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Friday, June 29, 2001

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Press Release

The Boston Globe's Series, 'Secret History of World War II' Reports On Holocaust Plans and a Dark Note to The US Liberation of Dachau

Two special reports to be published Sunday and Monday, July 1 and 2

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 29, 2001-- The Boston Globe's continuing year-long series, "The Secret History of World War II," resumes Sunday and Monday, July 1 and 2, with two significant reports, one about the Nazi's Holocaust plans and a second about a dark side to the American liberation of the Dachau death camp.

On Sunday, July 1, the Globe reports on a declassified document showing that the U.S. knew about Nazi plans for the Holocaust six months earlier than previously believed. A leading historian who discovered the November 1941 document independent of the Globe said the dispatch raises new questions about what the Allies could have done to prevent what became the central horror of the war.

The dispatch is among the three million pages of documents released by U.S. intelligence agencies under the 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. The declassified records, unprecedented in their breadth and depth of detail, are the dossiers that the CIA had previously refused to open to public scrutiny because they contained the names of sources and described the precise way that missions were carried out.

Among the other revelations in The Boston Globe story, by staff reporter Mark Fritz, are details of a U.S. intelligence effort to block the creation of Israel.

US troops massacred German prisoners at Dachau

Felix Sparks's soldiers liberating Dachau. Surrendered German soldiers were stood against a wall and massacred.

On Monday, July 2, Globe staff reporter Thomas Farragher investigates a dark footnote to the American liberation of the Nazi death camp at Dachau. He details a virtually unexplored murder probe in which investigators concluded that some of the GI's who rounded up elite SS prisoners were murderers, not heroes.

Illustrated by Army Signal Corps photographs from the National Archives, the Globe will tell the story of the men from the war-worn 45th Infantry Division, some of whom -- when confronted with horrific evidence of the Holocaust -- reacted brutally. Army investigators concluded that at least 28 surrendered Germans were gunned down by Americans on the day the Nazi concentration camp was liberated in April 1945.

Douglas Brinkley, director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans, told the Globe that the episode represented "a low point in an otherwise gallant effort to beat fascism."

For its report, the Globe reviewed declassified top-secret documents, photographs, and the transcript of the Army Inspector General's investigation into the incident. The newspaper also interviewed men who participated or witnessed the shootings, as well as the lieutenant colonel, now a retired Colorado Supreme Court justice, who ordered the firing to stop.

The Globe report about the shootings at Dachau will be supplemented on the newspaper's website ( where the transcript of the Army investigation and video clips from the men who took part in the shooting will be posted.

The Sunday story about the holocaust will be posted on the Globe's website at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the Monday story will appear on the web at 2 p.m. Sunday.square

Contact: Boston Globe, Richard P. Gulla, 617-929-3288
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company


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