Belgium concludes its presidency of the Arolsen Archive - International Centre on Nazi Persecution

On June 22, 2022, Belgium concludes its presidency of the Arolsen Archive-International Centre on Nazi Persecution at the plenary session of the organization. The Foreign Affairs Ministry has held the Presidency of this archive for the past year.

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The mission of the Arolsen Archive

The Arolsen Archive is an international organization with 11 member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States). The organization takes its name from the town of Bad Arolsen in Germany, where its headquarters are located.

It is a center for documentation, information and research on the persecutions committed by the Nazi regime, forced labor and the Shoah. It holds nearly 30 million documents on more than 17 million victims of the Nazis, as well as several thousand personal objects that it strives to return to the families or relatives. Its main tasks are the clarification of the fate of the victims of Nazism, the search for close relatives, the provision of information to survivors and families, as well as educational and documentary work related to these same themes.

The #StolenMemory exhibition

At the end of this presidency, the travelling exhibition #StolenMemory, dedicated to the memory of the victims of Nazism, will be inaugurated in the Cour d'honneur of the Egmont Palace in Brussels. This exhibition focuses on the last possessions of concentration camp prisoners and on the question of how these objects can be returned to the families of the victims today.

The inauguration will be attended by 40 pupils of the primary school of Gatti de Gamond. This school was symbolically chosen to pay tribute to one of its former teachers: Mrs. Andrée Geulen, who was a member of the resistance during the Second World War and who saved about 300 Jewish children from deportation through her actions. Mrs. Geulen, who died on May 31 at the age of 100, was recognized in 1989 as Righteous Among the Nations.

Inaugurated on May 8 on the esplanade of the Cinquantenaire, the #StolenMemory exhibition made a stop in Lier, then in Mechelen in front of the entrance of the Dossin Barracks. After June 23, it will continue its journey in several Belgian places emblematic of the Second World War, such as Bastogne and the Fort of Breendonk, and other Belgian cities, such as Liège, Eupen, St Vith and Gembloux, before continuing its journey in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. More information can be found on the official website

Nearly 80 years after the Second World War, it is essential to find ways to preserve the testimonies of that time and to continue to raise public awareness, especially among the younger generations.


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