Holocaust archive lacking sources


To the Editor:

Two million entries online is commendable, however the apparent complete lack of source listings for the archive material is to be lamented. A document without a source is rendered trivial, and the Holocaust hardly seems to be a topic to be treated with such disregard for standard minimums of historical methodology.

If there is some technical difficulty with adding a category for the source — having a fair idea about the construction of databases, I find hard it to imagine — then HEART at bare minimum could post a page with a general listing of their source material.

Perhaps the goal of HEART is not so much to "never forget" the Holocaust in the historical sense as to "never forget" that there are still assets to be restituted, and that they intend to be the central mediators in that process. No other Holocaust-related site that I am aware of so completely fails to qualify its source material.

Hopefully this shortcoming will be remedied at some point in the near future, but until that point the HEART archive is helpful for restitution heirs and attorneys but practically useless for historical research. No source means no verification of authenticity.

Roderick Miller
Berlin, Germany

Recommended from JTA