International Tracing Service

[12-23-2011]  

A quest for information on his family´s fate led Reuven Barak, an Israeli, to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen at the end of December. He wanted to know if the ITS possessed documents on his family´s persecution and to see the archive´s holdings firsthand. “My parents were able to escape in time, but my grandparents, uncle, aunts and cousins all perished,” said Barak.

more

[12-21-2011]  

Naftali Sappir, an Israeli, and his son Michael visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-December in search of any trace of his grandparents and their youngest son Bernhard. Sappir thinks that “it´s probably one of those cases which will never be solved.”

more

[12-20-2011]  

The EHRI project (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure) is looking for researchers would like to take part in a survey. The aim is to find out how Holocaust researchers discover and use information. The survey www.ehri-project.eu/Surveys takes between 10-15 minutes to respond to the 17 questions.

more

[12-16-2011]  

Archivist Gerrit Kobes paid a two-day research visit to the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-December. “I intend to gather the names of the victims coming from my hometown Goirle and publish and preserve their biographies for the next generations”, said the Dutchman. In collaboration with Ad de Beer, he undertook a similar project on the victims of Nazi persecution and war from Goirle’s neighbouring town Tilburg. “In the ITS archives I have found more information to add to that project, too.”

more

[12-12-2011]  

On 12 December 2011, Dr Susanne Urban, head of the ITS Research Department, held a lecture at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin on the potential that the archival material of the International Tracing Service (ITS) offers for researchers. “Since we could not find a date for us to come and see you in Bad Arolsen, we decided to meet here”, said Dr Hermann Simon, the Director of the Centrum who had invited to the event. The idea of holding the meeting had been formed when Simon visited the ITS in March 2011. He had informed himself about collections of the ITS that have not been explored by researchers so far.   

more

[12-09-2011]  

The eleven member states of the International Commission for the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen signed two new agreements on the future tasks and management of the ITS today at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. “We met to decide a historical restructuring of the ITS”, said Harald Braun, state secretary at the Foreign Office.

more

[12-08-2011]  

The US-American John Plume spent a four-day visit at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) conducting research on Displaced Persons from the "Insula” Camp near Berchtesgaden in the post-war years. “My brother and I wish to retrace and reconstruct as many people’s lives as possible”, Plume outlines his project. In October 1945, as a five-year old boy he had lived himself in the camp with his family.

more

[12-07-2011]  

Esther Cuerda Galindo from the University of Madrid spent a week at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen doing research for a study on medical experiments. “So far we have analyzed eyewitness reports. Now I would like to look at the original concentration camp documents,” said Galindo, who is discussing the topic in a small team of four academics.

more

[12-02-2011]  

Professor Umberto Gentiloni and Stefano Palermo from the University of Rome recently spent several days doing research at the ITS (International Tracing Service) archive for an exhibition they are planning next year in the Italian capital on the deportation of Jewish children from Rome between October 1943 and June 1944. “We want to tell the children´s stories, and we have found many interesting documents here,” said Gentiloni.

more

[11-29-2011]  

60 scholars from eight countries met in late November at a 2-day conference at the ITS (International Tracing Service) in Bad Arolsen to discuss the results of their research on the Holocaust death marches. The conference “On the traces of the Death Marches – Crimes, Investigation and Remembrance” focused on documents in the ITS archive on the reconstruction of the death marches and the identification of the dead which were compiled between 1946 and 195. Researchers have been systematically examining these documents since 2010. “The ITS project is important in increasing our understanding of this phase of the genocide,” said Daniel Blatman, professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the book “The Death Marches: The Final Phase of Nazi Genocide”.

more

[11-21-2011]  

On 19 November 2011, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen was able to return twelve personal effects from the concentration Neuengamme to relatives of former prisoners. This took place at the National Monument Camp Amersfoort. “It was a particularly memorable experience for everyone involved to be able to return personal effects to relatives after such a long period of time,” said ITS staff member Ulrike Witte, who travelled to Amersfoort with three colleagues.

more

[11-18-2011]  

On 17 and 18 November 2011, the 14th conference of the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship and the Association against Oblivion – For Democracy in conjunction with the International Tracing Service (ITS) was held in Bad Arolsen. 40 participants – among them senior staff from memorial centres, educators and teachers from institutes for political education and representatives from associations working on projects with contemporary witnesses – attended this year’s meeting. Oral history – as perceived in the stories of contemporary witnesses – was in the fore of the conference.

