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German archive publishes details of millions of Nazi victims

Germany’s International Center on Nazi Persecution has uploaded some 850,000 documents with information on ten million people collected after the end of World War II in the American occupied zone of Germany. The Bad Arolsen-based archive said in a statement Tuesday that the documents contain information about victims of Nazi persecution that was collected in the winter of 1945/46 in Germany based on orders by the four occupying powers — the US, Britain, France and the Soviet Union.

They issued orders to German local authorities, companies and others requiring them to draw up lists of foreign nationals, German Jews and stateless people who were registered with them. A large collection of these documents as well as other lists from the American Zone of Occupation can now be viewed online.

Rebecca Boehling, acting director of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, said in the archive statement that because the American Zone was the largest of the four the information gathered there is “of exceptional significance for the search for missing persons and for determining the path of persecution of both survivors and those whose lives were stolen.”

The online documents will make available “an immense amount of information about survivors and victims of the death marches and concentration camps as well as about forced labor,” Boehling said. The Arolsen Archives said that it will soon publish a further list of documents taken from the British Zone.