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THE ARCHIVE MUCKRAKERS

Push to open United Nations WWII War Crimes Archive

NEW YORK — The Associated Press is reporting exclusively today that researchers and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum are seeking to open a long-closed archive at U.N. headquarters documenting 10,000 cases against World War II criminals.

The archives belonged to the United Nations War Crimes Commission, which went out of existence in 1948, and have been closed to the public for 60 years.

The story was written by AP U.N. Correspondent Edith M. Lederer, with Randy Herschaft contributing to the report.

Randy obtained a handful of commission documents from the U.S. National Archives in College Park, Md., where some copies reside.

These include the accusations against staff at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald camps. We’ve posted copies of two pages of the documents (seen above), which are explained in the AP report:

"Buchenwald camp leader Max Schobert, described as taking part in all mass and individual executions, was quoted as giving orders to bring him at least 600 Jewish death reports every day, and to take all university graduates and rabbis to the camp gate and bury them alive. He was found guilty of war crimes in 1947 and was hanged the following year.

At Buchenwald, a Gestapo official was described as ‘a particularly bloodthirsty torturer.’ Another officer who was in charge of gardens, was described as a ‘fanatical Jew baiter’ who ‘made prisoners jump into the sewage pool’ where on some days 80 or 90 prisoners suffocated.”

Click here to read the full report: http://bit.ly/IzDW6N

Collecting Occupy Wall Street Ephemera

Our latest story takes a look at how several major institutions — the Smithsonian, the New-York Historical Society and others — are collecting ephemera produced by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan recently approached activist Daniel Sieradski for a poster he designed for an Occupy Yom Kippur prayer service that was attended by hundreds of people at Zuccotti Park. Sieradski is a co-creator of Occupy Judaism.

Above is an image of the poster, which shows the silhouetted fiddler from the “Fiddler on the Roof” musical astride the Wall Street bull.