International Tracing Service

EHRI Fellowships in Holocaust Studies

Submissions must reach EHRI by 16 March 2014.

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EHRI (European Holocaust Research Infrastructure) invites applications for its fellowship programme for 2014. The EHRI fellowships are intended to support and stimulate Holocaust research by facilitating international access to key archives and collections related to the Holocaust. The fellowships intend to support researchers and younger scholars, especially PhD candidates with limited resources.

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In a further joint cooperation project, the Memorial of SS Special Camp/Concentration Camp Hinzert and the International Tracing Service (ITS) will systematically scrutinize and historically analyse the Nazi prisoners’ category “Eindeutschungs-Pole” (Germanizable Pole). The National Socialists created the mentioned prisoners’ category for Polish forced labourers who had had love affairs with German women and, in consequence, were not punished by death, as usual, but, as of 1942, were transferred to Hinzert to undergo a “check of their capability to be Germanized” there.

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Children’s Lives during and under National Socialism

A project realised by pupils of the Bad Arolsen “Christian-Rauch” School from 29 October to 2 November 2012

Projektwoche Christian-Rauch-Schule Bad Arolsen

Between 29 October and 2 November 2012, senior pupils of the Bad Arolsen Christian Rauch secondary school will explore the archival holdings and the library of the International Tracing Service (ITS) searching for information on the subject of “Children’s Lives during and under National Socialism. Between ‘Lebensborn’, Germanization, Deportation or Annihilation”. The biographies and fates of children living in that day are to help today’s pupils approach the Nazis’ racist ideology.

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Interim Report on the EHRI Project

October 2010 to March 2012

The EHRI project started with 20 partner organizations from 13 countries – among them the ITS – in October 2010 has published a first interim report on its activities. The report gives a summary of the results achieved in numerous international workshops and working groups as well as by surveys and statistical data collections. EHRI aims to create an online portal which, by September 2014, will allow the public an overview of the Holocaust-related archival material scattered all over the world and offer researchers better access to that material.

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Looking at the ITS Archives

March 2012 – Cooperation with Christian-Rauch Secondary School Bad Arolsen

All pupils attending form 9 of Christian-Rauch secondary school in Bad Arolsen currently take part in a subject-related guided tour of the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). In a bilateral agreement, the ITS and the school defined a long-term collaboration ranging from pupils’ regular visits to the archives, to individual history projects, to a course on selective themes organised by the young learners themselves. The program started in the school year 2011/2012. The collaboration aims to raise the pupils’ historical consciousness and increase their awareness of the ITS at a fairly early stage of their school career.

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Early Post-War Testimony and Texts Written by Survivors

March 2012 – Seminar of Gießen University Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur

In a three-day seminar organised in cooperation of the International Tracing Service (ITS) with the Gießen University, Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur, ten students will scrutinize early post-war testimony and texts written by survivors. The ITS archives preserve questionnaires by the Allies that were filled in by the survivors immediately after the war. They are the first attempts of the survivors to write down what they had gone through. Apart from these documents, the participants will examine the child search files and the correspondence between the victims of Nazi persecution, their relatives and the ITS dating from the initial years of the institution’s existence.

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Pupils Pursue Research on North Hessian Nazi Victims

January 2012 - “Filchner” Comprehensive School at Wolfhagen

26 pupils attending the 10 form of the Filchner-Comprehensive School at Wolfhagen organise their own history workshop in collaboration with the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. Making targeted use of both, the ITS digital archives and library, the pupils retrace the fates of Jews and Sinti from North Hesse under National Socialist persecution. Another subject they delve into is the survivors who were living in camps reserved to Displaced Persons in North Hesse after the war.

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Training for Graduates in Educational Science

Autumn 2011 – International School for Holocaust Studies (ISHS) Yad Vashem in Jerusalem

Late in 2010, a cooperation agreement on advanced training to be provided to instructors at the International Tracing Service (ITS) was concluded with the International School for Holocaust Studies (ISHS), a section of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Within the framework of a training for graduates in educational science offered as of October 2011, the first German speaking educational scientists will spend three or four days at the ITS to deepen their knowledge.

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“ITS – An Institution for the Victims and the Survivors of Nazi Persecution”

April 2011 – Advanced Training for Teachers and Instructors

In collaboration with the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, the “Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Erzieher e.V. (GEE)” (community of Lutheran educators) for the regions of Rhineland/Saar/Westphalia and the Capek Society for International Understanding and Humanism offer instructors and other interested persons advanced training on the subject “The International Tracing Service (ITS): An Institution for the Victims and the Survivors of  Nazi Persecution”  late in April 2011. After a general introduction to the tasks of the ITS and a tour of the archives, the participants gain an insight into the educational concept of the ITS.

