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ICRC welcomes decision to open archives documenting Nazi persecution

17-05-2006 News Release 06/47

Geneva (ICRC) – At its annual meeting in Luxembourg on 16 May the International Commission for the International Tracing Service, which supervises the activities of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany, agreed to measures aimed at opening the ITS archives for the purpose of historical research and at providing its member States with copies of the archives.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) welcomes this decision as an important step towards making further use of the highly valuable information gathered over the years at the ITS on the persecution of millions of people by the Nazi regime. As this information becomes available to researchers, it will help to preserve the memory of events that caused untold human suffering.

The 11 member States of the International Commission will now sign and ratify amended agreements governing the mandate and work of the ITS that will allow access to the archives for the purpose of historical research. The ICRC is committed, to the extent consistent with its mandate and capabilities, to facilitating implementation of the agreements. Under ICRC management the ITS will continue to perform the humanitarian task of responding to the thousands of requests received daily from victims and their families. It will also continue to preserve and restore the documents in its keeping and to make digital copies of millions of individual records.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 22 82 or +41 79 217 32 80,  



 Media advisory: please refer to the press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg  

 for the precise terms of the decisions taken by the International Commission for the ITS  

 (press contacts: Mr Eldar Subasic, spokesman, MFA Luxembourg,  

 tel. +352 478 24 47,   )

 See also: