Kurt Waldheim (second from left) during WWII.
The UN, formed out of the dust-clouds of World War II when the Nazis murderous rampage through Europe shook the world to its core, held itself to a higher ideal of universal dialogue and peaceful co-existence; two concepts the Nazis didn't exactly hold in high esteem. Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim served as Secretary General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981.

When Waldheim was running for President of Austria in 1985 a popular Austrian paper began to raise questions about his role during the war. He had admitted to being in the German army but said he had no choice and spent the war "confined to a desk". But in the wake of the paper's initial article others began to dig into Waldheim's past and allegations surfaced that he had not, in fact, been hiding in the hinterlands behind a desk during the war but was, allegedly, a member of the SS and had, again allegedly, participated in the reprisals against partisans in Greece. Waldheim called the allegations "pure lies" though he did later admit that he was aware that most of the Jewish community in the town near where he was stationed in Greece were being rounded up and sent to Auschwitz, something he'd previously denied any knowledge of.

In the end the controversy surrounding Waldheim seemed to degenerate into a series of allegations and counter-allegations none of which went anywhere substantive but which nonetheless served to permanently sully Waldheim's reputation in the eyes of millions around the world. He died in 2007 and though he was given a state funeral no sitting heads of state were invited. A telling sign of just how far he'd fallen.