“A remarkable “paper monument”
On 14 April 2020 the Arsolen Archives posted the exciting news that almost all of the historical collections were now available online. People from all over the world can use the online archive to access 26 million documents containing information on 21 million names* of victims of Nazi persecution.
In 1943, before World War II ended in 1945, the Allied forces asked the British Red Cross to set up a registration and tracing service for missing people. On 15 February 1944 the Central Tracing Bureau was formally established; after the war it was located in Bad Arolsen, considered a central location among the areas of Allied occupation with an intact infrastructure unaffected by war. Over the years, its name changed but its principal tasks remained: “Tracing missing persons, clarifying people’s fates, and providing family members with information.”
On November 28, 2007, the archives opened to public access. Archive staff answer inquiries about some 20,000 victims of Nazi persecution every year. But as well, new tasks such as research and education and the archival description of the documents have become increasingly more significant.
Arolsen Archives Records & the Jewish Families of Themar
Below are examples of the types of documents retrieved.
1. Otto Baer was born in 1895 in Themar. He moved to Berlin with his parents, was deported from there to Auschwitz in 1943 but managed to survive. Among the many values of this document is the photo; even though bureaucratic and stilted, it still contributes to our knowledge of Otto.
2. Nathan & Minna (née Gassenheimer) Frankenberg
The Arolsen Archives include the documents related to the Heimkaufvertrag/home purchase agreement the Frankenbergs were forced to signfor a ‘house’ in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. The purchase of property in the Ghetoo was part of the ‘snare & delusion’ by which the Nazi Regime tried to hoodwink older Jews to believe that they were moving to a retirement community.
This collection contains digital copies of documentation held by the Jewish community in Leipzig. The records provide “extensive documentation concerning the deportation of Jews from Leipzig and further towns and cities in ‘middle Germany,’ including a large collection of “Heimkaufverträge/Home Purchase Agreement.”
3. Irma Zuikerberg (née Katz):
Irma was born in Themar in 31 May 1903, the daughter of Adolf and Katz. This document is the Index Card for Irma (née Katz) Zuickerberg from the Judenrat (Jewish council) file in Amsterdam. The Dutch Wartime Card File includes 157,690 documents in respect of Jews who had been persecuted under the German occupation of the Netherlands or deported from there.
Below you will find a link to the list of members of the Themar Jewish families alive in 1933 when the Nazi regime began. We have identified those who have records in the Arolsen Archives as of 01 September 2021. Those with hyperlinked surnames have records. The Arolsen Archives are constantly adding new records; therefore, individuals for whom there are no records currently may have records in the future. We promise to try to keep this list updated.
If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Meen @ [email protected]