how to handle old microsoft word files?

I have thousands of old Word 5.x files that later versions of Word won’t open without clumsy workarounds. (Microsoft blocks them from opening.)

More to the point, it appears that DT can’t index them.

I’d like to import the whole mess into DT but it’s going to take days maybe weeks to convert them into something readable.

I’ve searched high and low for a script or application that will batch-convert the old files. No luck yet.

Has anyone else dealt successfully with this problem?