The Gehlen Organization is a post-war agency, and the predecessor of the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst).

Major General Reinhard Gehlen headed the Foreign Armies East section of the Abwehr, directed towards the Soviet Union.

Gehlen so infuriated Hitler with his precise predictions of Soviet victories that der Führer ordered him sent to an insane asylum. Instead, he fled to the Bavarian Alps.

Gehlen had begun planning his surrender to the United States at least as early as the fall of 1944. In early March 1945 a group of Gehlen's senior officers microfilmed their holdings on the USSR. They packed the film in steel drums and buried it throughout the Austrian Alps. On 22 May 1945 Gehlen and his top aides surrendered to an American Counter-intelligence Corps [CIC] team - the deal : 50 cases of secret data on the Red Army in return for U.S. financial and political backing.

After the War, the United States recognized that it did not have an intelligence capability directed against the Soviet Union, a wartime ally. Gehlen negotiated an agreement with the United States which allowed his operation to continue in existence despite post-war de-nazification programs. The group, including his immediate staff of about 350 agents, was known as the Gehlen Organization. Reconstituted as a functioning espionage network under U.S. control, it became CIA's eyes and ears in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union.

Hundreds of German army and SS officers were released from internment camps to join Gehlen's headquarters in the Spessart Mountains in central Germany. When the staff grew to 3,000, the Bureau Gehlen moved to a twenty-five-acre compound near Pullach, south of Munich, operating under the innocent name of the South German Industrial Development Organization. In the early fifties it was estimated that the organization employed up to 4,000 intelligence specialists in Germany, mainly former army and SS officers, and that more than 4,000 V-men (undercover agents) were active throughout the Soviet-bloc countries.

Under Operation Sunrise, some 5,000 anti-communist Eastern European and Russian personnel were trained for operational missions at a camp at Oberammergau in 1946, under the command of General Sikes and SS General Burckhardt. This and related initiatives supported insurgencies in areas such as Ukraine, which were not entirely supressed by the Soviets until 1956. Operation Rusty encompassed gathering positive and counterintelligence information concerning the activities and organizations of an Intelligence Service and activities of various dissident German organizations. The operation involved close coordination and cooperation with foreign and other US intelligence organizations.

The Gehlen Organization played a role in the creation of the "missile gap," providing CIA with reports on Soviet missile developments, supposedly based on contacts with German scientists captured by the Russians at the end of the war.

But by the mid-1950s it became increasingly apparent that many of the assets of the Gehlen Organization were in fact controlled by Soviet intelligence. Dozens of operations, hundreds of agents, thousands of innocent civilians had been betrayed, many at the cost of their life.

In 1948 contact was established with a supposedly anti-Communist Polish underground organization known as WIN. The group provided evidence of actions conducted against Soviet troops, and provided secret documents to Western intelligence. WIN was provided with money, weapons, equipment and intelligence data. But by 1952 people entering Poland to help WIN were disappearing and its information was becoming less reliable. Late that year the underground was suddenly disbanded and a radio broadcast by the Polish Communist government demonstrated, in detail, that WIN had been created by the Soviet secret police and had received Soviet help in deceiving the West. The documents provided had been disinformation, the program had been financed with Western money, and the episode had distracted from other efforts to undermine the Polish regime while it was consolidating power.

In April 1956 control of the Gehlen Organization shifted to the newly-sovereign West German Federal Republic as the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, or "Federal Intelligence Service"). Gehlen remained chief of the West German Intelligence service until he retired in 1968, partly because two of his aides were found to be Soviet double agents.

An obsessive anti-Communist, Gehlen helped plot some of the crucial undercover moves of the cold war.

Gehlen claimed to have known about the Berlin Wall before it went up, to have been aware of plans for the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia before it occurred, and to have correctly predicted the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli war of 1967.

Perhaps his most startling assertion in 1971 was that missing Nazi War Criminal Martin Bormann was really a Soviet agent who died in the Soviet Union less than three years earlier. In Die Welt Gehlen alleged that Hitler's alter ego was a Soviet agent, rescued that fateful night in 1945 by Red Army soldiers and whisked off to the U.S.S.R. to continue his anti-German work.

Gehlen outlined a detailed analysis of Soviet political and military goals for the next two decades and called for a parallel buildup of Western military strength

It is an established fact that there was a high-level leak of Nazi secrets to the Soviets.

According to Gehlen, both he and his Abwehr (Army counterintelligence) superior, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. "came to the conviction that the Soviets must have at their disposal a well-informed intelligence source at the top of the German leadership," and that this source was Bormann. Gehlen says that he received two dependable reports in the 1950s that "Martin Bormann lived perfectly covered and protected in the Soviet Union" after the war and later information that he had died there.

There is at least some support for Gehlen's astonishing thesis. A 1947 book called Who Killed Hitler? states:

Russian intelligence reported Bormann under arrest, a prisoner of the Red Army in the Berlin area in early July 1945—two months after Berlin's capture!

An International News Service story in 1950 quotes Wilhelm Höttl, a Nazi secret service expert, as saying that Bormann and other former German officials were running a bureau in the U.S.S.R. to "reorganize Germany, East and West, along the lines of a people's democracy."

Cornelius Ryan, author of The Last Battle, said in a 1966 interview that a German general "told me he once had a secret meeting with Hitler, with Bormann the only other man present. Hitler gave orders about a change in command on the Eastern Front. Within two hours the Russian radio broadcast the names of the generals who would be replaced, who would take over, and specific details on new strategy."

The resemblance between the NATO Logo and the NAZI Swastika should not be seen as a mere coincidence

Germany/USA: Original Sin - From SS to OSS

By Martin A. Lee

The CIA's "original sin," dates back to when it used a Nazi spy network brimming with war criminals.  The CIA protected this cast of killers to ostensibly counter the Soviet threat.  The key player on the German side of this unholy alliance was Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's top anti-Soviet spy.  Gehlen oversaw Germany's military-intelligence capabilities throughout Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R.

As the war drew to a close, the crafty Gehlen surmised that the grand anti-fascist coalition - led by the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union - would not survive the peace.  Gehlen also recognized that U.S. intelligence operations would be ill-prepared to wage a sustained struggle against the U.S.S.R.

