Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #731 Interview with John Loftus about “America’s Nazi Secret”

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Introduction: For decades, we’ve accessed the research of the heroic John Loftus, author of (among other titles) America’s Nazi Secret.

In this updated, supplemented version of his 1982 volume The Belarus Secret, John includes material that had been censored from the original book. Much of John’s work highlights malfeasance on a vast scale, centered in the United States on Justice and State Department elements.

Those elements, in turn, were executing the political and economic will of the Robber Barons–monopolistic industrialists and financiers whose collective efforts manifest ted as the Gilded Age in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Curbed by the Theodore Roosevelt’s Anti-Trust Act, the “Malefactors of Great Wealth” (as TR called them) secured the passing of the Webb-Pomerene act, a loophole that precipitated much of the disastrous history of the twentieth century.

Decrying what they viewed as excessive and restrictive “regulation” here in the United States, U.S.-based transnational corporations invested their profits from the industrial boom of the 1920’s abroad, primarily in Japan and Germany. This process might well be viewed as the real beginning of what is now known as “globalization.” [FTR#’s 99, 361, 426, 511 and 532 present an overview of the reinvestment of the wealth generated by the American industrial boom of the 1920’s in German and Japanese strategic heavy industry. It was this capital that drove the engines of conquest that subdued both Europe and Asia during the conflict.]

Seeking to dominate the global economy, the “Malefactors” sought to fuse the totalitarian states of Nazi Germany, the U.S.S.R. and Saudi Arabia, dominating the fossil fuels industry and creating indissoluble industrial cartels.

Far from being brought to justice for their active treason against the United States, the Robber Barons and their enablers successfully hid their wrongdoing.

John points out that, at the end of World War II, (Sullivan and Cromwell partner and OSS officer) Allen Dulles created a mechanism for covering up the profound involvement of many dominant elements of the U.S. power elite with the Axis, Nazi Germany in particular.

That mechanism was an intelligence network composed of much of the cream of the Nazi national security establishment, to be put to work for the United States–ostensibly at least. When Dewey lost the 1948 election, that created a problem. From that point forward, there have been, in effect, two CIA’s–one for the Democrats and one for the Republicans.

The Republican CIA incorporated the Nazi and fascist elements with whom Dulles (and members of the Bush family) collaborated during the Second World War. This element of the CIA does the bidding of the transnational corporations, often following an agenda that is not in the best interests of the United States.

Much of the program highlights continued attempts at suppressing this information. While working for the Justice Department, John was threatened with imprisonment and disbarment for his investigation of America’s Nazi Secret. A documentary film maker with whom Loftus has worked had her financial records confiscated without explanation. (A Canadian documentary about Nazis involved with contemporary Slovakian affairs was suppressed due to threats of litigation by Slovakian nationalist, billionaire and uranium magnate Steve Roman, a business partner of Richard Nixon.)

Program Highlights Include: The use of what was to become Auschwitz to use Silesian coal, German patent technology and slave labor and Soviet rail links to produce aviation fuel; the Nazis’ use of American corporate executives in Germany during the war; Frank Wisner’s secret government-within-a government–the OPC; the genesis of the Green Berets–growing out of Frank Wisner’s OPC; the role of Allen Dulles in the founding of Saudi Arabia; the history of the Muslim Brotherhood; the links between the U.S. industrial and financial elite and those of the Axis powers of World War II; the Bush family’s profound links to Nazi finance and industry; the Vatican’s pivotal involvement with the Axis powers and postwar international fascism; John’s use of a phone-card sting to help uncover the Muslim Brotherhood operations in the U.S.; John’s lawsuit against Sami al-Arian, that led to the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002; the Crusade for Freedom and the genesis of the Nazi/GOP connection; Henry Kissinger’s role in forging the postwar Nazi “freedom fighter” networks run by Frank Wisner and the OPC.

1. The genesis of the events and processes analyzed by John Loftus in his book could be said to originate with the Webb-Pomerene act of 1918.

. . . . Teddy Roosevelt, arguably the most honest of the Republican Presidents, was the only one in the GOP who tried to bring the Robber Barons to their knees. He persuaded Congress to pass extremely strict anti-trust, anti-cartel, and anti-monopoly legislation. In 1918, the Robber Barons fought back, and somehow convinced Congress to pass the Webb-Pomerene Act. This little-known loophole permitted the creation of American trusts, monopolies, etc., as long as it was done overseas. Because of this loophole law, investment capital left America in a great flood, one of the contributing causes of the crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. . . .

America’s Nazi Secret by John Loftus; Trine Day [SC]; 2010936158; p. 13

2. The Justice Department played a role in the actual drafting of Webb-Pomerene.

. . . . It was the Justice Department itself which helped draft the Webb-Pomerene Act of 1918 to carve loopholes in Teddy Roosevelt’s “trust busting” legislation. This enabled the Robber Barons to establish trusts, cartels and monopolies overseas, draining America of investment capital, and helped to bring about the crash of 1929. . . .

Ibid.; p. 51.

3. Over the years, For The Record has featured much discussion of the U.S./Nazi industrial connection–much of it in past discussion with John and/or use of his investigative masterpieces.

