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Nazi Holocaust Archives at Bad Arolsen

Nazi Holocaust Archives at Bad Arolsen - International Tracing Service.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: World War II Archives, WW2 Posters.

Poland puts database of Auschwitz guards online (9,000 names)
The names of Nazi SS commanders and guards at the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland have been put online by the country`s Institute of National Remembrance (INR). It has been hailed as the most comprehensive list to date. About 9,000 names - nearly all German - are on the Auschwitz garrison list, some with photographs attached. It includes information about SS commanders and guards who worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau, their names, place and date of birth, nationality, military service and where possible, a photograph.
(bbc.com)

5,000-7,000 pages of Holocaust-era documents found In Budapest
Some 5,000-7,000 pages of documents from the 1940s were recently discovered during the renovation of a flat on Kossuth tér. The documents provide information about the forced relocation of Jewish residents of Budapest`s 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Districts to houses marked with a yellow star. The extremely rare documents were transferred to the Budapest Archives.
(xpatloop.com)

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Audio files of Auschwitz survivors and Nazi death camp guards go online
The voices of Holocaust survivors and Nazi death camp guards can be heard in an online audio archive. The Fritz Bauer Institute put online hundreds of hours of recordings of German-language testimony about the horrors of Auschwitz. The institute, which is dedicated to studying the Holocaust, a decade ago published written transcripts of 430 hours of testimony and audio recordings of 100 hours, but it has now made the material available online at www.auschwitz-prozess.de. The witness testimony from the 1963-65 Frankfurt trial of 20 death camp guards, which was kept in the city archives, includes recordings of survivors recalling the horrors of Auschwitz as well as defendants denying culpability.
(rawstory.com)

Holocaust researchers have cataloged 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe
More than a decade ago researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe. What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust. The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler`s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.
(nytimes.com)

French railroad SNCF hands over WWII-era archives to Holocaust museums
SNCF, the French national railroad, has handed over digital copies of hits WWII–era archives. The documents were moved to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Shoah Memorial in Paris. The handover comes a year after SNCF President Guillaume Pepy admitted that the company transferred Jews to Nazi camps. The company sent trains loaded with French and foreign Jews from all over the country to Drancy and then to Bobigny 1942-1944. German trains made the final trip from both places to Auschwitz and other death camps. 75,720 Jews from France were deported, only 2,500 survived.
(jta.org)

Yad Vashem`s Holocaust archive now features search keywords
After years of talk and grandiose visions, countless projects to digitize Second World War related content and place it online are finally gathering speed and beginning to show some real results.

Israel`s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem has teamed up with Google to make its photographs and documents - the world`s largest collection of Holocaust files - searchable on online. Google used experimental optical character recognition technology to make text searchable in multiple languages. The first 130,000 photos are already online to mark the annual Holocaust remembrance day.

Link to the photo collection

(haaretz.com)

2/3 of the six million Jewish Holocaust victims identified says Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre has identified 2/3 of the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis. The number of names known to the centre has doubled in the last 10 years, mainly due to the digitilisation process.
(monstersandcritics.com)

Online database lists 20,000 art pieces the Nazis looted from France and Belgium
Holocaust survivors and their descendants can now search an online database detailing (what was seized and from who, restitution status, photos) over 20,000 art pieces looted from Nazi-occupied France and Belgium. The Nazis ransacked hundreds of thousands of artworks from Jews in one of the biggest cultural raids in history. The database is based on digitized 1940-1944 records from The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), the "Special Task Force" led by Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg. The ERR was one of the main Nazi agencies plundering cultural valuables in Nazi-occupied countries. [Project website]
(dailymail.co.uk)

Satan`s administration: Journey into Nazi death records in Bad Arolsen
Welcome to Grosse Allee 5 in the town of Bad Arolsen. Here you will find just one thing: documents. 50 million card cabinets contain the names of 17.5 million people who were oppressed during the Third Reich. Touring through the shelves of names organized in little card catalogues is like browsing a phone book. For a random family name like Abramovich there are 849 spelling variations. "Satan`s administration" is what Udo Jost, the head of archives, calls the world`s largest archives of the Nazi horrors. These files crush the claim that the average German would not have known about the Nazi camps.
(ynetnews.com)

