International Tracing Service
EHRI

[12-27-2012]  

Between 17 and 21 December 2012 the International Tracing Service hosted a workshop convened within the framework of the Work Package for standards and guidelines of the EU project “European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI)”. Chaired by the renowned Dutch archival scientist Peter Horsman, ten participants from Israel, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands pondered over and discussed issues of comparative research on finding aids as products (“artefacts”) of representing archives. In this context, the attendants resumed the thread of the current discussion in archival science interpreting finding aids as a “genre”.

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Peter Indersdorf

[12-20-2012]  

The historian and educator Anna Andlauer, with the book "The Rage to Live - The International D.P. Children's Center Kloster Indersdorf, 1945-46," presents the story of young Holocaust survivors, who were sheltered in the former Indersdorf monastery in Bavaria at the end of World War II. Research into the fate of those children continues, and among others, Andlauer searches Alexander Pecha.

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Birukova Zhandarova

[12-17-2012]  

Olga Marina and Zhandarova Birukova of the Ministry of Justice of Belarus spent three days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen at the beginning of December 2012. "We wanted to know how these archives work and what documents are available," said Birukova.

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Filchner Schule

[12-13-2012]  

"With the original documents in the ITS archives I can now better understand the fate of the Jews from Wolfhagen," said 16-year-old Dennis Hojn during his research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. Together with five other students of the Wilhelm Filchner school, he is participating in a history workshop of Jewish life in Wolfhagen before and during the period of National Socialism.  

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Leipziger Forscher

[12-04-2012]  

Five researchers from the Association for the Memorial for Forced Labor in Leipzig searched through the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) for interesting documents for their work, in late November 2011. "We want to update the permanent exhibition at the site of the former arms factory HASAG and fill the gaps in our files," says Deputy Chairwoman Josephine Ulbricht.

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IKRKAbschied

[11-30-2012]  

On 29 November 2012, at a reception for the departure of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from the management of the International Tracing Service (ITS), ICRC President Peter Maurer thanked the German government for their support and collaboration. The mandate, which began with the signing of the Bonn Agreements in June 1955, was "always of great relevance" for the ICRC, Maurer said. "Now, the ITS becomes more independent." At the event, where about 400 people gathered in the Welcome Hotel at Bad Arolsen, Maurer welcomed Holocaust survivor Professor Thomas Buergenthal, guest of honor and keynote speaker.

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Lehrerfortbildung Klapperfeld

[11-26-2012]  

The educational centre of the Fritz-Bauer Institute in Frankfurt/Main, the initiative “Faites votre jeu!” and the International Tracing Service (ITS) jointly offered teachers and educators an advanced training course on the subject “Deportations – Social Players and their Options for Action” on 22 November 2012. The one-day conference took place at the former police prison Klapperfeld.

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Il falsario Italiano di Schindler

[11-23-2012]  

For several months, the Italian journalist Marco Ansaldo had been searching the documents in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) for stories worth to be told. Those were first published as a series in the newspaper “Repubblica” and now in the book “Il falsario italiano di Schindler – I segreti dell’ultimo archivio nazista” (Schindler’s Italian Counterfeiter – The Secrets of the Last Nazi Archive).

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Welfenkaserne

[11-21-2012]  

Two members of the air force, Lieutenant Colonel Gerhard Roletscheck and Staff Sergeant Helmut Müller, have spent three days at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen viewing transport lists and death books as well as further documents of Kaufering, a subsidiary of the former Dachau concentration camp. Their ‘Welfen barracks’ are located on the former site of the sub camp in Landsberg on Lech. “‘Weingut II’ (wine-growing estate) was erected here in 1944 – ‘Weingut’ being the cover name for three partly subterranean aircraft production plants”, reports Müller. “Prisoners from concentration camps were exploited to build that factory. At the ITS we can fill the gaps in the documentation we keep on this construction project.”

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Kasachstan

[11-19-2012]  

Early in November, Mr Djordje Drndarski, vice director of the International Tracing Service (ITS), held talks in Kazakhstan with representatives of governmental institutions and archives. Aimed at raising the awareness of the ITS services and archival holdings, Mr Drndarski’s trip had been prepared and actively supported by the Kazakh Red Crescent. “We have had good and fruitful talks”, resumed Drndarski his visit. “The interest in the ITS is lively, as our partners in Kazakhstan still receive many requests concerning fates that have remained unsolved in consequence of World War II.“

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am paed YV

[11-13-2012]  

Between 8 and 10 November 2012 educators who had passed an advanced training course at the Israeli Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem convened a graduate seminar at the International Tracing Service (ITS). It was the second joint seminar and the cooperation with Yad Vashem shall continue in 2013. Eight educators from various regions of Germany and a student who is also studying the issues of memory and mediation discussed, investigated and tested multi-perspective educational science methods of approaching the subject.

