May 21, 2007
SURVIVORS MUST SEE THE HOLOCAUST FILES
To the Editor:
Re “Documents From Vast Nazi Archive to Be Made Available to Scholars” (news article, May 16):
The 11-nation board governing the International Tracing Service archives at Bad Arolsen, Germany, announced an agreement allowing the transfer of digitized documents to archives around the world while the formal treaty ratification process continues. I would like to clarify one critical point.
While the collection promises to be a treasure trove for scholars, it is Holocaust survivors who urgently need access to this material so they can learn the fates of their families and loved ones.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum led the effort to open this archive precisely so that we could get this information to survivors at long last. In the past, survivors often waited years for a response from I.T.S.; some have never heard; other received misinformation.
This interim agreement allows the museum to begin organizing and cataloging this enormous collection so it can be made available as quickly as possible once the treaty amendments are completely ratified so that no more precious time is lost.
The survivors have waited for 60 years. That is long enough.
Sara J. Bloomfield
Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, May 16, 2007