Researchers have called for the British intelligence services to release files which could shed light on its alleged use of war criminals as spies.
While the CIA has released files about its use of those who collaborated with the Nazi regime for intelligence purposes after the war, British files remain under lock and key, according to a historian who researches on the topic.
Stephen Dorrill, an honorary fellow at Leicester University, said the differences in approach were because of a culture of secrecy in Britain which was less present in the States.
“The American side is pretty well covered, because the CIA have released hundreds of thousands of files, so there’s been quite a lot of work,” he told Jewish News.
“But MI6 doesn’t release the same type of files. There’s evidence in the public domain, but it’s like building together a big jigsaw puzzle.”
He added: “MI6 sticks to this idea that you don’t release files, because if you release one you have reason to request others.”
The call comes after a bombshell BBC exposé last week revealed concerns that the now-deceased Stanislaw Chrzanowski may have been recruited by MI6 for intelligence work in Berlin despite being linked to the war-time murders of Jews in the town of Slonim, Belarus.
Chrzanowski was never brought to trial under the War Crimes Act to answer to the accusations – and some have suggested his alleged status as a spy may have provided him with cover from justice.
The revelations sparked calls by the Board of Deputies for an inquiry into the use of war criminals as spooks.
Dr Dorril, who has researched MI6 for more than twenty years, told Jewish News that his research had uneviled cases whereby those who had collaborated with the Nazi-regime were recruited by the British to provide intelligence in eastern Europe before then helping the American government.
This alleged pattern could be among the areas brought to light by an inquiry.
Dr Efraim Zuroff, a Nazi-hunter and Holocaust historian with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, backed calls for a probe.
“I think that’s exactly what should take place,” he said. “This is a double blow for the victims of the Holocaust.
“The allies weren’t able to save them and then they took the worst of their murderers under their protection and protected them.”
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