Background Articles on $4.7 Billion of Nazi Seizures of Gold and Assets: Lloyd Cutler's Representation of Swiss & Edgar Bronfman and the Clinton Administration's role (via Robert Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury) Acting on Behalf of the Jewish Victims.
1. Click. The War Crimes Disclosure Act.
2. Click. The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead, by Jean Zigler.
3. Click. Is there a connection between a $4.7 Billion reserve by the Swiss re: Nazi gold and a $4.7 billion attempted seizure of Goldman Sachs HUD loan sales assets?
4. Click. The end of silence by Michael Rappaport.
5. Click. Senate Passage of Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, S. 1379 June 19, 1998. THE TEXT OF THE ACT. FOIA REQUESTS PROCEDURES.
6. Click. Implementation of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act An Interim Report to Congress. (List of available files re: such subjects as "Paper Clip", Nazi Scientists, etc.)
7. Click. Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US.
8. Click. Legislative History of Holocaust-Related Legislation, 1995-1999.
1. THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release October 22, 1996
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I have signed into law H.R. 1281, the "War Crimes Disclosure Act. "This Act, sponsored by Representative Maloney of New York, urges United States Government agencies to make public any records concerning individuals alleged to have committed Nazi war crimes. My Administration is committed to ensuring the widest possible disclosure of government documents.
On April 17, 1995, I signed Executive Order 12958, which will make available certain previously classified national security documents while safeguarding information critical to our Nation's security. Additionally, my Administration worked closely with the Congress on the recent passage of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act. I believe that our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government.
Over half a century has passed since the conclusion of World War II and the end of the Holocaust, one of the most horrifying periods of genocide in world history. I strongly believe in the central finding of this Act, that it is important to learn all we can about this terrible era so that we can prevent such a catastrophe from ever happening again.
To that end, the Act calls for more comprehensive disclosure of documents specific to Nazi war crimes. It is clearly in our public interest to learn any remaining secrets about the Holocaust. I'm pleased that the Act recognizes the need not to disclose material that is still important to U.S. national security and law enforcement interests. I am hopeful that the Congress and the executive branch will continue to work together to balance the public interests of disclosing government records with the national interests of keeping certain documents protected. Ensuring a full accounting of United States records on Nazi war criminals is an important step in preserving the memory of those who died and honoring the sacrifices of those who survived.
I was pleased to sign this bill into law.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON THE WHITE HOUSE, October 22, 1996.
2. The Swiss, the Gold, and the Dead, by Jean Zigler
Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997 Page 282, Appendix Document 1
A. Memorandum of Understanding Between The World Jewish Restitution Organization and the World Jewish Congress representing also the Jewish Agency and Allied Organizations and The Swiss Bankers Association
(1) An Independent Committee of Eminent Persons will be appointed. Three persons will be appointed by the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO and three persons will be appointed by the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). The Committee of six will jointly appoint an additional member as Chairperson. Furthermore, each side will nominate two alternates.
(2) The Chairperson will administer the budget of the Committee which will be funded by the SBA.
(3) The Committee of Eminent Persons will appoint an international auditing company: this company must be licensed by the Federal Banking Commission (FBC) to operate in Switzerland. The SBA will assure the auditors unfettered access to all relevant files in banking institutions regarding dormant accounts and other assets and financial instruments deposited before, during and immediately after the Second World War.
(4) The Committee of Eminent Persons will instruct the auditing company as to the scope of its duties. It will examine the methodology of the individual banks, the Swiss Bankers Association and the Office of the Ombudsman as regards the search for accounts and assets in question. The Independent Committee will also be authorized to retain the services of other experts, as necessary. The Independent Committee will publish progress reports from time to time.
(5) The parties of the agreement will cooperate to assure that the Swiss Government will deal with the question of looted assets in Swiss banks or other institutions which were not reported or returned under the relevant laws during the years before, during and immediately after the Second World War.
(6) All negotiations will be handled in an environment of absolute discretion with a view to reaching an amicable resolution of all the issues.
(7) As soon as the contents of this Memorandum are agreed upon, there will be a summit meeting of the presidents and their delegations to affix their signatures and to announce the names of the members of the Committee and the scope of its tasks to the public.
Signed and agreed: New York, New York, May 2, 1996 Edgar M. Bronfman Dr. George F. Krayer Avraham Burg Dr. Josef Ackerman Zvi Barak Hans J. Baer Israel Singer Members of the Independent Committee of Eminent Persons for the clarification of dormant assets in Swiss banks dating from the Second World War: Switzerland: Prof. Dr. Curt Gasteyger Professor of International Politics at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales, Geneva Rene Rhinow Councellor of the Council of Cantons Prof. Dr. Klaus Jacobi Former Undersecretary in the Foreign Ministry Jewish Organizations Mr. Shevah Weiss Speaker, Israel Knesset Mr. Avraham Burg Chairman, Jewish Agency Mr. Reuben Beraja Chairman, Latin America.
B. Federal Act concerning the historical and legal inquiry into the fate of assets that came to Switzerland in consequence of the National Socialist regime. December 13, 1996
The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Federation (text not included) Document 3 Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Federal Department of the Interior Bern, December 1996 Appointment of the independent committee of experts and government instructions thereto. Historical and legal investigation of the fate of assets that came to Switzerland in consequence of the National Socialist regime Pursuant to the Federal Act passed unanimously by both Houses relating to the historical and legal investigation of the fate of assets that came to Switzerland in consequence of the National Socialist regime, the government today unanimously appointed the members of the independent committee of experts. This is charged with investigating the role of Switzerland, and of its financial center, within the context of the Second World War.(...)
The government has chosen Jean-Francois of Zug, professor at the Federal University of Technology, Zurich, to be its chairman. The other members are: Wladyslaw BARTOSZEWSKI, Warsaw Saul FRIEDLAENDER, Jerusalem Harold JAMES, Princeton (USA) Georg KREIS, Basel Sybil MILTON, Washington Jacques PICARD, Bern Jakob TANNER, Zurich Joseph VOYAME, St. Brais (Canton Jura) (...) Instructions to the Committee of Experts
The object of the inquiry shall comprise, in particular, the themes defined in Article I, Paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Federal Act. Investigations shall also encompass the postwar period, notably subsequent government measures. (Washington Accord, Registration Act of 1962, etc) as well as the official historical evaluation of those events.
The committee's work may also include the questioning of witnesses. In conjunction with the field of inquiry defined by the Federal Act, the government wishes the following areas, in particular to be investigated: The importance of the gold trade and of foreign exchange transactions, the role of the Swiss National Bank, the role of the private banks, the importance of financial administration (with regard not only to victims of the Nazi regime but also to Germans and their collaborators).
The state of knowledge of those involved regarding the provenance of assets. The conveying of fugitive funds via Switzerland to other countries. Dealings in works of art, jewelry, etc. The magnitude and importance of this trade in looted property, the state of knowledge regarding the provenance of such assets. The role of Swiss armaments production, the acquisition of German businesses by Swiss concerns, notably within the context of Aryanization measures and the financing of export-import transactions. Government measures and the legal bases of commercial and financial centers Insofar as these are relevant to the inquiry. Relevant agreements between Switzerland and the Axis powers and the Allies. Official measures relating to foreign exchange control, bank supervision, political control of the Swiss National Bank, export and import controls, control of the trade in war materials.
The significance of refugee policy in connection with Switzerland's commercial and financial relations with the Axis powers and the Allies. Measures for identification and control. Restitution of looted property and fugitive funds, treatment of dormant assets, treatment of assets deriving from the Axis powers.
Measures for the restitution of looted assets to their owners or the descendants/heirs thereof, definition of legitimate claims. Authorities' reports on their activities. Official historical evaluations, reactions to the publication of sources abroad. The government may, either at the committee's request or on its own initiative, adjust the object of the inquiry to accord with fresh information or with the work of other investigative committees. Page 7 Who is promoting this international flood of revelations?....No, the almost exclusive fountainhead of this documentation, which has been gushing continuously ever since the early summer of 1996, is the US government. Investigators working for the Senate Banking Committee, as well as the World Jewish Congress, have unearthed, and continue to unearth, vast amounts of incriminating documentary evidence from Washington's war records, and they are feeding it to the world's press with great regularity.
New York is home not only to the biggest Jewish community in the world but also to many intellectuals of critical disposition and varied origins. These people had long been calling for a full investigation of Nazi crimes, and economic crimes in particular. Foremost among those who espoused this cause were two US legislators from New York, Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato (chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) and Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney of the 14th District, Manhattan's Upper East Side. Nothing in the American political system is more effective than a "bipartisan plea" or resolution supported by both the major parties.
On January 3, 1996, the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution calling for full disclosure of war crimes. .....Under concerted Republican and Democratic pressure, President Bill Clinton signed the War Crimes Disclosure Act.... Thanks to the Clinton Administration's War Crimes Disclosure Act and the congressional resolution, the most secret documents preserved in the archives of the US Treasury Department and the OSS will now be published.
Page 22 Six separate investigations were in progress at the beginning of 1997:
1. Pursuant to a "Memorandum of Understanding" dated May 2, 1996, the Swiss Bankers Association and the World Jewish Congress have jointly established a "Committee of Eminent Persons" under the chairmanship of Paul J. Volcker, former chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Board.....
2. A Federal Act has provided for the appointment of a historians committee.....
3. Speaking on behalf of the US State Department, Nicholas Burns announced on October 4, 1996 that his superiors proposed to set up without delay a historians committee of their own.
4. Foreign Minister Flavio Cotti appointed a special board of inquiry to look into agreements between Switzerland and Communist Easter European Countries concerning the use of murdered Jews' Swiss bank accounts to offset the expropriation of Swiss private property. This appointment was inspired by various leaks during October 1996 to the press by the World Jewish Congress and Senate Banking investigators.
5. Two class action suits brought against Swiss Banks. Attorneys are Edward Fagan and Michael Hausfield.
6. Senate Banking Committee Note: Swiss banks administer forty percent of all private funds deposited abroad, a considerable proportion of which derives from US Pension funds. Billions of dollars of their assets are annually invested-thanks to the competence of Swiss financial administrators-in Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Basle. The Senate committee could legally prohibit these transactions at any time.
3. IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN A $4.7 BILLION RESERVE BY THE SWISS RE NAZI GOLD AND A $4.7 BILLION ATTEMPTED SEIZURE OF GOLDMAN SACHS HUD LOAN SALE ASSETS?
In the summer of 1996, a highly political "investigation" was begun by the Department of Justice into bid rigging and insider trading with respect to $4.7 billion of HUD loan sales by Goldman Sachs and PNC. If various efforts to falsify evidence by the HUD and/or destroy evidence by the HUD Inspector General (DynCorp, now prime contractor) and destroy witnesses through a smear campaign during the subsequent four year investigation had been successful, the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund (DynCorp, prime contractor) would have had the basis of a $4.7 billion seizure of assets from Goldman and PNC.
During the same summer in 1996, efforts began to identify and seek reparations regarding Nazi gold and other assets maintained by Swiss banks, including the Swiss National Bank, Credit Swiss, and United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). The interim reparations fund was established by the Swiss at $4.7 billion US. Allegations exist that the PROMIS software system at the Department of Justice was used to identify Nazi accounts at the Swiss banks. According to Bill Hamilton of Inslaw, DynCorp is one of the contractors who assumed Inslaw's work in managing the PROMIS system for the Department of Justice.
Allegations also exist regarding the use by Lockheed and Pug Winokur/DynCorp of the PROMIS system to compromise the HUD systems, with $17 billion and $59 billion reported missing in FY1998 and FY1999. Lockheed with DynCorp as a subcontractor manages the largest part of the HUD computer systems. HUD Has refused to respond to FOIA's regarding DynCorp's contracts and subcontracts at HUD, taking the position that they have no contracts with DynCorp and that the prime contractor refuses to respond to their requests. DynCorp contract information is sourced from DynCorp's website at www.dyncorp.com The following article describes the Interim Swiss fund of $4.7 billion.
4. The end of silence By Michael Rappaport © 2000 Varsity Staff
This past summer in major newspapers around the world, the Swiss Bankers Association published a list of names of Jewish dormant account holders from the 1930's many of whom are believed to have perished in the Holocaust.
The list connected names to account numbers. The book, Hitler's Silent Partners: Swiss Banks, Nazi Gold and the Pursuit of Justice, by Globe and Mail reporter Isabel Vincent, appends both personal and global history to the list of names.
Hitler's Silent Partners chronicles the 50 year quest for restitution by the heirs of Abraham Hammersfeld, a prosperous Austrian Jew who entrusted his life savings to a Swiss bank before being murdered in the Holocaust. The book recounts the ordeals faced by the Hammersfelds as they were systematically deprived of all their rights in Nazi-occupied Austria and forced to flee and hide from Nazi persecution.
Before Hitler introduced his plot to exterminate the Jews, he instituted a policy of forced emigration. In order to leave the Third Reich, however, Jews had to hand over all their possessions to Germany and needed foreign currency to obtain passports to the recipient country. Those who wanted to save their assets or exchange their currency often turned in desperation to Swiss banks. "Because of their stringent banking secrecy laws," explained Vincent in a recent interview, "Switzerland has always been an area for flight capital for the past 300 years.
