Welcome to Dachau sign
Welcome to Dachau sign iStock

A repository of Holocaust-era documents said Monday it has uncovered a trove of photographs of survivors of the Nazis’ Dachau concentration camp and will make them available online in a searchable archive this spring, The Associated Press reports.

The International Tracing Service (ITS) said the 2,000 photos of survivors were taken in the first year after the war to help Nazi victims who needed proof of their imprisonment to receive help from relief organizations.

The ITS was established by the Western Allies in the final days of World War II and initially run by the Red Cross to help uncover the fates of Holocaust victims and others.

The photos help put faces to the names of Dachau inmates, but ITS said they went unnoticed for decades as they were not relevant to efforts to trace individuals.

The Dachau camp, located just a few miles from Munich, opened in 1933 and during the Second World War became a death camp where more than 41,000 Jews were slaughtered before US troops liberated it on April 29, 1945.

In 2014, the iron gate with the slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (“work will set you free”) was stolen from Dachau. It was discovered in Norway two years after it was stolen. It remains unclear how the gate got to Norway.