The glossary provides information on archival terms as well as specific terms on the topic of "Compensation for National Socialist Injustice".


Adelsarchiv
Form eines Herrschafts- und Familienarchivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer adligen Familie befindet.
Administrative district
See Area of responsibility.
Administrative office for internal restitution
Authority, which was responsible for applications for restitution in the former states of the American occupation zone (Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Wurttemberg-Baden).
Architectural or engineering drawing
A reduced image of a building, part of a building, machine, etc., created by parallel projection onto a plane. A ground plan is a top view, an elevation, on the other hand, is a side view.
Archival cataloguing
The process of creating a set of data representing an archival record and its content according to a given set of rules during which the reference code of the item is assigned, too.
Archival genre
See record type.
Archival records
Archival records connotes the entirety of archival items.
Archival unit
See descriptive unit.
Archive
Public or private organisation responsible for selecting, preserving, and making available records determined to have permanent or continuing value. Sometimes also referred to as repository or record office.
Archive der Hochschulen sowie wissenschaftlichen Institutionen
Archivsparte, die alle Archive in Trägerschaft einer wissenschaftlichen Institution umfasst. (z.B. Universitätsarchive; Archive wissenschaftlicher Vereine, Gesellschaften und Stiftungen).
Archive der Parlamente, politischen Parteien, Stiftungen und Verbände
Archivsparte, die alle Archive in Trägerschaft eines Landesparlaments oder des Deutschen Bundestags bzw. des Parlaments eines anderen souveränen Staates, in Trägerschaft von politischen Parteien, Stiftungen oder Verbänden umfasst.
Archives of political parties
Archives operated by government-approved political foundations.
Area of responsibility
The geographical area of responsibility of a repository.
Arrangement
The organization of archival records according to a given set of rules, see also description.
Artificial collection
Documents of different provenance, which were removed from their original fonds due to special storage requirements (oversize, special climatic requirements) and combined in a new collection.
Association of the Victims of the Nazi Regime
Organisation founded in 1947, originally for the whole of Germany, yet in 1953 disbanded in the GDR and classified as a communist organisation in the Federal Republic of Germany by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Baden state office for controlled assets
Authority in the district of South Baden (the former state of Baden) with headquarters in Freiburg, responsible from 1946 to 1951 for the administration and restitution of assets confiscated on the basis of the denazification laws.
Baden state office for the care of victims of National Socialism
Authority in the district of South Baden (the former state of Baden) with headquarters in Freiburg and eight branch offices, responsible from 1946 to 1951 for implementing indemnification in accordance with state regulations.
Bound administrative records
Administrative records which were bound and are thus available as books.
Catalogue
A systematic compilation of all the fonds held at an archive with concise descriptions, usually structured according to their origin (provenance) or content (pertinence).
Classification
The organization of the documents in a fonds into categories according to a scheme in order to identify and group related records.
Closure period
A period of time regulated by legal rule, e.g. to protect sensitive information or personal privacy, during which archival records can only be accessed in exceptional cases.
Collection
An aggregation of records by thematic aspects (pertinence) rather than by their origin (provenance).
Committees of the victims of fascism
Self-help and welfare organisations, mainly located in the Soviet occupation zone and Berlin (Berlin Central "Victims of Fascism"-Committee), which, at the end of the 1940s, became the so-called "Victims of National Socialist Persecution Association" and the communal welfare administration.
Compensation
Generic term for the material compensation of National Socialist injustice in the form of the legal procedures restitution and indemnification.
Compensation authority
Authority responsible for the notification of and decisions on restitution claims in the Free State of Bavaria. The aim of the proceedings was an amicable settlement between the parties. If this was not possible, the matter was referred to the compensation chamber.
Compensation chamber
Chamber of a regional district court, which, in the states of the (former) American and British occupation zone and as court of first instance, was responsible for those restitution cases which could not be settled amicably.

Also: Chamber of a regional district court, which, in Rhineland-Palatinate and as court of first instance, was responsible for decisions on applications for restitution. By filing for action, restitution proceedings were brought to court without prior authority proceedings. In the other states of the French occupation zone, the chamber was called a restitution chamber.
