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

The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt

By FTR - July 4, 2006 @ 6:52 pm in News & Supplemental

[Orig­i­nally pub­lished in Covert Action Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin, Fall, 1990]

An arti­cle by Carl Oglesby

William Shirer closed his 1960 mas­ter­piece, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, with the judg­ment that the Nazi regime “had passed into his­tory,“1 but we can­not be so con­fi­dent today. On the con­trary, the evi­dence as of 1990 is that World War II did not end as Shirer believed it did, That Nazism did not sur­ren­der uncon­di­tion­ally and dis­ap­pear, that indeed it finessed a lim­ited but cru­cial vic­tory over the Allies, a vic­tory no less sig­nif­i­cant for hav­ing been kept a secret from all but the few Amer­i­cans who were directly involved.

The Odessa and its Mission

Hitler con­tin­ued to rant of vic­tory, but after Germany’s mas­sive defeat in the bat­tle of Stal­in­grad in mid-January 1943, the real­ists of the Ger­man Gen­eral Staff (OKW) were all agreed that their game was lost. Defeat at Stal­in­grad meant, at a min­i­mum, that Ger­many could not win the war in the East that year. This in turn means that the Nazis would have to keep the great pre­pon­der­ance of their mil­i­tary forces tied down on the east­ern front and could not rede­ploy them to the West, where the Anglo-American inva­sion of Italy would occur that sum­mer. Appar­ently inspired by the Soviet vic­tory, Pres­i­dent Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt and Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill announced at Casablanca, on Jan­u­ary 24, 1943, their demand for Germany’s uncon­di­tional sur­ren­der and the com­plete de-Nazification of Europe.2

Within the Ger­man gen­eral staff two com­pet­ing groups formed around the ques­tion of what to do: one led by Hein­rich Himm­ler the other by Mar­tin Bor­mann.3

Himm­ler was chief of the SS (Schutzstaffel, “pro­tec­tive ech­e­lon”), the black­shirted core of the Nazi party that emerged as Hitler’s body­guard in the late 1920s and grew into the most pow­er­ful of the Nazi polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions. After the fail­ure of the attempted mil­i­tary coup of July 20, 1944, which wounded but did not kill Hitler, the SS seized all power and imposed a furi­ous blood purge of the armed ser­vices in which some seven thou­sand were arrested and nearly five thou­sand.4 The SS was at that point the only organ of the Nazi state.

Himmler’s plan for deal­ing with the grim sit­u­a­tion fac­ing Nazism found its premise in Hitler’s belief that the alliance between “the ultra-capitalists” of the U.S. and “the ultra-Marxists” of the Soviet Union was polit­i­cally unsta­ble. “Even now they are at log­ger­heads,” said Hitler. “If we can now deliver a few more blows, this arti­fi­cially bol­stered com­mon front may sud­denly col­lapse with a gigan­tic clap of thun­der.“5 Himm­ler believed that this col­lapse would occur and that the U.S. would then con­sider the for­ma­tion of a new anti-soviet alliance with Nazi Ger­many. The Nazis Would then nego­ti­ate “a sep­a­rate peace” with the United States, sep­a­rate from any peace with the USSR, with which Ger­many would remain at war, now joined against the Sovi­ets by the United States.

But Mar­tin Bor­mann, who was even more pow­er­ful than Himm­ler, did not accept the premise of the separate-peace idea. Bor­mann was an inti­mate of Hitler’s, the deputy fuhrer and the head of the Nazi Party, thus supe­rior to Himm­ler in rank. Bor­mann wielded addi­tional power as Hitler’s link to the indus­trial and finan­cial car­tels that ran the Nazi econ­omy and was par­tic­u­larly close to Her­mann Schmitz, chief exec­u­tive of I.G. Far­ben, the giant chem­i­cal firm that was Nazi Germany’s great­est indus­trial power.

With the sup­port of Schmitz, Bor­mann rejected Himmler’s separate-peace strat­egy on the ground that it was far too optiop­ti­mistic.6 The Allied mil­i­tary advan­tage was too great, Bor­mann believed, for Roo­sevelt to be talked into a sep­a­rate peace. Roo­sevelt, after all, had taken the lead in pro­claim­ing the Allies’ demand for Germany’s uncon­di­tional sur­ren­der and total de-Nazification. Bor­mann rea­soned, rather, that the Nazi’s best hope of sur­viv­ing mil­i­tary defeat lay within their own resources, chief of which was the cohe­sion of tens of thou­sands of SS men for whom the prospect of sur­ren­der could offer only the gallows.

Bor­mann and Schmitz devel­oped a more aggres­sive self-contained approach to the prob­lem of the loom­ing mil­i­tary defeat. the cen­tral con­cept of which was that large num­bers of Nazis would have to leave Europe and at least for a time, find places in the world in which to recover their strength. There were sev­eral pos­si­bil­i­ties in Latin Amer­ica, most notably Argentina and Paraguay; South Africa, Egypt, and Indone­sia were also attrac­tive rear areas in which to retreat.7

After the Ger­man defeat in the bat­tle of Nor­mandy in June 1944, Bor­mann took the First exter­nal steps toward imple­ment­ing con­crete plans for the Nazis’ great escape.

An enor­mous amount of Nazi trea­sure had to be moved out of Europe and made safe. This trea­sure was appar­ently divided into sev­eral caches, of which the one at the Reichs­bank in Berlin included almost three tons of gold (much of it the so-called tooth-gold from the slaugh­ter camps) as well as sil­ver, plat­inum, tens of thou­sands of carats of pre­cious stones, and per­haps a bil­lion dol­lars in var­i­ous cur­ren­cies.8

There were indus­trial assets to be expa­tri­ated, includ­ing large ton­nages of spe­cialty steel and cer­tain indus­trial machin­ery as well as blue-prints crit­i­cal to the dom­i­na­tion of cer­tain areas of manufacturing.

Key Nazi com­pa­nies needed to be reli­censed out­side Ger­many in order to escape the reach of war-reparations claims.

And tens of thou­sands of Nazi war crim­i­nals, almost all of them mem­bers of the SS, needed help to escape Ger­many and safely regroup in for­eign colonies capa­ble of pro­vid­ing secu­rity and livelihoods.

