Researchers urge UN to open vault on Nazi war crimes cases





UNITED NATIONS - Locked inside UN headquarters is a huge but largely unknown archive documenting 10,000 cases against accused World War II criminals. Leading British and American researchers are campaigning to make the files - hundreds of thousands of pages in 400 boxes - public for the first time in 60 years, arguing that they are not only historically valuable but also might unearth legal precedents that could help bring some of today's war criminals to justice.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington is also seeking to have the archive opened.

"It's outrageous that material which could help bring today's war criminals to justice and improve our understanding of the Holocaust is still secret," said British academic Dr. Dan Plesch, who is leading the push for access. "The whole archive should be online for scholars and historians."

The archive belonged to the United Nations War Crimes Commission, a body established in October 1943 by 17 allied nations to issue lists of alleged war criminals - ultimately involving approximately 37,000 individuals - examine the charges against them and try to assure their arrest and trial....



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