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US: ICRC Special Representative for the International Tracing Service visits Washington D.C

08-05-2006 News Release

The following was issued as a press release by the ICRC delegation Washington on May 8 2006

The Special Representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the International Tracing Service (ITS), Dr. Toni Pfanner, visits Washington today to discuss with US officials and representatives of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum how to make the Nazi-era ITS archives accessible to researchers.

The ITS archives contain information on civilians detained in Nazi concentration and labour camps and on people who fled their home because of the Second World War. It is based in Bad Arolsen, Germany, and run by the ICRC under a mandate entrusted to the organization by States. The ITS archives house over 50 million card files relating to more than 17.5 million civilians persecuted by the Nazis.

Dr. Pfanner is stressing the need for the archives to be made accessible to researchers as soon as possible.

The ICRC fully supports the rapid opening of the archives for research purposes. Discussions have lasted too long and the steps needed to open the archives must absolutely be taken next month in Luxembourg " .

 For more information, please contact:  

 Simon Schorno, ICRC Washington, (202) 431 6906  

 Antonella Notari, ICRC Geneva, ++41 79 217 32 80