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50 Years for the ITS

Maria Melina Scaffidi began working for the International Tracing Service (ITS) in March 1967. She was fifteen years old at the time, and had come to Northern Hesse from Milazzo in Sicily. She started out as a typist and later served for more than twenty years as the secretary of the Italian liaison mission at the ITS. Over thirty thousand inquiries from former persecution victims and their relatives in Italy passed through her hands. “It is a humane kind of work that I wouldn’t want to go without”, Maria Melina Scaffidi remarks. “This theme shaped me.”

Scaffidi will retire at the end of March 2017, four weeks after her fiftieth anniversary with the ITS. “We have many employees who have been with the ITS for decades, dedicated themselves to the former persecution victims and their families, and witnessed this institution’s eventful history”, reports ITS director Floriane Hohenberg. “But fifty years—that’s very unusual. In view of the fact that a number of highly experienced employees will be retiring in the near future, the subject of knowledge management is an extremely important one for us. We have to find ways of preserving their knowledge about the document holdings and search techniques.”