Gehlen surrendered to a U.S. Counter-intelligence Corps team on May 22, 1945.  He offered to share the vast espionage archive on the U.S.S.R.  He also offered to activate an underground army of battle-hardened anti-communists in Eastern Europe.

Although the ink had barely dried on the Yalta agreements, which required the U.S. to give the Soviets any captured German officers who had been involved in "eastern area activities," Gehlen was transferred to Fort Hunt, Virginia.

During his 10 months at Fort Hunt, Gehlen presented a professional image, the pure technician who liked nothing better than to immerse himself in maps, flowcharts and statistics.  Allen Dulles, head of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and future CIA director, became one of Gehlen's biggest post-war boosters.

With a mandate to continue gathering information in Eastern Europe just as he had been doing for Hitler, Gehlen re-established his spy organization, initially under U.S. Army supervision.  The Gehlen "Org," as it was called, enlisted thousands of Gestapo, Wehrmacht and SS veterans.

Senior bureaucrats who administered the Holocaust were welcomed into the Org.  (Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's right-hand man and personal favorite, found gainful employment courtesy of Gehlen and the CIA.) "It seems," the Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized, "that in the Gehlen headquarters one SS man paved the way for the next and Himmler's elite were having happy reunion ceremonies."

U.S. officials knew that many of the people they were subsidizing had committed horrible crimes against humanity, but atrocities were overlooked as the anti-communist crusade gained momentum.  Through Gehlen, the CIA had access to former leaders of virtually every Nazi puppet regime from the Baltics to the Black Sea, as well as a rogues gallery of Waffen SS fanatics.

Working within the CIA in the late 1940s, Gehlen's Nazi-infested spy apparatus functioned as America's secret eyes and ears in Central Europe.  Under CIA auspices, and later as head of the West German secret service (BND), Gehlen influenced U.S. policy toward the Soviet Bloc.  The Org played a major role within NATO, too, supplying two-thirds of raw intelligence on Warsaw Pact countries.

"We had an agreement to exploit each other, each in his own national interest," said James Critchfield, a CIA operative who worked with Gehlen on a daily basis for eight years.  "The CIA loved Gehlen because he fed us what we wanted to hear," an ex-CIA officer told writer Christopher Simpson.  "We used his stuff constantly and we fed it to the Pentagon, the White House and the newspape

Reinhard Gehlen

(3 April 1902 – 8 June 1979) was a Major General in the German Wehrmacht during World War II. Starting in 1942 he served as chief of Fremde Heere Ost (FHO), the German Army's military intelligence unit on the Eastern Front. During the emerging phases of the Cold War, he was recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union (known as the Gehlen Organization) which employed numerous former SS, SD and Wehrmacht officers and eventually became head of the West German intelligence apparatus. He served as the first president of the Federal Intelligence Service until 1968. Gehlen is considered one of the most legendary Cold War spymasters though some at the CIA cast doubt on this.

Reinhard Gehlen was born into a Roman Catholic family in Erfurt, the son of a bookstore owner. He joined the Reichswehr in 1920. He attended the German Staff College, graduating in 1935, after which he was promoted to captain and attached to the Army General Staff.

Gehlen was on the General Staff from 1935-1936 and in 1939, Gehlen was promoted to major. At the time of the 1939 German attack on Poland he was a staff officer of an infantry division. In 1940, Gehlen became liaison officer to Army Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch. He was later transferred to the staff of Army Chief of Staff General Franz Halder.

In July 1941, Gehlen was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, sent to the Eastern Front and assigned to the German General Staff, section Fremde Heere Ost, FHO or Foreign Armies East as a senior intelligence officer.

In the watershed year of 1942, according to Gehlen's memoir, he was approached by Colonel Henning von Tresckow, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and General Adolf Heusinger to participate in an assassination attempt on German head of state Adolf Hitler. His role was to be minor. When the plot culminated in the failed bomb plot of 20 July 1944, Gehlen's role was covered up and he escaped Hitler's retaliation against the conspirators. Throughout his years at FHO, Gehlen allowed determined opponents of the National Socialist government to hold conspiratorial discussions inside his section and he was present at Berchtesgaden in the final days before 20 July when details of the assassination attempt were discussed.

In the spring of 1942 Gehlen took over FHO from Colonel Eberhard Kinzel. Even before the disaster of Stalingrad, Gehlen realized that FHO must be fundamentally reorganized and he methodically set about finding the right personnel. Gehlen scoured army personnel files, searching for linguists, geographers, anthropologists, lawyers and junior officers who had recently joined FHO. He accepted anyone who seemed suitable to him and who would be likely to raise the intellectual level of FHO. A stream of fresh and energetic officers and experts flowed in. It was this cadre that amassed a comprehensive data file on the Red Army, producing assessments and "defeatist reports" that reached Hitler. Their discouraging accuracy eventually resulted in his dismissal in April 1945, but not before his last promotion, to the rank of major general.

During the war, Gehlen's organization accumulated a great deal of information about the Soviet Union and the battlefield tactics of the Red Army. When the Iron Curtain descended in 1946, leaving the Western Allies with virtually no intelligence sources in Eastern Europe, Gehlen’s vast store of knowledge made him very valuable.

Realizing early on that Germany would ultimately be defeated, Gehlen made preparations to ensure his own survival after the fall of the Third Reich. He ordered the microfilming of the holdings of Fremde Heere Ost and had them placed in watertight drums, which he buried in several places in the Austrian Alps.[9] He had fifty cases of archives buried at the Elendsalm in the mountains of Upper Bavaria,[10] planning to sell them after the end of hostilities.

On 22 May 1945, Gehlen surrendered to the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in Bavaria. He was brought to Camp King and interrogated by Captain John R. Boker near Oberursel. Because of his knowledge and contacts inside the Soviet Union he was very valuable to the Americans. He offered them his intelligence archives and his network of contacts in exchange for his liberty and the liberty of his colleagues imprisoned in American POW camps in Germany. Boker quietly removed Gehlen and his command from the official lists of American POWs and managed to transfer seven of Gehlen's senior officers to the camp. Gehlen's archives were unearthed and brought to the camp secretly, without even the knowledge of the CIC. By the end of the summer Boker had elicited the support of Brigadier General Edwin Sibert, the G2 (senior intelligence officer) of the Twelfth Army Group. General Sibert contacted his superior, General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff, who then worked with William Joseph Donovan, the former head of OSS and Allen Dulles, then the OSS station chief in Bern, to make suitable arrangements. On 20 September 1945, Gehlen and three close associates were flown to the United States to begin work for them. While there, Gehlen exposed a number of Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officers who were secret members of the U.S. Communist Party.

