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Aktion Feurland: Did Hitler Escape?

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: A recent book exam­ines the very real pos­si­bil­i­ty that Adolf Hitler may have escaped at the end of World War II–his “sui­cide” a care­ful­ly planned and exe­cut­ed ruse. Fur­ther­more, the book high­lights that gam­bit in the con­text of known col­lu­sion between the Third Reich and the West­ern Allies as the war drew to a close.

The authors posit that the key play­ers in the real­iza­tion of Aktion Feurland–the code-name for the operation–were names well known to reg­u­lar lis­ten­ers and users of this web­site: Allen Dulles on the Allied side and Mar­tin Bor­mann for the Third Reich. (The authors give great cre­dence to Paul Man­ning’s work and ref­er­ence it heav­i­ly.)

Cen­tered on a quid pro quo arrange­ment, the authors hypoth­e­size that Aktion Feur­land involved the trans­fer of Nazi tech­nol­o­gy to the U.S. and the West (known as Project Paper­clip) and the sav­ing of price­less works of art from destruc­tion. In return, Dulles  et al guar­an­teed the safe pas­sage of Hitler, Eva Braun, SS Gen­er­al Her­mann Fegelein (Braun’s broth­er in law), Gen­er­al Hein­rich Muller (head of the Gestapo) and Bor­mann him­self.

In the sec­ond text excerpt below, the authors ital­i­cize those parts of their argu­ment that are log­i­cal deduc­tion from the doc­u­men­ta­tion, for pur­pos­es of empha­sis on what is log­i­cal spec­u­la­tion and con­firmed fact.

Note that doc­u­ments from the late 1940’s on Hitler and his pos­si­ble escape and where­abouts at that time are STILL clas­si­fied, the bet­ter part of a cen­tu­ry after the end of World War II. Stal­in and Gen­er­al Zhukov (the Red Army’s top gen­er­al) did­n’t believe that Hitler was dead. Gen­er­al Dwight D. Eisen­how­er was deeply skep­ti­cal, as well.

Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler by Simon Dun­stan and Ger­rard Williams; Ster­ling [HC]; Copy­right 2011 by Simon Dun­stan, Ger­rard Williams and Spit­fire Recov­ery Ltd.; ISBN 978–1‑4027–8139‑1; p. xxx.

EXCERPT: . . . . To the end, Bor­mann was deter­mined to save the loot­ed wealth of Ger­many for his own nefar­i­ous ends and to sus­tain a select band of Nazis fol­low­ing mil­i­tary defeat and the fall of Berlin. Mas­sive funds were chan­neled abroad, while large stash­es of bul­lion and stolen art­works were hid­den under­ground in deep mines across the Third Reich. These were primed with explo­sives for demo­li­tion, which Bor­mann con­sid­ered prefer­able to allow­ing them to fall into the hands of the Bol­she­vik hordes. But to Bor­mann, the art­works were also a bar­gain­ing tool. It seems evi­dent that Bor­mann offered the OSS a Faus­t­ian pact: the fruits of one thou­sand years of West­ern art, togeth­er with the secrets of Nazi Ger­many’s advanced mil­i­tary tech­nol­o­gy in exchange for the escape of one man–Adolf Hitler. The alter­na­tive was the total destruc­tion of the jew­els of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion. This was the key to Aktion Feur­land. The deal was done and on the night of April 28, 1945, the plan was put into place. The Grey Wolf was on the run. . . .

Ibid. pp. 133–134.

EXCERPT: . . . . In Bor­man­n’s char­ac­ter­is­tic style–the car­rot and the stick–Kaltenbrun­ner and [SS Lt. Col. Hans Hel­mut von] Hum­mel indi­cat­ed to Dulles that Bor­mann was will­ing to pro­vide the Allies, as an induce­ment or “car­rot,”  with infor­ma­tion as to the where­abouts of all the Nazi loot­ed art. It would be hand­ed over intact, togeth­er with the nation­al trea­sure of Ger­many, includ­ing its gold deposits, cur­ren­cy reserves, bear­er bonds, and indus­tri­al patents–except, of course, for the sub­stan­tial part of this trea­sure that Bor­mann had already secret­ed abroad. An addi­tion­al and supreme­ly attrac­tive car­rot was Bor­man­n’s under­tak­ing to deliv­er to the Allies exam­ples of the most mod­ern weapons tech­nol­o­gy togeth­er with the where­abouts of the design­ers, such as Wern­er von Braun and his V‑2 team, and the nuclear sci­en­tists of the Ura­ni­um Club. Fur­ther­more, the cease­fire in Italy would be rat­i­fied imme­di­ate­ly. But what was the desired price for such trea­sures? A blind eye turned to the escape of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Mar­tin Bor­mann, Hein­rich “Gestapo” Muller, Her­mann Fegelein, and Ernest Kaltenbrun­ner. The rest of the Nazi hier­ar­chy was to be aban­doned to their fate.

The “stick” was sim­ple. Ger­many now claimed to be capa­ble of bom­bard­ing the east­ern seaboard of the Unit­ed States with weapons of mass destruc­tion: con­sid­er­able effort had been invest­ed in sell­ing the dis­in­for­ma­tion to U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies, with some suc­cess. (See Chap­ter 16). These weapons incor­po­rat­ed war­heads armed with the most tox­ic nerve agents ever devised, sarin and tabun. In addi­tion, many repos­i­to­ries of the great­est works of artro­duced dur­ing cen­turies of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion was now held hostage, and this threat was entire­ly cred­i­ble, fol­low­ing Hitler’s “Nero Decree” or March 19. Offi­cial­ly titled “Demo­li­tions on Reich Ter­ri­to­ry,” this decree ordered the utter destruc­tion of all Ger­man indus­tri­al infra­struc­ture and tech­nol­o­gy; although not includ­ed in the offi­cial order, it also implied the destruc­tion of cul­tur­al assets and the elim­i­na­tion of any key per­son­nel who might be use­ful to the Allied pow­ers. . . .

Ibid.; p.242.

EXCERPT: . . . . Dur­ing this peri­od [the late 1940’s], the FBI was tak­ing reports of Hitler being in Latin Amer­i­ca very seri­ous­ly. Thou­sands of doc­u­ments per­tain­ing to Hitel from these years are  still clas­si­fied as Top Secret on both sides of the Atlantic; nev­er­the­less, and despite the very heavy cen­sor­ship of the few files released into the pub­lic domain, some infor­ma­tion can be gleaned. . . .

Ibid.; p. xxii.

EXCERPT: . . . . Stal­in nev­er believed Hitler was dead, insist­ing at the Pots­dam Con­fer­ence on July17, 1945, that he had escaped–probably to “Spain or Argenti­na.” Stal­in’s top gen­er­al, Mar­shal Geor­gy Zhukov, said on August 6, 1945; “We found no corpse that could be Hitler’s.”

Gen. Dwight D. Eisen­how­er stat­ed pub­licly on Octo­ber 12, 1945, “There is every assump­tion that Hitler is dead, but not a bit of con­clu­sive proof that he is dead.” He told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press that “Russ­ian friends” had informed him that they had been “unable to unearth any tan­gi­ble evi­dence of his death.” One U.S. sen­a­tor went as far as offer­ing one mil­lion U.S. dol­lars for proof of Hitler’s death. It has nev­er been claimed. . . .

Discussion

6 comments for “Aktion Feurland: Did Hitler Escape?”

