Lost in the Holocaust: experts plumb newly opened archive

By MELISSA EDDY – 2 days ago

BAD AROLSEN, Germany (AP) — A mother and child separated. A father’s war wound. An uncle’s name on a list.

The unrelated and disparate items are among the discoveries made by 40 Jewish genealogists who spent the past week plumbing a trove of Nazi documents made public after 60 years.

For genealogists of Jewish families, the Holocaust is both a tragedy and a black hole, because so many of the 6 million Jewish victims disappeared without a trace. For years, researchers hoping to fill the gaps have longed to dive into the more than 50 million documents held in this German spa town and entrusted to the International Tracing Service, or ITS.

“The Nazis took away our names and gave us numbers. Our role is to take away the numbers and give back the names,” Gary Mokotoff, a genealogist who helped organize the group from Israel, the U.S., Britain and Australia, said Thursday. “There is a wealth of information here.”