For help with the first three of these tasks, Bor­mann con­vened a secret meet­ing of key Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists on August 10, 1944, at the Hotel Mai­son Rouge in Stras­bourg.9 One part of the min­utes of this meet­ing states:

The [Nazi] Party is ready to sup­ply large amounts of money to those indus­tri­al­ists who con­tribute to the post-war orga­ni­za­tion abroad. In return, the Party demands all finan­cial reserves which have already been trans­ferred abroad or may later be trans­ferred, so that after the defeat a strong new Reich can be built.10The Nazi expert in this area was Hitter’s one-time finan­cial genius and Min­is­ter of the Econ­omy, Dr. Hjal­mar Horace Gree­ley Schacht, avail­able to Bor­mann even though he was in prison on sus­pi­cion of involve­ment in the anti-Hitler coup of 1944. Accord­ing to a U.S. Trea­sury Depart­ment report of 1945, at least 750 enter­prises financed by the Nazi Party had been set up out­side Ger­many by the end of the war. These firms were capa­ble of gen­er­at­ing an annual income of approx­i­mately $30 mil­lion, all of it avail­able to Nazi causes.11 It was Schacht’s abil­ity to finesse the legal­i­ties of licens­ing and own­er­ship that brought this sit­u­a­tion about.12

Orga­niz­ing the phys­i­cal removal of the Nazis’ mate­r­ial assets and the escape of SS per­son­nel were the tasks of the hulk­ing Otto Sko­rzeny, simul­ta­ne­ously an offi­cer of the SS, the Gestapo and the Waf­fen SS as well as Hitler’s “favorite com­mando.“13 Sko­rzeny worked closely with Bor­mann and Schacht in trans­port­ing the Nazi assets to safety out­side Europe and in cre­at­ing a net­work of SS escape routes (“rat lines”) that led from all over Ger­many to the Bavar­ian city of Mem­min­gen, then to Rome, then by sea to a num­ber of Nazi retreat colonies set up in the global south.

The inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion cre­ated to accom­mo­date Bormann’s plans is most often called “The Odessa,” a Ger­man acronym for “Orga­ni­za­tion of Vet­er­ans of the SS.”

It has remained active as a shad­owy pres­ence since the war and may indeed con­sti­tute Nazism’s most notable orga­ni­za­tional achieve­ment. But we must under­stand that none of Bormann’s, Skorzeny’s, and Schacht’s well-laid plans would have stood the least chance of suc­cess had it not been for a final com­po­nent of their orga­ni­za­tion, one not usu­ally asso­ci­ated with the Odessa at all but very pos­si­bly the linch­pin of the entire project.

Enter Gehlen

This final ele­ment of the Odessa was the so-called Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion (the Org), the Nazi intel­li­gence sys­tem that sold itself to the U.S. at the end of the war. It was by far the most auda­cious, most crit­i­cal, and most essen­tial part of the entire Odessa under­tak­ing. The lit­er­a­ture on the Odessa and that on the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, how­ever, are two dif­fer­ent things. No writer in the field Of Nazi stud­ies has yet explic­itly asso­ci­ated the two, despite the fact that Gen­eral Rein­hard Gehlen was tied polit­i­cally as well as per­son­ally with Sko­rzeny and Schacht. More­over, Gehlen’s fabled post-war organ­za­tion was in large part staffed by SS Nazis who are pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied with the Odessa, men such as the infa­mous Franz Alfred Six and Emil Augs­burg of the Wannsee Insti­tute. An even more com­pelling rea­son for asso­ci­at­ing Gehlen with the Odessa is that, with­out his orga­ni­za­tion as a screen, the var­i­ous Odessa projects would have been directly exposed to Amer­i­can intel­li­gence. If the Counter Intel­li­gence Corps (CIC) and the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS) had not been neu­tral­ized by the Gehlen ploy, the Odessa’s great escape scheme would have been dis­cov­ered and bro­ken up.

At 43, Brigadier Gen­eral Rein­hard Gehlen was a stiff, unpre­pos­sess­ing man of pounds when he pre­sented him­self for sur­ren­der at the U.S. com­mand cen­ter in Fis­chhausen. But there was noth­ing small about his ego. “I am head of the sec­tion For­eign Armies East in Ger­man Army Head­quar­ters,” he announced to the GI at the desk. “I have infor­ma­tion to give of the high­est impor­tance to your gov­ern­ment.” The GI was not impressed, how­ever, and Gehlen spent weeks stew­ing in a POW com­pound before an evi­dent Soviet eager­ness to find him finally aroused the Amer­i­cans’ atten­tion.14

Gehlen became chief of the Third Reich’s For­eign Armies East (FHO), on April 1, 1942. He was thus respon­si­ble for Germany’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence oper­a­tions through­out East­ern Europe and the Soviet Union. His FHO was con­nected in this role with a num­ber of secret fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions in the coun­tries to Germany’s east. These included Stepan Bandera’s “B Fac­tion” of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists (OUN/B),15 Romania’s Iron Guard,16 the Ustachis of Yugoslavia,17 the Vanagis of Latvia18 and, after the sum­mer of 1942, “Vlassov’s Army,“19 the band of defec­tors from Soviet Com­mu­nism march­ing behind for­mer Red hero Gen­eral Andrey Vlassov. Later on in the war, Gehlen placed one of his top men in con­trol of For­eign Armies West, which broad­ened his power; and then after Admi­ral Wil­helm Canaris was purged and his Abwehr intel­li­gence ser­vice can­ni­bal­ized by the SS, Gehlen became in effect Nazi Germany’s over-all top intel­li­gence chief.

The Great Escape

In Decem­ber 1943, at the lat­est, Gehlen reached the same con­clu­sion about the war that had come upon Bor­mann, Schacht, Sko­rzeny, and Himm­ler. Ger­many was los­ing and could do noth­ing about it. Sev­eral months later, Gehlen says, he began qui­etly dis­cussing the impend­ing loss with a few close asso­ciates. As he writes in his mem­oir: “Early in-October 1944 I told my more inti­mate col­leagues that I con­sid­ered the war was lost and we must begin think­ing of the future. We had to think ahead and plan for the approach­ing cat­a­stro­phe.“21

Gehlen’s strate­gic response to Got­ter­dammerung was a kind of fusion of Himmler’s phi­los­o­phy with Bormann’s more pes­simistic Odessa line: “My view,” he writes, “was that there would be a place even for Ger­many in a Europe rearmed for defense against Com­mu­nism. There­fore we must set our sights on the West­ern pow­ers, and give our­selves two objec­tives: to help defend against Com­mu­nist expan­sion and to recover and reunify Germany’s lost ter­ri­to­ries.“22

Just as Bor­mann, Sko­rzeny, and Schacht were begin­ning to exe­cute their escape plans, so too was Gehlen: “Set­ting his sights on the West­ern pow­ers,” and in par­tic­u­lar on the United States, Gehlen pur­sued the fol­low­ing strate­gic ratio­nale: When the alliance between the United States and the USSR col­lapsed, as it was bound to do upon Germany’s defeat, the United States would dis­cover a pierc­ing need for a top-quality intel­li­gence ser­vice in East­ern Europe and inside the Soviet Union. It did not have such a ser­vice of its own, and the pres­sures of erupt­ing East-West con­flict would not give it time to develop one from scratch. Let the United States there­fore leave the assets assem­bled by Gehlen and the FHO intact. Let the United States not break up Gehlen’s rela­tion­ship with East Euro­pean fas­cist groups. Let the United States pick up Gehlen’s orga­ni­za­tion and put it to work for the West, the bet­ter to pre­vail in its com­ing strug­gle against a Soviet Union soon to become its ex-ally.