In 1935 the Nazis passed a law stating that if you have money abroad you must repatriate or you could face the death penalty. This spurred many Jews and Germans to begin using Swiss Banks where they knew confidentiality would be protected. Under Swiss banking secrecy laws bankers could not even reveal the existence of accounts." The Swiss banking secrecy laws made the accounts attractive to Jews trying to protect their savings. But in a cruel irony, they also made it exceedingly difficult for those who survived the Holocaust to reclaim their assets. "After the war," Vincent said, "Holocaust survivors and their heirs faced numerous obstacles in attempting to reclaim their assets from Swiss banks. They were confronted by stony-faced bureaucrats who demanded documentation and death certificates as proof that they were heirs.
This proved impossible since Auschwitz and Treblinka did not issue death certificates. "Heirs often had limited information about bank accounts which were listed by numbers, not names. The use of third parties to open accounts made money difficult to trace, as potential heirs often did not know the name of the trustee. Some dishonest trustees looted accounts."
According to Vincent, at the end of the war there were hundreds of thousands of refugees clamoring to get out of Europe as fast as possible and start new lives in Israel and the New World. Reclaiming assets was not at the top of their agenda-many did not want to come back even to reclaim businesses or homes. Vincent's book also documents the Swiss banks' illegal wartime financial dealings with Nazi Germany.
During World War II, Swiss banks laundered looted gold that the Nazis plundered from treasuries of occupied countries, as well as gold that the Nazis stole from concentration camp inmates in the forms of jewelry, watches, rings and gold fillings wrenched from the mouths of gas chamber victims.
As Vincent revealed, many Swiss grew up believing a myth about the war-that their strong army and impregnable terrain saved them from Nazi tyranny. In reality, the Swiss struck a Faustian bargain with the Nazis: they bought their freedom by agreeing to act as the Third Reich's bankers. "The Swiss were justified in trading but not in fencing goods for the Third Reich," she explained. "They were taking looted gold from occupied countries and legitimizing it through their banks. They knew that they were helping the German war effort immensely. The majority of the Swiss federal council were pro-Nazi. Although in their defense they had reason to believe that there was a threat of invasion and they were surrounded by fascist powers."
Vincent claimed there are a number of reasons why the scandal only emerged now, even though the Allies have known about the Swiss banks' wartime activities for the past 50 years. "Two events combined to make the issue a hot topic once again. First, the U.S. government declassified documents from Operation Safe Haven, a joint U.S. British operation during the war to collect information on economic warfare and laundering of gold. Secondly, with the end of the Cold War in 1989, Jews living behind the Iron Curtain could suddenly make claims for restitution. These events created a great impetus for the World Jewish Congress to forge ahead with claims against Swiss banks."
Switzerland is only now coming to terms with and making restitution for their wartime role. "The scandal has been very painful for the Swiss," Vincent said. "The Swiss never had to be accountable under international law and has always been the aloof, neutral country. The Swiss people are deeply divided by the issue. The older generation dismisses it as a conspiracy against them while the younger generation wants the truth." In an attempt to atone for the past, the Swiss government has established an interim fund of seven billion Swiss francs (4.7 billion U.S.) for Holocaust survivors and for victims of human rights abuses around the world. "The seven billion fund must still be approved in a referendum," Vincent warned. "While it is a magnanimous gesture it may never become reality, as it faces fierce opposition."
Reading Hitler's Silent Partners, a number of tangential questions kept running through my mind. Can a country remain neutral in the face of evil, or is there a moral imperative to choose sides? Does restitution lead to resentment, or is it a vital part of a country's moral healing process? Should there be a statute of limitations on a country's past crimes so that the sins of fathers are not passed down to the sons? How can the Swiss continue to justify banking secrecy when it obstructs justice by protecting the ill-gotten assets of criminals, tax evaders, dictators and drug lords? In Hitler's Silent Partners, Isabel Vincent scrutinizes Swiss banking records with the sharp eye of an accountant searching not for money but rather for justice. Her engaging, balanced book leaves the reader with much to ponder after closing the covers. Front page. Arts & Culture Headlines. Copyright (c) 1997 Varsity Publications, Inc.
Vermont's U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy Press: News Releases and Statements
5. Senate Passage of Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, S. 1379 June 19, 1998.
I am pleased that the Senate today has passed the "Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act," S. 1379. Nazi war crime records that remain classified for more than fifty years since the end of the war should be disclosed. Nazi war criminals should not be protected by government secrecy rules. This bill is an important step towards ensuring that past wrongs committed by Nazi war criminals are not shielded by government secrecy rules. Rabbi Marvin Hier (the Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center), the Jewish Community Relations Council, the AntiDefamation League, the Orthodox Union, the American Jewish Committee, and others, committed to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust have expressed their strong support for full disclosure of Nazi war crime records.
We should never repeat what happened with government records pertaining to Kurt Waldheim. In that instance, the Central Intelligence Agency withheld critical information from researchers about Waldheim's collaboration with the Nazis, even as other government agencies were placing him on the list of individuals forbidden to enter our country because of suspected war crimes. Moreover, an extensive Justice Department report on Waldheim completed in 1987 was then kept secret for six long years, before Attorney General Reno, in response to a FOIA lawsuit, released the document in 1994.
The United States government should not be in the business of helping Nazi war criminals keep their past deeds secret. The bill calls for the President to create a Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group to collect from federal agencies and make public classified Nazi war crime records within one year. In addition, the bill would give Nazi war crime victims expedited access to these records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These victims are growing older and we should ensure that if they are interested in seeing these records, their requests should be honored as speedily as possible.
This bill recognizes the extraordinary and unique nature of the Nazi war criminal records. The United States should lead and fully participate in the growing international movement to open to public scrutiny official records on the conduct of particular governments and institutions during World War II. It has been a pleasure to work with Senator DeWine on this matter in the Judiciary Committee, and with Senator Moynihan and others on reaching a consensus on this important bill. This legislation is long overdue. [Leahy, the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the leading Democratic sponsor of the revised Nazi War Crimes Disclosure bill passed out of the Judiciary Committee on March 5. Leahy, a long time advocate of more open government and enhanced citizen access to government records, is also the author of the EFOIA law (Electronic Freedom of Information Act).]
National Archives and Records Administration Basic Laws Index Basic Laws and Authorities of the National Archives and Records Administration
NAZI WAR CRIMES DISCLOSURE ACT
(5 U.S.C. 552 note) SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the "Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act." SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NAZI WAR CRIMINAL RECORDS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP. (a) Definitions.--In this section the term--
(1) ``agency'' has the meaning given such term under section 551 of title 5, United States Code;
(2) ``Interagency Group'' means the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group established under subsection (b);
(3) ``Nazi war criminal records'' has the meaning given such term under section 3 of this Act; and (4) ``record'' means a Nazi war criminal record. (b) Establishment of Interagency Group.--
(1) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall establish the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group, which shall remain in existence for 3 years after the date the Interagency Group is established.
(2) Membership.--The President shall appoint to the Interagency Group individuals whom the President determines will most completely and effectively carry out the functions of the Interagency Group within the time limitations provided in this section, including the Director of the Holocaust Museum, the Historian of the Department of State, the Archivist of the United States, the head of any other agency the President considers appropriate, and no more than 3 other persons. The head of an agency appointed by the President may designate an appropriate officer to serve on the Interagency Group in lieu of the head of such agency.
(3) Initial meeting.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall hold an initial meeting and begin the functions required under this section.
(c) Functions.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall, to the greatest extent possible consistent with section 3 of this Act--
(1) locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration, all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States;
(2) coordinate with agencies and take such actions as necessary to expedite the release of such records to the public; and
(3) submit a report to Congress, including the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives, describing all such records, the disposition of such records, and the activities of the Interagency Group and agencies under this section.
(d) Funding.--There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 3. REQUIREMENT OF DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS REGARDING PERSONS WHO COMMITTED NAZI WAR CRIMES.
(a) Nazi War Criminal Records.--For purposes of this Act, the term "Nazi war criminal records'' means classified records or portions of records that--
(1) pertain to any person with respect to whom the United States Government, in its sole discretion, has grounds to believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, during the period beginning on March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945, under the direction of, or in association with--
(A) the Nazi government of Germany;
(B) any government in any area occupied by the military forces of the Nazi government of Germany;
(C) any government established with the assistance or cooperation of the Nazi government of Germany; or
(D) any government which was an ally of the Nazi government of Germany; or
(2) pertain to any transaction as to which the United States Government, in its sole discretion, has grounds to believe--
(A) involved assets taken from persecuted persons during the period beginning on March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945, by, under the direction of, on behalf of, or under authority granted by the Nazi government of Germany or any nation then allied with that government; and
(B) such transaction was completed without the assent of the owners of those assets or their heirs or assigns or other legitimate representatives.
(b) Release of Records.--
(1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group shall release in their entirety Nazi war criminal records that are described in subsection (a).
(2) Exception for privacy, etc.--An agency head may exempt from release under paragraph (1) specific information, that would-- (A) constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; (B) reveal the identity of a confidential human source, or reveal information about the application of an intelligence source or method, or reveal the identity of a human intelligence source when the unauthorized disclosure of that source would clearly and demonstrably damage the national security interests of the United States; (C) reveal information that would assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction; (D) reveal information that would impair United States cryptologic systems or activities; (E) reveal information that would impair the application of state-of-the-art technology within a United States weapon system; (F) reveal actual United States military war plans that remain in effect; (G) reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair relations between the United States and a foreign government, or seriously and demonstrably undermine ongoing diplomatic activities of the United States; (H) reveal information that would clearly and demonstrably impair the current ability of United States Government officials to protect the President, Vice President, and other officials for whom protection services, in the interest of national security, are authorized; (I) reveal information that would seriously and demonstrably impair current national security emergency preparedness plans; or (J) violate a treaty or international agreement.
(3) Application of exemptions.-- (A) In general.--In applying the exemptions listed in subparagraphs (B) through (J) of paragraph (2), there shall be a presumption that the public interest in the release of Nazi war criminal records will be served by disclosure and release of the records. Assertion of such exemption may only be made when the agency head determines that disclosure and release would be harmful to a specific interest identified in the exemption. An agency head who makes such a determination shall promptly report it to the committees of Congress with appropriate jurisdiction, including the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives. The exemptions set forth in paragraph (2) shall constitute the only authority pursuant to which an agency head may exempt records otherwise subject to release under paragraph (1). (B) Application of title 5.--A determination by an agency head to apply an exemption listed in subparagraphs (B) through (I) of paragraph (2) shall be subject to the same standard of review that applies in the case of records withheld under section 552(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code.
(4) Limitation on application.--This subsection shall not apply to records-- (A) related to or supporting any active or inactive investigation, inquiry, or prosecution by the Office of Special Investigations of the Department of Justice; or (B) solely in the possession, custody, or control of that office. (c) Inapplicability of National Security Act of 1947 Exemption.--Section 701(a) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 431) shall not apply to any operational file, or any portion of any operational file, that constitutes a Nazi war criminal record under section 3 of this Act.
SEC. 4. EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF FOIA REQUESTS FOR NAZI WAR CRIMINAL RECORDS.
(a) Expedited Processing.--For purposes of expedited processing under section 552(a)(6)(E) of title 5, United States Code, any requester of a Nazi war criminal record shall be deemed to have a compelling need for such record.
(b) Requester.--For purposes of this section, the term ``requester'' means any person who was persecuted in the manner described under section 3(a)(1) of this Act who requests a Nazi war criminal record. SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Approved October 8, 1998. National Archives and Records Administration home page URL: http://monitor.nara.gov/nara/wrcrms.html Last Modified on August 4, 2000
http://www.nara.gov/iwg/report.html National Archives and Records Administration Interagency Working Group (IWG)
6. Implementation of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act - An Interim Report to Congress
This report is submitted as required by Section 2(c)(3) of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (P.L. 105-246) in order to inform the appropriate committees of the Senate and the House of the activities of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) and Federal Agencies in identifying and declassifying records under the Act.
Specifically, the Act requires the IWG to submit a report "describing all such records, the disposition of such records, and the activities of the Interagency Group and agencies under this section." The following pages fulfill this requirement by, first, setting this report and the effort that led to the legislation in historical context; second, by detailing the IWG's effort to comply with each of the requirements of the law; and, third, through descriptions of the agencies' findings thus far. This is an interim report. It does not present any account of final findings and does not attempt any assessment of historical evidence.
