German foreign ministry was 'criminal': historian
Nazi Germany's foreign ministry was a "criminal organisation" that was much more involved in the killing of millions of Jews during World War II than previously thought, a German historian said.
"The foreign ministry actively supported all measures of persecution, rights deprivation, expulsions and the Holocaust," Eckart Conze, one of four historians asked to shed light on the ministry's role in the Holocaust, told the weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS).
"The foreign ministry was a criminal organisation," he told Der Spiegel magazine.
Historians investigating the ministry's role found documents in which the official in charge of Jews, Franz Rademacher, justified why he had to travel on an official mission to Belgrade.
"Liquidation of Jews in Belgrade and talks with Hungarian envoys in Budapest," read one paper.
Conze called the revelations "shocking."
The historians' report which was commissioned by then foreign minister Joschka Fischer in 2005 is to be officially published next week.
"I read the report and was more and more horrified," Fischer told the FAS.
© 2010 AFP