Gehlen brought his top staff peo­ple into the plan­ning for this amaz­ing pro­posal. Together, dur­ing the last months of the war, while Hitler was first rag­ing at Gehlen for his “defeatist” intel­li­gence reports, then pro­mot­ing him to the rank of brigadier gen­eral, then at last fir­ing him alto­gether (but pro­mot­ing into the FHO direc­tor­ship one of Gehlen’s co-conspirators), Gehlen and his staff care­fully pre­pared their huge files on East Europe and the Soviet Union and moved them south into the Bavar­ian Alps and buried them. At the same time, Gehlen began build­ing the ranks of the FHO intel­li­gence agents. The FH0 in fact was the only orga­ni­za­tion in the whole of the Third Reich that was actu­ally recruit­ing new mem­bers as the war was wind­ing down.23 SS men who knew they would be in trou­ble when the Allied forces arrived now came flock­ing to the FHO, know­ing that it was the most secure place for them to be when the war finally ended.24

When Gehlen’s plans were com­plete and his prepa­ra­tions all con­cluded, he divided his top staff into three sep­a­rate groups and moved them (as Sko­rzeny was doing at the same time) into pre­arranged posi­tions in Bavaria. Gehlen him­self was in place before the Ger­man sur­ren­der on May 7, hid­ing com­fort­ably in a well-stocked chalet in a moun­tain lea called Mis­ery Meadow. Besides Gehlen, there were eight oth­ers in the Mis­ery Meadow group, includ­ing two wounded men and three young women. For three weeks, main­tain­ing radio con­tact with the two other groups, Gehlen and his col­leagues stayed on the moun­tain, wait­ing for the Amer­i­can army to appear in the val­ley far below. “These days of liv­ing in the arms of nature were truly enchant­ing,” he wrote. “We had grown accus­tomed to the peace, and our ears were attuned to nature’s every sound.“25

Destruc­tion of the OSS

Gehlen was still com­muning with nature when William Dono­van, chief of the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices (OSS), arrived in Nurem­berg from Wash­ing­ton, dis­patched by the new pres­i­dent to assist Supreme Court Jus­tice Robert Jack­son. Harry S. Tru­man had made Jack­son the United States’s chief pros­e­cu­tor with the Inter­na­tional Mil­i­tary Tri­bunal (IMT), estab­lished to try the Nazis’ prin­ci­pal mil­i­tary lead­ers. Donovan’s OSS was to func­tion as an inves­tiga­tive arm of the IMT.

By the last half of the war if not before, Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt and Dono­van were con­vinced that the U.S. needed a per­ma­nent intel­li­gence ser­vice and that this ser­vice, like the OSS, should be civil­ian rather than mil­i­tary. They were con­vinced too that the OSS should be its foun­da­tion. On Octo­ber 31, 1944, Roo­sevelt directed Dono­van to pre­pare a memo on how such a ser­vice should be orga­nized.26

Dono­van con­sulted on this assign­ment with his col­league Allen Dulles, a force unto him­self as wartime chief of OSS oper­a­tions in Bern. Dulles advised Dono­van to pla­cate the mil­i­tary by propos­ing that the new agency be placed auto­mat­i­cally under mil­i­tary com­mand in time of war.27 Donovan’s pro­posal incor­po­rated this idea,28 but only in order to state all the more strongly the case for civil­ian con­trol and for mak­ing the OSS the basis of the new orga­ni­za­tion. As he wrote in his memo to Roo­sevelt of Novem­ber 18, 1944, “There are common-sense rea­sons why you may desire to lay the keel of the ship at once.... We now have [in the OSS] the trained and spe­cial­ized per­son­nel needed for such a task, and this tal­ent should not be dis­persed.“29

Dono­van pro­posed estab­lish­ment of a civil­ian intel­li­gence ser­vice respon­si­ble directly to the Pres­i­dent and the Sec­re­tary of State, the chief mis­sion of which would be to sup­port the Pres­i­dent in for­eign pol­icy. Except for the civil­ian Sec­re­taries of War and the Navy, Donovan’s plan did not even include a place for mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the advi­sory board, and he was care­ful to spec­ify that the advi­sory board would merely advise and not con­trol. The new ser­vice was to be all-powerful in its field, being respon­si­ble for “coor­di­na­tion of the func­tions of all intel­li­gence agen­cies of the Gov­ern­ment.” The Dono­van intel­li­gence ser­vice, in other words, would directly and explic­itly dom­i­nate the Army’s G-2 and the Navy’s ONI.30

Nat­u­rally, there­fore, the Dono­van plan drew an intense attack from the mil­i­tary. One G-2 offi­cer called it “cum­ber­some and Pos­si­bly dan­ger­ous.“31 Another referred to the OSS as “a bunch of fag­gots.“32 Nor was the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover silent. Hoover had fought cre­ation of the OSS per­haps more bit­terly than the mil­i­tary and had insisted through­out the war on main­tain­ing an FBI intel­li­gence net­work in Latin Amer­ica despite the fact that this was sup­posed to be OSS turf.33

Cer­tain ele­ments within Army intel­li­gence were not only opposed to Donovan’s plan but were also begin­ning to for­mu­late their own notions of what a post-war intel­li­gence sys­tem should be like.

Roo­sevelt sent the Joint Chiefs of Staff ultra-secret copies of Donovan’s pro­posal along with Roosevelt’s own draft exec­u­tive order to imple­ment it. On Jan­u­ary 1, 1945, the Chiefs for­mally reported to Roo­sevelt their extreme dis­sat­is­fac­tion with this scheme and leaked Donovan’s memo to four right-wing news­pa­pers, which leapt to the attack with blar­ing head­lines accus­ing FDR and Dono­van of con­spir­ing to cre­ate “a super Gestapo.” This attack put the Dono­van plan on hold, and the death of FDR on April 12, 1945 destroyed it.34

In early May 1945, pres­i­dent for less than a month, Tru­man made the OSS the Amer­i­can com­po­nent of the inves­tiga­tive arm of the IMT. It is one of the fas­ci­nat­ing con­junc­tions of this story that Dono­van should have left for Nurem­berg just as Gehlen was com­ing down from his moun­tain. It is one of its riper ironies that Dono­van would soon resign from Jackson’s staff in a dis­agree­ment over try­ing Ger­man offi­cers as war crim­i­nals, which Dono­van objected to but Jack­son and Tru­man sup– ported.35 Had Dono­van lent his ener­gies to the trial of Nazis within the Ger­man offi­cer corps, he might have con­fronted the very adver­saries who would shortly take his place in the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence sys­tem, not only mil­i­ta­riz­ing it, but Naz­i­fy­ing it as well.

Gehlen Makes his Move

Gehlen had been on the moun­tain for exactly three weeks and the war had been over for almost two weeks when he decided on May 19 that it was time to make con­tact. He left the three women and the two wounded men at Mis­ery Meadow and with his four aides began the decent to the val­ley town of Fis­chhausen on Lake Schliersee.