more

[11-10-2011]  

Brigitte Kolberg was born at Lebensborn home “Pommern” in Bad Polzin. She did not learn her father’s name until she had turned sixteen. “I have constantly been searching for my roots and seeking to obtain information on the ‘Lebensborn e.V.’ ever since”, says the 71-year-old. In mid-November she paid a four-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) looking into records on the homes in Bad Polzin and Szczecin (Stettin).

more

[11-03-2011]  

Which meaning the search for family members can still have more than six decades after the end of the Second World War was described by Renate Bauer and Victor Sokolovs at the event „Arrived - tracing and the clarification of fates today“ on the 2nd of November, 2011 in the Rauch Museum Bad Arolsen. „I can hardly describe with words what it meant to me to find my father's identity“, said Bauer in front of the 120 guests. „I am very happy about it and full of gratitude for the work of the International Tracing Service.“

more

[10-31-2011]  

In late October, ten educators who had attended a seminar at Yad Vashem´s International School for Holocaust Studies now came to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. During three days they conducted detailed research and planned lessons using documents held in the ITS archives. The educators focused chiefly on the Holocaust, but they also discussed documentation on forced labour. “The sheer volume of records and the huge number of human fates is both overwhelming and upsetting,” said Cornelia Opitz, a religion teacher from Schechen. “I find myself doing research constantly.”

more

[10-25-2011]  

Christian Hentschke has searched the archival material of the International Tracing Service (ITS) for any information on the lives and persecutions of Sinti and Roma from Nordhausen and its surroundings. “As I have few details on the victims only, my search is arduous”, so the researcher. “By doing research on them, though, I want to contribute to their not being forgotten.”

more

[10-21-2011]  

Marc Bartuschka, representative of the committee for culture at the Jena town council and the rural district authorities of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, paid a one-week visit to Bad Arolsen researching the archival holdings of the International Tracing Service (ITS). The historian looked through the documents to prepare a memory concept for the Jena town authorities and revise the permanent exhibition at the memorial of “Laura”, a former concentration camp commando. “The ITS is a site central to and valuable for my research“, so Bartuschka.

more

[10-13-2011]  

“Whatever is not put down on paper is lost”, thinks Laurent Guillet. That is why the Frenchman has narrated the story of his granduncle, who went missing in 1945, in the book “Il s’appelait Joseph” (His name was Joseph). Guillet came to hand the book to the employees of the French Liaison Mission at the International Tracing Service (ITS) yesterday and to thank them for the assistance they gave him with his research. “They do a wonderful job and have contributed considerably to the search for documents and information in the last two years”, says the 41-year-old.

more

[10-12-2011]  

During a recent two-day meeting in Bad Arolsen, participants discussed such topics as methods of indexing, the use of archive terminology according to international standards and access for ITS (International Tracing Service) archive users. Fourteen participants from seven countries attended, including archivists from Yad Vashem, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the French and Belgian national archives, institutions which work with complete copies of documents from the ITS archive. In addition, representatives from the Vienna Library, the Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD), the Federal Archive, the International Council on Archives (ICA) and archivists from the University of Amsterdam also took part.

more

[10-05-2011]  

The Waldeckian Association of History presented the book “International Tracing Service Arolsen” by teh author Bernd Joachim Zimmer to the public yesterday. It is the first publication on the history of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen that gives comprehensive coverage of the institution’s early years up to 1955. “The ITS had helped millions of people, and as yet a detailed description of its history was lacking”, observed Zimmer. “I have limited my account to the organisation’s first years, though, as otherwise it would have grown too voluminous.” 

more

[10-05-2011]  

Andrea Genest came to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen this week to investigate the immediate post-war history of the former prisoner of war camp in Sandbostel. “This phase in the camp’s history has been hardly explored yet”, said the scholarly assistant of the Memorial. “In the ITS holdings I have discovered information relevant and useful for our new permanent exhibition.”

more

[09-27-2011]  

