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Saturday, July 26, 2014

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U.S. Holocaust Museum to get war crimes archive

Tags: International
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nited States Holocaust Memorial Museum located in Washington, D.C. [Wikimedia Commons photo]

NEW YORK   —  The United Nations will give the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., its archive documenting the actions of  thousands of Nazi war criminals, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said.

Samantha Power told an Anti-Defamation League conference on Oct. 31 that the entire archive will benefit scholars “at a time when Holocaust denial is embraced by many who prefer diversionary fantasies to inconvenient facts.”

The unrestricted records of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, relating to more than 10,000 cases in Europe and Asia, were put online in early July by the International Criminal Court after an agreement with the UN. However, thousands of files remained restricted.

The War Crimes Commission was established in 1943 by 17 allied nations to issue lists of alleged war criminals.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, addressing the ADL conference later on Oct. 31, announced the sale to Israel of six V-22 Ospreys, a tilt-rotor aircraft he said would “greatly enhance the range and effectiveness of Israeli special forces.”

Hagel also said it was critical to explore all peaceful options in resolving tensions with Iran over its nuclear program, a note sounded repeatedly in recent weeks in Obama administration meetings with Jewish leaders.

“As we engage Iran along with our partners, we are very clear eyed about the reality in the Middle East,” Hagel said.

“Iran is a state sponsor of terror, responsible for spreading hatred and extremism throughout the region. But foreign policy is not a zero-sum game. If we can find ways to resolve disputes peacefully, we are wise to explore them.”

Differences between Israel and the United States have emerged over the last week over whether Iran should be allowed to maintain any uranium enrichment capacity as part of a deal to end the sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Hagel also announced that he would take action against a handful of states that are not abiding by federal directives to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of military personnel.

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