  1. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/170529/bariloche-nazi-haven?all=1

    In Argen­tine Haven for Fugi­tive Nazis, April Means Choco­late Eggs and Hitler Par­ties

    Twen­ty years after the cap­ture of Erich Priebke, some in Bar­iloche are try­ing to come to terms with the city’s lega­cy of silence
    By Mered­ith Hoffman|April 29, 2014 12:00 AM|Comments:

    As a lit­tle boy Hans Schulz, the blue-eyed son of a Hitler Youth mem­ber, would walk uphill half a block each after­noon from the Ger­man school to his white stuc­co house in the Argen­tine ski resort of Bar­iloche, steps from an icy lake hugged by Andean peaks. Inside he’d often find his dad—the pres­i­dent of the town’s Ger­man Argen­tin­ian Cul­tur­al Association—sitting with his vice pres­i­dent and close friend, an aus­tere, well-respect­ed del­i­catessen own­er named Erich Priebke.

    Priebke, who was also direc­tor of the town’s Ger­man school, the Cole­gio Ale­man, would bring his wife over, and they’d all dance in the liv­ing room. At Hal­loween, he appeared dressed up as a pirate. Even­tu­al­ly, Priebke—who arrived in Argenti­na after World War II—ousted Schulz’s father, a native of the town, as pres­i­dent of the Ger­man asso­ci­a­tion. “He entered Bar­iloche,” Schulz remem­bers, “and climbed, climbed, climbed.”

    Last Octo­ber, Priebke died in Rome, where he spent his final years under house arrest serv­ing a life sen­tence for his role in car­ry­ing out the mas­sacre of 335 civil­ians at the Ardea­tine Caves in 1944, when he was a cap­tain in the Nazi SS. But from 1946, when he was smug­gled to Argenti­na, until 1994, when the TV jour­nal­ist Sam Don­ald­son con­front­ed him on a Bar­iloche street, Priebke lived a com­fort­able, if fab­ri­cat­ed, life in this Bavar­i­an-styled city at the bot­tom of the world.

    Priebke’s inter­view with Don­ald­son and sub­se­quent extra­di­tion to Italy to face tri­al for war crimes drew the world’s atten­tion to the fact that Bar­iloche, found­ed more than a cen­tu­ry ago by a Chilean of Ger­man ances­try, had become a qui­et haven for fugi­tive Nazis. Priebke was out­ed by his for­mer com­rade Rein­hard Kops, a Nazi espi­onage agent who lived in the town under the name Juan Maler. Josef Men­gele report­ed­ly turned up there, briefly, after flee­ing Buenos Aires fol­low­ing the Mossad cap­ture of Adolf Eich­mann in 1960; an entire cot­tage indus­try sprang up around the leg­end that Hitler him­self faked his sui­cide and took up res­i­dence at a com­pound out­side the town.

    Today, 20 years after Priebke’s arrest, Bar­iloche is still strug­gling to come to terms with its Nazi lega­cy. Some, includ­ing mem­bers of the alpine town’s small Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, say they are hap­py to sim­ply for­get and let the past die with the Nazis who lived there; oth­ers are deter­mined to lever­age the link to draw tourists. Yet oth­ers, like Schulz, insist it’s past time for their remote Ger­man colony to come to terms with the Third Reich and the Holo­caust in the same way Ger­many itself has. “Bar­iloche has stayed in the past,” said Schulz, now a bald­ing school­teacher with a state­ly demeanor. “Priebke died, but the ghosts are still here.”

    ***

    I spent East­er morn­ing watch­ing men in white chef shirts and hard hats dri­ve pick-axes into a three-sto­ry choco­late egg. Bar­iloche is famous for its Ger­man choco­late, and the annu­al cel­e­bra­tion, next to a stone bell tow­er in the Plaza San Mar­tin, has made the Guin­ness Book of World Records. This year there were thou­sands of peo­ple crowd­ed in the square: sweet tooth-crazed kids with bun­ny ears leap­ing fierce­ly for pieces of choco­late tossed to the crowd; gid­dy women scal­ing secu­ri­ty gates to pho­to­graph the sten­ciled mon­stros­i­ty; the city’s may­or and oth­er local offi­cials smil­ing benign­ly on the chaos.

    Mean­while, just out­side of town, a more exclu­sive all-night cel­e­bra­tion was wind­ing down. April 20 wasn’t just Easter—it was Adolf Hitler’s birth­day, his 125th, in fact. The jour­nal­ist Abel Basti, who has writ­ten a con­tro­ver­sial book claim­ing that Hitler escaped to Bar­iloche and lived here for decades, told me the birth­day par­ties used to be held at a hotel down­town but have moved to obscure estates in the years since Priebke’s arrest. Basti, who has also writ­ten tour guides to Bariloche’s Nazi sights, said he had a spy at this year’s par­ty but laughed when I asked if he could get me in. “It’s too dan­ger­ous,” Basti told me when I sug­gest­ed tag­ging along. He had been crack­ing jokes and chuck­ling through our inter­view at a Ger­man bier­garten, but sud­den­ly he shift­ed tones. “I’m not sure he’s going to talk to you,” Basti told me. The “spy,” he said, was sup­posed to be help­ing him find the last pic­ture of Hitler alive in Latin Amer­i­ca, proof that has so far remained elu­sive. “This is seri­ous ter­ri­to­ry,” Basti went on. “I laugh to be able to deal with this all the time. Oth­er­wise I’d write and I’d write and then I’d com­mit sui­cide.”

    A few days lat­er, Basti agreed to give me a phone num­ber for his alleged spy, a stocky tele­phone-com­pa­ny work­er in a base­ball hat who told me he wasn’t Basti’s spy at all. “I’m writ­ing my own guide,” the man, Pedro Fil­ipuzzi, told me. And that wasn’t all. “I’m think­ing of start­ing a tourist com­pa­ny out of this,” he went on, excit­ed­ly. “Abel was smart because he made the first tourist guide to Nazis in the world, but I’m mak­ing the first one for Buenos Aires.”

    The Bar­iloche Hitler par­ty, he explained, was close­ly linked to a Buenos Aires Nazi. The night before, he told me, he’d called the host club pre­tend­ing to be a guest and asked, “Is Adolf’s par­ty still on?” They told him yes, he insisted—but he hadn’t been able to get past secu­ri­ty. “I count­ed 48 cars just out­side the gate, and there were many, many more inside,” Fil­ipuzzi told me, his eyes wide and his voice ampli­fy­ing. “In Buenos Aires,” he went on, “there’s a restau­rant that has a Hitler toast, but here’s the grand par­ty.”

    “I thought you were look­ing for the last pho­to of Hitler alive, to help out Abel?” I asked. “Well, of course I’m look­ing for it, too,” Fil­ipuzzi replied. “But on my own. Everybody’s look­ing for it.”

    A few hours before I met Fil­ipuzzi, a taxi dri­ver had claimed he could dri­ve me to a “Nazi com­mune” four hours away for a few thou­sand pesos, or a few hun­dred dol­lars. I’d told him I was inter­est­ed, but then he showed up red-eyed to my hos­tel door and said he’d actu­al­ly need to dri­ve me to anoth­er Ger­man town three hours away to find some­one there who could help us access the sup­posed Nazi mecca—and want­ed pay­ment up front. “This is the only chance,” he said, angry, when I told him I would pass on the offer. He stormed off.

    ***

    Bar­iloche is a siz­able city, but most of its Nazi attrac­tions are with­in a few-block radius, includ­ing Priebke’s Cole­gio Ale­man, also known as Pri­mo Capraro, and oth­er Ger­man cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions. Along with its thriv­ing ski and choco­late indus­tries, it attracts hip­pies and intel­lec­tu­als; yet, as with tourist towns every­where in the world, there are always peo­ple like Fil­ipuzzi or my taxi dri­ver look­ing to expand the trade. Even the city’s offi­cial tourist office, locat­ed in the Plaza San Mar­tin, will pro­vide infor­ma­tion from Basti’s tour guide to Nazi land­marks if vis­i­tors ask for it.

