U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, Norman

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

Postby admin » Wed May 23, 2018 3:56 am

Part 2 of 2

By the fall of 1944 Schellenberg became more inventive in approaching the West. He had some leeway to operate -- he could always claim he was trying to cause trouble among the Allies -- but he did not have Hitler's or Himmler's approval, and Kaltenbrunner was likely to oppose whatever Schellenberg tried. Defector Carl Marcus, closely associated with Jahnke in Schellenberg's inner circle, gave British intelligence a mixed assessment of him in early 1945. Schellenberg had seen for some time that the war would reach a disastrous conclusion unless something was changed. He saw Hitler, Bormann, and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels as the main obstacles to German negotiations either with the West or with the Soviets: he and Himmler could have obtained satisfactory terms for Germany in a separate peace. [65]

Schellenberg, however, wanted his own trusted officials to handle any overtures to the West. He helped to scuttle a proposal from Wilhelm Harster, commander of the Security Police and SD in Italy, to use an Italian industrialist named Marinotti as a secret envoy, because Schellenberg and Harster were not on good terms. Harster's operation, code named "West-Wind," was rejected at the highest levels of the RSHA. [66]

The idea of using an Italian as an intermediary to launch German negotiations with the West in Switzerland, however, remained alive. In a November 1944 meeting of RSHA foreign intelligence officials in Verona called by the SD expert on Switzerland, Klaus Huegel, Guido Zimmer suggested contacting Allied intelligence in Switzerland through Baron Luigi Parrilli, formerly the representative of the Kelvinator and Nash companies in Italy. Parrilli had worked with Zimmer, but he also had contacts with Italian partisans. Other German officials backed this approach through Parrilli, and after considerable delay they received approval in principle from Berlin. In mid-February 1945 they also got support from Karl Wolff, Highest SS and Police Leader in Italy. Parrilli's mission was code named "Operation Wool." [67]

Another German emissary preceded Parrilli in getting Dulles' attention. In January 1945, Hans Wilhelm Eggen, Schellenberg's economic representative in Switzerland, met with American diplomat Frederick R. Loofborough. Eggen first took a hard line: Germany had no choice currently but to fight to the end, even if all Germans were killed. The result then would be the triumph of Bolshevism over all of Europe. But he suggested a meeting in Switzerland between Schellenberg and Dulles to avert such disaster. Schellenberg, he said, could bring Dulles proof that the Russians were not playing fair with the West. Loofborough quickly sent a report of this conversation to Dulles, who mused about the possibility of finding someone within the SS willing to sell out on a big scale. [68]

Lacking clearance from Himmler, Schellenberg at first hesitated and held back from authorizing Operation Wool. But Parrilli showed up to see Dulles in late February 1945 anyway. As an Italian with major assets, he had his own reasons for wanting to avoid a German scorched-earth policy in northern Italy. In negotiations with Dulles' assistant Gero von Gaevernitz, Parrilli reported that he was working for Zimmer in the SD and that German authorities were interested in sparing northern Italy from a horrible fate. Though skeptical, Gaevernitz asked for evidence of high-ranking German support -- Zimmer by himself meant little. Dulles believed that German military forces in northern Italy were nervous. There had been some informal talks between Italian partisans and the Germans, with the Germans seeking some assurance that they would not be attacked if they should withdraw from Italy. The Germans offered to refrain from destroying Italian factories and power plants in return. But through his contacts Dulles learned that the Italian partisans firmly opposed such a deal. [69]

On March 3, 1945, Zimmer, Parrilli, and Eugen Dollmann, Himmler's representative in Italy, met with OSS official Paul Blum in Lugano, Switzerland. This meeting set the stage for a visit by Karl Wolff and his adjutant to Dulles himself on March 8. Wolff had not yet concluded that all was lost, but he had convinced himself of the value of opening a line to the West. [70] With that move by Wolff, the Americans had no need for Schellenberg. Still, even in early April Schellenberg apparently passed word through General Henri Guisan, commander of the Swiss army, that he was willing to meet with Dulles for the purpose of halting the fighting on the western front (while continuing the war in the East). [71]

The details of on-again, off-again bargaining between Dulles and Karl Wolff during March and April 1945 (and the misunderstandings on both sides) have been revealed previously. Wolff was unwilling to take extreme risks, and that in any case he had very little influence on Field Marshal Albert Kesselring and General Heinrich Vietinghoff, who would not agree to surrender army forces until the military situation forced their hand (and after Hitler's suicide had become known). Dulles and Wolff finally brought about a German surrender in Italy, but it came late: the fighting in Italy stopped on May 2. What might have been a boon to Allied forces in Italy turned out to be a saving of only five days before the end of the war in Europe. According to historians Bradley F. Smith and Elena Agarossi, the lives saved were limited in number -- and mostly Italian and German. [72]

Unable to lead Himmler into separate peace discussions against Hitler's will, Schellenberg found other ways to sanitize his own record, particularly using neutral contacts to intervene on behalf of groups of concentration camp prisoners. Schellenberg first met with Himmler's friend Jean-Marie Musy, former federal president of Switzerland. On January 22, 1945, Schellenberg ordered a subordinate named Franz Goring to obtain the release of specific Jewish families from different concentration camps and turn them over to Musy on the Swiss border at Constance, an arrangement Himmler had reportedly approved in principle. By his own newly declassified account, Goring was able to track down some of his targets, but never found the whereabouts of others.

Goring also learned that Musy and Himmler had discussed a broader plan to release all remaining Jews in German concentration camps. Musy had met with Dr. Isaac Sternbuch, representative of an Orthodox Jewish rescue organization, Vaad Hatzalah, based in Montreux, Switzerland. Sternbuch allegedly told Musy that all released Jews would be sent to the United States after only a brief stay in Switzerland. Himmler had supposedly consented to this plan in order to improve Germany's image -- and his own. In return, Sternbuch's organization had to give Musy 5 million Swiss francs, the money allegedly to be used to relieve the suffering of German civilians.'1 Schellenberg commented in his own minihistory: "Considerations of internal politics made him [Himmler] bring up the question of a quid pro quo, often in an ugly way." [74] This was little more than a veiled statement that Himmler did not dare to go through with such a deal unless he could demonstrate to Hitler or other hard-liners clear benefits for the war effort. [75]

Ironically, Himmler's "rabbit" Ribbentrop was experimenting with a similar option in early March 1945. Ribbentrop sent a diplomat named Fritz Hesse to Sweden with Ribbentrop's own draft of Germany's negotiating position. Sooner or later, Germany would have to surrender on one front. The West had a strong interest in seeing that Germany did not surrender to the Soviet Union. In return for Western acceptance of a separate peace, Germany was prepared to release 400,000 Jews still in the Reich. With the aid of Werner Dankwort and Heinz Thorner of the German Embassy in Stockholm, Hesse made contact with Swedish banker Marcus Wallenberg to pass along this message, and he also met directly with Iver Olsen, representative of the American War Refugee Board in Stockholm. The German diplomat and the American official cast their discussion as an exchange of views on humanitarian issues, not as any kind of political negotiation. But articles in the Swedish press about Hesse's peace mission brought about his abrupt recall to Germany. The publicity apparently enraged Hitler and other hard-liners. [76]

Ribbentrop himself spoke with Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte along similar lines: if the West showed no consideration for Germany, it would go Bolshevist. Ribbentrop alerted Bernadotte (who later informed Schellenberg) to his private channel to Stockholm (Hesse). Schellenberg thought that Bernadotte had taken Ribbentrop's comments as an insult. The combination of Hesse's "humanitarian concern" and Ribbentrop's threat of Germany becoming Bolshevist was a bit much. [77]

In his postwar account Schellenberg alluded to another problem -- he, Goring, and Musy faced formidable competition within the SS itself. Kurt Becher, an SS officer with close ties to Himmler and with experience extorting Jewish assets in Hungary, was involved in direct negotiations with Hungarian Jewish activist Rudolf Kasztner and through him with Saly Mayer, representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Switzerland. These contacts predated Schellenberg's and Goring's efforts with Musy. [78] In Wildbad, on January 15, 1945, Musy urged Himmler to arrange a "generous" solution to the Jewish question. Himmler then told Musy about the ongoing negotiations with Saly Mayer, which came as a complete surprise to Musy. Himmler and Musy agreed that Musy should try to determine (in Himmler's inimitable prose) "who is it who really had a connection with the American government. Is it the rabbinical Jew or is it the Joint?" [79] The OSS received an intelligence report that Himmler had asked Musy whether better treatment of the Jews and other refugees would help modify Western public opinion toward him. [80]

Himmler wanted Musy's negotiating partners in Switzerland, Sternbuch's group (linked to the Agudas Israel World Organization), to pay a hefty sum because he was trying to assess these two channels that "world Jewry" had to the Allied Powers. It never entered his mind that neither one had even a remote chance of arranging major shipments of Jewish refugees to the United States.

In his mid-January 1945 memo for the files, Himmler wrote that he told Musy to seek tractors and machinery, rather than money, in exchange for Jews. But as late as February 6 Musy asked Sternbuch (who asked the American War Refugee Board) for SF 5 million to be deposited in an account in Musy's name -- Himmler would not insist on goods, Musy said. War Refugee Board representative Roswell McClelland concluded: "Himmler must be interested in negotiating for something more important to him and to the Nazis than the release of the Jews ... Musy is even in closer contact with Schellenberg than with Himmler and ... Schellenberg is very willing to assist in such questions as the Jewish [one] ... " [81]

Schellenberg's side came out second best in the battle of the two Swiss connections. McClelland was authorized to play along with Becher if it meant saving some lives: he even met once in person with him in Switzerland. As a result, some American money was deposited in a blocked account in Switzerland as a sign of American interest; in return, Becher, Kasztner, and Mayer brought about the release of 1,684 Jews from Bergen-Belsen to Switzerland. Schellenberg, Goring, and Musy managed to release 1,210 Jews from Theresienstadt, in return for which Sternbuch allegedly paid SF 5,000, or by another report $13,000. [82] But no one on the American side wanted to deal with Musy, let alone Schellenberg. Perhaps it was because the United States alerted the British and the Soviet Union after the first transfer of funds: the Soviets responded that such negotiations were neither feasible nor permissible. [83]

Friends of Julius Streicher, Nazi gauleiter and editor of the rabidly anti-Semitic newspaper Der Sturmer, reportedly sent a protest to Hitler and Himmler about the release of Jews from Theresienstadt. Hitler later insisted that no Jews be released unless he gave authorization and Germany got something concrete in return. [84] Musy was undeterred, telling American diplomat Sam Woods that on his forthcoming trip to Berlin he would take up with Himmler the release of seventy thousand more Jews. Musy believed that if Himmler were granted safe haven somewhere, he would come to terms. Musy also offered the by now popular argument that Germany needed a strong central government to prevent chaos and Communism. [85] Schellenberg's strategy of seeking political objectives with the West through playing on fears of Communism and negotiating for the turnover of Jews had taken on independent life.

Schellenberg was also active in the northern theater. He and Goring linked up with Himmler's Finnish masseur Felix Kersten and with Count Bernadotte, who was the point man of a Swedish humanitarian initiative. They successfully lobbied for the release of Scandinavian prisoners brought to a camp at Neuengamme, as well as some Jews and other prisoners from Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, and Ravensbruck. [86]

Goring also tried to arrange for orderly turnover of all prisoners in these camps to Allied forces, but internal opposition from Kaltenbrunner and Muller turned out to be too strong. [87] Musy told American War Refugee Board representative McClelland that Himmler had originally wanted political-military concessions, such as agreeing to leave prisoners in fifteen major concentration camps and not march them away until they collapsed in exchange for a guarantee that there would be no Negro occupation troops in Germany. Musy claimed he overcame their resistance. Himmler and Schellenberg in the end had only one condition -- that the SS guards and administrative personnel of the camps be treated as soldiers and regular prisoners of war (and not shot on the spot). [88] Despite these efforts, each camp went its own way, and some camp inmates were "evacuated" -- sent on death marches -- even as Allied troops approached. But Schellenberg had been a key part of a group that accomplished something: he had Goring, Bernadotte, and, to a lesser extent, Musy to vouch for his efforts.

Schellenberg really believed in preparing for all options: he had a forged American passport prepared with his photo. [89] In the end, he found a safer course. After Hitler's suicide, Admiral Donitz became chancellor and appointed Schellenberg as German envoy to Sweden, allegedly in order to negotiate (with Sweden) evacuation of German troops from Norway. Schellenberg flew to Stockholm on May 4 and received a Swedish passport from authorities there. He came under the protection of Bernadotte, with whom he had just worked on humanitarian projects.90 There his rewriting of history began.

