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Four of my mother's great aunts lived in Berlin, Germany some time between 1900 and 1920 or so, and were married there. I do not know their married names, but I do know their maiden name and all their first names. What is the best way to find their marriage records? Can this be done remotely, or must one go in person to the appropriate archive? What sort of evidence of familiar relationship is required to obtain such records? Are there indexes or finding aids that would make the search straightforward?

Note that I am looking for civil records, rather than for church records, because the people in question were Jewish.

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I am currently living in Germany, and I can speculate that you definitely cannot make it via internet, but you can probably try the usual post. (The Germans consider post safer than internet, and easily send even confidential information by post.) The first contact can be made by internet as well. After a quick search, I would recommend starting at the contact form of the Family Ministry (Bundesministerium für Familie) and see what they say. If you don't speak German, you can write in English, in most cases it's fine.

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  • Contacting the ministry is certainly not a good idea. They can’t and won’t help you. – lejonet Feb 28 '17 at 20:42
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    A flag on this answer from a higher rep user said "This answer is utterly wrong. The ministry is not even legally responsible e.g. for archives." so its advice should be taken with caution, and if you agree that it is wrong (I do not know) then consider downvoting. – PolyGeo Feb 28 '17 at 23:01
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Ancestry.com has now the following collections:

Digitized name indices for civil records are available from Landesarchiv Berlin, you can search them by register office and type of record. The records themselves are available on request from the archive.

Furthermore you can request information from the Einwohnermeldekartei on family members from the Landesarchiv (wartime losses are likely).

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