On the same day Soviet com­mis­sion­ers far to the north at Flens­burg demanded that the United States hand over Gehlen as well as his files on the USSR. This was the first the U.S. com­mand had heard of Gehlen.36

Gehlen and com­pany took their time, stay­ing three days with the par­ents of one of his aides and com­mu­ni­cat­ing by radio with those who had remained at Mis­ery Meadow. On May 22, Gehlen at last decided the moment was right. He and his aides marched into the Army com­mand cen­ter and rep­re­sented them­selves to the desk offi­cer, a Cap­tain John Schwarzwalder, to whom Gehlen spoke his pre­pared speech:

“I am head of the Sec­tion For­eign Armies East in Ger­man Army head­quar­ters. I have infor­ma­tion to give of the high­est impor­tance to your gov­ern­ment.” Schwarzwalder had Gehlen and his group jeeped to Mies­bach where there was a[n] OSS detach­ment. There Gehlen once again gave his speech, this time to a Cap­tain Mar­ian Porter: “I have infor­ma­tion of the great­est impor­tance for your supreme com­man­der.” Porter replied, “So have they all,” and shunted him and his cohorts off to the prison camp at Salzburg.

Gehlen’s dis­ap­point­ment at this recep­tion was keen and his biog­ra­phers all say he never for­got it, “laps­ing,” as one puts it, “into near despair” as he “pre­sented the strange para­dox of a spy-master thirst­ing for recog­ni­tion by his cap­tors.“37

Recog­ni­tion was inevitable, how­ever, since the CIC was try­ing to find him. By mid June at the lat­est, his name was rec­og­nized by a G-2 offi­cer, Colonel William H. Quinn, who had Gehlen brought to Augs­burg for his first seri­ous inter­ro­ga­tion. Quinn was the first Amer­i­can to whom Gehlen pre­sented his pro­posal and told of his staff dis­persed at sev­eral camps in the moun­tains as well as the pre­cious buried archives of the FHO. Unlike Cap­tain Porter, Colonel Quinn was impressed. He promptly passed Gehlen up the com­mand chain to Gen­eral Edwin L. Sibert.

Sib­ert later recalled, “I had a most excel­lent impres­sion of him at once.” Gehlen imme­di­ately began edu­cat­ing him as to the actual aims of the Soviet Union and its dis­play of mil­i­tary might.” As Sib­ert told a jour­nal­ist years later, “With her present armed forces poten­tial, he [Gehlen] con­tin­ued, Rus­sia could risk war with the West and the aim of such a war would be the occu­pa­tion of West Ger­many.“38

Act­ing with­out orders, Sib­ert lis­tened to Gehlen for sev­eral days before inform­ing Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Gen­eral Wal­ter Bedell Smith.39 Smith and Sib­ert then con­tin­ued to develop their rela­tion­ship with Gehlen secretly, choos­ing not to bur­den Eisen­hower with knowl­edge of what they were doing “in order not to com­pro­mise him in his rela­tions with the Sovi­ets.“40 Eisen­hower in fact had strictly for­bid­den U.S. frat­er­niza­tion with Germans.

Gehlen was encour­aged to resume con­tact with his FHO com­rades who were still at large in Bavaria, releas­ing them from their vow of silence. Gehlen was suf­fi­ciently con­fi­dent of his Amer­i­can rela­tion­ships by this time that he dug up his buried files and, in spe­cial camps, put his FH0 experts to work prepar­ing detailed reports on the Red Army for his Amer­i­can cap­tors. Well before the end of June he and his com­rades were “dis­charged from pris­oner of war sta­tus so that we could move around at will.“42 They were encour­aged to form a unit termed a “gen­eral staff cell” first within G-2’s His­tor­i­cal Research Sec­tion, then later in the Sev­enth Army’s Intel­li­gence Cen­ter in Wies­baden, where they worked in pri­vate quar­ters and were treated as VIPs.43

Indeed, a partly declas­si­fied CIA doc­u­ment reca­pit­u­lated this story in the early 1970s, not­ing at this time:

Gehlen met with Admi­ral Karl Doenitz, who had been appointed by Hitler as his suc­ces­sor dur­ing the last days of the Third Reich. Gehlen and the Admi­ral were now in a U.S. Army VIP prison camp in Wies­baden; Gehlen sought and received approval from Doenitz too!44

In other words, the Ger­man chain of com­mand was still in effect, and it approved of what Gehlen was doing with the Americans.

Gehlen’s biog­ra­phers are under the impres­sion that it took six weeks for some­one in Euro­pean G-2 to notice and rec­og­nize Gehlen in the POW cage, that Sib­ert did not tell Smith about find­ing him until the mid­dle of August, and that it was much later still before Sib­ert and Smith con­spired to cir­cum­vent Eisen­hower to com­mu­ni­cate their excite­ment about Gehlen to some­one at the Pen­ta­gon pre­sum­ably asso­ci­ated with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.45 But doc­u­ments released in the 1980s show that this part of Gehlen’s story raced along much more quickly. Already on June 29, in fact, the Pen­ta­gon had informed Eisenhower’s Euro­pean com­mand that the War Depart­ment wanted to see Gehlen in Wash­ing­ton.46

It was a fast time. By no later than August 22, one of Gehlen’s top asso­ciates, Her­mann Baum was form­ing what would become the intel­li­gence and coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence sec­tions of Gehlen’s new orga­ni­za­tion. Gehlen him­self, with ret­inue, was depart­ing for Wash­ing­ton in Gen­eral Bedell Smith’s DC-3 for high-level talks with Amer­i­can mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence offi­cials. And the whole con­cept of the deal he was about to offer his con­querors had been approved by a Nazi chain of com­mand that was still func­tion­ing despite what the world thought and still does think was the Nazis’ uncon­di­tional sur­ren­der.47

Gehlen arrived in Wash­ing­ton on August 24 with six of his top FHO aides and tech­ni­cal experts in tow.48 World War II had been over about a week, the war in Europe about three and a half months.