    One place rarely vis­it­ed by tourists is the home of Jorge Priebke, son of Erich, a qui­et cab­in with a flower gar­den patrolled by a pack of fero­cious Dober­mans. The house, across from a lush pine-filled park and two blocks from the Cole­gio Ale­man, is sealed off by two met­al gates. I opened the first and called out for Jorge at the sec­ond, where I met the dogs bark­ing and pounc­ing at my legs. A mousey gray-haired woman with glass­es asked what I want­ed; when I said I was a jour­nal­ist, she yelled that he’d gone out of town and added that he’d had a heart attack. Jorge Priebke has giv­en a hand­ful of inter­views, but now that his father’s dead, the woman—his wife—told me, he want­ed to be left alone. “He’s done,” she said. But then she kept talk­ing about her late father-in-law. “It’s real­ly not fair, they all said he was such a bad man, like it was all his fault,” she whined through the met­al gate. “And after he died they were all like ‘poor man.’ But you know how they are.”

    “Who? The world? The town?” I asked.

    “The Jews,” she replied. “They’re always like that. But Señor Priebke did a lot for this town.” Then she shooed me off her prop­er­ty, telling me she had guests inside await­ing food. “All right, ciao ciao,” she said, by way of good­bye.

    Hers was far from the only defense of Erich Priebke I fell upon in Bar­iloche. “It was unjust,” said Luis Sch­lik, the man­ag­er of a bar where I sat down to eat and write, when he learned what I was work­ing on. A native of north­ern Argenti­na, Sch­lik is of Aus­tri­an descent and moved to Bar­iloche 12 years ago, long after Priebke had been removed to Rome. Yet his opin­ions were firm: “He fol­lowed orders. What about a pilot with his plane that threw bombs over a city and killed civil­ians? Why isn’t he an assas­sin? They received an order. It’s the same with Priebke.”

    At the Casa Raul book­store, where I bought a copy of Basti’s Nazi guide, the own­er, Nel­ly Gar­cia, leaped to defend her children’s for­mer leader at the Cole­gio Ale­man, call­ing him “this poor guy.” When I asked if the school had the Holo­caust in its his­to­ry cur­ricu­lum, she said no. “There are worse mas­sacres that don’t get taught,” she said, “like Rus­sians killing gyp­sies. Why do we have to study the Holo­caust?”

    ***

    One of the most promi­nent Jew­ish lead­ers in Bar­iloche is Car­los Suez, whose DVD store is a block away from Erich Priebke’s old house and across the street from Rein­hard Kops’. When I vis­it­ed him, he shrugged off ques­tions about his town’s Nazis. “In every place in the world you’ll find anti-Semi­tism,” he told me. At this point, he insist­ed, most local res­i­dents don’t know who Priebke is any more and don’t care. “He doesn’t have impor­tance,” Suez said. “I see Nazism here as some­thing over­come.”

    But that lais­sez-faire atti­tude isn’t good enough for Schulz, the his­to­ry teacher, who believes that even if oth­er towns­peo­ple have moved on, he still has a respon­si­bil­i­ty to atone for his own com­plic­i­ty in allow­ing men with a direct role in the Holo­caust live out their days undis­turbed by jus­tice. “In Bar­iloche there was nev­er a pub­lic debate about Nazis,” Schulz told me when we met for tea at the famed Ger­man choco­late shop Rapa Nui in down­town Bar­iloche. “It’s like hav­ing an assas­sin in your house and nev­er talk­ing about it. You get sick.” For him, the town’s Hitler indus­try is nec­es­sar­i­ly evil. “It’s a way to res­cue Hitler, to say they didn’t kill him,” he said. “I lived with nega­tors of the Holo­caust. I came from the inside. It’s a very per­son­al thing.”

    Schulz sift­ed through piles of old pho­tos at our cafe table, includ­ing one of his dad with the may­or of Bar­iloche and a young, grin­ning Priebke. Schulz shows this pic­ture when he gives the lec­ture “Argenti­na and the Nazis,” in a new dis­cus­sion series by an Amer­i­can tour com­pa­ny that pass­es through Patag­o­nia. “I kept talk­ing to Priebke when he was in jail in Italy, we’d send let­ters back and forth. I want­ed to learn why all this hap­pened,” Schulz told me. “He died still say­ing that the gas cham­bers didn’t exist … claim­ing he nev­er had any prob­lems with the Jews in Berlin.”

    That revi­sion­ism still finds an easy home in Bar­iloche, a fes­ter­ing infec­tion inside the lake’s aqua waves and moun­tains that bleed like pow­der into the clouds. The city is so far from Europe that, even in today’s hyper­con­nect­ed world, it can cre­ate its own ver­sion of the past, even as it tries to mod­el itself after Euro­pean cities. Car­los Echev­er­ria, a Bar­iloche native who pro­duced a doc­u­men­tary about Priebke called Pact of Silence, says the Nazis were hon­ored for their Ger­man roots, in a region that often favored Euro­peans over native peo­ple. “There are peo­ple who con­tin­ue remem­ber­ing that era with nos­tal­gia,” Echev­er­ria told me of Bariloche’s Nazi zenith. Despite the film, released in 2006, Schulz insist­ed the dan­ger­ous silence still con­tin­ued and that the “Nazi men­tal­i­ty” con­tin­ued in forms of anti-Semi­tism and min­i­miz­ing the Holo­caust.

    Now 58, Schulz found him­self gal­va­nized by Priebke’s arrest. “I saw him as a good neigh­bor,” he told me, using a phrase—“buen vecino”—I heard over and and over again by those who want­ed to excuse Priebke’s Nazi crimes. He start­ed by join­ing the board of direc­tors of the Cole­gio Ale­man, which is known as one of the best schools in Bar­iloche. The school, an arm of the Ger­man Argen­tin­ian Cul­tur­al Asso­ci­a­tion, offi­cial­ly taught a state-man­dat­ed cur­ricu­lum and was open to stu­dents of all back­grounds. But Schulz said when he joined the board, it was known that the con­tracts of teach­ers who taught much about the Holo­caust were gen­er­al­ly not renewed. His hope that he could change the insti­tu­tion from the inside was quick­ly dashed: In 2008, after Schulz attend­ed an obser­vance of the 60th anniver­sary of Israel’s inde­pen­dence held by the town’s small Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, his fel­low board mem­bers called him. “They asked me, ‘What were you doing there? Were you rep­re­sent­ing us?’ I told them I just went on my own, and they said they didn’t sup­port that,” Schulz recalled. That year the direc­tors didn’t invite him back to the board.

