Holocaust Survivors' Network iSurvived.org
May 16, 2006 New Nazi Files on Holocaust to Be Opened
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LUXEMBOURG, May 16 (AP) -- Millions of Nazi files that describe the Holocaust in gray, bureaucratic tones will be opened to researchers under an agreement announced Tuesday by a panel that has kept the archives locked away since the end of World War II.
Once ratified, the decision will give the public access to some 50 million files stored in a German spa town, Bad Arolsen, including the registration of concentration camp inmates by the numbers on their arms, stacks of identity booklets and meticulously kept records of executions.
"Bad Arolsen is the most complete file," said Paul Mertz, a Luxembourg diplomat and the chairman of the 11-nation commission.
The files will be available to Holocaust survivors and families of victims whose fates may not be clear. While survivors and their relatives have been able to request information, they sometimes have had to wait years.
Amendments to two 1955 agreements controlling the archives are to be signed at a ceremony in Berlin before they are submitted to the governments for ratification, Mr. Mertz said. It could take until the end of the year before the process is complete.