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ICRC donation to former ITS location

The history of the International Tracing Service (ITS) will be part of an upcoming exhibition in Bad Arolsen´s former barracks. The association “Historicum 20” is planning to document 20th century development of the barracks, which for a time after the war served as the tracing service´s headquarters.

The idea is also being supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, which has managed and administered the ITS since 1955. “Not only Bad Arolsen´s history is linked to the Tracing Service and the ICRC, but the ICRC´s history is also linked to Bad Arolsen,” said Beat Schweizer, Deputy Director-General of the ICRC, during a visit to the premises.

The ITS has had a right to exist in Bad Arolsen for over 60 years, and Schweizer said it will also keep this right in the future. “There is a huge treasure trove to be discovered in the ITS archive. We now have to put permanent structures in place for the creation of a documentation center.”

In addition to focusing on the history of the ITS, the exhibition in the former main building of Arolsen´s barracks will also include the Nazi era and the period as a Belgian Nato facility. A date for the opening of the exhibition has yet to be determined. In the meantime, renovation work is nearing completion, while Bernd Zimmer from Historicum 20 is compiling texts and exhibits.