    Schulz decid­ed to take his two chil­dren, then 10 and 13, out of the school, and dove into work­ing on a mem­oir about his fam­i­ly, his child­hood in Bar­iloche, and the dis­crim­i­na­tion he saw embed­ded in the town’s cul­ture. Most of the book, Manda­to Paterno“Paternal Mandate”—focuses on Schulz’s father, who was born in Argenti­na of Ger­man descent and had been sent as a teenag­er to a six-month Nazi train­ing camp in Ger­many to become a “Hitler Youth” just before the war. “When I pub­lished my book, the Cole­gio Ale­man board asked why I didn’t present it to them, since they were Ger­man,” Schulz told me. “But to me the Cole­gio Ale­man is not the Ger­many that exists now. I said ‘I’m Ger­man too and I don’t think like you.’ ”

    School admin­is­tra­tors nev­er respond­ed to my requests for inter­views, and when I vis­it­ed the campus—a four-sto­ry beige build­ing with a green shin­gle roof—staff who greet­ed me insist­ed they had noth­ing to tell me about Bariloche’s Nazi cul­ture. At least one grad­u­ate, a 26-year-old named Pablo Roig, said he remem­bered being shown a video doc­u­men­tary about Priebke and the Ardea­tine Caves mas­sacre a few years after Priebke’s arrest. After­ward the stu­dents asked the teach­ers what should hap­pen to Priebke, whose case was still being appealed at the time. “She said he was old­er, and that peo­ple can change, and he seemed to have repent­ed,” Roig told me, when we met in Buenos Aires.

    ***

    Mer­lin Maler, Rein­hard Kops’ grand­son, is a scruffy blond bohemi­an who makes his liv­ing as a snow­board instruc­tor. As a kid, he idol­ized his grand­fa­ther, who went by Juan Maler, the old­er man a devot­ed geol­o­gist who taught his grand­son about rocks and often took him on fish­ing trips. As a teenag­er, he once sold Kops’ Nazi medals for mon­ey to buy a skate­board; the neigh­bor who paid him drew a swasti­ka shape in the air so the boy would know what to look for as he rifled through his granddad’s cab­i­net.

    “I was so stu­pid, I didn’t know what the sign meant,” Maler, now 28, told me. He lives in a plant-stuffed roof loft in his grandfather’s old house, a laven­der cot­tage just uphill from the Cole­gio Ale­man and Priebke’s deli. “My friend explained to me that the sym­bol was bad, so I didn’t sell any­thing else because my skate­board sud­den­ly felt unclean,” he went on. “But the neigh­bor kept com­ing back to ask for more.”

    The day Kops out­ed Priebke, Maler’s lib­er­al class­mates greet­ed him with applause at school, he remem­bers, but many in the Ger­man com­mu­ni­ty shunned the boy for his relative’s defec­tion. “I asked my fam­i­ly when I was a child, ‘Why don’t we speak about it?’ ” Maler recalled as we sat at his hand­made wood­en table. “My grand­moth­er said it was too painful, and that they were tak­en advan­tage of. I always saw my grand­moth­er as a vic­tim of the Nazis.” The fam­i­ly leg­end, he explained, was that his grand­fa­ther fled to Argenti­na because he turned against the Nazis at the end of the war.

    But Kops is infa­mous for writ­ing anti-Semit­ic books and help­ing start a neo-Nazi com­mu­ni­ty in Chile once he moved to Argenti­na. “He nev­er taught me that,” Maler insist­ed. “I’m a lover of nature, and [my grand­fa­ther] made me that. And human beings are a part of nature, so I love them all.”

    Posted by Vanfield | April 29, 2014, 10:14 am
  2. I won­der if tourism has been pick­ing up recent­ly in Bar­iloche. On the seri­ous side, the infor­ma­tion on the so-called Mon­u­ments Men puts a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent spin on them than the recent movie (and relat­ed books, I guess)and points to yet more per­fidy on the part of Allen Dulles. More about him should be gleaned from the recent book about him and John Fos­ter in Stephen Kinder’s Broth­ers. Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is some infor­ma­tion on his rela­tion­ship with Karl Wolff, the SS Gen­er­al who nego­ti­at­ed Oper­a­tion Sun­rise with him. Mod­ern his­to­ri­og­ra­phy hope­ful­ly is catch­ing on at the usu­al glacial pace.

    Posted by Brad | May 3, 2014, 8:59 am
  3. @Brad–

    The infor­ma­tion in the Dun­stan & Williams text also sheds inter­est­ing light on the recent imbroglio con­cern­ing the Munich art deal­ers, the Gurlitts.

    http://spitfirelist.com/news/they-may-not-know-art-but-they-know-what-they-like/

    I strong­ly rec­om­mend the Dunstan/Williams book.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 3, 2014, 3:49 pm
  4. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wehrmacht-veterans-created-a-secret-army-in-west-germany-a-969015.html

    SPIEGEL ONLINE
    05/14/2014 05:33 PM
    Files Uncov­ered
    Nazi Vet­er­ans Cre­at­ed Ille­gal Army

    By Klaus Wiegrefe

    New­ly dis­cov­ered doc­u­ments show that in the years after World War II, for­mer mem­bers of the Nazi Wehrma­cht and Waf­fen-SS formed a secret army to pro­tect the coun­try from the Sovi­ets. The ille­gal project could have sparked a major scan­dal at the time.

    For near­ly six decades, the 321-page file lay unno­ticed in the archives of the BND, Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency — but now its con­tents have revealed a new chap­ter of Ger­man post­war his­to­ry that is as spec­tac­u­lar as it is mys­te­ri­ous.

    The pre­vi­ous­ly secret doc­u­ments reveal the exis­tence of a coali­tion of approx­i­mate­ly 2,000 for­mer offi­cers — vet­er­ans of the Nazi-era Wehrma­cht and the Waf­fen-SS — who decid­ed to put togeth­er an army in post­war Ger­many in 1949. They made their prepa­ra­tions with­out a man­date from the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, with­out the knowl­edge of the par­lia­ment and, the doc­u­ments show, by cir­cum­vent­ing Allied occu­pa­tion forces.

    The goal of the retired offi­cers: to defend nascent West Ger­many against East­ern aggres­sion in the ear­ly stages of the Cold War and, on the domes­tic front, deploy against the Com­mu­nists in the event of a civ­il war. It col­lect­ed infor­ma­tion about left-wing politi­cians like Social Demo­c­rat (SPD) Fritz Erler, a key play­er in reform­ing the par­ty after World War II, and spied on stu­dents like Joachim Peck­ert, who lat­er became a senior offi­cial at the West Ger­man Embassy in Moscow dur­ing the 1970s.

    The new dis­cov­ery was brought about by a coin­ci­dence. His­to­ri­an Agilolf Kessel­ring found the doc­u­ments — which belonged to the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, the pre­de­ces­sor to the cur­rent for­eign intel­li­gence agency — while work­ing for an Inde­pen­dent His­tor­i­cal Com­mis­sion hired by the BND to inves­ti­gate its ear­ly his­to­ry. Sim­i­lar com­mis­sions have been hired by a num­ber of Ger­man author­ties in recent years, includ­ing the Finance and For­eign Min­istries to cre­ate an accu­rate record of once hushed-up lega­cies.

    Kessel­ring uncov­ered the doc­u­ments, which were giv­en the strange title of “Insur­ances,” while try­ing to deter­mine the num­ber of work­ers employed by the BND.

    Instead of insur­ance papers, Kessel­ring stum­bled upon what can now be con­sid­ered the most sig­nif­i­cant dis­cov­ery of the Inde­pen­dent His­tor­i­cal Com­mis­sion. The study he wrote based on the dis­cov­ery was released this week.

    An Ease in Under­min­ing Democ­ra­cy

    The file is incom­plete and thus needs to be con­sid­ered with some restraint. Even so, its con­tents tes­ti­fy to the ease with which demo­c­ra­t­ic and con­sti­tu­tion­al stan­dards could be under­mined in the ear­ly years of West Ger­many’s exis­tence.

    Accord­ing to the papers, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Kon­rad Ade­nauer did­n’t find out about the exis­tence of the para­mil­i­tary group until 1951, at which point he evi­dent­ly did not decide to break it up.

