Germany will release a list of 600,000 Jews who lived in the country during the Nazi period.
The German government announced Wednesday that the material will be given to the archives at Yad Vashem in Israel, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the Claims Conference and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany, to aid in genealogical searches, The Associated Press reported. More than half the Jews who lived in Germany when the Nazis assumed power in 1933 had emigrated by 1939, but many were trapped later in the countries they thought were safe havens.
Following World War II, some 20,000 Jews were living in the country, but few of them were of German origin. Most were Eastern European Holocaust survivors who had ended up in German displaced persons camps in 1945. Privacy laws prevent the full release of the list to the public as yet.
Germany’s federal archive prepared the list using deportation records, and city and federal archives. Funding for the project, which reportedly cost $2.4 million, was provided by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future,” which was established with money from the German government and industry as a form of atonement for the use of slave labor during the Nazi era. Gunter Saathoff, the chairman of the foundation board, said at Wednesday’s official ceremony in the chancellery that the list would help document the suffering of Jews in Germany.