Compensation committee
Court of first instance for lawsuits regarding compensation proceedings, which were to be decided by a magistrates' court based on state law regulations in the states of the former French occupation zone (South Baden, Baden, Wurttemberg- Hohenzollern and Rhineland-Palatinate).
Compensation office
Authority at the regional district court, which was responsible for decisions on restitution claims in the states of the (former) British occupation zone. The aim of the proceedings was an amicable settlement between the parties. If this was not possible, the case was referred to the compensation chamber.
Compensation office
Authority affiliated to a regional district court, which was responsible for decisions on restitution claims in the states of the (former) British occupation zone. The aim of the proceedings was an amicable settlement between the parties. If this was not possible, the case was referred to the compensation chamber.
Compensation offices
Authorities, which were responsible for decisions on restitution claims in the Federal State of Berlin.
Compensation senate
Senate of a higher regional court, which was responsible for appellate procedures regarding restitution rulings in the Federal Republic of Germany until 1990.
Conciliators for restitution
Authorities attached to the district courts of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Ulm, which mediated and ruled in restitution proceedings in the former state of Württemberg-Baden.
Contents note
A narrative description summarizing the content of an archival unit giving more info than just its title.
Corporate archives
Corporate archives are archival departments within a company or corporation that manage and preserve the records of that business.
Dates of creation
The dates of the oldest and most recent items in an archival unit or a fonds.
Deeds
Deeds are legal documents concerning the ownership or tenure of property drawn up and certified in accordance with certain forms. The property in question may be tangible, such as land or buildings, or it may be intangible, such as a right or privilege, a rent charge and so on.
Deposit
An archival resource placed in a repository by a natural or legal person without transfer of title.
Description
The process of making archival records and their content accessible via finding aids by means of arrangement and archival cataloguing.
Descriptive unit
A document or aggregation of documents, treated as an entity within a fonds. Often also referred to as archival unit .
Diocese archives
Type of ecclesiastical archive operated by a diocese.
District president
Indemnification authority responsible for deciding on applications for indemnification in the Federal States of Hesse, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia based on local regulations and, from 1953 onwards, on the Additional Federal Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act.
Dossier
A group of documents purposefully collected from different files or sources to provide information about a specific topic.
Economic history archives
Type of archive which encompasses all archives operated by individual corporations, chambers of commerce and industry as well as foundations set up by them.
Elevation
See architectural or engineering drawing.
Episcopate archives
Type of ecclesiastical archive operated by an episcopate.
Erzbischöfliches Archiv
Form eines kirchlichen Archivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer Erzdiözese befindet.
Estate
The property owned by a natural person, especially at death.
External restitution
Return of identifiable valuables and cultural objects, which were seized by the German Reich in the occupied territories.
Familienarchive
Siehe Herrschafts- und Familienarchive.
File
A group of documents related by use or topic, typically created and accumulated by organisations or businesses in the course of their activities.
Finding aid
Descriptive tools containing information that establishes control over records and facilitates their retrieval.
Fonds
A set of records compiled by provenance or pertinence to form a logical, higher hierarchical entity.
Fonds-level description
A description of the material within a fonds, providing essential information for researching them. Often also called a finding aid.
Ground plan
See architectural or engineering drawing.
Hauptstaatsarchiv
Form eines staatlichen Archivs, das neben den obersten Landesbehörden (Ministerien) eines Bundeslandes auch für die regionalen Landesbehörden eines Regierungsbezirkes zuständig sein kann.
Herrschafts- und Familienarchive
Archivsparte, die alle Archive in Trägerschaft einer meist adligen Familie umfasst.
Hierarchy
Inverted-tree structure of all the fonds held at a specific repository.
Hochschularchiv
Form eines Wissenschaftsarchivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer Hochschule befindet.
Including
Used to give information about special documents within in an archival unit like leaflets, pictures or posters.
Indemnification
Provisions for legally entitled victims of Nazi persecution and their surviving dependants, largely in the form of pensions or one-off payments for the damage caused by persecution to life, body, health, freedom, property as well as to professional or economic advancement.
