BALTIMORE, SEPT. 24 -- A center devoted to tracing the fates of people held in Nazi concentration camps opened today to handle the flood of requests expected now that the Soviet Union has released records on 400,000 prisoners.
The Holocaust and War Victims Tracing and Information Center, run by the American Red Cross, offers hope to people still wondering about their loved ones 45 years after the end of World War II.
The latest documents, which were recovered by Soviet soldiers when the camps were liberated at the end of the war, include nearly 70,000 death certificates from the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Also included are the names of 130,000 prisoners forced to work in Germany and 200,000 victims in other camps, including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Gross Rosen and Buchenwald.
"It offers the opportunity for closure -- to allow people to finally say, 'Now I know what happened,' " said Emmy Hubert Mogilensky, 67, a Pikesville, Md., woman who learned that her parents died in a concentration camp from a message the Red Cross sent her brother in 1946.
Since the end of the war, available documents have been stored at the International Tracing Service in Arolsen, West Germany. There are 46 million documents on file on about 13 million people. People wishing to learn the fate of relatives or friends can contact local American Red Cross chapters.