Late in September 2011, Frank Baranowski came to see the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) preparing his book titled “Rüstungsproduktion in Deutschlands Mitte von 1923 bis 1945” (Armaments’ Production in Germany’s centre from 1923 to 1945). “With this book, I intend to create transparency on structural changes and their reasons in armaments’ industry and have a close look at the exploitation of forced labourers, prisoners-of-war and concentration camp inmates“, states the history enthusiast. He concentrates the research he pursues in Bad Arolsen on records about various outlying commandos and prisons in the regions of North Thuringia and South Lower Saxony.

more

Shot after Liberation

Find from the Archives

[09-26-2011]  

A document in the ITS archives states that Josef Küstrin, a Yugoslavian forced labourer in agriculture, was shot dead “on 15 April 1945, probably by a SS man in the woods” near Twiste (eight km/5 miles from Arolsen) – that is several days after the US Army had freed the region. His mortal remains were not discovered until months later.

more

[09-15-2011]  

In the company of his family, Michael Dimor spent a week in Germany seeing the home places of his Jewish Family. The Israeli felt the need to also have a stop at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. On site, he looked at records from Concentration Camp Buchenwald, cards from Transit Camp Westerbork, registration lists from the rural districts of Kassel and Waldeck-Frankenberg and at his grandfather’s death certificate. “Reading the original documents is so incredible an experience”, so Dimor.

more

[09-15-2011]  

For two weeks, Ruth Balint has been studying documents from the record group on Displaced Persons (DPs) at the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. In so doing, she focused on the post-war migration movement to Australia. “The records from the immediate post-war period are a thrilling read and of enormous importance”, says the historian and senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

more

[09-06-2011]  

Ministry official Dr Martin Ney and Harald Gehrig from the German Foreign Office came to see and get a personal impression of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen yesterday. While Ney takes part in the negotiations for the future of the tracing service, Gehrig is the Representative of the Federal Republic in the International Commission. The body that consists of eleven member states lays down the guidelines about the activities of the ITS. “It makes a great difference whether you form an opinion at your desk in Berlin or directly on site”, said Ney. “I am impressed by the demanding and yet so professional job the staff does.”

more

[09-05-2011]  

Jean Klerykowski, whose father was imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp during the Second World War, visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in early September 2011 to present his second book “Après les camps… Le calvaire continue” (After the camps… Calvary continues) and to thank the ITS-based French Liaison Mission for the help it had given him in the past four years. “I never could have imagined the vast amount of documents held by the ITS,” says the 72-year-old after a guided tour of the archive. “I’ve had time to do research since my retirement. And my motivation to learn my true history has continued to grow ever more.”

more

[08-26-2011]  

Israeli Emmie Arbel and her sisters-in-law Alice Hoffmann and Nel van Het Kaar visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen yesterday to see documents concerning the fate of their family. Emmie was seven years old when she was liberated from the Ravensbrück concentration camp. “It is not easy for me to look at original documents, but I´m not doing it for the first time. My brothers and I have often talked about that time in our lives,” she said. 

more

[08-24-2011]  

Ullrich Messmer, representative of the Social Democratic Party in the German Bundestag, came to inform himself on the work done by the International Tracing Service (ITS) on 23 August 2011. He visited the archives’ premises and listened to explanations given on the digitisation of the collections, the treatment of requests and the setup of the research department. He also had talks with ITS-Director Jean-Luc Blondel. “The history of Nazi persecution must not fall into oblivion”, said Messmer. “I am sure that the generation of the grandchildren will stay interested.”

more

[08-23-2011]  

Professor Baruch Nevo of the University of Haifa and Israeli writer Savyon Liebrecht visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen yesterday in order to see the archive and research facilities and learn about plans for educational work. “Important work is being done here with a lot of heart and emotion – an overwhelming experience,” said Liebrecht.

more

[08-19-2011]  

The Chairman of the International Commission and Director of the Archives in the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Frédéric Baleine du Laurens, spent a two-day visit at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-August. The Commission works out the guidelines governing the ITS mandate and is currently negotiating the institution’s future with its eleven member states. “If one considers that the negotiations are in the final stage now”, said du Laurens, “France has assumed responsibility for chairing the Commission at a remarkable moment in the history of the institution.”

more

[08-17-2011]  

In a joint event held before 90 guests yesterday, the “Waldeckische Landeszeitung/Frankenberger Zeitung (WLZ-FZ)” and the International Tracing Service (ITS) presented the new WLZ-FZ documentation “Clarifying Fates – Keeping Memory Alive”. 20 articles narrate individuals’ fates and portray both, the mandates and the history of the ITS. “We take pride in this exciting documentary. It exemplifies that we, as a local paper are capable of profoundly treating topics despite the hectic pace of everyday news life”, stated Joerg Kleine, chief editor of the WLZ-FZ.

