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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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