 986 20
Dr. Hans-Christian Bresgott
Facts & Files
P: +49 (0)30 / 480 986 20