This is an in-person event taking place at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast across 11 – 12 November 2021. 

Participants in this two-day event series will discover the history of a little-known archive, the International Tracing Service (now called the Arolsen Archives), created to find missing people after the Holocaust. Hosted at the Linen Hall Library, the programme will include a pop-up exhibition; a lecture and discussion with the co-curators Professor Dan Stone and Dr Christine Schmidt; as well as a hands-on family research workshop offering opportunities to explore the expertise and resources of The Wiener Holocaust Library and the Linen Hall Library.

We invite historians, family historians, heritage practitioners and anyone interested in the history of the Second World War, the Holocaust and its aftermath to participate and reflect on the legacies of confronting difficult histories, both on the personal and broader, historical level.

Portrait of Zuzana Knobloch
Missing since 1943, Zuzana Knobloch, a Czech Jew, was arrested in Prague with her husband, Ferdinand, for resistance activities. Zuzana’s parents were murdered after being deported from Theresienstadt in 1942. It took her surviving family many decades to uncover her likely fate.
Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.
A document with information relating to a prisoner from Auschwitz-Birkenau
A postwar Czech index revealed that Zuzana Knobloch had been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau on 25 November 1943. It is presumed that she died there.
ITS Digital Archive 4999265. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections.

Event Programme

I. Fate Unknown: The Search for the Missing after the Holocaust – 11 November 2021, 7 – 8.30pm

A pop-up exhibition, drinks reception and talks on the history of the search for the missing after the Second World War with co-curators Professor Dan Stone and Dr Christine Schmidt, led by Scott Edgar, Assistant Arts and Cultural Programmer. The history of the collection and what it reveals about the Second World War helps provide context for research, both family and academic, within the archive itself. The discussion will include themes raised by the exhibition, including war, migration, rupture, survival and victimhood.

Book tickets for Part 1 of this event series here. (Tickets will go on sale in October.)

II. Recovering the Personal in Difficult Histories: A Family Research Workshop – 12 November 2021, 1 – 3pm

Learn how to take the first steps in conducting your own family research using the International Tracing Service archive of the Linen Hall Library’s resources. This workshop will provide a demonstration of the ITS archive and a skills workshop as well as the opportunity for short, one-on-one consultations with the panellists, who will include The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Senior ITS Researchers, Elise Bath and Mary Vrabecz, and the Linen Library’s Assistant Arts and Cultural Programmer, Scott Edgar. Participants can navigate the ITS archive partially from their mobile devices and are invited to bring with them their family trees and research questions. Light refreshments will be served.

Book tickets for Part 2 of this event series here. (Tickets will go on sale in October.)

Booking is essential as spaces are limited due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Pending easing of restrictions, additional spaces may open close to the event. The Linen Hall Library is an accessible building with a lift to all levels, step-free access to the Performance Area, and seats available for the event.

This event is part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 11 – 12 November 2021. 

In partnership with the Linen Hall Library, the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, University of London and The Wiener Holocaust Library.