Workplace World Heritage: Making History Real
The Arolsen Archives safeguard UNESCO Memory of the World: the single largest collection of documents on the victims of Nazi persecution. This represents a great responsibility — and a lot of work, which we can only accomplish as a team. An institution that networks worldwide from its base in Bad Arolsen, the Arolsen Archives presently employ a staff of more than 200. At the interface between the past and the present, new challenges constantly arise—challenges that are multifaceted, diverse and always interesting.
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»Here people work to prevent oblivion, to find names and preserve them – that is, they work to preserve human dignity.«
Who works at the Arolsen Archives?
The Arolsen Archives are a place of truth, remembrance and learning. Their purpose is to preserve documents that testify to the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. Yet they also work to make these sources accessible and tell the stories of the victims: for survivors and their families, teachers, scholars, and the broad public. In an age when racism, anti-Semitism and the denial of history threaten our democracy, our most important concerns are:
- to facilitate education and research on Nazi persecution
- to preserve the memory of the victims
- to enlighten young generations about Nazi persecution
- to provide access to our archiveugang zu unserem Archiv ermöglichen
To address these concerns, we are looking for people who want to take responsibility, are interested in history and politics, and have good ideas for our diverse education, research and communication projects.
Christiane Weber, historian
“It’s unbelievable what you can find out about someone’s fate from index cards and forms if you just have the right knowledge about their context,” says employee Christiane Weber, whose job it is to make historical documents and texts understandable. She studied history and German and English studies in Gießen, employed at the Arbeitsstelle Holocaustliteratur for a few years. After that, she worked as an editor for an academic publisher..
At the Arolsen Archives, Christiane worked on the e-Guide, an online tool that provides extensive background information on the documents found in the archival collections.
Jens Paul, library staff
When Jens Paul joined the ITS in 1996 as a so-called list-checker, he had no idea what area he would be working in 20 years later. He started out reviewing lists of former foreign forced laborers in the context of pension or compensation proceedings. Parallel to this, he visited various German archives and microfilmed documents about former victims of Nazi persecution. Since 2007 he has been a staff member of the library, where he assists colleagues and visitors with an interest in specialist books on Nazi persecution.
What awaits the employees of the Arolsen Archives?
- Meaningful work. We are UNESCO Memory of the World and preserve the memory of 17.5 million persons who suffered persecution by the National Socialists. To work at the Arolsen Archives means to work for enlightenment and against oblivion.
- An international setting. As a center on Nazi persecution, the Arolsen Archives work with many partners all over the world. We process inquiries from far and wide and take our campaigns and projects abroad. Our team unites a wide range of different native languages—from French to Hebrew to Polish—under a single roof.
- A work model made to fit. Not everyone can move his/her main place of residence to Bad Arolsen. The Arolsen Archives find flexible solutions wherever possible. And we don’t just write that in our job ads, but also in our employment contracts.
- A team with spirit. You can’t demand motivation—but you can encourage it. By listening to employees, honoring new ideas and showing mutual respect. At the Arolsen Archives, the atmosphere is right.
- A fulfilling profession that leaves time for family. The Arolsen Archives back their employees. Even when it comes to their personal situations. We support families with individual arrangements, for example with regard to flexible working hours.
- A diverse further-training program. Our activities are constantly changing. Digitization, for example, has an impact not only on the way we work, but also on the archive at its very core. Workshops, seminars and tutorials keep our staff up to date and in the know.
Student intershipsAt the Arolsen Archives, students can carry out internships either cross-departmentally or with a specific focus, for example on research, archiving or the tracing service.
The most important prerequisite is an interest in the history of German Nazi tyranny and its impact on the following generations. Interns should moreover enjoy working in an international team and independently, and bring open-mindedness, flexibility and motivation to the job. Good command of English is advantageous. For internships in the tracing department, which processes many inquiries from all over the world every day, skills in other languages, especially Polish and Russian, are also helpful.
Please send your complete application to the following address, specifying the department you would like to work in:
Personal- und Sozialwesen
Große Allee 5-9
34454 Bad Arolsen
General information: Personal- und Sozialwesen, Phone +49 5691/629 – 120
ASF Volunteer Service at the Arolsen ArchivesThe Arolsen Archives are a project partner for the international volunteer service of the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ASF), which sends volunteers to one of thirteen project countries for one year.
The ASF volunteers help the Arolsen Archives research individual fates of victims of Nazi persecution in the digitized archive with the aim of giving the people behind the documents a face and keeping their memory alive. Another task is to support Polish- and Russian-language teams with translation work and the processing of inquiries. The volunteers are moreover involved in current projects in the area of research and education, carry out research related to inquiries from scholars, implement commemoration and education initiatives, and accompany visitor groups.
The language prerequisites for volunteer service at the Arolsen Archives are native speaker competence in Polish or Russian and good basic knowledge of German or English. Interest in the history of Nazi tyranny and its impact on the following generations is also important.
More information on ASF volunteer services.