TN 31 (08-05)
GN 00307.509 Evidence From Germany
After WW II, Germany was divided into East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) and West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany). Prior to their reunification on October 3, 1990, the authorities in East Germany strictly regulated access to its records.
Because of this limited access to records in East Germany, SSA does not have information about what happened to the records in that part of Germany during and after WW II.
SSA uses separate policies to evaluate evidence from areas in the former East and West Germany.
REMARKS: The use of separate evidence policies will remain in effect until SSA has sufficient information to determine the condition of the former East German records and the effect of the reunification on those records.
2. Evidence From, or Areas Formerly in, East Germany
a. Certification Issued After 1945
SSA accepts certifications of vital statistics records issued after 1945 by East Germany, or areas which were in East Germany prior to October 1990, at face value IF they show the specific date (i.e., month, day and year) the event was recorded.
b. Certification Issued Before 1946
SSA assumes that certifications issued before 1946 in what became East Germany were, absent information to the contrary, based on records made at or near the date of the event.
3. Legal Precedents
Generally, as of October 3, 1990, the laws of West Germany apply to the areas which were in East Germany. However, where there is a conflict in laws, the East German laws will apply side-by-side until 1992. Thus, SSA cannot assume that the legal precedents for West Germany automatically apply to areas formerly in East Germany.