In June 1945, Schellenberg composed an abbreviated autobiography that anticipated the tone and interpretation of his book The Labyrinth. He alleged that he had worked early for a compromise peace and against a two-front war, efforts that led Hitler and Kaltenbrunner to threaten to imprison him for defeatism. Yet Himmler, an exception to the whole corrupt government setup, frequently listened sympathetically to Schellenberg's arguments. Only his indecision doomed Schellenberg to failure. [91]

Schellenberg even fashioned an account of how he and Himmler planned to kill Hitler in early April 1945 -- the gist of the story was leaked to the Daily Express when Schellenberg was brought to London in July 1945 for extended interrogations (Schellenberg was first interrogated at Frankfurt). It turned out that even by his own account Schellenberg hesitated to voice this goal explicitly and Himmler refused to endorse it in Schellenberg's presence, let alone commit to do it personally. Schellenberg conjectured that Himmler had arranged for Hitler to be poisoned by his doctors. [92] But it never happened.

Britain and the United States were more interested in what Schellenberg had to say about possible Nazi resistance and continued intelligence activity after the surrender. On July 11, 1945, the Counter-Intelligence War Room in London reassured Allied Headquarters that, according to Schellenberg, Nazi plans for underground intelligence activity never matured. His information was consistent with their other sources on this point, and he had given so many details of his office's work that they accepted the thrust of his testimony. [93]

The best thing Schellenberg had going for him after the war was that he had developed the right internal enemies. British and American intelligence had independent information that Schellenberg was on the opposite side of an RSHA faction led by chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller, Otto Ohlendorf (SD domestic intelligence), and sabotage/specialist operations man Otto Skorzeny, most of them obvious war criminals. [94]

British and American intelligence had access to several types of independent sources about Schellenberg: decoded radio messages of the SD Foreign Intelligence, wartime information from one or more key defectors and British penetration agents, and postwar interrogations of other key officials in SD Foreign Intelligence who gave more complete or more accurate testimony than Schellenberg himself.

The new material declassified by the IWG allows us to write a much better history of Schellenberg and SD Foreign Intelligence; however, there are strong indications that additional information resides in unreleased British files. An FBI agent brought to Frankfurt in July 1945 noted that British intelligence had more to go on than he did:

The Special Interrogator sent down from the War Office in London, a Mr. Johnson ... Johnson is a man who has made a study of Schellenberg for the past five years and has had a penetration Agent in close contact with the man for some time. In fact he knows Schellenberg almost as well as he knows himself. [95]


How long did British intelligence have a penetration agent working with Schellenberg or the SD? Who was he? To the best of our knowledge, British files on any agent in contact with Schellenberg have not yet been released. [96]

_______________

Notes:

1. A German POW who had served in the Forschungsamt gave a very detailed account of its activities, which cannot be covered here. See "Research Bureau" of German Air Ministry as a Secret Intelligence Information Service, 18 June 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 70, folder 299. Additional information about contacts between the Forschungsamt and SD Foreign Intelligence are in Statement by Klaus Huegel, 10 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, London X-2 PTS Files, box 54, folder 1583-Huegel.

2. The Gestapo is treated in chapter 6; the activity of the German army's Foreign Armies East intelligence organization under General Reinhard Gehlen is treated separately in chapter 14.

3. David Kahn, Hitler's Spies: German Military Intelligence in World War II (New York: Macmillan, 1978) and Heinz Hahne, Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy, trans. J. Maxwell Brownjohn (1976; New York, 1999). Kahn's work covers more than just the Abwehr; Hahne's study is as much organizational history as biography.

4. Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 28 Nov. 1945 re. Bibliography of the GIS, NA, RG 226, entry 190, box 392, folder 570 -- Incoming Memos 1141-1228.

5. Early information from Wurmann is in NA, RG 65, 65-37193-EBF 34, box 125.

6. British fortnightly summaries for specific regions were passed to U.S. Naval Intelligence. See Record Group 38, CNSG Library, box 74, U.S./U.K Intelligence Exchange. For weekly summaries, code named CIRCLE in OSS, see NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 9, folders 1-3.

7. War Room Monthly Summary No.2, 16 May 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, Washington Registry Intelligence Files, box 26, folder XX7260-XX7289.

8. Karl Heinz Abshagen, Canaris, trans. A. H. Broderick (London: Hutchinson, 1956).

9. This is Hahne's portrait in Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy.

10. CSDIC Interrogation Report on SS-Standartenfuhrer Canaris, Constantin, 12 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 171, Washington X-2 Personality Files, box 22, folder 344- Washington X-2 PTS 85, document 40.

11. One of them was his deputy, General Hans Oster, who was a key figure in the anti-Nazi resistance.

12. Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution, trans. James Porter (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 80-87.

13. Fleming, Final Solution, 82.

14. Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944: The Missing Center (Riga: Historical Institute of Latvia in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1996).

15. Hahne, Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy.

16. Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1936-1945: Nemesis (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000).

17. Detailed Interrogation Report: Notes on German Atrocities, 29 Apr. 1945, NA, RG 498, entry 47752 ETO-MIS-Y, box 93, folder 22-39. The interrogator, who wrote a summary of Bruns' various comments about atrocities he had seen, appraised Bruns as a mild-mannered "bureaucratic" officer who was anti-Nazi and eager to cooperate with the Allies. Both the source and the information were judged reliable (B-2).

18. Bruns' account diverged from Fleming's reconstruction on some particulars, including the fact that Bruns witnessed some of the killings.

19. CSDIC (UK) G. G. Report S. R. G. G. I 158(C), 25 Apr. 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 108A, Washington Registry SI Branch Field Files, box 145, folder S. R. G. G. 1129-1245. 20. Richard Breitman, Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), 84.

21. Altemeyer told Bruns that his report was apparently the cause of the new orders. Detailed Interrogation Report, 29 Apr. 1945, NA, RG 498, entry 41752 ETO-MIS-Y, box 93, folders 22-39-6824 DIC/MIS/CI.

22. This document, dated 10 Dee. 1942 (copy 15 Mar. 1945), was found in the files of the Belgian office of the Abwehr, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, London X-2 PTS Files, box 25, folder 636 -- London X-2 PTS 8 Captured Documents. Emphasis in original document. 23. One example is covered in Hahne. Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy, 466. As many as five hundred Jews ftom the Netherlands were sent to South America, allegedly as agents.

24. NA, RG 226, entry 119A London X-2 PTS Files, box 25, folder 636 -- London X-2 PTS 8 Captured Documents.

25. Summary of report drawn up by Abwehr rr C 2 for a conference in Prague on 18 May 1942, translated copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 57, folder XXI 0660-10687, document XX 10673.

26. MI-5 Interrogation, 8 Nov. 1944, copied to Major I.I. Milne of S.I.S., 14 Nov. 1944, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 304, folder 8. This interrogation may not yet be available in the United Kingdom.

27. I am grateful to Professor David Meier of Dickinson State University, ND, for sharing his unpublished manuscript on the postwar tribulations of Otto John. David A. Meier, "Spies, Lies, and a Berlin Mystery: The Case of Otto John," [2002].

28. Some of the individuals, meetings, and events mentioned in his account appear, more or less in the same light, in historian Peter Hoffmann's massive and reliable the History of the German Resistance 1933-1945, trans. Richard Barry (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1977).

29. This at least is the interpretation of Professor Meier (see n. 27).

30. Irving H. Sherman to Hugh Wilson re. Lee Lane, 17 July 1943, A, RG 226, entry 110 Field Intelligence Reports: Theater Officer Correspondence, box 53, folder 526 -- The Lane Project.

31. See Walter Laqueur and Richard Breitman, Breaking the Silence: the Germans Who Exposed The Final Solution (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England for Brandeis University Press 1994), 213. See also chapter 5.

32. Saint to Saint, Amzon, 11 July 1946, NA, RG 226, entry 213, box 12, folder 12. This recommendation seems to have been originally written during mid-1945. It did not prevent Waetjen from running into trouble with suspicious American officials outside OSS, and even Gaevernitz had some difficulty establishing his bona fides in the postwar period. See Laqueur and Breitman, Breaking the Silence, 237-38.

33. X-2 Report, Wiesbaden, 1 Oct. 1945, for Sept 1945, A, RG 226, entry 210, box 100945, folder 3. Memorandum: Berlin GIS Personnel Uncovered by Zigzag to SCI Amzon, 31 Oct. 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 213, box 2, folder 7.

34. AB 16, Saint, Berlin to AB 24 Saint, Amzon, 9 Jan. 1946, NA, RG 226, entry 213, box 1, folder 6.

35. For the most detailed account of how the SD became involved in foreign intelligence, see Katrin Paehlet, "Espionage, Ideology, and Personal Politics: The Making and the Unmaking of a Nazi Foreign Intelligence Service," (PhD diss. American University, forthcoming).

36. George C. Browder, "Walter Schellenberg-Eine Geheimdiensr Phantasie," in Die SS: Elite unter dem Totenkopf; 30 Lebenslaufe, ed. Ronald Smelser and Enrico Syring (Paderborn: Schoningh, 2000), 424.

37. Walter Schellenberg, The Labyrinth: Memoirs of Walter Schellenberg, Hitler's Chief of Counterintelligence, trans. Louis Hagen (1956; New York: DeCapo, 2000).

38. I owe this information to Katrin Paehler. On Himmler's stress of ideological instruction within the SS, see Richard Breitman, "Gegner Nummer Eins," in Ausbildungsziel Judenmord? "Weltanschauliche Erziehung" von SS, Polizei und Waffin-SS im Rahmen der "Endlosung," ed. Jurgen Matthaus, Konrad Kwiet, Jurgen Forster, and Richard Breitman (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 2003), 21-34.

39. Browder, "Walter Schellenberg," 422.

40. Eighth Detailed Interrogation on SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Dr. Klaus Huegel, 26 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 71, folder 1829. On the reorganization, Fifth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, 14 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307-Huegel, Klaus Dr. Huegel said that Himmler gave Schellenberg a one-year trial. The source on Bormann and Schellenberg is the [British] Interrogation Report NO.2 on Karl Marcus, alias Martenhofer [later code named "Dictionary"), Public Record Office KV 2/64. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for a copy of this document.

41. Eighth Detailed Interrogation Report on Dr. Klaus Huegel, 14 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307-Huegel, Klaus Dr. The comment about Schellenberg's having frequent contact with Himmler is confirmed by entries in Himmler's office logs.

42. Fourth Detailed Interrogation Report on Dr. Klaus Huegel, 10 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307-Huegel, Klaus Dr.

43. Himmler and the Sicherheitsdienst (R.1. S. 16), 27 Sept. 1943, Public Record Office HW 19/347. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for a copy of this document.

44. Appendix, Group 13, Sept. 1943, PRO HW 19/347. Stephen Tyas kindly provided a copy of this document.

45. Abwehr and SD, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 24, folder 635.

46. Extract of SIS Interrogation of Carl Marcus, Feb. 1945, PRO KV 2/94. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for a copy of this document. Himmler to Schellenberg, 5 Dee. 1942, NA, RG 242, T-175, roll 129, frame 2655073.

47. The details of Zimmer's activities are revealed for the first time in the transcription of his shorthand notebooks, NA, RG 263, Guido Zimmer Name File.

48. Eighth Detailed Interrogation on Huegel, 26 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 71, folder 1829.

49. Extract of SIS Interrogation of Marcus, Feb. 1945, PRO KV 2/94. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for a copy of this document.

50. Jahnke and (he Jahnke-Buro, Appendix 15 to Final Report on (he Case of Walter Schellenberg, copy in A, RG 65, 100-00-103569-Bulky 39, box 4.

51. Berlin to Argentine, 6 June 1943, [INCA 60), NA, RG 38, entry CNSG Library, box 79, folder 382413 CNSG-German Clandestine (2 of 3).

52. Berlin to Argentine, 12, 15, J 7 June 1943 [INCA 83), folder 2 of 3; Berlin to Argentine, 12-13 Aug. 1943, [INCA 178); both in NA, RG 38, entry CNSG Library, box 79, folder 382413 C SG-German Clandestine (2 of 3).

53. Argentine to Berlin, 7 Aug. 1943, NA, RG 38, entry CNSG Library, box 80, folder 382414 German Clandestine Translations-Argentina to Berlin (2 of 3).

