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The Death of Dag Hammarskjöld: How the Cold War Turned an Accident into an Assassination

Steven Webb
By Author


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In September 1961, a plane crash killed arguably the second most important man in the world, UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. For the past sixty years, they have touted this accident as resulting from foul play. In the 1962 investigations, they ruled out the statements from the indigenous population as being inaccurate and politically motivated. In more recent investigations, they have re-introduced these same witnesses and their statements to bolster the theory that Hammarskjöld’s death was because of foul play.
However, this accident occurred at the height of the Cold War. Hammarskjöld and the United Nations were not popular among many organisations, nations or individuals, yet he was very popular with the indigenous races because of his support for decolonisation. This sparked off an investigation that has lasted sixty years and has become one of the biggest 'who-dunnit' mysteries in history, but how much longer can it last?
The Cold War has been used to bolster a case for foul play, but have they turned what was a tragic accident into an assassination?
This mystery may now be over. But will the United Nations and the rest of the world see it that way?

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