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An Endless Legacy

World War II brought more suffering to humanity than any other event in the 20th century. Nearly 60 million people died throughout six years of war, which saw atomic bombs, cities flattened and the Holocaust. Out of the war sprung the atomic age, the Cold War and the division of Germany.

Decaying and Deadly: WWII Mines Pose Growing Risk in Germany

Decaying and Deadly: WWII Mines Pose Growing Risk in Germany

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 21, 2011

Two anti-tank mines from World War II have exploded spontaneously in the ground next to a road in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. Fortunately, nobody has been hurt so far. Experts are warning that the risk of such sudden blasts is growing because the trigger mechanisms are decaying with age. more... Comment ]

Nazi Memorabilia Boom: 'The People Want Souvenirs'

Nazi Memorabilia Boom: 'The People Want Souvenirs'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 07, 2011

The trade in Nazi relics is booming in the United States, driven by private collectors who want to own a piece of world history's most notorious era. This week a US auction house at the helm of the trend will sell personal documents left behind by Joseph Goebbels, one of Hitler's closest cohorts.  By Jan Friedmann and Axel Frohn more... Comment ]

1944 Massacre in France: German Police Raid Homes of Six Former SS Soldiers

1944 Massacre in France: German Police Raid Homes of Six Former SS Soldiers

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 06, 2011

German officials have raided the homes of six former SS soldiers suspected of taking part in the massacre of 642 French civilians in 1944, prosecutors said this week. But the investigation may not get far. Little evidence was found, and the suspects were either unfit for interrogation or denied the allegations. more...

A 1.8-Ton Problem: Half of City to Evacuate for Bomb Disposal

A 1.8-Ton Problem: Half of City to Evacuate for Bomb Disposal

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 30, 2011

This weekend, a large section of the German city of Koblenz will come to a standstill as bomb experts gingerly defuse a massive World War II bomb that recently emerged from the Rhine River due to low water levels. Almost half of the residents will be evacuated, the largest such operation in the city's history. more... Comment ]

Obscuring the Past: Intelligence Agency Destroyed Files on Former SS Members

Obscuring the Past: Intelligence Agency Destroyed Files on Former SS Members

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 30, 2011

Historians conducting an internal study of ties between employees of the German foreign intelligence agency and the Third Reich have made a shocking discovery. In 2007, the BND destroyed personnel files of employees who had once been members of the SS and the Gestapo. By Klaus Wiegrefe more... Comment ]

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Nazi Memorial Embarrasses German Community

For Whom the Bell Tolls: Nazi Memorial Embarrasses German Community

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 25, 2011

Dedicated to the Nazi leader Hermann Göring and decorated with swastikas, a bell located in a war memorial in the northern German community of Tümlauer-Koog has sparked a scandal. But locals didn't mind that it was on display -- until the state governor intervened. By Björn Hengst in Tümlauer-Koog, Germany more... Comment ]

Ian Kershaw on the Last Days of the Third Reich: 'Hitler's Influence Was Fatal'

Ian Kershaw on the Last Days of the Third Reich: 'Hitler's Influence Was Fatal'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 18, 2011

In a SPIEGEL interview, the best-selling British historian Ian Kershaw talks about the last days of the Third Reich, why the Germans persevered when it was clear that all was lost and the devastating consequences of the failed July 20, 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler. more... Comment ]

The Nazi Aesthetic: New Online Database Makes Third Reich Art Public

The Nazi Aesthetic: New Online Database Makes Third Reich Art Public

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 18, 2011

The "Great German Art Exhibitions" showcased what Hitler thought was the best art the Third Reich had to offer. Now a publicly accessible online archive of the images displayed will reveal the full extent of the Nazi aesthetic -- and includes details about who bought which work of art. The Führer himself was a major customer. By Ulrike Knöfel more...

CIA Wiretap Records Reveal Link: Nazi Criminal Rademacher Spied for West Germany 

CIA Wiretap Records Reveal Link: Nazi Criminal Rademacher Spied for West Germany 

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 11, 2011

A wiretap operation conducted by the CIA against the BND, West Germany's foreign intelligence service, in the early 1960s revealed that the BND employed a senior Nazi war criminal, Franz Rademacher, to spy for it in Syria, CIA records show. Rademacher, a foreign ministry official during the war, submitted a notorious travel expense claim in 1941 -- 'Liquidation of Jews in Belgrade.' By Axel Frohn and Klaus Wiegrefe more...

Nazi Crimes: Diaries Reveal How Much Wartime Germans Knew

Nazi Crimes: Diaries Reveal How Much Wartime Germans Knew

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 05, 2011

Newly published diaries by a Nazi-era court official document details that others conveniently ignored. While many Germans would later claim they knew nothing of Nazi crimes, Friedrich Kellner's critical observations show that such information was available. By Elke Schmitter more... Comment ]