More than 60 years after the end of World War II, many survivors still don’t know when, where, and how their family members perished and what documentation exists that records the fates of both those who were lost and those who survived.

Answers to those questions could well be found in records kept by the International Tracing Service (ITS), until now, the world’s largest closed Holocaust archive. For years, the Museum has fought to open these archives. 60 Minutes, the CBS news magazine, recently featured the story of how access to the information has been delayed and denied.

Controlled by a governing board of 11 nations, the vast ITS archives, housed in Bad Arolsen, Germany, contain 30-50 million documents detailing the fates of 17.5 million victims of the Nazis.

In May 2006, all 11 nations of the ITS Commission agreed to make these archives public for the first time but only after each completed its own formal ratification process and only if the ratification was unanimous. A year later, this process is not yet complete.

We are calling on you and all our committed supporters to sign this petition urging the countries that have not yet acted to press their governments to ratify the agreement and make the archives accessible.

We will deliver your message, along with thousands of others, to the governing board of the ITS.

Sign the petition now >

Related links to learn more:

60 Minutes Program about the International Tracing Service >>

International Tracing Service Web site >>

Congressional testimony of the Museum’s Paul A. Shapiro, Director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, “Opening up of the Bad Arolsen Holocaust Archives in Germany” >>

Thanks to the Museum’s efforts and your support, the doors to the past are finally being pried open. This accomplishment can only be secured if concerned people like you let your voices be heard.


Sara J. Bloomfield
Executive Director