Photo. Visitors at the opening of the exhibition, 'Drawings by Refugee Children,' August 29, 1953
&copy Landesarchiv Berlin - Willy Kiel

Station V: Police Registration

After municipal welfare authorities had informed refugees whether they would reside in the Marienfelde camp or in another camp elsewhere in West Berlin, the applicants then registered with the police in their assigned district of the city. Registration with the police ensured that all applicants would be counted, regardless of whether their applicants were approved or not. In this way, West Berlin authorities sought to prevent the sort of uncontrolled flow of East Germans that had occurred at the beginning of the 1950s, when applicants only registered with the police after their applications had been recognised. In addition, the police used the registration data to determine whether legal proceedings were pending against newcomers. Those free of charges received a temporary identity card listing the applicant’s current living quarters as his or her address. A move within Berlin meant the refugee had to re-register in his or her new district of the divided city. A move to West Germany proper entailed de-registration in West Berlin.

Next station: Intermediate Examination A