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Villages with German residents in Polish Volhynia, ca. 1940
(Housed in the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, Germany)

The Bundesarchiv in Berlin has a set of documents that should be high on the priority list for researchers dealing with western Volhynia, also known as Polish Volhynia. The material was housed in the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz until 2010.

The set is a list of German residents, sorted by village throughout the region. The list was drawn up as a result of the German-Soviet agreement about Poland in 1939, which saw the country divided into two. Ethnic Germans in the new Soviet zone were required to leave, so German authorities needed to get lists of who was who.

Many of these people will also appear in the Polish section of the Einwandererzentralstelle (immigration office ) records, which are available on microfilm through the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

The records in Berlin were compiled in each village before the people started their trek to German territory. They serve as a census of sorts for the people from that area, including the names of adults, the number of children, occupations, religions and land holdings.

They are part of a series of files from the Deutsches Ausland Institut (DAI) of Stuttgart, which was the German agency that dealt with people of German ethnicity in foreign lands.

At the archives, the documents are part of the R57 series. Files 1537, 1538 and 1539 deal with Volhynia. (For the record, 1531 and 1532 are Bessarabia, 1533, 1534 and 1535 Galicia, and 1536 the Narew area.)

They are only in paper format. They are not available on microfilm. A list of villages included in the series has been compiled. Please note that the names listed are based on handwritten entries that, at times, required a bit of imagination. For most of the villages, the kreis (county) has also been listed.

Lists of villages covered:
  • File 1537 -- Villages Adamow - Julianowka
  • File 1538 -- Villages Kadischtsche - Mynietycric
  • File 1539 -- Villages Narodowicze - Zyprow

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