This is a status report of the Government's progress at a very early stage in the lengthy and complex process of identifying and releasing records as required by the Act. The IWG will keep the Congress informed of its progress as it achieves significant milestones in its effort. Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group, October 1999 Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group Members Thomas H. Baer Steinhardt Baer Pictures Company Los Angeles CA William H. Leary Senior Director for Records and Access Management National Security Council Richard Ben-Veniste Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP Washington DC Kenneth J. Levit Special Counsel to the Director Central Intelligence Agency John E. Collingwood Assistant Director, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs Federal Bureau of Investigation David Marwell Associate Director for Museum Programs United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Elizabeth Holtzman Herrick, Feinstein, LLP New York NY Eli M. Rosenbaum Director Office of Special Investigations Department of Justice Michael J. Kurtz (Chair) Assistant Archivist for Records Services, National Archives and Records Administration William Z. Slany The Historian Department of State Harold J. Kwalwasser Deputy General Counsel Office of the Secretary of Defense Implementation of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act An Interim Report to Congress Contents Executive Summary* Historical Background* Attempts to Apprehend War Criminals and Return Looted Assets* War Crimes Trials and Denazification Trials* Utilizing Nazis and War Criminals* Searching for Nazis in the United States* Searching for Assets 1996-1999* Implementation of the Act* Records and Documentation* Establishment and Operation of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group* Statutory Functions of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group* Task 1. Locate all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.* Task 2. Identify all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.* Task 3. Inventory all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.* Task 4. Recommend for declassification all Nazi War Criminal Records of the United States.* Task 5. Make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.* Highlights of Declassifications to Date* Estimate of Resources Required to Implement the Act* Appendices Executive Summary Background During World War II and the ensuing Cold War years, the United States Government encountered Nazis and former Nazis in many areas of activity, as well as the evidence and consequences of their misdeeds. In the course of conducting Government business, agencies and programs kept records of these encounters; many of those records were classified and some of them remain classified. The primary mission of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), established in accordance with the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998 by Executive Order 13110 of January 11, 1999, is to identify any still-classified records and recommend their declassification and release to the American public.
President Clinton appointed three public members to the Working Group and also designated the heads of seven key executive agencies as members. Those agency heads have named high-level officials to represent them. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provides project management and administrative support to the IWG.
The law and the executive order direct the IWG to carry out the following functions: Locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available all classified Nazi war criminal records, subject to certain specified restrictions, Coordinate with Federal agencies and expedite the release of such classified records to the public, and Complete work to the greatest extent possible and report to Congress one year after passage of the legislation. Activities of the Interagency Working Group The Working Group first met on January 12 and subsequently has held regular meetings, in addition to special public forums in Los Angeles and New York City to solicit information from experts, historians, Holocaust scholars, and the general public. The public members and Chair have conferred with FBI Director Louis Freeh and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, and are planning a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen to discuss specific issues related to compliance with the Act..
The IWG has a website that provides minutes of meetings, reference materials, and other important information concerning this effort. The site, www.nara.gov/iwg, will be used to notify the public as documentation is declassified and opened to the public. Working cooperatively with the agencies that hold relevant documentation, the IWG has accomplished the following initial milestones toward implementing the act: All agencies completed preliminary surveys of their records holdings categories of classified records that potentially could contain relevant documents.
The agencies identified more than 600 million pages in 127 file categories to be further searched for responsive documents. Records at the CIA, Department of Defense, FBI, and archival records at NARA appear to contain the most responsive documents. Agencies then conducted more detailed surveys to identify specific bodies of records among the large groups first identified that must be reviewed under the act. This second survey, essentially complete by July 30, generated information that the agencies submitted via an IWG database reporting mechanism which will allow the IWG to track progress. In addition, agencies provided resource and workload estimates and an implementation plan outlining their proposed actions to comply fully with the Act.
Having identified the universe of records that require further review under the Act, IWG efforts now focus finding actual responsive documents and on their declassification and release to the fullest extent possible before the statutory deadline of October 2001. The IWG is committed to accomplishing this goal. The IWG expects to have nearly 300,000 pages declassified in the Fall of 1999. To date, over 126,000 pages have been declassified. These records will be available for public examination at the National Archives in College Park. Successful completion of this immense undertaking depends on the availability of resources.
Although no one questions the importance of declassifying these records, the IWG estimates that $38 million and 600 staff years will be needed to complete the declassification review. Historical Background During and after the Second World War, the United States Government faced a series of challenges abroad - prosecution of the war, rehabilitation of Europe, a long and tense confrontation with the Soviet Union - in general, the effort to protect the Nation's political and economic well being in a period of cataclysmic change. In all of these broad areas of activity, a multitude of Government departments, offices, and programs created and accumulated large volumes of records.
These records reflect the wide range of American involvement with the defeated enemies, its allies, and the postwar geopolitical situation. Many of these records have been and are available for research. But important records of U.S. activities remain security classified. In the areas of intelligence operations; exploitation of scientific, industrial, and business expertise; investigation of war criminals; the search for looted assets; accommodation of refugees and displaced persons; and maintenance of relations with allies, former allies, new adversaries, and defeated adversaries, there remains information to be brought to light.
The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act mandates that the Government now take the steps necessary to declassify and open remaining classified records related to war criminals and criminality. To implement this Act, the essential first step is locating pertinent classified records among the billions of pages of records in the National Archives of the United States, Federal Records Centers, and agency storage areas.
To accomplish this task, it is necessary to understand something of the histories and functions of the agencies and programs that created and collected records about Nazi war crimes, war criminals, persecution, and looting. A brief overview of the major functions within Government that generated such records is therefore provided here.
Attempts to Apprehend War Criminals and Return Looted Assets During the war the Allies issued declarations warning countries and individuals against committing war crimes and looting. After the war the Allies established organizations and assigned functions to implement policies on war crimes and looting. Each of these functions and organizations created records, many of them classified.
Beginning in early 1942, with the issuance of the Declaration of St. James, and throughout the war, the Allies declared the punishment of those responsible for Nazi crimes to be among the major war aims. After learning of systematic atrocities in Europe the Allies issued the Declaration on the Punishment of War Crimes, published on November 1, 1943. Late in 1944, working with the British, the United States Government launched the SAFEHAVEN Program that for two years tried to locate looted assets and facilitate their return. During the postwar period the U.S. Army and other agencies continued to restitute property to victims, heirs, or successor organizations.
To help identify war criminals the Allies created the United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes (subsequently the United Nations War Crimes Commission, or UNWCC). The U.S. Army established the Central Registry of War Crimes and Security Suspects (CROWCASS) that within three years of its creation in 1945 processed 85,000 "wanted" reports, transmitted 130,000 detention reports to investigative teams from a dozen countries, and published registries of persons being sought for crimes against humanity. The U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) had the major responsibility in the U.S. Zone of Occupation to identify and apprehend war criminals.
During just the first ten months of occupation in Germany the CIC apprehended some 120,000 Germans listed for automatic arrest. This group included top Nazi leaders, members of the SS and Gestapo, high ranking officers of the armed forces, and suspected war criminals. The CIC was equally busy in the American Zone of Occupation in Austria. War Crimes Trials and Denazification Trials The Allies established the International Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg which rendered its judgment on twenty-one top officials of the Third Reich on October 1, 1946. The Americans later tried an additional 177 men at twelve subsequent proceedings at Nuremberg. In addition, the four-power Control Council for Germany authorized each of the powers to hold subsequent trials in its zone of occupation.
Consequently, the U.S. Army tried over 1,700 individuals at Dachau for concentration camp crimes and other crimes, as well as extradited numerous suspects to Poland and other countries to stand trial. The Control Council adopted Law No. 10, based on the same principles as the Nuremberg Charter which defined "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes." The Nuremberg Tribunal declared the SS to be a criminal organization guilty of persecuting and exterminating Jews; of brutalities and killings in the concentration camps; of excesses in the administration of the slave labor program; and of mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war.
In defining a war criminal Law No. 10 stated that "a person is declared to have committed a crime if he was a principal; or was an accessory to the commission of any such crimes or; abided or abetted the same or; took a consenting part therein or; was connected with plans or enterprises involving its commission or; was a member of any organization or group connected with the commission of any such crime..." It is important to note that the Allies did not distinguish between Germans and non-Germans or Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), i.e., Nazi Party, status. As later events have proven, the bulk of "Nazi war criminals" in the United States were neither German by birth nor Nazi Party members.
The Third Reich drew upon the support of large numbers of foreign collaborators who aided the German war effort and took part in the campaign to exterminate Jews and others. In addition to the Nuremberg and Dachau trials, the Allied Control Council authorized each of the four powers to hold "denazification" trials. The Allies registered over 13 million people who were subject to denazification because of their membership in proscribed and criminal organizations.
The Allied Control Council operated the denazification tribunals until May 1948 when the German Lander (provincial) courts took over under the general supervision of the Council. The tribunals eventually sentenced over 600,000 individuals to some form of punishment. Some 3,600 were deemed "major offenders" and received prison or labor camp sentences. Allied interest in pursuing war criminals waned dramatically as the decade of the 1940s came to a close and the Cold War intensified. By 1949, less than 300 of the "major offenders" were still serving their sentences. And in May 1951, the German Bundestag passed a law requiring the reinstatement of all German civil servants who had been dismissed from their posts by the Allies as punishment for criminal activities.
Before the end of the year, nearly 130,000 were back in the civil service with salaries paid for the years that they had been barred from service. Utilizing Nazis and War Criminals On May 10, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued a directive to General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of US forces in Europe, to arrest and hold all war criminals. The JCS tempered its instructions by advising him that "in your discretion you may make such exceptions as you deem advisable for intelligence and other military reasons."
As early as the summer of 1945, US intelligence agencies in occupied Germany and Austria began using Germans and other nationalities as sources of information. Initially, the Americans employed these individuals, including former German military and intelligence personnel, as sources of information to search for those persons subject to "automatic arrest" or to quash suspected German resistance movements. The U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) were both active in these early post-war intelligence operations. With tensions mounting between East and West, the Americans, as did others, began to use former enemy personnel to learn more about the Soviet Union. The U.S. Army, for example, extensively debriefed German military personnel who had served on the Eastern Front.
The Army's G-2, the intelligence component, sought information about Soviet military organization, equipment, tactics, and combat effectiveness. Eventually, the Army provided extensive assistance to General Reinhard Gehlen, the former chief of the Fremde Heere 0st, the German Army staff responsible for intelligence on the USSR. Gehlen, in turn, employed his former staff officers and others to form a large German intelligence service, known as the Gehlen Organization.
The Army's CIC, which had the primary responsibility for security in the American zones in Germany and Austria, became involved with many Germans and others knowledgeable about the Soviet Union and its intelligence services. By the late 1940s, the CIC had established many agent networks within the occupation zones and extending into Eastern Europe. These networks employed numerous agents, some of whom had tainted wartime backgrounds.
The CIC in Germany, for example, recruited as an agent and sheltered Klaus Barbie, an SS officer later convicted for his role in rounding up Jews in France and for suppressing the French resistance. The Army smuggled Barbie out of Europe, thereby enabling him to escape justice for over 30 years in his South American hideouts. The Central Intelligence Agency, formed in 1947, inherited intelligence operations and agents in Europe from several organizations that had succeeded the OSS after it was disbanded in 1945.
The demands of American policymakers for intelligence on the Soviet Union, coupled with significant expansion of CIA's worldwide missions and personnel, led to the rapid acceleration of agent recruitment after 1948. The establishment of the Office of Policy Coordination in 1948, for example, created a new organization within CIA and placed it in competition with CIA's Office of Special Operations (OSO).
The later 1940s and early 1950s, particularly after the outbreak of the Korean War, saw a great expansion of projects targeted against the Soviet Union. These projects used many anti-Communists in Europe, some of whom had also collaborated with the Nazis only a few years earlier. Within months after World War II, OSS and later US intelligence agencies were faced with the issue of how to handle intelligence assets who could not safely remain in Europe.
In some cases, the Army used a "rat line" to evacuate these individuals (mainly Soviet Army defectors and Soviet Bloc refugees) to South America. This clearly was an inadequate measure that was subject to misuse, as was later demonstrated with the Barbie case. To overcome the problems of defector resettlement, Congress, in the CIA Act of 1949, authorized the Director of Central Intelligence, with the agreement with the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Immigration, to authorize the entry of up to 100 persons a year if their entry was determined to be in "the interest of national security or essential to the furtherance of the national security mission."
These individuals were to be "given entry into the United States...without regard to their inadmissibility under immigration or any other laws or regulations." Section 8 of the CIA Act of 1949, the so-called "One Hundred Persons Act," was used primarily to resettle defectors and spoiled agents into the United States to save them from kidnapping or even murder at the hands of the Soviet intelligence service operating throughout Europe.
Many of these people could not be admitted under normal immigration channels because of the limited immigration quotas or, more importantly, because U.S. immigration laws prohibited the entry of aliens who were, or had been, Communist party members. In at least one instance, the provisions of the "One Hundred Persons Act" were used to permit a Nazi collaborator and possible war criminal to remain in the United States. The War Department commenced a major effort to bring German and Austrian scientists and engineers to the United States.
On July 6, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff specifically authorized an effort to "exploit...chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use" under the top secret project code named OVERCAST. The JCS directed that up to 350 specialists, mainly from Germany and Austria, should be brought immediately to the United States.
By 1946 the Pentagon's Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) began pushing for a revised and larger program of recruiting German and Austrian scientists and technicians. It wanted 1,000 former enemy scientists and sought authority to grant them American citizenship. The JIOA needed presidential authority because so many of the German scientists and technicians had been members of Nazi organizations; at least one, Wernher von Braun, had been an SS officer. President Truman authorized the JIOA's plan in September 1946, insisting that only "nominal" Nazis (and no "active supporters" of Nazism) be permitted to participate in the program, which took the code name Paperclip.
It was left to a panel consisting of representatives of the Departments of Justice and State to rule on each scientist that the JIOA wanted to bring to the United States. This panel in early 1947 began reviewing dossiers prepared in Germany by the Office of Military Government United States (OMGUS). These dossiers were based on earlier CIC investigations. If the person had been classified as an actual or potential threat to the security of the United States, there was little chance of the scientist being allowed to immigrate to the United States.
