February 24, 2000
Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group Appoints Panel of Experts
College Park, MD. . . The Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group announced today the creation of a seven-member panel of experts on Nazi war crimes and criminals, Nazi persecution, and Holocaust-Era assets.
President Clinton established the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) in January 1999, through Executive Order 13110. He appointed three public members to the Working Group: Elizabeth Holtzman, former Congresswoman from New York; Thomas Baer, head of Steinhardt Baer Pictures Company and Richard Ben-Veniste, a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. These members, as well as high- level representatives from seven Federal agencies, have been charged with locating, identifying, inventorying, recommending for declassification and making available all classified Nazi war criminal records, subject to specified restrictions. They must also coordinate with Federal agencies and expedite the release of such classified records to the public.
As part of the initiative to ensure that records are being identified, declassified and released, the IWG has appointed a panel consisting of university professors, historians and experts on Nazi Germany. In making the announcement, Dr. Michael Kurtz, Assistant Archivist at the National Archives and Chair of the IWG said, "I am delighted that we are moving forward on this very important initiative. The creation of the panel to advise us will greatly increase the visibility of the IWG and its work. I look forward to working with this distinguished group to accomplish the mission of the IWG. In cooperation with the staff of the National Archives which is providing the administrative support and project management for the IWG, and other government agencies, we are confident that more information will come to light regarding this period of our history."
The panel will advise the IWG and the IWG historical consultants on the historical significance of records being declassified and released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. It will recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of activities of the IWG and Federal agencies in implementing the Act, and it will advise the IWG on the dissemination of declassified and released records under the Act.
Panel members are:
- Noted historian Gerhard Weinberg who will serve as the chair of the IWG Historical Advisory Panel. Dr. Weinberg is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina and among his many publications is "A World At Arms: A Global History of World War II."
- Dr. Rebecca Boehling, professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of "A Question of Priorities: Democratic Reform and Economic Recovery in Postwar Germany";
- Mr. James Critchfield, a US Army officer from 1939 until 1956, who subsequently served as head of Eastern European Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency.
- Dr. Peter Hayes, professor of history at Northwestern University and author of "Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era";
- Professor Christopher Simpson, who teaches at the American University's School of Communication and is the author of "Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War";
- Mr. Robert Wolfe, who worked at the National Archives for 35 years as the specialist for captured German, Nuremberg trial and other related records;
- Dr. Ronald W. Zweig, who is a senior lecturer in Jewish History at Tel Aviv University and is the author of "German Reparations and the Jewish World."
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.