German Central Archives

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The German Central Archive (DZA), from 1973 the Central State Archive of the GDR (ZStA Potsdam), was the central archive facility of the German Democratic Republic .


The central archive was founded on June 1, 1946 as the "Central Archive in the Soviet Occupation Zone" (abbreviated: ZStA Potsdam). With regard to the holdings, it succeeded the former Reichsarchiv Potsdam and the Prussian Secret State Archives . It initially collected the files of the disbanded central Reich authorities, the archival holdings of the Soviet occupation zone from the various relocation sites. The DZA was responsible for the central organs and institutions of the state apparatus formed in the territory of the GDR, the economic management organs as well as for the central organs and institutions of the former German Reich, the former state of Prussia and for the central organs and institutions of the economy before 1945. The main location was Potsdam , Berliner Straße 98-101 with the main administration and the historical department I. The historical department II was located in the Merseburg branch with a branch in Coswig (Elbe). There was also Department III (Central State and Economic Bodies of the GDR including centrally managed VVBs). External magazines were also located in Barby for the 1st department and in the archive depot / castle in Dornburg / Elbe for the 2nd department. The total volume of the DZA was most recently 8,000 documents, 25,000 cards, 34,000 running meters of files and 315 bequests. From 1991 to 1993 Merseburg was a branch (location) of the Secret State Archives. After 1990, its holdings were transferred to the Federal Archives , the German Office (WASt) and the Secret State Archives.

In publications this archive is often referred to as “ZStA Potsdam”.

Head and staff (selection)

Publications (selection)

  • Helmut Lötzke: German Central Archives . 1946–1971 , German Central Archives Potsdam 1971.
  • The November Revolution of 1918 in Germany. Sources from the German Central Archives, Historical Section II, Merseburg , ed. from the German Central Archives, Hist. Dept. II, in connection with the Commission for Research into the History of the Labor Movement at the district leadership of the SED Merseburg, Merseburg 1968.
  • Helmut Lötzke, Hans-Stephan Brather (Red.): Overview of the holdings of the German Central Archives Potsdam (= series of publications of the German Central Archives , Volume 1), Weimar: Böhlau / Berlin: Rütten & Loening 1957.
  • Helmut Lötzke: The handover of German archive holdings by the Soviet Union to the German Democratic Republic , in: Archivar. Zeitschrift für Archivwesen 9 (1956), Issue 1, pp. 31–34.


  • Walter Nissen : The fate of the outsourced holdings of the PGSt and the BPH and their current condition. Presentation at the 32nd German Archives Day , in: Archivalische Zeitschrift 49 (1954), pp. 139–150.
  • Article, in: Archive (= Minerva-Handbuch), Berlin 1974, pp. 784-790.
  • Rita Klauschenz: abducted, brought back or still hidden? Archives of the secret state archive confiscated by the Soviet Union , in: Relocation and transfer of cultural goods as a result of the Second World War and their repatriation (= publications by the Coordination Office for the Loss of Cultural Property, Volume 4), Magdeburg 2007, pp. 143–170.
  • Hermann Schreyer: The state archives of the GDR. An overview (= publications of the Federal Archives, Volume 70), Düsseldorf: Droste 2008.
  • Jürgen Kloosterhuis , Werner Vogel : Obituary for Heinrich Waldmann , in: Archivist. Zeitschrift für das Archivwesen (2008), issue 4, p. 467f. pdf. Retrieved July 15, 2014 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrich Herbert, Karin Orth and Christoph Dieckmann: The National Socialist Concentration Camps. Development and Structure , Volume II, Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 1998, p. 701, note 23, ISBN 3-89244-289-4