Exemplifying the depth of this connection is Third Reich’s employment of U.S. corporate executives in Germany during the war, aiding the Nazi war effort! Briefly interned after the war, they were ultimately set free.

. . . During the Nuremberg trials, one of the prosecuting attorneys, the same Walter J. Rockler who later became my boss at OSI, discovered a German document listing the thirteen American banks that had secretly worked for the Third Reich during WWII. After his investigative unit was shut down, Rockler kept the Nazi bank list to prevent it from being shredded. . . .

Ibid.; p. 9.

4. More on these “resident collaborators”–who were briefly interned.

. . . The German bankers that Rockler was trying to prosecute at Nuremberg had hired American and British corporate executives—who had then become the secret residents of Camp Ashcan/Dustbin. It was the Special Assistant Attorney General Victor Swearingen who had kept all the American and British moneymen hidden from the nosey Nuremberg prosecutors.

Political smear tactics forced Rockler out before I could tell him why all Nazi financial crimes investigations kept getting closed down. He was getting much too close to the truth. The money that funded the banks and corporations of the Third Reich came from Wall Street and “the City,” London, England’s financial district and Wall Street equivalent. President Roosevelt knew about it, and so did his Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 11-12.

5. Some of the corporate criminals who were [temporarily] interned at Ashcan/Dustbin were quite confident of their acquittal, due to the influence of their corporate associates.

. . . He was the Justice Department lawyer who let free all of the American corporate executives who had stayed in Germany to help their Nazi clients. These businessmen had literally given aid and comfort to the enemy during the war. All the striped suit traitors were held in a joint prison camp code named Ashcan/Dustbin.

The prison camp was under British authority, but the guards were all Americans. One of the guards told me years later that one of the pompous prisoners boasted that his friends at the Chase Manhattan Bank would take care of him. “Are you sure they would even want to hear your name?” the guard asked, confident that no American business would ever help someone accused of treason.

The prisoner was right. The guard was wrong. The Special Assistant Attorney General of the United States closed all of the treason cases in Occupied Germany. Not a single corporate officer ever went to jail for doing business with the Nazis, either in America or the United Kingdom. The Justice Department covered it all up. More than a hundred American traitors were returned home after many profitable years of serving Hitler. The Army’s original investigative files, codenamed ASHCAN and DUSTBIN are still off limits to “protect the privacy” of the American citizens involved. . .

Ibid.; pp. 4-5.

6. Henry Kissinger’s political genesis is to be found at the nexus of the U.S./Nazi postwar collusion.

. . .Kissinger was recruited as a professional spy for Dulles shortly after the end of the war in Europe. Although there is no evidence that he personally recruited Nazis, Kissinger ran the intelligence file room where records of Nazi recruitment were kept. He then transferred to Harvard where he specialized in recruiting foreign students for espionage. Later he worked for Dulles during the glory days of Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). He was hired as a consultant for a private group known as Operations Research Office, which planned to use former Nazis as agents behind Russian lines in the event of World War III. Mention of Kissinger’s classified work was censored from the original manuscript of this book. . .

Ibid.; p. 11.

7. In addition to Kissinger’s work at Harvard on the Nazi “freedom fighter” program, the Nazification of U.S. academic ideology during the Cold War is exemplified by an amusing episode in John’s book–his raid on the offices of Alexander Dallin–the chair of the history department at Stanford University.

While working for the OSI division of the Justice Department, John learned that some of the missing documentation on the importation of Nazi war criminals had been purloined by Dallin!

. . . I found some of the missing documents when I raided the offices of Professor Alexander Dallin, Chair of the History Department at Stanford University. The terrified professor quickly turned over boxes of unpublished Einsatzgruppen reports, records of the SS mobile killing units in Eastern Europe. These records contained the names of Nazi collaborators from Belarus and Ukraine, men who had earned their spurs by carrying out the mass murder of their own countrymen. Similar records concerning Polish collaborators with the Nazis were pulled from the Nuremberg trials before the Russians could get their hands on them.

The most distressing stolen document that Professor Dallin produced from his hoard was the unpublished memoirs of a senior SS officer, Friedrich Buchardt, who had written a history of the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe. Professor Dallin had plagiarized Buchardt’s manuscript for his own famous work, Russia Under German Rule. Buchardt had been the leader of VorKommando Moskau, one of the SS mobile killing units which specialized in recruiting local collaborators from Belarus and the Ukraine as spies. . .

Ibid.; p. 10.

8. Buchardt’s manuscript was deemed to be so valuable because it provided valuable information for the U.S. recruitment of Nazi collaborators, many of them war criminals. They then went to work for Frank Wisner and Allen Dulles’ fledgling Office of Policy Coordination. The OPC was the vehicle used by the Robber Barons’ corporate lawyers to bypass de-Nazification rules and put the Nazis to work for U.S. intelligence–in essence, it WAS the “Republican CIA.”

Among the war criminals that Wisner put to work for OPC was Dr. Franz Alfred Six, sprung from the defendant’s dock at Nuremberg. His sentence commuted by U.S. High Commissioner for Germany (and Chase Manhattan Bank chairman) John J. McCloy.

