Original personal effects, envelopes of the Office of Administration of Domestic Restitution in Stadthagen
History of Ownership
In 1963, the ITS received “approximately 4300” envelopes with personal effects of former concentration camp inmates from the Office of Administration of Domestic Restitution in Stadthagen. (See the finding aid for the collection at the ITS at http://findmittel.its-arolsen.org/B1_Innere_Restitutionen/index.htm.) The exact number of envelopes can no longer be determined because the information in the Stadthagen office’s inventory differs from the counting performed by the ITS in Bad Arolsen in later years. By the mid-1980s, the ITS returned some 900 of the personal effects it received to national Red Cross societies or other institutions in their respective countries (then Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Rumania, and the then Soviet Union) and to former inmates or their family members who had contacted the ITS concerning applications for certification of imprisonment. Between 2007 and 2010, 54 additional personal effects were given to the Dutch “Stichting Oktober 44,” a foundation that memorializes the Wehrmacht’s retaliatory act following an attack by Dutch resistance fighters on a Wehrmacht vehicle in the village of Putten (http://www.oktober44.nl/). In retaliation, more than 600 men from Putten were deported to Neuengamme. Almost all of the personal effects that were held by the Office of Administration of Domestic Restitution before being transferred to the ITS were secured by the British Army after the liberation of the Neuengamme concentration camp. A few came from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as well as the Gestapo prison in Hamburg the latter can be seen on this web page under 188.8.131.52. Property of the inmates of the Neungamme concentration camp was secured shortly after the liberation in Lunden, Schleswig-Holstein. With the advance of Allied troops, the administrative office for prisoners’ property at the Neuengamme concentration camp was evacuated. In 1948, the property was transferred, with the order to return it, to the Central Office for Asset Management, known after 1955 as the Office of Administration of Domestic Restitution.