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Further data supplied to partner organizations

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen this week provided further digital copies of its records to seven partner organizations in Israel, USA, Poland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Great Britain. This data involves 224,000 ITS correspondence files with survivors and family members of victims of Nazi persecution. “300,000 of a total of three million correspondence files have now been scanned,” said Djordje Drndarski, Associate Director and Head of the Archives at the ITS.

Involving around 60 million sheets of paper, the scanning of the correspondence files is the most extensive stage of the digitization project. People turned to the Tracing Service to search for family members, to gain information on the existing documents or to require certificates for compensation and pension applications. “Their letters combined with the information from the original documents enable a reconstruction of individual fates and offer information about the compensation policy of the Federal Republic of Germany,” said Drndarski. Correspondence older than 25 years is also available for research.

The documents which have now been handed over involve 9.4 million copies (ca. 1 terabyte). This also includes re-scans from other ITS collections, the finding aids compiled so far, as well as a catalogue from 1951, which describes the archive holdings from concentration camps at that time. According to a decision by the International Commission, which determines the guidelines for the work of the ITS, each of the eleven member states may request a digital copy of the documents available in Bad Arolsen. The historical records from the ITS archives have already been supplied in digital form. Recipients of the data include Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw, the Luxembourg Documentation and Research Centre on the Resistance, the Belgium and French state archives as well as the Wiener Library in London. The documents may also be researched in the ITS databank in Bad Arolsen.