Indemnification chamber
Chamber of a regional district court in front of which a decision against an application for indemnification by the authorities could be contested; court of first instance
Indemnification senate
Senate of the Federal Court, which, as court of revision, reviewed the rulings of the courts of appeal in contested indemnification proceedings for legal errors.

Also: Senate of a higher regional court, which, as court of appeal, reviewed the rulings of the indemnification chambers.
Internal restitution
Return of property seized within the territory of the German Reich based on occupation-law restitution regulations or the Federal Restitution Act.
Inventory
A type of finding aid: whereas analytical inventories include a detailed description of important collections, often at the file or item level, thematic inventories group records from different fonds according to specific subjects.
Item
The smallest archival unit in archival holdings.
Jewish Claims Conference
Union of 23 Jewish organisations, founded in New York City in 1951 preceding the German-Israeli negotiations (Luxembourg Agreement 1952) on the pursuit of indemnification claims for Jewish individuals and their heirs living outside of Israeli.
Jewish successor organisations
Organisations founded to pursue the restitution of heirless Jewish property: Jewish Restitution Successor Organization (IRSO), Allgemeine Treuhandorganisation (ATO), Jewish Trust Corporation for Germany (ITC).
Kirchenbücher
In den Pfarreien teilweise seit dem Mittelalter geführte Register, in denen kirchliche Amtshandlungen bei Taufen, Konfirmationen, Firmungen, Trauungen und Beerdigungen festgehalten werden.
Kommunale Archive
Archivsparte, die alle Archive in Trägerschaft einer Stadt, Gemeinde oder eines Landkreises umfasst.
Kopialbuch (Kopiar)
Historischer Amtsbuchtyp mit Abschriften von Urkunden.
Kreisarchiv
Form eines kommunalen Archivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft eines Landkreises befindet.
Landesarchiv
Form eines staatlichen Archivs oder einer staatlichen Archivverwaltung, das/die sich in der Trägerschaft eines Bundeslandes befindet.
Landeshauptarchiv
Form eines staatlichen Archivs, das neben den obersten Landesbehörden (Ministerien) eines Bundeslandes auch für die regionalen Landesbehörden eines Regierungsbezirkes zuständig sein kann.
Landeskirchenarchiv / landeskirchliches Archiv
Form eines kirchlichen Archivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer Gliedkirche der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) befindet.
Land register
Official register in which titles to or charges upon land are registered.
Level of description
Level of the unit being described within the hierarchy of an archive.
Linear metre
Non-standardized unit of length for archival records in German-speaking countries. One linear metre usually equals a stack of files measuring one metre in hight or occupying one metre of shelf lenght.
Linear metres of shelving
See linear metre.
Literary archive
An archive collecting and preserving poets' and writers' estates and related material.
Map
Leveled, reduced and thus simplified and, if necessary, explained graphic representation of features of the Earth. Maps with a scale less than 1:10,000 are referred to as plans.
Media type
File format and format content of the digital rendition of an archival object such as image, text, etc.
Medienarchive
Archivsparte, die alle Archive in Trägerschaft von Rundfunk- und Fernsehanstalten, Verlagen, Filmunternehmen, Theatern, Bildagenturen sowie Einrichtungen der Publizistikbranche umfasst.
Microfilm/Microfiche
A film or sheet of film used to hold highly reduced photographic images of documents and printed materials.
Office for indemnification
Authority in the Federal State of Berlin; responsible for deciding applications for indemnification based on the Additional Federal Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act.
Office for property control
Authority in the Federal State of Bremen; since 1945/46 responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
Office or department for compensation
Authority/department subordinate to the Württemberg Ministry of Justice in the district of North Württemberg (Württemberg district in the then state of Württemberg-Baden) with headquarters in Stuttgart, responsible from 1946 to 1951 for the implementation of compensation in accordance with state law regulations.
Offices for frozen property
Authorities in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia on the district or rural district level; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
Pagination
The act of numbering each side of a single document in a record or file.
Parlamentsarchiv
Archiv in der Trägerschaft eines Landesparlaments oder des Deutschen Bundestags bzw. des Parlaments eines anderen souveränen Staates.
Partial file
See record.
