UNITED NATIONS (Jun. 24)
A preliminary study of the 500 files Israel obtained from the United Nations War Crimes Commission archive on June 5 confirms that the Nazis embarked on the extermination of Jew in the early stages of World War II, with the active participation of Adolf Hitler, the Israel Mission to the United Nations disclosed Wednesday.
The documents revealed for the first time that Hitler personally ordered the mass murder of 10,000 Jewish women and children in the Latvian village of Skirotawa, near Riga, in 1941, while Jewish men were sent to slave-labor camps.
According to the Israelis, this is the first documentary evidence of Hitler’s direct involvement in the destruction of European Jews. Historians until now have been unable to find written orders from Hitler setting the “Final Solution” into motion.
Study of the archives also revealed that of the 142,000 Czech Jews killed as of July 1943, 51,000 were women and 49,000 were under age 21.
The documents under study include the files on Hitler, his deputy Martin Bormann, Reichsmarshal Hermann Goering, Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Auschwitz death camp doctor Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie, the former Gestapo chief in Lyon currently on trial there for crimes against humanity.
The Israel Mission said there is additional information on medical experiments performed on inmates of various death camps and a comprehensive list of the Nazi officers who operated the Maidenek, Stothoff and Treblinka death camps.