International Tracing Service exhibition: #StolenMemory
On the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust, UNESCO and the International Tracing Service (ITS) will present the exhibition #StolenMemory on the fences surrounding UNESCO Headquarters. The ITS is an archive and a center for documenting National Socialist persecution and the liberation of survivors. The exhibition presents personal objects from the ITS archives, mainly collected from the Neuengamme concentration camp and tells the stories of the individuals to whom they belonged. The archives of the International Tracing Service were inscribed into register of Memory of the World in 2013.
#StolenMemory is an International Tracing Service (ITS) campaign and exhibition.
In the ITS archive there are some 3,000 “effects”—personal possessions of concentration camp inmates, primarily from the Neuengamme concentration camp. Most of them belonged to victims of political persecution and imprisoned forced laborers. Notably, a very small number of these objects belonged to Jewish inmates known by name.
In extermination camps set up for the mass murder of Jews, the Nazis collected their murder victims’ clothing, jewelry and other personal belongings and sold it off. The owners of personal belongings found after liberation are generally unknown. In the Neuengamme camp, as in other camps located in the “Altreich,” confiscated personal belongings were registered and kept until the inmate died.
In 2016, the ITS launched a campaign to return the stolen memories to the families. The exhibition tells us what those mementoes mean to the people who receive them. And it shows objects whose recipients the ITS are still looking for.
The opening of the exhibition will take place on 25 January 2018 at 5.30 p.m. in the UNESCO Headquarters Foyer in presence of the UNESCO Director-General and Floriane Hohenberg, Director of the International Tracing Service.