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The International Tracing Service and the ‘Legacies of Political Humanitarianism’

This talk explores the history of the International Tracing Service, an agency established by the Allies during WWII to locate missing persons.

This talk explores the long history of the International Tracing Service (ITS), an agency established by the Western Allies during World War II to locate and reunite persons missing as a course of the hostilities. It tells the story of how states and non- governmental organizations — especially the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the International Committee of the Red Cross — used the purportedly neutral and universal humanitarian services of tracing missing victims of the Holocaust that the ITS offered in pursuit of their respective political and social agendas. Dr. Jennifer Rodgers will discuss how an organization established to ameliorate the crimes of Nazism reframed international humanitarian norms as well as the practice of relief itself. At the same time, Dr. Rodgers will also shine a light on the ways the ITS policies impacted not only Holocaust memory, but also how the history of National Socialism and the Holocaust was — and still is — negotiated.

Dr. Jennifer Rodgers, is a historian who is currently a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rodgers, a former postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Florida, is PhD alumna of the University of Pennsylvania. Her work focuses on German and European history in its inter- and transnational contexts. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled The Archives of Humanity: The International Tracing Service, The Holocaust and Postwar Order. It examines the International Tracing Service and the ways in which it reframed humanitarianism in the post-World War II world. Dr. Rodgers has held a wide array of fellowships and grants from institutions in the United States and Europe including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris; the Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement in Geneva, Switzerland; the Freie Universität in Berlin; and the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, Germany.


Dr Jennifer Rodgers | talks


Date and Time:

8 March 2018 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide
29 Russell Square
020 7636 7247

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