. . . Six, however, was at that moment on trial at Nuremberg for his war crimes. Wisner asked General Clay to intercede with the Nuremberg prosecutor and judges. Whether Clay took such action is unknown, but Six received only a twenty-year prison term, while the rest of the Einsatzgruppen commanders were sentenced to death. In 1950, Clay’s successor, John J. McCloy commuted the sentence to time served. . . .

Ibid.; p. 162.

9. Wisner and Dulles’ “Freedom Fighters” program evolved into the Green Berets.

. . . With the disbanding of the few remaining cadres of Wisner’s secret army, the Special Forces were taken over by the Army and became the nucleus of the Green Berets. . .

Ibid.; p. 232.

10. After reviewing the origins and nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, John related a fascinating gambit in which he and private investigator Bill Warner were able to “make” many of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in the United States. Originating in the investigation of Sami Al-Arian, the stratagem entailed buying phone cards for use by the terrorists.

. . . . With [Professor Sami] Al Arian’s support, and financial help from the Saudis, Al Arian’s clan purchased a series of auto dealerships in western Florida. One of them was on land owned by Al Arian. Stolen luxury cars across the USA were funneled through the clan’s network to Dubai, where they were re-sold for two or three times their price by a car network run by one of Al Qaeda’s “golden chain” financiers. Older vehicles were turned into car bombs to kill American soldiers in Iraq. Two of the car bombs have been traced through the Clan’s network through their vehicle identification (VIN) numbers.

A brilliant private investigator named Bill Warner of Sarasota, Florida, came up with an extremely innovative method of tracking the members of the Clan’s terrorist network. He approached me for a list of all Al Arian’s friends and clan contacts. Warner then sent out an advertisement to each of them enclosing a pre-paid cell phone card. The pitch was to try our new phone company’s international call service free for ninety days, and then decide whether to become a permanent subscriber.

One of the idiots in the clan actually used our calling card. In one stroke, we had become the Muslim Brotherhood’s telephone service. As a telephone company, we lawfully purchased the phone bills of everyone our customer contacted, allegedly to recruit new customers. We used the phone bills to identify the clan’s overseas contacts, and then I cross-matched the phone records against the terrorist attacks of Hamas, PIJ, and Al Qaeda, all of which are subsidiaries of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The results were astonishing. We had the calling records of the Al Qaeda cell in Ceuta as they planned their abortive attack on shipping off Gibraltar. We could tell that every time a clan member in California called a cell phone in a refugee camp in Jordan, a terrorist attack on Israel would take place that same day. Mr. Warner and I assembled a nationwide map of terrorist logistical cells in America complete with their overseas telephone contacts. We did not trust the Justice Department’s FBI, so we presented our cell phone map to NORTHCOM military intelligence.

Despite our regrets, NORTHCOM had to ask the FBI for court authorized search warrants top lace taps on the phones and computer terminals of these terrorists’ supporters. The FBI typically rewrote the warrants as if they had done the investigation. Neither Bill Warner nor I ever received a penny of the promised million dollar reward money. As we feared, someone in the FBI tipped off the terrorists. They all stopped using the cell phones and calling cards we had been tracing they all went silence at once.

Worse, the FBI closed all investigations by other government agencies into the Florida clan just as they had closed Operation Green Quest, the Immigration Service’s attempt to trace terrorist funding of Al Arian from the Saudis. The Saudis’ “International Institute for Islamic Research (IIIR)” is banned as a known funding source for terrorism worldwide, but like the Muslim Brotherhood, it enjoys a strange immunity from the United States Department of Justice. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 263-265.

NORTHCOM ran all of our phone numbers through their terrorist data base. “It lit up like a Christmas tree!” The agent exclaimed. NORTHCOM knew that terrorists overseas were calling American phone numbers, but had no idea who they were contacting or why they were calling. Our little telephone company had provided U.S. intelligence with a nearly complete map of every terrorist cell in the USA and abroad that called the Muslim Brotherhood for help.

11. Indicative of the controversial nature of the material discussed in John’s book is the fact that documentary filmmaker Clair Ragge was raided by the IRS without explanation. Records and financial documents were confiscated.

. . . During the last four years, independent filmmaker Claire Ragge has done a thorough inquiry into the newly declassified files on the men who funded Hitler. Her film tentatively titled “American Secrets” should be ready for release in 2011, along with a website listing each historical document sourcing each of the film’s allegations. Ms. Ragge has done a remarkable job, and has uncovered many secrets that would otherwise have escaped public scrutiny. . . . However, there is some concern that the film may never see the light of day. The IRS has suddenly seized Ms. Ragge’s bank accounts without even a pretext of notice. I have seen this sort of thing happen before. I once helped the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation do a documentary on Slovakian Nazis living openly in Canada. There was some superb film footage of the Pope blessing a new Slovakian Cathedral while the camera panned over the Nazi war criminals sitting in the audience. No one in Canada eager saw that film because the CBC caved in under the threat of endless litigation from Steven Roman, a Slovakian nationalist who happened to be the richest man in Canada (and Richard Nixon’s partner in a Canadian-American uranium mining business.) . . .

Ibid.; pp. 19-20.

12. Concluding with an anecdote about what John has endured, the program sets forth a frightening array of medical problems John has overcome, while waging his Good Fight against the Powers That Be.

