Please note, this is a text only version. To read the article with archival photographs many of which contain graphic content , click here. Seventy years on from the end of the Second World War the full, shocking scale of the Nazi-inspired Holocaust in Ukraine is finally being revealed — thanks to pioneering work by a French Catholic priest to research the truth of the industrial-scale killing. Around 2, mass graves of Jewish victims have been located where men, women and children were shot and buried by the Germans and their collaborators.
Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in US social security benefits after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation has found. The payments, underwritten by American taxpayers, flowed through a legal loophole that gave the US Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the US. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their social Security, according to interviews and internal US government records. Among those receiving benefits were armed SS troops who guarded the network of Nazi camps where millions of Jews perished; a rocket scientist who used slave labourers to advance his research in the Third Reich; and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.
The first time I drove there, in February , heavy snow was falling and a lorry had jack-knifed on the Berlin ring road, so it would take longer. The head of the SS had friends in the area and would drop in to inspect the camp as he passed by. He rarely left without issuing new orders. Women arriving in the night sometimes thought they were near the coast because they tasted salt on the wind; they also felt sand underfoot. When daylight came they saw that the camp was built on the edge of a lake and surrounded by forest.
Until March 19, , my life was a very typical life of a middle-class Jewish child in a modern, orthodox family. I lived with my extended family which included my father, mother, and brother Vilmos two years older than me ; my grandmother Helen, my uncle Albert, his wife Olga, and their daughter Marika two years younger than me ; my aunt Alice and my uncle Vili; all related on my mother's side. We were a merchant family.