Thursday, April 20, 2006

Germany to release files on millions of Nazi victims

Germany bowed to decades of pressure from the US and Britain yesterday and announced that it would open a vast trove of Nazi-era papers detailing the fate of millions of Holocaust victims.


Until now only individual victims have been able to check their personal records. But on Monday Germany's Justice Minister, Brigitte Zypries, said that Berlin would work with the US and others to release the files. The 11 countries that oversee the 30m-50m documents are expected to back the decision formally next month.


The Allies rescued the documents at the end of the second world war from concentration camps. They include details of medical experiments, names of alleged collaborators among inmates and reports on the Lebensborn programme, under which infants fathered by German soldiers were raised in the dogma of the "master race", as well as details of all prisoners taken to Dachau and Buchenwald camps. But in the case of Auschwitz and other extermination camps the Nazis failed to record the names of countless Jewish victims who were immediately gassed.

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