List of the names of Buchenwald Nazi camp victims put online
The names of many of those killed in the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp have been published online on the 65th anniversary of the camp`s liberation. The names of about 38,000 victims of the Nazis who died at the camp near the city of Weimar can now been viewed at buchenwald.de/totenbuch, the Buchenwald Memorial Foundation announced. A team of 15 researchers and other volunteers have laboured on the project for 10 years, going throught 500,000 documents to collect the names of those killed in the camp.
(dw-world.de)

List of nazi camps and ghettos, expected to be around 5,000, exceeds 20,000
A decade ago the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum decided to create an encyclopedia of Nazi camps, expecting the list would have 5,000-7,000 camps and ghettos. The final count of over 20,000 is far more than most scholars had known existed. "Instead of thinking of main death camps, people are going to understand that this was a continent-wide phenomenon," said Steven Katz. The Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos: 1933-1945 "is the first major reference work for Holocaust studies since... the fall of the USSR" and the opening of many European archives, explained Paul Shapiro. Volume 1 will be released June 12 2009.
(washingtonpost.com)

Richard Ehrlich photographs the huge nazi archive in Bad Arolsen
14 months ago Richard Ehrlich flew to Berlin and rented the best digital camera he could find. With the 39-megapixel Hasselblad he travelled to Bad Arolsen and found his way to the International Tracing Service. What he faced was beyond comprehension: 50 million documents of Nazi atrocities in the world`s biggest Holocaust archive - that would become the subject of hundreds of photos, shot over 7 days and winnowed to a 54-image portfolio. "You are immediately struck by the enormity of this and the meticulousness of the records. That`s the astounding part, that they kept these records. I guess that is part of their gestalt."
(latimes.com)

Nazi archives reveal: Many victims didn`t return to their homeland because of Communism
Nazi archives at Bad Arolsen have begun revealing names of the post-WW2 refugees who could not or would not go home. The records tell of the 800,000 "non-repatriables" people. Often their homelands had fallen under communist control and they feared instant death if they went home. So they waited - often until 1952 - in grim refugee camps for permission to emigrate. "Many from Eastern Europe said `I will never go back,` because they knew what Stalinism meant for them. Catholic priests... could not go back to work in the Baltic states," explained Kathrin Flor. Historians may also discover a few Nazi collaborators hidden among the victims.
(dw-world.de)

Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM Number - IBM machines were located at the Nazi camps   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In August 1943 a timber merchant from Bendzin arrived at Auschwitz. He was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and given a 5-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673, which was later tattooed on his forearm. The 5-digit Hollerith number was part of IBM`s custom-designed Hollerith punch card system which let the Nazis efficiently manage the camps and the millions of victims who passed through them. Each month authorized repairmen, working directly for or trained by IBM, serviced the machines on-site: whether in Berlin or at a camp. The information that IBM machines were at Auschwitz is just the latest smoking gun, as IBM continues to block access to its archives.
(thecuttingedgenews.com)

Hunt for World War II survivors continues over 60 years later
Freddy was 9 when he emerged from the Buchenwald in 1945. His parents were missing, and he was fortunate to be adopted by a couple in the United States. But only now has he discovered his mother also survived the camps... The case is just one of thousands dealt by the ITS, which holds the archives of 17.5 million people who went through the Nazi camp system 1933-1945. Of the 800 requests received every month, 10% concern the search for missing people, says Margret Schlenke. Of these, "about a third can be answered positively: either to confirm a death or to allow people to be brought together."
(thelocal)

Germany opens huge Nazi crimes archive in Bad Arolsen to public
Germany opened the world`s largest collection of documents on Nazi crimes and their victims to the public - Until now it allowed only Nazi victims and their relations access. The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen contains 50 million records on 17 million victims of Adolf Hitler`s Nazi regime. The paperwork, which has imprisonment orders, death registers and Gestapo notes, reveals details about people who were killed in the Holocaust, nazi camp survivors and millions of forced laborers and displaced people.
(reuters)

Nazi records, of 3.5 million people displaced, given to Holocaust Groups
The digitally copied documents containing names of 3.5 million people displaced after World War II have been given to Holocaust memorial groups and museums by The International Tracing Service of the International Committee of the Red Cross from the nazi archive in Bad Arolsen. The transfer involved copies of index cards that feature the names of people who were freed from Nazi concentration and labor camps as well as POWs. It will take 2 more years to complete copying onto hard drives the 16 linear miles of papers. So far, 67 million images of documents have been transferred.
(usatoday.com)

