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Nazi archive opens a new mystery?

May 18 2006
10:04

More than sixty years, one of the most secretive Nazi archive of World War II remained closed to researchers and historians. Accessing kontslagernym yellowed books and documents of historical value had only a staff of International Service for the Red Cross .

The main opponent of the declassification of the archives all the time advocated the German side, attention is drawn to the need to respect the right to privacy and considers it necessary to respect privacy of victims of the Third Reich.

Recently, however, the pressure on Berlin because of the need to open files stored in Bad Arolsen, (Hesse), to study significantly increased. Evidence contained in the archives, could help scientists to put an end to the issue of the Holocaust - the mass extermination of Jews and the persecution of Roma and other nations during the Second World War. According to some researchers, it is extremely unlikely that the facts that will be in their possession, as something essential will change ideas about the Holocaust - rather the contrary.

Germany still agreed to declassify some 50 million records and to amend the 1995 Convention on access to archives, only in April this year. It happened after lengthy discussions. The Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries of the country reported that Germany will declassification of Nazi documents , in cooperation with the U.S..

This week in Luxembourg, a meeting of delegations from eleven countries, which have been identified the next steps in this direction. Diplomats said the draft amendment was ready. Now he has to be agreed and ratified by all eleven members of a special commission with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. It was in his charge for many years the archive.

After all these formalities are met, the researchers finally starting to work with one of the most colossal fragments of world history . As chairman of an international commission Paul Mertz, Arolzensky archive - the most complete of all extant.

All documents will be digitized, and each of the eleven countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, UK and USA, signed at the time the convention will be provided with a copy of the infamous archives.

According to representatives of the International Tracing Service, administered by the Red Cross, approximately 56% of documents stored in archives, already scanned, and the main problem is the lack of funds.

Search service, which has about 400 employees, was formed after the war and its immediate responsibility is to find the missing Jews and the civil population of Germany.

Requests received so far. Every year, tens of thousands of recorded calls asking for help to find relatives and friends who disappeared during the war, and the search engine can not cope with such volume. To date, the day had accumulated about 400 000 calls that are waiting in the wings.

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