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Glossary

  • Acquisition of Documents

    In addition to storing and organizing the documents, the ITS also had the task of collecting records. For the acquisition of documents employees of the ITS made copies in various archives, especially following the opening of the borders in Eastern Europe in the 90s. At times, the ITS is also given or sent originals. The systematic acquisition of documents was suspended in 2006 since archives are now almost everywhere accessible. Today the acquisition of documents occurs only sporadically.

  • Alphabetic-phonetic system

    The reference cards in the ITS Central Name Index are not only filed by the correct spelling of the name of a person concerned (alphabetic system), but also by its pronunciation (phonetic system). Thus despite the various spellings of his or her name, all documents relating to a person may be found.

  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

    Abbreviation: AJDC, JDC, Joint

    An international Jewish relief organization established in 1914. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is also known under its abbreviation "Joint".

  • Amt für die Erfassung der Kriegsopfer / Office for the Registration of War Victims, Berlin

    Abbreviation: AEK

    Founded as successor of the Zentralnachweisamt für Kriegsgräber und Kriegsverluste (ZAK) (Central Office for Giving Evidence on War Graves and War Losses) in 1945, the office had a wide spectrum of tasks, including: registering war victims' graves, carrying out investigations for prisoners of war, certifying  the deaths of concentration camp inmates as well as administering war victims' estates. Following the merger of the Amt für die Erfassung von Kriegsopfern (AEK) and the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) in 1951, the ITS received a part of its files.

  • Anti-Semitism

    Coined in the 1870s, it is a collective term for various forms of the modern hatred of Jews. In the early 20th century, anti-Semitism shifted its base from religious to ‘scientific’ – based on supposed biological traits. Anti-Semitism after 1933 culminated in the Holocaust.

  • Archival requests

    Requests to the ITS for research and pedagogical purposes.

  • Aryans

    Ethnological-linguistical expression for people in Iran and India who have similar languages; it was wrongly used in the 18th century as a synonym for "Indogermermanic." The pseudo-scientific Nazi raciology interpreted the expression "Aryan" as a collective term for "Nordic, German, and congeneric blood," especially in opposition to Jews, Sinti, and Roma.

  • Asocials

    According to Nazi ideology, "asocial" people "disturbed the life of the people's community." Homeless, beggars, people on welfare, alcoholics and prostitutes were persecuted, imprisoned in concentration camps and sometimes forcibly sterilized under the category of "asocials".

  • Assembly Camp

    In Sammellagern (Assembly Camps), the Nazis gathered the people together to subsequently transport them in large groups to other camps.

  • Assembly Camps for Jews

    The Nazis established special Sammellager für Juden (Assembly Camps for Jews) to isolate and 'concentrate' the Jewish population before deporting them to the concentration and extermination camps, as they did with the persons kept prisoner in the other assembly camps.