The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt

As Gehlen and his six men were en route from Ger­many to Wash­ing­ton, Donovan’s OSS trou­bles became crit­i­cal. On August 23, Admi­ral William Leahy, chief of the JCS, the President’s national secu­rity adviser and a man who despised Dono­van, advised Tru­man to order his bud­get direc­tor Harold Smith to begin a study of the intel­li­gence ques­tion. Stat­ing “this coun­try wanted no Gestapo under any guise or for any rea­son.“49 Tru­man may not have known that the Gestapo’s Odessa heirs were land­ing in the lap of the Pen­ta­gon even as he spoke. Smith in any case responded to Truman’s direc­tive by ask­ing Dono­van for his OSS demo­bi­liza­tion plans. Now, too late. Dono­van tried to fight. The Gehlen party, “Group 6,” was check­ing out its very com­fort­able accom­mo­da­tions at Fort Hunt at the very moment at which Dono­van, writ­ing from a bor­rowed Wash­ing­ton office, fired back a memo to Smith defend­ing the OSS and its right to live:

Among these assets [of the OSS] was estab­lish­ment for the first time in our nation’s his­tory of a for­eign secret intel­li­gence ser­vice which reported infor­ma­tion as seen through Amer­i­can eyes. As an inte­gral and insep­a­ra­ble part of this ser­vice, there is a group of spe­cial­ists to ana­lyze and eval­u­ate the mate­r­ial for pre­sen­ta­tion to those who deter­mine national pol­icy.“50

Much more sig­nif­i­cant than the ques­tion of the ade­quacy of U.S. intel­li­gence on the Soviet Union, how­ever, was the ques­tion of civil­ian ver­sus mil­i­tary con­trol of the intel­li­gence mis­sion. Ger­many and Eng­land had fought this bat­tle in the 19th cen­tury, the mil­i­tary cap­tur­ing the intel­li­gence role in Ger­many and the civil­ians main­tain­ing a posi­tion in Eng­land. Through­out the sum­mer and fall of 1945, this same bat­tle raged in the U.S. gov­ern­ment.51 The bat­tle for intel­li­gence con­trol was indeed the back­ground for the arrival of Gehlen and his six aides at Fort Hunt, where Gehlen’s party was housed and Gehlen him­self pro­vided with an NCO but­ler and sev­eral white-jacket order lies.52

A momen­tous rela­tion­ship was estab­lished at Fort Hunt, one that had the pro­found­est effects on the sub­se­quent evo­lu­tion of United States for­eign pol­icy dur­ing an excep­tion­ally dif­fi­cult pas­sage of world his­tory. The period of the Cold War as a whole, and more espe­cially its early, for­ma­tive years — from Gehlen’s com­ing aboard the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence ser­vice until he rejoined the West Ger­man repub­lic in 1955 — was laden with the peril of nuclear war. On at least one occa­sion, in 1948,53 Gehlen almost con­vinced the United States that the Soviet Union was about to launch a war against the West and that it would be in the U.S. inter­est to pre­empt it.

Clearly it is impor­tant to know who made and autho­rized the deci­sions that led to our national depen­dency on a net­work of under­ground Nazis, yet because the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments are still clas­si­fied this cen­tral part of the Gehlen story still can­not be reconstructed.

From the hand­ful of pub­lished books about the Gehlen affair (none of which cite their sources on this point) we can list only seven Amer­i­cans who were said to be involved with Gehlen at Fort Hunt:

  • Admi­ral William D. Leahy, chief of staff end Truman’s national secu­rity advisor.
  • Allen Dulles, OSS sta­tion chief in Bern dur­ing the war.
  • Sher­man Kent, head of OSS Research and Analy­sis Branch and a Yale historian.
  • Gen­eral George V. Strong, head of Army G-2.
  • Major Gen­eral Alex H. Bolling of G-2.
  • Brigadier Gen­eral John T. Magruder, first head of the Army’s Strate­gic Ser­vices Unit, a vul­ture of OSS.
  • Lof­tus E. Becker, a lawyer assc. with G-2 and the Nurem­berg war-crimes oper­a­tion; the CIA’s first deputy director.

We do not know if these peo­ple were involved as a com­mit­tee, if they talked with Gehlen and his six aides a lot or a lit­tle, sep­a­rately or all at once, or if they sent their own aides to work out the details. We do not know how a POW-interrogation was trans­formed into a bar­gain­ing process. Above all, we do not know what kind of com­mu­ni­ca­tion the U.S. par­tic­i­pants in the Fort Hunt-Gehlen talks had with the polit­i­cal author­i­ties to whom they were respon­si­ble. Leahy is the only one who had obvi­ous con­tact with Pres­i­dent Tru­man. But there is noth­ing in the revealed record to indi­cate that he ever dis­cussed Gehlen or the Fort Hunt deal with Tru­man, or took the least trou­ble to explain to Tru­man the impli­ca­tions of hir­ing a Nazi spy net­work. We have no idea, for that mat­ter, how Leahy him­self saw it.

What we do know is the out­lines of the Gehlen deal itself, how­ever it was ham­mered out and how­ever it was or was not rat­i­fied by legal, polit­i­cal author­ity. That is because Gehlen him­self laid out its terms in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy, The Ser­vice. Gehlen says in this work (which has been attacked for its inac­cu­ra­cies) that the dis­cus­sion ended with “a gentleman’s agree­ment,” that the terms of his rela­tion­ship with the United States were “for a vari­ety of rea­sons never set down in black and white.” He con­tin­ues, “Such was the ele­ment of trust that had been built up between the two sides dur­ing this year of inten­sive per­sonal con­tact that nei­ther had the slight­est hes­i­ta­tion in found­ing the entire oper­a­tion on a ver­bal agree­ment and a hand­shake.“54

Accord­ing Gehlen, this agree­ment con­sisted of the fol­low­ing six basic points. His lan­guage is worth savor­ing. “I remem­ber the terms of the agree­ment well,” he wrote:

“1. A clan­des­tine Ger­man intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tion was to be set up. using the exist­ing poten­tial to con­tinue infor­ma­tion gath­er­ing in the East just as we had been doing before. The basis for this was our com­mon inter­est in a defense against communism.”

“2. This Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion was to work not ‘for’ or ‘under’ the Amer­i­cans, but ‘jointly with the Americans.”

“3. The orga­ni­za­tion would oper­ate exclu­sively under Ger­man lead­er­ship, which would receive its direc­tives and assign­ments from the Amer­i­cans until a new gov­ern­ment was estab­lished in Germany.”

“4. The orga­ni­za­tion was to be financed by the Amer­i­cans with funds which were not to be part of the occu­pa­tion costs, and in return the orga­ni­za­tion would sup­ply all its intel­li­gence reports to the Amer­i­cans.” (The Gehlen Organization’s first annual bud­get is said have been $3.4 mil­lion.55)”

“5. As soon as a sov­er­eign Ger­man gov­ern­ment was estab­lished, that gov­ern­ment should decide whet
her the orga­ni­za­tion should con­tinue to func­tion or not. but that until such time the care and con­trol (later referred to as ‘the trustee­ship’) of the orga­ni­za­tion would remain in Amer­i­can hands.”