54. Ibid. This information supposedly came from the first secretary at the American Embassy in Argentina.

55. Fourth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, 10 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307-Huegel, Klaus Dr. On Luther generally, see Christopher R. Browning, The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office: A Study of Referat D III of Abteilung Deutschland 1940-43 (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1978); the section on Luther's ouster (113-14) is based on sources with a more benign interpretation of Schellenberg's motives. In any case, Luther and Ribbentrop had longstanding disagreements; the incident described here was the coup de grace.

56. See Richard Breitman "A Deal with the Nazi Dictatorship: Himmler's Alleged Peace Emissaries in Fall 1943," Journal of Contemporary History 30, no. 4 (1995): 411-30.

57. OSS to Bern, Carib for 110,29 Mar. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 134, box 165, folder 1056- Out D. 27 Bern, March-June 1944.

58. Dulles was nonplused when Washington told him of this message, stating that Schellenberg undoubtedly knew something of his operation and would like to know a lot more. Bern to OSS-SI, For Carib, 3 Apr. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 134, box 191, folder 1214.

59. German I.S. -- Recent Developments (15 Sept. 1943-15 Oct. 1943), copy in NA, RG 226, entry 194, box 60, folder 260. This operation, known as Unternehmen 7 or V7, began to leak when the Gestapo arrested one of the participants, Wilhelm Schmidhuber, who talked. See Hahne, Canaris: Hitler's Master Spy, 507.

60. Eighth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, 26 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 71, folder 1829. See also Hoffmann, History of the German Resistance, 294. 61. Eighth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, 26 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 71, folder 1829; Fifth Interrogation Report on Huegel, 14 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307; Camp 020 Interim Interrogation Report on SS Standf. Martin Sandberger, 8 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry I 19A, box 33, folder 871.

62. Camp 020 Interim Interrogation Report on SS Standf. Martin Sandberger, Oct. 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 33. folder 871.

63. Fourth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307 -- Huegel, Klaus Dr.

64. Bern to OSS-SI, Washington, 5 Mar. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 134, box 219, folder Breakers -- Jan.-Mar. 1944; Washington, SI to Bern, 7 Mar. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 134, box 298, folder 170 -- Bern, Mar. 1944.

65. This June 1945 extract of an interrogation of Marcus on 3 Feb. 1945 was recently declassified in the United Kingdom. See PRO KY 2/94. I am grateful to Stephen Tyas for discovering it and sending me a copy.

66. Sixth Detailed Interrogation Report on Huegel, 2J June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 71, folder 1828.

67. Ibid.

68. Meeting of 493 with Hans Ecken [sic] of the SS, 15 Jan. 1945, and 110 to Sasac and Saint, Washington, London, Paris, 18 Jan. 1945, both in NA, RG 226, entry 214, box 7, folder 38-WN25833-25843. On Eggen generally, see NA, RG 263, Hans Eggen Name File.

69. Details of Zimmer's interaction with Parrilli are Zimmer's diaries in NA, RG 263, Guido Zimmer Name File. For Parrilli's interaction with Gaevernitz and Dulles' views, see Bradley F. Smith and Elena Agarossi, Operation Sunrise: The Secret Surrender (New York: Basic Books, 1979), 68-80.

70. Smith and Agarossi, Operation Sunrise, 81-82.

71. Bern to OSS Washington, 5 Apr. 1945, re. Schellenberg, NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 364, folder 2.

72. Smith and Agarossi, Operation Sunrise, 184-91.

73. Franz Goering, "Extract from my diary concerning the release of persons from German concentration camps," NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 45, folder 261, XX9626 (11-13-45).

74. Schellenberg's draft autobiography, 10 June 1945, p. 10, NA, RG 226, entry 125A, box 2, folder 21 -- Schellenberg. The manuscript is thirty-five legal-size pages, single-spaced.

75. Franz Goering, "Extract from my diary concerning the release of persons from German concentration camps," NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 45, folder 261, XX9626 (11-13-45).

76. CSDIC/WEA [British] Preliminary Interrogation Report on Gesandschaftsrat Heinz Karl Eduard-Thorner, undated, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 125, box 28, folder INP-83 Thorner. Johnson to Secretary of State, 7 Mar. 1945, NA, RG 59, Central Decimal File, 848.48 Refugees, 3-745 KFC (Records of the Department of State Relating to the Problems of Relief and Refugees in Europe Arising from World War II and Its Aftermath, 1938-1949, M 1284, roll SS). Olsen, who worked for OSS as well as the War Refugee Board, met directly with Hesse on March 8 with the understanding that he could exchange views only on humanitarian issues. See Johnson to Secretary of State, 11 Apr. 1945, NA, RG 59, Central Decimal File, 740.0011, E. W. 4-1145 (Records of the Department of State Relating to World War II, 1939-1945, M 982, roll 216). Meredith Hindley, "Negotiating the Boundary of Unconditional Surrender: The War Refugee Board in Sweden and Nazi Proposals to Ransom Jews, 1944-1945," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 10, no. 1 (1996): 52-77, sets Hesse's meeting with Olsen into a broader context of Nazi peace feelers.

77. Schellenberg's draft autobiography, 10 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 125A, box 2, folder 21, 8-9.

78. See Richard Breitman and Shlomo Aronson, "The End of the Final Solution? Nazi Attempts to Ransom Jews in 1944," Central European History 25, no. 2 (1992): 177-203.

79. Himmler's Niederschrift, 18 Jan. 1945, NA, RG 242, Records of the Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of the German Police, T-175, roll 188, frame 2643519.

80. Activities of Musy; Nazi Plans for Escape, 3 Feb. J 945, NA, RG 200, box 29, folder 361.

81. Niederschrift, NA, RG 242, Records of the Reich Leader of the SS and Chief of the German Police, T-175, roll 118, frame 2643519. Roswell McClelland, Sternbuch-Musy-Himmler-Jewish Affair, Confidential Memo, 6 Feb. 1945, private possession of Richard Breitman.

82. These events are covered in considerable detail in Yehuda Bauer, Jews for Sale? Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 216-38. Bauer's general interpretation is that the German initiatives emanated from Himmler, who was working in opposition to Hitler; Bechet and Schellenberg followed his lead. But Schellenberg's and Goring's accounts indicate that they (and Musy) took the initiative, that they persuaded Himmler to go along, only to find him backsliding as soon as opposition or trouble materialized. For an alternative to Bauer's interpretation, see Richard Breitman and Shlomo Atonson, "The End of the Final Solution?"

83. On the Soviet reaction see George Warren to Joseph Grew, 15 Feb. 1945, Edward R. Stettinius Papers, University of Virginia, Collection 2723, box 745, folder War Refugee Board.

84. Legation, Bern to London, 26 Feb. 1945 re. Musy-Himmler negotiations, NA, RG 84, entry American Legation Bern, American Interests Section, box 94, 840.1 Jews.

85. 224 [D'Oench] to 110 [Dulles], 8 Mar. 1945; 224 to 110, 29 Mar. 1945, both in NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 66, folder 276 -- New York.

86. Bauer, Jews for Sale?, 242-249.

87. This story is told in great detail in Goring's diary extract, NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 45, tab 1, and Schellenberg's draft autobiography, NA, RG 226, entry 125A, box 2, folder 21 -- Schellenberg. For scholarly accounts, see Steven Koblik, the Stones Cry Out: Sweden's Response to the Persecution of the Jews, 1933-1945 trans. David Mel Paul and Margareta Paul (New York: Holocaust Library, 1988); and Raymond Palmer, "Felix Kersten and Count Bernadotte, A Question of Rescue," Journal of Contemporary History, 29 no. 1 (1994): 39-51.

88. McClelland's conversation with Musy concerning his most recent trip to Germany, 9-10 Apr. 1945, private possession of Richard Breitman.

89. Discussion of the false passport in Ayer to Director FB1, 8 June 1945, NA, RG 65, 100- 103569-1, box 2. -The passport itself is to be found in NA, RG 65, 65-47826, EBF 397, box 59.

90. Summary of [British] Interrogation of Schellenberg by Maj. Scott-Harston, 12 Oct. 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 45, folder 261 XX9620-XX9639, document 9626.

91. An English translation of Schellenberg's autobiography, compiled during his stay in Stockholm, June 1945 NA, RG 226, entry 125A, box 2, folder 21 -- Schellenberg.

92. "Himmler and I Planned to Kill Hitler," Daily Express, 25 July 1945, copy in NA, RG 65, 100-103569-1, box 2. Schellenberg convinced the American Assistant Military Attache in Stockholm that Himmler had poisoned Hitler. See Rayens to Bissell, 30 May 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 26, folder 29.

93. War Room Telegram of 11 July 1945, copy in Saint, London to Washington, 13 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 88, box 645, folder -- Incoming Plan Saint London July.

94. See Ustavic, London to OSS, S1, 14 Feb. 1945, based on highly confidential information from British intelligence, NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 554, folder 78.

95. Frederick Ayer, Jr. to Director FB1, 6 July 1945, NA, RG 65, 100-100-103569-1, box 2.

96. Stephen Tyas provided this information.
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

Postby admin » Sat May 26, 2018 2:27 am

5. Follow the Money
by Richard Breitman

IN THEIR SEARCH TO UNCOVER key relationships in the Watergate affair, journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were advised to "follow the money." Recently declassified interrogations of individuals who took part in SD financial manipulations offer some new evidence about how SD Foreign Intelligence acquired and spent funds. These interrogations reveal interesting intelligence contacts, including some through which particular individuals found ways to exploit the Holocaust. In this case we need not only to follow the money, but also to inspect it.

Operation Bernhard

In postwar interrogations, Walter Schellenberg distanced himself from a substantial RSHA operation to counterfeit and distribute British pounds and, to a lesser extent, American dollars. It was RSHA chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner's work, not his own, he claimed, and he had little recollection of the personnel involved. [1] Code named "Operation Bernhard," the counterfeiting operation included a group of Jewish inmates at Sachsenhausen concentration camp coerced into forgery. Journalistic accounts in the last half-century, written partly on the basis of interviews or recollections and partly from declassified documents, have since revealed many details of this program. [2] Recently declassified documents make it possible to fill in gaps, eliminate some errors or distortions, and trace the activities of some key Nazi personnel.

According to one new account, the German counterfeiting machinery was set into motion in 1940, when Dr. Alfred Langer of the RSHA forgery shop learned that his unit was assigned to produce counterfeit British currency. He was told his shop would have no trouble getting needed raw materials, allegedly because the order for the scheme came from Hitler himself. [3]

A wartime British intelligence report gave a more detailed and probably more accurate version of how German counterfeiting work began. An Abwehr analyst secretly in contact with British intelligence stated that the Abwehr, acting partly on the advice of Helmuth James von Moltke, legal advisor to OKW (High Command of the Armed Services) and a leader of the anti-Nazi resistance, had refused to get involved with manufacturing British currency, as did the Reichsbank. But the SD went ahead despite warnings about violation of internationallaw. [4]

Langer's initial supervisor, Alfred Naujocks, a man with verve but lacking education and any technical knowledge, could not manage the operation. [5] His first effort to produce British pounds foundered on the inability to develop paper of passable quality. Also in trouble with Reinhard Heydrich for eavesdropping on the RSHA chief's private peccadillos, Naujocks was demoted in the fall of 1940 and was later sent to the eastern front with a Waffen-SS unit. [6]

Although a Sturmbannfuhrer Dorner replaced Naujocks, nothing much happened. Some private German firms experimented at counterfeiting. SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Bernhard Kruger went off to Paris, probably to gather foreign documents that he could use as models for counterfeiting. [7] But as yet, there was no urgency to the preparations.

The decision to resume production of counterfeit pounds under Operation Bernhard came sometime after Heydrich's assassination in mid-1942, at a time when Germany's shortage of foreign exchange was already hampering imports of materials needed for war production. It appears that Heinrich Himmler authorized the operation, particularly because he needed a reliable source of foreign exchange for espionage activities abroad. [8] Trying to shield Himmler (and himself) at the end of the war, Schellenberg failed to mention Himmler's involvement to the Allies.

In any case, Kruger, whose first name, Bernhard, was borrowed as a code name for the operation, assembled a team of skilled forgers and engravers. Jewish prisoners at various concentration camps who had relevant experience were identified with the use of a punch-card system furnished by DEHOMAG (Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, AG), in peacetime an1BM subsidiary. The inmates were transferred to Sachsenhausen, where they were isolated from the rest of the camp. [9]

Two of the workers, Georg Kohn and Jack Papler, recalled after the war that on December 1, 1942, all the necessary installations were complete.