People persecuted under National Socialist rule
People who were harmed due to National Socialist racial ideology, political opposition, religion or set of beliefs.
Persecutees of the Nazi Regime
Status granted by state authorities in the GDR; prerequisite for claims for special care and welfare benefits e.g. regarding health care, pension grants or new accommodation.
Personnel files
Type of file containing all documents related to an agency or business employee, covering the entire employment lifecycle.
Pertinence
A principle of arranging records based on content, without regard for their provenance or original order.
Plan
Leveled, reduced and thus simplified and, if necessary, explained illustration of an area or a building below a scale of 1:10,000.
Poster
A large, flexible sheet bearing text and illustrations that is publicly displayed to advertise or promote something.
Pre-mortem bequest
Estate of a natural person which is gifted to an archive through a will while the person is still alive.
Printed records
Printed records not available in bookshops.
Provenance
Provenance refers to the origins of an archival item or collection, e.g. the individual, family, or organisation that created or received the items in a collection. The principle of provenance dictates that records of different origins (provenance) be kept separate to preserve their context.
Record
A record contains all the documents pertaining to a single case, compiled by the public administration agency or office during handling of the case.
Record group
Part of the hierarchy of an archive, grouping several fonds that share the same provenance or were created in the same administrative agency.
Record type
A classification of records based on content, format or physical characteristics, see e.g. deeds, seals, bound administrative records, land registers, files, maps and plans, Posters, printed records, pictures and manuscripts.
Regest
A register in which the contents of deeds or other written documents are summarized and information such as date, place, tradition and the names of the places and people mentioned therein is given.
Regionales Wirtschaftsarchiv
Form eines Wirtschaftsarchivs, das sich meist in der Trägerschaft einer bzw. mehrerer Industrie- und Handelskammern bzw. eines Bundeslandes befindet und die Wirtschaftsgeschichte der betreffenden Region insgesamt dokumentiert.
Regional office for compensation
Authority in the Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate; since 1946 responsible for (i) deciding applications for compensation based on state regulations, from 1953 on the Additional Federal Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act and (ii) the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
Regional office for the supervision of frozen property
Authority in the Federal State of Lower Saxony; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
Register
1. Historical form of bound administrative records with uniform entries of high probative value.
2. Official registers, usually kept at local courts, of certain legal relationships, e.g. registers of associations and commercial registers.
Religious archives
Type of archive encompassing all archives financed and superintended by a state-approved institution of faith.
Reparations
Compensation payments made by the defeated state for damage caused by war or occupation on an interstate level excluding any individual claims. The Paris Agreement on Reparation from Germany from 1946 and the London Agreement on German External Debts from 1953 both postponed the assessment of compensation yet to be paid by Germany due to the Second World War until the negotiation of a peace treaty.
Restitution
Return of ascertained valuables and assets, which were seized due to political opposition against National Socialism, "race", religion, nationality or beliefs, to the initial owners or their heirs.
Restitution chamber
Chamber of a regional district court, which, in the states of the (former) French occupation zone and as court of first instance, was responsible for decisions on applications for restitution. By filing for action, restitution proceedings were brought to court without prior authority proceedings. In Rhineland-Palatinate the chamber was called a compensation chamber.
Rundfunkarchiv
Form eines Medienarchivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer Sendeanstalt befindet.
Seal
A piece of wax or other material often bearing a portrait or coat of arms used to authenticate written legal acts. Sometimes also used as a means to seal documents or identify the sender.
Series
A group of similar records in numeric or chronological order, e.g. bound administrative records, each record distinguished by a formal feature (such as a letter or a year). Also referred to as file group or record series.
Signatur
Archivspezifische logische Kombination aus Buchstaben und Zahlen zur eindeutigen Kennzeichnung von Archivalien.
Stadtarchiv
Form eines kommunalen Archivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer kreisangehörigen Stadt, einer kreisfreien Stadt bzw. eines Stadtkreises befindet.
State archives
Type of archive, which encompasses all archives operated by the German Federal State or the federal states.
State commissioner´s office for the support of victims of racial, religious or political persecution
Authority, which was responsible for deciding on applications for indemnification based on state regulations in Bavaria from 1946 to 1949.
