May 17, 2022

Research Tools: German Holocaust Archive Puts More Than 13 Million Documents Online

From the Los Angeles Times:

Sixteen women at the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp were forced by the SS guards to work as prostitutes for 86 other inmates on the night of Aug. 7, 1943.

Stahlheber, Zange, Rathmann, Fischer, Kolbusch and Zimmermann — the last names of some of the women — embodied a painful story long kept from the general public. They are stolen lives, listed on a single page labeled “Bordel Receipts” — part of more than 13 million Holocaust-related documents retrieved from concentration camps at the end of World War II and uploaded online Tuesday in digital form by the International Tracing Service in Germany.

The international organization, which also announced Tuesday that it is rebranding itself the Arolsen Archives – International Center on Nazi Persecution, hopes that by making the documents widely available to the public it will help researchers and relatives learn more about the Nazi death machine. It’s the first time the massive volume of documents has been put online. Arolsen Archives is located in the north-central town of Bad Arolsen, Germany — about 90 miles north of Frankfurt.

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From the Jerusalem Post

The millions of documents, including prisoner cards and death notices, featuring information on Holocaust victims and others persecuted by the Nazi regime, are part of UNESCO’s World Documentary Heritage and are a key focus of the collection of the Arolsen Archives. This database is the first of several large collections scheduled to go online in future.

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From the Arsolen Archives 

The millions of documents from the Nazi bureaucracy which have now been published provide information about the victims of persecution and about the camp system implemented by the National Socialists. Many documents have been indexed in such a way that they can be accessed directly when a name is entered. However, in some cases this does not work yet. “In this initial phase, it was important to make the documents available”, explains Floriane Azoulay. “We are now working continuously with various partners on improving searchability. We are using a number of different tools, including state-of-the-art text recognition methods.”

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Direct to Arsolen Online Archives

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.