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am crs neu

[11-05-2012]  

19 senior pupils of “Christian-Rauch” secondary school in Bad Arolsen have spent a project week at the International Tracing Service (ITS) dedicating their learning time and energy to the subject of “Children’s Lives during and under National Socialism. Between ‘Lebensborn’, Germanization, Deportation or Annihilation“. “On the whole our expectations have been surpassed”, history teacher Annette Marterer gives a résumé. “Our pupils have gained from the project week, on both, the content and the social-emotional levels.”

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am black neu

[11-02-2012]  

Survivor Eugene Black and his daughter Lilian to seek out his records, a close collaboration has developed between the Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association (HSFA). As a result of a visit carried out some years ago by Holocaust in Leeds and the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany. “Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Funds in the UK a project could be established to enable the HSFA’s survivor members who settled in Yorkshire, England, to record their stories and make them available to schools, colleges, universities and community groups”, Lilian Black, Chair of the HSFA explained.

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am welter neu

[10-29-2012]  

Dr. Beate Welter, director of the Memorial SS-Sonderlager/KZ Hinzert, came to Bad Arolsen in late October 2012 to discuss a project about the so-called "Eindeutschungs-Polen" (Germanization of Polish labourers) that the memorial is carrying out in cooperation with the International Tracing Service (ITS). "More than 900 names, with the letter 'E' for Eindeutschungshäftling (prisoner capable of Germanization) in their records, have been researched in the past year in the ITS database," says Welter. "The documents and correspondence in the ITS archives help immensely to learn about this forgotten group of victims that were in Hinzert, and to study the policies that were in place there."

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am oppenheimer neu

[10-22-2012]  

American Richard Oppenheimer has been trying to reconstruct the story of his family during the Nazi time period for the past few years. Now his research has led him to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. "I was now in Germany three times and I have hunted through every archive," says Oppenheimer. "I have also been to cemeteries and registry offices to research birth and death dates. Also, I’ve met an old friend of my mother. Now I still want to see the memorial places."

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am geiler neu

[10-19-2012]  

In a touching manner, Inge Geiler read to some 50 listeners at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen from her book "A shadow of our days - The history of the Family Grünbaum." During renovation work in her home, the author had found a bundle of papers in a wall panel behind the radiator of her living room. These papers had been hidden by the Jewish couple Meier and Elise Grünbaum. At the beginning of the forties of the last century, the couple had lived in this room until their deportation to the Theresienstadt ghetto.

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Gedenken Deportationen aus Rom

[10-18-2012]  

The recent book published by University of Rome professors Umberto Gentiloni und Stefano Palermo, “16 October 1943. Li hanno portati via”, details the deportation of Jewish children from Rome and was introduced at a memorial service commemorating the 69th anniversary of the beginning of the deportations of Rome´s Jews.

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am thueringen

[10-16-2012]  

24 archivists from Thuringia’s Main State Archives took advantage of a one-day excursion to Bad Arolsen to obtain information on the documentation kept at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). They were interested in the records’ preservation, digitisation and description as well as in their use for research and education. “Considering that many of our tasks overlap with the tasks of the ITS, our staff came up with the wish to visit the institution”, explained Bettina Fischer, archivist and responsible for advanced training at the State Archives. 

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am moriarty

[10-10-2012]  

Marilyn Moriarty, Professor of Literature at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, would like to write a book about her mother's life. For this purpose she now took a sabbatical leave. My mother died when I was 14 years old, says the American. We knew that during the Second World War she was in camps, but we never had any exact information. Her research led Moriarty to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen.

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am klapperfeld

[10-04-2012]  

Mirja Keller of the University of Frankfurt/Main brought two themes to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for research: Jewish self-help and the fate of the prisoners from the former police prison Klapperfeld in Frankfurt/Main, during the Nazi era. “Thanks to the digitization, the archives of the ITS can be searched easily. This provides a tremendous time saver,” praised Keller.

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am helling

[09-26-2012]  

After 69 years, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen could now return to the Helling family from Norway a pocket watch and a marriage ring. The two objects had been the personal property of Torstein Helling. They were taken away from him when he was deported to the Natzweiler Concentration Camp. Torstein Helling’s son, Karre Dag Helling, came to see the ITS in Bad Arolsen with the team of a Norwegian television crew on 26 September 2012. “I could not believe it first”, he says. “Tears came to my eyes. My feelings are simply indescribable.”

