Creation and Competence

The Central Office of the Land Judicial Authorities for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes („the Central Office“ for short) began working on 1th December 1958, as a common organisation of all land judicial authorities of Federal Republic of Germany.

The Central Office was initially restricted to investigating crimes that occurred outside of Western Germany and only those related to wartime operations (but committed beyond such operations) against civilians. In particular, Nazi crimes at concentration camps and similar camps had to be treated.

In 1964, this competence of the Central Office was extended to Nazi crimes committed in Western Germany, which also led to preliminary investigations against members of the highest Reich administration. The principle of investigating only Nazi crimes against civilians was insofar breached to the extent that since then crimes committed against prisoners of war "by the rulers of the Third Reich or on their behalf" are also to be investigated. 

At their conference in Stuttgart on 17-18th June 2015, the ministers of justice agreed that the Central Office “in Ludwigsburg will continue running in its present form further on as long as there are prosecution tasks to fulfill.” The ministers of justice in Stuttgart were “of a particular opinion, that the Central Office and its location Ludwigsburg should be preserved after the end of the investigation work even with amended working conception as a place for remembrance, education and research for instance as a Center for Documentation, Research and Information”.

Fahnen aller deutschen Bundesländer

Administration agreement of 6th November 1958 (amended according to agreement of 24th January 1967; accession of the new Lands by agreement of 13th June 1995) - pdf-Download 15 KB (in German)

Decision of the conference of justice ministers of 17-18th June 2015 (in German) 

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