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Information about the Emsland camps

Oldenburg historian Dr. Hans-Peter Klausch spent four days doing research at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen on behalf of the Document and Information Center (DIZ) in Papenburg, Germany. Klausch was pleased. “I found quite a few records which are not available at the DIZ. They are important for our research,” he said.

The Emsland camps were made up of 15 different concentration camps, prison camps and Wehrmacht POW camps in Emsland county. A permanent exhibition at the DIZ in Papenburg chronicles the history of the different types of camps.

The Oldenburg historian consulted records at the ITS for this and another exhibition at the former concentration camp and prison camp Esterwegen. From the documentation he was able to learn the exact numbers of Jewish prisoners in the camps. Klausch also found additional details of the National Socialists´ mass murder of so-called “asocial prisoners.” “The ITS´s records are very important for the history of the Emsland camps,” according to the historian.

Klausch checked names of prisoners in the central name index. In so doing, he found detailed information about the fates of individual prisoners. “Always contact several archives in order to do a complete search,” Klaus advises. “Information I found at the State Archive in Osnabrück was not available at the ITS and vice versa.”

The Oldenburg historian also used his time at the ITS to research his earlier work “Strafeinheiten der Waffen-SS und Wehrmacht“(“Waffen SS and Wehrmacht Penal Units”). Before the opening of the archive he had wanted to look at the documentation. “Unfortunately I was not granted access at that time. Today I found some exciting information which is of interest to my work.” Klausch plans to update his research work and publish it in professional journals.