During the 1970’s and 1980’s, I had more than two dozen surgeries for broken facial bones and sinus damage from a parachute accident when I was an Army Officer. The VA missed a few things. In the 1990’s, I was also diagnosed by private physicians with colon cancer, prostate blockage, kidney stones, and shoulder damage, each of which required surgery. In 2010, the VA finally discovered that I had two displaced hips, several broken ribs, broken vertebrae and crushed disks, which they had somehow missed during the last four decades of treatment. The VA conceded that, more likely than not, these undiscovered injuries had been sustained in my Army parachute accident. There are third world countries that provide better medical care than America gives its disabled veterans. . . .

Ibid.; p. 46.

Discussion

8 comments for “FTR #731 Interview with John Loftus about “America’s Nazi Secret””

  1. During one of the many interviews he gave to you, John Loftus mentionned once: “There is no conspiracy…well…it is rather 5% conspiracy and 95% pure greed…” I think the series of books that John presented to us over the years express that with great eloquence. Basically, the bottom line, is that we are being governed by crooks… That is sad, but that’s the truth. Your last blog entry, “The Sky is the er…Limit”, gives another example of the corruption and malfeasance in which we live in. We are slowly sliding into fascism or, more precisely, barbarism…

    I will never forget that John was in fact the LAST person to be able to read the file on the Muslim Brotherhood before it was sanitized…Wow! And not to mention his work on the Third Reich per se, of course! If we have just the slightiest chance to defeat fascism, we owe it to him for the most part.

    The last paragraph of the post gives the impression that John had much more misadventures than just a parachute accident…Am I right?

    I have ordered the book, by the way, and I am eager to begin reading.

    Keep the fight!

    Posted by Claude | December 30, 2010, 9:57 pm
  2. Hi, i wish that this books among other of the books mentioned by Mr. Emory on his WFMU shows were translated to the spanish, i find all this very interesting and important.

    Posted by Charles Wipman | December 31, 2010, 2:23 am
  3. […] Democrat branch and the Republican branch (for that matter, see the  interview with John Loftus FTR #731). It is probably the truth. However, I fail to see how the Democrat branch would be able to […]

    Posted by The Libyan operation: another piggy back coup? | lys-dor.com | July 12, 2011, 10:18 am
  4. How do we know that John Loftus is not just “limited hangout”? Throwing a few “bones” to the more serious researchers while basically maintaining the official story about 9-11?

    His thesis seems to be that “Islam-o-fascists” are really to blame for 9-11 and are just “blow-back” from all the nefarious dealings of U.S. Intelligence agencies over the years.

    Loftus seems to dismiss any possibility of active complicity by elements of U.S. Intelligence in 9-11.

    He’s throwing us bones yet still the official line is maintained: “Muslims did 9-11”

    “There was no conspiracy”

    Posted by mike | February 10, 2012, 6:41 pm
  5. I think Mike that you have not read John Loftus at all. I suggest that you read him first and talk later. You will see that he says things far more complex and subtle than the gross reductions and caricatures that you are suggesting. He DOES say, by the way, that U.S. intelligence is involved. Do your homework, please. The readers of this website are learned, skilled and intelligent. This commentary doesn’t pass the test. Sorry.

    Posted by Claude | February 10, 2012, 9:28 pm
  6. […] FTR# 731: Interview with John Loftus on America’s Nazi Secret This entry was posted in Greed, Intelligence Operations, Nazism and tagged America's Nazi Secret, Arab Nazis, Arabs, British Secret Service, CIA, Holocaust, Islamists, Jews, Justice Department, Money, Muslims, Nuremberg Trials, Oil, State Department, The Secret War Against The Jews, Unholy Trinity: The Vatican The Nazis and The Swiss Banks. Bookmark the permalink. ← Jean-Luc Mélanchon et le totalitarisme de gauche dans toute sa splendeur […]

    Posted by John Loftus on the secret war against the Jews | Lys-d'Or | February 25, 2012, 5:03 pm
  7. AP IMPACT: US limbo for Nazi suspects ordered out

    Jul 30, 4:15 AM (ET)

    By AMY FORLITI and RANDY HERSCHAFT

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – At least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data – and four are living in the U.S. today. All remained eligible for public benefits such as Social Security until they exhausted appeals, and in one case even beyond.

    Quiet American legal limbo was the fate of all 10 men uncovered in the AP review. The reason: While the U.S. wanted them out, no other country was willing to take them in.

    That’s currently the case of Vladas Zajanckauskas in Sutton, Massachusetts. It’s the case of Theodor Szehinskyj in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Of Jakiw Palij in New York City. And of John Kalymon in Troy, Michigan.

    All have been in the same areas for years, stripped of citizenship and ordered deported, yet able to carry out their lives in familiar surroundings. Dozens of other Nazi war crimes suspects in the U.S. were also entitled to Social Security and other public benefits for years as they fought deportation.

    The United States can deport people over evidence of involvement in Nazi war crimes, but cannot put such people on trial because the alleged crimes did not take place on American soil. The responsibility to prosecute would lie with the countries where the crimes were committed or ordered – if the suspects ever end up there.

    In the 34 years since the Justice Department created an office to find and deport Nazi suspects, the agency has initiated legal proceedings against 137 people. Less than half – at least 66 – have been removed by deportation, extradition or voluntary departure.