Now Sturmbannfuehrer Ber[n]hard Krueger, accompanied by 2 Oberscharfuehrers, appeared and told us we had to print English pounds. He threatened us that we all would be killed in case we did not keep tight ... In February 1943 [after numerous tests] everything was settled and the printing was started. [10]


Another worker, Adolf Burger, wrote that the total value of notes produced by the end of the war was more than £134 million, of which about 8 percent (more than £ 10 million) were considered good enough for distribution. [11] Counterfeit notes were produced in three different grades. The lowest grade, suitable for deceiving only the unobservant, was apparently meant to be dropped over England in a scheme to undermine confidence in British currency. But the decline of the Luftwaffe made this idea impractical.

In late 1942, Swiss officials and the American Express Company in Zurich stumbled across £ 10,000 counterfeit, apparently a distribution of the early test notes. Some of the forgeries were deemed so masterful that they had to be the work of a government or people formerly employed in a government mint: they were not detected in Switzerland, but only when they reached the Bank of England. The person who passed these notes was an Austrian based in Croatia named Rudolf Blaschke. When arrested, Blaschke identified the source of the disputed currency as Friedrich Schwend. An American diplomat with no small experience in the world of intelligence quickly concluded (correctly) that both Blaschke and Schwend were German agents. [12]

The key distributor, Schwend, was well prepared for his role. After marrying a woman of some means, he engaged in illegal exchanges of genuine foreign currencies in Asia and the Americas during the 1930s. He lived for a time in the United States. By 1938, he had accumulated about $50,000 and a residence in Abbazia, a popular resort in northern Italy just across the border from Fiume.

During the first part of the war, the Abwehr engaged Schwend to locate hidden foreign currency. He got into trouble repeatedly in Croatia, and the German Embassy complained. After the Abwehr dropped him in the spring of 1942, Schwend and Blaschke launched a new scheme, trying to sell bogus German submarine plans to British agents in Trieste. The Italians caught Schwend and turned him over to German authorities at the Brenner Pass; then he was imprisoned at Klagenfurt. But selling fake military secrets was not exactly treason. At first, the Gestapo merely wanted to ensure that Schwend did not return to Italy. [13]

One journalistic account, however, had Schwend in serious jeopardy of losing his life, only to be rescued by an old acquaintance, Willi Grabel. Grabel allegedly came to Klagenfurt, explained to Schwend how he planned to distribute counterfeit currency for the SD, and offered to arrange Schwend's release from prison if he would take part. Schwend agreed, but asked for a cut of the profits. [14] Whether or not the two struck a deal, the Gestapo soon concluded that there was no evidence of treason against Schwend, and they allowed him to return to Italy.

Schwend and Grabel now began work for SD Foreign Intelligence. [15] According to an RSHA official, Schwend was entrusted with a special mission for Himmler that evolved into Operation Bernhard. He was selected in part because of his financial influence and experience -- and his accomplishments as a crook. [16] The head of the Munich office of SD Foreign Intelligence found a former Jewish art dealer named Georg Spitz, who agreed -- under the threat of arrest and deportation -- to work with Schwend and Grabel. They recruited a number of others to distribute the pounds and purchase needed items. [17]

Image
Report:

Of the merchant Georg KOHN, Hirschberg/Ragb. Jaegerstreet -- former inmate of 9 german concentration-camp (KL)

and of the painter JACK PLAPLER Kassel, Muellergasse 3, former inmate of 6 german concentration-camp.

Since the end of July 1942 we were employed in a Special - Secret - Commando.

We think it our duty to report about this to the American authorities, since the following statement may be of great importance:

In 1942 we stayed in the concentration-camp Ravensbrueck. At the end of July in the same year, all the Jews were taken out of their beds during night and graphical professions were asked for. We reported, in order to get out of the severe camp, and on 20.8.42 we were transferred to Sachsenhausen. 3 days after our arrival 20 Jews came to Sachsenhausen, who had been inprotective custody in the camp of Buchenwald. Some days later we had to fall out on the parade-ground and a Sturmbannfuehrer of the SD examined us. He said we were going to be employed in a printing office in block 19. After this block 19 had carefully been isolated from the remaining camp, printing machines actually did arrive. On 1.12.42 all the installations were finished. Now Sturmbannfuhrer Berhard Krueger accompanied by 2 Oberscharfuehrers, appeared and told us we had to print English pounds. He threatened us that we all would be killed in case we did not keep tight. SD Obersturmbannfuehrer Doerner from the office Berlin-Dellbrueck-street in the most severe form repeated the same words.

Paper needed for the forged banknotes was supplied from Westphalia Hahnemehle. Before putting the banknotes into production they made 105 paper-tests. In February 1943 everything was settled and the printing was started. The capacity per month was to be one million. For reasons, easily accounted for, we sabotaged the works and therefore could not finish the asked for issue. Thereupon 20 more Jewish concentration-camp-inmates were added to our group. The finished notes were sorted into 2, 3, and 3, choice needled and made used looking. What was below their choice should be used to be dropped over England. The falsified notes were sent to Berlin every week to be put into circulation abroad. Five, -ten, -twenty, -and fifty-pount notes were produced. In spite of conscientiousness ordered by the SD falsifications can be recognized by an expert easily, from both the paper and from the printing. Anyway we were ready to give mor information to an expert at any time desired. 20 notes of each serie "choice-pieces" had to be given to the Sturmbannfuehrer for his personal use.

Towards the end of 1943 our department was enlarged by the inclusion of block 18 and new SD people took over. The leaders were Hauptscharfuehrer Kurt Werner, and Helmuth Beckmann, besides that 14 more SS man came into our barracks. In January 1944 additional 80 Jews from Auschwitz arrived. The Sturmbannfuehrer told us, that we would have to do other things still. Block 18 ...

SECRET


Two concentration camp survivors, forced to participate in a counterfeiting scheme, describe their experience creating fake currency and other documents (X-2 Interrogation of Georg Kohn and Jack Papler, 6 July 1945, re. German printing of British and American money, NA, RG 226, entry 108A, box 287, LWX-29).

Although the Swiss and the West knew about the counterfeiting threat relatively early, they could do little to prevent the use of foreign currency in areas outside their control, which began on a large scale after July 1943. Bills of £5, £10, £20, and £50 were printed. [18] This forged currency was sometimes used to pay the SD's local agents. [19] It was exchanged against legitimate Hungarian, Croatian, or Italian currency or used to make purchases of needed goods or tangible assets -- arms and munitions, uniforms, gold, and Jewels (the last two could be sold or held in the event of a "rainy day"). This currency traffic was a real boon -- an important source of foreign exchange for the RSHA.

Schwend did his best to monopolize distribution of the counterfeit pounds through his own network, finally winning the cooperation of a high RSHA official, Josef Spacil. When Schwend wanted currency, say £1 million, Spacil received a coded telegram asking for 1,000 kilograms of "steel." Spacil's subordinate saw that Schwend's courier received the notes and kept the books. When the merchandise was shipped to the Reichsbank, Schwend's account would be credited. Schwend took a cut of 30 percent for himself. [20]

After the war Schellenberg called Schwend a swindler because he disposed of the notes largely in territories occupied by Germany and because he satisfied Kalrenbrunner's most luxurious wishes. [21] (By his own testimony, Schellenberg knew only Schwend's code name, "Wendig"; his real name was unknown.) [22] But the largest consumer of foreign exchange within the RSHA was SD Foreign Intelligence. In short, Schellenberg's empire rested party on a huge pile of counterfeit pound notes produced by concentration camp labor. Whether or not Schellenberg promoted Operation Bernhard, he certainly knew much about it.

Postwar testimony indicated that there was an incident of theft -- private appropriation of counterfeit notes -- in Greece in late 1943. Thereafter, RSHA chief Kalrenbrunner himself had to authorize specific Bernhard operations. [23] But an Abwehr analyst and British informant (code named "Artist") gave a more detailed and more plausible account of the missing notes. A Greek experienced in currency arbitrage was given a supply of counterfeit pounds so realistic that the Bank of Greece verified their authenticity. He believed them to be genuine and exchanged some at a Swiss bank without any difficulty; he then carried on further exchanges. When he learned that another Swiss bank declared some of his notes to be forged, he stopped operations and took a loss on his inventory. The Gestapo then arrested him, supposedly for espionage, but the real reason for his arrest was that, having learned that the currency was fraudulent, he refused to carryon with exchanges. [24]

SD radio messages exchanged between Rome and Berlin during the fall of 1943 already show some traces of Schwend's operations in Italy. (Grobel was killed at that time in an ambush by partisans.) In the confusing weeks following the Badoglio government's agreement to an armistice with the West and the German occupation of much of Italy, Schellenberg's office inquired about the balance of intelligence funds still available in Rome -- in English pounds, S.S. dollars, Italian lira, and gold pieces. The largest foreign exchange balance was £2,550, followed by $5,250. A later message from SD Foreign Intelligence in Berlin (Wilhelm Hottl) complained that Kaltenbrunner had given central control of the pounds question to Schwend. [25] So Schellenberg may have had some justification for his postwar claim that this project was more Kaltenbrunner's than his own.

An early 1945 operation to produce dollars, which were technically more difficult, failed: the quality was so low they were never circulated. As the Red Army approached Sachsenhausen in 1945, the prisoners dismantled and packed up the counterfeiting equipment and notes, moving them first to Mauthausen concentration camp and then to a smaller camp near Redl-Zipf. The prisoners were shipped to Ebensee, where they were to be killed. American forces arrived first, and 142 men who did the work for the largest counterfeiting operation in history were saved. Nazi officials dumped much of what was left of the money, along with numerous documents about the operation, into the depths of Lake Toplitz in large sealed crates. But a German army captain in Austria surrendered a truck with twenty-three boxes of British currency valued at £21 million. [26]

In early May 1945, U.S. Army Captain George J. McNally, Jr., a former Secret Service agent who had specialized in counterfeiting cases and was now working as a financial expert for Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force in Frankfurt, came across traces of Operation Bernhard. In the course of his detailed investigation, McNally brought in British officials to inspect the SD's handiwork, which had caused the British much trouble. During the summer and fall of 1945, American, British, and French officials interrogated a number of Nazis and camp prisoners who had been involved in the operation. Counterfeit currency went back to the Bank of England, and McNally wrote his final report in early 1946. [27]

The distributors of the Nazis' British currency had already found a path into the postwar intelligence world. Arrested after the war ended, Schwend at first admitted nothing. But Georg Spitz advised him to confess, cooperate, and seek immunity. OSS X-2 (counterintelligence) officials took charge of Schwend, who led them to locations where he had buried gold and Jewelry -- the gold alone was worth about $200,000. [28] That cooperation earned him some goodwill. Until November 1945, the OSS used him on "bird-dog" operations to flush out others who were wanted. His code name, appropriately, was "Flush." Schwend supposedly wrote a history of Operation Bernhard for OSS, but the manuscript has not survived. [29]

Eric Timm, the chief of the OSS X-2 office in Munich, decided that Schwend, Spitz, and others in the Bernhard distribution network could be useful penetration assets for postwar Nazi resistance activities. Their past was no barrier. In a sense it was an asset because they were logical contacts for Nazis seeking to resuscitate their movement. Spitz supplied the ass and its successor, the SSU, with financial information about the German Red Cross and about separatist movements in Bavaria. Schwend gathered data about the Czech intelligence service and alleged exploitation of Jewish refugees by the Soviet Union. But by 1947, in spite of continuing American intelligence contacts, Spitz came under a cloud for his role in wartime art looting in the Netherlands and postwar black market activities, and he was dropped as an American agent. [30]

By that time Schwend, too, was in trouble -- again. A 1946 raid turned up evidence that surviving counterfeiters at Merano were still active. Schwend also came under suspicion of defrauding the Gehlen Organization. [31] Schwend and his wife went to Italy in 1947 and soon emigrated to Peru. He contacted American authorities in 1959 to complain that, while in CIC confinement during 1945, he had money and property confiscated and never returned; in short, he had been robbed. In the mid-1960s, he nominally worked as the manager of a Volkswagen service garage in Lima, but his side activities were more interesting. American officials learned that a "Friedrich Schwalm" was involved in counterfeiting American dollars and trafficking in arms. He had allegedly bought himself protection in Peru by establishing contacts with some important politicians. This information was enough for the CIA to identify Schwalm as Schwend, who was described as "a completely unscrupulous person who thrives on intrigue and illicit schemes." [32]

Did he have a powerful sponsor? On November 30, 1966, the military aide to the president of Costa Rica publicly claimed that Fidel Castro was flooding Costa Rica with counterfeit dollars, an operation he compared to Nazi Germany's use of counterfeit pounds. The situation was all the more troubling because many Costa Ricans had purchased dollars as protection against the deteriorating national currency. [33] Another report suggested that Schwend had been involved with former Gestapo official Klaus Barbie in Peru to eliminate leftist politician Victor Paz Estanssoro. [34] Still another source indicated that Schwend was the head of ODESSA (a secret organization of former SS officers still committed to the cause). In any case, ODESSA possessed some plates to produce counterfeit U.S. dollars that apparently emanated from Schwend. [35] He had finally learned to turn our a better American product.

