Since its restructuring in 2007, one of the main tasks of the International Tracing Service (ITS) has been to establish its archive nationally and internationally as a place for research. Projects and publications which the ITS initiates, accompanies and implements have made an important contribution towards this. Projects such as the DP-Camp-Inventory help to support researchers in their work. The ITS publications, among them the academic yearbook and the Findings, provide the space to present new research results and special collections, as well as pointing out the potential of the ITS archives.
The ITS has a network of major international partners, such as Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and the Wiener Library in London, all of whom hold a copy of the digitized archives of the ITS. With these partners the ITS supports academic exchange and initiates collaborative projects, the goal here being to provide research incentives on an international scale. Through its activities the ITS maintains a wide range of contacts with research institutes and memorial sites, supporting the network between these institutions and the researchers at the ITS.
In the case of larger projects, such as the DP-exhibit „Where should we have gone after the Liberation?“, research and education intertwine. The research results provide the foundation for events as well as for the creation of the pedagogical materials.
Currently, the research focus is on specific aspects of the following core topics:
- Prisons in the Nazi-Terror system
(Spatial dimensions of the persecution; ways through the concentration camp system)
- Relatively unexplored areas in Holocaust research
(Die Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland; Forgotten Topography of the Shoah, e.g. camps in Italy or Tunisia; Narratives in mass files)
- Nazi forced labor
- Crimes in the Final Phase
(last deportations and waves of arrests; Death Marches)
- Liberation and Displaced Persons
(Diversity of the DPs; Resettlement Programs; Child Search Branch; Jews in Northern Africa/DPs in Northern Africa/Asia)
- Restitution and Remembrance
(Changes in the memory of the crimes in the context of and as reflected in restitution, ITS correspondence, et al)