The documents on Nazi persecution held by the Arolsen Archives are full to the brim with knowledge. In order to make their value more visible, we are busy working on projects and other offerings which make this knowledge accessible and pass it on. New digital formats are especially important here as they can encourage interest in the past. This is essential for today’s society, which has few links with the Nazi era because only a small number of contemporary witnesses are still alive.

Bringing history to life
Bringing history to life

17.5 million names – each one of them is the key to the (hi)story of a real person. The documents show how the victims of the Nazis were arrested, deported and murdered. But they also show how Holocaust survivors tried to rebuild their lives. It is up to us to tell these stories. 

To Living history
Exhibitions and campaigns
Exhibitions and campaigns

The greater the distance involved, the more important it is to build bridges between the past and the present. The Arolsen Archives present history – and what it means today.

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Education that will take you places
Education that will take you places

Many young people hardly know anything about Nazi persecution, despite being taught about it at school. Clichés and prejudice are widespread in society today. We combat fake news, ignorance and perceived truths with tailor-made education packs for various target groups.

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Interactive archive
Interactive archive

The metadata of our archive are a valuable resource for academic projects in the field of Digital Humanities as well as for apps and other digital projects. We support major events such as the da Vinci hackathon as well as individual projects, enabling interested parties to participate in memorial initiatives, for example.

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FAQ

Yes, that would be very helpful. Please use the contact form to get in touch with us. We are very interested in adding to our data on an ongoing basis because we want to document the details of as many individual histories possible. Whether the people concerned were forced laborers, Jews, Sinti and Roma, “political” concentration camp prisoners or displaced persons – every single piece of information on the fate of an individual adds a piece to the puzzle and helps us better understand the situation of the various victim groups in Nazi Germany. And helps ensure that coming generations won’t learn about the history of National Socialism as just a collection of facts.

We are gathering new information all the time. When people search for relatives and their path of persecution or when we manage to unite families after so many decades, for example. Even knowing where a relative is buried is an important piece of information for families. Because a grave gives a family a place for grieving and remembrance. This is why we collect information on possible graves of victims of Nazi persecution.

There are many different ways to help us to achieve our goals. You can take part in a campaign like #StolenMemory by sharing content in your networks, for example, or you can even research actively yourself. Financial support is also welcome to support the work we do at many different levels. For young people in particular, it is often an interesting option to take part in a volunteer program such as the FSJ social volunteer program or Action Reconciliation, as this gives you the opportunity to get deeply involved in our work. However you want to help, we welcome your contribution and look forward to hearing from you via our contact form.

Yes, it is well worth visiting the world’s most comprehensive archive on Nazi persecution. Our exhibition “A Paper Monument” offers guided tours and includes digital content to show how the work of the Arolsen Archives began and how it has changed over the years. It will give you an impression of the size of the archival collection as well. You are also welcome to visit us to carry out small research projects.
Please register here so we can give you the best possible service when you come.

If you would like to know what our archive looks like – with all the 30 million original documents it contains – take a virtual 360° tour here. The paper documents need protecting because they are delicate and valuable, so visiting groups are not allowed to enter the rooms themselves.

Yes, you can. We are always interested in new ways of presenting the knowledge stored within the archive in a creative and attractive way. We are happy to provide you with metadata for apps and other digital educational projects. Please use our contact form and send your inquiry to the staff of the archive.