Nazi archive to be open, commission decides

After months of wrangling over privacy issues, the commission approved amended language in two 51-year-old agreements that will allow researchers access to the coveted files once the amendments are ratified by the 11 countries, said Paul Mertz, the Luxembourg chairman of the governing commission.

He said the agreement will be signed by senior officials from the countries at a ceremony in Berlin and then begin a ratification process that could take until the end of the year. The files will remain closed until then, the AP reports.

The move to unlock the storehouse of some 50 million files in the German town of Bad Arolsen comes under pressure from the dying generation of Holocaust survivors and victims' families who fear their histories will be lost forever unless the rules are changed for accessing the files.