German archive puts 850,000 documents on Nazi victims online

Hundreds of thousands of documents on Nazi crimes with information on some 10 million people were made accessible online, the Germany-based International Centre on Nazi Prosecution said.

The documents are from the American Zone of Occupation in southern Germany
— the largest Allied-controlled area — and are part of the centre’s trove known as the Arolsen Archives, some of which are already online.

In the months after the end of the war, Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States ordered local German authorities to provide information on the fate of any foreign nationals, German Jews and stateless persons. Details of burial sites were also included.

“In the American Zone of Occupation alone, this resulted in the creation of around 850,000 documents containing information on 10 million names,” the centre said in a statement.

The archive, previously known as the International Tracing Service, has helped researchers discover the history of Nazi victims such as Anne Frank.

Rebecca Böhling, acting head of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Museum said the archive was of “exceptional significance”.

The Arolsen Archives team said in a statement it had worked with the genealogical research company Ancestry in order to make the information accessible “quickly and easily”.

The centre said it would be putting more lists online soon, starting with the archive for the British Zone of Occupation.

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