Digitization of the Drancy file

The Drancy file and the lists of the Theresienstadt camp

Digitization project
Article 11 February 2022 France

Digitization of the Drancy file and the lists of the Theresienstadt camp

As part of its mandate, the ICRC has kept archives since its creation in 1863. They constitute the memory of the activities of the ICRC, same as that of victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence. Since 1996, considering the exceptional interest they represent and for the sake of transparency, the ICRC has decided to open some of its archives for public consultation.

In 2017, the new Rules for Access to ICRC Archives as well as the Internal Regulations - both adopted by the Assembly - provide for the possibility of posting ICRC's series of digitized archives after a period of 90 years, with a possibility to reduce this period to 70 years.

The Arolsen Archives (previously known as ITS, International Tracing Service) has asked for the possibility of digitizing the ICRC archives relating to the French internment camp at Drancy. The records were transmitted to ICRC by the French Red Cross between July and September 1943.

The cards contain the identities of the detainees (Austrians, Belgians, Bulgarians, Czechoslovakians, French, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Luxembourgers, Polish, Romanians, Russians and Turks) who left the Drancy camp between July and November 1942.

The Arolsen Archives also plan to digitize the nominal lists of the Theresienstadt camp. These lists were sent by the ICRC delegate Paul Dunant after his mission to Theresienstadt in May 1945.

The ICRC decided to answer positively to Arolsen initiative for the online posting of these archives.

This message serves as information for the families and beneficiaries concerned. In the event that the families and beneficiaries concerned oppose such an online publication, it is possible to submit a complaint either to the ICRC or to Arolsen Archives.

In the future, as the result of the implementation of a multiyear strategy, the ICRC Archives and Library intend to substantially enhance online access to their collections with future digitization projects such as the one in collaboration with the Arolsen Archives.

For each collection made available online, families and beneficiaries will be informed of their right to oppose online posting through similar message posted on the ICRC website and resulting online platforms with the relevant contact details.