Bad Arolsen Nazi Documents Open to Public for the First Time
For the first time one of the biggest depots of Nazi documents would be opened to the public, ending 6 decades of secrecy. Most of the 50 million files were seized by Allied troops at the end of World War II. Families and history researchers will now have direct access to the files that contain the most detailed knowledge of Nazi atrocities committed. The archive will continue to serve the purpose for which it was created: tracing missing persons and supplying documentation to victims of Nazi persecution to confirm compensation claims. Last year, there were 150,000 requests about lost relatives who went missing during WWII.
(abcnews)

Copies of Gestapo and concentration camp records arrive at Museums
The keepers of a Nazi archive have delivered 20 million pages, copies of Gestapo papers and concentration camp records, to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and to the Yad Vashem Martyrs` and Heroes` Remembrance Authority. But it will be months before the archive can be used - and even after it opens to the public, navigating the files will be nearly impossible without a trained guide. Most documents are written by hand, sometimes in old German script. They also contain variations in the spelling of names, many recorded phonetically. That makes it impossible, for now, to convert files to a digitally searchable form.
(washingtonpost)

Huge Nazi Archive at Bad Arolsen not ready for digital age
The room whirrs with electronics: A digital recorder copies a film of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and other machines digitize testimonies taped by Holocaust survivors. Microfilmed war documents flash across a digital scanner at 2 images per second, 5 million a month. Yad Vashem Memorial is getting its archive ready to go online. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is reproducing its wartime records in digital format. One archive is missing and it`s making people angry: In Bad Arolsen, Germany, technicians are scanning the largest closed collection of Nazi documents. The archivists defend their colleagues in Germany, citing an array of problems.
(washingtonpost)

First list of Holocaust victims` possessions to be published
The Company for Locating and Retrieving Assets of People who were Killed in the Holocaust intends to publish a list of assets and invite heirs of the victims to claim them. However, the banks have refused to cooperate with the company and transfer the accounts of victims` to it. Two MKs from the Knesset`s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee threatened to petition the High Court of Justice to force the banks to return the money to the victims` heirs. Yishai Amrami said a list of 500 lots, some 50 apartments and NIS 60 million in various bank accounts, is to be released in 2 weeks. "It`s scandalous that Bank Leumi isn`t giving the money."
(haaretz)

Researchers seek access to historical Nazi archives in Bad Arolsen
As the Third Reich headed to defeat in World War II, the Germans burned millions of records. But 10% survived - enough to make up a huge archive. Efforts to lift the secrecy from this cache are likely to take a big step forward. The 11-nation commission meets to decide when and how to make files available to researchers. So far the archive of 30-50 million pages, has been used only to help reunite families and verify restitutions. The files were closed in 1955 after it was feared unfettered access could violate the privacy of victims. As the survivor generation dwindles, the decision to make documents available will shift the archive`s function to a historical resource.
(nysun.com)

Putting names to numbers remains daunting 60 years later
The hunt begins with a number. Harry Stein looks at the digits in column after column on faded microfilm, searching for clues to a mystery: Who was Auschwitz inmate 185403? The list Stein is scrutinizing says nothing. More than six decades after the Nazi Holocaust ended, historians are still struggling with a giant task - to make a semblance of order among hundreds of thousands of dead by finding at least their names. There is no central catalog: just miles of files, scattered across Europe, the US and elsewhere. Of 56,000 people who perished behind the barbed wire at Buchenwald, 23,000 remain unidentified.
(usatoday)

U.S.-German Flare-Up Over Vast Nazi Camp Archives
Tempers are flaring over a US demand to open a huge repository of information about the Holocaust contained in the files of the International Tracing Service. Based in part on documents gathered by Allied forces as they liberated camps, the stock of files holds information on 17.5 million people. The collection is unique in its intimate personal detailing of a catastrophe, which is what makes the question of open access so delicate. The papers may reveal who was treated for lice at which camp, what medical experiment was conducted on which prisoner and why, who was accused of homosexuality or murder, which Jews collaborated and how they were induced to do so.
(nytimes)


See also:
World War II Archives
WW2 Posters.