In July 1946 Gehlen was officially released from American captivity and flown back to Germany, where he began his intelligence work on 6 December 1946 by setting up an organization of former German intelligence officers, first at Oberursel near Frankfurt, then at Pullach near Munich, called the "South German Industrial Development Organization" to mask its true nature as an undercover operation and spy ring. Gehlen handpicked 350 former German intelligence agents to join him, a number that eventually grew to 4,000 undercover agents. This group was soon to be given the nickname the "Gehlen Organization" or simply "the Org."

Gehlen had always been under the sponsorship of US Army G-2 (intelligence), but he eventually succeeded in realizing his ambition of establishing an association with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), established in 1947. The CIA kept close tabs on the Gehlen group. For many years during the Cold War, Org agents were the only eyes and ears of the CIA on the ground in the Soviet Bloc nations.

Every German POW returning from Soviet captivity to West Germany, between 1947 and 1955, was interviewed by Org agents. The Gehlen Org employed hundreds of ex-Nazi members and also had close contacts with East European émigré organizations. Unheralded tasks, such as observation of the operation of Soviet rail systems, airfields and ports were important functions of the Org, as was the infiltration of agents into the Baltic and Ukraine. The Org "Operation Bohemia" was a major counter-espionage success.

The Gehlen Organization was eventually compromised by East Germany, communist moles within itself and by communists and their sympathizers within the CIA and the British SIS (MI6), particularly Kim Philby. As the Org slowly emerged, bit by bit, from the shadows, Gehlen and his group came under relentless attack from both sides, East and West. The British, in particular, were hostile toward Gehlen and segments of the British press made sure the Org became known.

Ten years after the end of World War II, on 1 April 1956, the Gehlen Organization was officially handed over to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. It formed the nucleus of the newly created Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND or Federal Intelligence Service). Gehlen held the top leadership post (President of the BND), presiding over spectacular successes as well as failures, until being forced out in 1968. His downfall was as dramatic as his rise, resulting from several factors, including the discovery of Heinz Felfe, an ex-SS lieutenant and Soviet agent in the Pullach headquarters complex, estrangement from Chancellor Adenauer earlier in 1963 and above all, by his increasing inattention to business and his delinquent leadership which, taken altogether, resulted in a decline in efficiency of the BND. He retired from government service in 1968, receiving the pension of a Ministerialdirektor (one of the most senior civil service grades) plus, allegedly, a pension from the CIA. He died in 1979 at the age of 77.

Gehlen received the German Cross in silver and the War Merit Cross 1st class during World War II and the Federal Cross of Merit with Shoulder Ribbon in 1968. He also was a Knight of Malta.

Perhaps the definitive assessment of Gehlen and his organisation has yet to be written. However there are those in the CIA at least who have expressed doubts about some of the mythologizing undertaken by Gehlen himself and other authors.

Reinhard Gehlen and his Organization

We knew what we did. It was absolutely necessary that we used every son of a bitch as long as he was an anti-communist.

 ~ Harry Rositzke, CIA-Russia expert 

Hitler's top spymaster, General Reinhard Gehlen, and his organization played a pivotal role in post-World War II history.

In charge of all intelligence on the Eastern Front during the war, Gehlen's organization was adopted by U.S. intelligence after the war and became, in turn, the CIA's intelligence eyes and ears on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the de-facto NATO intelligence organization and the intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany, the BND.

In this capacity, Gehlen was able to exert a profound influence on the course of world events. Despite a pledge to his American sponsors not to employ war criminals, from the first, Gehlen did not hesitate to utilize some of the worst offenders.

World War II had been over scarcely a week when a U.S. Army DC-3 touched down outside of Washington, D.C., ferrying a top-secret German cargo. Stepping off the plane, possibly disguised as an American general, was Nazi legend Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's master spy.

His slight physique - five feet eight, 130 pounds - belied his strategic importance to the U.S. officials who welcomed him with open arms. As chief of the Third Reich's Foreign Armies East, Gehlen had been Hitler's most senior officer on the Russian front. He had run an elaborate network of Nazi spies against the Soviet Union - the new villains in the budding Cold War.


Though he was forty-three years old, and Germany lay in ruin, Gehlen's best years were still ahead of him. He was about to make an offer that America's military and governing elites couldn't refuse: He would put his clandestine nexus of Nazi SS officers, underground fascist sympathizers, fugitive war criminals, and encyclopedic Soviet files into the service of Uncle Sam.

A shrewd survivor, Gehlen had buried his organization's plenary files on the USSR in the Austrian Alps as soon as Nazi Germany's collapse became imminent. Gehlen knew that the battle against communism would replace the war against fascist Germany as the overriding military and political goal of the capitalist West. "My view," he wrote in his memoir, "was that there would be a place even for Germany in a Europe rearmed for defence 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." (Apparently, Gehlen's bargaining chip was so valuable, his host were willing to overlook the general's still-current ideas about Deutschland Über Alles.)

Shortly after Germany's surrender to the Allies, Gehlen had descended from his Alpine retreat, audaciously turning himself over the American authorities. "I am head of the Section Foreign Armies East in German Army headquarters," he announced in his prepared speech. "I have information to give of the highest importance to your government."

"So have they all," snapped an army captain, who sent the arrogant, hot-tempered general packing to the camp at Salzburg with the rest of the Nazi prisoners. But he wouldn't stew there for very long. Within a month, with the Soviet Union demanding custody of Gehlen and his files, Hitler's spy master began to receive a stream of important American visitors.

At Fort Hunt near Washington, were an NCO butler and several white-jacketed orderlies catered to his needs, Gehlen conferred with President Truman's national security advisor, a gaggle of army intelligence generals, and Allen Dulles, a giant in America's wartime intelligence outfit, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Later Dulles would take the helm of the CIA.

