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Clarifying Fates – Searching for Family Members

Every year, thousands of people turn to the International Tracing Service (ITS) to find out more about the fates of victims of Nazi persecution. The inquiries come from all over the world: the crimes of National Socialist Germany tore families apart. The ITS preserves and provides information on the following victim groups:

  • All victims of the Holocaust and Nazi tyranny:

    • persons of all nationalities who were imprisoned in concentration camps, ghettoes, work camps and Gestapo prisons between 1933 and 1945
    • persons who were kidnapped on Reich territory and made to perform forced labor
    • Displaced Persons (DPs) who were placed under the protection of international refugee organizations after their liberation
    • young people who were under 18 after their liberation and had been subjected to persecution
    • Soviet prisoners of war and Italian military Internees as well as other prisoners of war who were committed to concentration camps or exploited for forced labor

    Please note: The ITS does not hold documents on prisoners of war who were not exploited for forced labor, or on the fates or whereabouts of members of the German armed forces. Moreover, the mandate of the ITS does not cover persons who fled or were expelled as a result of the defeat of National Socialist Germany.

    Processing time: Because the ITS currently receives over 1,000 inquiries every month, a prompt response is possible only in special cases. Generally speaking, the waiting period can be several months. We respond to the inquiries in the order we receive them. Inquiries from survivors or their representatives, however, are given priority treatment, so that these quite elderly individuals can receive the requested information within a few weeks.

    Please let us know if, as a family member, you are in need of a much more timely response for justified reasons (issues concerning inheritance, citizenship, and/or other urgent matters). In such cases your inquiry will be given priority treatment. Please be assured that we do our utmost to respond to each and every person requesting information as soon as possible. 

Documentation of the Path of Persecution

Every person has the right to have as much information as possible about his or her own persecution history or that of loved ones.

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Tracing and Information – since 1946

Inquiries are now made primarily by children and grandchildren; the answers are more detailed: Some brief information about the history of the tracing investigations.

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