    At least 20 died while their cases were pending. In at least 20 other cases, U.S. officials agreed not to pursue or enforce deportation orders, often because of poor health, according to a 2008 report by the Justice Department. In some cases, the U.S. government agreed not to file deportation proceedings in exchange for cooperation in other investigations, the report said.

    But the key stumbling block has been the lack of political will by countries in Europe to accept those ordered to leave.

    “Without any doubt, the greatest single frustration has been our inability, in quite a number of cases now, to carry out the deportation orders that we’ve won in federal courts. We can’t carry them out because governments of Europe refuse to take these people back,” Eli Rosenbaum, the longtime head of the Justice Department agency charged with investigating accused Nazi war criminals, said in the 2011 documentary “Elusive Justice: The Search for Nazi War Criminals.”

    Justice officials declined to make Rosenbaum available for an interview.
    ——————-

    Article continues with profiles and details at link:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130730/DA7RNC0O0.html

    Posted by Swamp | July 30, 2013, 7:13 am
  8. http://www.neurope.eu/news/wire/ap-investigation-nazi-war-crime-suspects-collected-millions-dollars-us-social-security-0

    AP Investigation: Nazi war crime suspects collected millions of dollars in US Social Security
    by
    Associated Press
    20.10.2014 – 03:00
    Expelled Nazis paid millions in Social Security
    by DAVID RISING, RANDY HERSCHAFT and RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press – 19 October 2014 18:00-04:00

    His plastics company in the Rust Belt town of Akron, Ohio, thrived. By the late 1980s, he had acquired the trappings of success: a Cadillac DeVille and a Lincoln Town Car, a lakefront home, investments in oil and real estate.

    Then the Nazi hunters showed up.

    In 1989, as the U.S. government prepared to strip him of his citizenship, Denzinger packed a pair of suitcases and fled to Germany. Denzinger later settled in this pleasant town on the Drava River, where he lives comfortably, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. He collects a Social Security payment of about $1,500 each month, nearly twice the take-home pay of an average Croatian worker.

    Denzinger, 90, is among dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards who collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States, an Associated Press investigation found.

    The payments flowed through a legal loophole that has given the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal government records.

    Like Denzinger, many lied about their Nazi pasts to get into the U.S. following World War II, and eventually became American citizens.

    Among those who benefited:

    —armed SS troops who guarded the Nazi network of camps where millions of Jews perished.

    —an SS guard who took part in the brutal liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland that killed as many as 13,000 Jews.

    —a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.

    —a German rocket scientist accused of using slave labor to build the V-2 rocket that pummeled London. He later won NASA’s highest honor for helping to put a man on the moon.

    The AP’s findings are the result of more than two years of interviews, research and analysis of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and other sources.

    The Justice Department denied using Social Security payments as a tool for removing Nazi suspects. But records show the U.S. State Department and the Social Security Administration voiced grave concerns over the methods used by the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit, the Office of Special Investigations.

    State officials derogatorily called the practice “Nazi dumping” and claimed the OSI was bargaining with suspects so they would leave voluntarily.

    Since 1979, the AP analysis found, at least 38 of 66 suspects removed from the United States kept their Social Security benefits.

    Legislation that would have closed the Social Security loophole failed 15 years ago, partly due to opposition from the OSI. Since then, according to the AP’s analysis, at least 10 Nazi suspects kept their benefits after leaving. The Social Security Administration confirmed payments to seven who are deceased. One living suspect was confirmed through an AP interview. Two others met the conditions to keep their benefits.

    Of the 66 suspects, at least four are alive, living in Europe on U.S. Social Security.

    In newly uncovered Social Security Administration records, the AP found that by March 1999, 28 suspected Nazi criminals had collected $1.5 million in Social Security payments after their removal from the U.S.

    Since then, the AP estimates the amount paid out has reached into the millions. That estimate is based on the number of suspects who qualified and the three decades that have passed since the first former Nazis, Arthur Rudolph and John Avdzej, signed agreements that required them to leave the country but ensured their benefits would continue.

    Long-living beneficiaries can collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments.

    A single male who earned an average wage of $44,800 a year and turned 65 in 1990, the year after Denzinger did, would receive nearly $15,000 annually in Social Security benefits, according to the Urban Institute, a nonprofit public policy group in Washington. That’s $375,000 over 25 years. The amounts are adjusted for inflation.

    The Social Security Administration refused the AP’s request for the total number of Nazi suspects who received benefits and the dollar amounts of those payments.

    Spokesman William “BJ” Jarrett said the agency does not track data specific to Nazi cases. A further barrier, Jarrett said, is that there is no exception in U.S. privacy law that “allows us to disclose information because the individual is a Nazi war criminal or an accused Nazi war criminal.”

    The agency also declined to make the acting commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, or another senior agency official available for an interview.

    The Justice Department declined the AP’s request for an official to speak on the record. Spokesman Peter Carr said in an emailed statement that Social Security payments never were used as an incentive or as a threat to persuade Nazi suspects to depart voluntarily.

