Finding out more about Dutch victims of Nazi persecution

warlives.org gathers information from various sources and brings it together on a single platform. The Arolsen Archives are one of the partners involved in this new project.

75 years after the end of the war, source materials are becoming increasingly important for the role they can play in the remembrance of Nazi persecution and the aftermath of the Second World War. The personal stories of 300,000 Dutch victims of war and National Socialist persecution can now be accessed on the new warlives.org platform. Anyone can enter a person’s name to receive information on their fate from various archives and collections.

The project was initiated by the Dutch Network of War Collections (Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen). Using intelligent algorithms, the developers compared names from some 20 different collections and databases. Data related to the same person have been linked, which means that biographies are composed of very diverse information.

The online archive of the Arolsen Archives has been integrated in the platform

When you enter a name on warlives.org, a lifeline with all the data known about the person concerned is displayed along with details of the archives and institutions that supplied the information. If documents from the Arolsen Archives are involved, the source can be accessed by mouse click.

A good example of how valuable it can be to gather information together from various sources in this way is the life story of Selma Simon-Katz, a Jewish woman who was murdered in Sobibor. Using the lifeline on warlives.org as a starting point, finding additional information is easy. To mark the launch of warlives.org, we have created a web documentary about her fate.

Future expansion of the portal

The database contains information on the Dutch victims of National Socialism who died or were murdered during and after the war as a result of Nazi persecution. It also includes air raid victims and Dutch soldiers who were killed.

The 300,000 personal histories now available on warlives.org are not the end of the story. Work is continuing on making information about individuals easier to find. The timelines are being filled out by adding newly available sources. This also applies to documents from the Arolsen Archives. As all the names on the documents in the Arolsen Archives are to be put online by 2025, more and more documents are gradually being linked to warlives.org making additional information available.

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