This week we will consider documents from the Arolsen Archives, formerly the International Tracing Service, an institution established post-war to collect documentation from the concentration camps, trace survivors, and reunite families. In recent years, the archive has been opened up to researchers globally following a major digitization project. In this session, we will consult the camp documents of Marta Blau and the compensation claim documents of Sara Gestetner, both Hungarian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944. Combining these with commentaries on the archive by Beth Cohen and Dan Stone, we will discuss what these types of documents can tell us about the Holocaust and the impact of the digitization process. You may wish to have a look at the Arolsen Archives e-guide for an explanation of the different sources they hold: eguide.arolsen-archives.org/en.
Concentration Camp Documents – Marta Blau (b. 07/03/1926), ITS/188.8.131.52/7526437-44.
Tracing and Compensation Claim Documents – Sara Gestetner (b. 28/01/1929), ITS/184.108.40.206/99270856-67.
Beth Cohen, ‘Nazi Persecution and Postwar Repercussions: The International Tracing Service Archive and Holocaust Research’, Holocaust and Genocide Studies 31.3 (2017): 492-94.
Dan Stone, “The Memory of the Archive: The International Tracing Service and the Construction of the Past as History.” Dapim (Haifa) 31.2 (2017): 69-88.