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Producing Teaching Material

Winter Semester 2010/2011 – Kassel University

In a two-semester project and in collaboration with the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, students of Kassel University produce teaching material for middle and upper grade pupils. In the course of a project seminar, the students from the Faculty of Educational Studies occupy their minds with the subject of those children’s fates who had survived the National Socialists’ rule.

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History Workshop on Nazi Persecution

22 November 2010 - “Filchner” Comprehensive School at Wolfhagen

In mid-November, 16 pupils of the 10th and 11th forms of the afore-mentioned school began working on a project titled “The Terror System of National Socialism – the Fates of the Victims” at the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). Among the main topics the history workshop looked into were a) The Organisation of the Terror System and of the Concentration Camps, b) Forced Labour in Northern Hesse, c) Victims of persecution and d) Displaced Persons in the Wolfhagen surroundings.

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ITS takes part in EHRI project

25 February 2011 - Research project funded by the European Union

The European Union has launched the project “European Holocaust Research Infrastructure – EHRI”. In the coming four years, researchers from 20 partner organizations – among them the ITS - out of 13 countries will build up a unique database on the Holocaust combining now dispersed archives around Europe.

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Seminar at Darmstadt Technical University

Autumn 2010 – Darmstadt University

In the summer semester 2010, the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen offered its first seminar at Darmstadt Technical University on the subject of “Displaced Persons: Forced Migration, Sociology, Decisions – DP Camp Zeilsheim”. The seminar resumed the thread of the virtual exhibition titled “Persecution, Annihilation, Liberation, and then? Jewish Survivors in Frankfurt Zeilsheim” conceived and realised by the Faculty of History at Darmstadt Technical University.

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Pupils’ Project on the Holocaust

29 October 2010 - Christian Rauch Gymnasium Bad Arolsen

Spending a project week at the International Tracing Service (ITS), eight pupils of the “Christian Rauch” secondary school at Bad Arolsen concerned themselves with the main topic “Organized implementation of the Holocaust”. The concrete subjects they delved into were a) The Deportation and Expropriation of Jews and b) Survival after the Holocaust. The pupils not only analysed the documents, but, what is more, felt and showed empathy with the victims.

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Cooperation with the Town Museum in Coesfeld

19 August 2010 – Exhibition on the History of the Jewish Communities

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen concluded a cooperation agreement with the Coesfeld town museum in August 2010. The institution will place documents on Jewish people’s persecution under National Socialism at the disposal of the planned learning and meeting center on the history of the Jewish communities. In turn, the activities of the ITS will come to be acknowledged within the scope of the new exhibition.

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Project on DP Camps in Korbach and Kassel

30 October 2009 - Christian Rauch Gymnasium Bad Arolsen

For one week, a group of pupils from Bad Arolsen’s Christian Rauch School has studied the history of two camps for displaced persons situated in Korbach and Kassel (Hasenhecke/Wolfsanger) in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS). Their project focused on daily life in the DP Camp, the mutual relationship between people living in the surroundings of the camp and DPs and – as far as researchable within the brief time available – single biographies of survivors of Nazi persecution and forced labour.

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Website on Persecuted Children and Adolescents

27 September 2009 - Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is planning to launch a website on the subject of »Children and Adolescents from all over Europe persecuted under the Nazi reign«, its objective being a biographical documentation and reconstruction of the lives of the children and adolescents affected. The International Tracing Service (ITS) will support the project by making available documents from its archive.  

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Reconstruction of Lives

7 September 2009 - Memorial Centre of the Former SS Special Camp/CC Hinzert

Cooperation with the Memorial Centre SS Special Camp/CC Hinzert mainly concentrates on adjusting data. The knowledge gained on the prisoners of CC Hinzert at both the memorial centre and the archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) is compared, rectified and completed. Proceeding this way, the two institutions hope to reconstruct as many lives and fates of the former inmates as possible.  

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"Survivors’ voices must continue to be heard"

10 August 2009 - ITS supports “Youth for Dora” project

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen has assumed the role as a cooperative partner for the project “Survivors prospect the future” initiated by the “Youth for Dora” (Jugend für Dora) association. The project’s objective is to facilitate the involvement of the survivors of Nazi persecution in the discussion about future commemorative work. Six young people from Leipzig who work on the project visited Bad Arolsen for a three-day research stay. “We are happy to offer them support with their research endeavours,” said ITS historian Susanne Urban. “Survivors’ voices must continue to be heard.”

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Online forced labour archive

23 April 2009 - Collaboration of the Freie Universität Berlin and ITS

The Freie Universität Berlin and the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen are collaborating on the development of the digital archive “Forced labour from 1939–1945. Memory and history”. “We hope to gain valuable information on the fate of forced labourers during the National Socialist regime from the comprehensive archive at ITS,” said Professor Dr Nicolas Apostolopoulos, Project Manager at the Centre for Digital Systems (CeDiS), which is carrying out the online project in cooperation with the Institute for Eastern European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.

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