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UN opens archives previously secret evidence about the Holocaust

Previously inaccessible archives of the United Nations, which since 1943 has gathered information about the mass extermination of the Jews, get in the open access and will be published by the London library The Wiener Library. The backup catalog will be available in an online search.

We are talking about the documents and written evidence taken during the Second world war from Eastern Europe and those in the UN soon after the organization was founded in 1942.

According to the documents, The Guardian reports, the first appeal to the UN to judge the Nazis for war crimes came from Poland and China.

The Polish government in exile provided the UN Commission on war crimes (disbanded in the late 40-ies) of certificate of the extermination of Jews in Treblinka and Auschwitz. Such documents are also collected by the Czech government in exile. This evidence was gathered as evidence against Adolf Hitler personally for the coordination and control of the mass killings of Jews in Czechoslovakia. In 1944, thanks to these documents, at a secret meeting of the UN Commission Hitler was convicted of war crimes.

Moreover, the documents show that in the late 40-ies in Poland, Greece and the Philippines passed the trials in which mass rape and forced prostitution were recognized war crimes.

After the Second world war, the Commission for investigation of war crimes was dissolved and the secret archives. Historians attribute this to the fact that West Germany became an ally of the West in the Cold war. At the same time, many convicted by the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Nazis were released early under the pressure of anti-Communist lobby in the US, particularly Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The German government all these years had no access to the secret archives of the allies. Until now, these archives were only allowed the researchers received permission from their government, and the consent of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In this case, the researchers were forbidden to keep records and to make copies of documents. One of these researchers was Dan Plesch, author of «human Rights after Hitler: the lost history of condemning war crimes of the axis».

According to The Guardian, Plesch and his colleagues helped to convince diplomats, including the period of U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, to insist on the publication of archival materials.

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UN opens archives previously secret evidence about the Holocaust
18.04.2017

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