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May 31, 2012

Rebecca Boehling, History, Appointed Director of International Tracing Service

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Chelsea Williams
Communications manager
Phone: 410-455-6380

International Tracing Service (ITS) Bad Aroslen
Kathrin Flor
Head of Communications/Press Officer
Phone: +49 (0) 5691/ 629 116
Mobile: +49 (0) 170 / 900 8495

Raphael Falco

Rebecca Boehling, professor of history and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities, has been named the next Director of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen, Germany.

Boehling was appointed unanimously by the eleven-member state International Commission, which supervises the work of the ITS, at its annual meeting in Paris last week. She will take a leave of absence from UMBC and begin her directorship on January 1, 2013.

"Strong academic and administrative leadership is required to ensure the continuing institutional transformation of the ITS into a centre for documentation, information and research of world importance. The ITS’s expanded mission is both challenging and fulfilling, and the International Commission is delighted to have secured the appointment of such an outstanding candidate," said Frédéric Baleine du Laurens, director of archives at the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and chairman of the International Commission.

Boehling is an expert in the history of the Holocaust, World War II and the early postwar period in Germany. She served for several years on the Historical Advisory Panel to the U.S. Government’s Interagency Working Group for the Implementation of the 1998 Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Federal Disclosure Act, tasked to declassify material related to WWII war crimes.

“The treasure trove of documents in the ITS archives reveals new insights into the experience and the perspectives of the victims of Nazi persecution. It is very compelling material that we want to make more accessible for research and educational purposes by means of digitization and archival description,” she said. Boehling said that she hopes to develop internships and research opportunities for UMBC students, especially with the displaced persons files, which are mostly in English.

Boehling has studied and researched in Germany for several years on various research projects, including in Kiel, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, and had a research fellowship at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Leo Baeck Institute in New York. In 1980 Boehling received her M.A. and in 1990 her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Central European History. Last year, she co-authored with Uta Larkey Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust: A Jewish Family’s Untold Story based on the family letters of Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, professor of biology at UMBC.

The present ITS Director and ICRC delegate, Jean-Luc Blondel, will return to Switzerland and continue to work for the ICRC.

The ITS press release can be found here.

About the International Tracing Service
The International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen serves victims of Nazi persecutions and their families by documenting their fate through the archives it manages. The ITS preserves these historical records and makes them available for research. The archive contains about 30 million documents relating to the persecution, forced labour and emigration that took place in the wake of the Second World War. The ITS is governed by the eleven member states (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, USA) of the International Commission. On behalf of the commission, the ITS is managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) until the end of 2012. The German Federal Archives will become the new institutional partner for the ITS as of January 2013. For more information visit

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Posted by chelseah at May 31, 2012 9:14 AM