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In an article they quote

Maria Raabe, spokeswoman for the archive, said: "The Bonn agreements state clearly that the archives should not be opened to historical researchers. There are a large number of documents dealing with sensitive issues such as disease, homosexuality or rape." She said the committee would meet in mid-May at the earliest to reach a decision.

My initial reaction to your article, was Woah, I didn;t know that existed, why did I not know this. All the holocaust deniers would have a much tougher time to do their business, with an archive detailing individuals.

Having read the spoleswomans comment I can understand one of the reasons why it has not been made more public.

I am not familiar enough with the policies of the Birtler Behoerde (which hosts all the Stasi documents). but I assume (based on nothing) that their experience might have lead to a reassesment of the enourmously strict access that existed for this holocaust archive, since they have "similarly detailed information".

So in conclusion, my opinion would be, access not to rummage, while individuals are still alive, but with specific research questions and anonymised results. Those are being presented to the researchers by the archive personnel, that can blacken out individual information that is too sensitive.
No direct access for historians.

by PeWi on Thu Apr 20th, 2006 at 01:14:24 PM EST
You are right that with the opening of the files, exposing so much personal information to those who deny the Holocaust is more likely to disprove them. Yet, what their position usually stems from is not the lack of information, rather it is more like a personal conviction, distortion of facts, the unwillingness to call the black, black and the white, white.

The historians in my opinion should not be banned from accessing so much primary information. Their mission besides the event recording is to prevent the things from repeating, to keep the world conscious alive, so to speak ,and remind the human race of the existence of past, no matter what. This is something that should be spoken of, so that it will not be forgotten. Ever.

by Harlem on Thu Apr 20th, 2006 at 07:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree with this, and yes, there should be more knowledge about this archive and its content, but I regard the individual protection as a very high priority.

A question in my scenario that a historian could ask would be. Well I don't know where to start really.
But from what I know how archives work, they need to be catalogued first - something I would assume is in place - then you establish cross references, but if you stand in front of this huge pile of information you need assistance from those that know it best - the curators.

Their preparation of the information would in my suggestion, not reveal the individual, but the actions against them.

Yes, in history it is easier to become emotionally involved if you know the individual (have you been to the Holocaust Museum in DC? They try to achieve this, with giving you a passport of an individual at the entrance to the museum, and originally you would be told at the end of the tour, if you survived or not....)

However, as for this archive, I would vote for the publication of the abstract information, revealing as much as possible, without the infringing of individuals rights.

by PeWi on Thu Apr 20th, 2006 at 07:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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