Israel, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be hosting the annual conference of the International Tracing Service (ITS) at Yad Vashem – The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Israel, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be hosting the annual conference of the International Tracing Service (ITS), which is slated to begin today (Tuesday, 1 June) at Yad Vashem – The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. The Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for International Organizations will act as Chairperson of the conference.

The ITS, which was established in 1965, continues the work of the central office set up in 1943 by the Allied forces to assist individuals in their search for family members who disappeared in the course of World War II. The member states are Israel, the USA, Germany, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxemburg, Greece, Italy, and Poland, with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus having observer status in the organization. The Presidency, currently held by Israel, is according to annual rotation.

The archives of the ITS comprise one of the most comprehensive collections of data in existence concerning victims of Nazism and slave labor. As such, they are an important source of information in compensation claims or recognition cases.

One of the issues to be discussed at the conference is the drafting of an amendment to the ITS constitution with the aim of making the archives more accessible to researchers and the general public, while preserving individual privacy.