The workshop took place in Warsaw last week. 12 scholars from Central and Eastern Europe had opportunity to learn about the archival collection of the ITS and acquire practical skills in terms of researching in the ITS Digital Archive. In morning sessions invited guests from above mentioned institutions gave insight on working with the various databases and on available methods for research about WWII victims. Each afternoon participants conducted their research in small groups on a particular research topic using all accessible resources and under care of IPN specialists, because use of ITS databank with more than thirty million documents can be difficult for a beginner. On the final day of training each working group presented its research results.
International Tracing Service (ITS) had been a tracing and contact point for survivors and family members of Nazi victims. The value of stored collections was in their use towards clarifying individual fates. Since November 2007 the archives have been open for researchers. Now scholars can find there documents from concentration and extermination camps, ghettos and Gestapo prisons; registry cards and labor books (which provide information on the fates of the forced laborers); finally documents on the liberated survivors, so called Displaced Persons. Among them one can find documents of tens of thousands “unaccompanied children” which stayed on the German territory immediately after 1945. Children’s files (often with interviews) are part of collection called “Child Search Branch”. Jakub intends to use this database to find information about children born of war born to Polish mothers.