The Bundesarchiv (BA), or the Federal Archives, was established in 1952 and has collected the largest archival resources in Germany. Among the documents concerning the centuries-old history of the country, a significant place is occupied by archives related to the period of the Third Reich and especially the period of the Second World War. Numerous fonds concern the occupation of Poland in 1939–1945 with particular emphasis on the occupational administration, police apparatus and related institutions, resettlement of people, labor and extermination camps, as well as with the liquidation of Jewish ghettos in individual cities. In addition, post-war accounts of Germans living in Eastern Europe until 1945, as well as all materials regarding the escape and displacement of the German population from areas east of the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, are subjective but are also of great interest. Access to the archival resources of the Bundesarchiv was granted pursuant to the cooperation agreement concluded on 29 January 2019 between the Pilecki Institute and Bundesarchiv, and can also be extended to third parties after a User Declaration has been signed.
The library of the Pilecki Institute
ul. Foksal 17, 00-372 Warszawa
Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 15:00
(+48) 22 182 24 75
The library of the Berlin branch of the Pilecki Institute
Pariser Platz 4a, 00-123 Berlin
Pon. - Pt. 10:30 - 17:30
(+49) 30 275 78 955
Ever since it was established, the Witold Pilecki Institute of Solidarity and Valor has been collecting and sharing documents that present the multiple historical facets of the last century. Many of them were previously split up, lost, or forgotten. Some were held in archives on other continents. To facilitate research, we have created an innovative digital archive that enables easy access to the source material. We are striving to gather as many archives as possible in one place. As a result, it takes little more than a few clicks to learn about the history of Poland and its citizens in the 20th century.
The Institute’s website contains a description of the collections available in the reading room as well as the necessary information to plan a visit. The documents themselves are only available in the Institute’s reading room, a public space where material is available free of charge to researchers and anyone interested in the topics collected there. The reading room also offers a friendly environment for quiet work.
The materials are obtained from institutions, public archives, both domestic and international social organizations, as well as from private individuals. The collections are constantly being expanded. A full-text search engine that searches both the content of the documents and their metadata allows the user to reach the desired source with ease. Another way to navigate the accumulated resources is to search according to the archival institutions from which they originate and which contain hierarchically arranged fonds and files.
Most of the archival materials are in open access on computers in the reading room. Some of our collections, e.g. from the Bundesarchiv, are subject to the restrictions on availability resulting from agreements between the Institute and the institutions which transfer them. An appropriate declaration must be signed upon arrival at the reading room in order to gain immediate access to these documents.
Before your visit, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the scope and structure of our archival, library and audio-visual resources, as well as with the regulations for visiting and using the collections.
All those wishing to access our collections are invited to the Pilecki Institute at ul. Foksal 17 in Warsaw. The reading room is open from 9–15, Monday to Friday. An appointment must be made in advance by emailing email@example.com or calling (+48) 22 182 24 75.