Originally published 05/23/2013
William Z. Slany, the former Historian of the Department of State and a champion of efforts to declassify the secret history of U.S. foreign policy, passed away earlier this month.Dr. Slany served in the State Department’s Office of the Historian for 42 years, and was The Historian for the last 18 of those years, until his retirement from the Department in September 2000, according to a notice circulated by David H. Herschler, the Deputy Historian of the State Department.In his capacity as Historian of the Department, Dr. Slany helped prepare 16 volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign policy, and he oversaw the publication of 125 FRUS volumes. He led an interagency study to prepare a two volume account of “Nazi gold” and other stolen assets from World War II. He participated in the development and implementation of the 1991 statute that formally required the State Department to present a “thorough, accurate, and reliable” record of U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic history....