In 1972, Schwend was arrested in Peru after the murder of a wealthy businessman. The investigation turned up evidence that Schwend had blackmailed Peruvian officials, sold information, and violated currency laws. Later, he was convicted of smuggling currency out of the country and was sentenced to two years in prison. Deported to West Germany in 1976, Schwend ultimately returned impoverished to Peru, where he died in 1980. [36] It was an inconspicuous end for a man who had extended important Nazi intelligence connections into postwar American ones.

The Swiss Barrack Connection

Wooden barracks at some concentration camps (apparently Sachsenhausen and Dachau) were manufactured in Switzerland and transported to Germany. As a pure business transaction, this 1941 deal did not make sense. Nazi Germany, for example, had to supply some of the wood to the Swiss Wood Syndicate -- a quasigovernmental enterprise -- because the Swiss lacked a sufficient supply of timber. Moreover, some finished barracks were damaged in transport to Germany. Author Schraga Elam has suggested that Nazi Germany must have had non-economic motives for the deal that remain unclear. [37] When combined with previously released documents in the National Archives, the newly declassified testimony of an SD official responsible for economic espionage casts new light upon the Swiss barrack connection. It is now apparent that Walter Schellenberg had intelligence needs in Switzerland, and this barrack contract gave him connections and even financial resources there.

Schellenberg's business manipulator in Switzerland was Hans Wilhelm Eggen, twenty-nine years old in 1941. Born into a well-connected family, Eggen had trained as a lawyer, entered the business world, and served in the SS Leadership Office as a liaison to the Reich Economics Ministry. He owned and managed Waren-Vertriebs, an import-export concern based in Berlin, which was largely a front for the SS. A wealthy, handsome man who liked to drink and live it up, Eggen apparently had a remarkable ability to make others like and trust him. In March 1945 he had dinner and a long after-dinner conversation with a U.S. diplomat, feeding him a steady Stream of false intelligence. The diplomat found him thoroughly reliable. [38]

Eggen had wide-ranging business and political contacts, particularly in the Balkans and Switzerland. Such versatility brought him into the horiwns of SD Foreign Intelligence. Eggen and Schellenberg became friendly in the fall of 1941. [39]

Shortly afterwards, Eggen received instructions from the Waffen-SS and the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office to purchase, through his firm, barracks (referred to as "hutments" in some of the English-language documents) made in Switzerland. [40] Eggen contacted Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Guisan, who happened to be the son of the commander-in-chief of the Swiss army. Henry Guisan introduced Eggen to several Swiss business and intelligence contacts, and on December 18, Eggen was able to meet with Walter Stampfli, one of Switzerland's seven Federal Councilors who headed the Swiss government. Stampfli welcomed a contract for barracks that promised to bring Switzerland an estimated 13 million Swiss francs and new jobs, but he could not agree to the proposed commission of 4.5 percent, which he said was too high. On January 22, 1942, the contract was signed nonetheless. The first shipment of barracks arrived in April 1942, and Germany paid in kind, with a delivery of 50 tons of raw iron. The relationship was established, but not yet optimal. [41]

Eggen found two well-connected Swiss associates. One was Paul Holzach-Meier (usually called "Holzach"), a businessman with experience in the wood industry, who had been arrested -- and acquitted -- for commercial fraud and was in need of a new position. The other was Dr. Paul Meyer-Schwertenbach, who had a law degree and side-career as a writer of detective novels (under the pen name Wolf Schwertenbach). Meyer-Schwertenbach had married and divorced a wealthy Swiss woman, receiving a generous settlement. His second marriage also brought him substantial wealth, and he acquired a castle near Kreuzlingen, on the shores of Lake Constance. But his wealth and connections were only the beginning of his assets: Meyer-Schwertenbach also held an important post in Swiss military intelligence.

At some point, probably in mid-1942, [42] Eggen, Holzach, and Meyer-Schwertenbach formed a joint Swiss-based venture that was largely a paper corporation, allegedly to negotiate the terms of the remaining barrack contract. When the first shipment of barracks arrived damaged, Meyer-Schwertenbach went to Berlin to examine the problem, which suggests that he already had a business relationship with Eggen at that point. [43] Their firm, Interkommerz, seems to have received the commission on what remained of the barrack deal and apparently also collected the profits. Later, in August 1943, Interkommerz was formally registered as a Swiss corporation. [44] With two of the three principals Swiss, it apparently qualified as a Swiss firm. Holzach was chairman of the board of directors, but Eggen was in control for the duration of the war.

Interkommerz served as a front for the SD in Switzerland. According to the head of Schellenberg's economic espionage branch, Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, Eggen probably took additional cash on his trips to Switzerland, which gave Schellenberg financial resources to use there for intelligence purposes. [45] The SD Foreign Intelligence chief also quickly gained unusual access to high Swiss authorities.

Schellenberg and Colonel Roger Masson, the head of Swiss intelligence, exchanged some information and met in Waldshut on September 8, 1942. Impressed by the younger SD intelligence leader, Masson apparently thought he could extract benefits for Switzerland from this contact. As a result, Schellenberg was even able to meet with Swiss commander-in-chief Guisan in March 1943.

There is no evidence that Schellenberg or Eggen funneled payments to Masson. But Holzach carried an identity card signed by Masson that listed him as a captain in Swiss intelligence. At least one report described him as gathering political and military intelligence for Eggen -- which meant for Schellenberg. Meyer-Schwertenbach, who frequently operated out of the Hotel Schweizerhof in Zurich and was able to tape-record telephone conversations there, was overheard to praise Hitler. [46] Masson certainly showed unusual latitude in allowing Holzach and Meyer-Schwertenbach free reign. Whether Switzerland had gained enough accurate intelligence to justify the risk of high Swiss officials being compromised is doubtful, and Masson came under much criticism after the end of the war. [47]

Through Interkommerz, Eggen, Holzach, and Meyer-Schwertenbach found various ways to assist the German cause. They apparently tried to persuade another Swiss firm to export tires to Germany -- or to let Interkommerz do so -- a deal that British authorities caught wind of and persuaded Swiss authorities to block. But a deal for a hundred tons of lead apparently went through. Holzach's explanation to British authorities in Switzerland was deemed unsatisfactory, and both he and Interkommerz were soon placed on the proclaimed list of neutral firms doing business in Axis countries and therefore barred from Allied markets. In August 1944, Holzach went to Germany and reportedly brought back to Switzerland some considerable quantities of securities held by the Hermann Goring Works. [48]

In late 1944, Meyer-Schwertenbach told a U.S. diplomat that he was still working "almost" exclusively for Swiss intelligence, and that Paul Holzach was one of his agents. In March 1945 he told another U.S. diplomat that one of his intelligence functions had been to maintain contact with Himmler's group. [49] Eggen and Schellenberg certainly qualified as Himmler's men. Meyer-Schwertenbach's "almost" was a telling sign that he had found an authorized way to mix his intelligence work and private ventures.

After German troops invaded Hungary in March 1944 and brought about the creation of a more cooperative Hungarian government, Holzach quickly found a way to get into Budapest -- one of the first Swiss to receive permission. [50] There is some sign that he played a role in helping to arrange the Nazi-authorized release of several influential Hungarian Jewish families in return for the SS takeover of their ownership of the Manfred Weiss Works. In a January 1945 conversation with an American diplomat, Eggen claimed credit for this deal. [51]

In late 1944 and early 1945, Schellenberg sought "humanitarian" releases of Jews or other prisoners primarily to gain credit and open a dialogue with the West, but Himmler insisted on Germany's receiving material or financial compensation for any releases of Jews -- to protect him against charges of defeatism or disloyalty. Himmler's economic specialist in Hungary, Kurt Becher, and Schellenberg then competed to arrange releases of Jews to Switzerland. [52] The principals of Interkommerz were more than happy to provide a service -- to hold some of the cash that could be extorted from Jewish sources. Himmler allegedly approved one deal that brought about the release of Hungarian Jewish industrialist Leopold Aschner from Mauthausen Concentration Camp in return for a payment of SF 100,000; the money was deposited (in the name of Herbert Kettlitz, one of Becher's subordinates) in trust with Holzach at Interkommerz. If the claimants to the deposi t disappeared or the paperwork was lacking, the principals ofInterkommerz might become the real beneficiaries after the war. [53]

Because of the postwar investigation of Masson's contacts with Schellenberg, as well as legal disputes over the assets of Interkommerz, some of these relationships came to light shortly after the war; others may be found in documents declassified years ago. In a recently declassified set of interrogations we find that Schellenberg's economic espionage chief, Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, supplied the name of one previously unknown beneficiary of Eggen's "commission": Dr. Heinrich Rothmund, perhaps the most controversial figure in World War II Switzerland.

A tall, broad-shouldered, athletic man, Rothmund was fifty-one years old when World War II began. In the 1920s he constructed the Federal Swiss Police office that dealt with aliens. He infused the Swiss Alien Police with his ideology, which was based on the notion that foreigners were difficult to assimilate and that Swiss naturalization requirements must be tightened to prevent foreign "inundation" of the country. Rothmund headed the Police Section of the Federal Justice and Police Department throughout the 1930s and the war. In this capacity he helped to determine Swiss refugee policy, and his police were primarily responsible for its enforcement. His power grew to the point that he was frequently called the "eighth Federal councilor." [54]

Rothmund had well-established views about the particular dangers Jews posed to Switzerland. If immigrants generally were undesirable, Eastern European Jews were the worst of the lot. Bur German Jews suffered too from the prejudices of Rothmund and his police. German Jews seeking to flee early Nazi discrimination and persecution and enter Switzerland were denied the status of political refugees unless they were seeking asylum in Switzerland because of their political activities. Concerned that Nazi Germany was ridding itself of Jews by encouraging illegal Jewish immigration into Switzerland, the Swiss government, according to the Swiss minister in Berlin, was determined to prevent the "judaicization" of its country. Rothmund was heavily involved in direct negotiations between Switzerland and Germany in 1938 to prevent large numbers of Jews from arriving at Swiss borders. [55] After numerous proposals and counterproposals, German authorities agreed to a Swiss proposal -- Germany decided to stamp the passports of German (and Austrian) Jews with an indelible J. [56]

During the early portion of World War II the Swiss Alien Police expelled Jews whom they found had illegally entered Switzerland. Despite Swiss efforts to tighten border controls, attempts at illegal entry continued and sometimes succeeded. In early August 1942, the Swiss government decided to tighten implementation of earlier regulations: expulsions of foreign civilian refugees would take place on a larger scale even if such expulsions would place their lives in jeopardy. (By this time there were plenty of reports reaching Switzerland about Nazi killings of Jews on a vast scale.) Rothmund quickly ordered Swiss borders hermetically sealed and reinforced earlier instructions: Jews in flight did not qualify as political refugees. [57]

One could hardly argue that Schellenberg and Eggen bribed Rothmund to assist Nazi Germany in the Final Solution when he was already highly cooperative of his own accord. Rothmund had maintained over a long period of time his view that Jews posed a threat to Switzerland and had done what he could to block the entry of Jewish refugees. But if Rothmund indeed benefited from Schellenberg's largesse, it gave him more resources to do what he wanted to do, to assert his influence. It was no secret that Rothmund, separated from his wife and eager to live on a grand scale, could use the money. [58]

In a manuscript written shortly after he was captured, Zeidler identified Rothmund as a critical figure in the barrack deal:

The connection was set up between S.S. Brigadefuhrer Schellenberg and the Chief of the Swiss Foreign Police (Fremdenpolizei) Rothmund, through the Warenvertriebsgesellschaft in Berlin, proprietor Eggen. The reason for this connection was a large barrack business ... which was continually causing difficulties, for either the prices did not agree or the dates for delivery were not adhered to. Through this I naturally came into close contact with Herr Eggen. I now learned from him that a very important connection was involved, from which much was to be gained. [59]


