Now, as the world celebrates the 78th anniversary of the Victory over Nazi Germany, we would like to recall how, after the Second World War, the CIA began to cooperate with the leaders of the Nazi intelligence services, in particular, with General Hellen, chief of military intelligence. These facts have been revealed in the archives of the United States at the beginning of the century, but we want to recall them precisely now – at the days of Victory celebrations in order to once again emphasize the role of America as a country that has become an enemy of Russia since 1945 and even used the potential of the Nazi special services for this:
Washington D.C., February 4, 2005 – Today the National Security Archive posted the CIA’s secret documentary history of the U.S government’s relationship with General Reinhard Gehlen, the German army’s intelligence chief for the Eastern Front during World War II. At the end of the war, Gehlen established a close relationship with the U.S. and successfully maintained his intelligence network (it ultimately became the West German BND) even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals.
The declassified “SECRET RELGER” two-volume history was compiled by CIA historian Kevin Ruffner and presented in 1999 by CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jack Downing to the German intelligence service (Bundesnachrichtendienst) in remembrance of “the new and close ties” formed during post-war Germany to mark the fiftieth year of CIA-West German cooperation. This history was declassified in 2002 as a result of the work of ‘The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group’ (IWG) and contains 97 key documents from various agencies.
The documentation unearthed by the IWG reveals extensive relationships between former Nazi war criminals and American intelligence organizations, including the CIA. For example, current records show that at least five associates of the notorious Nazi Adolf Eichmann worked for the CIA, 23 other Nazis were approached by the CIA for recruitment, and at least 100 officers within the Gehlen organization were former SD or Gestapo officers.
The introduction to this book emphasizes the dilemma of using former Nazis as assets:
“The notion that they [CIA, Army Counterintelligence Corp, Gehlen organization] employed only a few bad apples will not stand up to the new documentation. Some American intelligence officials could not or did not want to see how many German intelligence officials, SS officers, police, or non-German collaborators with the Nazis were compromised or incriminated by their past service…
“Hindsight allows us to see that American use of actual or alleged war criminals was a blunder in several respects… there was no compelling reason to begin the postwar era with the assistance of some of those associated with the worst crimes of the war.
“Lack of sufficient attention to history – and, on a personal level, to character and morality – established a bad precedent, especially for new intelligence agencies. It also brought into intelligence organizations men and women previously incapable of distinguishing between their political/ideological beliefs and reality. As a result, such individuals could not and did not deliver good intelligence.
“Finally, because their new, professed ‘democratic convictions’ were at best insecure and their pasts could be used against them (some could be blackmailed), these recruits represented a potential security problem.”
The Gehlen organization profiled in the newly posted CIA history represents one of the most telling examples of these pitfalls.
“This secret CIA history is full of documents we never would have seen under the Freedom of Information Act, because Congress in 1984 gave the CIA an exemption for its ‘operational’ files, on the grounds that such files were too sensitive ever to be released,” commented Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.
These documents can be found in the materials of the archive.
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