“6. Should the orga­ni­za­tion at any time find itself in a posi­tion where the Amer­i­can and Ger­man inter­ests diverged, it was accepted that the orga­ni­za­tion would con­sider the inter­ests of Ger­many first.“56

Gehlen acknowl­edges that the last point espe­cially might “raise some eye­brows” and make some think that the U.S. side “had one over­board in mak­ing con­ces­sions to us.” He assures his read­ers that actu­ally “this point demon­strates bet­ter than any other Sibert’s great vision: he rec­og­nized that for many years to come the inter­ests of the United States and West Ger­many must run par­al­lel.“57

Gehlen and his staff left Fort Hunt for Ger­many on July 1, 1946, hav­ing been in the United States for almost a year. They were tem­porar­ily based at Oberursel then set­tled into a per­ma­nent base in a walled-in, self-contained vil­lage at Pul­lach near Munich. Gehlen set up his head­quar­ters in an estate orig­i­nally built by Mar­tin Bor­mann.58 There a start-up group of 50 began to turn the “gentlemen’s agree­ment” of Fort Hunt into real­ity. The first order of busi­ness being staff, Gehlen’s recruiters were soon cir­cu­lat­ing among the “unem­ployed mass” of “for­mer” Nazi SS men, the Odessa con­stituency, to find more eval­u­a­tors, couri­ers and inform­ers.59 Gehlen had “solemnly promised in Wash­ing­ton not to employ SS and Gestapo men,“60 although it will be noted that Gehlen includes no such pro­vi­sion in his list of terms. There is not the least ques­tion that he did recruit such men, sup­ply­ing them with new names when necessary.

Two of the worst of them were Franz Six and Emil Augs­burg. Six was a key Nazi intel­lec­tual, and both Six and Augs­burg were asso­ci­ated with the Wannsee Insti­tute, the Nazi think-tank in Berlin where SS leader Rein­hard Hey­drich, in Jan­u­ary 1942, announced “the Final Solu­tion to the Jew­ish Ques­tion.” Both of them had com­manded exter­mi­na­tion squads rov­ing in East Europe in pur­suit of Jews and com­mu­nists. and both had gone under­ground with the Odessa when the Third Reich crum­bled. Augs­burg hid in Italy, then returned in dis­guise when Gehlen called. Six was actu­ally cap­tured by Allied intel­li­gence, tried at Nurem­berg and impris­oned, only to be sprung to work with Augs­burg run­ning Gehlen’s net­works of East Euro­pean Nazis.61

From the edge of total defeat Gehlen now moved into his vin­tage years, more pow­er­ful, influ­en­tial and inde­pen­dent than he had been even in the hey­day of the Third Reich. Min­i­mally super­vised first by the War Department’s Strate­gic Ser­vices Unit under Fort Hunt fig­ure Major Gen­eral John Magruder, and then by the SSU’s follow-on orga­ni­za­tion, the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Group under Rear Admi­ral Sid­ney Souers,62 the Org grew to dom­i­nate the entire West Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice. Through his close ties to Chan­cel­lor Kon­rad Adenauer’s chief min­is­ter, Hans Globke, Gehlen was able to place his men in posi­tions of con­trol in West Germany’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence and the inter­nal coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence arm. When NATO was estab­lished he came to dom­i­nate it too. By one esti­mate “some 70 per­cent” of the total intel­li­gence take flow­ing into NATO’S mil­i­tary com­mit­tee and Allied head­quar­ters (SHAPE) on the Soviet Union, the coun­tries of East Europe, the rest of Europe, and indeed the rest of the world was gen­er­ated at Pul­lach.63

Not even the estab­lish­ment of the CIA in 1947 and the offi­cial trans­fer of the Pul­lach oper­a­tion into the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment in 1955 (when it was reti­tled the Fed­eral Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, BND) less­ened the reliance of Amer­i­can intel­li­gence on Gehlen’s prod­uct.64 From the begin­ning days of the Cold War through the 1970s and beyond, the United State’s, West Germany’s, and NATO’s most pos­i­tive beliefs about the nature and inten­tions of the Soviet Union, the War­saw Pact, and world com­mu­nism would be sup­plied by an inter­na­tional net­work of utterly unre­con­structed SS Nazis whose pri­mary pur­poses were to cover the escape of the Odessa and make the world safe for Naziism.

The Cost of the Fort Hunt Treaty

Gehlen’s story has may branch­ings beyond this point. These include sev­eral spy scan­dals that exposed his oper­a­tion as dan­ger­ously vul­ner­a­ble to Soviet pen­e­tra­tion. They include the piti­ful spec­ta­cle of U.S. CIC agents pur­su­ing Nazi fugi­tives on war-crimes charges only to see them sum­mar­ily par­doned and hired by Gehlen. They include the dark saga of Klaus Bar­bie, the SS “Butcher of Lyon” who worked with the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion and boasted of being a mem­ber of the Odessa. They include assets of Oper­a­tion Paper­clip, in which right-wing forces in the U.S. mil­i­tary once again sav­aged the con­cept of de-Nazification in order to smug­gle scores of SS rocket sci­en­tists into the United States. They include con­tin­u­a­tion of the civilian-vs.-military con­flict over the insti­tu­tion of secret intel­li­gence and the ques­tion of polit­i­cally moti­vated covert action within the domes­tic inte­rior. They include above all the story of the enor­mous vic­tory of the Odessa in plant­ing pow­er­ful Nazi colonies around the world — in such coun­tries as South Africa where the enact­ment of apartheid laws fol­lowed; or sev­eral coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica that then became breed­ing grounds for the Death Squads of the cur­rent day; and indeed even in the United States where it now appears that thou­sands of wanted Nazis were able to escape jus­tice and grow old in peace.

In mak­ing the Gehlen deal, the United States did not acquire for itself an intel­li­gence ser­vice. That is not what the Gehlen group was or was try­ing to be. The mil­i­tary intel­li­gence his­to­rian Colonel William Cor­son put it most suc­cinctly, “Gehlen’s orga­ni­za­tion was designed to pro­tect the Odessa Nazis. It amounts to an excep­tion­ally well-orchestrated diver­sion.“65 The only intel­li­gence pro­vided by the Gehlen net to the United States was intel­li­gence selected specif­i­cally to worsen East-West ten­sions and increase the pos­si­bil­ity of mil­i­tary con­flict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It was exactly as the right-wing press had warned in 1945 when they were aroused by Donovan’s pro­posal for a per­ma­nent intel­li­gence corps, warn­ing their read­ers that a “super spy unit” could “deter­mine Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy by weed­ing out, with­hold­ing or col­or­ing infor­ma­tion gath­ered at his direc­tion.“66 It was exactly as Tru­man had warned when he demo­bi­lized the OSS with the obser­va­tion that the U.S. had no inter­est in “Gestapo like mea­sures.” The fact that this lively con­cern for a police-state appa­ra­tus should have been focused on the rel­a­tively innocu­ous OSS while at the same time the red car­pet was being rolled out for Gehlen’s gang of SS men must surely count as one of the supreme wrench­ing ironies of the mod­ern period.

Another dimen­sion of the cost the Gehlen deal is the stress it induced within Amer­i­can insti­tu­tions, weak­en­ing them incal­cu­la­bly. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion was the antithe­sis of the Allied cause, its sin­is­ter emer­gence on the scene of post-war Europe the very oppo­site of what the west­ern democ­ra­cies thought they had been fight­ing for.