Some of the scientists were so identified on the bases of Nazi pasts and the review panel duly rejected the Pentagon's request that those individuals be permitted to immigrate. Consequently, the JIOA director wired the director of intelligence at the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and requested that "revised" security reports be prepared, in some cases, so scientists could participate in Paperclip. Between 1945 and 1955, 765 scientists, engineers, and technicians were brought to the United States under Overcast, Paperclip, and similar programs.
It has been estimated that at least half, and perhaps as many as 80 percent, of the imported specialists were former Nazi Party members. By the end of the mid-1980s three of them had left the country for various reasons relating to their wartime activities. One of them was Arthur Rudolph who had been a V-2 project engineer and worked first for the Army and then NASA developing the Saturn V rocket. Rudolph left the United States in 1984 and surrendered his U.S. citizenship following the Office of Special Investigations' discovery of his role in the persecution of slave laborers at an underground V-2 missile factory at the Nordhausen Concentration Camp, where thousands of prisoners died. While some Nazis and collaborators entered the United States with the assistance of the United States Government, many more are known to have come to this country without any formal intercession.
The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 authorized the immigration of over 400,000 Europeans to the United States over a four-year period. Many of these immigrants came from Eastern Europe, especially the Baltic States and from Ukraine, while others were of ethnic German background. The law specifically denied eligibility to war criminals and other persons who assisted the enemy in persecuting civil populations as well as members of movements hostile to the United States.
In addition to conducting counterintelligence and positive intelligence operations in Europe, the Army's CIC screened all applicants who wished to come to the United States under the 1948 Displaced Persons Act and later the 1953 Refugee Relief Act. U.S. authorities rejected thousands of visa applicants for suspected wartime activities; however, the Army could not collect sufficient information on all applicants because the majority of the immigrants hailed from Communist eastern European countries that were not cooperating with U.S. authorities.
War criminals succeeded in evading identification by simply not telling American officials about their activities between 1933 and 1945 or by altering their pasts. The United States had other programs that admitted foreigners in the years after 1945. The Lodge Act of 1950 as amended, for example, authorized the U.S. Army to recruit 12,000 alien nationals outside of the United States in exchange for citizenship after five years.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952 did not explicitly prohibit Nazi war criminals and collaborators from entering the United States; this legal loophole was not closed until the enactment of the 1978 "Holtzman Amendment" to the INA. That revision of the law declared ineligible for entry into the United States (a similar provision made deportable an alien already in the country) any alien who "ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion" between March 23, 1933 and May 8, 1945.
Searching for Nazis in the United States
It was the responsibility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to investigate allegations about aliens in this country who might be subject to deportation. Prior to 1973, the INS filed only nine deportation cases against alleged Nazi collaborators, only one of which was successfully prosecuted to actual deportation. Why so few?
The INS until the 1970s, had no centralized effort devoted to identifying Nazi war criminals. According to a 1978 General Accounting Office report entitled Widespread Conspiracy To Obstruct Probes of Alleged Nazi War Criminals Not Supported By Available Evidence-Controversy May Continue, INS investigations of most cases before 1973 "were deficient or perfunctory," and in some cases "no investigation was conducted." The GAO noted that the INS did not know how many allegations of Nazi war criminals it had received.
With the public eye now focused on it, the INS increased its identification efforts. By April 1978, it had a list of 252 allegations and those cases on which actions had been taken before 1973 were re-evaluated and investigations on some were reopened. In addition the Government instituted legal proceedings against 13 individuals. In the United States the process of "Nazi hunting" was initiated on a comprehensive basis with the creation of the Office of Special Investigations within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. OSI was formed on September 4, 1979, to enforce Public Law 95-549, passed by Congress the previous October 30th.
The mission of OSI was and is to identify and bring legal proceedings to denaturalize and deport individuals who participated in Nazi- and other Axis-sponsored acts of persecution. By September 1999, OSI had succeeded in denaturalizing 63 participants in Nazi acts of persecution and in removing 52 such individuals from this country. Its efforts to date have resulted in the stopping of more than 150 suspected Nazi persecutors at U.S. ports of entry and their exclusion from the United States. In addition to its investigations of Nazi war criminals and collaborators, OSI has conducted several investigations of allegations that the United States employed Nazi war criminals as intelligence informants. OSI's 1983 Klaus Barbie investigation publicly documented the role played by the CIC in Barbie's successful evasion of justice for more than thirty years.
In June 1988, OSI issued a public report which revealed that at least 14 suspected Nazi war criminals, a number of whom likely were involved in the murder of Jews in occupied Europe, had been employed as intelligence informants by the CIC in Austria. On May 17, 1982, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, following allegations made on a television program that Federal agencies made a conscious effort to bring Nazi war criminals into this country and protect them once they were admitted, requested the General Accounting Office to reopen its 1978 investigation to determine whether there were any U.S. Government programs to help Nazi war criminals and Axis collaborators immigrate to the United States and to conceal their backgrounds, and, in particular, to investigate whether U.S. agencies worked with and protected Klaus Barbie.
In a report entitled Nazis and Axis Collaborators Were Used To Further U.S. Anti-Communist Objectives In Europe--Some Immigrated To The United States, the GAO informed Congress in June 1985 that it had found no evidence of any U.S. agency program to aid Nazis or Axis collaborators to immigrate to the United States. However, it did identify five Nazis or Axis collaborators with undesirable or questionable backgrounds who received some individual assistance in entering the country. Two of them, the GAO noted, were subsequently protected from investigation. In addition, the GAO observed that it could not be sure that it obtained all relevant information or identified all Nazis or Axis collaborators whom U.S. agencies helped to immigrate.
With respect to U.S. agencies' involvement with Klaus Barbie, the GAO reported that it did not find any discrepancies between what it found and OSI's 1983 public report that confirmed that Barbie had been employed and protected by the CIC.
The declassification of more postwar records during the late 1980s and early 1990s prompted the publication of several books about American intelligence agencies' use of and assistance to war criminals. With the end of the Cold War, former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, author of the Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act, urged the CIA in particular to open its files on Nazi collaborators and criminals. In his 1998 book Official Secrets, historian Richard Breitman wrote that "Governments that withhold critical information from the historical record and the public long after the events do their countries and the world no service. But the habit of secrecy is very hard to break."
Desiring to open the records to research and break the habit of secrecy, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in 1996 began pushing for a law that would provide for the declassification of records relating to Nazi war criminals, Nazi persecution, Nazi war crimes, and Nazi looted assets. Senator Michael DeWine introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Such legislation was passed in late 1998, and signed by the President on October 8th of that year. Searching for Assets 1996-1999 Research in Europe by the World Jewish Congress in 1995 resulted in important discoveries about the holdings of Swiss banks and in a campaign to learn the full truth about the disposition of bank accounts and other assets of victims of Nazi persecution.
The search for information on looted assets among U. S. Government records began in March 1996, when researchers from the World Jewish Congress working with Senator Alfonse D'Amato's office went to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) looking for records relating to World War II-era dormant accounts of Jews in Swiss banks. Within weeks the research expanded into issues surrounding looted gold and other assets of victims of Nazi persecution.
By midsummer 1996, there were scores of researchers looking into "Nazi Gold" records at the National Archives, as well as in other archives around the world. The records at the National Archives, most of which had been publicly available for some time, are contained within 30 record groups and comprise some 15 million pages of documentation. In the early fall of 1996, President Clinton asked then Under Secretary of Commerce Stuart E. Eizenstat, who also served as Special Envoy of the Department of State on Property Restitution in Central and Eastern Europe, to prepare a report that would "describe, to the fullest extent possible," efforts to recover and restore gold the Nazis had taken from the central banks of occupied Europe, as well as gold taken from individual victims and other assets stolen by Nazi Germany. This request was made in the context of President Clinton's stated desire that one of the aims of his Administration was to "bring whatever measure of justice might be possible to Holocaust survivors, their families, and the heirs of those who have perished."
On May 7, 1997, the Interagency Group issued its report entitled U.S. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II: Preliminary Study. The report was based primarily on NARA's holdings of the records of agencies involved with assets questions during the War and post-War period (mainly the State Department, the Treasury, the Army, and the Office of Strategic Services).
The report presented the first-ever definitive proof that victim-origin gold had been transferred during the war by the German Reichsbank to the Swiss National Bank and that other victim-origin gold had been incorporated by the Allies after the War into the gold stocks of the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC). That proof, discovered by OSI historians, working with NARA personnel, resulted in millions of dollars of TGC gold being sold and the proceeds used to benefit victims of Nazi persecution. Serving as an appendix to the report was a NARA-produced 300-page finding aid to relevant records.
A revised and expanded finding aid, some 750 pages, was placed on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website in March 1998. In the wake of the interagency report, more researchers, including claimants, foreign commissions, and congressional staff, continued to seek information about dormant bank accounts and looted gold and related topics, but the boundaries of research were also widened to include questions relating to looted securities, looted works of art, unclaimed and unpaid insurance policies, slave labor practices, wartime trade between the neutrals and the Axis powers, and the role of the Vatican. Within days of issuing its first report, the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets was asked by political leaders to prepare another report. In 1997, researchers from the Departments of State, Defense, and Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and other agencies representing the Interagency Group on Nazi Assets, began further research in Government records to expand the report.
While broadened research proceeded, there was an increasing international awareness of the Holocaust-era assets issue. Beginning with Switzerland in December 1996, at least seventeen countries created commissions to undertake research to right the monetary/financial wrongs, to the extent possible, of the Holocaust. The first international meeting on the subject was held in Ascona, Switzerland in October 1997. At the conference, research methodology and archival resources were among the primary topics of discussion. In December 1997, hundreds of representatives from 41 nations met in London to discuss looted gold and the disposition of the remaining gold held by the Tripartite Gold Commission. Based primarily on archival research at NARA and the knowledge gained from the international conferences the Department of State issued the so-called Second Eizenstat Report in early June 1998.
The report was entitled U.S. and Allied Wartime and Postwar Relations and Negotiations with Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey on Looted Gold and German External Assets and U.S. Concerns About the Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury. Because of the increased international interest in the various issues related to Holocaust-era assets, a second major international conference was held in Washington, D.C. from November 30 to December 3, 1998, to discuss research on the various topics and to provide ideas that would facilitate bringing justice to the victims of Nazi property crimes.
The conference, which was sponsored by the State Department and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was attended by representatives of 44 countries and 13 Non-Governmental Organizations. On December 4, 1998, the National Archives sponsored a Symposium on Records and Research Relating to Holocaust-Era Assets.
This event was attended by over 400 individuals. In March 1999, NARA issued a 1,200-page finding aid entitled Holocaust-Era Assets: A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. Classified documents withdrawn from or related to records described in this finding aid provide a starting point for the search for records covered by the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act that relate to looted assets. Lingering questions about Holocaust-era assets that may have come under the control of the United States Government resulted in Congress creating, in June 1998, a Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.
In the fall of that year the President appointed Edgar Bronfman to chair the commission. Among the commission members are members of Congress and Holocaust survivors. In the late spring of 1999, the Commission began conducting its research, primarily at NARA. Efforts to identify and track Nazi war criminals and trace stolen assets depend largely on the documentary record.
The foregoing is meant to give some indication of the governmental functions that may have created records relevant to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act and an outline of the effort thus far to discover the documentary record. The Act rounds out this effort by attempting to remove the remaining formal barrier to the full official record of the Holocaust as it exists in the records of the United States Government. Implementation of the Act Records and Documentation.
The subject of this act, Nazi war criminals and crimes, was not the original reason for the Government's accumulating most of the records that will be located, identified, inventoried and recommended for disclosure under this law. The transaction of Government business--diplomacy, military deployment and defense, intelligence, criminal investigation, and many other governmental functions--results in the production of records. These records are created and accumulated in order to accomplish the specific task, the specific program, the specific function authorized by governing laws and regulations.
Records reflect the nature of the operations from which they originate. Diplomatic records are organized in a manner appropriate to conducting diplomacy; investigative records reflect the nature of the investigatory process. The difficulties and complexities associated with fulfilling the requirements of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act stem directly from the nature of the documentation that is subject to the Act.
There is no one system that provides access to the relevant records since these records come from more than a dozen agencies and represent a multiplicity of functions exercised and filing systems used over a period extending from 1933 to 1998. Achieving intellectual control over many file systems is a labor-intensive process. Agencies holding classified records must undertake extensive searches among hundreds of thousands of files and millions of pages of documentation filed in a variety of file systems. No agency has maintained its records in a manner that will easily accommodate the multitudinous inquiries resulting from this Act. In order to meet the requirements of the Act, for instance, it may be necessary to conduct a subject search of an intelligence message file that is arranged chronologically. Thus page-by-page review is the only possible comprehensive search strategy for many files.
Establishment and Operation of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group.
In accordance with the Act, the President established, through Executive Order 13110 an interagency working group to oversee and coordinate implementation of the Act. The President named members from the major agencies holding classified records and three members to represent the public.
Representatives of other agencies have attended IWG meetings as necessary. Including its first meeting on January 12, 1999, the IWG has met 8 times, has held open forums in New York and Los Angeles to solicit information from scholars and the public at large, and has met with selected agency heads to resolve agency-specific compliance issues.