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The Notebook of Albert Wernick

Find from the Archives

“Already the name of Hitler is on everybody‘s lips and although the large majority of people don‘t respect him yet, the day is near when the words of my friend Horst Wessel will come true: ‘Soon Hitler‘s banners will fly above the streets, our servitude won‘t last much longer.‘“ The lines are taken from Albert Wernick‘s notebook that he wrote between 1929 and 1938; after the Dachau trials it ended up in the archives of the ITS.

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[09-14-2012]  

"It is indescribable, impossible to put into words," says Herman Hamstra at the sight of the wallet and the cufflink. The two items are among the few remaining belongings that his father had with him on his imprisonment in the Neuengamme concentration camp. After more than 67 years, Herman and his brother Evert held these in their hands for the first time. Thanks to the research of the foundation "October 44", the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, on 13 September 2012, could return personal effects to the members of five families from Putten in the Netherlands. Another two families will receive the effects by post.

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[09-09-2012]  

About 140 guests attended a memory event held at the Volkmarsen “Nordhessen” hall on 9 September 2012 to mark the 70th anniversary of the third deportation of Jews from the Kassel district. “There are no words to express the suffering the people went through, but we can pay our respect to the victims“, stated Ernst Klein from the association “Flashback – Against Oblivion” which had organised and hosted the event in cooperation with numerous partners from the region.

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[09-10-2012]  

On 8 September 2012, staff of the International Tracing Service (ITS) could return the personal belongings of former prisoners from the concentration camp Neuengamme to eleven Dutch families at the Amersfoort Memorial. “It’s a pity I do not remember my father”, said Wilhelmina van Beek-Dijkhuizen who received letters and papers. “Only through my mother’s narratives I have learned something about him. I was just ten months of age when he was captured.”

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[09-06-2012]  

Early in September 2012, six pupils of the Münster Annette-von-Droste-Hülshoff College came to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen to investigate the subject “Individuals and Individual Rights in the Lublin Area”. They cast light on diverse aspects of the Germanization and Aryanization, the compulsory adoption of Polish children, the Lublin Ghetto and the Majdanek Camp, Children in and Survivors of the Holocaust. “The ITS archives play a pivotal part in our project”, says teacher Dr Wolfhart Beck. “By immersing themselves in the scanned original documents in the database and the relevant books and magazines from the ITS library, the youngsters learn how to work academically.”

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Rescued from Lake Toplitz

Find from the Archives

[08-29-2012]  

Holocaust survivor Felix Cytrin was one of the prisoners who were employed by the Nazis in the largest counterfeiting operation during the Second World War: Operation Bernhard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Jewish prisoners were forced to forge foreign currency in the billions. The operation was designed to weaken the economies of the Allies.

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[08-23-2012]  

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen is planning a travelling exhibition entitled “Life in transit - trauma and new beginnings. Survivors of Nazi persecution.” Items from displaced persons´ lives are being sought, such as photographs, report cards, voting papers, newspapers, posters, certificates or items from everyday life. The project is sponsored by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). The exhibition is scheduled to open in Bad Arolsen in 2014 and will travel to other locations in Germany.

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[08-20-2012]  

Picking up the trail of his granduncle Joseph who had disappeared without a trace in 1945, Laurent Guillet and his companions, a forty-person team, had a short stop also at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. The institution’s French Liaison Mission had contributed to the book he titled “Il s’appelait Joseph” (His name was Joseph) and brought out last year. “It is not simply a journey we make here, Arolsen rather is one of several ‘rendezvous stops on a literary path’”, so Guillet. “The author and his reader meet in locales the former describes in a book. Thus written words get translated into images.”

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[08-09-2012]  

“As long as I find people I will continue to do this,” says Kitty Brom from Hummelo, the Netherlands. The hobby genealogist helps locate relatives of former concentration camp inmates so that the International Tracing Service (ITS) can return their personal effects. The ITS archive still contains nearly 2,900 personal items: wallets including photos and letters, jewelry and watches whose owners are known by name. Brom visited Bad Arolsen to learn about different research options.

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[08-08-2012]  

Vladimir Kukin, director of the Office of Maintenance of War Graves and Commemoration Work in the embassy of the Russian Federation in Berlin, spent two days at the International Tracing Service (ITS / International Tracing Service) in Bad Arolsen to get an overview of the archival records, the request handling, and the research and education tasks. After a tour of the archives, he held talks with Deputy Director Djordje Drndarski and representatives of the ITS. “In the past, the cooperation in clarifying the fates of victims was successful," says Kukin. "We want to continue the cooperation with the ITS."

