International Committee: Allegations against the Arolsen Archives' management have no legal grounds
The comprehensive final report submitted to the International Commission (IC) by the Göhmann law firm exonerates the management of the Arolsen Archives, as there are no indications of any breaches of duty relevant to labor law or criminal law.
In a meeting on August 23, the International Commission (IC), the controlling body of the Arolsen Archives, discussed an investigation report on allegations of misconduct by the management. In a subsequent statement, the IC expressed confidence in the Arolsen Archives’s directorate. In the future, cooperation between the staff and the management is to be strengthened through mutual trust-building.
IC’s statement on the findings of the investigation:
“The International Commission takes note that the final report by the Göhmann law firm has found no violations of duty by the management relevant under labour law or criminal law, while also having identified the need for rebuilding trust and adopting further measures to ensure a positive and productive work environment.
The IC is confident that a renewed collaboration between management and staff can be achieved through mutual trust-building, good will, and joint efforts of all parties. In the interest of the important process of transformation of the Archives from a Tracing Service to an important international actor in the culture of remembrance, the Commission relies on both staff
and management to continue and expand the crucial and successful work of the Archives. “
Management takes up impetus for trust-building
The director of the Arolsen Archives, Floriane Azoulay, and her deputy Steffen Baumheier also issued an official statement in reaction to the investigation results and the IC’s statement. They support the IC’s impetus to continue the successful work of the Arolsen Archives in good cooperation with the staff:
„We have noted with great interest the statement of the International Commission (IC) regarding the investigation of the allegations against the management of the Arolsen Archives. We have taken these allegations very seriously from the beginning. That was why we asked for the independent investigation, which was commissioned by the BKM (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media).
The investigation did not identify any breaches of duty, either in terms of labor law or criminal law. Nevertheless, we very much regret that employees felt they had been treated inappropriately in the way they were. We will immediately take up the impetus given by the IA with its statement to regain lost trust. Our goal is to continue the important work of the Arolsen Archives successfully together with the employees in a good and motivating working environment.
We are convinced that the joint work for the Arolsen Archives is of immense importance, especially now, and more than ever – for the victims of the Nazi regime and for our democracy. Because the reasons for persecution are not history.“
Completion after five months
In March 2023, the members of the IC as well as Claudia Roth, Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, had received a letter in which employees and former employees made allegations against the management of the institution. The allegations were made anonymously and indicted various misconduct by the management towards the staff.
About the Arolsen Archives
The Arolsen Archives are the international center on Nazi persecution with the world’s most comprehensive archive on the victims and survivors of National Socialism. The collection has information on about 17.5 million people and belongs to UNESCO’s Memory of the World. It contains documents on the various victim groups targeted by the Nazi regime and is an important source of knowledge for society today.
The International Commission (IC) oversees the work of the Arolsen Archives. It is made up of government representatives from eleven member states. They rotate in holding the chair for one year — since July 2023, it is Germany.
Dr. Anke Münster
Head of Public Relations
+49 5691 629-182
Press photo: International Commission of the Arolsen Archives in Brussels, 2022
Photo credit: Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation