Eyewitness Reports

The eyewitness reports collection was initiated in the early years of the Institute. Records of the Nazi era had been confiscated by the Allies. To compensate the lack of state documents , the institute staff worked actively towards collecting recollections and documents from important eyewitnesses of  the recent past events. The collection includes witness reports, often also involving interrogation records, as well as testimonies in court, and the personal records of the eyewitnesses and correspondence with the institute and/or other researchers. The files, over 3,000 in total, are fully digitised and can be generally retrieved and viewed via the archival database. The individual value of the documents as historical sources needs to be viewed with a critical eye, in part due to the often apologetic statements. The collection is nevertheless highly significant on the whole, as the documents frequently contain details of events and developments that are not reflected in the official records – or only to a small extent.

© Institut für Zeitgeschichte