Friday, December 4, 2015

All it took was a little persistence

I recently told you that I had obtained my grandfather’s death certificate.  The death certificate lists the address where he died, Rosdorferweg 70 in the town of Göttingen.



I plugged that address into Google Maps and this is what I found.  The address currently belongs to a hospital.



So was it a hospital in 1949?  I emailed them and asked. 



They told me that yes, they are the same hospital that was in operation in 1949.  I asked them if they had the medical records from then.  They told me that the old medical records had been turned over to the Stadtarchiv Göttingen. They were kind enough to provide me with a contact person there.



The Stadtarchiv told me that the records were now being housed at the Niedersächsischen Staatsarchiv in Wolfenbüttel.  I was again given a contact person.


I contacted the Landesarchiv and they advised that they would write back when they knew whether or not they have my grandfather’s records.  I got the answer today.

“Sie können von der Akte des Landeskrankenhauses Göttingen, die Ihren Großvater betrifft (NLA Hannover Hann. 155 Göttingen Acc. 2004/008 Nr. 01921), Kopien in Auftrag geben. Die Akte umfasst ca. 75 Seiten.”

They found my grandfather’s medical file, seventy-five pages worth. I have requested the file and they are mailing it to me.  These medical records will answer quite a few questions that I have.  When I first started the process I thought for sure that these medical records no longer existed and I would never see them. I am glad I plodded along anyway.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. Wow! What a find! I hope you will share something with us, if not too personal. What holds me back is the cost.

    1. German records are interesting as far as price goes. It all depends on the archive. I have gotten some records totally free. The archives simply sent me digital copies. In this case the records are going to cost me because they are having to copy 75 pages worth of documents and then mail them to me from Germany. I used to worry about how much stuff cost but when I looked at how much my husband spends on hunting and fishing I really don't worry about it anymore.

  2. Wow! What a find! I hope you will share something with us, if not too personal. What holds me back is the cost.

  3. What a wonderful success story of persistence! It will be like Christmas when you get the file. Yes, keep us posted.

  4. Michele,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Lucky you! I tried to access intake information for a closed hospital in NY. Even though the records have been turned over to the Archives, they are only open to legitimate research and getting permission takes quite a bit of paperwork. I dropped the ball there, at least until I can actually travel there. NY state quotes HIPAA privacy regulations for everything.