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[08-06-2012]  

Pava Raibstein, Director of the Youth Aliyah Committee in Frankfurt, recently visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen to explore the possibility of a collaboration. Her visit was twofold: she was also interested in discovering details about her father´s fate. “I know the basics about my father´s life, but the detailed documents in the ITS archive are very interesting to me,” she said.

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[07-31-2012]  

Nahannee-Fé Gillet from Canada went on a journey exploring her roots in summer 2012. Her grandfather Gerrit Schuitemaker, Dutch by birth, had been persecuted by the Nazis for his alleged “refusal to work” and died in Concentration Camp Neuengamme. Late in July 2012, she met Dr Susanne Urban, Head of the Research and Education Department at the International Tracing Service (ITS), and Dr Reimer Möller, Archivist at the Neuengamme Memorial, who provided her with more information on her grandfather’s fate. “I am willing to find all parts now to piece together the jigsaw puzzle of his life, because he is part of my family and my heritage.”

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[07-30-2012]  

For several days, Claudia Stefanetti Kozrowicz of the University of Buenos Aires researched in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) the subject of Polish Displaced Persons (DPs) who immigrated to Argentina after the Second World War. "We are aware of the two groups -- of the former Nazis and of the Jewish refugees. Other immigrants from that period hardly play a role in our historical consciousness," said Kozrowicz.

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[07-24-2012]  

The search for Horst Meyer´s half-sister led him from Mücke (near Gießen) to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “On her deathbed, my mother told me of her existence. I would like to find her,” said Meyer. The 65-year old first learned his half-sister´s name and birth date at the ITS, where he also managed to locate a photograph of the barely two-year old girl in a children´s file. “She was so beautiful,” he said.

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IRO brochure

Find from the Archives

[07-18-2012]  

In 24 pages, The Facts About Refugees describes the situation of displaced persons three years after liberation. The booklet deals with issues like supply problems as well as administering and funding of DP camps; graphics and photos supplement the texts.

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[07-16-2012]  

The US-American researcher Alicia Wolf has researched at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for her master’s degree at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. The subject of her thesis is the physical impact that the incarceration in concentration camps had on survivors. “The psychological and not so much the physical repercussions are often focussed on”, explains Wolf. “But these have also been diverse and quite often long-lasting.”

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[07-12-2012]  

Ingrid Schupetta, Head of the Nazi Documentation Center in Krefeld, has passed four days of intensive research at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for a renewal of the 20-year-old exhibition of the center. “I have been looking at the documents in the ITS database from various angles”, said the political scientist. “I have discovered interesting records.”

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[07-10-2012]  

Shortly before her death, his mother Ruth Ibbitson pressed a shoebox into his hand. "You will decide what to do with it," she told her son Ron. The now 60-year-old British man learned this way that his mother was part of a Kindertransport and thus was saved from being murdered by the Nazis. "At that time we knew virtually nothing about the background of our mother," says Ibbitson. Together with his brother Mark, Ron embarked on the search for clues that also led him to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen.

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[07-04-2012]  

Early in July 2012 Victor Voronin from the State Archives Service of the Ukraine and Yaroslav Zhilkin from the Ukrainian State Commission on perpetuating memory of victims of war and political repression visited the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. The two top officials came to inform themselves of the tasks of the institution and to get an overview of the archival collections preserved here. The visit is part of an initiative the ITS launched in 2010 to raise awareness and to offer its services in the Eastern European countries.

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[06-29-2012]  

At the end of June 2012, during a visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Rabbi Leo Yechiel Brukner researched documents on the fate of his family during the Nazi persecution. "For me, today's meeting is another piece in my relentless, almost obsessive search for my roots and for an understanding of what my father went through," said Rabbi Brukner.

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[06-25-2012]  

BettyAnn Prewitt was born in Wiesbaden on 23 September, 1948, as Josefa Yakovleva. She was the daughter of a former Ukrainian forced laborer who was living as a Displaced Person in Germany at that time and had to give her child up for adoption. The little girl was taken care of by an American couple, Winford and Eddie Kincaid. Under the name BettyAnn, she immigrated with her new family to the United States. Now she has come to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, to investigate the children’s records of that time.

