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 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:


  1. Rachel

    I am very grateful that you are enabling access to Holocaust and Nazi persecution related records. This is so important as a memorial to those who suffered.

  2. Wayne Griffin

    I am an Ancestry member for over a year and have made many discoveries of my own family tree. I don’t believe I have any relatives directly affected by the holocaust. I just want to applaud your actions in making these records available for the world to see.

  3. Sue

    Thank you for providing access to these records to everyone for free. My husband found out in his 40s that he was 1/4 Jewish and several family members died at Auschwitz including his maternal grandmother.
    One suggestion: more access to existing Jewish records before the Holocaust would be greatly appreciated. My goal is to find out about their “normal” life before 1938. What was their address before being forced to move? What was their occupation before they were forced to stop?

  4. Maria Hernandez

    Am very disappointed w Ancentry have not been able to log in n when I called talked to ‘Shirley’ thought everything was ok got doubled billed n offered to give me a refund for the overpayment or not paid membership for whole year well got cancelled n got neither I called last week n was informed that I was not in the system !

  5. Larry Morris Shelton

    Tried buying a DNA kit – 6 times. always receive a note that my card was invalid. I check it many many times and it is correct. What could be wrong?

  6. Robert Cleveland

    My oldest known relitive single name isThurkil in the town or area called York in northern England

  7. Colin Ryan Lanteigne

    Holocaust and genocide omission are no less criminal than ‘holocaust denial’? 8,000 plus Acadien metis ancestors remain erased from history, missing. Could we start with real access to the documents listing all the children taken from their starving, freezing, families before their contracted disposal 1755 – 1763. Creating the wealthiest men in New England on rising river of blood. Am I allowed to show actual documentation on this site?

  8. Hi, My test went from 8% Caucasus to 0% Caucasus and 0% Italian to 13% Italian. I also am now 16% Eastern Europe. The only thing they got somewhat correct is the Greek. My mother was a Greek from Turkey. My father was from Greece. Their are no know Italians and a distant Great, Great, Great Grandmother that was Eastern European. (1/32). My sister’s test showed some Western European which I have never had. 23 and me has been very accurate and shows no Eastern European but West Asian.

  9. Stephen Hearn

    If I am not mistaken but Greek people have populated a lot of other countries. I am sure that it goes in reverse. So Greeks who lived in Italy could of married Italians and returned home.

  10. Vicki Miller

    The Acadian people are ‘forgotten’ in so much of the worlds history. We are a proud culture seeking recognition of our past trials and tribulations and our contributions to history. But too often we are the ‘forgotten minority’ in a world full of cultural minorities.

  11. Joyce O’Neill

    I say not to forget the Irish. It was a rough path to assimilation but they did it. I had an aunt who blatantly was discriminated against because she was a Catholic working for a Protestant boss.

  12. John Quinn

    My grandmother said her grandmother was 100 percent Cherokee but the DNA test I sent in said I’m all European. What? I don’t get it, thats not Native American. Something doesn’t smell rights

  13. Deborah

    Just wanted to say, “thank you” for all the work you do … I found the family I didn’t know I had but the family does not want to connect, even thou they are ‘here” / …

  14. Isaak Van Kempen

    I have filed a complaint with the BBB regarding the total inaccuracy of my DNA results that were compared to living persons in regions of the world that apparently have no correlation to my Family history of which we have long term records for. . In addition, the customer support is so terrible that I had no other choice but to report this as a scam. DNA is a great tool for CSI and possibly matching immediate family, however is not a tool for “predicting” where you are originally from etc. The BBB contacted me to state that my complaint applies to a few other categories as well that I will follow up on.

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