Jewelry, photos, papers – the Nazis confiscated all the victims’ personal belongings on their arrest. Several thousand of these items from the concentration camps still exist today. We search for the victims’ families and return these things to them.

He didn’t want to help the Nazis.

More about Johannes

Lost youth: She was arrested at 16.

More about Helena

He fled from his past.

More about István

Window onto history

A wallet or a watch suddenly turns up out of the blue. And sometimes a story that nobody knew anything about: What do children and grandchildren feel when they hold these memories in their hands?

  • Edmond Ameye

    Yves Stappers' grandfather

  • Braulia Cánovas Mulero

    Marie-Christine Jené's mother

  • Peter Will

    Joop Will's father

  • Engelmar Unzeitig

    Pater Hubert's fellow priest

  • Teodor Buttler

    Teodor Buttler

    Ilona Buttler's grandfather

  • Wieslawa Brzys

    Wiesława Brzyś

    Wanda Jaronszyńska's mother

Some 2500 objects are still waiting

#StolenMemory was launched in 2016. With the help of volunteers, we are trying to trace the relatives of victims of Nazi persecution. Because their personal belongings do not belong to the archive, they are just stored there.

Why “effects?“

The Nazis used the word “effects” to describe inmates’ belongings. What does it mean and why do these objects still exist?

to the history of the effects

Life as it was before imprisonment

Some 2,500 envelopes containing various objects are still waiting to be returned to the families of the victims. Here you can find photos and 3D scans of some “effects” and the names of their owners.

To find all the names and see all the objects, go to our online archive

Educational projects

The “effects” & the fates of their owners provide a very concrete starting point and interesting opportunities for research-based learning about Nazi persecution in history lessons and project work. Groups who want to get more involved can help find families.


What are effects and what stories do they have to tell? Material for a short introduction to the topic to use at the beginning of a lesson or project day.

Unit 1

A critical examination of Nazi persecution on the basis of individual fates: teaching unit on the three individuals featured in the section titled "Memories"; materials for creating a timeline.

Unit 2

Personal effects of concentration camp prisoners as a key to studying Nazi persecution: teaching unit with dossiers on 20 life stories and a map of Europe.

Unit 3

Help us return personal effects! Using Instagram posts to search for relatives: teaching unit with an interactive map; how to write your own appeal for information.

What do the Arolsen Archives do?

We are the most comprehensive archive on the victims of Nazi persecution. We have been collecting information, researching fates, and reuniting families since 1948. Now, we also develop concepts for research and education work. We use new digital formats to help keep the memory of the victims alive.

About us

Our website can tell you more about the work we do. And about how you can help us to keep memories and keep history alive.

Arolsen Archives

Our online archive

Why not do some research yourself? More than 26 million documents can currently be found in our online archive.

Online archive

How you can help

We need you! In the worldwide search for the families of the victims, we depend on the help of volunteers who know the local area and can research on the spot.

Join in

Our exhibitions

We will soon publish the dates and locations of the traveling exhibition for 2022 here. In addition to locations in Germany, we are pleased to be able to show the #StolenMemory traveling exhibition in Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands for the first time in 2022.

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