more

[08-11-2011]  

Yesterday, Björn Sänger, Member of the Deutsche Bundestag (German Parliament), came to familiarize himself with the variety of tasks accomplished by the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “It was important to come to know the institution and the range of its valuable activities”, said Sänger. “Re-assessing the past and providing with information the victims and their relatives will continue to play an essential part in future remembrance work.”

more

[08-04-2011]  

This week Marissa Perry, undergraduate student at Michigan State University, has investigated the subject of the Commando Leipzig-Schönefeld, a subsidiary camp of Concentration Camp Buchenwald, in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). “The personal files allow me to reconstruct the individual fates suffered by the women that worked here“, Perry comments, “while documents such as transport lists and correspondence are helping me to get a picture of the camp overall. When I return to the States, I will also listen to prisoner testimonies. By combining these two sources, I will be able to construct a social history of the camp.”

more

[07-25-2011]  

In preparation of his final school paper casting light on the historical background of the move project of the Genshagen Daimler motor works called “Goldfish, Obrigheim”, Robin Lee has spent three days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen and looked through its archives. “Primarily focussing on the facts, on the project story in itself, I have to try ‘blending out’ the many personal fates of the people affected by it“, so 17-year-old Lee.

more

[07-18-2011]  

“I knew in 1943 that I was alone in the world.” Steve Israeler was 14 when the US Army liberated him on the death march from Flossenbürg concentration camp to Dachau. His entire family was murdered in the Holocaust. After the liberation he and other children were taken to the monastery in Indersdorf, where a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) DP Children’s Center had been established. In mid-July, he and seven of the others visited Indersdorf for the first time in 66 years. The survivors received copies of documents including lists and personal files from the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen – fragments of their former lives under Nazi persecution and subsequent UNRRA care.

more

[07-14-2011]  

Early in July Brigitte Entner from the Slovenian Scientific Institute in Klagenfurt came to pursue research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. She dedicated her visit to the persecution of Slovenians in the Carinthian region under the Nazis’ reign. “Initially I had estimated casualties to amount to about 300”, relates Entner. “Meanwhile I have come to uncover and confirm the death of more than 500 men, women and children who fell victim to National Socialist terror.”

more

[07-12-2011]  

“I had a good time in Arolsen,” remembers Ksenia Bettany, an Australian who lived in Bad Arolsen and Rennertehausen in the Waldeck Frankenberg district as a Displaced Person (DP) with her parents and siblings immediately following the Second World War. Ksenia and her son Romill made the 4-day trip to retrace her childhood, the highlight being yesterday´s visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen.

more

[06-21-2011]  

Manfred Kluge has paid a two-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen pursuing research on behalf of the “Mendel-Grundmann-Gesellschaft e.V.” based in Vlotho. Three years ago the “Commemoration book on the Vlotho victims of the Nazi Persecution of the Jews” brought him already to the ITS. This time he wants to shed more light on two individual fates, those of Jutta Silberberg and Margarethe Bräutigam. “I come across detail upon detail that are new to me”, rejoices the researcher.

more

[06-16-2011]  

A group of 36 archival science students at the Marburg School of Archives came to see and gain an overview of the work done and archives kept at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen yesterday. The interest of the archivists to-be focused on the organisation of the archives, the origin of the documents and the digitisation and use made of the archival units. “The visit to the ITS is of particular importance for our students”, said Dr Karsten Uhde, organiser of the study trip, “because the ITS is not an archive in the classical sense, but an archive that has ‘grown up’ in line with its tasks, i.e. is structured ‘organically’.”

more

"Accepting the other in our midst“

On the death of Mieczyslaw Pemper

[06-10-2011]  

Whoever has seen the movie “Schindler’s List” directed by the US American Steven Spielberg will remember the scene in which Itzhak Stern – portrayed by Ben Kingsley – has just finished typing the list with the names of the Jews to be saved from Krakow: he takes the last sheet of paper out of the typewriter, his hands are trembling. He holds up the paper bundle and says to Schindler – portrayed by Liam Neeson: “Have a look at this list. It means life. All around it is death.”

