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Insight into ITS´s work

Rolf Ulrich, Germany´s new representative for the Federal Foreign Office in the International Commission, spent yesterday learning about the current status at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. The commission, which in addition to Germany comprises ten other member-states, governs the ITS´s work. ”The visit was worthwhile. I have learned a great deal,” said Ulrich.

The Federal Foreign Office representative spoke with Director Reto Meister and toured the archive with head archivist Udo Jost for several hours. “The quantity of documents is overwhelming,” according to Ulrich. “It is quite astounding how thoroughly the Nazis documented their crimes.”

Ulrich also learned about the digitization of the documents, spoke with historian Irmtrud Wojak about historical research and heard about how humanitarian requests are handled. “It was extremely interesting,” said Ulrich. “My own personal impression was essential against the backdrop of the debate on the future of ITS.”

The International Commission established a strategic study group in March 2008 tasked with clarifying the future structure and funding of the International Tracing Service. A first written report will be submitted at the next annual meeting in May 2009 in London.