During two subsequent interrogations, Zeidler named Rothmund as a key party in the barrack deal and said that Eggen gave SF 60,000 of the commission to Rothmund. (The first time Rothmund was identified as the head of Swiss intelligence -- was Zeidler thinking of Masson? -- but several months later, Zeidler repeated the claim that Rothmund was owed SF 60,000, and that Eggen probably took this cash with him to Switzerland. This time Zeidler correctly identified Rothmund as head of the Swiss Alien Police.) He also correctly named Holzach and Meyer-Schwertenbach as the main Swiss beneficiaries of the barrack deal. [60]

Rothmund's name has come up in previous discussions of this deal, but he has been described as an obstacle to Eggen, who needed frequent entry into Switzerland. On at least two occasions Rothmund raised objections to allowing Eggen in again to do business. [61] But these seem to be the exceptions -- situations where Eggen and his Swiss partners were creating too many complications, setting Rothmund against Masson, who was overly committed to the relationship with Schellenberg. [62] Most of the time Eggen had no difficulty getting in, and by his own account he traveled to Switzerland every couple of months. [63]

Although Zeidler is the sole source of information about the link between Eggen and Rothmund, circumstantial evidence supports it. At the end of the war Eggen asked for asylum in Switzerland. Although his request was denied and he was arrested, he was particularly well treated there, receiving frequent furloughs and conducting business transactions while incarcerated. [64] After the war, Rothmund seems to have encouraged the activity of a number of holding companies that were camouflaged German undertakings. According to a January 1946 British intelligence report passed to the Americans, one of the prime instigators was Dr. Kurt Heinrich Brunner, who was a college friend of Rothmund. Rothmund intervened with the Swiss Federal Council to assist Brunner's projects in order to help Germany. [65] According to a recently published account, Rothmund also facilitated the emigration of some wanted Nazi officials to Argentina during 1947 and 1948. [66]

The evidence of a financial arrangement among Schellenberg, Eggen, and Rothmund is not solid enough at this point for scholars to accept with confidence, but it is certainly enough to warrant additional research into the relationship between Hans Wilhelm Eggen and Heinrich Rothmund.

Operation Bernhard and the Swiss Barrack Connection were different in some ways, but both operations were marked by a blend of official and private larceny characteristic of azi Germany. Far from distancing itself from the criminal features of the Nazi regime, SD Foreign Intelligence depended upon such financial machinations to fund its own activities. Schellenberg could no more escape this taint than he could separate himself from the SS. There was no such thing as pure intelligence in Nazi Germany.

_______________

Notes

1. Report on Interrogation of Walter Schellenberg, 27 June-12 July 1945, copy in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, box 195, Walter Schellenberg (3 of 8).

2. Among them, Walter Hagen (Wilhelm Hottl), Unternehmen Bernhard (Wels: Verlag Welsermuhl, 1955); and Anthony Pirie, Operation Bernhard (New York: Morrow, 1962).

3. Translation of Report, 22 June 1945, by Dr. Albert Langer ... on the Technical Section of Amt VI of the RSHA, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 66, folder XXI1587-99.

4. Memorandum from Wilson on the Tricycle/Artist group, 20 Nov. 1943, NA, RG 226, entry 119, box 23, folder 177A. "Tricycle" was the German agenr/British double agent Dusko Popov. "Artist," who provided the information about forged currency, was a Dane named Johnny Jebsen who worked in the Abwehr bur also carried our private business. Based in Lisbon, Jebsen was kidnapped by Gestapo agents there in late 1944 and taken back to Germany. He was executed at Sachsenhausen in the last days of the war. Information from Stephen Tyas.

5. Translation of Report, 22 June 1945, by Dr. Albert Langer ... on the Technical Section of Amt VI of the RSHA, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 66, folder XXI 1587-99.

6. Purportedly, he was punished because he spied on Heydrich to avenge his demeaning assignment to supervise "Salon Kitty," a brothel set up to eavesdrop on its mainly foreign diplomatic clients. Bur Heydrich also conducted "inspection visits" there. Naujocks' version of his interaction with Heydrich is in MI-5 Interim Interrogation Report on the Case of Alfred Naujocks, copy in Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 27 Nov. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 108B, box 314, folder 2082, XX-3980.

7. Direction Generale de Etudes et Reserches Service de Documentation/Mission de Liaison SM a la 3eme Armee SMJ 3, no. 937, 25 July 1945, [Gaullist intelligence] Report, given to U.S. authorities on production of counterfeit moneys and counterfeit documents by the AMT VI F of RSHA, copy in NA, RG 65, 65, 65-47826-232 EBF 33 (2 of 2), box 62.

8. CI Interim Interrogation Report No. 47, U/Stuf Guenther, Rudolf, 6 Feb. 1945 [1946], NA, RG 65, 65-56600, box 185. Guenther was private secretary and bookkeeper for Josef Spacil, a high official in the RSHA involved in Operation Bernhard.

9. Kruger had served as Naujocks's deputy. On the operation at Sachsenhausen, see Alan Levy, "Adolf Burger: The Forger as a Work of Art; Ex-counterfeiter Documents his Holocaust History," the Prague Post, 1 Nov. 2000; also Adolf Burger, Des Teuffels Werkstatt: Die Geldfalscherwerkstatt im KZ Sachsenhausen (Fischerhutte: Verlag Neues Leben, 2000). Other inmates included accountant Oskar Stein (Skala), notorious forger Solly Smolianov, Jacob Goldglass, Heinrich Fajermann, and others. See the account compiled by War Deparrmenr civilian Eric A. Harris of ass 2677th Regiment, dated 22 June 1945, a Secret Service document released by the Treasury Department in May 2000.

10. X-2 Interrogation of Georg Kohn and Jack Papler, 6 July 1945, re. German printing of British and American money, NA, RG 226, entry 108A, box 287, LWX-29. The French intelligence report (see n. 7) indicates that two workers who became ill were killed in order to assure their silence.

11. Interrogation of Walter Schellenberg, 27 June-12 July 1945, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, box 195, Walter Schellenberg (3 of 8), 27. Digest of information on Josef Spacil of RSHA II from reports on Kaltenbrunncr, Schellenberg, Ohlendorf, Duesterberg, Wischmann, and Schulz, 20 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 40, folder 1086; Burger, Teuffels Werkstatt, 137-38.

12. See the set of documents in NA, RG 59, box 4969, CDF-841.5158/38-41, especially Samuel Woods to Secretary of State, 15 Jan. 1943 re. counterfeit English bank notes.

13. Auszug aus den Akten Friedrich Schwendt, NA, RG 242, T-120, roll 5781, frame FH297319-55.

14. "Geld wie Heu," Stern, 22 Aug. 1959.

15. Auszug aus den Akten Friedrich Schwendt, NA, RG 242, T-120, roll 5781, frame FH297319-55.

16. CI Interim Interrogation Report No. 47, U/Stuf Guenther, Rudolf, 6 Feb. 1945 [1946], NA, RG 65, 65-56600, box 185.

17. Winston Scott to Sir Edward Reid, 13 June 1945 re. RSHA Financial Operations, NA, RG 226, entry 190, box 366, folder 402. On Spitz's background and involvement, see NA, RG 263, George Spitz Name File.

18. The French report (see n. 7) indicates that production of notes was small until July 1943.

19. Elyesa Bazna, the Albanian valet of the British ambassador to Turkey, was rewarded for his espionage coup, Operation Cicero, with counterfeit pounds.

20. CI Interim Interrogation Report No. 47, U/Sruf Guenther, Rudolf, 6 Feb. 1945 [1946], NA, RG 65, 65-56600, box 185.

21. Memorandum from Wilson regarding the Tricycle/Anist group, 20 Nov. 1943, NA, RG 226, entry 119, box 23, folder 177A.

22. Interrogation of Schellenberg, 27 June-12 July 1945, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B. box 195, Walter Schellenberg (3 of 8).

23. Digest of information on Josef Spacil of RSHA II from reports on Kaltenbrunner, Schellenberg, Ohlendorf, Duesterberg, Wischmann, and Schulz, 20 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 40, folder 1086-Spacil.

24. Memorandum from Wilson regarding the Tricycle/Artist group, 20 Nov. 1943, NA, RG 226, entry 119, box 23, Folder 177A.

25. Hammer (Berlin) to Rome, 2 Oct. 1943, Decode no. 7067; Rome to Berlin, 12 Oct. 1943, Decode no. 7510; and Berlin to Rome, 21 Oct. 1943, Decode no. 7760, all in NA, RG 226, entry 122, boxes 1 and 2, folder 5-Italian Decodes.

26. Kevin C. Ruffner, "On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters," Studies in Intelligence (2002), 44.

27. Ruffner, "On the Trail," 43-45.

28. Michaelis to C.O. X-2, Germany, 20 July 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 39, Folder 1070 -- Friedrich Schwend. Ruffner, "On the Trail," 48.

29. Ruffner, "On the Trail," 48.

30. Ibid., 50-51

31. Ibid., 51.

32. According to one report, he was wanted for having ordered one SD agent to murder another in Italy during 1944. Cables of 12 Dee. 1966 and 19 Aug. 1969, Memo for CIA Deputy Director For Plans, NA, RG 263, Friedrich Schwend Name File, vol. 2.

33. The Reuters press release of 1 Dec. 1966 is in NA, RG 263, Fritz Venceslav Schwend Name File, vol. 2.

34. Memo from Acting Chief [office excised], 9 Mar. 1983, NA, RG 263, Fritz Venceslav Schwend Name File, vol. 2.

35. Regional Security Officer, Lima to Chief Foreign Operations, 29 Apr. 1965, NA, RG 263, Fritz Venceslav Schwend Name File, vol. 1.

36. Ruffner, "On the Trail," 53.

37. Shraga Elam, "Schweizet Qualitats-Holzbaracken fur die SS-Schergen," in Sebastian Speich, et al., Die Schweiz am Pranger: Banken, Bosse und die Nazis (Vienna: Ueberreuter, 1997), 132-40.

38. Basic biographical information on Eggen is in Hans Rudolf Fuhrer, Spionage gegen die Schweiz: die geheimen deutschen Nachrichtendienste gegen die Schweiz im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1939-1945 (Frauenfeld: Huber, 1982),79. For the subjective impression, 15 Jan. 1945 Meeting of #493 with Hans Ecken [sic] of the SS, NA, RG 226, entry 214, box 7, folder 38.

39. Third Interim Report on Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, 6 Nov. 1945 and Special [British] Interrogation Report on Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, SIR 20,29 Mar. 1946, copy in NA, RG 65, file 65-56411-1, entry A1-136P, box 37.

40. Ibid. Zeidler was not in charge of the economic branch of SD Foreign Intelligence at the time this deal was made. The figures he gave (SF 5 million) about the size of the deal are too low. The first delivery of barracks cost SF 5.5 million. It is likely that Zeidler, who assumed his post in June 1942, learned of a portion of the deal still outstanding.

41. Elam, "Schweizer Qualitats-Holzbaracken," 133-34.

42. Interkommerz was added to the Swiss Commercial Register on 6 Aug. 1943, but Zeidler suggests that it was operating informally earlier. A 1944 background report on Paul Holzach-Meier drawing upon individuals acquainted with him supports that claim. See Report of 8 Mar. 1944 on Paul Holzach-Meier, NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Economic Section, Safehaven, 1942-1949, box 45-Interkommerz.

43. Zeidler mentions only the commission, but Elam suggests the profits. Zeidler implies that Eggen, Holzach, and Meyer-Schwertenbach linked up before 1943. On Meyer- Schwertenbach's trip to Berlin, see Elam, "Schweizer Qualitats-Holzbaracken," 134.

44. See Report of 8 Mar. 1944 on Paul Holzach-Meier, NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Economic Section, Safehaven, 1942-1949, box 45-Interkommerz.

45. Special Interrogation Report on Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, 29 Mar. 1946. On the specific purpose, see below.

46. Woods to Harrison, 13 Nov. 1944; Blum to Bach, 12 Oct. 1945; extracts from legation file on Holzach and Schwertenbach, 6 Sept. 1944; all in NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Safehaven, box 45-Interkommerz.