After a year in Washington, Gehlen returned to the Fatherland - not as a prisoner, but as an influential agent in America's anticommunist war of nerves with Russia. Gehlen took command of his old organization and became America's foremost intelligence source on the Soviet Union. His influence over American policy would be sweeping; and like the proverbial Faustian pact, there would be later reverberations: His exaggerated reports of Russian military strength would escalate the Cold War to dangerous peaks.

How the U.S. government came to collaborate with Gehlen and hundreds of other high-ranking Nazis is a rarely told chapter of American history. American officials, increasingly paranoid about the threat of Soviet influence in postwar Europe and around the world, found expedient soul mates in the Nazi scientists and SS officers they recruited. After all, Nazi Germany's fascists were vehemently opposed to communism, too. Invoking the exigencies of the Cold War, Dulles explained away any misgivings about hiring Gehlen: "He's on our side, and that's all that matters."

Even as the U.S. military was hunting down Nazi war criminals, other branches of the U.S. government were quietly enlisting many of the same fugitives. Project Paperclip was the U.S. War Department's code name for its secret importation of Nazi scientists, using sanitized, rewritten "records" to sneak the Germans through U.S. immigration. In Germany, many of those scientists had benefited from fatal experiments performed on prisoners at Dachau and from slave labor at other concentration camps. During the early 1980s the U.S. Department of Justice identified numerous Nazi veterans who were still living in America.

Truman's National Security Council issued classified directives sanctioning the use of former Nazi collaborators. The paper trail was subject to a massive coverup, and the complete history of America's dalliance with Nazis remains partially obscured. They may not have save Hitler's brain, as the B-movie conspiracy theory had it, but the Fuhrer's intelligence apparatus found a new host, transplanted onto America's spy and military agencies. It's ironic that when President Truman demobilized the OSS, he warned against setting up a permanent "Gestapo-like" intelligence agency, even as his administration was dotting the i's and crossing the t's on its make-work program for former and possibly not-so-former Nazis and their quislings.

Among the notorious Nazi fugitives quietly pardoned and employed by the postwar American government for intelligence work was Klaus Barbie, the SS "Butcher of Lyon." Barbie worked with Gehlen after the war and even lived for a time in the United States.

Though Gehlen promised his handlers, "on principle," that he wouldn't recruit former SS and Gestapo men, he immediately broke his official word, hiring at least six SS and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) veterans. And America's intelligence elite looked the other way.

Two of Gehlen's notorious postwar hires were Franz Six and Emil Augsburg, SS intelligence veterans involved in the mass extermination of Jews. They were both fugitive war criminals.

Franz Six was described by Adolf Eichmann as "a real eager beaver" when it came to the genocide of Jews. "The physical elimination of Eastern Jewry would deprive Jewry of its biological reserves," Six had announced at a conference on the so-called Jewish Question. He put his plan into practice in Smolensk, where his unit murdered some two hundred people in cold blood, among them "thirty-eight intellectual Jews who had tried to create unrest and discontent in the newly established Ghetto of Smolensk," he reported to headquarters.

Emil Augsberg, a staffer under SS chief Himmler, also had led a murder squad in Russia. According to his Nazi Party records, he achieved "extraordinary result…in special tasks," an SS euphemism for mass murder of Jews. Gehlen would find good use for Augsburg's specialty: overseeing assassinations behind "enemy" lines.

For the Gehlen Organization, both Six and Augsberg reactivated their Nazi spy networks in the Soviet Union and hired unemployed German intelligence veterans, many of whom were fellow fugitives. Gehlen must have realized that unofficial Allied policy favored the employment of war criminals: Augsberg was simultaneously moonlighting for several other U.S. intelligence agencies and a French government clandestine group, all the while serving in a private network of ex-SS officers.

When the U.S. Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) caught up to Six, he was convicted of war crimes and got a twenty-year sentence. (Augsberg was luckier: the CIC didn't arrest him - it hired him.) After only four years in prison, though, Six won clemency - and U.S. permission to rejoin the Gehlen Organization as a valuable asset to Western security.

Gehlen's group not only formed the core in America's absorption of Hitler's espionage elite, it also helped midwife the newborn CIA: During the early postwar years, all of the Agency's anti-Soviet assets in Eastern Europe were managed and mastered by Gehlen. Sometimes his reports were retyped verbatim on CIA stationary and passed along to Truman. Gehlen also held great sway over NATO's intelligence and strategy. According to one estimate, the master spy generated 70 percent of NATO's information on the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Europe.

In effect, the West's bulwark against the USSR was utterly dependent on information flowing from an operation run by former Nazis - and said information was often spurious, at that.

In his sobering book on America's recruitment of Nazis, Blowback, Christopher Simpson notes that Gehlen's alarmist reports helped ratchet up tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War: "Gehlen provided U.S. Army intelligence and later the CIA with many of the dire reports that were used to justify increased U.S. military budgets and intensified U.S./USSR hostilities," Simpson writes.

Gehlen's exaggerated reports about an imminent Soviet attack - when in fact the Russians were still licking their postwar wounds - came close to touching off several times. According to Gehlen biographer E. H. Cookridge and others, in 1948 Gehlen nearly convinced the United States that the Soviets were about to launch an assault on the West. He advised that the West would be wise to strike first. Later, during the 1950s, his erroneous claims that the Soviets had outpaced America in the military buildup fuelled fears about the so-called missile gap, which helped stoke up anticommie feelings to feverish levels.

"The [CIA] loved Gehlen because he fed us what we wanted to hear," former CIA officer Victor Marchetti told Simpson. "We used his stuff constantly, and we fed it to everybody else: the Pentagon; the White House; the newspapers. They loved it, too. But it was hyped up Russian boogeyman junk, and it did a lot of damage to this country."

Ironically, the Org also damaged the CIA's anti-Soviet work. The Org's underground groups were so riddled with Soviet double agents, that Western intelligence was compromised for decades. John Loftus, formerly the chief prosecutor of the Justice Department's Nazi-hinting section, summed up the Soviet infiltration of anti-East Bloc groups this way:

It really shows how Soviet intelligence was able to keep communism afloat for the last seventy years.

Intentionally or not, Gehlen undermined the very "national security" that had justified his recruitment in the first place.

