Interagency Working Group (IWG)

New York City Open Forum (Interagency Working Group)

September, 1999

IWG New York City Open Forum

The Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) will hold a public forum from 10 am to 5 pm on September 27, 1999, at the U. S. District Courthouse in Manhattan, 500 Pearl Street. This public forum is being held so that the IWG members may consult with scholars, other experts, and the public to gain additional perspectives about where the IWG ought to be looking for any yet undisclosed information among Government records.

The IWG was established by President Clinton in January 1999, to oversee the implementation of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998. This legislation requires Federal agencies to work with the IWG to locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration, all classified records relating to Nazi war criminals, Nazi war crimes, Axis persecution, and Axis looting.

The IWG is composed of three public members appointed by the President and the representatives of the heads of seven federal agencies. It is chaired by Dr. Michael Kurtz, representing the Archivist of the United States.

The New York City program will consist of three parts. First, knowledgeable public figures have been invited to present their views on the importance of opening pertinent still-classified records as required by the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. Second, scholars who have researched the will suggest areas of inquiry that might fruitful. Third, the IWG will hear from the interested public whose personal knowledge or experience may suggest subjects or individuals for further research. In addition to seeking to better inform the work of the Working Group, the objective in holding public meetings is to share with the public outside of Washington a process that emphasizes the positive role of government in pursuing overdue justice and preserving the national memory.

Among those knowledgeable public figures and experts invited to speak are Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York; Edgar Bronfman, Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and President of the World Jewish Congress; J.D. Bindenagel, the State Department's Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues;

Neil Levin, Superintendent, New York State Insurance Department, National Association of Insurance Commissioners International Holocaust Commission Task Force; Israel Singer, Secretary General, World Jewish Congress; and, Stuart E. Eizenstat, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Among the scholars and experts making presentations are Ken Klothen, Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States; Jeffrey Burds, Professor of History, Northeastern University; Irwin Nack, Investigative Counsel, New York Banking Department; and, Robert Wolfe, National Archives and Records Administration, retired.