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Urban in Sydney

Dr. Susanne Urban, Head of Research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, took part at the conference “The Holocaust and Legacies of Race in the Postcolonial World” in Sydney and held lectures on the work of the ITS. She also contributed for the exhibition of the Sydney Jewish Museum facsimiles of documents as well as wallets from former prisoners of concentration camps. “They are a symbol of the robbery and the Holocaust”, Urban said.

The effects’ transmission was accompanied by a talk Urban gave on the subject of “Holocaust - Remembrance - Legacies. The ITS in Past and Present”. After briefly highlighting the ITS history Urban’s lecture concentrated on a survivor who migrated to Sydney. Urban elucidated the significance the ITS documents have for remembrance. “We value the close cooperative links that we have now established with the ITS”, said Sydney Jewish Museum CEO Norman Seligman. “When one talks about six million Jews having been murdered, it is often easy to forget that all of them were individuals with their own name and identity. Having artefacts such as these wallets demonstrates that they belonged to an individual person incarcerated and subsequently murdered.”

The University of Sydney’s Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, the University of Southampton’s Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish and non-Jewish Relations and the University of Cape Town’s Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies staged an international conference on the subject of “The Holocaust and Legacies of Race in the Postcolonial World, 1945 to the Present” from 10 to 12 April 2012. The conference set an international agenda for continued research into the Jewish migration experience and its impact on the societies in which Jews found themselves after 1945.

Within the scope of the conference Urban held a lecture on the topic “The International Tracing Service (ITS) as an Allied organization: Child Search as an Historical Challenge” on 10 April 2012. The historian began her talk by briefly introducing her listeners to the history of the ITS and then take them into the subject of the child search branch. Within that context, the care the UNRRA and the various Jewish and national welfare institutions gave to the often severely traumatized children were in the focus of her lecture.

On 13 April 2012 Urban talked on the subject “Clarifying fates of Nazi-victims and remembering the past with a lesson for the future” at the Australian Red Cross. Seeking to reunite families, the ITS joins forces with Red Cross Societies all over the world. Urban gave details on ITS’ efforts to clear up people’s fates and the remembrance work done at the institution.