    In the event of a war, the doc­u­ments claimed, the secret army would include 40,000 fight­ers. The involve­ment of lead­ing fig­ures in Ger­many’s future armed forces, the Bun­deswehr, are an indi­ca­tion of just how seri­ous the under­tak­ing was like­ly to have been.

    Among its most impor­tant actors was Albert Schnez. Schnez was born in 1911 and served as a colonel in World War II before ascend­ing the ranks of the Bun­deswehr, which was found­ed in 1955. By the end of the 1950s he was part of the entourage of then Defense Min­is­ter Franz Josef Strauss (CDU) and lat­er served the Ger­man army chief under Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt and Defense Min­is­ter Hel­mut Schmidt (both of the SPD).

    State­ments by Schnez quot­ed in the doc­u­ments sug­gest that the project to build a clan­des­tine army was also sup­port­ed by Hans Spei­del — who would become the NATO Supreme Com­man­der of the Allied Army in Cen­tral Europe in 1957 — and Adolf Heusinger, the first inspec­tor gen­er­al of the Bun­deswehr.

    Kessel­ring, the his­to­ri­an, has a spe­cial con­nec­tion to mil­i­tary his­to­ry: His grand­fa­ther Albert was a gen­er­al field mar­shal and south­ern supreme com­man­der in the Third Reich, with Schnez as his sub­or­di­nate “gen­er­al of trans­porta­tion” in Italy. Both men tried to pre­vent Ger­many’s par­tial sur­ren­der in Italy.

    In his study, Kessel­ring lets Schnez off eas­i­ly: He does­n’t men­tion his ties to the right-wing milieu, and he describes his spy­ing on sup­posed left-wingers as “secu­ri­ty checks.” When asked about it, the his­to­ri­an explains that he will deal with these aspects of the file in a com­pre­hen­sive study in the com­ing year. But the BND has recent­ly released the “Insur­ances” files, mak­ing it pos­si­ble to paint an inde­pen­dent pic­ture.

    The army project began in the post­war peri­od in Swabia, the region sur­round­ing Stuttgart, where then 40-year-old Schnez trad­ed in wood, tex­tiles and house­hold items and, on the side, orga­nized social evenings for the vet­er­ans of the 25th Infantry Divi­sion, in which he had served. They helped one anoth­er out, sup­port­ed the wid­ows and orphans of col­leagues and spoke about times old and new.

    Fears of Attack from the East

    But their debates always returned to the same ques­tion: What should be done if the Rus­sians or their East­ern Euro­pean allies invade? West Ger­many was still with­out an army at the time, and the Amer­i­cans had removed many of their GIs from Europe in 1945.

    At first, Schnez’ group con­sid­ered allow­ing them­selves to be defeat­ed and then lead­ing par­ti­san war­fare from behind the lines, before relo­cat­ing some­where out­side of Ger­many. In the event of a sud­den attack from the East, an employ­ee with the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion would lat­er write, Schnez want­ed to with­draw his troops and bring them to safe­ty out­side of Ger­many. They would then wage the bat­tle to free Ger­many from abroad.

    To pre­pare a response to the poten­tial threat, Schnez, the son of a Swabi­an gov­ern­ment offi­cial, sought to found an army. Even though it vio­lat­ed Allied law — mil­i­tary or “mil­i­tary-like” orga­ni­za­tions were banned, and those who con­tra­vened the rules risked life in prison — it quick­ly became very pop­u­lar.

    The army began to take shape start­ing at the lat­est in 1950. Schnez recruit­ed dona­tions from busi­ness­peo­ple and like-mind­ed for­mer offi­cers, con­tact­ed vet­er­ans groups of oth­er divi­sions, asked trans­port com­pa­nies which vehi­cles they could pro­vide in the worst-case sce­nario and worked on an emer­gency plan.

    Anton Grass­er, a for­mer infantry gen­er­al who was then employed by Schnez’ com­pa­ny, took care of the weapons. In 1950, he began his career at the Fed­er­al Inte­ri­or Min­istry in Bonn, where he became inspec­tor gen­er­al and over­saw the coor­di­na­tion of Ger­man Police Tac­ti­cal Units in the Ger­man states for the event of war. He want­ed to use their assets to equip the troop in case of an emer­gency. There is no sign that then Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Robert Lehr had been informed of these plans.

    Schnez want­ed to found an orga­ni­za­tion of units com­posed of for­mer offi­cers, ide­al­ly entire staffs of elite divi­sions of the Wehrma­cht, which could be rapid­ly deployed in case of an attack. Accord­ing to the lists con­tained in the doc­u­ments, the men were all employed: They includ­ed busi­ness­peo­ple, sales rep­re­sen­ta­tives, a coal mer­chant, a crim­i­nal lawyer, an attor­ney, a tech­ni­cal instruc­tor and even a may­or. Pre­sum­ably they were all anti-Com­mu­nists and, in some cas­es, moti­vat­ed by a desire for adven­ture. For exam­ple, the doc­u­ments state that retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Her­mann Höl­ter “did­n’t feel hap­py just work­ing in an office.”

    Most of the mem­bers of the secret reserve lived in south­ern Ger­many. An overview in the doc­u­ments shows that Rudolf von Bünau, a retired infantry gen­er­al, led a “group staff” out of Stuttgart. There were fur­ther sub-units in Ulm (led by retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Hans Wag­n­er), Heil­bronn (retired Lieu­tenant Gen­er­al Alfred Rein­hardt), Karl­sruhe (retired Major Gen­er­al Wern­er Kampfhenkel), Freiburg (retired Major Gen­er­al Wil­helm Nagel) and many oth­er cities as well.

    Records Have Dis­ap­peared
    Schnez’s list was­n’t passed on, but the doc­u­ments state he claimed it includ­ed 10,000 names, enough to con­sti­tute the core staff of three divi­sions. For rea­sons of secre­cy, he induct­ed only 2,000 offi­cers. Still, Schnez had no doubts that the rest would join them. There did­n’t seem to be any dearth of can­di­dates for the units: After all, there was no lack of Ger­man men with war expe­ri­ence.

    It remained to be deter­mined where they could relo­cate to in case of emer­gency. Schnez nego­ti­at­ed with Swiss loca­tions, but their reac­tions were “very restrained,” the doc­u­ments state he lat­er planned a pos­si­ble move to Spain to use as a base from which to fight on the side of the Amer­i­cans.

    Con­tem­po­raries described Schnez as an ener­getic orga­niz­er, but also self-con­fi­dent and aloof. He main­tained con­tacts with the League of Ger­man Youth and its spe­cial­ized orga­ni­za­tion, the Tech­nis­ch­er Dienst (Tech­ni­cal Ser­vice), which were prepar­ing them­selves for a par­ti­san war against the Sovi­ets. The two groups, secret­ly fund­ed by the Unit­ed States, includ­ed for­mer Nazi offi­cers as mem­bers, and were both banned by the West Ger­man fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in 1953 as extreme-right orga­ni­za­tions. Schnez, it seems, had no qualms what­so­ev­er asso­ci­at­ing him­self with for­mer Nazis.

    Schnez also main­tained a self-described intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus that eval­u­at­ed can­di­dates for the “Insur­ance Com­pa­ny,” as he referred to the project, and deter­mined if they had sus­pi­cious qual­i­ties. A crim­i­nal named K. was described as “intel­li­gent, young and half-Jew­ish.”

