Brueggeman Center and Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education Offer Briefing on Holocaust Archives

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Records Open | June 3, 2008

On Tuesday, June 17 at 7:00 pm in the Schiff Family Conference Center at Xavier University, the community is invited to a free community briefing on the International Tracing Service Archive.  Please RSVP to Stephanie Smerling at 847-433-8099 or email A dessert reception will follow, observing dietary laws.


The International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, was the world’s largest closed Holocaust archive. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum led a multiyear effort to open it that finally succeeded in November 2007. As a result, the Museum, the designated American repository for this massive collection, is beginning to receive copies of the documentation, which contains 100 million digital images, including the names of 17.5 million victims of Nazism, both Jews and non-Jews. The Museum is now able to respond to inquiries from survivors and their families who have sought this information for decades.


Each of the 11 nations seeking access has designated one repository with the technological, archival, and historical expertise to receive a copy of the material and serve survivors and their families as well as historians. The Museum, America's national memorial to the Holocaust, will hold the U.S. copy and Yad Vashem will hold Israel's. The Institute of National Remembrance will hold Poland's. These institutions have the capacity (in terms of historical, archival, and technological expertise) to manage a collection of this size and complexity. The Museum already maintains an archive of approximately 40 million pages of documentation in many languages and regularly responds to thousands of requests every year for information from survivors, scholars and the public.


“The opportunity to partner with the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum to bring information about such a massive and vitally important project is an honor for Xavier University. Through the work of the International Tracing Service, the victims of the Nazi madness will be given identity and their voices will serve to educate the current and future generations in the hopes that humanity will never again walk blindly down such a monstrous path,” says James Buchanan, PhD, Director of Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue.  


Speakers on June 17 from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will be Michael Haley Goldman, Director of the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors, and Scott Miller, Director of Curatorial Affairs.  They will address the kinds of information available and how to go about requesting data.


The event is sponsored by Melissa & Ken Mailender and Karen & Fred Abel of Mailender, Inc. and Terrence L. Horan of Horan Associates.