How to find out more about your repressed or dispossessed relative

How to find documents about people in your family affected by the actions of the authorities

  • Awareness of the need for a request and conversation with family.
  • The foggy scope of the request.
  • The abyss that opened up after these two actions.

White spot

Displaced persons

Here, we turn to the archive located in the city of Bad Arolsen, a city in Germany, where the necessary documents are located for the search. It is an archive and documentation center for National Socialist persecution and survivors released from captivity. From the documentary archive in which about thirty million documents were persecuted during that period, their descendants receive information about imprisonment, forced labor, as well as assistance from the Allies in the post-war period. Until 2006, there was no access to the archive. Now we can make an online request on the archive website.


To start the search, during the conversation with relatives and family, specify the surname, first name, middle name, year of birth and place of residence at the time of repression. It is possible within a large territorial office or region. Do you have evidence of kinship with the repressed, they may ask if more than 75 years have passed. Records of birth and marriage, the death of a person, as a rule, can be requested again in the archives of the registry office at the place of registration.


The articles were different, but even economic articles could actually be political. In this way they got rid of dissenting elements. Indeed, in the ranks of the authorities, crimes could be committed with impunity, especially from 1920-1940. Any imprisonment in Soviet times can be checked if you have grounds for access to the case, that is, documents of kinship on hand. As a rule, convictions on far-fetched articles were already in later Soviet times and the status of documents with limited access is still valid even legally.


This is a process of times of civil war and after. He became the most massive in the 30s. Measures: settlement outside the boundaries of a settlement, selection of acquired and earned.

Instance request

If you want to collect as much information as possible, write everywhere. Who should write in such cases?

In order to look at the archive-investigative file and get the necessary information, get a copy of the arrested person’s questionnaire, as well as the verdict and the act of bringing the verdict in execution, you need to contact the FSB department at the place of the investigation or at the place of birth. In his appeal, ask to send archival files to the archive according to the place of residence for review in the reading room of the archive. If you need information about the date and reason for the eviction, about the composition of the family at the time of the eviction, about the place of exile, send a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the relative’s place of residence at the time of the repression. If the place of the link is already known, you can try to find out at the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the place of serving the sentence the date of release from the link, deregistration, information about the death of birth, as well as information about where the person came from. They may ask for confirmation of kinship, do not forget about it.

The state regional archive at the place of dispossession of the GOA is not often, but sometimes you can look there or get copies of the consideration of the village gathering about dispossession, documents with information about the deprivation of voting rights and even a personal file in the regional archive. Proof of kinship is usually not required.

Good luck in finding.