more

[06-09-2011]  

For four days, Siegfried Berneis has searched in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for the names of forced and civilian labourers who had been employed in the joint community of Schladen located in the rural district of Wolfenbüttel during the Second World War. His tracing endeavour was supported and accompanied by Peter Asmussen who has paid visit to the archives for the third time already. “My intention is to historically appraise the era of National Socialism from my home town’s perspective“, so Berneis. “Many pieces of information from this period have not been dug up; if they are brought to daylight, all the various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle just need to be joined together.”

more

Commemorative stone from Wetterfeld

Finds from the Archives

[06-08-2011]  

The US Military Government initiated plans for a cemetery to hold the almost 600 casualties of the death march of Flossenburg Concentration Camp in the community of Wetterfeld (today Roding/Upper Palatinate) in 1945. The archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) still keep the drawings made for three commemorative stones with the symbols of the Latin and Russian-Orthodox crosses and the Star of David on them.

more

[06-01-2011]  

Between 29th and 31st May 2011, Dr Wendy Lower from Munich University took an overview of the documents kept at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. She also wanted to sound out opportunities of cooperation in initial talks. “The ITS archives opened only late in 2007. It is the most important center for new research on the Holocaust and its aftermaths in Europe, in particular casting light on the history of forced labour and on the endeavours taken in the post-war era to care for the persecuted and search for any of their next-of-kin”, said Lower.

more

[05-20-2011]  

“I feel relieved. I can find peace of mind after all”, 69-year-old George Jaunzemis sums up his feelings. He never knew who his mother was, which his real name was or where he was born – questions the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen has solved now. A four-year-old boy, George had been separated from his natural mother in the turmoils of the post-war time. In mid-May 2011, he met his relatives for the first time and came to see his birth place Magdeburg in Germany.

more

[05-18-2011]  

It was a transport list showing the names of 200 children and teenagers that brought Holger Obbarius and Torsten Jugl from the Concentration Camp Buchenwald memorial to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. They spent two days of intense research at the ITS archives seeking to shed light on the lives and fates of Sinti and Roma children. “Our work is meant to deepen the project ‘Memory Train Route Buchenwald’“, reports educationist Obbarius. “The ITS holds in its archives plenty of information our work can profit by.”

more

[05-11-2011]  

In mid-May, Frank Wiedemann came to persue research in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for his dissertation. For three years the historian has been investigating the subject of “Psychologists in concentration camps – Methods and Strategies of Survival”. “As I can find documents here on all concentration camps, the ITS plays a pivotal role in my research work”, said the 29-year-old.

more

[05-05-2011]  

“After looking for any trace of my father so long, I have come to know in the end that he did not abandon me”, said Antoine Jules Bukovinszky. The French came to the International Tracing Service (ITS) and its French Liaison Mission office in Bad Arolsen yesterday. “I wanted to express my thanks to everyone who helped me with my inquiry.”

more

[04-21-2011]  

His research on labour camp “Schlosshof” brought Bielefed historian Martin Decker to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. Originally forged plans to tear down the “Schlosshof” were prevented from materialization by an action alliance. The town authorities intend to explore the occurrences at the camp now and find a deserving way of remembering instead. Decker, a longstanding amateur investigator into the subject of Nazi persecution, makes regular use of the ITS archives meanwhile. “Here you have the most complete collection of individual fates. That makes the archives so valuable”, says the home region researcher.

more

[04-15-2011]  

Anna Andlauer came to see the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-April 2011 investigating in its archives the subject of “Children in Monastery Indersdorf 1945 – 1948”. She looked through files the child-tracing service had opened on orphaned or missing children immediately after the end of World War II. “I have already managed to find some of these children in Canada, England, Israel and the USA. Now I am going to widen my search to include the East of Europe”, said Andlauer.

more

[04-07-2011]  

On 5 and 6 April, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen had talks with representatives of the memorial centres Neuengamme, Dachau, Amersfoort and Bergen-Belsen on the modus operandi for returning effects still kept in the ITS archives. The ITS needs the memorials’ assistance with its search for any next-of-kin of the effects’ former owners. “To this date we have not been able to assess how voluminous these holdings still are. Therefore, we are glad to have a lucid and accurate list now”, said Klaus Taetzler from the Bergen-Belsen memorial.

