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Opening process to be discussed at GSA annual conference

Professor Rainer Hering, Head of the State Archives of Schleswig-Holstein, visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) for one day in mid-July. He wanted to see the latest developments of the archive for himself. On 8 October 2010, he will be taking part in a round table discussion entitled  “Open at Last: The ITS Files in Arolsen”, which will be held by the German Studies Association (GSA) in Oakland, California. “I’m impressed by the changes that took place since my last visit three years ago,” said Hering.

Apart from his job at the archives, the scholar teaches at the Universities of Hamburg and Kiel. He also represents German archives within the GSA, a national and international association of scholars from all fields of German Studies. “The researchers have struggled many years to open up the archives of the ITS. That is why this topic is highly emotional,” explains Hering.

At the 34th annual Conference of the GSA, where around 1,500 participants are expected, he will be speaking about the accessibility of the documentation, the ITS database and research fields. “Scholars are very interested in learning about the state of affairs in Bad Arolsen,” said the archivist. “And I can judge it much better since I’ve been there in person.”

The State Archives of Schleswig-Holstein have already benefited from the opening of the ITS archives. On his last visit, Hering discovered documents on the NS persecution in Schleswig-Holstein which he had not yet been familiar with. Among them were files from the prison in Neumuenster. “Since then, ITS sent us a list of all the documents concerning our region which we could integrate in our archives.”