This organisation, dependent of the International Red Cross until 1978, maintained a "historical section" open to researchers and published statistics of the deaths in the camps. As soon as it appeared that the research and statistics could confirm the Revisionist thesis, the "historical section" was dissolved, the access to researchers forbidden, the publication of statistics prohibited, the annual report of activities became secret (except for a minute part, devoid of all interest) and ten governments, including Israel, established a strict control.
The ITS possesses information of incalculable richness on the individual fate of the victims of National-Socialism and, in particular, of the former concentration camp inmates. It would be certainly possible to establish there the real number of Jews who died during the war. Unfortunately the works of the ITS are under tight supervision by the governments it depends on : since 1978, in order to block all Revisionist research, the ITS shut its doors to historians and researchers, except those bearing a special authorization provided by one of the ten governments.
From now on it is forbidden for the ITS to establish, as it had done so far, statistical evaluations of the number of deaths in the different camps. The annual reports are not to be communicated to the public except for the first third part, which presents no interest for the researcher.
C. Biedermann, director of the ITS, testified during the second Zundel trial (1988), confirming thus a piece of news that had filtered in 1964 during the Frankfurt trials : at the liberation of Auschwitz, the Soviets and the Poles had confiscated the deathrolls of that group of camps (38 or 39 volumes, of which 36 or 37 conserved in Moscow, two or three others at the Auschwitz museum, [and] of which the ITS received copies). Until 1991, neither the Soviets nor the Poles, nor the ITS authorised the consultation of these volumes and C. Biedermann even refused to reveal the number of deaths registered in the two or three volumes kept at the ITS. (...)
At the 1988 'false news' trial of Ernst Zundel in Toronto, Canada, Charles Biederman, Director of the (Red Cross) International Tracing Service at Arolsen, testified to the following:
The ITS had four mandates: (1) the assembling; (2) classification; (3) administration; and (4) evaluation of documents of former civilian persecutees of the National Socialist regime for the purpose of enabling these people to obtain pension benefits. (11-2496, 2499) The documents were centralized in one main data file, containing about 44 million pieces of information regarding about 14 million former persecutees. (10-2406; 12-2708).
Mr. Biederman went on to explain who had access to the documents:
Access to the documents was limited by the Bonn Agreements of 1955 to former persecutees and their legal successors on the grounds that the documents were all person-related and therefore ***not open to the public.*** (11-2497, 2498). The wording used in the Bonn Agreement was that the archives were "only to be evaluated in the interests of the former persecutees themselves or their successors." (12-2676). The only exception to this rule, as provided for under the agreements, was that representatives of any of the ten Allied governments of the supervisory body had the right to inspect the documents. (11-2497) Any application by one of the ten governments for access was reviewed by the Director of the ITS; if the Director felt it was not justified, he could submit the application to the International Commission for the final decision.
Here is what Director Biederman had to say about the Red Cross's knowledge of alleged gas chambers during the war:
The ICRC had official camp records of executions in the camps by hanging or shooting. These documents were not marked secret. It was suggested to Biedermann that if exterminations were going on of unregistered inmates in the camps the ICRC had many contacts in Europe to find out about it. Biedermann replied that they had always tried to do so but had never received any confirmations at the time. He agreed there was never any indication by the Red Cross from all its reports that gas chambers were being used during the war. (12-2624, 2625)