04 October 2007

Italy ratifies ITS archive agreement

Italy, Greece and France were the holdouts on ratifying the agreement to open to the public the International Tracing Service archives, located in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

Italy deposited its letter of ratification with the German government on September 21. Only ratification by Greece and France stand in the way to making the archives accessible.

A communication from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum says individuals can help by communicating to the Greek and French embassies the importance of opening this archive without further delay:

*His Excellency Alexandros P. Mallias, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, Embassy of Greece, 2217 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, Phone: 202-939-1300

*His Excellency Pierre Vimont, Ambassador of France to the United States, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd., NW, Washington, D.C. 20007, Phone: 202-949-6000

As widely reported, the first batch of ITS material was received August 20 at the USHMM, delivered in person by Reto Meister, director of the International Tracing Service. It included some 18 million digital images of various records.

USHMM pushed to obtain copies in advance of ratification to allow technical and archival experts to examine the material and upgrade computer and software systems.

The second installment is due at the end of October: A digital copy of the ITS Central Name Index containing the names names of about 17.5 million people in the ITS records, and including some 50 million digital images.

For more information on these records, visit the USHMM here.

To read the Joint Statement by the USHMM and the ITS, click here

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