British police start inquiry into archives forgery

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A criminal investigation into forgeries smuggled into the National Archives began last night, two months after The Daily Telegraph revealed that historical documents relating to Nazi Germany had been tampered with.

In an unprecedented inquiry, Scotland Yard detectives will gather evidence for a prosecution of the forger behind at least 17 documents drawn to the attention of the archives by this newspaper since last July.

The first batch of counterfeit papers uncovered by the Telegraph suggested that Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, was murdered by British intelligence agents in May 1945. They were used to support claims in a book, Himmler's Secret War, by Martin Allen, that the man who implemented Hitler's Final Solution for the Jews of Europe was eliminated with the full knowledge of Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet.

Further inquiry, partly with the help of Dr Audrey Giles, former head of Scotland Yard's Questioned Documents unit, showed other papers had also been forged and slipped into files at the archives' offices in Kew, south-west London.

These documents had been cited by Mr Allen in both the Himmler book and in another of his works, The Hitler/Hess Deception, and purported to show that British intelligence, with Churchill's knowledge, manipulated senior Nazis by pretending to enter peace negotiations.

Extensive security measures at the archives are in place, but until the forgeries were brought to the attention of Sarah Tyacke, the Keeper of Public Records, by The Daily Telegraph, they were all aimed at preventing documents being smuggled out of the building.

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