This material consists of some 320,000 documents from more than 33,000 files. They contain references to some 74,000 names. The majority of the persons concerned were Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and Nazi forced laborers. There were also persons who had fled the sphere under Soviet control for political reasons.
The most frequent document is the “Application for Assistance” form. It is also referred to as “CM/1,” where “CM” stands for “Care and Maintenance” and “1” for the respective form type. There were countless versions of the form, depending on when it was drawn up, the occupied zone, and the language.
The information on the forms includes:
- Personal data on the applicant
- Where applicable, personal data on family members
- Place(s) of residence and employment over the previous 10–12 years
- Education and language skills
- Financial resources
- Plans for the future, reasons contra repatriation, desired emigration country
A stamp indicates whether the applicant was determined eligible for assistance. In the case of care by the IRO, moves between DP camps before emigration were documented where applicable.
In addition to the CM/1 forms, the collection also encompasses questionnaires for DPs, confirmations of eligibility for assistance, applications for change of status (CM/3 forms), photos of the applicants, health records, correspondence and memos. The health records were excluded from the online publication on account of their sensitive content but can be viewed at the ITS on request.
Organization and Arrangement
CM/1 sheets could be issued for an individual or a family. Where information on an entire family is contained in a single file, a head of family was established and the file was filed under this person’s name. At the ITS, all documents are sorted alphabetically by the name of the main applicant and compiled in envelopes. The names of the family members are also indicated on the envelope.