About us

The Evangelical Central Archives in Berlin (EZA) were founded in 1979 as a result of the fusion of the Archives of the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) and the Archives of the Evangelical Church of the Prussian Union (Evangelische Kirche der Union).

The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is a union of twenty-two Lutheran, Reformed and United regional churches in the several German states. The EKD archive was established in Berlin in 1939 and was composed of the records of the German Evangelical Church and its various antecedent organizations (see General Outline of Holdings). This archives were transferred to Hannover in 1960 and later, in 1972, to Soest, where the holdings of the "Ecumenical Archives" (today, Record Group 51) were added to it. In 1974, the archives have been transferred back to Berlin.

The Evangelical Church of the Prussian Union (EKU) is the successor organization of the former Prussian Church, which extended until 1945 from the Memel to the Rhein and Saar Rivers. In 1945, the "Evangelical Church of the Old Prussian Union" lost its provinces east of the Oder and Neisse rivers. The remaining church provinces declared themselves independent, but still associated themselves in a special union. In 2003 the EKU merged into the "Union of the Evangelical Churches in the EKD (UEK)". The Evangelical Church of the Union (EKU) established its own archives in 1964, to which the "Archives of the History of the Kirchenkampf" which had been collected by Professor Günter Harder, were in 1976 donated by the Theological College, Berlin-Zehlendorf.

As a result of the division of Germany after the Second World War, the Evangelical Churches of the GDR, formed their own "Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR" (BEK) in 1969, and from 1972 the EKU was henceforth divided into two areas. The BEK, together with the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, established a "Joint Archives" in 1987 in Berlin-Mitte. In 1992, the holdings of the BEK and the EKU-Section GDR were transferred to the Central Archives of the Evangelical Church in Berlin (EZA).

The EZA is responsible for all archival material from offices, organizations and institutions of the EKD and the EKU and their legal and functional antecedents. In addition, the EZA has collected archival material from independent supraregional organizations and associations that work closely with the Protestant church and support it in its message and work as well as from the estates of important individuals who were active within the sphere of the church and related activities.

The Ecclesiastical Archive Center in Berlin

Since autumn 2000 the Evangelical Central Archives are accomodated within the Ecclesiastical Archive Center in Berlin (Kirchliches Archivzentrum Berlin - KAB). This functional building was built from 1999 to 2000. Besides the EZA the archives of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-schlesische Oberlausitz as well as the missionary archives and the archives of the archdiocese Berlin are situated here.

The parish register repository

In our archives we gather about 6,000 parish registers from Protestant parishes of the former eastern church provinces of Prussia, now belonging to Poland, Lithuania or Russia. Legal successor of the Evangelical Church of Prussia is the already mentioned Union of the Evangelical Churches in the EKD. All parish registers are brought together in our parish register repository, which was founded in 1966 as "Ostdeutsche Kirchenbuchstelle" belonging to the chancery of the former EKU.


Contact us

Evangelisches Zentralarchiv
Bethaniendamm 29
10997 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 22 50 45 - 20
Fax: +49 30 22 50 45 - 40
email: archiv@ezab.de

Opening Times:
Mon - Thu 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Usage is possible at any time during the hours of operation. Reservations are not required.

2024 Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland | Data protection | Legal notice
Publikationsdatum dieser Seite: 2024-01-19