Per­haps at least we can say that, despite Gehlen and despite the mil­i­tary, the United States did after all finally wind up with a civil­ian intel­li­gence ser­vice. The National Secu­rity Act of 1947 did embody Donovan’s cen­tral point in cre­at­ing a CIA out­side the mil­i­tary. But in fact the Gehlen Org sub­stan­tially pre-empted the CIA’s civil­ian char­ac­ter before it was ever born. The CIA was born to be rocked in Gehlen’s cra­dle. It remained depen­dent on the Org even when the Org turned into the BND. Thus, what­ever the CIA was from the stand­point of the law, it remained from the stand­point of prac­ti­cal intel­li­gence col­lec­tion a front for a house of Nazi spies.

The Org was not merely mil­i­tary, which is bad, not merely for­eign, which is much worse, and not merely Nazi, which is intol­er­a­ble; it was not even pro­fes­sion­ally com­mit­ted to the secu­rity of the U.S. and West­ern Europe. It was com­mit­ted exclu­sively to the secu­rity of the Odessa. All the Gehlen Org ever wanted the U.S. to be was anti-communist, the more mil­i­tantly so the bet­ter. It never cared in the least for the secu­rity of the United States, its Con­sti­tu­tion or its demo­c­ra­tic tradition.

It is not the point of this essay that there would have been no Cold War if the Odessa had not wanted it and had not been able, through the naive col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary Right to place Gehlen and his net­work in a posi­tion that ought to have been occu­pied by a descen­dant of the OSS. But it was pre­cisely because the world was so volatile and con­fus­ing as of the tran­si­tion from World War II to peace­time that the U.S. needed to see it, as Dono­van put it in his plain­tive appeal to Tru­man in the sum­mer of 1945, “through Amer­i­can eyes.” No Nazi eyes, how­ever bright, could see it for us with­out deceiv­ing us and lead­ing us to the betrayal of our own national character.

Sec­ond, there was no way to avoid the Cold War once we had taken the des­per­ate step of open­ing our doors to Gehlen. From that moment on, from the sum­mer of 1945 when the Army brought him into the United States and made a secret deal with him, the Cold War was locked in. A num­ber of Cold War his­to­ri­ans on the left (for exam­ple D.F. Flem­ing and Gabriel Kolko) have made cogent argu­ments that from the Soviet point of view the Cold War was thrust upon us by an irra­tional and bel­liger­ent Stalin. The story of the secret treaty of Fort Hunt exposes this “his­tory” as a self-serving polit­i­cal illu­sion. On the con­trary, the war in the Pacific was still rag­ing and the United States was still try­ing to get the Soviet Union into the war against Japan when Gen­eral Sib­ert was already deep into his rela­tion ship with Gehlen.

The key point that comes crash­ing through the prac­ti­cal and moral con­fu­sion about this mat­ter, once one sees that Gehlen’s Orga­ni­za­tion was an arm of the Odessa, is that, whether it was eth­i­cal or not, the U.S. did not pick up a Gift Horse in Gehlen at all; it picked up a Tro­jan Horse.

The uncon­di­tional sur­ren­der the Ger­mans made to the Allied com­mand at the lit­tle red school­house in Reims was the sur­ren­der only of the Ger­man armed ser­vices. It was not the sur­ren­der of the hard SS core of the Nazi Party. The SS did not sur­ren­der, uncon­di­tion­ally or oth­er­wise, and thus Nazism itself did not sur­ren­der. The SS chose rather, to seek other means of con­tin­u­ing the war while the right wing of the United States mil­i­tary estab­lish­ment, through fears and secret pas­sions and a naivete of its own, chose to facil­i­tate that choice. The his­tory that we have lived through since then stands wit­ness to the consequences.

Ref­er­ences

Carl Oglesby is the author of sev­eral books, notably The Yan­kee and Cow­boy War. He has pub­lished a vari­ety of arti­cles on polit­i­cal themes. In 1965 he was the Pres­i­dent of Stu­dents for a Demo­c­ra­tic Soci­ety. He is the direc­tor of The Insti­tute for Con­tin­u­ing de-Nazification. For infor­ma­tion on the Insti­tute write to: 294 Har­vard Street, #3, Cam­bridge. MA 02139.