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[06-21-2012]  

"Since my son is extremely gifted, as his teacher confirmed, I beg you to let me have the piano that the evacuated Jews left." With this request, an Offenbach citizen approached his tax office in 1942. At that time, the tax office was already involved with the "recovery" of property of the deportees that according to the 1941 Regulation 11 of the “Reich’s” Citizen Law became state property. Everywhere there were publicly announced auctions of Jewish property. Table linens, furniture, toys, dishes, and food changed hands. Many wrote to the tax authorities in order to secure the coveted piano or to get a nicer apartment.

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[06-18-2012]  

The cooperation agreed between the International Tracing Service (ITS) and Gießen University brought another group of students of the University’s History Faculty to Bad Arolsen on 15 June 2012 where they pursued research in the ITS archives. Their group included four students taking part in a project of the European history workshop titled “Displaced Persons in Middle Hesse 1945-1960 – Working with one another, alongside one another, or against one another?”. “We are exploring the culture that evolved in the DP Camps”, explains student Andriy Kazymyriv. “One essential pillar of our project is the documentation that the ITS archives keep on the survivors of persecution and forced labour.”

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[06-15-2012]  

Final class pupils of Kassel Herder School enrolled for a bilingual basic course in history undertook a one-day excursion to the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen on 14 June 2012. After listening to an introductory lecture on the history of the ITS and viewing a clip from a 1946 movie, the 18 pupils searched the database of the ITS for information on the persecution routes of adolescent Holocaust survivors. “It was an instructive day that was more than worthwhile - carefully and individually prepared by the ITS”, was the conclusion of teacher Axel Wunderlich.

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[06-14-2012]  

Dr Roman Herzog, political scientist and documentalist, has spent two days at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) looking through records on camps in Italy. He got an overview of the holdings available on Italy and Italian persecutees. Among other files, the archives include ITS correspondence with the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the Red Cross on camps and the persons interned there as well as individual documents from the camps. “We are a team of researchers that intends generating a list of all Fascist camps in Italy. Following my visit to Arolsen I am in a position to complete the list by at least 20 new names“, says Herzog.

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[06-13-2012]  

Nicole Mueller has come to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen to do research for her exam paper entitled "Codename Katzbach - forced labor and extermination in the concentration camp of the Adler factories, Frankfurt am Main, 1944/1945". "After I have been to the archives in Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, and Koblenz, a visit to the ITS was inevitable," says the student.

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[06-11-2012]  

They had last seen each other in 1938. Elfriede and Guenter were once neighbors and childhood friends in Mannheim. But the Nazi’s racism and anti-Semitism tore the two apart. Now, the 89-year-olds, have seen each other for the first time since then thanks to the International Tracing Service (ITS) and the American Red Cross. "I never thought this event would occur," says Elfriede Haas. "I took some valerian before this meeting so I would not cry."

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[06-05-2012]  

Holocaust survivor Jules Schelvis spoke about his ordeal during events held in Vöhl commemorating the deportation of over 500 Jews from the Kassel area to Sobibor and Majdanek. The 91-year old survived several concentration camps including the extermination camps Sobibor and Auschwitz. He had to endure his beloved wife´s murder in the gas chambers of Sobibor. “For some time I have been prepared to forgive, but I can never forget,” says Schelvis.

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[06-04-2012]  

In June 1942 more than 500 Jewish residents of the Administrative District of Kassel were deported to Sobibor and Majdanek. The Friends’ Association of the Vöhl Synagogue, local authorities and instiatives and the International Tracing Service (ITS) remembered the victims in Vöhl last weekend.

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[05-29-2012]  

“A bit scary”, says Willy Huybrechts at the sight of the pen, which is an effect from Concentration Camp Neuengamme that the Belgian received back from the International Tracing Service (ITS) on 24th May 2012. “My uncle survived the concentration camp by a few months only, but his pen still exists more than 65 years later. That says a lot about the system behind it.” The pen was the property of his uncle Franciscus Broothaers who died in the subsidiary camp Watenstedt near Salzgitter on 8th March 1945.

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[05-21-2012]  

After more than 40 years, Isabelle de Cocatrix Kechavarz longed to come back to Bad Arolsen – the place where she spent many years of her childhood. Her father, Albert de Cocatrix, had been Deputy Director and subsequently Director of the International Tracing Service (ITS) from 1955 to 1977. “He was a very discreet person, hardly ever talked about his work”, Isabelle de Cocatrix recalls her childhood. “Now I would like to know more about his activities here.” A guided tour of the archives involving a look on handwritten records of her father and a visit to the exhibition on the early history of the ITS to be seen in the former Arolsen barracks were on her agenda.

