Each year, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies organizes academic programs that enable new and established scholars to further their research and teaching based on the archival holdings of the International Tracing Service (ITS). The ITS collection, recently opened as a result of an international campaign led by the Museum, includes over 100 million Holocaust-era documents relating to the fates of more than 17 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, and displacement during and after World War II.
Digital copies of these records are in the process of being transferred in their entirety to the Museum; currently, the Museum holds digital copies of more than 100 million pages spanning the period of 1933 through the mid-1950s. These include prewar and wartime prisoner arrest, incarceration, and transport records from German concentration camp and police authorities; prewar, wartime, and postwar records concerning foreign and forced labor in the German war economy, generated by the Nazi state, individual German firms, and postwar Allied occupation authorities; and postwar Allied records of individuals and families seeking displaced persons status and emigration.
Doctoral students and faculty specializing in Poland and Ukraine explored substantial parts of the ITS collection relating to these countries, focusing particularly on records concerning (1) forced and slave laborers in the German war economy; (2) Nazi Germany's expansionist and genocidal policies; and (3) the postwar experiences of displaced persons and refugees from Poland and Ukraine.
Twenty-one advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students participated in this ten-day seminar, using ITS records to explore the following five themes: the Nazi machinery of destruction; non-Jewish victims; foreign, forced, and slave laborers; displaced persons; and war criminals.
Twenty advanced undergraduate and early graduate students attended a ten-day seminar at the Museum on five thematic areas relevant to the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Participants examined these themes through the use of select ITS documents. Topics included the concentration camp system; non-Jewish victims; foreign, forced and slave laborers; displaced persons; and war criminals.
Staff scholars introduced 12 researchers from Europe, Israel, and North America to the ITS collection and assisted them in their research on foreign, forced, and slave labor in the German war economy.
The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the International Tracing Service introduced scholars to the ITS Archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany, teaching them how best to use and understand ITS materials. Participants explored the documentation in groups and identified key portions of the material that offer particularly rich opportunities for new research.
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