How much remains classified?

Discussions on archives and similar issues.
infoseek
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How much remains classified?

Postby infoseek » 31 Mar 2011 11:47

How much materiel from WW2 do you think is still classified and buried in archives? Has anything that hasn't been released simply been destroyed? Will there be any major surprises about WW2 in the future?

UMachine
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby UMachine » 31 Mar 2011 19:11

There was a commotion at the National Archives just a few years ago,an employee,or a number of employees were altering records,they didn't give specifics....75 years on some subject matter before it is released.

Worldwarstoday
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Worldwarstoday » 08 Apr 2011 15:58

The file on Heinrich Himmler's death and Rudolf Hess's flight to Scotland have both been sealed for 100 years so we'll need to wait another 30+ years until they are released.

Although the British government does now appear to be more likely to release previously classified information under the Freedom of Information Act so maybe it won't be as long as that.

There's stilll a lot of juicy stuff buried away in the Russian archives in Moscow I bet.

UMachine
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby UMachine » 08 Apr 2011 16:09

Worldwarstoday wrote:The file on Heinrich Himmler's death and Rudolf Hess's flight to Scotland have both been sealed for 100 years so we'll need to wait another 30+ years until they are released.

Although the British government does now appear to be more likely to release previously classified information under the Freedom of Information Act so maybe it won't be as long as that.

There's stilll a lot of juicy stuff buried away in the Russian archives in Moscow I bet.


A pretty safe bet.So many countries have secrets...and they agree to work together I am inclined to believe.Is Germany the only country that is an open book?Besides what they destroyed in the last days of course...

Art
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Art » 08 Apr 2011 19:18

According to the recent press conference held by the chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's archive colonel Permyakov about 20-25% of the archival folder remain classified. Not of them pertain to the WW2 period though. According to the info on their website about 1,5 million folders were declassified from 2007 to 2010.Text in Russian
http://mil.ru/info/1069/details/index.shtml?id=77844
Yet much remains inaccessible. They are particularly reluctant to declassify material containing high-resolution maps, and those dealing with various misdeeds of individuals. Declassification of documents of the central departments of the war ministry proceeds slowly, because in this case consent of their heirs is needed which is not fast to come.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby phylo_roadking » 09 May 2011 23:33

One I've just come across is WO 116/3580, the file at Kew dealing with the 67th Chemical Warfare Company, Royal Engineers for June 1940 to 1942; it's still sealed for another 29 years! 8O

:wink:

(Must have a look to see if the 1940-42 files for the 61st and 58th CW companies R.E. are similarly closed.....)
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1995. Verona Project

Postby Dave Bender » 10 May 2011 02:27

The Verona Project was not declassified until 1995. 50 years.

Hop
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Hop » 10 May 2011 11:53

The file on Heinrich Himmler's death and Rudolf Hess's flight to Scotland have both been sealed for 100 years


Martin Allen managed to slip forgeries in to the NA Himmler files, so they are definitely open. The files on Hess from the war years have been declassified for quite some time. The only stuff still classified on him is from his time in Spandau after 1981, that's been released under the 30 year rule.

UMachine
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby UMachine » 10 May 2011 12:13

phylo_roadking wrote:One I've just come across is WO 116/3580, the file at Kew dealing with the 67th Chemical Warfare Company, Royal Engineers for June 1940 to 1942; it's still sealed for another 29 years! 8O

Wow.That has got to be juicy..100 years.


:wink:

(Must have a look to see if the 1940-42 files for the 61st and 58th CW companies R.E. are similarly closed.....)

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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Larry D. » 10 May 2011 13:25

As of 10 years ago, the CIA was still holding a large collection of Abwehr documents (60 large boxes?). Repeated requests from NARA going back to 1980 or so for this collection to be sent to the Archives for processing were ignored. AFAIK, the CIA still has them.

A large part of the WW II U.S./U.K. joint counterintelligence records are still under wraps. For example, the card files and dossiers of the "C.I. War Room, London". Some of this collection is held by the U.S. Army Security and Intelligence Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, and can be accessed only one document at a time via Freedom of Information request. The 3 to 12 pages received months later are usually redacted.

Rumors persist that about 1% of the documents originally classified Top Secret during World War II are still being withheld due to their particular sensitivity. One example mentioned is a small clutch of documents related to the Japanese atomic bomb project, especially an alleged atomic test successfully carried out on a small island or shoal just off the NE coast of North Korea on 15 August 1945.

Just about all of the documents that are still protected have to do with intelligence sources or technology and WMDs (nuclear, gas, biological).

L.

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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Mr Oracle » 10 May 2011 13:39

It was not that long ago that SOE personnel files were declassified after they had been studied by the official SOE historian, One file that was released that I wanted proved to have nothing secret in it at all and was just a few pages.

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JKindred
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby JKindred » 10 May 2011 17:51

Mr Oracle wrote:It was not that long ago that SOE personnel files were declassified after they had been studied by the official SOE historian, One file that was released that I wanted proved to have nothing secret in it at all and was just a few pages.



You may already know this and if so please excuse my post. Often the material itself in a file is not classified for its direct information but for how the information was obtained.
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby Mikko H. » 10 May 2011 20:21

IIRC Gerhard L. Weinberg noted in one of his books that he once got to read a heavily redacted WWII-era US document, nature of which led him to suspect that the information was obtained by reading Soviet ciphers.

It would make sense that code breaking and its methods are so sensitive issues that secrecy even 70 years later may feel justified. At least if you're a government official.

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phylo_roadking
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby phylo_roadking » 10 May 2011 21:07

It would make sense that code breaking and its methods are so sensitive issues that secrecy even 70 years later may feel justified. At least if you're a government official.


And of course preserve the reputation of a beloved father of the nation like FDR who might have given the orders to spy on an ally...
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South
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Re: How much remains classified?

Postby South » 11 May 2011 10:11

Good morning all,

This thread is focused to material eligible and expected to be placed in archives. There are 2 broad categories: accessable to the public and classified, with a program to declassify some of this.

The thread does not even address WWII material that, by agreement and understanding, does not enter any archive - even if permanently classified.

Dealing with archives in hope of obtaining material that should be there - even if not releasable to the public -, let alone the denial that the existence of requested material exists, establishes that life is too short and only discussion can fill the void.

Try to get material on ,eg, Socony, Texaco, Chase Manhattan Bank.

My morning contribution to this thread is in reply to Infoseek's "Will there be any major surprises...?": It depends on one's perspective.


Warm regards,

Bob


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