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AFA 3: Reinhard Gehlen & His Organization

Part 1 [1] 45:14 | Part 2 [2] 41:09 | Part 3 [3] 46:10 | Part 4 [4] 47:15
(Recorded June 21, 1984)

The third program in the series focuses on the pivotal role Hitler’s top spymaster (General Reinhard Gehlen) and his organization played in post-World War II history. In charge of all intelligence on the Eastern Front during the war, Gehlen’s organization was adopted by U.S. intelligence after the war and became, in turn, the CIA’s intelligence eyes and ears on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the de-facto NATO intelligence organization and the intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany, the BND. In this capacity, Gehlen was able to exert a profound influence on the course of world events.

Despite a pledge to his American sponsors not to employ war criminals, from the first, Gehlen did not hesitate to utilize some of the worst offenders. SS colonel Otto Skorzeny put his post-war ODESSA network of SS men to work for Gehlen as part of the latter’s operation. This broadcast documents Gehlen’s use of Skorzeny and a force composed largely of veterans of Hitler’s “Final Solution” to train the Egyptian intelligence service, having undertaken the mission on behalf of the CIA.

Program highlights include: Gehlen’s central role in the creation of Radio Free Europe; Gehlen’s employment of Eichman’s superior in the Final Solution, Otto Von Bolschwing; the BND’s employment of Eichmann’s deputy Alois Brunner; the appointment of Von Bolschwing associate Helene Von Damm to serve as White House specialist for Presidential personnel; Skorzeny’s creation and training of the first Palestinian terrorist groups while serving on the Gehlen-CIA mission in Egypt in the 1950’s; Gehlen’s use of Adolph Eichman in the Skorzeny/CIA/Gehlen mission in Egypt; text of a rare interview with Gehlen, in which he demonstrated his unreconstructed Nazi sympathies; Gehlen’s pivotal role in the establishment of Radio Free Europe; a history of Gehlen operative Helmut Streicher, a former SS officer, whose intelligence activities ranged from the Eastern Front in World War II to the Bay of Pigs invasion; Gehlen’s work as a minister in “the Evangelical Church,” following his alleged retirement from the BND (Germany’s intelligence service and the final incarnation of Gehlen’s Nazi spy outfit.