20 May 2008

Bad Arolsen archives: Red Cross role may end

The 60-year role of the Red Cross in running the Bad Arolsen Nazi-era archives may end, according to a just-released AP story.

"Nazi archive in Germany to reconsider role of Red Cross," by AP writer Arthur Max, is on numerous media sites (one link below).

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- The governors of a newly opened archive of Nazi-era documents said Tuesday they will consider ending the 60-year role of the Red Cross in running the historically invaluable storehouse.

At its annual meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the 11-nation commission that oversees the International Tracing Service decided to review the archive's administrative structure. A panel will report its conclusions to the next annual meeting, spokeswoman Kathrin Flor said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says that with the generation of Holocaust survivors dying out, the archive's humanitarian mission is ending and will shift toward historic research.

The archives finally opened to families and historians last year. Copies of the files are being sent to centers in the US, Israel and Poland, while another 30 percent remain to be copied.

Red Cross deputy director-general Beat Schwiezer told the commission it should consider the "future structure of, and administrative responsibility for, the ITS."

Red Cross vice president Christine Beerli recently said it needed "to think about a new supporting organization for an institute well-anchored, and for one that envisions new scopes."

Read more here.

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