more

Visit of UK Envoy

Latest Info

[04-07-2011]  

Sir Andrew Burns, UK envoy for post-Holocaust issues, spent two days in early April learning about the latest developments at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “It was a very interesting and illuminating visit,” said Burns. “I am deeply impressed by the number of activities and the sheer volume of documents.”

more

[04-01-2011]  

Dr. Hermann Simon, director of the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin, visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen on 30 March 2011 to consider ways in which the two institutions could work together. “I was interested in finding out what we could do and how we could use the documents in the ITS archives,” said Simon. He discussed the opportunities for researchers with ITS director Jean-Luc Blondel and Dr. Susanne Urban, head of the research department at the ITS.

more

[03-28-2011]  

With a handful of ideas and proposals for cooperation projects, Professor Ilya Altman, Head of the Russian Holocaust Research and Education Centre in Moscow, came to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen late in March. Accompanied by Natalja Anisina, he first took a guided tour to get an overview of the documents the ITS archives keep on the Holocaust and had talks afterwards. “I am impressed with the possibilities of research and the technical equipment”, said Altman.

more

Jews in Langenselbold

Latest Info

[03-28-2011]  

Members of the Association for local history and geography at Langenselbold paid a one-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “We are going to investigate the fates suffered by the Jewish inhabitants of our town and compile their data. First of all, though, we want to get an impression of the ITS and come to know the research possibilities the institution offers”, so Dr Manfred Keil, President of the Association.

more

[03-23-2011]  

Three representatives of the French Red Cross, Véronique Molinaro, Virginie Alauzet and Robyn Gason, paid a one-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) informing themselves on the digitisation progress, the treatment of tracing cases and the foreseen change in the management of the service. “We had the privilege of being given an idea here on site. We and the ITS work together well, and I am happy to see this cooperation continue”, said Robyn Gason.

more

[03-16-2011]  

The incarceration of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Concentration Camp Bergen-Belsen is the subject that preoccupies the mind of Reiner Hermann from Celle. To investigate the fate this Nazi victims’ type suffered or succumbed to, the amateur historian came to look through the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-March. “The bare names are to be filled with life again, are to be changed back to human beings with a life story”, so Hermann.

more

[03-02-2011]  

“The worst thing was not that my parents and brother were gassed. No, the worst thing was that we were robbed of our dignity.” Ghizela Kardos survived the Holocaust. The 86-year-old recently visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for the first time in order to view the archive´s documents on persecution.

more

[03-02-2011]  

He owes his life to Schindler’s list. “This knowledge has been my constant companion”, states Ronny Bronner. Together with his wife Gila, the Israeli citizen came to see the International Tracing Service (ITS) at Bad Arolsen and look into the documents on his family yesterday. His parents, Jetti and Leopold Bronner, were among the 1200 Jews the German industrialist Oskar Schindler rescued from certain death in Nazi death camps.

more

[02-28-2011]  

In an honorary capacity, Manfred Krey conducts research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for the benefit of Concentration Camp Memorial Schwäbisch Hall-Hessental – and has spent as much as 200 hours’ time investigating so far. “I could complete the prisoners’ list by 170 new names”, rejoices Krey. “All in all, over 800 largely Polish Jews were detained in Hessental. We have come to know of 650 fates now.”

more

[02-25-2011]  

Günter Saathoff and Martin Bock from the “Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft (EVZ)” (foundation on remembrance, responsibility and future) came to see and have talks at the International Tracing Service (ITS) on 25 February 2011. “We want to find out in which fields we have tasks in common and so may start cooperation. It is important to concentrate competence”, explained Saathoff, member of the EVZ board of directors.

more

[02-24-2011]  

Cesar de Schuiteneer, a Belgian, never wanted to talk about his time as a prisoner in National Socialist Germany. “His face always took on a pained expression when we asked,” said his grandson, Freddy de Schuiteneer. The 65-year-old visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen at the end of February to view documents on the fate of his family. “We children and grandchildren feel a deep obligation to find out more,” said de Schuiteneer.

more

[02-22-2011]  

Douglas Davidson, US Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, got acquainted with the activities of the International Tracing Service (ITS) on a one-day visit he paid to Bad Arolsen. “Most interesting and enlightening”, Davidson summed up his impression. “There is no substitute for a personal visit. It’s clear the ITS does uniquely valuable work so many years after war’s end.”

