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Yad Vashem Statement on ITS/Arolsen Archives

20 April 2006

Yad Vashem welcomes the decision by Germany to support the opening of the archives at Bad Arolsen, and awaits the decision of the 11-member state ITS commission on this issue. Since 1958 copies of some 20 million pages of documentation from the Arolsen Archives have been available at Yad Vashem. This represents the majority of the information related to Jews from the ITS Archives, as well as vast amounts of other information. Annually, some 20,000 people - survivors, researchers, and the general public both at Yad Vashem and around the world - use this collection or are given information from it via correspondence. The standard response time for queries sent by mail is no more than two weeks. Yad Vashem’s Archives currently contain some 68 million pages of documentation including the Arolsen copies, survivor testimonies, names lists and official and personal documents. Yad Vashem believes that all information related to the Holocaust should be open to scholars and the general public, and encourages researchers to access the information available at Yad Vashem.