Calls to Germany from abroad
How to make a phonecall to Germany or how to send a fax to Germany.
German genealogical research or researching in other reasons sometimes requires phone-calls to Germany from abroad.
A regular German phonenumber ("Telefon", "Ruf", "Fernruf") contains an area-code ("Ortsnetzkennzahl", "Vorwahl") or a network-code ("Netzkennzahl", "Netzvorwahl") and the user-number, the telephon-number ("Telefonnummer", "Nummer des Teilnehmers", "Anschluss") of the person, the authority, the company or the parish you want to call.
The complete phonenumber can be written down in different styles.
E.g. if the area-code or network-code is 0123 and the telephon-number is 987654 it may be written down like this:
0123/98 65 54 or
If you want to dial that number from abroad, you have to do the following:
Just dial 0049123987654
00 is the code for an international call
49 is the country-code ("Landeskennzahl") for Germany
123 is the area-code or network-code with left out first digit
987654 is the telephon-number
Do not pause (exept your telephon-company requires this), don't try to dial special characters like " / ", " - " , " . ".
Important: Leave out the first digit of the area-code or network-code.
Sometimes, especially at authorities and companies you find phonenumbers like
This may be the phonenumber for a direct-dialing ("Durchwahl"). However, ignore all the dashes, just dial 0123987654123
But you should know, that you can mostly replace the digits after the last dash with a "0" or a "1" to be connected with the central office ("Zentrale", "Telefonzentrale").
Turning back that means if you get a number like 0123/987654-0 that you have to ask there for a person or a that you have to explain your request. A good idea then is to ask for the direct-dialing.
Sometimes, especially at authorities and companies you find additional phonenumbers that are declared as "Intern", "Behördennetz", "Netz der XYZ", XYZ-Netz" or anything else like this. These are phonenumbers for the use in internal networks. You can't get a connection by dialing that number from outside these networks.
All this things are similar if you want to send a fax ("Telefax", "Fernkopie") to Germany, except you should not try to send a fax to the operators at the phones in a central office ("Zentrale", "Telefonzentrale"). Most of the numbers of non-private fax-machines are direct-dialing-numbers.
Further: Sometimes the phonenumbers and faxnumbers of one and the same adress are in all parts very different. Not always is this an error. Often people use their phone at home or a cellular-phone and a fax at work. Sometimes the telephon-providers changed parts of the number-system at an area or network by building out the net. Or someone is using "Unified Messaging Services" for fax.
Please note the time difference when you decide to call Germany from Overseas, Africa or Asia. Further you should pay attention to opening times ("Öffnungszeiten") , office times and business times ("Geschäftszeiten", "Sprechzeiten") when you are timing a call to authorities, organisations or companies.
Note: While I strive for outmost precision in every detail, I can't be held responsible for any inaccuracies, neither for any subsequent loss or damaging arising.