In its effort inform the public make use of nongovernmental expertise and experience, the IWG has enjoyed the generous support of the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation and the World Jewish Congress. The minutes of most the meetings are, or will be, available at the IWG web site, www.nara.gov/iwg (see Appendix A).
A staff of 5 individuals, employees of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), carries out the daily work of the IWG under the immediate direction of the Chair in accordance with general guidance set forth by the IWG. Additional staff and administrative support is also provided as needed by NARA. Funding for travel and contractor support of the IWG has been generously provided to NARA by the Department of Justice, Office of Special Investigations.
The IWG meets regularly to deliberate matters of policy, to monitor implementation, to receive reports from the staff and individual agency members, and to develop and approve issuance of instructions to Executive Branch agencies regarding compliance. In addition, the IWG staff has held interagency meetings to elaborate on written instructions and answer specific questions.
To date, the IWG has taken the following actions as required by the Act in fulfillment of its prescribed functions. Statutory Functions of the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group The legislation presents the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group with several specific tasks. On February 25, Samuel Berger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, issued the basic compliance order drafted by the IWG on how the statutory tasks would be accomplished. This "tasker" outlined the approach to implementing the Act and set forth agency reporting requirements (see Appendix B).
The overall function of the IWG, as specified in Section (2)(c)(2), is to "coordinate with agencies and take such actions as necessary to expedite the release of such records to the public." All of the actions taken by the IWG as detailed in this report support the goal of release of information to the public as efficiently and as rapidly as possible. In support of this goal, the Act provides that the IWG undertake five specific tasks. Section (2)(c)(1) of the Act requires the IWG to "locate, identify, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration, all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States."
The following describes progress toward fulfillment of each of these specific tasks. (See Appendix C for a flow chart of the overall process)
Task 1. Locate all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States.. As required by the Berger tasker and related guidance issued by the IWG, all agencies that might possibly hold relevant records were required to conduct a preliminary survey of their records holdings and to submit a report on that survey by March 31, 1999. Each agency undertook a preliminary survey of the agency's classified records to locate any bodies of records that could reasonably be believed to contain information that (1) pertains to any individual who the U. S. Government has grounds to believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, during the period of Nazi rule in Germany (1933-45); or (2) involves assets taken during that period from persons persecuted by the Nazi regime or governments associated with it.
For purposes of this preliminary survey, agencies were to include any records that were likely to contain information on war crimes, war criminals, acts of persecution, or assets taken by, under the direction of, or in association with the Nazi government of Germany or any government of a European country allied with, occupied by, or established with the assistance or cooperation of Nazi Germany. Associated guidance identified such countries.
Agencies were directed to take an expansive view of the Act in making this survey and in subsequent identification of records and declassification review. They were enjoined to take special notice of U. S. Government policy and operational records relating to war criminals and war crimes generally, in addition to those that relate to specific war crimes, individual war criminals, acts of persecution, or specific transactions involving taken assets.
As a result of the survey, a universe of more than 600 million pages was identified, consisting of bodies of records that might contain responsive documents under the Act. It should be emphasized that this initial page count represents only the materials that must be further searched in order to identify records that must be reviewed for declassification. The number does not represent the number of pages that have been found responsive to the Act. It is expected that responsive documents will amount to a very small portion of the universe of records being searched.
Among the bodies of records located in the survey, those held by the following agencies are likely to contain the most responsive documents: Central Intelligence Agency Records among the files of the Directorates of Operations and Intelligence, 1947-1998, including operational, personality, country, and project files; analytical products, source material, and biographic reports.
Estimated 2 million pages to be identified by screening a much larger body of records. Files of organizations that were predecessors of CIA , 1941-1947. Records of Coordinator of Information, Office of Strategic Service, Strategic Services Unit, and the Central Intelligence Group. 2.1 million pages Department of the Army Department of the Army Investigative Records Repository (Army Intelligence and Security Command) Foreign Personnel and Organizations Files, 1900-1975, 61,000 dossiers Department of the Army Investigative Records Repository (Army Intelligence and Security Command) Army Unit Records, 1941-1975, 11,400 reels of microfilm (ca. 11,400,000 pages) Federal Bureau of Investigation Select Security Case Files (File Classification 134), 1922-1998. ca. 5,300,000 pages National Archives and Records Administration Records of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency Foreign Scientist Case Files, 1945-1958. 241,800 pages. Records of the Army Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, G-2, 1944-1975. ca. 410,000 pages. Records of the Office of Strategic Services and the Strategic Services Unit. Withdrawn records from various series previously transferred to NARA, 1941-1947. 1,407,352 pages. Withdrawn records are those documents that have previously been withheld from files that were reviewed for declassification because the documents were judged to warrant continued protection for reasons of national security. It is unlikely that more than five percent of the withdrawn records will be in any way related to Nazi war crimes, Nazi war criminals, or Holocaust-era assets.
Task 2. Identify all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States. After locating bodies of records likely to contain Nazi war criminal documents through the preliminary survey submitted on March 31, the next step in implementation was to more closely identify exactly which files or documents from among the larger bodies of material are relevant to the Act and must be reviewed for declassification. This further definition is necessary because declassification review is often a complex and time-consuming process, involving multiple agencies.
Limited declassification resources must be reallocated to focus on responsive documents in order to meet the extremely tight time limits of the law. The process of identifying for review specific classified records subject to the Act began with an additional, more detailed survey of those bodies of relevant records already located. This survey by the records-holding agencies, originally due to the IWG on June 30, was extended until July 30, 1999 because of the difficulty and size of this task. For agencies keeping files on individuals, the major file identification strategy was to locate files on individual war criminals found in files accessible to searches by name.
In order to aid agencies in identifying files related to individual war criminals, the agencies were provided with a list compiled by the Office of Special Investigations of the Justice Department containing the names and birth dates of over 56,000 suspected Nazi war criminals. The list was comprised of SS officer names from Berlin Document Center lists held by NARA and names from the U. N. War Crimes Charge files.
Agencies were also instructed to search for relevant names in other files, those not accessible by name, through other search strategies such as page-by-page review and subject matter searches of functional records. In addition, agencies were directed to identify records related to Holocaust-era misappropriated assets and records relating to war crimes that are not necessarily related to specific individual war criminals. The approaches to searching for these files necessarily varied with the types of records being searched. In order to aid these searches the IWG is engaged in an ongoing process of providing historical bibliographies, furnishing lists of operational terms and code words for keyword searches, briefing agency personnel on the historical context of the records, and consulting with historians at IWG meetings and public forums (see Appendix D for list of terms).
This initial location and identification phase was substantially completed by July 30, 1999. By that date, agencies submitted a status report and an implementation plan to the IWG. The report and plan described and quantified the results of the agency's effort to that point and set forth a program for complying with the law. The status report identified the records searched and those identified as likely to be relevant and requiring further review. (see Appendix E) The status report on the progress of the agency in identifying records covered by the act, including an accounting of agency resources expended as of the date of the report in FTEs and dollars and an assessment of whether further effort is necessary to identify files that must be reviewed under the act.
The implementation plan also included an estimate of the total FTE and dollars necessary to comply fully with the act, including identification, review, and declassification of relevant records, and a realistic schedule for completion. Resources issues are dealt with below. A summary of the information provided by the agencies in response to Tasks 1 and 2 is collected in Appendix F.
Task 3. Inventory all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States. In the broadest sense, inventorying encompasses all description of the responsive records that will make the records useful to researchers. At its most complete, this description will include enough information to set the documents in historical and organizational context and to understand why the records were kept and how they were collected.
This archival description will not interpret the documents or attempt to present a historical interpretation. Rather, archival description will make the documents accessible to allow historians and other researchers to interpret and draw conclusions. The first step of the inventory process was to locate the bodies of records within which responsive records may be found, to discover the names of those files, determine their provenance, and estimate their volume. After this, each step is intended to narrow the focus to concentrate on responsive documents and responsive bodies of records, describing them more closely as more details are learned. The end products of the inventory process will range from single document descriptions to descriptions of whole, large file series of records, depending on what level is most appropriate and possible for the records in question.
After initial location, data collection forms were completed by the agencies on each body of records identified as requiring review under the Act. Agencies submitted this information in electronic form as a relational database capable of maintaining descriptive information and tracking progress on the completion of the necessary reviews and releases in accordance with instructions issued at an interagency meeting.
These submissions were entered into a IWG database that will allow the IWG to track declassification reviews, reviews for privacy, reviews for interest by the Office of Special Investigations, and any IWG challenges to agency decisions to retain security classification. The initial data collection may be enhanced as the body of records or the single document that is the subject of the description progresses through the review process. The resulting descriptive information will form the basis of the description provided to the public when the material is opened for research at the National Archives.
After initial development by the IWG staff, maintenance of the IWG database was assumed by a private contractor well acquainted with the Federal declassification system. The contractor will maintain, add to, and draw reports from the database for the life of the IWG, until October 2001.
Task 4. Recommend for declassification all Nazi War Criminal Records of the United States. As a general rule, the IWG is recommending that all Nazi war criminal records as defined by the Act be reviewed for declassification, no matter what the subject or circumstance of their creation. The Act states that "there shall be a presumption that the public interest in the release of Nazi war criminal records will be served by disclosure and release of the records."
Accordingly, the Administration has directed the agencies to take an "expansive view" both in identifying records as responsive to the Act and in conducting the declassification review. The IWG maintains that under this statute there are no sufficient a priori reasons for continuing security classification of relevant records absent a thorough declassification review by appropriate authorities.
Should any records be judged to require continued security classification, the burden for justifying this will lie with the agency wishing to continue classification. Absent appropriate justification for continued classification, the IWG will challenge that decision to the agency head and report any decisions to retain classification in the face of such a challenge to the Congress. The operation of the declassification review process under this Act will parallel and complement the declassification system established under Executive Order 12958 as described below.
Once specific documents have been identified as relevant under the Act and appropriate for declassification review, a number of factors can either delay or prevent release of the documents to the public. Under IWG guidance, a document may be declassified in whole or only in part. By judicious use of redactions, information that remains sensitive is to be deleted without causing withholding of the entire document. This process, of course, is very time-consuming in that a line-by-line review must be done. The agency that created a document is responsible for declassification review of the document and for notifying any other agency that may have an interest (equity) in the document.
Each organization with equity in a document is entitled to conduct its own review of the document. This additional step can delay the process, particularly if, as often happens, there are multiple agencies that have equities in an item. Documents frequently contain sensitive information that has either been provided by a foreign government or is descriptive of another government's activities.
In the past, such information has been withheld in absence of express approval by the foreign government to release the information. If this precedent is followed, consultation with other governments may become necessary, which could cause considerable delay in the review process. The IWG is encouraging agencies to negotiate general agreements with their foreign counterparts that will allow the agencies to release certain classes of information without consultation in each instance.
The Act allows an agency head to exempt from release nine categories of national security information. Among these categories are material concerning U.S. foreign relations and diplomatic activities, intelligence sources and methods, and certain military matters.
The test for several of the exemptions is that clear and demonstrable damage to national security would result from disclosure of the information. When an agency head determines that an exemption applies, the agency head is required to report this to appropriate committees of Congress. These exemptions, and thus the declassification review process under the Act, are identical to the exemptions allowed for 25-year-old material under Executive Order 12958, the order that governs treatment, classification, and declassification of U. S. Government information generally.
Some material identified as responsive under the act may also require review by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Kyl Amendment to assure that it does not contain Restricted Data or Formerly Restricted Data, that is, sensitive nuclear information. Because the DOE is heavily burdened by review of a very large volume of other government records intended for declassification, this review of material under the Act may encounter delay.
The IWG has encouraged agencies to implement the Act and EO 12958 in concert. Thus implementation of the Act can take advantage of the requirements of the Executive Order to accomplish declassification review. This is particularly useful for classified material that is over 25 years old, which must be reviewed before April 2000 or it will be automatically declassified without review, although an amendment to the Executive Order extending that deadline is in preparation. Implementation of the War Crimes Disclosure Act can take advantage of the Executive Order review by requesting the agencies to schedule an early review of material scheduled for automatic declassification if not reviewed by the deadline.
Task 5. Make available to the public at the National Archives and Records Administration all classified Nazi war criminal records of the United States. Additional reviews of declassified materials Prior to release to the public, many of the declassified records will undergo additional reviews and otherwise be prepared before they may be released. In accordance with Section 3(b)(2)(A) of the Act, privacy considerations must be taken into account before a declassified document can be released to assure that release would not "constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
Legal constraints that protect an individual's privacy rights must be weighed against the public interest in being informed. At the request of the IWG, the Office of the General Counsel at NARA has prepared guidance to be used by the agencies in making determinations regarding exemptions from disclosure based on privacy grounds. This privacy review will be based on the same considerations as those taken into account in Freedom of Information Act review. Section 3(b)(4) of the Act contains special provisions for records that relate to investigations and other activities of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
Certain records, although declassified, must be referred to OSI for further review before a final decision on their release is made. This provision is meant to assure that ongoing investigations of Nazi war criminals that would be harmed by premature disclosure will be protected. OSI has informed the IWG that it will waive its statutory exemption in appropriate cases.