    “The matter of Social Security benefits eligibility was raised by defense counsel, not by the department, and the department neither used retirement benefits as an inducement to leave the country and renounce citizenship nor threatened that failure to depart and renounce would jeopardize continued receipt of benefits,” Carr said.

    The department opposed the legislation in 1999, Carr acknowledged, because it would have undermined the OSI’s mandate to remove Nazi criminals as expeditiously as possible to countries that would prosecute them.

    Speed was a key factor.

    Survivors of the Holocaust who made the United States their home after the war had been forced to share it with their former Nazi tormenters. That had to change, and fast, the OSI’s proponents said. If suspects were to stand trial, they needed to be found and ousted while they were alive. The OSI and its backers didn’t want death to cheat justice.

    Yet only 10 suspects were ever prosecuted after being expelled, according to the department’s own figures.

    At his home in Osijek, Denzinger would not discuss his situation. “I don’t want to say anything,” he told the AP in German as he rested on his walker in the hallway of his apartment.

    But Denzinger’s son, who lives in the U.S., confirmed his father receives Social Security payments and said he deserved them. “This isn’t coming out of other people’s pockets,” Thomas Denzinger said. “He paid into the system.” Plus his father is paying 30 percent in taxes. “They should be taking out nothing,” he said.

    Another former Nazi camp guard, longtime Montana resident Martin Hartmann, lives in Berlin and also is collecting Social Security, according to a person with knowledge of Hartmann’s finances who requested anonymity because the person did not want to be associated with Hartmann’s Nazi history. Hartmann, 95, left the U.S. in 2007, just before a federal judge issued an order to revoke his citizenship.

    The loophole also means new suspects, including former SS unit commander Michael Karkoc, whom the AP located last year in Minnesota, could retain benefits even if removed to another country.

    German prosecutors opened an investigation after the AP uncovered documentation showing Karkoc, 95, ordered his unit to raze a Polish village during the war. Dozens of women and children were killed in the attack.

    ___

    The American public did not become fully aware until the mid-1970s that thousands of Nazi persecutors had immigrated to the U.S. after World War II, with estimates ranging as high as 10,000. They were shocked to learn their former enemies could be living next door.

    Congressional pressure led to the creation of the OSI in 1979 and it had a single purpose: track down and expel Nazis who played a role in the persecution of civilians.

    But because their crimes were committed outside the U.S. and almost always against non-Americans, Nazi suspects could not be tried in U.S. courts.

    The only other option available was to prove they lied to immigration authorities about what they did during the war, to strip them of their citizenships through a lengthy legal process, and then to attempt either deportation or extradition.

    But almost no countries were willing to accept them through deportation, and few pressed charges that would have forced extradition.

    So the Justice Department devised a strategy to overcome these difficulties, including encouraging them to leave voluntarily, which meant they would avoid the messy process of deportation but keep their retirement benefits.

    The OSI regularly trumpeted its successes, and boasted in 2006 that its work had led to more Nazi expulsions from the U.S. in the previous 25 years than all other countries in the world combined.

    “We really did want people to give up and go,” said a senior Justice Department official, who defended the practice as a way of avoiding deportation proceedings that could last as long as 10 years.

    “The goal is still to remove these people as quickly as possible, and the fact that as soon as we move to the deportation stage they run the risk of losing their benefit(s) is still an encouragement to leave,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the department’s thinking on the matter.

    The OSI even went so far as to encourage several suspects to use U.S. passports for legal travel to allied countries, such as Germany or Austria. Once there, they would renounce their U.S. citizenships and still be able to collect Social Security benefits. This practice became known as “Nazi dumping” within diplomatic circles and stoked outrage at the State Department and in capitals in Europe.

    The path for the OSI’s approach opened when Congress passed legislation making “participation in Nazi persecution” grounds for deportation. But the Social Security Act was not changed to make such crimes also grounds for the termination of benefits.

    An internal memo drafted in 1984 by State Department officials discussed how deals were made behind the scenes. To get suspects to renounce citizenship, the OSI would delay legal action and “refrain from seeking in any way to limit the subject’s receipt of U.S. Social Security benefits,” the memo said.

    The criticism triggered a bitter back-and-forth between the two agencies, with each accusing the other of being un-American. Decades later, the acrimony lingers.

    “It was not upfront, it was not transparent, it was not a legitimate process,” said James Hergen, a former State Department legal adviser who once described the OSI’s approach as a “cynical publicity ploy.” ”This was not the way America should behave. We should not be dumping our refuse, for lack of a better word, on friendly states.”

    Neal Sher, who was OSI’s director from 1983 to 1994, said the State Department put a higher priority on diplomatic niceties than holding former members of Adolf Hitler’s war machine accountable.

    “State always wraps itself in the flag. Unfortunately, it’s not the American flag,” said Sher, recalling a complaint voiced by a former colleague.

    One of the first instances of “Nazi-dumping” involved Rudolph, a celebrated rocket scientist, and set off a diplomatic firestorm.

    Rudolph was brought to the U.S. after the war because of his technical brilliance. NASA awarded him a Distinguished Service Medal for achievements that included his central role in the Apollo project that put a man on the moon. Decades later he was accused of “working thousands of slave laborers to death” in the Nazi factory that built the V-2 rocket, and he faced the loss of his citizenship and deportation.

