11 countries complete ratification of accord to open Nazi archive

The 11 countries that oversee a vast archive of Nazi documents and concentration camp records have completed the ratification of an accord to open its doors to the public, ending more than 60 years of secrecy, the Red Cross said Wednesday. Greece was the last of the 11 to formally file its ratification papers with the German Foreign Ministry of the accord initialed in May 2006, clearing the most important hurdle for Holocaust survivors and researchers to access some 50 million pages of wartime documents. The archive in Bad Arolsen, Germany, is administered by the International Tracing Service of the International Committee of the Red Cross and has been used exclusively to trace missing persons, reunite families and provide documentation to victims of Nazi persecution to support compensation claims.