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Paying visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen today, Karel de Beer, Ambassador and Chairman of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF), encouraged the institution to seek cooperation with other organisations. “It is essential for us to inspire one another to work together”, said de Beer. “To my mind, the cooperation and inter-linkage of the organisations involved in the subject of the Holocaust enjoys top priority.”

It was Ambassador de Beer’s first visit to the ITS, and he made it together with Marcel Floor, Head of the Dutch Delegation with the ITF. During a walking tour of the archives and its various sections he gained an insight into the type of requests received here and into the new projects in the research and educational field. “This visit confirms my expectations”, so de Beer. “The ITS is an organisation both active and alive which I hope will orient itself even more internationally. It is vital for the ITS to ‘come out of its shell’ and explain its social relevance.”

It is above all the universities and junior historians with whom the ITS ought to form a relationship. De Beer sees an enormous cooperation potential waiting to be uncovered mainly in the East of Europe. “The countries in Europe’s East have only just started to cope with, to re-assess their recent national histories”, de Beer gave his opinion. “The ITS positively can contribute a lot to this process.”

De Beer wants to see the ITS involved in the working groups of the Task Force. “Spontaneously I think of at least four issues or items on which we can cooperate”, said de Beer. Established as an international organisation in 1998, the ITF has dedicated herself to remembering, researching, and teaching the lesson of, the Holocaust ever since. It is she who puts the subject on the political agenda, who promotes memory in whatever form, who coordinates research projects, who supports advanced training and study excursions for educators and teachers. And the ITF is a committed advocate of public and free access to archives. Currently, 28 states are members of the organisation.