Talks in Kazakhstan
Early in November, Mr Djordje Drndarski, vice director of the International Tracing Service (ITS), held talks in Kazakhstan with representatives of governmental institutions and archives. Aimed at raising the awareness of the ITS services and archival holdings, Mr Drndarski’s trip had been prepared and actively supported by the Kazakh Red Crescent. “We have had good and fruitful talks”, resumed Drndarski his visit. “The interest in the ITS is lively, as our partners in Kazakhstan still receive many requests concerning fates that have remained unsolved in consequence of World War II.“
Among others Drndarski spoke with representatives from the Kazakh State Archives, German and Jewish minorities in Parliament, the ministries for labour and social affairs as well as the ministries of defence and justice. In the Second World War Kazakhstan had been used as an evacuation site for many people from the European part of the Soviet Union and a deportation destination for peoples valued to be ‘unreliable’ by the Soviet government, such as Russians of German ethnic.
Over the last three years senior staff of the tracing service in Bad Arolsen had made several trips to Eastern European countries. “In this part of Europe, the examination and reappraisal of the history of the Second World War is far from concluded”, explained Drndarski. “As a direct consequence of people’s gaining easier access to many archives, their demand for services like ours has increased.”