Reich Insurance Office

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Service building at Wilhelmplatz 2, before 1894

The Reich Insurance Office (RVA) was the highest supervisory and judicial authority for social insurance in the German Reich . It existed from 1884 to 1945 and performed executive and judicial tasks; in some areas it even had limited legislative powers. The seat was initially in Berlin-Tiergarten , soon in Berlin-Mitte , Wilhelmplatz (see picture), later the office received a new building on (today's) Landwehr Canal .

History, organization and responsibilities

The RVA was set up on the basis of the Accident Insurance Act of July 6, 1884, published in 1885 . It took its first administrative seat at Linkstrasse 17, Berlin-Tiergarten . As president was Tonio Bödiker appointed. Subordinate to him were two permanent members and four non-permanent members. Another 15 employees carried out the day-to-day organizational tasks. After the move to Wilhelmplatz 2 in Berlin-Mitte , the number of people represented in the office quadrupled. There were now five permanent members ( civil servants ) under the president , as well as non-permanent members, including four elected politicians from the Federal Council, four judicial members as well as numerous representatives of employers ( trade association boards ) and insured employees . In 1888 the RVA already consisted of 60 people.

Seal of the Reich Insurance Office

Gradually the tasks expanded. The responsibility of the RVA grew from the original area of ​​statutory accident insurance , for which it was created, through disability insurance (1889) to health insurance (1913), salaried employees and miners insurance (1922/23) to unemployment insurance (1927) and thus for the entire social security. Initially, the RVA was under the Reich Office of the Interior , after the First World War it was under the Reich Ministry of Labor . The RVAO regulated the procedure . In addition to the President, there were two directors in the departments from 1890 and three from 1929:

  • I accident insurance
  • II Health and Disability Insurance
  • III Employees ', miners' insurance and unemployment insurance.

Appeal proceedings before the Reich Insurance Office were in particular:

  • Award proceedings
    • Revision (§ 1694 RVO ; AVG ; RKG ; AVAVG )
    • Appeal (only accident insurance, § 1699 RVO)
  • Decision-making process
    • further complaint (§ 1797 RVO)
  • Appeal to the Reich Arbitration Office at the RVA ( contract doctor matters, § 368o RVO).

There was hardly any restructuring during the Nazi regime . Social insurance was a complex structure with high administrative and legal connections that were difficult to see through.

After the Second World War , from 1945, the tasks of the Reich Insurance Office were initially taken over by the State and Upper Insurance Offices. After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany , they were distributed among various powers and legal entities, including the newly created Federal Social Court with its seat in Kassel and the Federal Insurance Office as the supervisory authority for direct federal insurance carriers (see Section 90, fourth book of the Social Code ( SGB ​​IV )). There was considerable personal continuity in the Federal Social Court, as it was initially filled with former RVA officials. In the east of Germany, the social insurance of the Free German Trade Union Confederation, newly formed in 1947, took over the tasks of the RVA.

Administrative building

Facade of the former Reich Insurance Office on Reichpietschufer

After the initially small administration was housed in a building in Tiergarten, it was given an existing building on Wilhelmplatz as the administrative headquarters. In 1894, the employees of the Reich Authority moved into a new building, which was built according to plans by August Busse at Königin-Augusta-Strasse  25-27 (today Reichpietschufer  50). This building has survived the decades and two world wars, but was modernized in the 1980s by the British architect James Stirling except for the canal-side facade. In the 21st century, the Berlin Science Center is located in the building .

President of the Reich Insurance Office


  • Wolfgang Ayaß : Ways to social justice. Arbitration courts and Reich Insurance Office until 1945 , in: Peter Masuch / Wolfgang Spellbrink / Ulrich Becker / Stephan Leibfried (eds.): Fundamentals and challenges of the welfare state. Memorandum 60 years of the Federal Social Court. Volume 1. Characteristics and future of social policy and social law , Berlin 2014, pp. 271–288.
  • Michael Stolleis : Reich Insurance Office. In: W. Stammler u. a. (Ed.): Concise dictionary on German legal history. Vol. IV. Berlin 1964-1998, pp. 801-802.
  • Gerold Schmidt: From the early history of authorities and personnel in the German social insurance system: The permanent member of the Reich Insurance Office Immanuel Hoffmann (1850-1924). In: Die Sozialgerichtsbarkeit (SGb), 1988, pp. 438–440
  • Official journal: Official news of the Reich Insurance Office (1884 / 85–1927; ZDB -ID 206955-6 )
  • Continuation: Official News for Reich Insurance (1928–1945; ZDB -ID 504464-9 ; from 1928 to 1939 also part IV of the Reichsarbeitsblatt )
  • Collection of decisions: decisions and notifications from the Reich Insurance Office (1.1911 / 13–51.1944; ZDB -ID 216326-3 )

Web links

Commons : Reichsversicherungsamt  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Elke Linda Buchholz: Reich Insurance Office . In: Kaiserzeit und Moderne. A guide through Berlin . Berlin Story Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-929829-47-1 , pp. 127f.
  2. On the establishment of the Reich Insurance Office, its activities and case law cf. Collection of sources on the history of German social policy from 1867 to 1914 , Section II: From the Imperial Social Message to the February decrees of Wilhelm II (1881–1890). Volume 2, Part 2: The extension legislation and the practice of accident insurance , edited by Wolfgang Ayaß , Darmstadt 2001; see. Collection of sources on the history of German social policy, III. Department: Expansion and differentiation of social policy since the beginning of the New Course (1890–1904), Volume 2: The revision of the accident insurance laws and the practice of accident insurance , edited by Wolfgang Ayaß, Darmstadt 2009.
  3. ↑ Reich Office of the Interior . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1886, part 4, p. 19. “10. Reich Insurance Office ".
  4. Florian Tennstedt : The Reich Insurance Office and its members - some biographical information . In: Development of Social Law, Task of Jurisprudence . Cologne 1984, pp. 47–82, full text (PDF; 2.8 MB)
  5. a b Reich Office of the Interior . In: Berliner Adreßbuch , 1888, part 4, p. 19. “10. Reich Insurance Office ".
  6. Reich Insurance Code with notes . Volume 1, 2nd edition 1930, p. 429
  7. Reich Arbitration Ordinance of February 17, 1925 ( RAnz. 1925/44 )
  8. ↑ Reich Office of the Interior . In: New address book for Berlin and its suburbs , 1896, part 1, p. 13. “14. Reich Insurance Office ".