The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

August 4, 2013

More than 2,200 World War II documents now online

UNITED NATIONS — Scholars, campaigners and lawyers can for the first time readily access more than 2,200 documents from a largely unknown archive housed at the United Nations that documents thousands of cases against accused World War II criminals in Europe and Asia.

The unrestricted records of the United Nations War Crimes Commission were put online in early July by the International Criminal Court after an agreement with the U.N., a move spurred by British academic Dan Plesch, who has been leading the push for greater access to the archive. The documents relate to more than 10,000 cases.

Plesch said Friday that following his research at the archive in New York he was invited to give a guest lecture on the War Crimes Commission at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, in March 2012 by Hans Bevers, the head of the prosecutor’s research office. Bevers suggested the ICC might be interested in obtaining the archive and Plesch said he put him in touch with the U.N. office that manages the archives.

“It was a happy coincidence of him doing research here, him doing research there, and the ICC wanting to put as many archives as possible online,” U.N. chief archivist Bridget Sisk said Friday.

“Our goal is to make available as widely as possible open archives of the organization,” she said. “The collaboration with ICC adds to the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal the historical record in international criminal justice.”

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said putting the unrestricted part of the archive online “will greatly enhance the availability of these materials to those engaged in research into the development of international criminal law, as well as to researchers from other academic disciplines.”

The War Crimes Commission was established in October 1943 by 17 allied nations to issue lists of alleged war criminals — ultimately involving approximately 37,000 individuals — and examine the charges against them and try to assure their arrest and trial.

The commission was shut down in 1948, three years after the now 193-member United Nations officially came into existence. In 1949, the U.N. Secretariat drew up rules making the archive available only to governments on a confidential basis. In 1987, limited access was granted only to researchers and historians.

Plesch and his colleagues continue to seek access for researchers to the still restricted sections of the files, which he said contain some 30,000 sets of pre-trial documents submitted to the commission by national and military tribunals to judge whether the case should be pursued.

“These files contain details of many charges of crimes that are not being prosecuted extensively today, including rape and forced prostitution, and crimes by ordinary soldiers,” Plesch said.

He said that following representations by his team to the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is a federal agency, is pursuing access to the commission’s entire archive — hundreds of thousands of pages in 400 boxes.

The International Criminal Court said more than 2,240 documents, totaling 22,184 pages, with search data for each document, have been added to the ICC Legal Tools Database.

The records include meeting minutes and other documents from the commission and its subordinate bodies as well as “a small but wide-ranging portion of the war crimes trial reports sent to the commission by national authorities” from Australia, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands and Norway, the ICC said.

Research on the War Crimes Commission conducted by Plesch and colleague Shanti Sattler will be presented at a conference Sept. 10-11 at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies where Plesch heads the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy. The conference is supported by the International Bar Association and will be chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone.

————

Online:

http://www.legal-tools.org/en/

http://archives.un.org/ARMS/Records-Predecessor-Organizations

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Lordstown eyes fall rollout of updated Cruze

    Production of the updated Chevrolet Cruze is tentatively set to begin early this fall at the General Motors facility in Lordstown, a plant official confirmed.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • A year after background check defeat, modest goals

    Democratic worries about this November’s elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Barack Obama’s effort to pass new curbs on firearms.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT

    Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Poll finds Clinton trouncing entire GOP field

    Hillary Clinton isn’t only the strong front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, but she’s well ahead of every potential Republican rival, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist operation” to try to restore authority over the restive region.
     

    April 16, 2014

  • U.N. Security Council sees grim images of Syrian dead

    The U.N. Security Council fell silent Tuesday after ambassadors viewed a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France’s ambassador said. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out.

    April 16, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia causing Ukraine unrest

    The White House on Monday said there was “overwhelming evidence” that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but suggested that President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Vladimir Putin’s actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors.

    April 15, 2014

  • Woman arrested after dead babies found

    A Utah woman accused of killing seven babies she gave birth to over 10 years was arrested Sunday after police discovered the tiny bodies stuffed in separate cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

    April 14, 2014

  • Rome man killed in crash

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol Chardon Post is investigating a fatal crash that took place just after midnight Sunday.

    April 14, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video