Frequently asked questions about Tracing the Past

Will the Mapping the Lives site only be in English?

All of the categories will be in both English and in the current native language of the place that the map depicts. This will be more difficult with biographies, but we hope with crowd sourcing to keep the main content completely bilingual.

Why hasn’t the concept of making the biographies of Shoah victims available by residential address been done before?

Much of data was unavailable until the last 20 years and the concept of incorporating such an amount of data was also inconceivable until the last decade. Still, much remains to be done in terms of research and digitalization, especially for the Eastern European countries. Some of the data that formed the original core of our database was only accessible in archives and has only been made publicly available in recent years. Until the formation of Tracing the Past, few organizations (except for those making local memorial books) had specifically sought out residential address information for Shoah victims, despite the fact that the street address, in many cases, is the only evidence available for making links to immediate family members.

Is Tracing the Past affiliated with any religious, governmental, or political organization?

No, Tracing the Past is an independent, non-profit organization consisting of historians, archivists and information technology experts, all of whom are highly motivated to work for our goal of improving Holocaust memorialization and provenance research in Europe.

How much will it cost to access the site or to become a site member?

The purpose of this project is to provide free access for everyone to this information, so there will never be a charge for access.

How can I contribute to the project?

Contribute Information: If you have new or additional information about Shoah victims which you would like to contribute to the project, you will be able to sign up for free for access to the site and contribute the information, as long as you are able to quote a verifiable source, which may even be items such as family letters, genealogy, and so forth.