CIA created 'safe haven' for Nazis after war, report says

Justice Department document reveals history of US gov't Nazi-hunting operation, level of US complicity and deception, 'New York Times' claims.

November 14, 2010 10:25
2 minute read.
nazi criminals 224.88

nazi criminals 224.88. (photo credit: )


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American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the US for Nazis after World War II for intelligence gathering purposes, according to a New York Times report published Sunday which cited a 600-page report revealing a secret history of the US government's Nazi-hunting operation.

The document, which the US Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, details decades of clashes with other nations over crimes in the US and abroad.

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The report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the CIA's involvement with Nazi émigrés, according to the newspaper. "Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the CIA’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations," The New York Times claimed.

Divisions within the US government over the legal pitfalls involved in relying on decades-old testimonies from Holocaust survivors were also documented by the report, The Times suggests.

In an attempt to conceal the information, the Justice Department resisted making the report public since 2006. However due to the increased pressure of an impending law suit, it "turned over a heavily redacted version in October to a private research the group, the National Security Archive."

The New York Times then obtained a complete a version after the previous version omitted many of the most legally and diplomatically sensitive portions.


"The Justice Department said the report, the product of six years of work, was never formally completed and did not represent its official findings," The Times report claimed.

According to newspaper, the report cites help that CIA officials provided in 1954 to Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolph Eichmann who had helped develop the initial plans “to purge Germany of the Jews” and who later worked for the CIA in the US. After learning of Von Bolschwing’s Nazi ties, the Justice Department sought to deport him in 1981, but he died that year at age 72, the report claimed.

The report suggested in its conclusions that the number of Nazis who made it into the US was almost certainly much smaller than the figure of 10,000 which is widely cited by government officials, The New York Times said.

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