International Committee of the Red Cross: G59 Israelites

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 71005
1 Jan 1939 - 31 Jan 1961
Level of Description
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • English
  • Slavic
EHRI Partner


Biographical History

From June 1942 the Commission PIC was tasked with dealing with all questions pertaining to treatment of prisoners of war and civilian internees (including those persecuted for racial and political reasons). It was incumbent upon them to ensure that all ICRC appointees worldwide received the correct instructions with regard to their activities in the treatment of POWs and civilian internees and to take necessary initiatives where measures were either non-existent or had elapsed. It was also charged with executing the directives of the Commission.

Archival History

Series G59 forms part of the files produced by different Commissions and Divisions of the General Secretariat of the ICRC responsible for operational matters.


Donor: International Committee of the Red Cross

Scope and Content

This collection is a microfilm copy of material owned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (G59). The creator was the Commission des Prisoniers, Internés et Civils (Commission PIC) The records pertain to the fate of European Jewry predominantly during the Nazi era. There follows an overview of the 13 sub-series with the original reference number, title and current microfilm reel number.\

G59/0: Dossiers Bachmann, Livre blanc, Exo (Extrème-Orient) 1942-1946, 4 bundles Reel 2

This sub-series was created outside the original framework and retrospectively attributed to G59. Most of the items comprise the working papers of Hans Bachmann, personal secretary to Carl J. Burckhardt. In addition the sub-series consists equally of files relating to assistance to Jews in various countries as well as items pertaining to the publication of Livre Blanc of 1946, the activities of the ICRC in support of civilian detainees in concentration camps in Germany, 1939-1945.

G 59/1: Israelites (dossiers divers), 1939-1948, 2 bundles, Reel 2

Administrative files: organisation of Division d'Assistance Spéciale (DAS), various directives and minutes of meetings concerning the set up of relief activities in support of Jews and correspondence files (Rabbi Barcuch Korff, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, etc).

G59/2: Secours et questions de principe, 1940-1961, 50 bundles, Reels 2-6

Material and moral assistance of the ICRC in support of the Jews of Europe. One part comprises files dealing with questions of principle linked to relief. The other is a collection of files pertaining to relief arranged alphabetically by country.

G59/3: Camps, 1940-1950, 28 bundles, Reels 6-7

Files relating to ghettos and Nazi concentration camps in occupied Europe as well as files concerning internment camps for Jews throughout the world (see also G59/8 and G59/12).

G59/4: Appels, 1939-1946, 39 bundles, Reels 7-8

Re-integrated collection of Red Cross appeals to governments respecting rules of conflict and the Geneva Convention as well as appeals of states, of national societies of the Red Cross, of various other organisations in order that the ICRC may intervene in cases of violation.

G59/5: Emigration, 1940-1949, 43 bundles, Reels 8-10

Files concerning the emigration of Jews within and outside Europe, in particular to Palestine. The material comprises matters relating to administration (eg visa procedures), transport logistics (ships), the Exodus affair of 1947.

G59/6: Haut-Commissariat pour les réfugiés, 1942-1947, 4 bundles, Reel 10

ICRC relations with the intergovernmental committee, organ of the League of Nations charged with resolving the refugee question in Europe (since 1935), in particular Jews fleeing racial persecution in Germany.

G59/7: Organisations israëlites (et autres organisations), 1940-1950, 166 bundles, Reels 10-12

Collection of correspondence with Jewish associations and organisations. Despite the title this sub-series covers equally relations with other organisations eg the War Refugee Board and the permanent office of the Czechoslovakian Republic etc.

G59/8: Déportations, 1939-1954, 13 bundles, Reel 13

Deportation of Jews from different European countries: comprising particular cases as well as testimonies of Nazi atrocities (see also G59/3 and G59/12).

G59/9: Projects, 1941-1945, 1 bundle, Reel 13

Propositions and projects designed to ameliorate the situation for European Jewry from non- ICRC interlocutors

G59/10: Enquêtes, 1940-1948, 2 bundles, Reel 14

Enquiries and requests for assistance in support of Jews either imprisoned or deported by the Nazi regime. Correspondence and negotiations of the ICRC with the German authorities on the subject of victims of racial persecution, arranged chronologically.

G59/11: Cas particuliers, 1941-1948, 6 bundles, Reel 14

Requests for assistance by and in support of persecuted Jews, arranged alphabetically

G59/12: Visites de camps et ghettos, 1941-1948, 11 bundles, Reels 14-15

General correspondence on the subject of camps, prisons and ghettos visited by the ICRC and reports drafted by appointees (see also G59/3 and G59/8)

G59/70: Mission spéciale en Irak, 1949-1950, 1 bundle, reel 15

Diplomatic mission established by the ICRC in Irak on the subject of the Israeli-Arab conflict (birth of the State of Israel).

System of Arrangement

The original order reflecting the activities of the creator is retained. The collection comprises 13 sub-series, arranged geographically, thematically and by correspondent. Orphan or incorrectly classed items have been re-integrated into the original classification

Conditions Governing Access


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.