September 18, 2009

SENATOR CARDIN TOURS AMERICAN RED CROSS' HOLOCAUST & WAR VICTIMS TRACING CENTER ON EVE OF ROSH HASHANAH

BALTIMORE -- On the eve of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) toured the American Red Cross' Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center, the national clearinghouse for persons seeking to learn the fate of loved ones missing since the Holocaust and its aftermath.  

 

The Baltimore Tracing Center links the person initiating the request at one of the more than 750 American Red Cross chapters with hundreds of state archives, museums, and organizations throughout the world through the worldwide network of Red Cross societies and the International Tracing Service (ITS) located in Arolsen, Germany.   To date, it also has assisted 3,000 individuals in securing documentation of forced labor, forced evacuation from former Soviet territories, or internment in concentration camps required for survivors submitting claims.

"The American Red Cross is a model organization in providing relief to victims of disaster and helping prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies" said Senator Cardin.   "But the American Red Cross also has established one of the premier tracing centers in the world, helping to bring closure and comfort to millions of people who have traced the fate of their loved ones."

Administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ITS in Germany is the largest repository of Nazi documentation in the world housing more than 47 million records.   Since opening in 1990, the Center has sought the fate of more than 41,000 individuals.   It has provided information on the fates of close to 14,000 individuals, including 3,000 people who were found alive.