Archives of Nazi documents describing details of the Holocaust have officially opened to the public.

The move comes after the 11 nations that oversee the archives ratified an agreement giving the public general access to the files.

For more than 60 years, the documents were only available to historians or family members of 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust.

The International Tracing Service of the International Committee of the Red Cross administers the archives. They are housed in the western German town of Bad Arolsen.

The 11 nations of the International Tracing Service's governing body are Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Britain and the United States. A 1955 treaty set up the organization.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.