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Witness´s visit to the ITS

Professor Feliks Tych is a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and a historian and former director of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.  During his 5-day stay in Germany he visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen. “I am very impressed by how the ITS is organized and how it works,” said Tych after an extensive tour of the documentation.

ITS´s head archivist, Udo Jost, showed index cards from the Central Name Index, lists of displaced persons and records of imprisonment from the various concentration camps and ghettos to both Tych and Ernst Klein from the Volkmarsen association “Against Forgetting.” Tych absorbed the information not only through the eyes of a historian but also as that of a “victim”. “I admire the quality of the work done at the ITS,” said the 79 year-old. “The diverse documents kept at the ITS are also extremely important for the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. It is imperative that the contact between the two organizations be deepened.”    

Born in 1929, Feliks Tych survived the war both inside and outside the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw. His parents and many family members perished in the Holocaust. After the war Tych studied history in Warsaw and in 1955 graduated from Moscow´s Lomonossov University. He has studied the Holocaust as a witness, historian and academic.

Tych co-edited the recently published book “Children in the Holocaust“.  The book is based on interviews with children which were conducted by representatives of the Jewish Historical Commission in Poland after the war. The statements which were made by girls and boys shortly after the war bear witness to their experiences of violence, fear and persecution, with no political background or interpretation. The original reports were developed and evaluated together with the University of Leipzig and the association “Against Forgetting – For Democracy”, and will be kept at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. “We have invested in this work in order to keep the memories alive,” explains Tych. “The book should also serve as a warning to the world not to allow such a terrible time to be repeated.”

Feliks Tych, Alfons Kenkmann, Elisabeth Kohlhaas, Andreas Eberhardt, „Kinder über den Holocaust“, Metropol Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-938690-08-6.