Which brings us to some interesting, yet unsubstantiated, speculation. Some researchers proposed that Hitler's haughty spy master had a plan B, an ulterior motive beyond the personal survival instinct and rabid anticommunism. Conspiracy researcher Carl Oglesby contends that Gehlen's postwar organization operated as a cover for the Odessa, an international underground set up by Deputy Führer Martin Bormann to preserve the defeated Nazi Reich. Oglesby calls Gehlen's group "by far the most audacious, most critical, and most essential part of the entire Odessa undertaking." Military intelligence historian (and espionage veteran) Colonel William Corson seconds this notion.

The Gehlen Org, Oglesby argues, provided a haven for fleeing Odessa members by putting them on the American intelligence payroll - a brilliant gambit. More than a few of Gehlen's operatives were indeed Odessa members.

Oglesby's evidence is curious, if not entirely convincing. A declassified CIA document from the 1970s reports that while he was in a U.S. Army VIP prison camp in Wiesbaden, "Gehlen sought and received approval" for his deal with the Americans from Hitler's appointed successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz.

"The German chain of command was still in effect," Oglesby concludes, "and it approved of what Gehlen was doing with the Americans."

Whether or not the Gehlen Org was a diversion to preserve an underground Nazi empire is an open question. But Gehlen did manage to attain his goal of splitting away from U.S. intelligence to serve the fledgling West German government. Gehlen's Org continues to live on, as Germany's BND intelligence service.

The Org's legacy also survives in America. The forty-year defense buildup that helped transform America into the world's largest debtor nation, as well as the ongoing exploits of Gehlen's godchild, the CIA, in the expedient realms of political assassination, propaganda, and covert operations certainly owe a debt to Hitler's master spy, and the men who signed him up to "our side." 

General Reinhard Gehlen and the OSS

While the Operation Paperclip scientists were setting up shop in the U.S., General Reinhard Gehlen began re-establishing his presence in West Germany. His organization, the Gehlen Org, quickly regained control of the majority of his former agents inside the Iron Curtain, and with the help of many of his former staff, put them back to work. Though he agreed not to hire any former Gestapo, SS or SD members, he sought them out and put them on the payroll - the CIA's payroll - regardless of his promise. And the CIA did not stop him.

Among his recruits were Dr. Franz Six and Emil Augsburg. Six and Augsburg had been members of an SS mobile Death's Head killing squad that hunted down and killed Soviet Jews, intellectuals and partisans wherever they could be found. Six was known as a Streber, or Eager Beaver, for the enthusiastic manner in which he pursued his job. Gehlen also recruited the former Gestapo chiefs of Paris, France, and Kiel, Germany. Then, that not being enough, he hired Willi Krichbaum, the former senior Gestapo leader for southeastern Europe.

Gehlen was pleasantly surprised by what happened next. His new employer, the OSS, not only encouraged but financed an escape mechanism set up by Gehlen for former Nazis. The Gehlen Org established, with OSS help, "rat lines" to provide an underground escape network to be used by former war criminals to escape prosecution by German war crimes tribunals. By way of this organization, over 5,000 Nazis secretly made their way out of Europe to relocate around the globe.

Most went to South and Central America. The countries of choice were Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Within a few years after their arrival in these particular countries, the infamous right-wing government "death squads" made their first appearances. Of note in the expatriate community were such characters as Dr. Josef Mengele, who specialized in crude genetic experiments on Jewish concentration camp inmates, and mass murderer Klaus Barbie, the infamous "Butcher of Lyons."

According to some sources, former OSS officer James Jesus Angleton, who later became CIA Chief of Intelligence, was the man responsible for providing the Nazis with new identities before their departure from the detainment camps. Angleton worked directly for Dulles.

To satisfy his new employers, Gehlen realized that he had to produce information that was of value to Washington. He also realized that for an intelligence organization to be of value, and to justify a large budget, it had to have an entity that was considered a deadly threat to spy on. He knew that the Americans had little knowledge concerning both the Russians as a military machine, and what activities were transpiring behind the Iron Curtain. The Red Menace would fit the requirement of the ominous threat nicely. All Gehlen had to do was paint as bleak a picture of the situation as he could, and continue creating reports that indicated that the scenario was continually deteriorating. The more bad news he gave Washington, the more money he would have to work with. He knew that in peacetime, the only way to justify a large intelligence organization was to make sure there was always "an enemy at the gates."

He began by feeding information to Dulles - and consequently to Truman - that appeared to show that the Russians were poised to attack the West. He reported that the Soviet forces in eastern Europe were comprised of 208 crack assault divisions, most of which were high-speed capable motorized rifle and tank divisions. Such figures showed that the Communists outnumbered the Western forces by a ratio of ten-to-one.

Then, in early 1947, he reported to the fledgling CIA that his agents had noted subtle changes in Soviet billeting and leave policies, and that troops were being recalled for some unspecified reason. He alluded that this could be the beginning of a preparation phase for the suspected invasion.

This was followed by Gehlen's prediction that the Russians would move quickly once all troops and equipment had been activated and put into position for attack. It wouldn't be long until there was a Soviet Blitzkrieg.

In actual fact, Gehlen's information could not have been further from the truth. By 1946, the Red Army was an over-extended, under equipped, and exhausted force of combat-riddled units. Many of the battalions that had reached Berlin had done so on foot. There was not even sufficient motor transport to move one entire division without depriving another of its motorized assets. Almost half of the Red Army's transport was horse drawn. In addition to this, U.S. Army Intelligence had established that the majority of Soviet forces in Eastern Europe was bogged down in rebuilding the eastern zones, reorganizing security structures, and performing governmental administrative functions. According to the intelligence estimate, the Soviet ground and air forces would not be combat effective against the Western powers for at least the next decade.

The 10:1 Russian superiority figure that Gehlen referred to was unrealistic from the beginning. Gehlen well knew, as did Dulles and the other veteran OSS agents, that the Soviet divisional structure was far less in numerical manpower than its U.S. equivalent. A Soviet division was typically one third as strong as an American division. And its leadership was far less effective. Instead of being able to function in combat with flexibility by making on-the-spot field expedient decisions, the Soviet officers had to wait for orders from upper echelon before reacting to a change in the flow of battle. This fact in itself often caused the Soviets grievous losses, and even defeats, during land battles. The U.S. forces, on the other hand, encouraged battlefield decisions during the heat of conflict to be made at the lowest levels.

