Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "World War II" ...

  • Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America

    Through insider accounts, Justice Department documents and research in four countries, Citizen 865 chronicles the setbacks, failures and great successes of a small team of federal prosecutors and historians that spent decades working to expose a brutal group of Nazi war criminals living in the United States. In 1990, in a basement archive in Prague, two American historians made a startling discovery: a Nazi roster from 1945 that no Western investigator had ever seen. The long-forgotten document, containing more than 700 names, helped unravel the details behind the most lethal killing operation in World War Two. In the tiny Polish village of Trawniki, the SS set up a school for mass murder and then recruited a roving army of foot soldiers, 5,000 men strong, to help annihilate the Jewish population of occupied Poland. More than 1.7 million Jews were murdered in fewer than 20 months, the span of two Polish summers. After the war, some of these men vanished, making their way to the U.S. and blending into communities across America. Though they participated in some of the most unspeakable crimes of the Holocaust, “Trawniki Men” spent years hiding in plain sight, their secrets intact. In a story spanning seven decades, Citizen 865 details the wartime journeys of two Jewish orphans from occupied Poland who outran the men of Trawniki and settled in the United States, only to learn that some of their one-time captors had followed. A team of prosecutors and historians pursued these men and, up against the forces of time and political opposition, battled to the present day to remove them from U.S. soil.
  • WWII Secret Mustard Gas Testing

    This investigation uncovered new details about once-classified chemical weapons experiments conducted by the U.S. Military during World War II, in which African American, Puerto Rican and Japanese American troops were exposed to mustard gas to look for racial differences that could be exploited in battle. The series also revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ failure to compensate troops who were used in World War II chemical tests, despite promises made more than half a century earlier. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/22/415194765/u-s-troops-tested-by-race-in-secret-world-war-ii-chemical-experiments http://www.npr.org/2015/06/23/416408655/the-vas-broken-promise-to-thousands-of-vets-exposed-to-mustard-gas http://www.npr.org/series/417162462/world-war-ii-secret-mustard-gas-testing
  • The Lobotomy Files

    All reporters tell stories. Not many change history. Michael M. Phillips’s three-part series “The Lobotomy Files” revealed in depth for the first time this astounding fact: The U.S. Veterans Administration lobotomized more than 2,000 mentally troubled troops after World War II. In an instant, his reporting transformed our understanding of the Greatest Generation, medical practice and the varieties of war trauma, from shell shock to today’s PTSD.
  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.
  • Wild Bill Donovan

    The biography of General William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan is the story of spies and their covert war agains the Axis in World War II. It is also a story of Washington political intrigue at the highest levels of government.
  • All Mine

    "All Mine" details how the U.S. government facilitated a modern-day land grab by a politically connected American company in one of the world's poorest countries. Phoenix-based mining company Freeport McMoRan was able to purchase the world's largest copper mine from the the government of Congo at an extremely cheap rate because it made its play under the cloud of the world's deadliest conflict site since World War II, a climate of corruption and desperation. It did so with the help of $400 million in U.S. government financing, and intense lobbying from an employee of the U.S. Embassy in Congo -- a career diplomat who rushed through the revolving door to work for the mining company just weeks after the deal was finalized. Freeport McMoRan has a generously paid spokesman, not to mention millions in lobbying dollars, to get its story out. The report also includes interviews with Congolese people who were forced from their land and threatened with arrest for speaking with reporters.
  • Holocaust Papers

    The series examines the Nazi records and postwar documents kept under seal by the Read Cross for more than 60 years.
  • Nobody's Hero

    This is an investigation into the Defense Department agency Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and its unreliability in helping returned servicemen and women reclaim their jobs upon return from deployment in the Middle East. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 560,000 National Guard members and reservists have been deployed to the Middle East, "the largest mobilization of citizen-soldiers since World War II." But thousands of the more than 460,000 who have returned home after completing their service are finding that employers are reluctant to allow them to return to work. The reservists can seek help from federal agencies including the Departments of Labor, Justice, Defense and the Office of Special Counsel, but the "military brass strongly encourages the rank and file" to ask the ESGR for assistance. Yet ESGR is disorganized and does not always give helpful advice.
  • Restitution: Broken Promises

    This story looks at Germany's promises to restore art that was lost, confiscated, or sold under Nazi Germany during World War II. The investigation uncovers the flaws of Germany's federal restitution policy due to its highly decentralized structure and unstable public authority.
  • Duty, Honor, Betrayal: How the U.S. turned its back on poisoned WWII vets

    Zeman did months and months of research to tell the stories of U.S. army veterans who were exposed to poison gases as part of government experiments before and during World War II. In the early nineties, these stories came to light and the VA promised to help the affected veterans file claims and fight for compensation, but the agency never came through. This report found that the VA never fulfilled its pledge, and that many sick and dying veterans, affected by chemical experiments decades before, were left to handle their illnesses completely on their own.