47. On this subject, see Pierre Braunschweig, Geheimer Draht nach Berlin. Die Nachrichtenlinie Masson-Schellenberg und der schweizerische Nachrichtendienst im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Zurich: Neue Zurcher Zeitung, 1989). Also, Fuhrer, Spionage gegen die Schweiz, 79-80.

48. Strictly Confidential Report, 6 Sept. 1944, from #1924, NA, RG 84, American Legation Bern, Safehaven, box 45 -- Interkommerz. Holzach's wife reportedly gave the same information: see Harrison to U.S. Political Advisor on German Affairs, 7 Feb. 1947, in ibid.

49. Extracts from legation file on Holzach and Schwertenbach, 6 Sept. 1944; and Woods to Harrison, 13 Nov. 1944; both in NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Economic Section, Safehaven, box 45 -- Interkommerz. In Swiss intelligence, Schwertenbach had earlier been in charge of ferreting out subversive elements in Switzerland and of managing personal security For General Guisan, the Swiss commander-in-chief See Sebastian Speich, "Die diebischen Elstern vom Armee-Geheimdienst," in Die Schweiz am Pranger, 143. On Meyer-Schwertenbach's claim to be the official Swiss liaison with Himmler's group, see 224 (Loofbourow) to 110 (Dulles), 16 Mar. ] 945, NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 66, Folder 276. Meyer-Schwertenbach is referred to by his nickname "Wolf."

50. British Commercial Secretariat to Reagan (American Commercial Attache, Bern), 20 Apr. 1944, and British Consulate General, Zurich to Reagan, 26 May 1944; NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Safehaven, box 45-Interkommerz.

51. 15 Jan. 1945 Meeting of #493 with Hans Ecken [sic] of the SS, NA, RG 226, entry 214, box 7, Folder 38.

52. See chapter 4.

53. In the inevitable postwar dispute over this money, Becher supplied an affidavit saying that Kettlitz had no claim to the Funds, which, he said, according to Kasztner, should go to the Geneva Office of the Jewish Agency For Palestine. See P.R. Larke, British Legation, Bern, to American Legation, 28 Sept. 1948, NA, RG 84, American Legation, Bern, Safehaven, box 45 -- Interkommerz.
54. Alfred A. Hassler, The Lifeboat is Full: Switzerland and the Refugees, 1933-1945, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1967), 7-8, 108.

55. Hassler, Lifeboat is Full, 10, 30-53. The most recent account of these negotiations is Independent Commission of Experts -- Switzerland -- Second World War, Switzerland and Refugees in the Nazi Era, (Bern: BBLIEDMZ, 1999),75-85.

56. In these negotiations Rothmund had supported a requirement of a German visa For travel to Switzerland. He did not particularly like the idea of the J because he knew that German officials also wanted to limit the travel of Swiss Jews into Germany, and that Switzerland would not be able to discriminate by similarly marking the passports of Swiss Jews.

57. Hassler, Lifeboat is Full, 81-82.

58. Ibid., 108-9.

59. Untitled, undated ms. [June 1945], Copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 55, Folder 1617.

60. Third Interim Report on Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, 6 Nov. 1945 and Special [British] Interrogation Report on Dr. Hans Martin Zeidler, SIR 20,29 Mar. 1946, copy in NA, RG 65, 65-5641 1, Sec. 1, entry A1-136P, box 37.

61. Elam, "Schweizer Qualitats-Holzbarracken"; and Sebastian Speich, "Die diebischen Elstern vom Armee-Geheimdienst," both in Speich, et al., Die Schweiz am Pranger, 138 and 144.

62. See, Forexample, Fuhrer, Spionage, 87.

63. 15 Jan. 1945 Meeting of #493 with Hans Ecken [sic] of the SS, NA, RG 226, entry 214, box 7, Folder 38.

64. Elam, "Schweizer Qualitats-Holzbarracken," 138.

65. Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 21 Jan. 1946, NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 56, Folder XX10560-XXI0579.

66. See Uki Goni, The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina (London: Granta, 2002), 143-59.
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

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Part 1 of 2

6. The Gestapo
by Richard Breitman with Norman J. W Goda and Paul Brown

The proper picture of the Gestapo is that of a legal gang of ruthless and vicious killers, whose brain was supplied largely by the shrewd, 100% Nazi SD . . . The Gestapo is the most likely home of the war criminal in the RSHA. [1]


DURING WORLD WAR II, Allied intelligence services gathered considerable information about the Gestapo, but they lacked enough unimpeachable documentary evidence to give a clear overview of the organization and the functions of individual Gestapo offices. At the end of the war they sought to extract from captured documents useful information about how the Gestapo had worked. A small collection of Gestapo intelligence and counterintelligence files remained classified until the IWG opened it in 2000. This "Himmler Collection" is described below.

Although the Gestapo was quickly indicted -- and soon convicted -- as a criminal organization at Nuremberg, Allied intelligence officials made at least temporary arrangements with some surviving Gestapo officials who could supply useful information. Those Gestapo men who had specific information about important decisions or policies of the Nazi regime and those who had specialized in counteracting Communist espionage had particular intelligence value in the immediate postwar years. While some Gestapo men were tried and convicted, others who cooperated with Allied intelligence were overlooked -- or had their sentences commuted. Still others escaped or were never definitively identified as having died by the end of the war. Public, media, and Western government perceptions of a job left undone -- locating important Gestapo officials and bringing them to justice -- began to gel in the 1960s and intensify in the early 1980s.

This chapter includes case studies of Gestapo officials with different fates. Some of those who disappeared, such as Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller, have remained shrouded in mystery or controversy. Newly declassified State Department records reveal a belated and ultimately unsuccessful effort by the United States and West Germany to bring another high Gestapo official named Walter Rauff to justice. The final case study, based largely on declassified CIA records, is that of Adolf Eichmann's subordinate Alois Brunner, who escaped to Syria after World War II.

The Himmler Collection

The Gestapo was a political police that sought to eradicate all actual and potential opposition to the Nazi regime. Using pseudo-legal devices such as preventive detention and protective custody, the Gestapo pursued individuals, organizations, and groups considered inherently hostile to the Nazi regime and subjected them to mistreatment, torture, or incarceration regardless of their actual behavior. Because of the criminal nature of the organization, Gestapo personnel intentionally destroyed many files near the end of the war. Other Gestapo records were destroyed in Allied bombing attacks or lost in the confusion of Germany's collapse. Most of what survived and was captured by the United States or Britain was declassified during the I950s, but some holdings were withheld for security reasons. [2] The recent declassification of some original Gestapo records deepens our understanding of the organization.

The so-called Himmler Collection, newly declassified by the IWG, is an amalgamation of over nine thousand pages of intelligence and counterintelligence files kept by Gestapo sections dealing with enemy groups and with counterintelligence. [3] Included, for example, are secret Gestapo lists of suspected enemy agents, traitors, and Allied pilots who had escaped from captivity, as well as periodic reports and instructions for dealing with perceived security threats that it sent to police posts across the country. Since the Abwehr was absorbed by the RSHA in 1944, some Abwehr counterintelligence documents, such as lists of suspicious persons in Denmark, are also included in the files.

Occasional new information about the Holocaust and other war crimes crops up in these newly declassified Gestapo records. For example, German counterintelligence believed that a Danish Jew named Hugo Rothenberg, with the help of a Swedish businessman named Tuschmann, helped Jews and political refugees to flee from Denmark to Sweden. But Rothenberg had high-level protection. Hermann Goring, wounded in the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923, had fled to Sweden with Rothenberg's assistance. A grateful Goring continued to protect Rothenberg during the war. As a result of Goring's goodwill, the Gestapo decided not to intervene against Rothenberg, a fact now verified in the Gestapo index of suspicious people in Denmark. [4]

Some German counterintelligence documents found in the Himmler Collection illuminate or complement other newly declassified or previously available Allied intelligence documents. For example, previously available ass records contain numerous documents supplied by the Polish government-in-exile. Polish agents and informants throughout Europe were able to gather a great deal of sensitive political, economic, and military information; the Polish government-in-exile in London passed much on to Britain and the United States, including some key information about the Holocaust in late 1942. [5] Newly declassified OSS records contain some additional information supplied by Polish sources in London. For example, the chief diplomatic advisor to Polish Prime Minister Sikorski gave American intelligence in London details about the thrust of Nazi occupation policies in Poland and specific measures in the districts of Lublin and Zamosc: the Gestapo and Ukrainian police massacred aged and infirm Poles, tore young children from their parents and sent them to Germany to be raised as Germans, and deported able-bodied Polish men and women to labor camps. [6] The Polish government-in-exile wanted Britain and the United States to be aware of these crimes.

The Himmler Collection reveals the other side of this picture. It contains, for example, some of what the Gestapo was able to uncover about Polish intelligence activities on the continent and about Polish information being sent to London. At the beginning of the war, Gestapo officials believed they had neutralized the Polish intelligence service, even though they recognized that the intelligence elite had escaped from Poland in late 1939. In 1942, however, they uncovered a cache of Polish intelligence documents in Prague and were surprised to see that Polish agents and informants had gathered detailed military information and smuggled it to London, via Budapest and Istanbul. The Poles had tracked German military trains to the eastern front and identified Order Police battalions sent to conquered areas early in the German campaign against the Soviet Union. In October 1941, Police Battalion 303 went to Zhitomir, Battalion 311 to Kiev, 310 to Lemberg, and 208 to Bialystok. In addition, another seventeen such battalions were stationed in the German-occupied General Government (most of Poland), according to Polish intelligence information. Such battalions of Order Police often carried out executions of Jews and other civilians under the cover of anti-partisan warfare. Polish agents also gathered detailed information about the morale of German soldiers in the East.

After uncovering a sample of the information the Poles had reported, Gestapo officials concluded in 1942 that Polish intelligence activity represented a very serious danger to Germany. As late as June 6, 1944, Heinrich Muller set up a special unit called Sonderkommando Jerzy, designed to root out the Polish intelligence network in western and southwestern Europe. [7]

Another captured Gestapo document found in OSS records offers a broader view of Gestapo and Abwehr counterintelligence work. In mid-1942, German counterintelligence officials were not terribly concerned about the French or Belgian intelligence services, were aware of increasing Swiss intelligence activity, and had established that the Poles and Japanese were cooperating on intelligence matters in a number of European locations. Gestapo officials recognized that they had very little information about the work of U.S. or British agents ("very cleverly camouflaged"), but, amazingly, they seemed not terribly concerned. Conversely, they regarded Hungary's intelligence service as one of their most serious opponents, even though Hungary was Germany's ally and there was a formal agreement between the two that no espionage was to be carried out against each other. [8]

In short, the Gestapo was concerned about those intelligence services it knew from the prewar period. Germany, Finland, Hungary, and Japan had all shared an antipathy toward the Soviet Union, which had led to some intelligence exchanges among them. Past experience as well as present information suggested that these intelligence organizations had dangerous capabilities, and their alliances or political ties with Germany were not warm enough to overcome Gestapo concerns that Germany might become the target of their intelligence activities. With regard to Britain and the United States -- certainly two of Nazi Germany's most dangerous intelligence enemies -- the Gestapo did not know enough about their intelligence work to voice specific concerns.

Reprisals in Denmark

A newly declassified postwar interrogation of Higher SS and Police Leader Gunther Pancke, the top SS and police official for Denmark, offers insight into German police actions and general Nazi occupation policy in Denmark. [9] On December 30, 1943, Pancke, Reich Plenipotentiary for Denmark Werner Best, and General von Hanneken attended a meeting at Hitler's headquarters. After Best minimized security problems in Denmark and backed use of an SS and police court to punish acts against the German occupation, Hitler intervened:

Up to now all disturbances and fights for freedom which have been punished by military courts have ensured that their perpetrators go down in history as national heroes ... It is not in the interests of the Reich to create national heroes in other countries, and I therefore forbid all legal proceedings against people who commit acts which damage the German war effort, especially in Denmark. In the future reprisals are to be taken: if a factory which is working for German interests is blown up, then a factory working for purely Danish interests will be blown up in the same way ... If a German is shot on the street, five Danes are to be shot in the same way. This method of reprisals should have particular effect on the intellectual wire-pullers who are behind resistance organizations. The SD and the Sipo usually know exactly that these people are active against us, but cannot prove their hostile activity ...


Through such reprisals on the scale of five Danes for every German, Hitler believed, sabotage and murder against Germans would diminish and ultimately disappear. Whitney R. Harris, part of the American prosecution at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, described these "Danish clearing murders" as a method of terror in which innocent Danes were assassinated. [10]

After the war, Pancke told Allied interrogators that he had reduced the scale of reprisals ordered by Hitler. When the end was near, in January 1945, he and Best decided to disregard Hitler's orders entirely and restart the use of legal proceedings in cases of sabotage.