Although the IWG, in cooperation with OSI, has established a screening process to avoid sending all declassified materials to OSI for a final review, OSI will still carry a significant review burden as agencies review and declassify millions of pages of documents. Preparation and release of materials The IWG has not yet fully confronted the complications of preparing for the orderly release of millions of pages of documents from hundreds of sources.
Normal archival documentation about a body of publicly available records consists of a description of the nature of the records, their origin (provenance), a description of the office or function that created the records, a description of the relationship of the records to other records, and a description of their arrangement and how they may be accessed. Normally, archival description relates to a body of records that has been accessioned and transferred intact from the agency of origin.
The body of records is kept in an archives as it was created at the agency. The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, however, will result in many cases in records being selected, on the basis of their subject, from larger bodies of records not yet declassified. Further, many of those records will be redacted, that is, released only in part. All such selected records, where the body of original records may not be transferred to the Archives in toto, will be copies of selected records.
The result will be the creation of artificial collections of copies of records. These artificial collections will require additional descriptive work in order to set them in their institutional, archival, and historical context so that they are useful to researchers. Highlights of Declassifications to Date The following are brief descriptions of records that have been located, identified, and declassified in accordance with the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act.
Some of the records below must be cleared by the Office of Special Investigations before they may be released to the public. Only a small proportion of the records described below relate directly the to subject of the Act. Those records that are responsive to the Act remain among the larger bodies of records with which they were filed when created or received by the agency. Where possible, the Government will open entire series of records together, thus providing the context that is necessary to understanding historical evidence and at the same time opening associated records relating to other topics and thus benefiting all researchers. Records will be opened to research at the National Archives and Records Administration.
RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SUBJECT FILES OF THE ASSISTANT LEGAL ADVISOR FOR CULTURAL RELATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 1943-1972.
This series consists of records accumulated and created by the Department's Assistant Legal Advisor for Cultural Relations and Public Affairs. The records include files relating to the recovery of cultural objects dispersed during WW II and programs for the return of historic objects to countries of origin. These files consist of various types of records that concern the work of interdepartmental committees and international conferences that address subjects such as looted art, the disposition of German Libraries, settlement of cultural properties that were under U. S. control, and the protection of artistic and historic property. (5,600 pages)
RECORDS OF THE TRIPARTITE COMMISSION FOR THE RESTITUTION OF MONETARY GOLD, 1946-1998
This series contains copies of selected official records of the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC) that were sent to the State Department when the TGC was terminated on September 9, 1998, for transfer to NARA. Another set of these selected records was sent to the Public Records Office in Great Britain. All of the official TGC records were transferred to the French National Archives in Paris.
Established on September 27, 1946, the TGC was composed of representatives of the United States, Great Britain, and France. Its mandate was to control monetary gold recovered by the Allies and/or received from neutral nations and to provide for the return of the gold to claimant nations.
The records in this series include copies of TGC meeting minutes, for which there is a gap from May 1988 to June 1995 between the 220th and the 221st meetings. This is because the Commission met in formal session when business required, rather than regularly. It was not required to do so during this time, but Commissioners maintained contact. Other records include copies of correspondence and memorandums sent among the Commission, claimant nations, and other interested parties concerning the distribution of gold and adjudication of claims, and a copy of the Gold Book. The Gold Book was a record of gold movements into and out of the TGC's accounts.
he records also contain copies of two key Commission reports, the 1971 Report documenting the Commission's activities since its inception, and the TGC's Final Report to the three Governments in 1998. (5,800 pages)
RECORDS OF THE ASSISTANT LEGAL ADVISOR (LOT 86 D 269)
Files accumulated by the Assistant Legal Adviser relating to the Department's participation in postwar Allied negotiations with wartime neutral nations regarding the restitution of gold looted by the Nazi regime and other external German Assets. (12,500 pages)
RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF ALIEN PROPERTY
Miscellaneous Classified Records, 1941-1963 These records are arranged by subject and consist of reports, letters, memoranda, microfilm, and other records that relate to the various functions and responsibilities of the Office of Alien Property during and after World War II. Topics include treaties, foreign assets control, international conferences on reparations and German debt, Allied-Swiss accords, Swiss bank secrecy, Swiss banks, Safehaven negotiations with the Swiss and Swedes, Interhandel litigation, policies relating to the return of seized German documents, and individual claims.
The records concern FBI activities, licenses for vested motion pictures assigned to the CIA, Contibank and American Potash and Chemical Corporation, General Aniline and Film Corporation (GAF), reports on Deutscheo Kalisyndikat from British sources, the Japanese peace treaty, the German Debt Conference, Bank Waedenswil, and Allied negotiations with the Swiss and Swedes in 1946, and the final report on the Paris Conference on Reparations. Also there are files on important personalities including Otto Skorzeny (German SS officer), Paul Otto Schmidt (Hitler's interpreter and German Foreign Office official), and Emil George Buehrle (Swiss industrialist and noted art collector). (10,000 pages)
NATIONAL ARCHIVES COLLECTION OF FOREIGN RECORDS SEIZED BERLIN DOCUMENT CENTER (BDC) COLLECTION
There are miscellaneous administrative records relating to the programs and activities of the BDC in the years immediately before its closing (1984-1986). Most of the records concern routine operational activities and matters pertinent to arrangements to close the center and place its holdings in the hands of the German government. (530 pages)
This is a miscellaneous collection of card files, all in German, providing general information on persons in Germany and other European countries which apparently had been gathered by the German Foreign Intelligence Service (Ausland SD) 1935-1945 and card files relating to German intelligence informants. There are also miscellaneous documents in German concerning foreign intelligence personnel. (9,192 pages) Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense
JOINT INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS AGENCY (JIOA) POLICY FILE ON PROJECT PAPERCLIP, 1944-1960.
File details the policy development and implementation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the program to bring captured German and Austrian scientists to the United States. (200 pages)
FOREIGN SCIENTIST CASE FILES 1945-1958.
Personnel dossiers on German scientists, engineers and technicians who were brought to the U.S. under PROJECT PAPERCLIP and similar programs. PAPERCLIP operated from 1945 into the early 1960's although the major effort to move selected scientists from German and Austria to the U. S. ended in 1958. Frequently the subjects had been members of the Nazi Party and on occasion members of its special elements such as the SS and thus not normally eligible for immigration to the U.S. but individuals who were not necessarily "war criminals." (80,000 pages)
RECORDS OF THE U. S. ARMY Field Information Agency, Technical (FIAT) General Administrative Files (Decimals) 1945-1947
Includes records relating to war criminals, use of German scientists, exploitation of German scientists, minutes of meetings regarding the Ministerial Collecting Center, specific German scientists, dealings with the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency and the Technical Industrial Investigations unit of the Department of Commerce, Control Council meetings, and reports and investigations of external assets. (1,000 pages) U.S. Foreign Claims Commission Reports 1944-1945 U.S. Foreign Claims Commission reports of claim officer files (CC Form 30A) from various base sections in the European Theater of Operations. The records are arranged alphabetically by the name of claimant. (10,000 pages) Miscellaneous General Administrative Files of the U.S. Forces, European Theater 1943-1946 Includes records relating to the dealings of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff with the Foreign Economic Administration, the Office of Strategic Services, the State Department, the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and the Office of War Information, and other agencies. Also includes information on war crimes trials and Operation TALLY HO, a Counter Intelligence Corps operation in July 1945 to speed up the apprehension of Nazi war criminals. (1,000 pages) Command Reporting Files of the U.S. Forces Austria and the Vienna Area Command, 1945-1955 Includes reports of operations in Vienna and in Austria, historical reports, and historical summary of the Office of the Commanding General. (3,000 pages)
FOREIGN PERSONNEL AND ORGANIZATION DOSSIERS
Dossiers for Gestapo Chief, Heinrich Mueller and German rocket scientist Arthur Rudolph include records relating to the CIC's investigations of these two notorious Nazi personalities. Mueller has been the subject of numerous studies by historians and journalists seeking to trace his whereabouts and activities following the end of WW II. Rudolph came to the United States under PROJECT PAPERCLIP, served in various capacities in Army, Air Force, and NASA programs, including development of the Saturn V rocket. He left the United States and renounced his citizenship in the mid-1980's following an OSI investigation of his role in the use of slave labor at Mittelwerk. (292 pages)
National Archives and Records Administration URL: http://www.nara.gov/iwg/report.html Last updated: November 5, 1999 http://www.pcha.gov/aboutpcha.htm
7. Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States (PCHA), established by the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-186), is charged with conducting original research into the fate of assets taken from victims of the Holocaust that came into the possession of the U.S. Federal government; reviewing research done by others regarding assets that came to private collections and non-Federal government organizations (especially state governments and financial institutions); and advising the President on policies that should be adopted to make restitution to the rightful owners of stolen property or their heirs.
The Commission, chaired by Edgar M. Bronfman and directed by Kenneth L. Klothen, consists of 21 members, including eight Congressional members, representatives of the Departments of Army, Justice, State and Treasury, the Chair of the Holocaust Memorial Council and eight public members from across the United States. The primary goal is to develop an historical account of those valuables that came into the hands of the Federal government.
Original research is conducted in the areas of art and cultural property, gold, and non-gold financial property by teams of researchers headed by experts Jonathan Petropoulos, Marc Masurovsky and Helen Junz. State Holocaust commissions, banking and insurance companies, international Holocaust commissions and other agencies are working with this Commission to share and review the research of others, the second portion of the mission. Upon completion of its research and analysis, this Commission will report its findings to the President and recommend further policy actions.
The need for action is urgent, as the survivors are aging. The Presidential Advisory Commission is committed to finding the truth about what happened to such assets and helping to see that justice is done for the survivors of the Holocaust and their families. While this Commission does not have the authority to adjudicate individual claims, it may be able to direct individuals to organizations that manage claims. If you would like further information or direction, please contact the Commission by post or e-mail. http://www.pcha.gov/commissioners.htm
Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US
The Honorable Barbara Boxer (Greenbrae, CA) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993. Prior to her service as Senator, she served in the House of Representatives for ten years. As a member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, she was the first female President of the Board. Sen. Boxer serves on the Committee on the Budget, Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the Senate's Hispanic Caucus. She has been a stockbroker and a journalist. Sen. Boxer earned her B.A. from Brooklyn College.
Edgar M. Bronfman (New York, NY) is Chairman of the Seagram Company Ltd., and the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, Inc. He acts as President of the World Jewish Congress and the World Jewish Restitution Organization, which is devoted to ensuring the return of communal Jewish property stolen by the Nazis. He is also Chairman of the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life (Hillel). Mr. Bronfman earned his bachelor's degree from McGill University in Montreal.
The Honorable Christopher Dodd (East Haddam, CT) was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. He is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Labor and Human Resources Committee, Special Committee on the Year 2000 Problem, and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Prior to his work in the Senate, Sen. Dodd served in the House of Representatives. He served two years in the Dominican Republic with the Peace Corps. Senator Dodd is the son of the late Senator Thomas J. Dodd (CT). When the Allied Powers convened an international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, to prosecute Nazi war criminals in 1945, Mr. Dodd was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Review Board and later Executive Trial Counsel. He helped shape many of the strategies and policies at the trials and concentrated on proving the charge of conspiracy to wage aggressive war, the horrors of the concentration camp system, and the activities of Nazi organizations like the Gestapo and SS. He earned a bachelor's degree from Providence College and a law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law.
Stuart E. Eizenstat (Washington, D.C.) Stuart Eizenstat was sworn in as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury on July 19, 1999, making him the second-highest ranking official at the Treasury Department. Mr. Eizenstat also continues his work as Special Envoy for Property Claims in Central and Eastern Europe, reporting to the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of State. Mr. Eizenstat previously served as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, earning the Distinguished Honor Award; Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Administration; and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, earning the Foreign Affairs Award for Public Service, the highest award to a non-career Ambassador. In these roles, he led the government's renewed efforts to achieve justice for Holocaust victims and their families. From 1977 to 1981, Mr. Eizenstat was President Carter's chief domestic policy adviser. Mr. Eizenstat received his law degree from Harvard University and is an honors graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Honorable Ben Gilman (Middletown, NY) was elected to his 13th term in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996. During the 1981 session of the United Nations, he served as Congressional Delegate to the U.N. Rep. Gilman has served on the Ukraine Famine Commission, the U.S.-European and the U.S.-Mexican Inter-parliamentary Conferences, the International Task Force on Narcotics, as Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, as Congressional Advisor to the U.N. Law of the Sea Conference, as co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and as an Executive Member of the Human Rights Caucus. In 1993, he was appointed as a Member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He earned his B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and Finance and his LL.B. from the New York Law School.
Patrick T. Henry has served as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs since August, 1998. Mr. Henry graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1972 and served for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. He held command and staff positions in Marine Corps tank units, commanded an Army tank training company at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and served on the staff of two Secretaries of Defense. In 1992, Mr. Henry retired from the Marine Corps and became the Chief of Staff of the American Red Cross, a position he held until joining the professional staff of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services in 1993.
Roman R. Kent (Stamford, CT) was born in Lodz, Poland and spent 1939-45 in the Lodz Ghetto and in the Auschwitz, Mertzbachtal, Dornau and Flossenburg Concentration Camps. Mr. Kent is President of Namor International Corporation, an international trading company. He serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and also serves on the Boards of Tel Aviv University and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Mr. Kent produced the documentary, Children in the Holocaust, partially filmed in Auschwitz, which won the New York International Film Festival Award.
