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“The ITS is a perfect place for research”

Argentinean victims of the Holocaust are the research topic of Marcia Ras, PhD candidate at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. As an EHRI fellow, she spent a few weeks in Bad Arolsen at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in January and February 2018. In an interview she told us about her research and her findings.

What were your expectations; why did you apply for an EHRI scholarship at the ITS?

Because I wanted to have access to a wide variety of sources covering ghettoes, concentration camps, etc., because Argentinean victims of the Holocaust were scattered all over Europe.

You wrote that you’re interested in both: genuine citizens and persons holding forged papers claiming Argentinean citizenship. Did you find information on both groups?

I found information on the fate of members of both groups, but not on how they obtained these forgeries.

Was the research difficult? Did you have names when you started out on your search?

I came with a list of about 900 names but found many more cases at the ITS. The database is very researcher-friendly.

Are there any documents that have a special meaning for your research here?

I love one document because it is a “long” list of Argentineans. There were 41 persons registered in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on 4 March 1945. Usually the lists are much shorter.

What are your impressions of the ITS archive at the end of your time as an EHRI fellow?

The ITS is a perfect place for research. It is easy to access the documents one is looking for, and when necessary the staff is extremely helpful. I am so grateful to EHRI for having given me this opportunity at the ITS.