Then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer commissioned a study in 2005 on the role of the Auswärtiges Amt during National Socialism.
An independent commission of four renowned historians has now published a substantial report concluding that the wartime foreign ministry played an important role in the Nazi crimes and that the post WWII ministry continued to employ diplomats that were involved in them. “Das Amt und die Vergangenheit: Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik” is the first comprehensive analysis of the role of the Foreign Office under the Nazi regime based on the foreign office’s archives.
The findings that were presented at two events in Berlin last week – by the current Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in the Auswärtiges Amt as well as by his predecessors Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Joschka Foscher in a separate event – have received wide attention in Berlin’s political elites as well as among the German public.
The book was released a week ago and is being reprinted already.
Here is the official position of the Federal Foreign Office acknowledging that “the Foreign Office was deeply involved in the crimes of the Third Reich”.
Also, take a look at Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s speech on the topic and at the head of the independent commission explaining his findings to Spiegel Online:
“Hitler’s Diplomats: Historian calls wartime ministry a ‘criminal organization'” (Interview with historian Eckart Conze, Spiegel Online International, 27 October 2010).