Despite pressure from US lawmakers and frustration among Holocaust survivors, a unique Nazi-era archive remains off-limits to researchers, and officials say it could take years before the millions of documents become available for study.
Eight months have passed since the 11 countries administering the vast storehouse of log books, transport lists and death registers agreed to open the archive for research. For nearly a decade, the group had wrangled over objections that disclosure would violate the privacy of some victims.
When German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries announced her nation's decision to drop its resistance, she told reporters in Washington last April that agreement among member states should take no more than six months. Expectations that the archive would be accessible to researchers by year's end soared.
But that agreement was just the first step in a lengthy legal process to amend a 1955 treaty governing the archive of the International Tracing Service, or ITS, an arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the German town of Bad Arolsen.