    US doc­u­ments viewed by SPIEGEL indi­cate that Schnez nego­ti­at­ed with for­mer SS Ober­sturm­ban­n­führer Otto Sko­rzeny. The SS offi­cer became a Nazi hero dur­ing World War II after he car­ried out a suc­cess­ful mis­sion to free deposed Ital­ian dic­ta­tor Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni, who had been arrest­ed by the Ital­ian king. The for­mer SS man had pur­sued plans sim­i­lar to those of Schnez. In Feb­ru­ary 1951, the two agreed to “coop­er­ate imme­di­ate­ly in the Swabia region.” It is still unknown today what pre­cise­ly became of that deal.

    In his search for financ­ing for a full-time oper­a­tion, Schnez request­ed help from the West Ger­man secret ser­vice dur­ing the sum­mer of 1951. Dur­ing a July 24, 1951 meet­ing, Schnez offered the ser­vices of his shad­ow army to Gehlen, the head of the intel­li­gence ser­vice, for “mil­i­tary use” or “sim­ply as a poten­tial force,” be it for a Ger­man exile gov­ern­ment or the West­ern allies.

    A nota­tion in papers from the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion states that there had “long been rela­tions of a friend­ly nature” between Schnez and Rein­hard Gehlen. The doc­u­ments also indi­cate that the secret ser­vice first became aware of the clan­des­tine force dur­ing the spring of 1951. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion clas­si­fied Schnez as a “spe­cial con­nec­tion” with the unat­trac­tive code name “Schnepfe,” Ger­man for “snipe”.

    Did Ade­nauer Shy Away?

    It’s like­ly that Gehlens’ enthu­si­asm for Schnez’s offer would have been greater if had it come one year ear­li­er, when the Kore­an War was break­ing out. At the time, the West Ger­man cap­i­tal city of Bonn and Wash­ing­ton had con­sid­ered the idea of “gath­er­ing mem­bers of for­mer Ger­man elite divi­sions in the event of a cat­a­stro­phe, arm­ing and then assign­ing them to Allied defense troops.”

    With­in a year, the sit­u­a­tion had defused some­what, and Ade­nauer had retreat­ed from this idea. Instead, he pushed for West Ger­many to inte­grate more deeply with the West and for the estab­lish­ment of the Bun­deswehr. Schnez’s ille­gal group had the poten­tial to threat­en that pol­i­cy — if its exis­tence had become pub­lic knowl­edge, it could have spi­raled into an inter­na­tion­al scan­dal.

    Still, Ade­nauer decid­ed not to take action against Schnez’s orga­ni­za­tion — which rais­es sev­er­al ques­tions: Was he shy­ing away from a con­flict with vet­er­ans of the Wehrma­cht and the Waf­fen-SS?

    There were mis­giv­ings with­in the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly sur­round­ing Sko­rzeny. Accord­ing to anoth­er BND doc­u­ment seen by SPIEGEL, a divi­sion head raised the ques­tion of whether it was pos­si­ble for the orga­ni­za­tion to take an aggres­sive stance against Sko­rzeny. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion man sug­gest­ed con­sult­ing “the SS”, adding, the SS “is a fac­tor and we should sound out opin­ions in detail there before mak­ing a deci­sion.” Appar­ent­ly net­works of old and for­mer Nazis still exer­cised con­sid­er­able influ­ence dur­ing the 1950s.

    It also became clear in 1951 that years would pass before the Bun­deswehr could be estab­lished. From Ade­nauer’s per­spec­tive, this meant that, for the time being, the loy­al­ty of Schnez and his com­rades should be secured for the event of a worst-case sce­nario. That’s prob­a­bly why Gehlen was assigned by the Chan­cellery “to look after and to mon­i­tor the group.”

    It appears Kon­rad Ade­nauer informed both his Amer­i­can allies as well as the polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion of the plan at the time. The papers seem to indi­cate that Car­lo Schmid, at the time a mem­ber of the SPD’s nation­al exec­u­tive com­mit­tee, was “in the loop.”

    Lit­tle Known about Dis­band­ing of Army

    From that point on, Gehlen’s staff had fre­quent con­tact with Shnez. Gehlen and Schnez also reached an agree­ment to share intel­li­gence derived from spy­ing efforts. Schnez boast­ed of hav­ing a “par­tic­u­lar­ly well-orga­nized” intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus.

    From that point on, the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion became the recip­i­ent of alert lists includ­ing the names of for­mer Ger­man sol­diers who had alleged­ly behaved in an “undig­ni­fied” man­ner as Sovi­et pris­on­ers of war, the insin­u­a­tion being that the men had defect­ed to sup­port the Sovi­et Union. In oth­er instances, they report­ed “peo­ple sus­pect­ed of being com­mu­nists in the Stuttgart area.”

    But Schnez nev­er got show­ered with the mon­ey he had hoped for. Gehlen only allowed him to receive small sums, which dried up dur­ing the autumn of 1953. Two years lat­er, the Bun­deswehr swore in its first 101 vol­un­teers. With the rear­ma­ment of West Ger­many, Schnez’s force became redun­dant.

    It is cur­rent­ly unknown exact­ly when the secret army dis­band­ed, as no fuss was made at the time. Schnez died in 2007 with­out ever stat­ing any­thing pub­licly about these events. His records on the “Insur­ance Com­pa­ny” have dis­ap­peared. What is known stems large­ly from doc­u­ments relat­ing to the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion that made their way into the clas­si­fied archive of its suc­ces­sor, the BND.

    It appears they were delib­er­ate­ly filed there under the mis­lead­ing title “insur­ances” in the hope that no one would ever find any rea­son to take inter­est in them.
    URL:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wehrmacht-veterans-created-a-secret-army-in-west-germany-a-969015.html

    Relat­ed SPIEGEL ONLINE links:

    Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Mem­bers (11/30/2011)
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/obscuring-the-past-intelligence-agency-destroyed-files-on-former-ss-members-a-800809.html
    Intel­li­gence Agen­cy’s Murky Past: The Nazi Crim­i­nals Who Became Ger­man Spooks (02/16/2011)
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/intelligence-agency-s-murky-past-the-nazi-criminals-who-became-german-spooks-a-745640.html
    From Nazi Crim­i­nal to Post­war Spy: Ger­man Intel­li­gence Hired Klaus Bar­bie as Agent (01/20/2011)
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/from-nazi-criminal-to-postwar-spy-german-intelligence-hired-klaus-barbie-as-agent-a-740393.html
    SPIEGEL Inter­view With Green Par­ty Chief Clau­dia Roth: ‘Each Min­istry Must Exam­ine Its Own Nazi Past’ (10/28/2010)
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/spiegel-interview-with-green-party-chief-claudia-roth-each-ministry-must-examine-its-own-nazi-past-a-725908.html

    © SPIEGEL ONLINE 2014
    All Rights Reserved
    Repro­duc­tion only allowed with the per­mis­sion of SPIEGEL­net GmbH

    Posted by Vanfield | May 15, 2014, 10:14 pm
  5. Inter­est­ing to note that this men­tions Otto von Bolschwing who rarely is cit­ed. Of course no men­tion of his con­nec­tions and activ­i­ty in the US.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/while-jewish-dps-languished-nazi-criminals-given-refuge-by-us/#ixzz3HYRdyhhf

    While Jew­ish DPs lan­guished, Nazi crim­i­nals giv­en refuge by US

    Pulitzer-Prize win­ning jour­nal­ist Eric Lichtblau’s ‘The Nazis Next Door’ explores how Amer­i­ca became a safe haven for Nazis through CIA recruit­ment
    By Jack Schwartz Octo­ber 29, 2014, 11:50 am 2

    NEW YORK — In the wan­ing days of World War II, Waf­fen SS gen­er­al Karl Wolff, made a deal with the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence oper­a­tive Allen Dulles that he would sur­ren­der his men in North­ern Italy in exchange for immu­ni­ty from war crimes. With the immi­nent col­lapse of the Third Reich, Wolff had more to gain from this under­stand­ing than Wash­ing­ton, but Dulles kept his promise, pro­tect­ing Wolff from pros­e­cu­tors at Nurem­berg.

