Ancestry® Unveils Two Unique Holocaust Record Collections, Making Them Searchable Online for the First Time Ever

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 31, 2019 in News

As part of our philanthropic initiative to make culturally important records available to everyone, we are honored to announce that we have digitized millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution related archives. These new records will be accessible globally to the public – members and non- members alike – on https://www.ancestry.com/alwaysremember on a permanent basis.

For this initiative we partnered with Arolsen Archives, an international center on Nazi persecution with the world’s most comprehensive archive on victims of National Socialism, who granted us access to publish the digital images of these records. The collection contains millions of names and other critical information about some of those affected by Holocaust and Nazi persecution. These records are now searchable online. Previously, the search process was quite cumbersome, requiring manual requests for document copies that could take time for the archive to locate and provide.

It’s been over 70 years since the Holocaust and the number of living witnesses and survivors has dwindled to around 400,000, with many of these individuals now in their 80’s or 90’s. Now more than ever, we believe it’s critical that the events of the Holocaust do not become a distant memory and that these records are preserved.

By making these Holocaust record collections public, our hope is that it empowers the public to learn more about the magnitude of the Holocaust, those who lived through it and those who perished as a result of it.

Starting today, 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. 

This collection includes: 

Africa, Asia & 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. This collection includes 1.7 million records and 300K images.

Europe, Registration of Foreigners & 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. This collection includes 9.97 million records and 900K images.

Copies of these 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.

Over the past 20 years, Ancestry has invested $300 million to build the world’s largest, most distinguished collection of historical records. Moving forward, we will continue investing in global content collections to fuel journeys of personal discovery. We plan to continue digitizing documents from the Arolsen Archives into our database in 2020.

To begin exploring our two holocaust record collections, please visit: https://www.ancestry.com/alwaysremember

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