POMS Reference

This change was made on Apr 27, 2018. See latest version.
Text removed
Text added

GN 00307.511: International Tracing Service (ITS) Records

  • Effective Dates: 04/23/2018 - Present
  • Effective Dates: 04/27/2018 - Present
  • TN 31 (08-05)
  • GN 00307.511 International Tracing Service (ITS) Records
  • A. Background
  • 1. General
  • ITS, under control of the International Red Cross, is located in Arolsen, Germany. It maintains records of:
  • * Concentration camp prisoners;
  • * Non-Germanic persons who came to West Germany and Western Europe (including those who registered as foreigners in Germany during WW II) and displaced persons in West Germany, Austria and Western Europe after WW II; and
  • * Foreign workers in Germany from 1939 to 1945.
  • There is no charge for information from these records. It normally takes 3 to 4 months to get a reply; however, requests involving aged persons are given priority.
  • 2. Description of records
  • a. Concentration camp records
  • These records are reasonably complete (except for camps in the Baltic countries) but are expanded as records are received from Eastern Europe. They contain good biographical data for SSA purposes.
  • Records exist for camps in Germany and areas occupied by Germany from 1933 through 1945. They are by camp and contain questionnaires completed by prisoners upon arrival which show personal data.
  • ITS has stated that the information on camp entry records was verified in those cases in which the prisoners had no documents to support their allegations if the country was occupied by Germany. However, the records do not show the source of verification.
  • ITS has records for:
  • * Auschwitz;
  • * Buchenwald;
  • * Dachau;
  • * Flossenburg
  • * Gross-Rosen;
  • * Lublin;
  • * Krakau-Plaszow;
  • * Mauthausen;
  • * Mittelbau;
  • * Natzweiler;
  • * Neuengamme;
  • * Niederhagen-Wewelsburg;
  • * Ravensbruck;
  • * Sashenhausen;
  • * Stutthof.
  • b. War documents
  • The records relate primarily to foreign workers who were in areas during 1939-1945 which were within what became West Germany. They include persons who were brought to Germany to work and those who volunteered during German recruiting drives.
  • c. Post-war records
  • The records involve non-Germanic displaced persons (including children separated from their parents after the war) who were in, or came through, West Germany, Berlin and Austria after WW II. Generally, they cover 1945-1951.
  • ITS also has a certified copy of a register (given to ITS in 1947) which the Jewish Central Committee in Warsaw started in 1945 and completed in 1946 in an attempt to register as many Jewish people as possible. The entries were based on statements by family members and include those who were in concentration and forced labor camps, those living underground and those in Russia during the war. It is not known whether each person had to be present at the registration or whether it could be done by one family member but each family member had to sign the registration card.
  • B. Procedure
  • Consider ITS as a possible source of evidence of age and relationship for those who do not have convincing evidence or state the only records available are post-WW II records which are not correct.
  • Make requests to ITS in accordance with GN 00904.245 (see GN 00302.325 for special instructions for cases processed under the Holocaust procedures) and include the following information:
  • * Full name of the person (i.e., the version used at the time the record would have been created);
  • * All other names used by that person;
  • * His/her date and place of birth (including the city, county or province, and country);
  • * Full names of both parents;
  • * Camp(s) (displaced person or concentration) in which he/she was, including the dates and his/her identification number;
  • * Name of the ship (or airline) and the dates on which he/she left West Germany (or other country) and the country to which he/she immigrated.
  • Diary the request for 150 days with followups as shown in GN 00904.245.
  • NOTE: The FBU will contact ITS for all the available data on the individual.
  • NOTE: The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) will contact ITS for all the available data on the individual.