The International Tracing Service (ITS), the predecessor institution of the Arolsen Archives, was not responsible for clarifying the fate of prisoners of war. Hence, there are not many documents relating to them in Bad Arolsen today. Only a few personnel cards from the main prisoner of war camps (Stalags) and the officers’ camps (Oflags), belonging to prisoners of war who were coerced into forced labor, have been preserved at Arolsen. In this case, the cards came from the Polish Red Cross in Warsaw, which made copies of the documents available to the ITS in the early 1990s.
Prisoners of war are also mentioned on some of the forms used for the foreigner tracing campaign (Ausländersuchaktion), which the Allies ordered the German authorities to complete at the end of the war. However, as the example shows, the information on these forms is often extremely vague. No names are mentioned here, for instance, there is simply a reference to “12-13 men” in a Serbian labor detail from Stalag Weiden.