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International Tracing Service (ITS)

We’re proud to be the sole point of access in the UK to the International Tracing Service – a remarkable archive of over 30 million pages of Holocaust-era documents relating to the experiences of over 17.5 million people.

The Arolsen Archives, previously the International Tracing Service (ITS), in Bad Arolsen, Germany, was opened to researchers in 2007. It includes:

  • Documents on incarceration in concentration camps, ghettos and prisons
  • Documents on forced labour
  • Documents on Displaced Persons camps and emigration
  • Documents on Jewish and other victims of Nazi persecution

Thanks to financial support from the Foreign Office; the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government; the Heritage Lottery Fund; and private donors, the full digital copy of the ITS archive can be accessed at The Wiener Holocaust Library.

The Library has dedicated staff to support research in the ITS archive, which is often vast and complex to navigate.

How to access the ITS Archive at the WHL

  • Family Research Enquiries

    Library staff will search the ITS free of charge for survivors, their families, and families of victims. Use this form to submit a research request.

    Before submitting a request please see below for information on prioritising requests, turnaround time and your right to privacy.

  • Academic Enquiries

    Library staff support scholars and students who wish to access the archive directly. If you are interested in carrying out academic research using the ITS let us know by submitting a research enquiry.

  • Online Access

    Around 75-80% of the ITS archive is available online. Explore the online archive

    We recommend using the Arolsen Archives’ new online tool to help you decode the documents available in the online archive

Further information and useful links

Prioritising requests, turnaround time and your right to privacy

Please note that priority for archival research assistance is given to Holocaust survivors and their immediate families.

ITS Researchers at The Wiener Holocaust Library will navigate the archive searching for traces of your relatives free of charge. However, this can be very complicated and time consuming work. We try to respond to enquiries as quickly as possible, but there is high demand for this service and so there can be a significant turnaround time. We thank you for your patience.

The ITS archive is vast, but nonetheless it sometimes contains no information about a specific person or topic. If this is the case, we will try to let you know as soon as possible.

The Wiener Holocaust Library respects your right to privacy. Personal information collected in our online enquiry forms will not be sold or disseminated and will remain confidential and accessible only to authorized personnel.

Useful links for further research

There are many online resources which are helpful when trying to find out what happened to a person in the Holocaust. You may want to try the following links as a starting point in your research:

You may also wish to consider joining a genealogical society such as the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, who may be able to help you develop your research.

Our ITS research in the news

Publications

We are pleased to announce the release of three jointly published primary source supplements which aim to make the unique holdings of the ITS archive more accessible and to draw students’ attention to its research potential.

The supplements are produced in partnership with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Arolsen Archive.

 
Heritage Fund The Association of Jewish Refugees Federal Foreign Office
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