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[05-16-2012]  

In mid-May 2012, 26 pupils from the Bad Arolsen Kaulbach School came to see the International Tracing Service (ITS). Apart from preparing a presentation on the history and present tasks and objectives of the ITS, the pupils formed groups and occupied themselves with the subject of “conceptions of man”. “A three-hour intensive course at the ITS is apt to substitute three-week lessons on the history of ‘National Socialism’ at school,” said teacher Reinhard Ruf.

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[05-14-2012]  

The fate of his family brought Gerd Löwenstein to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen in mid-May 2012. “My children and grandchildren have asked questions about our family history”, explained Loewenstein. “At the ITS we have managed to find details in the transport lists, statements on the possession of foreign exchange and index cards.”

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[05-11-2012]  

Between 9th and 11th May 2012, Karsten Kühnel, Archivist and Head of the section Archival Description at the International Tracing Service (ITS), attended a conference of the Work Package Standards and Guidelines of the Archives and Research Portal EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure). EHRI partners met at the Finnish National Archives in Helsinki in order to jointly prepare a report on standards which will allow archives and other institutions to effortlessly render searchable their description data in the EHRI Portal.

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The Women of Block 10

Latest Info

[05-04-2012]  

In his book “The Women of Block 10”, author and journalist Hans-Joachim Lang gives the victims of medical experiments at the concentration camp Auschwitz a face, focusing on those who suffered rather than on the doctors by seeing events from their perspective. “The Nazi doctors considered women to be guinea pigs,” writes Lang. “To me they are not anonymous victims but real people with names and histories.”

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[05-03-2012]  

“Truth and Witness mirrored in the variety of the ITS collections” was the title of the talk that René Bienert and Karsten Kühnel from the International Tracing Service (ITS) contributed to the international workshop “Truth and Witness” within the scope of the EU project European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). Taking place at London’s Wiener Library from 30th April to 2nd May, the conference focused on the topic of witness reports provided by survivors of the Holocaust and by perpetrators.

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[04-23-2012]  

Amateur researcher Heiko Kania has examined lists of prisoners from Concentration Camp Neuengamme at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “One list was found and saved during salvage work on the wreck of the ship ‘Thielbek’“, knows Kania. “Another list was drawn up by the coast guard in 1950.” Together with its affiliate ships “Athen” and “Cap Arcona”, the “Thielbek” took on prisoners from Concentration Camp Neuengamme and its subcamps late in April 1945. Not knowing that concentration camp prisoners were aboard, the British air force bombed the ships on 3rd May.

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[04-20-2012]  

Peteris Zorgis of Latvia was given his grandfather Ernest’s wedding ring by the ITS (International Tracing Service) in Bad Arolsen. It was taken from his grandfather when he came to the Neuengamme concentration camp. “Your service did a wonderful job,” said Peteris Zorgis to the ITS. “It is fantastic that after all these years the effects of the prisoners are still available in the archives. My father and I are very happy about this.”

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[04-19-2012]  

Every year on the 27th Nissan (Jewish calendar) Israel commemorates the six million victims of the Shoah. The Jewish communities in other parts of the world also remember the murdered on this day. In Israel this day is a public anniversary and holiday, initiated by ceremonies in Yad Vashem. At ten o'clock in the morning the sirens will sound in the whole country for two minutes.

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Urban in Sydney

Latest Info

[04-18-2012]  

Dr. Susanne Urban, Head of Research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, took part at the conference “The Holocaust and Legacies of Race in the Postcolonial World” in Sydney and held lectures on the work of the ITS. She also contributed for the exhibition of the Sydney Jewish Museum facsimiles of documents as well as wallets from former prisoners of concentration camps. “They are a symbol of the robbery and the Holocaust”, Urban said.

 

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[04-16-2012]  

The sensitive documentary film "Kinderblock 66 - Return to Buchenwald” tells the story of four Jewish children from Block 66 at the concentration camp Buchenwald. They represent the fate of roughly 1,000 Jewish children and youths liberated by the US Army in April 1945. The film was premiered at the memorial last Saturday. “I think it was the appropriate place,” said Alex Moscovic, a Holocaust survivor and one of the film´s protagonists.

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[04-11-2012]  

For eight days Katharina Rowold has examined files from the "Lebensborn e.V." in the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. The historian from London Metropolitan University is working on a book on "Early Infant Care in Nazi Germany". "I could find many relevant sources in the archive", said Rowold.

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[04-05-2012]  

Between 26th March and 4th April 2012, Djordje Drndarski, Deputy Director of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, and ITS Historian René Bienert had talks in the Baltic States Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. They met representatives of 15 institutions, among them National Red Cross Societies, foreign ministries, archival and research institutions and museums. Their talks aimed to inform about the tasks and achievements of the ITS. “In particular our new research and education potential is hardly known here”, reports Bienert.