    This was the begin­ning of a duti­ful friend­ship, not just between these two men but among the inter­ests they rep­re­sent­ed. It serves as pro­logue to “The Nazis Next Door,” (Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, 2014, $28) Eric Lichtblau’s riv­et­ing account of how Amer­i­ca became a refuge for war crim­i­nals with the col­lu­sion of US agen­cies who recruit­ed them for the Cold War and then sought to insu­late them from jus­tice.

    While aspects of this sto­ry are known, the sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion made by Licht­blau, a Pulitzer-Prize win­ning inves­tiga­tive reporter for The New York Times, is to piece it all togeth­er through declas­si­fied files and exten­sive inter­views in a dev­as­tat­ing indict­ment of an Amer­i­can intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary estab­lish­ment that made a pact with the dev­il — a bad bar­gain in terms of espi­onage results but one that encom­passed mass mur­der­ers, run-of-the-mill killers and assort­ed col­lab­o­ra­tors.

    In the end, a rein­vig­o­rat­ed Jus­tice Depart­ment suc­cess­ful­ly pros­e­cut­ed, denat­u­ral­ized and deport­ed more than 100 of them but, accord­ing to Licht­blau, an esti­mat­ed 10,000 “with clear ties to the Nazis” lived freely in the U.S. to the end of their days, hid­ing in plain sight as fac­to­ry work­ers, jan­i­tors and car sales­men.

    While many less­er fry slipped by a porous immi­gra­tion sys­tem through their own devi­ous means, Licht­blau focus­es on a clus­ter of Nazis who entered the US with a lit­tle help from their friends in the CIA. He fol­lows sev­er­al noto­ri­ous fig­ures who lived suc­cess­ful lives in this coun­try and, even when exposed, man­aged to evade the full con­se­quences of their pasts. The book traces them through decades of decep­tion from the ear­ly post­war era to the Rea­gan years.

    Among Lichtblau’s cast of char­ac­ters:

    Huber­tus Strughold, who took part in grue­some med­ical exper­i­ments for the Luft­waffe using human guinea pigs for tests on how the body could with­stand ice-cold waters and sud­den changes in air pres­sure. Strughold was spir­it­ed to an Air Force base in San Anto­nio where he was ven­er­at­ed as “the liv­ing sage of space med­i­cine.”

    Arthur Rudolph, who man­aged Hitler’s V‑2 rock­et facil­i­ty at Dora-Mit­tel­w­erk for Wern­her von Braun where thou­sands of pris­on­ers were beat­en, starved, exe­cut­ed and worked to death. Rudolph arrived in the US as part of “” — a strat­a­gem that brought 1,600 Ger­man sci­en­tists to Amer­i­ca — and became the lead­ing engi­neer on the Sat­urn V space pro­gram which brought him the sobri­quet “Mr. Sat­urn.”

    Otto von Bolschwing, an ear­ly influ­ence on Adolf Eich­mann in the Nazi Jew­ish Affairs office, and the author of a white paper on “The Jew­ish Prob­lem” that served as a blue­print for the despo­li­a­tion of Ger­man Jews. His hand­i­work includ­ed insti­gat­ing a hor­ren­dous pogrom in Bucharest in which hun­dreds of Jews were butchered. After the war, von Bolschwing ran an anti-Sovi­et spy net­work for the CIA that lat­er brought him to Amer­i­ca first-class on the Andrea Doria and got him a State Depart­ment agency job.

    For Jews, a very dif­fer­ent fate

    And while the CIA was pro­vid­ing red car­pet treat­ment for the per­pe­tra­tors what was the fate of the Jews who had sur­vived their onslaught?

    While promi­nent Nazis were pre­pared for the fall of the Third Reich with exit routes to South Amer­i­ca and the Mid­dle East, their vic­tims were not. Between 1946 and 1948 lit­tle more than 40,000 refugees were admit­ted to the U.S., two-thirds of them Jew­ish, a rem­nant of the rem­nant that had sur­vived.

    For the most part, the rest lan­guished for years in Dis­placed Per­sons camps in Europe, often liv­ing in abject mis­ery along­side the very Nazis who had vic­tim­ized them. Gen­er­al Pat­ton, who com­mand­ed the Amer­i­can zone in Bavaria, held them in dis­dain. And state­side, the plight of Jew­ish DPs evoked lit­tle sym­pa­thy. A post­war sur­vey showed that 72 per­cent of Amer­i­cans did not want the sur­vivors in the U.S.

    As for the Nazis, it took years before the polit­i­cal cli­mate changed and their pasts caught up with them. Ear­ly whis­tle-blow­ers were treat­ed as out­liers and them­selves harassed by the FBI for seek­ing to blow the cov­er of the war crim­i­nals who were by now estab­lished as US cit­i­zens. One of the activists was Chuck Allen, a left-wing jour­nal­ist. For his pains, Allen was des­ig­nat­ed a nation­al secu­ri­ty threat by J. Edgar Hoover.

    It wasn’t until the mid-70s that the tide turned, cul­mi­nat­ing in 1979 with the cre­ation of the Office of Spe­cial Inves­ti­ga­tions (OSI) in the Jus­tice Depart­ment after Con­gres­sion­al hear­ings in 1977–78. The unit had been forged through the efforts of peo­ple like Rep. Eliz­a­beth Holtz­man, a Brook­lyn Demo­c­rat, who had fought for sev­en years to bring hid­den Nazis to jus­tice.

    But pros­e­cu­tors seek­ing to denat­u­ral­ize and deport them faced legal stum­bling blocks. In one case, Tom Soob­zokov, a for­mer CIA recruit and a promi­nent cit­i­zen in Pater­son, N.J., impli­cat­ed in war crimes in the Black Sea region of Krasnodar, acknowl­edged that he was a mem­ber of the Waf­fen SS. His defense was that he’d told this to the Amer­i­can author­i­ties when he entered the US, there­by demon­strat­ing that although he was a Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tor, he hadn’t lied about it, a Catch-22 loop­hole that saved him from depor­ta­tion.
    Nazi-hunters tilt­ing at ghosts

    But the tide was turn­ing. TV series such as “Holo­caust,” and best-sell­ers like Howard Blum’s “Want­ed,” brought the face of geno­cide and the shame of ex-Nazis in our midst to pub­lic atten­tion. The CIA was no longer the sacred cow it had once been and nei­ther was the FBI any longer in very good odor. More­over, a new cadre of pros­e­cu­tors in Ger­many had shown an inter­est in going after war crim­i­nals.

    Hun­gar­i­an occu­pa­tion troops in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, Nov 25, 1941, pre­pare the gal­lows for the pub­lic exe­cu­tion of mem­bers of the People’s Lib­er­a­tion Resis­tance. A large­ly unknown archive doc­u­ment­ing thou­sands of cas­es against World War II crim­i­nals, from Hitler to many aver­age par­tic­i­pants in the Holo­caust who were nev­er brought to tri­al, are being made pub­lic and unre­strict­ed for the first time at the U.S. Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um in Wash­ing­ton after being locked away for decades at the Unit­ed Nations. (AP Photo/Muzej Rev­olu­ci­je Nar­o­d­nos­ti Jugoslav­i­je via Unit­ed States Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al Muse­um)

    A deter­mined team of Nazi hunters in the Jus­tice Depart­ment went after their quar­ry with real teeth in tight­ened reg­u­la­tions and pro­ce­dures. The heroes of Lichtblau’s chron­i­cle are these men — Neal Sher, Eli Rosen­baum, Mike Mac­Queen — led by Allan Ryan, who relent­less­ly pur­sued those who for decades had felt imper­vi­ous to ret­ri­bu­tion.

