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Changeover in Geneva

Barbara Hintermann, responsible for operations West (North America and Europe) within the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has come to Bad Arolsen today to get an overview of the activities of the International Tracing Service (ITS). Beginning with 1st June 2010, Hintermann has taken administrative charge of the ITS at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva succeeding Beat Schweizer, hitherto Deputy Director-General of the ICRC. “I am profoundly impressed by both the dimension of the archives on Nazi persecution and the tasks that are accomplished here”, said Hintermann.

The ICRC executive pledged that, until its withdrawal from the management of the ITS scheduled for December 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross would continue to dedicate itself to supervising the ITS’ gradual shift from a tracing service to an archive for research. “The mission the ITS fulfils is a rewarding one. To this day, ITS can provide relevant answers about the fates of persecutees”, expressed Hintermann.  

Schweizer emphasized that the treatment of requests filed by the survivors of Nazi persecution and their next of kin would remain a core constituent of the ITS. “The ITS will always be measured by the effectiveness and dependability in responding to these requests“, said Schweizer. The new agreements right now negotiated by the International Commission – the supervisory body of the ITS - will give its mandate a broader and firm basis for the future. “New tasks such as research or cataloguing will be formally recognized. The ITS will preserve its international character and receive a new institutional partner”, reported Schweizer. “The point in time to realize these changes is well chosen, which is why I can light-heartedly delegate the responsibility for the ITS.”