Documents indicating that Britain assassinated Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler are fakes, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported yesterday.
Officials at the National Archives, where the documents were deposited, said an official investigation was under way into the first reported case of suspected fake documents in the national repository. The documents first came to public attention in the book Himmler's Secret War by Martin Allen, which was published in May.
"I think I have been set up, but I do not even know by whom," he said.
With the cooperation of the National Archives, the Telegraph hired forensic document specialist Audrey Giles to examine the documents. She concluded that letterheads on correspondence dated 1945 had been produced on a high-resolution laser printer of recent manufacture, the newspaper said.
She also found pencil tracings beneath the ink signatures on the documents, the Telegraph said.
As chief of German police forces, Himmler directed the eradication of Jews, Gypsies and others persecuted by the Nazis.
In 1943 he made contacts with the Allies offering to barter Jewish prisoners for his own safety -- an attempt which led to his expulsion from the party in 1945. He was captured by British forces on May 21, 1945, and was found dead in his cell two days later, apparently a suicide.
The suspect documents in the National Archives suggested that British officials did not want Americans to interview Himmler, fearing he would reveal that Britain had been engaged in contacts with the Nazis without telling their chief ally.
The Daily Telegraph said the use of the word "eliminate," associated more with thriller novels than civil service documents on the 1940s, was one of the things that aroused suspicion.