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U.S. lawmakers press Italy on archives

Dozens of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate urged Italy to end its holdout position as the only nation denying access to massive Holocaust archives.The Italian and French parliaments are the only legislative bodies among 11 nations governing the fate of the archives in Bad Arolsen, Germany, not to ratify a decision last year to open the archives, believed to be the largest of their kind. France has set a timeline for ratification, but there has been no action in the Italian legislature.”Holocaust survivors and their families around the world are waiting on action from your country,” said a letter written by 42 members of Congress. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the co-chairmen of the U.S. Helsinki commission, which monitors human rights, and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), initiated the letter. “For the sake of these survivors and their families, we strongly urge you to ensure the prompt ratification of these amendments,” the letter said.