Press/Journalists
Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group
Thomas H. Baer, Public Member

Richard Ben-Veniste, Public Member

Christina M. Bromwell, Department of Defense

Elizabeth Holtzman, Public Member

Steven Garfinkel (Chair), National Archives and Records Administration

John E. Collingwood, Federal Bureau of Investigation

William H. Leary, National Security Council

David P. Holmes, Central Intelligence Agency

Paul A. Shapiro, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Eli M. Rosenbaum, Department of Justice

Marc J. Susser, Department of State


Press Release
November 30, 2001
Declassified Army Records Spotlight World War II and Post-War Espionage, Intrigue, and Corruption in the Third Reich

Contacts:
Giuliana Bullard, IWG, 703-532-1477
Susan Cooper, NARA, 301-837-1700

Washington, D.C. As a result of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998, previously classified records of the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), from 1939 to 1976, have been made available to the public. The records yield new insights into U.S. Army intelligence gathering during the post war period, including the relationship of both Western and Communist intelligence with individuals clearly implicated as war criminals or associated with war crimes activities. The newly released records also provide greater insight into German wartime intelligence, and the wartime and post-war activities of Japanese military and government leaders.

The documents are intelligence and counterintelligence records from the Army's Investigative Records Repository and include case files from 1939 to 1976. Among them are reports, memorandums, interrogations, interviews and other records collected during the course of investigations of individuals, organizations, and general topics of intelligence and counterintelligence interest, including:

  • Case files of German wartime intelligence and security officers, including Hermann Julius Hoefle, a major Nazi war criminal connected with three extermination camps in what had been Poland. The records provide new information showing that the CIC was aware of Hoefle's Nazi background when they hired him briefly in 1954 but paid little attention to leads revealing his many monstrous and barbaric crimes.
  • A case file of Otto Ohlendorf, a notorious SS official who provided British interrogators details of corruption in the Third Reich and a glimpse of the regime's final days.
  • Case files related to the successful Soviet espionage network Red Orchestra and German efforts to eradicate the group.
  • A case file on Klaus Barbie created in 1967 in response to an inquiry by Senator Jacob K. Javits.
  • Files concerning Japanese wartime senior government and military leaders, as well as many related to Japanese military personnel captured by Soviet forces in Manchuria in August 1945.
  • The case file on Nazi backed Croatian war criminal Ante Pavelic, which includes documents on an unsuccessful US attempt to arrest Pavelic in Rome in 1947 before his escape to Argentina.

The newly available records join the 8,000 paper case files of the collection. Portions of the paper case files have been acquired by the National Archives and declassified by various means for the last twenty years.

As these last records were declassified, archivists re-filed them into previously opened files so researchers may examine the files in their entirety and see the context and order of individual documents.

The materials are available in the Textual Research Room of the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park, Maryland, located at 8601 Adelphi Road. Researchers will have access to a box list that is part of a National Archives-produced finding aid with the names of each of the personal dossiers. Contact the National Archives Military Records Unit at 301-837-3510 for information.

The release was made possible by the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, a group that coordinates the government-wide effort to declassify federal records related to Nazi and Axis war crimes under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act and the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act. The U.S. Government has declassified and is making available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration more than 5 million pages of records under these Acts. The IWG Website provides additional background: http://www.archives.gov/iwg/.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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