    Rudolph and Avdzej, another Nazi war crimes suspect, became the first to voluntarily leave the United States under the OSI’s “renunciation program.” When they arrived in Germany in 1984 and forfeited their U.S. citizenships, a furious West German government filed a formal protest.

    Amid State Department objections, the OSI came up with a “new scheme,” said an internal memo, obtained by the AP, to then-Secretary of State George Shultz. The difficulty in finding cooperative countries, according to the May 1987 memo written by senior State Department officials, “has led OSI to resort to bargains with Nazi persecutors which permit their voluntary departure from the U.S.”

    Another diplomatic uproar ensued when Austrian authorities learned about a deal with Martin Bartesch, a former SS guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Prisoners were forced to work at Mauthausen as slave laborers. At least 95,000 died from gunfire, gassings or starvation.

    Unlike most guards against whom little incriminating evidence survived, captured Nazi records used by American prosecutors showed that Bartesch shot and killed a French Jew at the camp in 1943. Bartesch’s family denied he had done anything wrong at Mauthausen.

    In 1987, Bartesch landed, unannounced, at the airport in Vienna. Two days later, under the terms of the deal, his U.S. citizenship was revoked.

    The Romanian-born Bartesch, who had immigrated to the U.S. in 1955, was suddenly stateless — and Austria’s problem. The fallout forced U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese to apologize to the Austrian interior minister and assure him Austria would not be blindsided again.

    Bartesch received Social Security benefits in Austria until he died in 1989.

    The State Department continued to protest the arrangement, but to no avail.

    “Everybody knew there was no profit in opposing it. It was professional suicide,” remembered Hergen. “Why would the White House want to be tagged with stopping the deportation of these Nazi monsters? You were the devil if you opposed it.”

    The year before Bartesch died, Congress amended U.S. law so that individuals deported for aiding in the Nazi persecution also would lose their Social Security benefits. But if a Nazi suspect left before a final deportation order was issued, the benefits could continue.

    ____

    The Clinton administration in 1997 began internal discussions over whether to terminate benefits to Nazi suspects when they were stripped of their citizenship, which is called denaturalization, instead of when they were deported. That would have lowered the threshold for terminating a suspect’s benefits.

    The acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration at the time, John Callahan, initiated the debate. “Social Security benefits cannot, and should not, be used as a bargaining tool,” Callahan wrote in an April 1997 memo to Clinton’s domestic policy chief.

    Callahan did not respond to the AP’s requests for comment.

    Elena Kagan, then a top deputy in the domestic policy office and now a U.S. Supreme Court justice, seemed unmoved by Callahan’s plea. “This is a pretty snotty letter,” Kagan jotted in the margin of the memo.

    The Justice Department supported the proposal, albeit tepidly, the records show.

    But working behind the scenes, a pair of influential Jewish groups succeeded in getting the White House to back down. The World Jewish Congress and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors threatened to publicly accuse the administration of being soft on Nazi prosecutions if it went forward.

    Sher, the former OSI chief, boosted the hand the Jewish groups were playing. After a stint with the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he was now representing the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors.

    The groups argued closing the loophole would result in greater leniency for Nazi suspects. Federal judges hearing the denaturalization cases, they said, would not see perpetrators of the Holocaust before them, but feeble old men who were on the verge of not only losing their citizenships, but their Social Security too. That would undercut the primary goal of getting suspects out of the U.S. and to countries willing to prosecute them.

    Inside the Clinton White House, senior aides found this logic hard to grasp. But it was a fight they did not want.

    The arguments for preserving the loophole do “not sound fully compelling, EXCEPT that it is impossible to ignore who is raising the concern,” a White House staffer wrote in a memo to Kagan. The groups promised to “protest vociferously,” it added. The proposal was shelved.

    Two years later, in 1999, U.S. Rep. Bob Franks, a Republican from New Jersey, introduced legislation to cut off benefits for any Nazi persecutor who left the country voluntarily, whether they were U.S. citizens or not.

    This time, the Justice Department’s stance was unequivocal. The bill, it said, would undercut the OSI’s mission.

    Sher defended the department’s stance. Six years to 10 years in litigation costs could be saved if suspects left voluntarily, he said. During that time, they would continue to receive retirement benefits as well as Medicare, Sher said.

    Not all Jewish groups favored keeping the loophole.

    Rabbi Marvin Hier, who still heads the Simon Wiesenthal Center he founded in 1977, wanted it shut. There was “no will” in Europe to prosecute Nazi suspects, he said, and the benefits they collected allowed them to live in relative comfort.

    “Someone receiving an American pension could live very well in Europe or wherever they settled,” Hier said. “We, in effect, were rewarding them. It didn’t make any sense.”

    Despite attracting nearly 50 co-sponsors, the Franks bill failed to pass after running into opposition similar to what the Clinton White House faced. Franks died in 2010.

    U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, a senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in an AP interview she plans to introduce legislation to close the loophole.

    “It’s absolutely outrageous that Nazi war criminals are continuing to receive Social Security benefits when they have been outlawed from our country for many, many, many years,” said Maloney, a co-sponsor of the Franks legislation.

    _____

    Many of the former Nazis who came to the U.S. after World War II blended in just as Hartmann and Denzinger did. They worked, raised their families, paid their taxes. They said little about what they did during the war.

