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UN War Crimes Commission records open to public in US

IANS 11 Nov 2014, 8:24:50 AM IST

United Nations: The records of the United Nations War Crimes Commission were open to the public in Washington DC in the US Monday, a UN spokesman announced here Monday.

"For the first time in 70 years, the records of the commission are now open to the public at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC," Xinhua quoted Farhan Haq, deputy UN spokesman, as saying at a daily news briefing here.

A panel discussion, named "United Nations War Crimes Commission Records (1943-1948): Past, Present and Future", will be held Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York, which aims to examine the historical significance of the records and their future potential use, Haq said.

The commission was operational between 1943 and 1948 and played a vital role in preparing the ground for the war crimes trials that followed the Second World War.

The archives contain some evidences submitted by 17 member states for evaluation of the war criminals and the records of trials carried out in various member nations and presented to the UN commission, including national military tribunals and the Military Tribunal of the Far East, the Tokyo trials of Japan's war criminals involved in the Japanese invasion of China.

Although information in the documents has long been known to investigators and historians, the public were kept out.

The vast collection includes about 500,000 digitised microfilm images with more than 10,000 case files in multiple languages from Europe and Asia on people identified as war criminals, according to reports.

There are also meeting minutes, trial transcripts and 37,000 names listed in a central registry of war criminals and suspects. Some files have lists of personnel at concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Ravensbruck.