Ancestry announces partnership with the Arolsen Archives to digitize millions of Holocaust records in the Holocaust Remembrance Collection.

In July, the popular Ancestry company announced a partnership with the Arolsen Archives, an International Center on Nazi Persecution, to create the Holocaust Remembrance Collection on ancestry.com. The Collection includes records from both Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related archives.

“People across the world will now be able to digitally search two collections of records to learn more about their heritage and family history post-Holocaust,” a spokesperson from Ancestry says. The two collections are:

  • Africa, Asia and Europe, Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons (1946-1971): This collection mostly tracks people displaced by the war in resettlement camps and determines where they went afterwards.
  • Europe, Registration of Foreigners and German Persecutees (1939-1947): Registers of people living in Germany who were persecuted, and may also include information on those who died, including burial information.

Access to the records requires an account but not a subscription, and is free and accessible worldwide.

“We are delighted that this information is becoming part of the public record and easily accessible,” says Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield. “This is a part of the historical record that needs to be told and it is very exciting that people are going to be able to find the information easily online.”

Mayerfeld already performed test searches in the Holocaust Remembrance Collection.

“Ancestry is really an expert at making searches easy,” Mayerfeld says. “Even if you have very little information, they are able to reach out and make connections for you.”

Ancestry argues that digitizing these records will not only enrich the lives of people viewing the archives, but also educate and inform both younger and future generations.

“Making this available online opens up the opportunity for people to learn about the history of their own families in a way that was just unavailable to us a few days ago,” Mayerfeld says.

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