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[04-03-2012]  

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen could return the wedding ring of his grandmother Hélène to the Frenchman Francis Nautré. The Nazis had seized the ring from her in August 1944 after her deportation to the Concentration Camp Neuengamme. “Is has moved me deeply to received my grandmother’s ring”, said Nautré.

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[03-23-2012]  

Volodymyr Kahrchenko, Consul from the Consulate General of the Ukraine in Frankfurt/Main, has paid visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen today intending to see documents on the tragedy in Babi Yar. “The Foreign Ministry in Kiev plans to show an exhibition to mark the anniversary of the tragedy”, said the Consul. “These records help to remember the victims.”

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[03-19-2012]  

In mid-March of 2012, on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition of “German Forced Labor, the Forced Laborers and the War” in the colliery (ZecheZollern) in Essen, the International Tracing Service (ITS) gave eyewitness and author Vera Friedlander documents of 23 members of her family. “I already knew this information, but I am happy to receive copies from the archives of the ITS,” says Friedlander. She herself survived the Holocaust as a forced laborer in a repair workshop of Salamander AG, in Berlin. Her mother was Jewish, her father Catholic.

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[03-17-2012]  

Thirteen year-old Leon Schagrin made a promise to his father just before the Nazis shipped Leon’s entire family to Belzec for extermination. Leon promised to tell his family’s story as a cautionary tale to the world. Seventy years later Leon is keeping that promise in unexpected ways.

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[03-16-2012]  

The International Tracing Service (ITS) and Project Red Line offered a workshop on 14-15 March 2012 entitled Decisions: Humanity and ideologies between National Socialism and right-wing extremism.  “Our aim was to bring the two topics of National Socialism and right-wing extremism together and see them from different perspectives,” said seminar leader Reiner Becker from Project Red Line.  “It was worthwhile and won´t be a one-off.”

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[03-12-2012]  

The International Tracing Service (ITS) along with the Center for Holocaust Literature in the University of Giessen held a three-day seminar last week about eyewitness accounts held in the ITS archives. Ten students, three historians, and seven literature scholars dealt with early reports and survivors’ texts of the Holocaust. “It was a full and incredibly successful weekend which far exceeded my expectations,” said the seminar leader Professor Sascha Feuchert. “With these archives the students have opened a treasury for themselves.”

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[03-12-2012]  

Researcher Martin Guse has analysed documents on the former black powder plant in Liebenau at the International Tracing Service (ITS). By order of the superior army commanders, the Liebenau plant produced, as of 1941, far more than 40,000 tons of black powder and rocket propellants. Over 2,000 out of the more than 11,000 forced labourers and Soviet prisoners-of-war assigned to do the work died from malnutrition and maltreatment. “I have managed to find a lot of material”, said Guse. “The archives definitely include documents of interest to me.”

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[03-09-2012]  

Maria Hörtner from the Concentration Camp Mauthausen Memorial has spent a one-week research visit at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “I have checked the list material of Concentration Camp Mauthausen in the digital ITS archives”, tells the research assistant. “Some transport lists are not available at the Memorial site in Austria. Here at the ITS I have found them.”

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[03-09-2012]  

After sixty-seven years, a wristwatch was returned today to the possession of the Family Epking from Herdecke. A Google search for his grandfather Karl, led his grandson Thilo Epking and his father Reinhard to the International Tracing Service (ITS) and the list of effects from the concentration camp Neuengamme, published on the Internet. “I could hardly believe this, and immediately took a day off,” says Thilo. “I had never before heard of the ITS.”

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[03-02-2012]  

Frieda Jacobowitz, along with her husband Oscar Ramspek, did a search for traces for her father, Henry Jacobowitz. The 83-year-old is a Holocaust survivor, currently living in the U.S., in Phoenix, Arizona.  “He did not want to return to any places from his past. So, we recorded the early stages of his life on video for him,” explained Frieda. They traveled to his native region, but also to the places where he was persecuted by the Nazis.  At the ITS (International Tracing Service) in Bad Arolsen, they were able to have a look at some relevant documents.

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[03-01-2012]  

For six days, amateur historian Gerd-Jürgen Gross did research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, searching through the central name index. The respected volunteers of “Against Forgetting – For the Democracy of the Regional Group of Hanover” are working on research of Jewish persecution victims in Nienburg/Weiser. “On 27 January, 2013,” said Gross, “we want to publish a book of memories; by that time will have collected more for our project from the ITS mosaic.”

