Archive used in prosecution of Nazis reveals detailed evidence of death camps and genocide previously unseen by public
[From The Guardian]
War crimes files revealing early evidence of Holocaust death camps that was smuggled out of eastern Europe are among tens of thousands of files to be made public for the first time this week.
The once-inaccessible archive of the UN war crimes commission, dating back to 1943, is being opened by the Wiener Library in London with a catalogue that can be searched online.
The files establish that some of the first demands for justice came from countries that had been invaded, such as Poland and China, rather than Britain, the US and Russia, which eventually coordinated the post-war Nuremberg trials.
The archive, along with the UNWCC, was closed in the late 1940s as West Germany was transformed into a pivotal ally at the start of the cold war and use of the records was effectively suppressed. Around the same time, many convicted Nazis were granted early release after the anti-communist US senator Joseph McCarthy lobbied to end war crimes trials.
Access to the vast quantity of evidence and indictments is timed to coincide with the publication on Tuesday of Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes by Dan Plesch, a researcher who has been working on the documents for a decade.
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