International Commission has signed new agreements
The eleven member states of the International Commission for the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen signed two new agreements on the future tasks and management of the ITS today at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. “We met to decide a historical restructuring of the ITS”, said Harald Braun, state secretary at the Foreign Office.
The new agreements ensure the continuation of the present tasks, in particular the tracing activities and clarification of fates, in the interest of the victims of the National Socialist persecution, explained Braun. “At the same time they allow the expansion of the tasks, so that the ITS can gradually be converted into a centre for documentation, information and research. I do not even need to emphasise how anxious the Federal Republic of Germany is to keep the memory alive.”
The German Federal Archives will become the new institutional partner from January 2013. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will withdraw from the management of the ITS after almost 57 years. The Commission will choose the director of the ITS in future. “The arrangements mark a turning point in the more than 60-year-old history of the institution,” declared Frédéric Baleine du Laurens, President of the International Commission and director of the archives at the French Foreign Ministry. “We thank the ICRC for their wonderful work and are sure that the Federal Archives will also make a valuable and highly respected contribution.”
The Vice President of the Federal Archives, Angelika Menne-Haritz, expressed her satisfaction regarding the confidence the International Commission “is placing in our competence”. She stated that the Fedral Archives would support the ITS, in particular in the archival description of the documents for research and long-term preservation. “The agreements offer a strong base for the ITS”, said director Jean-Luc Blondel. “They secure the future of the institution in Bad Arolsen.”