    American immigration law barred entry to members of Hitler’s Nazi party, the fanatical SS units, and anyone else tied to a group considered hostile to the U.S. The rules were amended in the early 1950s. The list of banned organizations was dropped and the focus shifted to keeping out individuals who “personally advocated or assisted in the persecution of any person or group of persons because of race, religion or national origin.”

    The SS units responsible for guarding the Nazi death and concentration camps were called Totenkopf, or Death’s Head, and their troops wore a silver skull-and-crossbones on their uniform collars. They were still generally refused entry after the change. But other SS members designated primarily for combat roles were more likely to be let in.

    Many got around the restrictions by simply lying about their service in the SS, only to be found decades later by OSI. Others such as Rudolph, whose skills as a rocket scientist trumped what officials knew about his background, were intentionally allowed in.

    In addition to Denzinger and Hartmann, Peter Mueller, 90, a former guard at the Natzweiler camp in France, lives in a nursing home in Worms, Germany. Wasyl Lytwyn, 93, who served in the SS Trawniki unit that took part in the destruction of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, is believed to be living in Ukraine.

    Lytwyn’s 1995 settlement agreement stipulates that his Social Security benefits would not be affected by leaving. Mueller would have been eligible for benefits based on the circumstances of his departure, but the Social Security Administration would neither confirm nor deny whether he was receiving payments.

    Hartmann, the former Nazi SS guard living in Berlin, volunteered for the SS in 1943 and was assigned to the Death’s Head unit guarding Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp on the outskirts of the Nazi capital.

    Prisoners at Sachsenhausen were forced into slave labor, tortured and subjected to horrific medical experiments that included sterilizations, castrations and injecting infectious material into a prisoner’s body, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. An estimated 30,000 prisoners died of starvation, disease, exhaustion or were murdered.

    After the war, Hartmann, his wife and son first settled in Mankato, Minnesota. The family then moved to Helena, Montana, where he worked at the local newspaper, The Independent Record, as a typesetter. He was granted U.S. citizenship in 1961.

    When the news broke about Hartmann in 2007, Nathan Gasch, an Auschwitz survivor and Hartmann’s neighbor in a quiet Arizona retirement community called Leisure World, told reporters of an unnerving visit to Hartmann’s home. There, on the wall, was a picture of Hartmann dressed in an SS uniform and wearing a Nazi cap. Gasch did not notify the authorities. “I just let it go,” said Gasch, who died last year.

    Hartmann secured his departure deal in 2007 after reaching an agreement with the OSI in which he acknowledged lying about his Nazi past when he immigrated to the United States in 1955. As part of a settlement reached in U.S. District Court in Washington, the Romanian-born Hartmann agreed to leave the U.S. at his own expense.

    The court’s ruling was based on information provided by the OSI. But the AP uncovered documents through a FOIA request to the National Archives that showed Hartmann did tell American authorities, when he was applying to immigrate, about his service in the SS and as a camp guard at Sachsenhausen.

    Carr, the Justice Department spokesman, did not specify in an email Wednesday whether the documents were turned over to Hartmann. He said Hartmann admitted making misrepresentations about being at Sachsenhausen. Even if he hadn’t, Carr wrote, his citizenship still would be revoked because of the SS connection.

    ___

    Denzinger was born in Cepin, Yugoslavia (now Croatia), a town outside Osijek with a large population of ethnic Germans. In 1942, at age 18, he began serving in one of the Death’s Head battalions.

    His first posting was to Mauthausen, where he trained to be an armed camp guard. He was subsequently stationed in several other camps, including Sachsenhausen and the Auschwitz death camp complex in occupied-Poland where the Holocaust Museum estimates nearly a million Jews were killed.

    On his immigration visa and, later, his application for U.S. citizenship, Denzinger omitted any references to the SS or death camps, writing only that he served in the German army.

    His citizenship was revoked by a federal judge in November 1989, a few months after he fled.

    Thomas Denzinger said his father did not want to put his family through a long and public legal proceeding.

    “He’s made a new life for himself over there,” he said. “But he’s angry. He claims he was drafted into the army and he did as he was told. You do as you are told or they line you up against a wall and shoot you. You don’t have any choice.”

    Croatian authorities this year opened an investigation of Denzinger’s World War II service. They would not comment on the inquiry while it is ongoing.

    In Osijek, a town of baroque spires and cobblestone squares, Denzinger occupies the entire second floor of his riverfront building, and has a live-in helper to attend to his needs.

    He spends tranquil days gazing out at the marina from his spacious apartment, and has a routine of riverside strolls and turkey cutlets and Cokes at his favorite Italian restaurant, where he’s known as a generous tipper.

    And the former Auschwitz guard has meticulously choreographed another departure.

    His gravestone — including a photograph of himself wearing a suit and tie — is already in place in Cepin’s Catholic Cemetery about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from his apartment.

    The black marble slab is polished to a high gloss in the third row of the cemetery, not far from the chapel. It is engraved with an epitaph from his “loved ones”: “Proud that we had you; happy that we were with you; eternally sad that we lost you.”

    Posted by Vanfield | October 20, 2014, 8:43 am

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