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William Z. Slany


  • Originally published 06/18/2013

    William Z. Slany, historian who exposed Nazi theft of Jewish property, dies at 84

    William Z. Slany, a top State Department historian who helped oversee a study in the 1990s that exposed Nazi looting of Jewish property and that led to $8 billion in belated compensation for Holocaust victims and their families, died May 13 at his home in Reston. He was 84.The cause was heart ailments, said his former wife, Beverly Zweiben.Dr. Slany was the State Department’s chief historian from 1982 until his retirement in 2000. He drew the most attention for a massive, two-part study that burrowed into the history of Nazi Germany to expose the methodical theft of Jewish property.The stolen assets encompassed jewelry and other valuables belonging to victims of the regime’s persecution. The looting was so extreme as to include gold teeth taken from concentration camp victims....

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Historian William Z. Slany, RIP

    William Z. Slany, the former Historian of the Department of State and a champion of efforts to declassify the secret history of U.S. foreign policy, passed away earlier this month.Dr. Slany served in the State Department’s Office of the Historian for 42 years, and was The Historian for the last 18 of those years, until his retirement from the Department in September 2000, according to a notice circulated by David H. Herschler, the Deputy Historian of the State Department.In his capacity as Historian of the Department, Dr. Slany helped prepare 16 volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign policy, and he oversaw the publication of 125 FRUS volumes.  He led an interagency study to prepare a two volume account of “Nazi gold” and other stolen assets from World War II.  He participated in the development and implementation of the 1991 statute that formally required the State Department to present a “thorough, accurate, and reliable” record of U.S. foreign policy and diplomatic history....

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