    By then, how­ev­er, the Nazi-hunters were vir­tu­al­ly tilt­ing at ghosts as their quar­ries aged and died. Arthur Rudolph, when con­front­ed with the evi­dence link­ing him to the under­ground slave labor fac­to­ry at Dora-Mit­tel­w­erk renounced his U.S. cit­i­zen­ship and vol­un­tar­i­ly exiled him­self to West Ger­many rather than face a pub­lic scan­dal.

    Otto von Bolschwing admit­ted to inves­ti­ga­tors that he’d been a high-rank­ing Nazi and agreed to sur­ren­der his cit­i­zen­ship but, in fail­ing health, was allowed to remain in the coun­try.

    As for Hubur­tus Strughold, OSI lawyers were prepar­ing to con­front him, but death reached him first. His lega­cy by then had been tar­nished, but not com­plete­ly. It was only last year that the Space Med­i­cine Asso­ci­a­tion agreed to with­draw pre­sen­ta­tion of its annu­al Strughold Award named for its patron saint.

    Age did not pro­vide an escape for every­one. Alek­san­dras Lileikis, liv­ing qui­et­ly for 35 years in a Boston sub­urb, was unearthed as chief of the secu­ri­ty police in Vil­nius who had turned over thou­sands of Jews to their Nazi exe­cu­tion­ers at the death pits of Ponary.

    Despite Lileikis’s stonewalling, deter­mined sleuthing by Mike Mac­Queen turned up doc­u­ments link­ing him to the mas­sacres. Lileikis was one of the many Nazi hench­men recruit­ed after the war by the CIA, which lat­er reset­tled him in the U.S. He was deport­ed to Lithua­nia in 1996 and died there at 93 await­ing a ver­dict on geno­cide charges.

    Lichtblau’s well-doc­u­ment­ed account might have been aug­ment­ed with a fuller explo­ration of the altered social and polit­i­cal con­di­tions that ulti­mate­ly brought some of these men to jus­tice: The Israeli tri­umph in the Six-Day War which pro­vid­ed a new assertive­ness to a younger gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Jews, togeth­er with the civ­il-rights move­ment of the 60s that inspired them to activism on behalf of their own peo­ple. The flow­er­ing of Jew­ish stud­ies pro­grams in the ear­ly 70s and its sub-set of Holo­caust stud­ies, turn­ing a spot­light on a once taboo sub­ject; Water­gate which had alert­ed the pub­lic to Gov­ern­ment malfea­sance and cov­er-ups, and a sur­feit of films and lit­er­a­ture — Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah,” and Elie Wiesel’s “Night” — that cap­tured the pub­lic imag­i­na­tion.

    This aside, Licht­blau has pro­vid­ed a com­pelling account of Amer­i­can com­plic­i­ty in recruit­ing Nazi war crim­i­nals, bring­ing them to our shores, cleans­ing their records and shield­ing them from jus­tice. Licht­blau cites a 2010 inter­nal Jus­tice Depart­ment study that he wrote about for The Times as pro­vid­ing the impe­tus for his book.

    The report acknowl­edges that “Amer­i­ca, which prid­ed itself on being a safe haven for the per­se­cut­ed, became — in some mea­sure — a safe haven for per­se­cu­tors as well.”

    How this came to be is the bur­den of Lichtblau’s grip­ping chron­i­cle, informed by the repor­to­r­i­al skills of a jour­nal­ist and impelled by the moral imper­a­tive to bear wit­ness.

    The author is the for­mer Book Edi­tor of News­day.

    Posted by Vanfield | October 29, 2014, 9:21 am
  6. @Vanfield–

    It is indeed inter­est­ing to see Von Bolschwing men­tioned, although–predictably–there is no men­tion of the Cru­sade For Free­dom or Helene von Damm.

    That is among the most impor­tant points–that the GOP is essen­tial­ly a front for the Under­ground Reich at this point in time.

    Richard Nixon–Dulles’protege–oversees the CFF, Ronald Rea­gan is its chief spokesman, William Casey han­dles the State Depart­ment machi­na­tions to bring them into the coun­try and George H.W. Bush makes the GOP’s Nazis a per­ma­nent part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty.

    That Rea­gan’s admin­is­tra­tive per­son­nel were select­ed from lists drawn up by von Bolschwing’s pro­tege von Damm does­n’t get men­tioned.

    In that con­text, I came across an inter­est­ing pic­ture on the Inter­net.

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1437623406450359&id=1435984889947544

    The pic­ture pur­ports to be of Yka­te­ri­na Chum­chenko, Rea­gan’s Deputy Direc­tor of Pub­lic Liai­son and a mem­ber of the UCCA–the top OUN/B front group in the Unit­ed States.

    She is alleged­ly lead­ing the cheers at a meet­ing of the Nation­al Alliance.

    The pic­ture is alleged to have been made in 1989.

    I can nei­ther con­firm nor dis­prove that this is, in fact, Chu­machenko, who lat­er mar­ried Vic­tor Yuschenko and became first lady of Ukraine.

    There cer­tain­ly is a dis­tinct resem­blance between the two, although the avail­able pic­tures of Chumachenko/Yuschenko are from a num­ber of years afterward–the ear­ly years of the new cen­tu­ry.

    IF the Nation­al Alliance pho­to is actu­al­ly Chu­machenko, she appears to have aged quite a bit in the fif­teen years or so between 1989 and the point in time when she became Yuschenko’s wife. That is cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble.

    IF the pho­to is, actu­al­ly, Chu­machenko, it is pos­si­ble that the pho­to was tak­en ear­li­er, per­haps in 1979, with the poster hav­ing made a typo.

    One also won­ders if she would be so indis­creet as to lead a Nazi cheer at a meet­ing like this.

    On the oth­er hand, the media are almost com­plete­ly blacked out on the Nazis in Ukraine and the Nazis in the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion.

    With a Nation­al Alliance associate–Bob Whitaker–having held a key posi­tion in the Rea­gan White House it would not be alto­geth­er unlike­ly to have Chu­machenko pump­ing up the crowd in ’89.

    About Whitak­er: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t141702/

    I haven’t been able to find any good, clear pho­tos of Chumachenko/Yuschenko that show the under­side of her right wrist, which fea­tures a promi­nent tat­too in the Nation­al Alliance pho­to.

    Of course, in the age of Pho­to­shop, pic­tures can be doc­tored.

    Chumachenko/Yuschenko is cer­tain­ly a fascist–the UCCA/OUN/B is about as bad as it gets.

    Svo­bo­da’s street fight­ing cadre–Combat 14–takes its name from the four­teen words, mint­ed by David Lane–the dri­ver of the get­away car in The Order’s mur­der of Alan Berg.

    That places the Nation­al Alliance and the Svoboda/OUN/B milieux in inti­mate prox­im­i­ty.

    Don’t expect our media to pur­sue this one to make an exact deter­mi­na­tion of fact.

    Watch the Naz­i­fied GOP regain con­trol of the Sen­ate on Tues­day.

    It will be inter­est­ing to see what hap­pens then.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | October 29, 2014, 5:01 pm

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