Around 8,50,000 documents on Nazi crimes containing information on 10 million people have been made available online by the International Center on Nazi Persecution. Germany-based Arolsen Archives has asked the users to respect privacy rights, the interests of third parties and other persons concerned as the portal contains sensitive data on Nazi persecution with identified and identifiable persons.
In 1945-46, the four Allied occupying powers (America, Britain, France, and the erstwhile Soviet Union) wanted to document the crimes committed by Nazi and search missing persons. They ordered German local authorities, companies, the police, and other institutions, to provide information on the foreign nationals, German Jews and stateless persons registered with them. The Arolsen Archives have put the 8,50,000 documents, which also include the details of the burial site, created in the American Zone of Occupation alone.
Rebecca Boehling, Acting Director of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said that the information regarding millions persecuted by the Nazi regime is of exceptional significance for the search for missing persons and for determining the path of persecution of both survivors and those whose lives were stolen.
“This new online access to these documents will make available an immense amount of information about survivors and victims of the death marches and concentration camps as well as about forced labour,” she said.
The Arolsen Archives have also enlisted the support of Ancestry, the largest online platform for genealogical research, to easily access the new information. “The data collected by Ancestry enrich our online archive with a lot of valuable information, including information on the whereabouts of foreign forced labourers, for example,” said Giora Zwilling, Head of Archival Description at the Arolsen Archives. The centre, in a press release, said that it will be soon putting more lists from other zones and next to follow will be the lists from the British zone.