more

[02-19-2011]  

On 18th February 2011, Sally Perel spoke before an audience of about 200 pupils crowding the projection room of Christian Rauch secondary school in Bad Arolsen on how he managed to survive the Holocaust. Over four long years of the National Socialist era, Perel had hidden right in his enemies’ midst feigning the identity of an “Ethnic German”. “I felt these years to be ages”, said the Israeli who wrote down his memories in the autobiographical book “Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon” (I was Hitler-Boy Salomon) decades later.

more

[02-18-2011]  

Erald de Wachter is planning to keep the memory of his father alive through a book to be published this year. Maurice de Wachter was a Belgian resistance fighter arrested by the Nazis and deported to the concentration camp Neuengamme, near Hamburg. Erald and his wife Agnis van Mieghem visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for a day to view documents from Neuengamme on his father´s fate and that of friends from the Resistance.

more

[02-11-2011]  

Lecturer Dr Rolf Wörsdörfer paid a two-day visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen conducting research for the scholarly project “From a ‘Westphalian Slovene’ to a ‘guest worker’. A comparative cultural history of the migration movement of Slovenes to Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries (1880–1973)”. “I perused the files prisons in the Ruhrgebiet kept on inmates and deportation lists, and I compared prisoners’ and deportees’ biographical data”, explains Wörsdörfer.

more

[02-03-2011]  

Christoph Stillemunkes and Guido Steffens from the Hessian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) on February 2, 2011 in order to learn about the work being done there. “It was an informative yet very intensive visit,” said Steffens, who works for the state teacher training college for grammar schools in Offenbach. “We saw that the ITS is a worthwhile extracurricular place of learning.”

more

Interest in Escapee Program

Aktuelle Meldung

[01-28-2011]  

American Christopher Uebelhor spent four days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) perusing documents on the Escapee Program. “I am fascinated by the history of the Cold War, which explains my interest in the program” said Uebelhor, who is currently studying at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “At the ITS I hope to find references to the number of people accepted into the program, who they were and where they were from.”

more

[01-27-2011]  

In an emotional speech in front of 110 listeners, Dagmar Nabert, the daughter of a Russian forced labourer, talked about the search for her roots. The International Tracing Service (ITS) and the history association Historicum20 had invited to the event that took place in Arolsen town church on 26 January 2011. “It was my heartfelt wish to come here”, said Nabert. “My story shows what the ITS may mean to an individual. It is a place of reminder, remembrance and recognition without the aid of which I would not be standing here today.”

more

[01-21-2011]  

In preparation of her dissertation, Tanja von Fransecky has spent four days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen looking through files. The historian who is supported by the Center for Research on Antisemitism in Berlin investigates the subject of “Flights and attempts of Jewish deportees to flee from deportation trains in France, Belgium and the Netherlands”. “From the documents the tracing service keeps I could gather further information on the fates of deportees and on the course of the transports“, said Fransecky.

more

[01-20-2011]  

The situation of female prisoners in the commandos of Concentration Camp Gross-Rosen is the subject of Andrea Rudorff’s doctoral thesis. For four days, the historian has been pursuing research in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). “My visit has been worthwhile”, said Rudorff. “While I had known some documents already from other archives, I have also unearthed others that were new to me.”

more

[01-14-2011]  

In mid-January, the International Tracing Service (ITS) had the opportunity to welcome three representatives of the Foundation for Polish-German reconciliation to Bad Arolsen. The Head of the Foundation’s Board of Directors Dariusz Pawlos and his two colleagues Jakub Deka and Jerzy Wozniak updated their knowledge on the digitization progress and the research possibilities in the database of the tracing service. With ITS Director Jean-Luc Blondel, they had talks on the practicality of a future collaboration. “The database of the tracing service would be the best source of information we can imagine“, said Pawlos. “It would enrich our project tremendously.”

more

[01-12-2011]  

In the autumn of 2010, 10th and 11th grade students at Filchner comprehensive school in Wolfhagen made two visits to the International Tracing Service (ITS) archives in order to do research. Comprised of a group of 16 students, the history workshop “National Socialism´s Terror System – the fates of the victims” presented first results of its research this week. “This work was a defining moment for the students, as they experienced history firsthand,” said teacher and project leader Marcus von der Straten.

more