As part of the World’s Documentary Heritage, the largest archive on the victims of Nazi persecution should be accessible to as many people as possible. This is why the Arolsen Archives are publishing more and more of their holdings online. It is already possible for anyone to conduct research conveniently from anywhere – academics, members of the families of victims of Nazi persecution, people involved in educational projects and any other interested parties.

Please note the following when you search in the online archive: even if you do not get any search results, documents may still exist – or there may be more documents than those listed in the results. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, only some parts of the holdings can be viewed online. Secondly, some documents are only available in scanned form, so the search function does not yet cover the full content. This applies to lists of names from concentration camps, for example.

Holdings concerning Nazi persecution in the online archive

Which of the 30 million original documents are already available online? Primarily those documents which are of particular public interest are already online, such as documents from concentration camps and ghettos. Another criterion is how well the collections have been prepared and how searchable they are. Documents on death marches can be searched using maps, for example – a practical research function that is helpful for regional commemoration and educational projects, amongst other things.

The online archive focuses on the following themes:

  • Displaced persons: An easily searchable collection from the post-war period which includes documents such as questionnaires from the International Refugee Organization (IRO), often with photos of people.
  • Concentration camps, ghettos, Nazi penal institutions: Personal documents about individual prisoners, particularly comprehensive from the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps. Lists are also included, such as transport lists and prisoner lists from the various camps.
  • Special collections: Photos of all the personal effects, for example.

Two additional search tools

Geo-referenced documents help you search for information about the death marches: Find locations mentioned in the documents in a map view, and use the map to find the documents for a specific location.

You can access the photos of prisoners’ personal effects here too and research the names and nationalities of people who were stripped of their personal belongings when they were imprisoned.

To the tools

Search the general inventory

The general inventory is an overview of the collection of the Arolsen Archives. If you want to find information on or do research on topics related to either the Nazi or the post-war period, you can find out here which topics are covered by the collection. It is particularly worthwhile searching here if you want to find out more about documents that are not yet available in the online archive.

To the general inventory

Get to know our special collections

Did you know that the Arolsen Archives have 50 million reference cards with information on 17.5 million people? And that this makes them a truly unique memorial made of paper and documenting Nazi crimes and their consequences? Other interesting information on the Central Name Index and other special collections of the archive can be found here.


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