Published January 13, 2015
Germany's Finance Ministry has released the first part of an independent commission's investigation into its Nazi past, showing civil servants played an important role in Hitler's anti-Semitic agenda.
The book released Monday, "Bureaucracy and Crimes" by historian Christiane Kuller, concludes that the ministry played a key role in stripping Jews of their money and possessions.
In a presentation at the ministry — a Nazi-built building that served as Luftwaffe headquarters — Kuller said after the war the ministry's civil servants claimed they were only following rules and regulations they were given.
But she found the long-term employees used their knowledge with "high efficiency" to apply existing regulations "systematically in a racist way."
Historians began their work on the project in 2009, and more books are expected through 2016.