The Arolsen Archives, formerly the International Tracing Service archive (ITS), located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, was opened for research in 2007. The archives are overseen by an 11-nation International Commission comprised of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is designated as the national repository for the ITS Digital Archive in the United States.
How can I search this collection?
Museum staff will search the records of the ITS Digital Archive free of charge for survivors, their families, and families of victims. Survivors who require documentation to file for compensation are given the highest priority. The Museum is committed to making the information in these records accessible to Holocaust survivors in a timely fashion.
All others interested in accessing these records—scholars, authors, genealogists, and other researchers—should visit the Museum in person. Access to the ITS Digital Archive, like most of the Museum's archival material, is free and open to the public onsite. The Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center is temporarily closed. Museum staff are still available to assist you with research requests.
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
This glossary (PDF) is intended to assist those working with Arolsen Archives records who may have little knowledge of the German language. It is regulary updated.
What is in the collection?
The collection contains more than 200 million digital images of documentation on millions of victims of Nazism—people arrested, deported, killed, put to forced labor and slave labor, or displaced from their homes and unable to return at the end of the war.
Please note that although the Museum will make every effort to locate requested documentation, archival records do not include information on every Holocaust victim or survivor. For example, the ITS Digital Archive does not include names of persons:
- Who were murdered upon arrival in camps and killing centers (but lists of people deported from France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands are usually available)
- Who were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen
- Who perished in death marches (though other records about them prior to their deaths might be available).
- Who died at the time of arrest
- Who were hidden (excluding some postwar information when applicable)
The material in the ITS Digital Archive is generally more thorough for people who were deported from Western Europe than for those who were living in Eastern Europe at the beginning of World War II. The collection only has records from a very small number of ghettos.