Still, the OSS - and the follow-on CIG (Central Intelligence Group which replaced the OSS) - chose to conveniently believe Gehlen. Over 70 % of the reports submitted to Washington on CIA stationary were simply Gehlen's words. According to a former CIA officer, "Gehlen's reports and analyses were sometimes simply retyped onto CIA stationary and presented to President Truman without further comment."

The results of such activities were exactly what the intelligence community - and the military - wanted. Truman ceased cutting the military budget; increased spending for weapons research, military equipment, aircraft and the space program; ordered an increase in the development and construction of nuclear weapons; and most importantly to the young CIA, began pumping millions of dollars into the "black" budget for covert operations. In the ten years that followed the war, the CIA consumed over $200 million dollars of funds that did not have to be accounted for.

According to Victor Marchetti, former chief analyst on Soviet military capabilities and author of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, "The agency loved Gehlen because he fed us what we wanted to hear. We used his stuff constantly, and we fed it to everybody else: the Pentagon; the White House; the newspapers. They loved it." Marchetti further explained, "Gehlen had to make his money by creating a threat that we were afraid of, so we would give him more money to tell us about it. In my opinion, the Gehlen organization provided nothing worthwhile for understanding or estimating Soviet military or political capabilities in Eastern Europe or anywhere else."

The final result of all these cloak-and-dagger exercises was a reputed Cold War that lasted for almost half a century, and cost American taxpayers alone over $8 trillion dollars.

Peacetime intelligence gathering had become big business - profitable to not only the growing intelligence organizations, but to the defense industry and the investors who financed both it and the government.

The Medusa File: Secret Crimes and Coverups of the U.S. Government

by Craig Roberts
Consolidated Press International


The CIA/Nazi Nexus

What do you call a group that over the course of fifty years has been toppling regimes, training national police forces in torture, looting, running an extensive mind-control superproject, helping import ex-Nazi war criminals into America and collaborating extensively with them, apparently assisting in the transport and importation and sale of illegal drugs, running propaganda campaigns designed to create and exacerbate conflict among political groups within foreign nations, exploring and funding all sorts of university and private research into consciousness for possible use in controlling people's minds, paving the way for multinational corporations to expand their operations into foreign countries - thus considerably aiding the economic ruination of those nations - infiltrating the American and foreign press with significant numbers of reporters who are compromised, who slant news, who omit vital news, who protect the Agency from harmful exposure, who keep the American people from knowing what is going on behind the scenes in their own country...

~Jon Rappoport, The Secret Behind Secret Societies: Liberation of the Planet in the 21st Century

Had the United States government followed the Yalta Accord, they would have been required to turn Gehlen over to the USSR. Instead, the American government made a deal with him. Not only would Gehlen turn over his massive cache of files on the Soviet Union to the U.S., he would also serve as an intelligence source on the Russians. In other words, the United States collaborated with a known Nazi who had committed mass murder in return for information. In doing so, the government permitted Gehlen to utilize a network of Nazi SS officers, fugitive war criminals and fascist sympathizers. In effect, they helped establish the post-war Organization of Former SS Members (Organization der Ehemaligen SS-Angeh?en), known as Odessa. And Gehlen wasn't the only high-ranking Nazi to make such a deal. Other Nazi war criminals were used for intelligence work: Klaus Barbie, Franz Alfred Six, Emil Augsburg and Otto Skorzeny were among the hundreds of fugitives on the payroll of the U.S. government. Nazi scientists were secretly imported into the country through a project codenamed Paperclip by the U.S. War Department. According to their own intelligence reports, approximately seventy-five percent of the German scientists were "ardent Nazis". Many had conduct experiments on prisoners in concentration camps. Truman had approved "Paperclip" on the condition that no Nazis were brought into the country. This would have eliminated scientists such as Wernher von Braun, who was an SS major, and Arthur Rudolph. Each had been assessed as security risks. The War Department solved this problem by sanitizing their reports. Paperclipped reports were rewritten, allowing Germany Nazi veteran entrance into the United States.

~Tyrone Yarbrough, Consider the Source: Conspiracy Theories, Narrative, Belief

Gehlen's spy network, called the Org, was funded by over 200 million dollars from the U.S. government. He gained tremendous influence over American foreign policy during the Cold War. The Org submitted reports on Russian military strength, which Allen Dulles passed on without change. These reports greatly exaggerated Soviet military preparedness, once claiming that they were massing to attack West Germany by 1946 with a ten to one troop advantage over Western forces. At this time, Soviet forces were, in fact, recovering from the losses they incurred fighting the Nazis. They were militarily underequipped and had no combat troop advantages. Additionally, Gehlen often advised the United States to launch a first strike assault against the Russians, advice they came perilously close to taking. By providing the U.S. government with erroneous information about the Soviet military buildup, Gehlen's Org helped to increase hostilities between the U.S. and the USSR, and escalate the Cold War. His intelligence reports contributed to the decision to engage in an arms race that lasted over forty years. Finally, Gehlen's Org helped to establish the C.I.A.

~ Tyrone Yarbrough, Consider the Source: Conspiracy Theories, Narrative, Belief

As of May, 1986 there were probably 6,500 of an estimated 10,000 Nazi collaborators who had been assisted by the pro-war criminals organization, still living in the U.S. According to The Times of London' "The U.S. had classified the documents until now in order to protect allied governments and the Vatican from the embarrassing revelations in them", it said. "They showed that the intelligence agencies of France and Britain, immediately after the war, revived a former Nazi organization, called Intermarium, he said. The organization was formed originally by a Russian tsarist general shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution in order to fight communism. "The intelligence agencies of France, Britain, Australia, Canada, Austria, West Germany, and Italy, as well as high Vatican officials, had then become involved in recruiting former Nazi war criminals for the organization. They rearmed and funded them while helping them to emigrate, Mr. Loftus said. "The central governments of these countries apparently did not know about their intelligence agencies' activities. "The U.S. Army Counter-intelligence Corps found out about the allied involvement in 1947, and the U.S. decided to get involved itself and to keep the entire operation secret."

~ Avro Manhattan, The Vatican's Holocaust

Why Israel's Capture of Eichmann Caused Panic at the Cia

On May 23 1960, when Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion announced to the Knesset that "Adolf Eichmann, one of the greatest Nazi war criminals, is in Israeli custody", US and West German intelligence services reacted to the stunning news not with joy but alarm.

