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BND Files on Postwar Gestapo and SS Agents Purged During Ernst Uhrlau’s Directorship

Rein­hard Gehlen: Nazi head of post­war Ger­man intel­li­gence

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COMMENT: In FTR #761, we not­ed that Ernst Uhlrau had an inter­est­ing cur­ricu­lum vitae. Chief of the Ham­burg police dur­ing a peri­od in which Ger­man intel­li­gence had mem­bers of the Ham­burg cell of 9/11 hijack­ers under sur­veil­lance, Uhrlau was appoint­ed spe­cial advis­er to the Chan­cel­lor on intel­li­gence mat­ters in 1998. He became head of the BND in 2005.

Dur­ing Uhrlau’s tenure as BND direc­tor, files on BND offi­cers with SS and Gestapo back­grounds were shred­ded.

Accord­ing to Der Spiegel, BND offi­cers were recruit­ed from the fam­i­lies of BND oper­a­tives, per­mit­ting a per­pet­u­a­tion of Nazi ide­ol­o­gy and method­ol­o­gy from the orig­i­nal Gehlen SS and Gestapo recruits!

“Ernst Uhrlau”; Wikipedia.

EXCERPT: . . . . From 1996–98, Ernst Uhrlau was the Chief of Ham­burg Police. In 1998, Uhrlau was appoint­ed a Coor­di­na­tor of the Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty in the office of the Chan­cel­lor.

On 1 Decem­ber 2005, he was appoint­ed to the post of the head of the BND. . . .

“Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Mem­bers” by Klaus WiegrefeDer Spiegel; 11/30/2013.

EXCERPT: His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo. . . .

. . . . Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this hap­pened.

The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Par­ty) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Diet­mar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occur­rence.

Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Inves­ti­ga­tion? . . .

. . . . It is no secret that some peo­ple with­in the BND are unhap­py about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruit­ed new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employ­ees. . . .

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