On June 6, the US national archives released some 27,000 pages of secret
records documenting the CIA’s Cold War relations with former German Nazi
Party members and officials.
The files reveal numerous cases of German Nazis, some clearly guilty
of war crimes, receiving funds, weapons and employment from the CIA. They also
demonstrate that US intelligence agencies deliberately refrained from disclosing
information about the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann in order to protect Washington’s
allies in the post-war West German government headed by Christian Democratic
leader Konrad Adenauer.
Eichmann, who had sent millions to their deaths while coordinating the Nazis’
“final solution” campaign to exterminate European Jewry, went into
hiding in Buenos Aires after the fall of the Third Reich. Utilizing friendly
contacts in the Catholic Church and the Peron government in Argentina, Eichmann
was able to reside in the South American country for 10 years under the alias
of Ricardo Klement. He was abducted in 1960 by Mossad, Israel’s foreign
intelligence agency, put on trial in Israel and executed in 1962.
The documents show that the CIA was in possession of Eichmann’s pseudonym
two years before the Mossad raid. The CIA received this information in 1958
from the West German government, which learned of Eichmann’s alias in
1952. Both the CIA and the Bonn government chose not to disclose this information
to Israel because they were concerned that Eichmann might reveal the identities
of Nazi war criminals holding high office in the West German government, particularly
Adenauer’s national security adviser Hans Globke.
When Eichmann was finally brought to trial, the US government used all available
means to protect its West German allies from what he might reveal. According
to the declassified documents, the CIA pressured Life magazine into deleting
references to Globke in portions of Eichmann’s memoirs that it chose to
In addition to the revelations regarding Eichmann, the documents chronicle
the CIA’s creation of “stay-behind” intelligence networks
in southwestern Germany and Berlin, labeled “Kibitz” and “Pastime,”
respectively. The Kibitz ring involved several former SS members. In the early
1950s, the CIA provided these groups with money, communications equipment and
ammunition so that they could serve as intelligence assets in the event of a
Soviet invasion of West Germany.
The CIA documents were reviewed by Timothy Naftali, a historian with the National
Archives Interagency Working Group, the government body that oversaw their declassification
and release. According to an article published by Naftali, the stay-behind program
was dissolved “in the wake of public concerns in West Germany about the
resurgence of Neo-Nazi Groups.” Specifically, the Kibitz-15 group, led
by an “unreconstructed Nazi,” became a potential source of public
embarrassment for the US, as its members were broadly involved in Neo-Nazi activity.
The CIA terminated the program by 1955 and arranged for many of its contacts
to be resettled in Canada and Australia. According to the documents, Australia
provided funds for relocation while the CIA provided its ex-assets with a “resettlement
The CIA employed Gustav Hilger, a former adviser to Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim
von Ribbentrop. As an employee of the German foreign office, Hilger was present
at the negotiation of the Stalin-Hitler pact in 1939. The CIA deemed his experience
with the USSR sufficiently valuable to free him from incarceration at Fort Meade
in Maryland and employ him as an intelligence evaluator in West Germany.
In 1948, Hilger moved to the United States and obtained a position at the CIA’s
K Street building in Washington as a researcher and expert on the USSR. Hilger
eventually left the CIA to work for the West German foreign office.
According to a paper analyzing the CIA documents published by Robert Wolfe,
a former senior archivist at the US National Archives, “it is beyond dispute
that Hilger criminally assisted in the genocide of Italy’s Jews.... During
the roundup of Italian Jews in late 1943, a note signed ‘Hilger’
recorded Ribbentrop’s concurrence that the Italians be asked to intern
the Jews in concentration camps in Northern Italy, in lieu of immediate deportation.
The SS intended thereby that the Italian Jews and their potential Italian protectors
should believe that internment in Italy was the final destination, rather than
eventual deportation to the murder mills in Poland to be immediately murdered
or gradually worked to death. The stated purpose of this ruse was to minimize
the number of Italian Jews who would go into hiding to avoid deportation to
In another instance, the CIA employed Tscherim Soobzokov, a former Nazi gendarme
and Waffen SS lieutenant, who, according to a paper published by Interagency
Working Group Director of Historical Research Richard Breitman, “participated
in an execution commando [combat group detailed to executing Jews and Communists
en masse] and had searched North Caucasian villages for Jews.”
Soobzokov was employed by the CIA for seven years. Over this period, he repeatedly
used his intelligence contacts to avoid investigation by the FBI and the US
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in regard to his complicity in
According to Breitman’s paper, CIA examiners noted that Soobzokov was
an “incorrigible fabricator” who repeatedly lied about his past
in order to conceal his participation in criminal activity. Nevertheless, the
CIA shielded him against investigation, at one point sending the INS a document
asserting that Soobzokov had never worked for the Nazis. 
Prior to the outbreak of war, a significant section of the American ruling
elite had favored cooperation with the Nazis as a European hedge against the
spread of Bolshevism. Henry Ford was notorious for his anti-Semitism and his
political affinity for German Fascism, and a number of major American companies
retained their business ties with the Third Reich. Notably, IBM sold Germany
the punch cards that were used to catalog the “final solution.”
IBM helped the Nazis IBM and the Holocaust”)
However, as one European nation after another fell before Hitler’s onslaught,
the threat of German imperialist dominance in Europe spurred the American ruling
class to enter the European theater.
US imperialism mobilized popular support in its war against the Nazi regime
by appealing to the democratic and anti-fascist sentiments of the American people.
After the defeat of Germany, it organized, together with its World War II allies—Britain,
the Soviet Union and France—the Nuremburg trials to prosecute top Nazi
officials for their complicity in war crimes.
However, with the start of the Cold War, the United States reversed its policy
of identifying, trying and executing prominent Nazi war criminals. As is starkly
demonstrated in the case of Eichmann, the knowledge possessed by many of these
individuals made trying them inconvenient.
Regardless of its limited persecution of upper-echelon Nazis, the United States
had no qualms about recruiting Nazi Party members and war criminals into its
military research apparatus. Prominent German military developers such as Werner
Von Braun and Bernhard Tessmann were assimilated into the US rocketry program,
while Kurt Blome, a Nazi scientist who experimented on concentration camp prisoners,
was employed by the US to develop chemical weapons.
Likewise, the early stages of the Cold War saw high-level Nazi cadres drafted
into the US intelligence machine and deployed in Europe, the Middle East and
the Americas. According to the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations
(OSI), the bureau assigned to investigate German war criminals living within
the US, at least 10,000 Nazis entered the US between 1948 and 1952. Of the thousands
of German Nazis who fled—or were brought—to the United States, only
some 100 have been prosecuted by the OSI.
1. Timothy Naftali, “New Information on Cold War CIA
Stay-Behind Operations in Germany and on the Adolf Eichmann Case” http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/naftali.pdf
2. Robert Wolfe, “Gustav Hilger: From Hitler’s
Foreign Office to CIA Consultant” http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/wolfe.pdf
3. Richard Breitman, “Tscherim Soobzokov” http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/breitman.pdf
Read from Looking Glass News
- Nazi Dealings Continued Until 1951" - Federal Documents
Pope is a Former Nazi
Post Explains How the Nazi-Created CIA Protects Us
Information Awareness and the Neocon Stasi State
and STASI reinforce Homeland Security. For whom?
Stasi: Spy vs. Spy
Americans Will Make Good Nazis
Stasi style UK Anti-Terror campaign encourages reporting your neighbours
Security emulating East German Stasi in every respect
Nazi Bush Regime