Ancestry.com has announced the release of two unique Holocaust record collections. These new records will be permanently accessible to the public – members and non-members alike – on ancestry.com/alwaysremember.
The Arolsen Archives, an international center on Nazi persecution with the world’s most comprehensive UNESCO-protected archive on victims of Nazism, has granted Ancestry unprecedented access to publish the digital images of these documents. Ancestry used advanced technology to digitize millions of names and other critical information found within these records, which are now searchable online for the first time ever. As a result of this partnership, people around the world will now be able to digitally search two distinct record archives to learn more about their family history during and after the Holocaust.
Prior to making this collection available online, access to these critical and high-demand records required manual requests for document copies that could take time for the archive to locate and provide. Now, people will be able to view both Holocaust and Nazi persecution related archives to identify immigrants leaving Germany and other European ports as well as “non-citizens” persecuted in occupied territories.
Specifically, the collection includes:
• Africa, Asia and Europe Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons (1946-1971): This collection tracks people relocated by the war as they journeyed to rebuild their lives. It includes displaced persons leaving Germany and other European ports and airports between 1946-1971. The majority of the immigrants listed in this collection are displaced persons: Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and forced laborers, as well as refugees from Central and Eastern European countries and certain non-European countries.
• Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Individuals Persecuted (1939-1947): Registers of those living in Germany and German occupied territories with non-German citizenship, stateless persons and also German Jews. This collection is not restricted to people who were incarcerated in camps or other locations. These documents may also include information on those who died, including burial information.
“We are proud to be working with Ancestry on this important project. They have been a respectful and trusted partner in helping to break down some of the barriers for people seeking information about their families,” said Floriane Azoulay, director of Arolsen Archives. “With the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling every day, it is more important than ever to ensure these records live on.”
Copies of the indexed records will also be donated to Arolsen Archives and to the 11-nation International Commission of digital copy holders of the archives including Yad Vashem in Israel and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., to post on their website as well.
“This collection will help people learn more about the magnitude of the Holocaust, those who lived through it and those who perished as a result of it,” said Howard Hochhauser, Chief Operating Officer at Ancestry. “These records are also deeply personal for me. Because of Arolsen Archives and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, I was able to unlock a story about my own grandmother’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor in Germany. Sharing her story of strength, struggle and resiliency with my family was a powerful and moving moment, and one I’ll never forget.”