For this reason, we focused primarily on two issues in 2017: new services and new ways of approaching the public. The ITS presented some memorials with copies of its collections from the respective concentration camps. Our documents will now reach many more people. We also launched the international #StolenMemory campaign. This will enable us to return more of the personal mementoes of former concentration camp prisoners to their families. I am particularly delighted with the success of this campaign. Volunteers are helping us with our search. The media coverage has sparked great interest in our unique collections and the remembrance work of the ITS.
Ten years ago the ITS overhauled its archive, which had been closed to the public for nearly 25 years, and finally opened it to researchers and visitors. The anniversary of this opening motivated me to take a closer look at our new goals and strategies: improving the safe storage of our collections and public access to them, and becoming more networked, more visible and more focused on service. We have taken big steps in this direction, developed a clear profile, worked towards openness and convenience for users and paved the way for projects.
I expect a great deal from the expansion of online archive, which is pressing ahead at full speed. With the documents from the concentration camps, a large and complex core collection is about to go online.
The ITS moved its original documents in 2017 to a professional temporary archive – a feat of strength for everyone involved. For the first time, this entire collection of Memory of the World documents is in one place: the most extensive international archive on victims of the Nazis, with 30 million documents, and the Central Name Index.
I am pleased that we are taking various approaches to bringing this important source of knowledge for society and remembrance into the future. We do not yet know what questions the next generations will have. But what’s important is that they ask them. This is what we are preparing ourselves for."