German report reveals war-time diplomats' 'Nazi role'

By Stephen Evans
BBC News, Berlin

Image caption,
The report was commissioned by the foreign ministry in 2005

Germany's diplomats were more deeply involved in the Holocaust than previously known, according to an official German government report.

The government is considering making the 900-page text mandatory reading for all its diplomats.

The report was commissioned in 2005 after it emerged that flattering obituaries of war-time diplomats were being published internally.

The report challenges the idea diplomats were far from the Holocaust.

A myth seemed to have grown up within the post-war foreign ministry that German war-time diplomats were not involved in the mass murder and even opposed it.

The report, commissioned by the foreign ministry, says diplomats were willing participants who spied on Jewish fugitives from the Nazis.

One of the authors said: "The German foreign ministry collaborated with the Nazis' violent politics and especially assisted in all aspects of the discrimination, deportation, persecution and genocide of the Jews."

The historians discovered the travel expenses of one senior diplomat who went to German-occupied Serbia in 1941 to help organise the killing of Jews.

The expenses form said simply: "Liquidation of Jews in Belgrade."

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