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Archives of the International Tracing Service

Documentary heritage submitted by the International Commission for the International Tracing Service (ITS) and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2013.

Between 1933 and 1945 the world went through an unprecedented period of destruction and persecution caused by the National Socialist regime in Germany. The Second World War represents the widest conflict humanity ever experienced, resulting in internments, displacements and deaths. The collection contains material from concentration and extermination camps, ghettos and Gestapo prisons, as well as documentation on the displacement and exploitation of forced labour and the fates of displaced people including survivors searching to emigrate out of a destroyed Europe. Since 1946, the archives of the ITS in Bad Arolsen (Germany) have been testimony to the persecution of minorities and political opponents of all kinds, the extreme exploitation of forced labour and a vast uprooting of people from their homes. The sheer volume of the ITS archives illustrates the extent of Nazi crimes. As witnesses will soon no longer be around to tell their stories, the documents become of even greater relevance.

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