More than sixty specialists from concentration camp memorial sites, museums, and archives, among them the Auschwitz Museum in Poland, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, met for a two-day symposium at the Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück/ Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten. The participants from more than ten countries included representatives of digitization projects involving victim names, as well as memorial book authors, historians, Holocaust researchers and other interested parties. During this 17th International Workshop, the participants, many longtime researchers of the subject, assessed the possibilities and difficulties encountered in collaborative research. These specialists have been meeting in various locations for almost a decade to share information and plan projects. The database experts’ work is laying important foundations, in particular by compiling memorial books on the basis of diverse sources and by helping to reveal and assess oftentimes fragmentary sources involving victim names and the dimensions of contemporaneous crimes.
Financial support from the “Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research“, which deemed the conference’s topic particularly worthy of support, made possible substantial participation by numerous Eastern European representatives.
The International Workshop participants agreed on their wish to continue upon a cooperative path. To this end, further meetings must take place at different sites. Moreover, a multilateral information exchange should be undertaken with the goal of analyzing further concurrent victim name-related sources, and thus make an important contribution to the memorialization of victims of National Socialist persecution.
Despite some difficulties in working across national borders, the attendees have expressed the following three requests:
1. Continuation of name reconstruction from already digitized SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungs-Hauptamt inmate number file cards, a project on which 23 institutions are participating.
2. Collaborative work on an up-to-date publication regarding the assignment of inmate numbers in National Socialist concentration camps.
3. Cooperation aimed towards establishing a consolidated, collective database derived from all digitally accessible sources, in particular traceable name lists.
The participants welcomed news regarding the opening of the International Tracing Service’s archive at Bad Arolsen with satisfaction, as it is of the utmost importance for all parties involved. Attendees expressed their wish that conditions be created as quickly as possible whereby these sources are incorporated into the various respectives domains of interest. This pertains in particular to holdings already digitized.
In that the conference participants are convinced that their work not only pursues scientific goals, but also that it concurrently addresses humanitarian concerns, they request more attention from those socially and politically responsible parties in Germany as well as those on an international level who finance such projects.
For the 18th International Data Processing Workshop of National Socialist Memorial Sites, the participants will meet in Oświęcim, Poland in November 2006 by invitiation of the Auschwitz Museum.
Staff from the following institutions participated in the Workshop:
- Aktives Museum Spiegelgasse für deutsch-jüdische Geschichte in Wiesbaden e.V.
- Archiv der KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen, Wien
- Archiwum i Pracownie Naukowo-Badawcze, Wałbrzych
- Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds, Prag
- Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, Wien
- FOD Sociale Zekerheid Dienst voor de Oorlogsslachtoffers Archief- en Documentatiedienst, Brüssel
- Föderale Staatliche Institution Stiftung für Verständigung und Aussöhnung, Moskau
- Gedenkstätte "Roter Ochse" Halle/S.
- Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen
- Gedenkstätte Buchenwald
- Gesellschaft zur Förderung angewandter Informatik e.V. Berlin
- Institut Teresienstädter Initiative, Prag
- KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau
- KZ-Gedenkstätte Flossenbürg
- KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau-Dora
- KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme
- Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught
- Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam
- NS-Dokumentationszentrum Rheinland-Pfalz /Gedenkstätte KZ Osthofen
- Państwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau w Oświęcimiu
- Państwowe Muzeum Stutthof
- Projekt Memorial Book - Spanish inmates in the Nazi-camps (Spanish Ministry of Culture and Archivo General de la Guerra Civil Española)
- Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Berlin
- Tracing and Information Service of the Polish Red Cross, Warschau
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington
- Victim List Project of the Swiss Banks Settlement
- Yad Vashem The Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority Hall of Names, Jerusalem
- Additional projects
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