The Honorable Rick A. Lazio (Brightwaters, NY) was elected in 1992 to the House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 105th Congress, he was named to the post of Assistant Majority Leader. He also serves as Deputy Majority Whip. He chairs the House Banking Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Before serving in the U.S. House, he served on the Suffolk County Legislature, and he has been named Chairman of the 1999 National Italian-American Convention. He graduated from Vassar College and earned his law degree from American University.
Ira H. Leesfield (Coral Gables, FL) is a founding partner in the law firm of Leesfield Leighton Rubio & Mahfood. He has served as a Fellow of the American Bar Association and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. Mr. Leesfield is Senior Florida Governor to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, has twice been awarded the Wiedman Wisocki medal for outstanding advocacy, is the author of numerous articles and publications and is a frequent featured speaker at Continuing Legal Education programs. Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Mr. Leesfield to the Constitution Revision Committee, charged with re-writing Florida's Constitution. Mr. Leesfield is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is a sponsor for several college scholarship programs. He earned B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida and an L.L.M. from George Washington University Law Center.
Miles Lerman (Vineland, NJ) is the Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Council. (Top of Page) The Honorable James H. Maloney (Danbury, CT) has represented Danbury, Waterbury, and Meriden Connecticut in the House of Representatives since his election in 1996. He served in the Connecticut State Senate and General Assembly from 1986 to 1995. Mr. Maloney serves on the Committees on Banking and Financial Services and Armed Services. He received his BA from Harvard University and a law degree from Boston University; and is one of only three current Members of Congress who served as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), which is now part of the AmeriCorps National Service Network.
Dr. Jehuda Reinharz (Newton, MA) is President and the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History at Brandeis University. He serves on the Boards of the United Israel Appeal/Jewish Agency, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Leo Baech Institute of New York. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Reinharz has authored several books, his latest entitled Zionism and the Creation of a New Society. Born in Israel, he went to high school in Germany and earned bachelor's degrees from both Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, his master's from Harvard University, and his doctorate from Brandeis University.
Margaret (Peggy) Milner Richardson (Washington, D.C.) is associated with Ernst & Young, LLP in Washington. She served as Commissioner of Internal Revenue from 1993 to 1997. Earlier in her career, Ms. Richardson clerked at the U.S. Court of Claims and later joined the Office of Chief Counsel at the Internal Revenue Service, where she became the first woman promoted to executive rank. She serves on the Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Board of Advisors for George Washington Law School. Ms. Richardson earned her bachelor's degree from Vassar College and her law degree from George Washington School of Law.
James Robinson has served as Assistant Attorney General - Criminal Division since June 1998. He previously served as Dean and Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School, from which he graduated in 1968, and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 1977 to 1980. Among the many offices Mr. Robinson oversees is the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which detects and investigates individuals who took part in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution who subsequently entered or sought to enter the US illegally. OSI takes appropriate legal action seeking exclusion, denaturalization and/or deportation. Mr. Robinson serves as the Co-Chair of the United States Interagency Commission on Crime and Security in U.S. Seaports and, from 1983 to 1984, was the Chair of the Governor's Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Michigan. (Top of Page)
Patricia Scott Schroeder (Denver, CO) is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Publishers, the national trade organization of the U.S. book publishing industry. From January to June 1997, she held the rank of Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Ms. Schroeder left Congress undefeated in 1996 after serving in the House of Representatives for 24 years. While in Congress, she was the Dean of Congressional Women, co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues for ten years, was Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee and was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. As Chair of the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families from 1991 to 1993, Congresswoman Schroeder saw the Family and Medical Leave Act and the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act to fruition. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and law degree from Harvard Law School.
The Honorable Brad Sherman (CA) was elected to the House of Representatives in 1996. He serves on the Committee on Banking and Financial Services and the Committee on International Relations. Prior to federal service, Rep. Sherman participated in the financial audits of large businesses and government entities, provided tax law counsel on multi-million dollar transactions, provided tax and investment advice to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and helped represent the Government of the Philippines under President Aqino in a successful effort to seize assets of deposed President Marcos. He earned his B.A. from the University of Los Angeles and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
William S. Singer (Chicago, IL) is a partner with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, handling general corporate and government practice. Mr. Singer was an Alderman for the City of Chicago from 1969 to 1975, and he served as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education and Chairman of its Finance and Labor Committee from 1989 to 1990. He is also a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, a member of the Columbia Law School Visitors Board and is a Fellow of Brandeis University. Mr. Singer earned his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and his law degree from Columbia University of Law.
Senator Gordon H. Smith (Pendleton, OR) was elected to the United States Senate by the people of Oregon in the fall of 1996. Prior to this, he served in the Oregon State Senate from 1993 to 1996. He serves as Chairman of the European Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator Smith also sits on the Senate Budget Committee and the Special Senate Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. Senator Smith has held hearings and chaired roundtable seminars on the rise of anti-Semitism in Russia, for which he was honored with the American Jewish Committee's Congressional Leadership Award.
The Honorable Arlen Specter (Philadelphia, PA) chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. He is a member of the Judiciary and Governmental Affairs Committees. A former prosecutor and investigator, Sen. Specter began his public service career as an assistant Philadelphia District Attorney and has represented Pennsylvania is the Senate since 1981. He was appointed to the Warren Commission staff and, separate from his Senate duties, served as Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Commission to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sen. Specter earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Yale Law School. (Top of Page)
Reverend Cecil Williams (San Francisco, CA) has been Pastor of the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church for over 35 years. As an urban church, Glide Church is the most comprehensive non-profit provider of human services in San Francisco. Over 3,500 meals are prepared and served each day. Other programs range from outpatient substance treatment to academic tutoring for children to a computer learning center, enabling people to develop employable skills. Rev. Williams is a member of the Board of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Change. He has also authored several works, including an autobiography, I'm Alive. Rev. Williams is a graduate of the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Neal Wolin (Washington, D.C.) acts as Deputy General Counsel to the Department of the Treasury. He has served in the White House as Executive Assistant to the National Security Advisor and was the deputy Legal Adviser of the National Security Council. He has also served as Special Assistant to three directors of Central Intelligence. Mr. Wolin practiced law with the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He earned his B.A. from Yale College, his M.S. from Balliol College at the University of Oxford and his J.D. from Yale Law School.
8. Legislative History of Holocaust-Related Legislation, 1995-1999 (November 24, 1999)
Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related Proposals in the 106th Congress
S. 1520 The U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999 (Introduced 08/05/99) SPONSOR: Sen. Smith, Gordon SUMMARY: A bill to amend the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 to extend the period by which the final report is due and to authorize additional funding. STATUS: Aug 5, 99: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking.
H.R. 2781 (Introduced 08/05/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Pallone, Frank, Jr. SUMMARY: A bill to amend the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 to provide for the settlement of claims relating to American victims of National Socialist persecution. STATUS: Aug 5, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
H.R. 2401 U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999 (Introduced 06/30/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Lazio, Rick SUMMARY: A bill to amend the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 to extend the period by which the final report is due and to authorize additional funding. STATUS: Jun 30, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
H.R. 1788 Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 1999 (Introduced 05/13/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Franks SUMMARY: Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 1999 - Denies Federal public benefits to individuals who have been participants in Nazi persecution. Authorizes the Attorney General, if an individual who has applied for or is receiving a Federal public benefit may have been such a participant, to provide an opportunity for a hearing on the record with respect to the matter. Allows the Attorney General to delegate the conduct of the hearing to an immigration judge. Describes hearing procedures under this Act. Requires an immigration judge who finds that the respondent has been a participant in Nazi persecution to: (1) promptly issue an order declaring the respondent to be ineligible for any Federal public benefit and prohibiting any person from providing such a benefit to the respondent; and(2) transmit a copy of the order to any governmental entity or person known to be so providing such a benefit. Authorizes the Attorney General to review any finding or conclusion made, or order issued, and to complete the review within a specified period, or the finding, conclusion, or order shall be final. Provides for any party aggrieved by a final order issued under this Act to obtain judicial review of the order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. STATUS: May 13, 99: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. May 21, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology. Jul 21, 99: Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Jul 21, 99 Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote. May 13, 99: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. May 21, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. Jun 22, 99: Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Jun 22, 99: Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote. Jul 20, 99: Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held. Jul 20, 99: Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
S. 779 A bill to provide that no Federal income tax shall be imposed on amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs. (Introduced 04/13/99) SPONSOR: Sen. Abraham, Spencer SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from Federal income tax any amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs: (1) from the Swiss Humanitarian Fund established by the Government of Switzerland or from any similar fund established by any foreign country; or (2) as a result of the settlement of the action entitled "In re Holocaust Victims' Asset Litigation", (E.D. NY), C.A. No. 96-4849, or as a result of any similar action. STATUS: Apr 13, 99 - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. H.R. 1292 A bill to provide that no Federal income tax shall be imposed on amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs. (Introduced 03/25/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Weller, Jerry SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income any amount received by an individual (or any heir of the individual) from any person as a result of any moral or legal injustice experienced by such individual as a Holocaust victim persecuted for racial or religious reasons by Nazi Germany or any other Axis regime. STATUS: Mar 25, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. H.R. 824 A bill expressing the sense of the Congress that the Government of Poland should address the claims of Polish Americans whose homes and properties were wrongfully expropriated under Poland's former totalitarian government. (Introduced 02/24/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Barcia, James A. SUMMARY: Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should inform the Polish Government of Polish-Americans who deserve to have their citizenship restored and claims to their wrongfully expropriated homes and properties considered under a fair rule of law that provides for compensation and restitution regardless of a claimant's current nationality; (2) the Polish Government should fulfill its responsibilities to consider the claims of these victims under such rule; and (3) the President should instruct U.S. representatives to all multilateral treaty-based institutions to work to deny admission or financial benefits to the Polish Government until it fulfills these responsibilities. STATUS: Feb 24, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations. H.R. 390 A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for settlement of certain claims of Holocaust survivors. (Introduced 01/19/99) SPONSOR: Rep. McIntosh, David M. SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income a Holocaust victims' settlement payment. STATUS: Jan 19, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
H.R. 271 Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act (Introduced 01/06/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh SUMMARY: Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act - Amends the Federal judicial code to make an exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state in certain cases where money damages are sought for the personal injury of a U.S. citizen caused by an act of genocide occurring during World War II in the predecessor states of the Federal Republic of Germany, or in any territories or areas occupied, annexed, or otherwise controlled by those states. Sets the venue for such cases. Makes an exception to immunity from attachment with respect to such CLAIMS. STATUS: Jan 6, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Feb 25, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. H.R. 126 Holocaust Victims Insurance Act (Introduced 01/06/99) SPONSOR: Rep. Engel, Eliot L. SUMMARY: Holocaust Victims Insurance Act - Requires any person engaged in the insurance business in the United States directly or through a related company during the period 1920 to 1945 to report to the Secretary of Commerce within 90 days of the enactment of this Act on the current status of the insurance policies issued during such period. Imposes a civil penalty upon any person who does not file a report. Directs the Secretary to immediately upon receipt transmit such reports to the House and Senate Committees on Commerce. Requires a person engaged in the insurance business that determines that it issued insurance policies to individuals who were Holocaust victims to pay to the beneficiaries or descendants of the victims the proceeds of such policies. Encourages strongly any such person who does not have records of the individuals to whom it issued life insurance policies during the period 1920 to 1945 to establish a substantial monetary fund to compensate Holocaust victims. Requires the Secretary to report to the House and Senate Committees on Commerce on the number of individuals who were Holocaust victims who held life insurance policies during the period 1920 to 1945. Directs the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop a registry of those who died in the Holocaust which shall be made available to the public, including insurance companies preparing a report under this Act. Authorizes appropriations. Prohibits any action brought by a Holocaust victim or heir or beneficiary of a Holocaust victim seeking proceeds of such policies issued or in effect between 1920 and 1945 from being dismissed for failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitations or laches provided the action is commenced on or before December 31, 2010. STATUS: Jan 6, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Commerce. Jan 19, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials. Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related Proposals in the 105th Congress I. Enacted or Adopted Legislation
S. 1564 Holocaust Victims Redress Act (Introduced 11/13/97) Public Law: 105-158 (02/13/98) SPONSOR: Sen. D'Amato SUMMARY: Title I of this act directs the President to instruct the commissioner representing the United States on the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold to seek and vote for a timely agreement under which all signatories to the Paris Agreement on Reparations with claims against the monetary gold pool in the Commission's jurisdiction contribute all or a substantial portion of such gold to charitable organizations to assist survivors of the Holocaust. As an inducement to do so, it authorizes the President to obligate up to $30 million for such distribution (this sum represents the present value of the difference between what Congress originally authorized as compensation for the assets of heirless victims of the Holocaust either seized or frozen in the United States at the onset of World War II and the amount actually paid in 1962). Of the $30 million authorized, $25 million is to go to organizations paying restitution to Holocaust victims, and $5 million for archival research to assist in the restitution of assets looted or extorted from victims of the Holocaust and such other activities that would further Holocaust remembrance and education. Title II expresses the sense of the Congress that all governments undertake good faith efforts to return works of art confiscated from rightful owners during the period of Nazi rule.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 02/13/98 Public Law 105-158 (2/23/98 CR D100) 02/04/98 Measure presented to President (CR S378) 02/04/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S378) 02/04/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H327) 01/27/98 Measure passed House (CR H8) 01/27/98 Measure considered in House (CR H2-8) 01/27/98 Called up by unanimous consent discharging House Committee on International Relations (CR H2) 11/13/97 Referred to House Committee on International Relations (CR H10951-10952) 11/13/97 Measure passed Senate (CR S12706) 11/13/97 Measure considered in Senate (CR S12706-12707) 11/13/97 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S12706) S. 1900 U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 (Introduced 04/01/98) Public Law: 105-186 (06/23/98) SPONSOR: Sen. D'Amato SUMMARY: The 105th Congress enacted Public Law 105-186 to create and establish the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. The commission is required to study, and develop an historical record of, the disposition of specified assets of Holocaust victims, survivors, and heirs that are in the possession or control of the U.S. government. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 06/23/98 Public Law 105-186 (6/25/98 CR D715) 06/18/98 Measure presented to President (CR S6563) 06/18/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S6563) 06/17/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H4710) 06/10/98 Senate agreed to House amendment (CR S6129) 06/09/98 Measure passed House, amended, in lieu of H.R. 3662 (CR H4273) 06/09/98 Measure considered in House (CR H4271-4273) 06/09/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in House (CR H4271) 05/01/98 Measure passed Senate, amended (CR S4136) 05/01/98 Measure considered in Senate (CR S4133-4136) 05/01/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S4133) 04/30/98 Reported to Sen. from Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, amended (without written report)(CR S3918)
S. 1379 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 11/05/97) Public Law: 105-246 (10/08/98) SPONSOR: Sen. DeWine SUMMARY: This act amends the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) to establish a presumption that Nazi war criminal records are to be made available to the public. This in effect would require all materials to be released in their entirety unless a Federal agency head concludes that the release of all or part of the records would compromise privacy or national security interests. The agency head must notify Congress of any decision not to release the records. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 10/08/98 Public Law 105-246 (10/9/98 CR D1144) 09/28/98 Measure presented to President (CR S11041) 09/10/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S10204) 09/09/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H7486) 08/06/98 Measure passed House (CR H7297) 08/06/98 Measure considered in House (CR H7295-7297) 08/06/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in House (CR H7295) 06/19/98 Measure passed Senate, amended (CR S6730) 06/19/98 Measure considered in Senate (CR S6724-6730) 06/19/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S6724) 03/05/98 Reported to Senate from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendment (without written report) (CR S1435)
H.R. 4193/S. 2237 (H.R. 4193 was introduced by Rep. Regula on July 8, 1998; S. 2237 was introduced by Sen. Gorton on June 26, 1998) FY1999 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill Public Law: 105-277 SPONSORS: Rep. Regula (H.R. 4193); Sen. Gorton (S. 2237) SUMMARY: These bills, a House and Senate version of The FY1999 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, include funding for programs in five separate federal departments, as well as numerous smaller related agencies including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council that oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: H.R. 4193 was introduced by Rep. Regula on July 8, 1998. Reported to the House from the Committee on Appropriations H.Rept. 105-609.) Passed the House July 23, 1998. S. 2237 was ordered reported as an original measure on June 25, 1998. Reported to the Senate from the Committee on Appropriations by Senator Gorton on June 26, 1998 with written report (S.Rept. 105-227.) Continuing resolutions were passed and enacted (P.L. 105-240, P.L. 105-253, P.L. 105-254, H.J.Res. 135) as a temporary authority for appropriations, while awaiting passage of an omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 4328, which was passed by the House on October 20 and by the Senate October 21, 1998 and signed into law (P.L. 105-277) that same day.