Newly declassified CIA documents show the Americans and the German BND knew Eichmann was hiding in Argentina at least two years before Israeli agents snatched him from the streets of Buenos Aires on his way back from work. They knew how long he had been in the country and had a rough idea of the alias the Nazi fugitive was using there, Klement.

Even though German intelligence had misspelled it as Clemens, it was a crucial clue. The Mossad effort to track Eichmann had been suspended at the time because it had failed to discover his pseudonym. They were ultimately tipped off by a German official disgusted at his government's failure to bring the war criminal to justice.


Washington and Bonn failed to act on the information or hand it to the Israelis because they believed it did not serve their interests in the cold war struggle. In fact, the unexpected reappearance of the architect of the "final solution" in a glass box in a Jerusalem court threatened to be an embarrassment, turning global attention to all the former Nazis the Americans and Germans had recruited in the name of anti-communism.

Historians say Britain and other western powers probably did the same, but they have not published the evidence. The CIA has. Under heavy congressional pressure, the agency has been persuaded to declassify 27,000 unedited pages about American dealings with former Nazis in postwar Europe.

One of the most startling of those documents is a CIA memo dated March 19 1958, from the station chief in Munich to headquarters, noting that German intelligence (codenamed Upswing) had that month passed on a list of high-ranking former Nazis and their whereabouts. Eichmann was third on the list. The memo passed on a rumour that he was in Jerusalem "despite the fact that he was responsible for mass extermination of Jews", but also states, matter-of-factly: "He is reported to have lived in Argentina under the alias Clemens since 1952."

There is no record of a follow-up in the CIA to this tip-off. The reason was, according to Timothy Naftali, a US historian who has reviewed the freshly-declassified archive, it was no longer the CIA's job to hunt down Nazis. "It just wasn't US policy to go looking for war criminals. It wasn't British policy either for that matter. It was left to the West Germans ... and this is further evidence of the low priority the Germans gave to hunting down war criminals."

It was not just a question of bureaucratic inertia. There were good reasons not to go hunting for Eichmann. In Bonn, the immediate fear was what Eichmann would say about Hans Globke, who had also worked in the Nazis' Jewish affairs department, drafting the Nuremberg laws, designed to isolate Jews from the rest of society in the Third Reich. While Eichmann had gone on the run, Globke stayed behind and prospered. By 1960 he was Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's national security adviser.

"The West Germans were extremely concerned apparently about how the East Germans and Soviet bloc in general might make use of what Eichmann would say about Hans Globke," Mr Naftali said.

It was not just a West German concern. Globke was the main point of contact between the Bonn government, the CIA and Nato. "Globke was a timebomb for Nato," Mr Naftali said. At the request of the West Germans, the CIA even managed to persuade Life magazine to delete any reference to Globke from Eichmann's memoirs, which it had bought from the family.

But it was not just Globke. When Eichmann was captured the CIA combed files it had captured from the Nazis to find information that might be useful to the Israeli prosecution. The results caused near panic among the CIA's leadership because, unknown to the junior staff who had looked through the files, a few of Eichmann's accomplices being investigated had been CIA "assets".

An urgent memo was sent to CIA investigators urging caution and pointing out that if Moscow discovered these ex-Nazis had been working for the Americans that would make those agents "very vulnerable".

Meanwhile, some of the CIA's German agents were beginning to panic. One of them, Otto Albrecht von Bolschwing - who also had worked with Eichmann in the Jewish affairs department and was later Heinrich Himmler's representative in Romania - frantically asked his old CIA case officer for help.

After the war Bolschwing had been recruited by the Gehlen Organisation, the prototype German intelligence agency set up by the Americans under Reinhard Gehlen, who had run military intelligence on the eastern front under the Nazis. "US army intelligence accepted Reinhard Gehlen's offer to furnish alleged expertise on the Red army - and was bilked by the many mass murderers he hired," said Robert Wolfe, a historian at the US national archives.


Alongside the Gehlen Organisation, US intelligence had set up "stay-behind networks" in West Germany, who were supposed to stay put in the event of a Soviet invasion and transmit intelligence from behind enemy lines. Those networks were also riddled with ex-Nazis who had horrendous records.

One of the networks, codenamed Kibitz-15, was run by a former German army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Walter Kopp, who was described by his own American handlers as an "unreconstructed Nazi".

Most of the networks were dismantled in the early 1950s when it was realised what an embarrassment they might prove.

"The present furore in western Germany over the resurgence of the Nazi or neo-Nazi groups is a fair example - in miniature - of what we would be faced with," CIA headquarters wrote in an April 1953 memo.The new documents make clear the great irony behind the US recruitment of ex-Nazis: for all the moral compromises involved, it was a complete failure in intelligence terms. The Nazis were terrible spies.

"Subject is immature and has a personality not suited to clandestine activities," the CIA file on one of the stay-behind agents said sniffily. "His main faults are his lack of regard for money and his attraction to members of the opposite sex."

Those were the least of their flaws as would-be anti-communist agents. They had not risen in the Nazi ranks because of their respect for facts. They were ideologues with a keen sense of self-preservation.

"The files show time and again that these people were more trouble than they were worth," Mr Naftali said. "The unreconstructed Nazis were always out for themselves, and they were using the west's lack of information about the Soviet Union to exploit it."

The lesson would be well learned by young CIA case officers today.

"Threats change rapidly, and it's always exiles and former government elements who are the first to come running to us saying - we understand this threat. We have seen it with Iraqi exiles. No doubt we're seeing it now with Iranian exiles. We have to be smart and we have to know who we are really dealing with."

Protected Nazis

Adolf Eichmann: The SS colonel who organised the final solution was so enthusiastic about his work that he carried on even after Heinrich Himmler had called a halt. He was captured by US troops but escaped to Argentina. Israeli agents tracked him down in 1960 and he was hanged in 1962.

Hans Globke: A Nazi functionary working with Eichmann in the Jewish Affairs department who helped draft the laws stripping Jews of rights. After the war he rose to become one of the most powerful figures in the government. As national security advisor to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, he was the main liaison with the CIA and Nato.

