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Information Wants To Be Free

TNRherehereSlatea simple and eloquent case
Anyone who has ever had the good luck to work in old archives knows how surprising they can be. A thick and unappetizing file might, with patience, yield up a wealth of interesting detail; a pile of yellowed papers can contain the solution to an old riddle. Recently, an amateur archivist stumbled across the letters of Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, in a collection of documents that had been gathering dust in the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for 30 years--proving that there was still more to learn, even about the most famous of all Holocaust victims, even in the middle of New York City. [snip] And "urgency" is the right word: Hundreds of thousands of people are still waiting to see documents, and more of them die every day. If discussions go the right way this week, digital copies of documents could be available for some of them to read, in their own countries, later this year. If not, they may never see them at all. Unexpectedly, the urgency is also political. We now live in a world in which the president of Iran can attract a slew of prominent Holocaust deniers to a conference in Tehran--and in which some of those Holocaust deniers point to the continued closure of the Bad Arolsen archive as evidence that the Allies want to conceal the "truth" about the Holocaust from the world. Though it is tempting, as I've written before, to treat the events of 62 years ago as well-known history, that would be a mistake.