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[02-29-2012]  

He was the child of a forbidden love between a German national and a Polish slave labourer. At the age of 12, Wolfgang Bewarder first learned about his biological father. It took him another 52 years to muster the courage to find his own roots. His father died in 1975, but the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen made contact with a half brother in Poland. Bewarder describes his feelings during a visit to the ITS in late February as being “both overwhelming to me and very distant. I still can´t quite comprehend it.”

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[02-28-2012]  

The fate of 185 Jewish Hungarian students was the motive for the visit Professor Matthias Morgenstern from the Seminar for Theology and Jewish Studies at Tubingen University paid to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. In the archives, he retraced the individual lives of the persecuted students adding information mainly on their incarceration. “The research possibilities the ITS offers are exemplary”, said Morgenstern.

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[02-09-2012]  

Thomas Grotum, an historian at the University of Trier, spent two days at the beginning of February examining documents at the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen. For several months he has been researching the Gestapo in Trier and its former location in Christophstrasse 1. “I wanted to get an overview of the records at the ITS to see what could be useful to my research, as I have done at other archives,” said Grotum.

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ITF Meets ITS

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[02-03-2012]  

Paying visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen today, Karel de Beer, Ambassador and Chairman of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF), encouraged the institution to seek cooperation with other organisations. “It is essential for us to inspire one another to work together”, said de Beer. “To my mind, the cooperation and inter-linkage of the organisations involved in the subject of the Holocaust enjoys top priority.”

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[02-02-2012]  

Ministry Official Dr Michael Roik, Head of the section “history and memory” with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (FGCCM), has paid a visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. Early in 2012, the Federal Government Commissioner took over the responsibility for the funding of the ITS from the Federal Interior Ministry. “Reason enough for me to come and get to know the ITS”, said Roik.

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[01-24-2012]  

26 pupils from the Filchner Comprehensive School in Wolfhagen spent two days researching in the digital archives and the library of the International Tracing Service (ITS). The pupils looked into the biographies of Jews and Sinti from North Hesse and into their fates under National Socialist persecution. Another subject of the young people’s history workshop were the survivors who had lived in camps for Displaced Persons in North Hesse after the war. “The original records I have seen at the ITS and our own investigations on individual fates have changed my view of Nazi history”, said pupil Nico Mander.

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[01-23-2012]  

The Pedagogical Academy of the Protestant Educator’s Association (GEE) held their second study session in mid-January for educators at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. The goal of the meetings with ITS was to give the educators an insight into the research options and various possibilities for collaborative work. “We are delighted with the exchange,” said Dr. Susanne Urban, Head of Research at ITS. “It gives life to our work, bringing new energy and input from the outside.”

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[01-23-2012]  

Thanks to the association Historicum20, the former staff premises of the barracks in Bad Arolsen could be turned into a museum that was opened last Saturday. The museum shows the varied history of the barracks from 1867 to 1994, from the Kaiserreich (German Empire) to the withdrawal of the Belgian Nato troops. The International Tracing Service (ITS), too, had its home here between 1949 and 1952. “The history of the barracks is a special one which has contributed to shaping the town”, said Dr Ulrike Adamek from the Hessian Association of Museums when the site was opened in an official act before 150 guests.

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[01-13-2012]  

Lennart Spira, a Swiss citizen who was born in Sweden, visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen from 12-13 January in order to research documents on his family´s fate. Spira is the son of two Holocaust survivors from Poland. “I know my mother´s story very well, as she documented it,” said the 58-year-old. “I know less about what happened to my father, which is why I´m here. I want to systematically reconstruct his odyssey during the Second World War.”

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[01-12-2012]  

Oberhausen under National Socialism is the investigations’ subject of Clemens Heinrichs, manager of the memory hall in the town of Oberhausen. Paying visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) early in January 2012, he looked through plenty of documents kept in the archives on individual citizens’ fates. “Time and again I do come across victims’ names that are news to me and documents that I have not known so far”, rejoices the scholar. “Starting investigations at the ITS was a real eye-opener for me. The sheer number of names appearing in both, lists and individual documents, throws a horrible light on the ramification of the persecution and forced labour system under National Socialism.”

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In cooperation with the BAC theatre, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen presented the well-known historian Peter Longerich who read parts of his biography on Himmler, recently introduced at the Frankfurt book fair. The reading was held on Tuesday, 18th November 2008, at 7.00 p.m. at the BAC theatre, In den Siepen 6, 34454 Bad Arolsen. 

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