Nearly 10,000 new volunteers took part in this year’s #everynamecounts challenge to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024. That’s amazing! Together, we managed to digitize more than 30,000 cards from the so-called Bremen emigration card file within the space of just one week. A big thank you to everyone who has helped to make sure the fates of thousands of displaced persons will never be forgotten.

Some people worked non-stop two days in a row and transcribed the information from almost 500 cards, while others devoted a few hours of their time to the project every evening for a week. Lots of school classes took part too – like class 10B and class 10C from Droste-Hülshoff-Realschule in Dortmund and the 12th graders from Wilhelm-Olbers-Oberschule in Bremen, for example. Filling this gap in remembrance felt as important to them as it did to us.

The so-called emigration card file, which is kept in the State Archives of Bremen, contains a wealth of information on the fates of displaced persons – this term refers to survivors of Nazi persecution and deportation who found themselves stranded far from home at the end of the Second World War. Most of them were liberated concentration camp prisoners or forced laborers. Many of them went to Bremen and waited expectantly for a ship to take them away from Germany bring them to a new home.


May 1946 in Camp Grohn, Bremen: Displaced persons wait to be taken to Bremerhaven, where they will board a ship and emigrate. (Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Provenance: Selig Goldberg)



» I take part in the challenge every year. I come from Bremen, but I didn’t know anything about the existence of the Grohn and Lesum emigration camps. «

One of the challenge participants


Many thanks to everyone who has helped to make sure their personal fates will never be forgotten. Without the many institutions and initiatives that shared our #everynamecounts challenge on social media, the response would not have been as good. We were especially pleased that Funk informed their 1.5 million followers about the challenge and that SC Freiburg supported us with real commitment and drummed up a huge amount of publicity for us.


Great social media response

From Archivo General de Andalucia to ZDFinfo – well-known institutions were not the only ones who shared our challenge and posted comments, many private accounts on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, X, LinkedIn, and threads gave us publicity too. Thank you, everyone!


After the challenge is before the challenge

The response to the 2024 #everynamecounts challenge was overwhelming, but many millions of documents still need to be digitized if the online archive of the Arolsen Archives is to continue to grow. For that reason, we continue to ask people to take part in #everynamecounts even when the challenge is over. Please keep helping to build the digital memorial to the victims and survivors of Nazism!


» I have told my daughter’s school about the project and they are going to take part in class. Thank you again for this project. «

One of the participants in the challenge
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