The Associated Press
Published: August 18, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Holocaust survivors move closer this week to being able to find a paper trail of their own persecution when the keepers of a Nazi archive deliver copies of Gestapo papers and concentration camp records to museums in Washington and Jerusalem.

For a survivor, it could be discovering one’s name on a list of deportees crammed into a cattle car; a record of a fiendish medical experiment from which physical or mental scars remain; an innocuous-looking “behavior report” condemning the inmate to further tortures; or an order from the Gestapo, the secret police, to liquidate a camp, signaling the start of a “death march” in the closing days of World War II.

But it will be months before the archive can be used by survivors or victims’ relatives to search family histories. Even after it opens to the public, navigating the vast files for specific names will be nearly impossible without a trained guide.