ITS website in Russian
The website of the International Tracing Service (ITS) of Bad Arolsen is now also available in Russian. The new language version went online for the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the end of the war. “Many victims of Nazi persecution hail from Eastern Europe. We wanted to offer them better service while also making ITS more widely known,” says ITS Director Jean-Luc Blondel, who only recently held talks with representatives from archives and survivors' associations in Moscow.
The ITS archive holds extensive records on former forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners who came from the Baltic States and territories of the former Soviet Union. “The number of living survivors is declining. We therefore want to make it possible for those concerned to clarify any unresolved issues,” says Blondel. “This goes especially for the racing of family members.”
Many East Europeans have only had the chance to freely contact ITS since the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 and subsequent border opening. For a few years, the tracing service was mainly occupied with issuing confirmations through the foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” within the scope of compensation for forced labourers. Now tracing and the clarification of fates will once again become a focal point of its work.
ITS was recently able to unite siblings from Australia and Russia. They had been abducted to Germany before they were ultimately torn apart by the Cold War. “Cases like this are typical of our work,” confirms Margret Schlenke, head of the tracing section at ITS. “Up to today, people continue to have a strong need to find out what happened to their relatives during WWII.”