France urged to move on Holocaust archives


Members of Congress urged France’s foreign minister to ratify amendments necessary to open Holocaust archives.

Led by Reps. Alcee L. Hastings (D-Fla.) and Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), 34 members of Congress sent a letter to Bernard Kouchner Tuesday urging France to ratify the necessary amendments to the Bonn Accords, which in turn would speed the process of opening the Bad Arolsen Holocaust archives.

The International Commission of the International Tracing Service agreed on May 15 to begin transfer of Holocaust-related documents to institutions such as Yad Vashem and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Before that can happen, the 11 countries involved in the 1955 Bonn Agreement must all ratify an amendment allowing the transfer.

Thus far, eight of the 11 countries have passed the proper legislation; France, Greece and Italy have not. Legislation related to the amendment has been drafted and is awaiting approval by the Council of Ministers before it can be sent to the French Chamber of Parliament for ratification.

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