Feature

Historians want Nazi archives

The week's news at a glance.

Bad Arolsen, Germany

U.S., French, and Dutch diplomats are pressing Germany to release a massive archive of Nazi documents to international historians. Germany has long given the International Committee of the Red Cross access to the 50 million records, which the agency uses to trace the missing and the deceased. But historians haven’t been allowed to see the documents, which contain the names of 17.5 million people, including concentration camp prisoners and other Nazi victims. German officials say releasing the records would violate victims’ right to privacy. But victims’ advocates call that rationale absurd. “This is about the memory of the most appalling event in human history,” said Karel Fracapane, executive secretary of a 24-nation task force on Holocaust education. “It’s extremely important for the archives to become open as soon as possible and give survivors and their families relevant information before they die.”

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