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Researching the Gestapo in Trier

Thomas Grotum, an historian at the University of Trier, spent two days at the beginning of February examining documents at the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive in Bad Arolsen. For several months he has been researching the Gestapo in Trier and its former location in Christophstrasse 1. “I wanted to get an overview of the records at the ITS to see what could be useful to my research, as I have done at other archives,” said Grotum.

From 1935 to the end of 1944, the Gestapo in Trier was headquartered in a former building of the German State Railway (Reichsbahn) administration in Christophstrasse. The events which took place during that time behind those walls have not been widely researched. At the initiative of the public prosecutor´s office, located in the building since October 2011, Grotum and students from the University of Trier have begun to take a closer look at history.

“I have been checking which documents are still available in various archives, and which research approaches could be of particular interest,” reported the 47-year-old. The historian viewed imprisonment records at the ITS. “I was especially impressed by the Gestapo´s photograph files and the prison books in Trier´s district court. Here we can see who the Gestapo targeted and what subsequently happened to these people.”

Grotum expects to have the first results by the end of 2013. Students at the University of Trier will examine aspects of the Trier Gestapo in their final papers, and posters will inform the public about the building and its Gestapo history.