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Searching for Traces – the Death Marches in the Documents of the ITS

Visitors at the Exhibit “Searching for Traces”

Visitors at the Exhibit “Searching for Traces”


The exhibit provides a look into the holdings of the International Tracing Service (ITS), offering insights into individual fates and the feelings of the survivors. The death marches are considered the last organized crime against humanity committed by National Socialist Germany.

On seven banners (roll-ups), specially developed on the basis of recently assessed documents, a brief text introduces the topic, followed by a description of the origins and variety of the documents. Next there are two biographies of victims of the death marches, whose mortal remains were identified. Then, compiled from information in the ITS holdings, a collection of “memory fragments” from survivors of the death marches leads into the third biography.

In this third biography the life of the Jewish survivor Eric Hitter is sketched out in quotes from before, during, and after the liberation. The utter hopelessness that he felt on the death marches makes clear the relevance inherent in these testimonies from survivors.

Eric Imre Hitter, death march survivor

We were so terrorized by the Nazis, we never dreamed that we would survive. At the same time we always had our hope.

Eric Imre Hitter, death march survivor, Survivor