Alexander Primavesi papers

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 1995.A.0110
  • 1997.A.0085
1 Jan 1951 - 31 Dec 1997, 1 Jan 1987 - 31 Dec 1997
Level of Description
  • German
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium




Biographical History

Alexander Primavesi was born in 1928 and grew up in Arnsberg, Germany. Having Jewish friends as a child, he was disturbed by the events of the Kristallnacht, and witnessing the burning of synagogues in his town. He completed an apprenticeship in photography, but was then conscripted into the German army in 1944 and sent to the Soviet Union to fight, and he was wounded and captured as a prisoner-of-war in 1945. Upon his return to Germany and he trained as a police investigator, initially working for the regional police in the province of Nordrhein-Westfalen, before joining the police force of the city of Dortmund in 1951. He transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department of that force in 1953, and remained there until his retirement in 1996. Along with his official police service, he also researched the history and role of the city's police department during the Third Reich, using the department's archives to do so. He passed away in 1996.

Archival History

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


The Alexander Primavesi papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by Otto Leib, in 1994 and 1997. These two donations were given separate accession numbers: 1995.A.0110 and 1997.A.0085. These two accessions have since been unified, and can be located under 1995.A.0110.

Scope and Content

The Alexander Primavesi papers contain German reports written by Alexander Primavesi relating to activities of the Gestapo in Dortmund, Germany between 1933 and 1945. The papers include records relating to the development of the Westphalian state police office in Dortmund, Arnsberg, forced labor, persecution of Jews, religious communities and other minorities in the district of Arnsberg. The Alexander Primavesi papers primarily contain German reports written by Alexander Primavesi concerning Gestapo activity in Dortmund Germany from 1933-1945. The contents of each report are as follows: Folder 1) Translation: The Gestapo and Jews in the district of Arnsberg. Primavesi provides information about Jews in the district of Arnsberg, ranging from the Berufsverbot, or occupation prohibition, for Jews, Jewish associations, and Jewish school children to the treatment of Jews in German hospitals, the expropriation of Jewish property and the deportations to Lublin and Theresienstadt. Folder 2) Translation: The development of the Westphalian state police office in Dortmund, Arnsberg. Primavesi describes the historical development of the Gestapo in Dortmund in 1933, the administrative structure of the district of Arnsberg and its Gauleitung, or administration at the district level. Folder 3) Translation: Documentation on the Military Police Corps. This report concentrates on the SA Feldjägerkorps, their organization chart, their responsibility and the actions they carried out in 1933. Folder 4) Translation: The use of the Gestapo in the prosecution of forced labor in the administrative district of Arnsberg. Primavesi discusses how the Gestapo was in charge of the persecution of forced laborers; ranging from orders and decrees it executed to correspondence and reports on deportations to several camps. Folder 5 & 6) Translation: Primavesi enumerates all the different regulations, decrees, and documents associated with the Ordnungspolizei of the Third Reich and its Sondereinheiten between 1933 and 1945. Folder 7) Translation: A chronological list of measures and guidelines related to the persecution of Jews through the Reich government and the Dortmund Gestapo in the district of Arnsberg. Primavesi provides information on how the Jewish population was persecuted through a very well organized apparatus. Folder 8) Photocopies of obituaries and photographic prints of Alexander Primavesi. Folder 9 & 10) Translation: Police reports and diary records of air strikes in the area of Dortmund. Primavesi gives an overview on all the reports by the local police and its sub organizations on air attacks along with their diary entries. Folder 11) Translation: Persecution of religious communities and other minorities as well as the decline of the Gestapo in 1943 in Arnsberg. Primavesi describes the persecution of the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, Roma and Sinti, and Jehovah’s Witnesses through the Dortmund Gestapo.

System of Arrangement

The Alexander Primavesi papers are arranged as a single series.


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.