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About ITS

The International Tracing Service (ITS) is an archive and a center for documenting  National Socialist persecution and the liberated survivors. Former victims of Nazism and their families receive information regarding their incarceration, forced labor and post-war Allied assistance. The more than 30 million documents in the ITS archives also provide the basis for research and education.

  • May this archive, which serves as restitution for the victims and their families, be a warning to all future generations to never again allow such a horror to afflict humanity.

    Quote from the “deed of purpose” in three languages, embedded on 20 August 1952 in the walls of the main building of the ITS at the topping-out ceremony

    In order to fulfill these tasks, the ITS cooperates internationally with memorial sites, archives and research institutions. The ITS commemorates the victims of the Holocaust as well as National Socialist crimes, thus contributing towards a culture of remembrance. As of 2013 the original documents in the ITS archives are included on the UNESCO “Memory of the World” registry.

    The original title "International Tracing Service“, still in use today, was given to the ITS on 1 January 1948. Originally the ITS was the responsibility of the Allies; in 1955 the International Commission took on this task.

    The archives of the ITS document the fates of millions of victims whose memory it preserves. From this arises a special respect for the values of democracy, freedom, human dignity and tolerance. The ITS is committed to these values and will continue to strengthen these through its work.

Legal Bases and Financing

The tasks of the ITS today are defined in the Berlin Agreement of 9 December 2011. The ITS is institutionally supported by the office of the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

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History of the ITS

The origins of the ITS go back to the year 1943, when a special department of the British Red Cross began with the registration of the missing victims of the Nazi regime. Here you will find information on the history of the ITS.

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