For many decades after World War II, the massive archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS), based in Bad Arolsen, German were sealed from public view. This vital resource contains information on the process and identities of more than nine million Jews targeted for extermination and millions of other victims of Nazism. In 2007, years of advocacy resulted in ratification of an international agreement to open the ITS archive. As the ITS enters its second decade of research accessibility, the number of images available nears 200 million and continues to grow with the ongoing process of replication and categorization.
The unprecedented process of digitization allows not just academics, but anyone interested in the perpetrators, survivors, and victims of the Holocaust and their families, to collect invaluable information about this time period.
On the 10th anniversary of the opening of the archive, Paul A. Shapiro, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Director of International Affairs, will reflect on the effort required to open the archive and the moral and legal significance of making the contents of the archive accessible to Holocaust survivors, their families, and scholars in the United States and around the world. Elizabeth Anthony, Ph.D., who directs the Museum's academic programs utilizing the ITS archives, will address the scholarly uses of the digital ITS collection. Elana Heideman, Ph.D., Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, will serve as moderator.
The media is invited to cover this historic event.
What: Symposium - Seeking Justice: Holocaust History and the Archives of the International Tracing Service
When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 6:00pm
Where: The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, 43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem
This program is free and open to the public. To RSVP, please visit ushmm.org/seeking-justice. Directions to the Van Leer Institute can be found here.
Opening the Archives of the International Tracing Service - A Goldmine and a Warning
Paul A. Shapiro, Director of International Affairs and Director Emeritus of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Use of the ITS Digital Archive for Research and Education
Elizabeth Anthony, Ph.D., International Tracing Service and Partnerships Program Manager, Visiting Scholar Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Richard D. Heideman, Senior Counsel, Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC and former Chair, Lawyers’ Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This program has been made possible by Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Richard D. Heideman. The B’nai B’rith World Center - Jerusalem and the Israel Forever Foundation have co-sponsored this event.
The B’nai B'rith World Center is an initiator of a number of major international Holocaust-commemoration and education projects including: "Unto Every Person There is a Name" that seeks to emphasize the human dimension of the 8 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the "Jewish Rescuers Citation" that seeks to recognize the legacy of Jewish rescuers whose heroism has been marginalized in Holocaust historiography.