Austrumzemes Valsts komisārs

  • The Reich Commissioner for the Ostland
  • Der Reichskommissar für das Ostland
Language of Description
1941 - 1944
Level of Description
  • German
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

264 files

Biographical History

On 17 July 1941, the Reichskommissariat Ostland ("Eastland") was established, soon uniting German-occupied Lithuania, Latvia (from 1 September 1941), Estonia (from 5 December 1941), and Belarus. Ostland was organized into four General Districts (Generalbezirke); only the (Latvian) capital city of Riga (Gebiet Riga Stadt) was directly administered by the Reichskommissar für das Ostland. Four Generalkommissars were subordinated to the Reichskommissar für das Ostland: the Generalkommissar in Riga, Reval, Kaeun and Minsk. The two incumbents were: Hinrich Lohse (b. 1896 – d. 1964), NSDAP (held the position from 17 July 1941 – 26 September 1944); and Erich Koch (b. 1896 – d. 1986), NSDAP (26 September 1944 – 2 February 1945. Koch was de facto ousted on 13 October 1944, when the Soviet Red Army took Riga, although Ostland was not officially dissolved until 2 February 1945.

Archival History

The records were received at the archives as captured materials; the inventory was compiled at the archives in 1946-1954. Most of the documents were received from NKVD in 1953; three files were received from Estonian archives in 1952. Not all documents survived, and so the collection gives only fragmentary insights about the activities of this institution.

Scope and Content

Instructions for treatment of Jews, including information about who was considered a Jew; wearing of David stars registration, mixed marriages and children; identity cards for Jewish women married to Aryans; Jewish property, including a form for declaration of property; treatment of foreign Jews; printed edition about Organization of the Administration in the Occupied Eastern Areas, which included guidelines for the treatment of the Jewish population, with the goal to solve the Judefrage throughout Europe; regulations for the generation population should treat Jews; zoning off the Jewish population; changing to Jewish names of christened Jews; organization of ghettos; curtailing of Jews’ communication with other inhabitants; occupation of Jews; work permits; prohibition of ritual slaughtеring; cultural life: only within the ghettos, theatre, cinema, schools with teaching language Yiddish and Hebrew as a method to isolate Jews from other population; regulations about imprisoning of all Jews in concentration camps in Ostland; use of Jews for manual work only; interdiction for non-Jews to have contact with Jews (1943). Printed edition of General Instruction on the Application of Military Administration Arrangements (Allgemeine Anweisung über die Anwendung der Militärverwaltungsanordnungen), containing information about restrictions applied to Jews: identification of Jews, introduction of Juden-Rats, interdiction of evacuation and other movement, forced labour, interdiction of trade; Jewish prisoners in Daugavpils (1944).

Confiscation of Jewish property (jewels) in Minsk and Mogilev. Fire in Głębokie ghetto (Belarus) and liquidation of ghetto.


No other records expected.

System of Arrangement

Files are arranged according to the inventories.

Conditions Governing Access

Free access.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The physical condition of documents is satisfactory. Some documents are difficult to read because of text fading.

Finding Aids

  • Five printed finding aids are available at the reading room.

Existence and Location of Originals

  • Original documents are in the custody of The National Archives of Latvia State Historical Archives of Latvia

Existence and Location of Copies

  • USHMM RG-18.002M (Latvian Central State Historical Archive (Riga) records)

Publication Note

A. Ezergailis. The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944: the Missing Center. Riga The Historical institute of Latvia [in association with The United State Holocaust Memorial Museum], 1996, 465 p.

Anita Kugler. Scherwitz: Der jüdische SS-Offizier Cologne, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2004, 758 p.

A. Angrik, P. Klein. The Final Solution in Riga: Exploitation and Annihilation, 1941-1944. New-York, Berghahn Books, 2009, 515 p.

Katrin Reichelt. Lettland unter deutscher Besatzung 1941–1944. Der lettische Anteil am Holocaust. Metropol-Verlag Verlag, Berlin, 2011, 428 p.

Archivist Note

Entry added on May 12, 2014 by Rita Bogdanova based on finding aids available at the repository.

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0

Dates of Descriptions

February-June of 2014