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US Deputy Consul General Phillips pleads that Students engage in Research Projects at the ITS

from left: Professor Rebecca Boehling, Director ITS; Charisse M. Phillips, Deputy Consul General; Alexander Whittington, Head of the Political and Economic Section of the US Consulate

Charisse M. Phillips, Deputy Consul General of the United States in Frankfurt/Main, paid a visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen late in July 2013. During her stay, she took a lively interest in the development of the ITS into an international centre for documentation, information and research. “Young people shall come here to Arolsen to learn from the past and pursue research by their own”, pleaded Phillips. “I feel that it is important for the present and succeeding generations to cope with the history of Nazi persecution. As our modern history has been influenced or even shaped by this era, it must not fall into oblivion.”

In the company of Alexander Whittington, Head of the Political and Economic Section of the US Consulate General, Phillips inspected the documentary holdings of ITS and informed herself of its recent development. The US Representative was impressed by the host of documents, in particular the Central Name Index and the collection on Displaced Persons. “I did not know that the ITS is keeping so many documents with regard to the post-war period“, said Phillips. Her father, a serviceman in the US Army, used to accomplish extra tasks in DP Camps near Frankfurt and Innsbruck. That is why Phillips whose mother is of Austrian ancestry heard him narrate many a story on the survivors of Nazism in her childhood days.

Visiting the ITS Department for Research and Education, the American could cast an eye over the OuS database and was updated on cooperation projects ITS had started with schools, universities and other institutions. The US Representative praised the collaboration with universities and colleges and recommended that the ITS should recruit student interns capable of carrying out research projects by their own. The realization of the ITS exhibition project “Life in Transit – Trauma and New Beginning. Survivors of Nazi Persecution” attracted her special interest. She confirmed the Consulate’s attendance at the opening of the exhibition in Frankfurt/Main next year.