H. RES. 557 A resolution expressing support for U. S. government efforts to identify Holocaust-era assets, urging the restitution of individual and communal property, and for other purposes. (Introduced 09/28/98) Passed by the House, October 9. SPONSOR: Rep. Lantos SUMMARY: This resolution expresses House support for U. S. government efforts to identify Holocaust-era assets, urges European governments to intensify activities aimed at restitution of unjustly seized Holocaust-era property, and addresses a number of other Holocaust-related issues. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Introduced by Rep. Lantos, September 28, 1998. Referred to the Committee on International Relations. Approved by the Committee on International Relations, October 2. Called up by the House under suspension of the rules, October 8. Passed by the House, October 9. II. Legislation Not Passed at October Adjournment H.R. 3121 Holocaust Victims Insurance Act (Introduced 01/28/98) SPONSOR: Rep. Engel SUMMARY: This bill would have required all insurance companies doing business in the United States between 1920 and 1945 to report to the Commerce Department on the current status of the insurance policies issued during that period. It required such companies that issued insurance policies to Holocaust victims to pay to the beneficiaries or descendants of the victims the proceeds of such policies. It extended any applicable statute of limitations on such claims to the year 2010. It encouraged firms that do not have records of the individuals to whom they issued life insurance policies during that period to establish a substantial monetary fund to compensate Holocaust victims. It directed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop a registry of those who died in the Holocaust which shall be made available to the public, including insurance companies preparing a report under this Act. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: February 11, 1998 - Referred to the Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials H.R. 3143 Comprehensive Holocaust Accountability in Insurance Measure (Introduced 02/03/98) SPONSOR: Rep. Foley SUMMARY: Title I: Provisions Applicable To Certain Foreign Insurance Companies - identified those foreign insurance companies which, as a prerequisite to conducting any form of business in the United States (or with a U.S. bank), must first disclose to the Attorney General the name of any individual with whom such companies had any financial dealing and who is a Holocaust survivor or victim. It also directed the Attorney General to make such names public. Title II: Provisions Applicable To United States Banking Institutions - prohibited U.S. banks and financial institutions from engaging in specified financial transactions with or on behalf of a foreign insurance company listed under title I until the Attorney General confirms that such company has complied with the disclosure requirements of this Act. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials, February 11, 1998. Also referred to the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, February 20, 1998.
H.R. 4138 Stolen Artwork Restitution Act of 1998 (Introduced 6-25-98) SPONSOR: Rep. Schumer SUMMARY: This bill deals with the restitution of stolen artwork to the original owners or to family members. The Attorney General would be the coordinating official authorized to make grants to research organizations in the identification and the relocation of stolen art work. The Attorney General would also be required to undertake an inquiry of all artwork in the possession of the Federal Government to determine whether any such artwork is stolen property. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 25, 1998 and referred to the Subcommittee on Crime on July 7, 1998.
H.R. 4563 Amending the Internal Revenue Code to Exclude Income Received for Settlement of Claims of Holocaust Victims (Introduced 9-14-98) SPONSOR: Rep. McIntosh SUMMARY: This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for settlement of certain claims of Holocaust victims or their heirs. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the Ways and Means Committee, September 14, 1998. Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related Proposals in the 104th Congress I. Enacted or Adopted Legislation H.R. 1281 War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 03/21/95) Public Law: 104-309 (10/19/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Maloney SUMMARY: Expresses the sense of the Congress that U.S. Government agencies in possession of records about individuals who are alleged to have committed Nazi war crimes should make these records public. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 10/19/96 Public Law 104-309 10/10/96 Measure presented to President (10/21/96 CR H12304) 10/09/96 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate 10/09/96 Enrolled Measure signed in House (10/21/96 CR H12303) 10/03/96 Measure passed Senate (CR S12402) 10/03/96 Measure considered in Senate (CR S12401-12402) 10/03/96 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S12401) 09/24/96 Measure passed House, amended (CR H10819) 09/24/96 Measure considered in House (CR H10817-10819) 09/24/96 Measure called up under motion to suspend rules and pass in House (CR H10817) 09/24/96 Committees on the Judiciary; and Intelligence discharged in House (CR H11046) 09/24/96 Reported to House from Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, amended, H. Rept. 104-819 (Pt I) (CR H11046) II. Legislation Not Passed at Adjournment S. RES. 193 A resolution deploring individuals who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust and commending the vital, ongoing work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Introduced 11/09/95) SPONSOR: Sen. Hatch SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Deplores efforts to deny the historical reality of the Holocaust. Commends the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 11/09/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S16934) 11/09/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S16934) 11/09/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S16934)
H. RES. 316 A resolution deploring individuals who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust and commending the vital, ongoing work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Introduced 12/20/95) SPONSOR: Rep. Gilman SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Deplores efforts to deny the historical reality of the Holocaust. Commends the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 04/16/96 Measure passed House, roll call #120 (420-0) (CR H3435) 04/16/96 Measure considered in House (CR H3419-3423, H3434-3435) 04/16/96 Measure called up under motion to suspend rules and pass in House (CR H3419)
S. CON. RES. 5/ H. CON. RES. 20 A concurrent resolution permitting the use of the Capitol for a ceremony to commemorate the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. (S. Con. Res. 5 introduced 02/07/95; S. Con. Res.20 introduced 01/25/95) SPONSORS: Sen. Stevens (S. CON. RES. 5); Rep. Yates (H. CON. RES. 20) SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Allows use of the rotunda of the Capitol on April 27, 1995, for a ceremony to observe the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Feb 7, 95: S. Con. Res. 5 - Referred to the Committee on Rules. H. Con. Res. 20: 03/01/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S3305) 03/01/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S3305) 03/01/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S3305) 02/23/95 Measure passed House, amended (CR H2086) 02/23/95 Measure considered in House (CR H2086-2087) 02/23/95 Called up by unanimous consent discharging House Committee on Oversight (CR H2086)
H. CON. RES. 115 A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the inadequacy of German reparations for Holocaust survivors living in the United States. (Introduced 11/17/95) SPONSOR: Rep Yates SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should: (1) convey to the Government of Germany the concern of the U.S. Government regarding the onerous eligibility requirements imposed by Germany on the payment of reparations for Holocaust survivors living in the United States; and (2) urge such Government to take actions to ensure that fair and full reparations will be expeditiously paid to such survivors. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Nov 17, 95 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations. H.R. 3257 A bill to develop model curricula appropriate for elementary and secondary students. (Introduced 04/16/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Zimmer SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Amends Federal law relating to the establishment of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to add to the Council's functions the development of model curricula, appropriate for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, that shall be made available to a school upon request. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Apr 16, 96: Referred to the House Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities. May 6, 96: Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families.
H. CON. RES. 215 A concurrent resolution to encourage the Secretary of State, foreign nations, and others to work together to help reunite family members separated during the Holocaust. (Introduced 09/17/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Franks, B. SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Encourages the Secretary of State, foreign nations, and organizations such as the Red Cross and Israel's Jewish Agency to coordinate efforts to help reunite family members separated during the Holocaust. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Sep 17, 96: Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
H. RES. 501 A resolution calling upon the Government of Germany to negotiate in good faith regarding expansion of eligibility for Holocaust survivor compensation. (Introduced 07/31/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Maloney SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Calls upon the Government of Germany to negotiate in good faith with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany to broaden the categories of those eligible for compensation. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: July 31, 96: Referred to the House Committee on International Relations. S. RES. 74 A resolution commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. (Introduced 01/26/95) SPONSOR: Sen. Bradley SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Commemorates January 27, 1995, as the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Allied forces in the Second World War. Calls upon all Americans to remember the victims murdered at Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 01/26/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S1604) 01/26/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S1601-1604) 01/26/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S1601)
H. RES. 398 A resolution condemning the construction of a shopping center within the internationally protected zone around the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. (Introduced 03/29/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Engel SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Condemns the construction of the shopping center within the internationally protected zone around the Auschwitz death camp as a violation of international legal conventions signed by Poland and as a trivialization and desecration of the site. Calls upon the Government of Poland to: (1) overrule local authorities, comply with its international legal obligations, and permanently halt commercial construction at such site; and (2) permanently close the grounds within the internationally protected zone around it to any development. Recognizes the special nature of the death camp and the sanctity of the ground upon which it rests. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Mar 29, 96 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
S. 2048 War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 08/02/96) SPONSOR: Sen. Moynihan SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) War Crimes Disclosure Act - Requires disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of any matter in the possession of specified Federal agencies that relates to any individual who participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion at the direction of, or in association with, the Nazi government of Germany. Provides disclosure exceptions, such as for the protection of intelligence agents and informants or for compelling national security reasons. Requires disclosure of information that can be reasonably separated from excepted information. Amends the National Security Act of 1947 to provide that the exemption from public disclosure authorized under such Act for operational files of the Central Intelligence Agency shall not apply to information regarding Nazi war crimes participants. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Aug 2, 96 - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
H.R. 3352 Varian Fry Gold Medal Act (Introduced 04/30/96) SPONSOR: Rep. Hastings SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Varian Fry Gold Medal Act - Authorizes the President to present, on behalf of the Congress, a gold medal to the representatives of the late Varian Fry in recognition of the tremendous effort he made at great personal risk to secure the escape of thousands of trapped Jewish artists, writers, and intellectuals from the Nazis in Europe. Authorizes appropriations. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Apr 30, 96: Referred to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. May 3, 96: Referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy. * Prepared by Michael John Matheron, Senior Paralegal Specialist, American Law Division and Barbara A. Salazar, Information Research Specialist, Information Research Division. Source: Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress for the U.S. House International Relations Committee. Copyright 2000 The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.