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The Red Cross’ International Tracing Service will open its archives to the public.

Historical researchers and others can examine archives and documents from World War II at the Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany. Such access had been granted previously only to the victims of Nazi persecution and their next of kin.

The archives contain more than 50 million documents regarding the persecution, exploitation and extermination of millions of civilians by the Nazis.

They became public after Greece became the last of the 11-member International Commission for the International Tracing Center to file its ratification papers with the German Foreign Ministry.

“This is the conclusion of a long and difficult process,” said Jakob Kellenberger, the commission’s president. “The sensitive information stored at the International Tracing Service is now available to researchers and the broader public. This dark chapter in German history must never be forgotten.”

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