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Documentation of the “Waldeckische Landeszeitung” on the ITS

In a joint event held before 90 guests yesterday, the “Waldeckische Landeszeitung/Frankenberger Zeitung (WLZ-FZ)” and the International Tracing Service (ITS) presented the new WLZ-FZ documentation “Clarifying Fates – Keeping Memory Alive”. 20 articles narrate individuals’ fates and portray both, the mandates and the history of the ITS. “We take pride in this exciting documentary. It exemplifies that we, as a local paper are capable of profoundly treating topics despite the hectic pace of everyday news life”, stated Joerg Kleine, chief editor of the WLZ-FZ.

According to Kleine, the ITS fulfils a task of utmost importance for innumerable people throughout the world. “ITS documents illuminate the consequences war, persecution and forced labour did have. This documentation is supposed to be our contribution to keeping memory alive.” Jean-Luc Blondel, Director of the ITS, thanked the WLZ-FZ for their initiative. “We are glad that we as an international institution earn respect also on a local level. The documentation makes the crucial point: the victims of National Socialist persecution are and were our neighbours.”

In the event, Rudi Merwar from North Hessian Niestetal, whose search for his natural father is detailed in the brochure, described his personal experience. “To concern myself with the crimes of the National Socialist regime was absolutely natural to me, a must.” For decades, Merwar, the child of a forbidden love relationship between a German woman and a Dutch forced labourer, had neither known his father’s name nor origin until he turned to the ITS. Meanwhile he has come to know four half-brothers and -sisters. “I have searched for my father and found a large family, the second half of my life“, related Merwar. “Every human being has the right to know his roots.”

The 40-page documentation can be acquired in all branches and partner agencies of the WLZ-FZ and at the ITS, Grosse Allee 3-5, Bad Arolsen. Its regular price is 6.50 Euro. Subscribers to the WLZ-FZ pay the special rate of 5.00 Euro.