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ITS Ups Academic Staff

The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen is expanding its staff of research associates. Effective immediately, the research and cataloguing divisions will be backed by sociologist Sebastian Schönemann and archivist Jens Zirpins. In January, archivist Karen Siepelt will also be joining the tracing service.

The need for research associates has grown due to the new tasks that have evolved since the archive opened up to the public. Schönemann, 28 years old, will be assisting ITS historian Dr Susanne Urban in the area of research. His tasks include establishing a network with research facilities and memorials, planning an exhibition series, and working on an educational concept.

Schönemann studied sociology and politics at the University of Leipzig. After graduating a year and a half ago, he pursued various teaching activities. His sphere of work includes anti-Semitism and commemorative research. Originally from the town of Nordhausen, he served as a research associate for the exhibition “Schule unterm Hakenkreuz” (school under the swastika), and was active in a project called “Survivors prospect the future” initiated by the association “Jugend für Dora” (youth for Dora). “What appeals to me about the job is that I have access to an extensive inventory of documents at ITS,” said Schönemann.

The graduates of archive studies, Zirpins, 24, and Siepelt, 27, earned their degrees at the Potsdam College of Applied Sciences. They will be employed in the department of cataloguing headed by Karsten Kühnel, where their task is to index and catalogue the document inventory according to academic criteria. The goal is to make it possible for researchers to work with the corresponding finding aids at the ITS archives. “It’s extremely interesting for me to be able to get involved in the work on the transition of this institution from a tracing service to an academic archive,” said Zirpin. “Working with the historical documents is definitely also one of the gems of archival work.”