From email@example.com Thu May 30 13:30:17 2002
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 23:34:24 -0500 (CDT)
Organization: The Soylent Green Party
Clore Daniel C <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [smygo] Russia Returns
Lost Archives to Belgium
News for Anarchists & Activists:
MOSCOW, May 15 (UPI)—Russia has decided to turn over some two million Belgian government documents missing since World War II in exchange for permission to make microfilms of historic Russian documents kept in that country, Russian media announced Wednesday.
Belgium will receive 10 truckloads of archives that had been stolen by Nazi Germany and were later moved to the Soviet Union by the KGB.
The huge haul of documents, listed by Belgium as missing and presumed destroyed, includes government documents, school diplomas, Masonic materials, letters dating from World War I and lists of anti-fascist organizations in Belgium. Among the more interesting and historic documents are a telegram announcing the start of World War I and letters to the Belgian defense ministry written by Albert Einstein, Russian anarchist count Pyotr Kropotkin and French poet Paul Valery.
In return, Belgium has agreed to provide Russia with copies of documents such as lists of Russians who emigrated after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
The KGB archives are believed to contain vast amounts of documents shipped out of Germany at the end of World War II and stored at secret locations. Russia has from time to time released significant volumes of documents to Austria, Germany, France and other countries. These grand gestures, made by former President Boris Yeltsin, usually coincided with state visits.
Several years ago, the entire archive of the grand dukes of Liechtenstein, which had been moved to Vienna for safe-keeping during the war before falling into the hands of the Red Army, was returned to the small Alpine country in return for precious works of art that had been stolen by Nazi Germany.
Separately, it was announced that Ukraine, which also has a gold mine of archives from across Europe sent back to the Soviet Union by the military and the secret services after the war, has handed over to Germany a vast collection of music scores by Johann Sebastian Bach that had been believed destroyed during the last days of the war.
The Ukrainian government has handed over 5,000 documents that had originally been kept in Berlin, German diplomats said.
The invaluable collection had been discovered in Kiev in 1999 and was handed over under a bilateral agreement on the return of documents. The archives were last seen in Berlin in 1943 before being moved to an unknown location to protect the documents from Allied bombing raids on the capital of the German Reich.