Reinhard Gehlen: A major general in the Wehrmacht who was head of intelligence-gathering on the eastern front. He sold his supposed inside knowledge of the Soviet Union to the Americans who made him head of West German intelligence, an organisation he led until 1968.

CIA and the Search for Nazi War Criminals

Stories of Nazis escaping the defeated Third Reich in order to regroup and create underground organizations have long gripped novelists and screenwriters, as was evident in such bestsellers-turned-into movies as Boys from Brazil and The ODESSA File. In 1977-1978 and again from 1982 to 1985, the US Congress’s General Accounting Office (GAO) investigated US Government agencies to determine if any of them had assisted Nazi war criminals after World War II. In addition to the GAO investigations, Congress has held several hearings on the issue of Nazi war criminals in the United States. Since 1979, the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has worked with CIA’s Office of General Counsel and other Agency components to investigate individuals suspected of committing war crimes from 1933 to 1945. CIA has assisted in the investigations of such major cases as those of Klaus Barbie, Robert Jan Verbelen, Josef Mengele, and Kurt Waldheim.

Since the end of the Cold War, many nations have expanded their search for Nazi war criminals. Argentina , for example, launched a major review of its official records, looking for Nazis and collaborators who immigrated to South America after World War II. Other countries, including Croatia, France, Italy, and Great Britain, have held highly publicized trials of World War II-era war criminals. The field of Holocaust research has also moved into new areas, such as the theft by Nazi Germany and its allies of money and assets from victims and how the Axis Powers used these resources to pay for their war efforts. Worldwide interest in the role that governments, banks, insurance companies, and businesses played during the war is clearly growing.

In the United States, President Clinton signed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (NWCDA), Public Law 105-246, in October 1998. This measure established the Nazi War Crimes Interagency Working Group (IWG) and directed it to "locate, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available all classified Nazi war criminal records, subject to specified exceptions." The law requires Federal agencies to "locate bodies of records that can reasonably be believed to contain information that:

Pertains to any individuals who the US Government has grounds to believe ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, during the period of Nazi rule in Germany (1933-45); or involves assets taken, whether or not under color of law, during the period from persons persecuted by the Nazi regime or governments associated with it.

The IWG is composed of the heads of several Federal departments and agencies, including the Director of Central Intelligence, and meets monthly under the chairmanship of Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist of the United States. The president appointed three public members—Thomas Baer, Richard Ben-Veniste, and former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, to serve on the IWG. Kenneth Levit, Special Counsel to the DCI, is the Agency’s representative to the IWG.

In February 1999, the White House issued a directive calling for the survey of all Federal records to "include any bodies of records that are likely to contain information on war crimes, war criminals, acts of persecution, or assets taken by, under the direction of, or in association with the Nazi government of Germany or any government of a European country allied with, occupied by, or established with the assistance or cooperation of Nazi Germany." The White House directive also stated that "agencies should take an expansive view of the act in making this survey and in subsequent identification of records and declassification review. Special efforts should be made to locate records that may shed light on U.S. Government knowledge about, policies toward, and treatment of Nazi war criminals, especially during the Cold War years."

Even before the passage of the NWCDA in 1998, the CIA History Staff was already involved in researching the Agency’s role during and after World War II. For example, historian Kevin C. Ruffner’s unclassified article, "CIA’s Support to the Nazi War Criminal Investigations," was published in the 1997 unclassified edition of Studies in Intelligence. (The article is on CIA’s and IWG’s homepages.) Senior historian Donald P. Steury contributed major sections to the 1997 and 1998 State Department reports coordinated by Under Secretary Stuart E. Eizenstat on Nazi looting of gold and assets as well as gold expropriated by the Ustashi (Croatian fascists) in Yugoslavia.

In March 1999, DCI Tenet directed that Agency components identify all records relevant to the Act. He also assigned the Special Collection Division of the CIA’s Office of Information Management (OIM) to manage the project’s overall tasking in coordination with various CIA Directorates. OIM provides guidance concerning search, relevance, and review standards throughout the Agency for records pertaining to Nazi war criminals.

OIM has assembled a staff of researchers and declassification experts with authority to task all CIA offices that may have relevant records in their possession. With the assistance of the History Staff, OIM has also prepared a search- and-retrieval guide for research on Nazi war criminals and collaborators for the IWG that is being used by other agencies. It issued a "watch list" to the staff of the Automatic (25- year) Declassification Program to be on the lookout for records pertaining to World War II. Representatives of OIM’s Special Collections Division participated in the monthly IWG meetings and the public meetings in Washington and New York, and the DCI’s special counsel represented the Agency at a session in Los Angeles.

DCI Tenet met with the Interagency Working Group in July 1999 to brief its members on CIA’s efforts to comply with the Act, which calls for a three year declassification schedule. The DCI sent letters to Agency retiree organizations to ask for the assistance of former intelligence officers who may have information about the Agency’s involvement with Nazi war criminals during and after World War II. He also has written several foreign intelligence services to advise them of the Act’s requirements and to seek their assistance in declassifying liaison material from World War II that is still among the remaining classified records of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

During the year the Act has been in effect, OIM has assigned eight officers to review classified material at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and another three officers to do the same at CIA’s own classified records center. Representatives from all of the Directorates are also involved in the search and review of relevant records. OIM has already recommended the declassification of some 10,000 pages of captured German records at the National Archives. Declassification of a substantial amount of withheld OSS material in NARA’s Record Group 226 is also expected in the near future. The Agency is conducting name traces through its records systems on nearly 60,000 SS officers, convicted war criminals, and "notorious" Nazi leaders and other collaborators. These searches and others are expected to result in the review of some four million pages of records.

The Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act may prove to require an effort equal to such resource intensive projects as the declassification of OSS records and those related to the investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination. The CIA History Staff and the Office of Information Management are working together with other Federal agencies (including the Presidential Holocaust Assets Commission) and the Interagency Working Group to ensure that this long-awaited project is successful. New chapters in the history of the Second World War and the Cold War may yet be written using formerly classified records of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Kevin C. Ruffner
CIA History Staff


C.I.A. Said to Rebuff Congress on Nazi Files

The Central Intelligence Agency is refusing to provide hundreds of thousands of pages of documents sought by a government working group under a 1998 law that requires full disclosure of classified records related to Nazi war criminals, say Congressional officials from both parties.