  1. William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon & Schus­ter, 1960), p. 1140.
  2. Ibid., p. 1033 fn. Enun­ci­a­tion of this pol­icy sur­prised and upset some U.S. mil­i­tary lead­ers who feared it would pro­long the war. See, for exam­ple, William R. Cor­son (USMC ret.), The Armies of Igno­rance: The Rite of the Amer­i­can Intel­li­gence Empire (New York: Dial Press, 1977), pp. 8–10.
  3. William Steven­son, The Bor­mann Broth­er­hood: A New Inves­ti­ga­tion of the Escape and Sur­vival of Nazi War Crim­i­nals (New York: Har­court Brace Jovanovich, 1973).
  4. Op. cit. n. 1, p. 1072.
  5. Ibid., pp. 1091–92
  6. This dis­cus­sion of Bormann’s strat­egy is based mainly on Glenn B. Infield, Sko­rzeny: Hitler’s Com­mando (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981); and op. cit., n. 3.
  7. My sum­mary of the Nazi sur­vival plan is based on op. cit., n. 3; Infield, op. cit., n. 6; Ladis­las Farago, After­math: Mar­tin Bor­mann and the Fourth Reich (New York: Simon & Schus­ter, 1974); Charles Higham, Amer­i­can Swastika (New York: Dou­ble­day, 1985); Brian Bunting, The Rise of the South African Reich (New York: Pen­guin, 1964); and Simon Wiesen­thal, The Mur­der­ers Among Us (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967). On “neo-Nazi” colonies in the Near and Mid­dle East and South Amer­ica, see Wiesen­thal, pp. 78–95.
  8. Infield, op. cit., n. 6. p. 192.
  9. Ibid., p. 179; and Wiesen­thal, op. cit., n. 7. pp. 87–88.
  10. Wiesen­thal, op. cit., n. 7, p. 88. Also quoted in Infield, op. cit., n. 6, p. 183.
  11. Infield, op. cit., n. 6, p. 183.
  12. Schacht, who had lost favor with Hitler in 1938, was acquit­ted of war-crimes charges by the Nurem­berg Tri­bunal. He was later con­victed of being a “chief Nazi offender” by the Ger­man de-Nazification court at Baden-Wurttemberg, but his con­vic­tion was over­turned and his eight-year sen­tence lifted on Sep­tem­ber 2, 1948. Infield, op cit., n. 6.
  13. Infield, op cit., n. 6, p. 16.
  14. Heinz Hohne and Her­mann Zolling, The Gen­eral Was A Spy (New York: Richard Barry, Cow­ard McCann & Geoghe­gan, 1973), p. 54; and E.H. Cookridge, Gehlen, Spy of the Cen­tury (New York: Ran­dom House, 1971), p. 120.
  15. Christo­pher Simp­son, Blow­back (New York: Wei­den­feld and Nicol­son, 1988), p. 160 ff. Simpson’s is the best book on the Gehlen mat­ter so far published.
  16. Ibid., pp. 254–55.
  17. Ibid., pp. 180, 193.
  18. Ibid., pp. 10, 207–08.
  19. Ibid., pp. 18–22. Also see Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 35–37; Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 56–58.
  20. Cookridge op. cit., n. 14, p. 79.
  21. Rein­hard Gehlen, The Ser­vice (New York: World, 1972), p. 99.
  22. Ibid., p. 107.
  23. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 103, 106.
  24. I do not know of an esti­mate of the size of the For­eign Armies East (FHO) as of the end of the war. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 161, says that by 1948, when the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion was prob­a­bly back up to war-time speed, its key agents “exceeded four thou­sand.” Each agent typ­i­cally ran a net of about six infor­mants, Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 167. Thus, the total Gehlen net might have num­bered in the range of 20,000 individuals
  25. Op. cit., n. 21, p. 115.
  26. Cor­son, op. cit., n. 2, pp. 6, 20; Anthony Cave Brown, The Last Hero, Wild Bill Dono­van (N.Y.: Vin­tage Books, 1982), p. 625; U.S. Sen­ate, “Final Report of the Select Com­mit­tee to Study Gov­ern­men­tal Oper­a­tions with Respect to Intel­li­gence Activ­i­ties,” Book IV, Sup­ple­men­tary Staff Reports on For­eign and Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence (known as, The Church Report), p. 5.
  27. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p.130.
  28. Brown, op. cit., n. 26, p. 626.
  29. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 131.
  30. William M. Leary, ed., The Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency: His­tory and Doc­u­ments (Atlanta: Uni­ver­sity of Atlanta Press, 1984), pp. 123–25; Cor­son, op cit., n. 2, pp. 214–17; Brown, op. cit., n. 26, p. 625.
  31. Brown, op. cit., n. 26, p. 627.
  32. Ibid., p. 170.
  33. Thomas Pow­ers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (New York: Pocket Books, 1981), p. 31.
  34. Ibid.
  35. Brown, op. cit., n. 26, p. 744.
  36. This account of Gehlen’s sur­ren­der is based on Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 52–56; Cookridge, op cit., n. 14, pp. 118–21; op. cit., 3, pp. 89–90; op cit., n. 15, pp. 41–43; and the BBC doc­u­men­tary, Super­spy: The Story of Rein­hard Gehlen, 1974. There are many triv­ial dis­crep­an­cies in these four accounts but they are in per­fect agree­ment as to th
    e main thrust.
  37. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 120.
  38. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 58.
  39. As to break­ing orders, Gehlen is effu­sive in his praise of “Sibert’s great vision.... I stand in admi­ra­tion of Sib­ert as a gen­eral who this this bold step — in a sit­u­a­tion fraught with polit­i­cal pit­falls — of tak­ing over the intel­li­gence experts of a for­mer enemy for his own coun­try.... The polit­i­cal risk to which Sib­ert was exposed was very great. Anti-German feel­ing was run­ning high, and he had cre­ated our orga­ni­za­tions with­out any author­ity from Wash­ing­ton and with­out the knowl­edge of the War Depart­ment.” Op. cit., n. 21, p. 123.
  40. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 58.
  41. Ibid., pp. 58–59.
  42. Op. cit., n. 21, p. 120.
  43. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 58.
  44. Undated CIA frag­ment with head, “Recent Books,” appar­ently pub­lished circa 1972, partly declas­si­fied and released in 1986 in response to a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion (FOIA) suit.
  45. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 56, 58–59.
  46. U.S. Army doc­u­ment SHAEF D-95096, Sep­tem­ber 15, 1946, declas­si­fied FOIA release. The rout­ing of this cable through SHAEF HQ raises a ques­tion as to whether Eisen­hower was really kept in the dark about Gehlen.
  47. As Gehlen was about to leave for the United States, he left a mes­sage for Baun with another of his top aides, Ger­hard Wes­sel: “I am to tell you from Gehlen that he has dis­cussed with [Hitler’s suc­ces­sor Admi­ral Karl] Doenitz and [Gehlen’s supe­rior and chief of staff Gen­eral Franz] Halder the ques­tion of con­tin­u­ing his work with the Amer­i­cans. Both were in agree­ment.” Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 61.
  48. There is vari­ance in the lit­er­a­ture con­cern­ing how many assis­tants Gehlen took with him toWash­ing­ton. John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York: Simon and Schus­ter, 1986), p. 92; Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 125; and op. cit., n. 15, p. 42, say it was three while Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 61, say four. A U.S. Army note of August 28, 1945 (a 1986 FOIA release) refers to “the 7 shipped by air last week” and that no doubt is the cor­rect num­ber. Another FOIA release, an unnum­bered Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence Divi­sion doc­u­ment dated Sep­tem­ber 30, 1945, orig­i­nated at Fort Hunt, labels the Gehlen party as “Group 6″ and names seven mem­bers: Gehlen, Major Alberg Schoeller, Major Horst Hiemenz, Colonel Heinz Herre, Colonel Kon­rad Stephanus, and two oth­ers whose rank is not given, Franz Hin­richs and Her­bert Feukner. The num­ber is impor­tant for what it says about the nature of Gehlen’s trip, Three might be thought of as co-defendants but six con­sti­tute a staff. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 125, says Gehlen made the trip dis­guised in the uni­form of a one-star Amer­i­can gen­eral, his aides dis­guised as U.S. cap­tains. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 60–61, inflate the rank to two stars but then call the story spu­ri­ous. Gehlen’s mem­oir says noth­ing about it.
  49. Cor­son, op. cit., n. 2, p. 239.
  50. Ibid., p. 240.
  51. Ranelagh, op. cit., n. 48, p. 102ff.
  52. BBC doc­u­men­tary, Super­spy, op. cit., n. 36. Cor­son, in an inter­view with the author, said the but­ler and the order­lies must have been CIC agents. Still, the detail rankles.
  53. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, 203; op. cit., n. 15. p. 136.
  54. Op. cit., n. 21, p. 121. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14. p. 64, say that the details of this “gentlemen’s agree­ment” were put into writ­ing by the CIA in 1949.
  55. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 65.
  56. Op. cit., n. 21, p. 122.
  57. Ibid., pp. 122–23.
  58. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 119; Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 155, BBC doc­u­men­tary, Super­spy, op. cit., n. 36.
  59. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 67.
  60. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 144.
  61. Op. cit., n. 15, pp. 17, 46–47, 166, 225; Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, pp. 242–43.
  62. Hohne and Zolling, op. cit., n. 14, p. 133.
  63. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 218.
  64. Ibid., p. 128.
  65. Author’s inter­view with Cor­son, May, 1986.
  66. Cookridge, op. cit., n. 14, p. 131.

(This arti­cle was orig­i­nally from Cover­tAc­tion Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin, Fall, 1990)

 

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