State district office for the compensation of Victims of Nazi Persecution
Authority in the North Baden district (Baden district in the former state of Württemberg-Baden), responsible from 1947 to 1951 for implementing indemnification under state law. Branch office of the Department for Compensation of the Württemberg Ministry of Justice in Stuttgart.
State office for compensation
Authority in the Federal States of Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein; since 1953 responsible for deciding on applications for indemnification based on the Additional Federal Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act except for Saarland, where decisions were based on state law regulations from 1946-59 and then on the Federal Compensation Act.
State office for compensation Bremen
Authority in the Federal State of Bremen; since 1950 responsible for considering applications for compensation and indemnification first based on state regulations, then, since 1953, on the Additional Federal Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act.
State office for frozen property
Authority in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
State office for property administration and compensation
Authority in the Federal State of Bavaria; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
State office for property control
Authority in the Federal State of Lower Saxony; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
State office for property control and compensation
Authority in the Federal State of Hesse; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
State office for the care of victims of National Socialism
Authority based in Tübingen, responsible from 1946 to 1951 for implementing indemnification in accordance with state regulations in South Württemberg-Hohenzollern (the former state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern), supported by supplementary district care offices (from 1949: Offices for Compensation in the districts).
State office for the settlement of open property issues
Authorities in the Federal States of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia; since 1990 responsible for the retransfer of property only partially or not at all compensated for and nationalized on the territory of the former GDR due to injustice specific to the German division.
State office Saar property control
Saarland authority; responsible for the administration and restitution of property confiscated under the denazification laws.
State offices for compensation
Authorities in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg with headquarters in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Freiburg and Tübingen, from 1952 on responsible for deciding on applications for compensation under the Federal Supplementary Compensation Act or the Federal Compensation Act. In 1969 merged into the State Office for Compensation Baden-Württemberg with headquarters in Stuttgart.
State pensions authority
Authority in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia; since 1958 responsible for decisions on pension payments based on the Federal Compensation Act.
Subject file
A type of file, in which the records and documents pertaining to a certain subject are accumulated for easy access. Therefore, their content and format vary considerably.
Supreme restitution court
International court of justice, which from 1955 to 1990 ruled as the tribunal of last resort in restitution cases and replaced the top restitution tribunals founded in the three occupation zones of the Western Allies in 1949.
Supreme restitution court of Berlin
International court of justice, which from 1953 to 1990 ruled as the tribunal of last resort in disputes regarding restitution cases in West Berlin.
Territorial principle
Objective territorial principle of jurisdiction (BrüG): Restitution or compensation according to the Federal Restitution Act in principle and only if proof is provided that the seized object has been brought onto the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany or Greater Berlin (West and East). In addition, claims were not met if the claimant's place of residence or permanent residence was in a state with which the Federal Republic of Germany did not have any diplomatic relations.

Subjective personal principle of jurisdiction (BEG): Compensation under the Federal Compensation Act only upon proof of domicile or permanent residence in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany as of December 31, 1952, or - in the case of emigration, deportation or expulsion - of last domicile or permanent residence in the territory of the German Reich within the borders of December 31, 1937, and of domicile or permanent residence at the time of the decision in a state with diplomatic relations to the Federal Republic of Germany.
Thematic inventory
A type of finding aid that groups records from different fonds according to specific subjects.
Title
A word or phrase describing the subject matter of a descriptive unit.
Trustee of the American, British and French military government for forcefully transferred property
Authority in West Berlin, which between 1949 and 1968 performed the task of a central registration office for the registration of claims for restitution of forcefully and illegally seized property of persons or businesses.
Types of archives
Several types of archives can be distinguished regarding the kinds of institutions they are managed by and the content and origin of the materials collected.
Typology of archives
See Types of archives.
Universitätsarchiv
Form eines Wissenschaftsarchivs, das sich in der Trägerschaft einer Universität befindet.
Victims of fascism
Status of persecution which was mainly awarded by the "Victims of Fascism"-committees in the Soviet occupation zone and Berlin and opened up entitlement for welfare and support benefits.
Volume
Bound archival unit, e.g. bound administrative records.