Posted Saturday, April 28, 2001

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Updated 4:21 PM ET April 27, 2001


CIA Files Show Nazis Worked for Allies After War

By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The CIA on Friday released files on Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele and other Nazis, including some who later worked with U.S. and other intelligence agencies and evaded prosecution during the Cold War.

"These files demonstrate as a body that the real winners of the Cold War were Nazi criminals, many of whom were able to escape justice because East and West became so rapidly focused after the (Second World) War on challenging each other that they lost their will to pursue Nazi perpetrators," the Justice Department's Eli Rosenbaum said of the released documents.

"And they even deemed some of the criminals to be useful allies in conducting Cold War intelligence operations," said Rosenbaum at a news conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Heydrich, MüllerThe 20 files released included those of Hitler, Mengele, who carried out medical experiments at Auschwitz concentration camp, Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller [far right, with Heydrich], Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the plan to exterminate Jews and others, and Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief in occupied Lyon, France.

Also included was former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, who was barred from entering the United States while president of Austria in the 1980s after accusations that he had been involved in Nazi wartime atrocities.

There were few new revelations about Hitler, except an intriguing second-hand personality analysis by a German surgeon, predicting in 1937 that the Hitler would "end up as the craziest criminal the world had ever seen."

The U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, got this information only in 1944, one year before the end of the war, according to the documents.

The other 14 of the CIA's formerly classified "personality files," also known as "name files," involve those who served Nazi Germany, survived the war and were suspected of being involved in Nazi criminal and intelligence operations.

U S retained Nazi war criminals

Of these, nine had some contact with the West German intelligence organization established by Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, (right), which was initially under the control of the U.S. Army and was taken over in 1949 by the Central Intelligence Agency to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union.

"These materials show that the United States of America retained Nazi war criminals and there will be no question about it," said Thomas Baer, a member of an interagency group that worked with the CIA to release these papers. "It's always been hinted at but you're going to get some specifics."

The specifics on Müller fail to clear up questions about whether or not he survived the Third Reich's last days or died in Berlin in 1945. Some observers believe he survived in Soviet hands, with key German police files.

But Müller's CIA file does rule out that the Gestapo chief was ever an intelligence source for the United States. And "strong evidence" suggests that Mueller died at the war's end, according to the documents.

Some of these 14 less prominent individuals "tried to use their intelligence expertise, acquired in Nazi Germany and often directed against the Soviet Union, to ingratiate themselves with the Western powers," historian Richard Breitman wrote in an analysis of the findings released with the files.

By Rosenbaum's count, at least six of these may have been used by U.S. intelligence agencies, with four of these implicated in Nazi crimes; five may have been involved in the Gehlen organization, with two of these implicated in Nazi crimes.

Rosenbaum said that six -- including Waldheim -- may have been used by Soviet intelligence organizations, with five of these implicated in Nazi crimes; three may have been involved with West German intelligence, with two of these implicated in Nazi crimes; two may have been involved with French intelligence, with one of these implicated in Nazi crimes; and one may have been involved in British intelligence.

Rosenbaum, who is a member of the interagency group and was formerly a noted Nazi hunter with the World Jewish Congress, said one question about Waldheim had been cleared up: he was not an intelligence resource for the United States.

These files were the latest in over 3 million pages of U.S. intelligence material released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 2000.

The documents also indicated that OSS official Allen Dulles conducted secret negotiations in Switzerland with German officials who had committed war crimes; these officials subsequently used their contacts with Dulles, who became head of the CIA, to protect themselves after the war.

© 2001 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


From Gehlen to Mr Irving

Reinhard Gehlen


Gehlen signature


Gehlen book

Above: In 1970 Peter Ritner of World Publishing Company, N.Y., commissioned David Irving to translate and expand the best-selling sensational memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen, postwar head of German Intelligence, and they spent many days together; Gehlen dedicated his photograph to the historian.

[link to National Archives file]

Related items on this website:

 Dec 16, 1999: U.S. Doubted Gestapo Chief Died
 Feb 26, 2001: Group Demands Gestapo Files Released
 US may have used Gestapo chief as cold war warrior

Mr Irving's opinion
The Alan Dulles negotiations with SS Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff (Operation CROSSWORD) have never been a mystery except to the lazy academics who never bothered to research the Joint Chiefs of Staff files in Washington. Wolff was given immunity in return for ending hostilites in northern Italy; he was not prosecuted at Nuremberg 1945/1946, although a close aide of Hitler and Himmler. The Germans broke the agreement in 1963 when they put Wolff on trial.

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