Nazi Persecution and Postwar Repercussions

The International Tracing Service Archive and Holocaust Research

By (author) Suzanne Brown-Fleming

Publication date:

03 February 2016

Length of book:

306 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442251731

The International Tracing Service, one of the largest Holocaust-related archival repositories in the world, holds millions of documents that enrich our understanding of the many forms of persecution during the Nazi era and its continued repercussions ever since. Drawing on a selection of recently available documents from the archive, this essential resource provides new insights into human decision-making in genocidal settings, the factors that drive it, and its far-reaching consequences. The sources that the author has collected and contextualized here reflect the full range of behaviors and roles that victims, their oppressors, beneficiaries, and postwar aid organizations played beginning in 1933, through World War II, the Holocaust, and up to the present.
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, roughly 150 million documents were gradually released to researchers. This evidence cataloged the fates of millions of Jews and other Europeans victimized by Nazi Germany. The International Tracing Service archive yielded concentration camp records, transport and deportation lists, arrest vouchers, prison files, displaced persons and slave-labor documents (implicating scores of corporate, government, and military entities in the use and abuse of forced labor), and a chronicle of inquiries from millions of survivors and extended family members scattered around the world attempting to uncover information about murdered loved ones. More than a half century was required to open the archive; Paul Shapiro, director of the Holocaust Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, tells that story in the foreword. Brown-Fleming, senior coordinator of programs at the center, modestly describes this volume as a brief ‘point of entry into a complex collection.’ The resource is utterly invaluable to libraries supporting Holocaust research and any scholar or legal expert aiming to reconstruct at the micro-level the experiences of individuals brutalized by Nazi Germany. Sharing a rich cross section of the archive's vast holdings, the author also explains the manner in which the materials are organized into sub-units. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; professionals/practitioners.