Talk with Researchers at the Centrum Judaicum
On 12 December 2011, Dr Susanne Urban, head of the ITS Research Department, held a lecture at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin on the potential that the archival material of the International Tracing Service (ITS) offers for researchers. “Since we could not find a date for us to come and see you in Bad Arolsen, we decided to meet here”, said Dr Hermann Simon, the Director of the Centrum who had invited to the event. The idea of holding the meeting had been formed when Simon visited the ITS in March 2011. He had informed himself about collections of the ITS that have not been explored by researchers so far.
This time his call to the Centrum Judaicum has been responded by about 30 scholars from universities and research institutions in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. Urban gave them an overview of the archival holdings of the ITS, presented interesting documents and rendered an account of first research projects. In the group discussion to follow most scholars inquired about the possibilities of research work offered to visitors at the ITS, about its regulations for access and the progress made in describing the documents for research purpose. Others asked specific questions regarding individual projects. “A networking meeting like this one is vital to make the ITS holdings better known,” stated Urban. “Moreover, it is indispensable for us to form expert teams with researchers and scholars.” The research project on the subject of death marches implemented at the ITS archives had been a fresh and telling example hereof.
In March 2012, another meeting will be held at the Centrum Judaicum focusing on the card index of the Reich Association of the Jews in Germany kept at the ITS archives. On the occasion, a concrete project draft will be discussed – ranging from the description of the documents to various research approaches. “I am happy that we have managed to agree working on a joint project”, said Urban.