Kazerne Dossin has the important task of collating and preserving any remaining records about the Holocaust. More than 19,000 portraits of deportees have thus been saved from oblivion. Their files have been retrieved, their photographs scanned and stored. This is how, for example, the scanning service has made the publication possible of the four albums ‘Mecheln-Auschwitz’. The photo albums show the portraits of the victims in the context of ‘Give them a face'. The end product is an impressive portrait wall which is the main theme of the museum.
One year after the opening of the museum, on 1 December 2013, 148 new portraits were added to the wall of portraits. All these photographs were found in records or donated by relatives. There are still some 5,000 portraits missing, so the search is still on.
But digitisation does more than that. Every day, staff scan hundreds of documents, photographs and records. With the help of sophisticated equipment, these records are carefully archived and preserved for future generations. Besides donations, the service also digitises collections of other Belgian museums and high-resolution records. Their work is never done. Every day, we find new files, photographs and unknown material. In 2014, a book is to be published with portraits of the deportees from the northern French camp Drancy. Of the approx. 5,900 deportees, 4,100 retrieved photos will be published.