Opening of the International Tracing Service's Holocaust-Era Archives in Bad Arolsen, Germany [May 21, 2007] [open pdf - 72KB]
"For over 60 years, the International Tracing Service (ITS) has limited access to information in its vast archives of documents relating to victims of Germany's National- Socialist (Nazi) regime to survivors of Nazi crimes and their descendants. As recently as 2006, ITS had a recorded backlog of over 400,000 requests for information. The archives remain off-limits to historical research. In May 2006, responding largely to pressure from Holocaust survivors and their advocates, the International Commission overseeing ITS agreed to open the archives for historical research and to make a digital copy of its collections available to Commission member states. Four Commission members have yet to approve the 2006 agreement. The House and Senate have passed resolutions urging these states to expedite approval of the Commission's decision to open the archives. On May 15, 2007, the International Commission voted in favor of a U.S. proposal to allow immediate transfer of a digital copy of archived materials to member states that have adopted the May 2006 amendments. The United States has designated the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum as its national repository for the digitized records. Museum officials hope that the first transferred materials will be publicly accessible by fall 2007. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22638