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Red Cross steps back from Holocaust search

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said it will step down from its role managing the work of a body dedicated to finding Holocaust victims.

The Geneva-based organisation has a long history of helping reunite families separated by war and identifying the remains of people killed in conflict.

It was tasked in 1955 with leading the International Tracing Service (ITS) that was established in Bad Arolsen, Germany, to find victims of Nazi persecution.

The ICRC said on Friday it would withdraw from managing the ITS by the end of 2012 as part of the latter’s transformation into a research and education centre.

The ICRC said the number of tracing requests had declined as the number of survivors and their direct relatives had dwindled in recent years.

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