Some intercepted top-level German Foreign Ministry conversations with Nazi officials in Denmark contain additional information about German police actions near the war's end. In late February 1945, Foreign Minister Ribbentrop informed the German legation in Copenhagen (and, through it, Werner Best) that Himmler had just consulted with Hitler, who decided against the immediate shooting of Danish hostages as a reprisal for Danish terrorism and sabotage. Germany's declining military situation apparently caused Himmler to recommend a policy that appeared less arbitrary to the Danes, and Hitler went along.

But Hitler still insisted on severe punishment. Every act of terror had to be dealt with as quickly as possible through rapid trial by a special police tribunal and an immediate execution of the sentence. In retaliation for an attack on a German sentry in Copenhagen, ten Danish terrorists were tried and executed. Best complied with this policy by setting up a police structure and set of trial regulations, and he reserved for himself the right to grant clemency. [11] This suggests that with Hitler increasingly isolated, Best believed he could get away with reducing the scale of reprisals near the end of the war.

Interrogations of Gestapo Officials

British and American interrogators wanted a clear picture of the Gestapo and how its structure and functions changed over time. They particularly wanted to know about Gestapo counterintelligence work against Allied intelligence organizations. Information about postwar underground Nazi activities or sabotage was another high intelligence priority. By the second half of 1945, Britain and the United States were also interested in what information the Gestapo had accumulated about Communist espionage in Europe. Most captured Gestapo officials tried to avoid self-incrimination; clever ones sensed what their interrogators wanted and gave it to them, thereby avoiding or passing quickly over more uncomfortable and more dangerous subjects. The regular work of the Gestapo involved activities judged criminal by Western standards -- and German law before 1933. Yet many Gestapo officials had committed even more horrendous crimes outside Germany.

The Einsatzgruppen

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APPENDIX "E" (contd)
XX-8555

I gave the Reichsfuehrer to understand that in July 43 I had asked to be released to the Waffen SS and I should be glad if I could hand over my job in DENMARK to someone else. I asked again if I could not be allowed to go the Waffen SS as Haupsturmfuehrer, but he told me that I had my duty to do.

At 1200 hrs the following day the meeting took place; we were invited to a meal with the Fuehrer.

The following were present: The Fuehrer, Generalfeldmarschall KEITEL, General JODEL, General SCHMUNDT, General von HANNEKEN, Dr. BEST, a foreign ambassador, HIMMLER, Dr. KALTENBRUNNER, and myself. There were at the most twelve people.

After the meal, the Fuehrer asked Dr. BEST about the general situation in DENMARK. BEST gave a favourable and truthful report about the general economic position and also said that the political situation did not call for alarm, despite the increase of hostile actions. Dr. BEST stressed that the development of the political situation in DENMARK was dependent on the general military position of the Reich. Finally, he reported that the SS and Police court which had been decided upon him and by me was operating quickly against any acts perpetrated against the interests of the Reich and Wehrmacht. The Danes, added Dr. BEST, were in agreement with this legal handling of punishable offences.

The Fuehrer interrupted BEST with "Up to now all disturbances and fights for freedom which have been punished by military courts have ensured that their perpetrators go down in history as national heroes, whereas all the many people who have been killed by direct reprisal measures have been completely forgotten by the mass of the people". The Fuehrer cited the example of the French occupation of the Rhineland which resulted in the disappearance of Rhineland citizens.

As opposed to that, men like Andreas HOFER, PALM, SCHLAGETER, etc, had become national heroes. "It is not in the interests of the Reich to create national heroes in other countries, and I therefore forbid all legal proceedings against people who commit acts which damage the German war effort, especially in DENMARK. In the future reprisals are to be taken: if a factory which is working for German interests is blown up, then a factory working for purely Danish interests will be blown up in the same way. If a German is shot on the street, five Danes are to be shot in the same way."  

"This method of reprisals should have particular effect on the intellectual wire-pullers who are behind the resistance organisations. The SD and the Sipo usually know exactly that those people are active against us, but cannot prove their hostile activity because they hold themselves aloof from all action. Through reprisals, if these people are afraid for their lives, the support of saboteurs, and therefore of sabotage and murder committed against Germans, will become less and will eventually be entirely prevented".

The Fuehrer then asked what I had done to combat sabotage and murder and I replied that the tactics of the Sipo in DENMARK in penetrating the sabotage groups through Danish V-men, and in interrogating individual saboteurs were having good success in wiping out the whole group. The Danes were very talkative and boasted about their deeds of heroism, and when arrested easily gave away their comrades. I considered the legal proceedings against the Danes to be just and full of results, and was less inclined to the other kind of reprisals without a legal trial for the accused. I suggested further that death sentences could be mitigated if no further crimes of that nature took place.

The Reichsfuehrer had made several signs to me to be quiet, when the Fuehrer interrupted angrily, and said: "You will keep my orders. Legal proceedings are forbidden, and reprisals are to be carried out as I have ordered."

Transcript of an interrogation of Gunther Pancke. revealing Hitler's orders for revenge against Danish resistance to Nazi occupation (Field Interrogation Report of Gunther Pancke, 6 July 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 36, folder XXS540-XXS559).


There was a close link between the Gestapo and killing operations outside Germany. The Einsatzgruppen-battalion-sized mobile units used to carry out mass executions in many occupied areas in Eastern Europe -- frequently took personnel from the Gestapo and the SS intelligence unit, the SD. The Einsatzgruppen and their successors reported through regular Gestapo communication channels to Miller and Heydrich. Based on reports from the field, the Gestapo compiled and distributed periodic summaries of executions carried out in different locations by the Einsatzgruppen. [12] Shooting more than one million Jews and other people in the East required Gestapo coordination and supervision. Other Gestapo officials under Adolf Eichmann planned the deportations of millions of Jews and other groups to ghettos and extermination centers.

British and American intelligence officials had some sense of the connection between the Gestapo and the Einsatzgruppen. By the middle of the war Allied intelligence officials knew that the Einsatzgruppen had carried out some executions, including mass shootings of Jews. An undated (late 1943) American intelligence analysis of the RSHA in occupied countries noted that Einsatzgruppen rounded up Jews, Communists, and enemy officials in newly occupied areas; they also investigated political espionage and worked against partisans. [13]

But immediately after the war, Allied intelligence officials and war crimes investigators often lacked detailed information about who had done what in the Einsatzgruppen. Einsatzgruppen radio communications were not regularly decoded and read by British or American intelligence during the war. A copy of the Gestapo's Einsatzgruppen reports was apparently captured in September 1945 as part of a substantial cache of records in Berlin, but no one read or recognized the significance of these documents until a considerably later date -- they were still not available for the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. [14] British and American analysts were more interested in the Gestapo's deployment of agents and in their instructions in the event of Germany's defeat than in what Einsatzkommandos did during the war. [15]

Harro Andreas Wilhelm Thomsen

Many postwar interrogations, including several of Gestapo official Harro Andreas Wilhelm Thomsen, concentrated on understanding relationships among the Gestapo's various departments. For example, Thomsen explained that officials in department IV A handled subjects categorized as hostile to the state, such as particular opposition groups, religious organizations, Freemasons, and Jews. Officials in IV B advised on policy in particular regions, especially in occupied areas; their expertise was primarily geographical. Reports on the Jewish question had to reach both sections. Thomsen added:

From 1939 Obersturmbannfuhrer Eichmann, the Referent [desk officer or specialist in charge], to all intents and purposes dictated policy on this question [Jews]. He dealt directly with the Chef d Sipo [Heydrich, later Kaltenbrunner] and with Himmler, and never passed on [information] to the other Referents. He was an expert on Jewish problems and "was right not to share his [information]," for such operations as the "evacuation" of Jews from occupied territory were secret. (Reports on "Evacuation" went under the heading "weather reports," and were "camouflaged.") [16]


If Eichmann kept his information to himself, then the functional and regional offices of the Gestapo could hardly have cooperated on Nazi Jewish policies. But it was convenient for Thomsen and other Gestapo officials, once in Allied hands, to know little about Nazi policies toward Jews.

Eichmann had vanished, and there was not much risk in laying so much blame on his shoulders. In short, Thomsen's account was a mixture of accurate and mendacious testimony. There were other exceptions to the Gestapo's distribution of information, so intelligence analysts concluded that the rules of collaboration between Gestapo IV A and IV B were clear, but they were not applied well. [17] They did not probe for more detailed information about Nazi Jewish policy.

Stefan Rowecki

Where there was less jeopardy of self-incrimination, Thomsen was forthcoming. For example, Thomsen was involved in Gestapo interrogations of Polish Brigadier-General Stefan Rowecki, a Polish resistance leader captured by the Nazis in June 1943. By this time Germany had experienced serious military setbacks; Himmler and other high Nazi officials were looking for ways to reverse the situation. One possibility was to recruit Poles to help Germany fight against the Soviet Union, and Rowecki was a prominent figure.

Gestapo interrogations of Rowecki were considered so important that officials in Berlin had to send a progress report every evening to Himmler's headquarters. In spite of all this attention, Rowecki gave the Gestapo little, refusing to say or do anything that might be considered "dishonourable." He was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. After the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, he was executed in a Nazi reprisal. 18 Such information adds to our understanding of how Himmler and other Nazi leaders responded to political and military pressures later in the war.

Hans Merz

Another captured Gestapo man interrogated by the British in Cairo was an agent named Hans Merz, who managed to penetrate a Polish underground organization called Sword and Plough (Miecz i Plug). He and other double agents tried to steer Polish resistance fighters in an anti-Soviet direction. In March 1943, Merz sent his Nazi superiors a plan to dispatch one of Sword and Plough's leaders to Polish General Anders in the Middle East and persuade Anders to send officers to Poland to organize resistance against the Soviets. But the plan, in conflict with Himmler's goal of eradicating Poles in the Lublin district, was rejected, and Merz barely escaped being court-martialed. [19] The cases of Rowecki and Merz suggest that Nazi officials were not willing to concede much to win Polish support.

Horst Kopkow

Gestapo official Horst Kopkow, who had gone into hiding at war's end, gave much information of historical value after his capture in the fall of 1945; only now have these documents became declassified. Kopkow had been part of a group of officials who fled Berlin to the north, and part of the group met on May 4, 1945, with Himmler in Flensburg. By this time Hitler had committed suicide, Admiral Donitz had formed a new government, and Himmler, dismissed from offices by Hitler shortly before his death, was grappling to find a new role. Based on what he heard from a colleague named Quetting, Kopkow summarized Himmler's final instructions to some fifteen senior SS officers, including some in charge of underground resistance:

Himmler gave those present to understand that total military defeat was a fact ... He himself had voluntarily resigned his post as Home Minister (Interior Minister] so that he would not be in the way of any new Government ... Himmler presumed that according to the situation the possibility might exist that the Allies would leave a small preserve, which was believed to be the area north of the Kiel Canal, to a still existing German Government and that this zone might be regarded as a breeding ground for a possible new and modest reconstruction. The hammer must replace the sword in this area and everyone must be called up and start immediately with the rebuilding of Railways and Industries. I also remember that Queuing repeated Himmler[']s references to the Police itself, whereby the Gestapo in its present structure was to go into the background or even disappear completely. [20]


This is the only source we have on Himmler's last speech.

Kopkow received much more attention from British intelligence than Thomsen because he had dealt directly with Communist activities in Germany; although not in charge of counterintelligence work, he was well informed about that, too. He provided details about how the Soviet Union recruited agents in Germany, which Communist espionage rings were still operating, and which agencies or offices individual agents reported to. He also revealed exactly which German officials had contributed to the discovery and destruction of the famous Communist "Red Orchestra" network throughout Europe, and he offered some details about how these Communist agents had obtained valuable intelligence. British authorities interrogated Kopkow at length at least four times. [21]

British interrogators warned Kopkow that his prospects depended on how fully he cooperated, and that his statements would be checked against those of his captured staff. As a result, he gave very detailed information, sometimes accompanied by his own spin. His interrogator noted:

One thing is very obvious, and runs like a red thread through the whole statement[;] that is[,] K's antipathy towards the U.S.S.R. He is not only through his East Prussian upbringing biased against them, but also through his whole career he was to 90% engaged on work against Communism ...


Kopkow claimed that Russian agents were instructed to continue work in territory liberated by British forces. In other words, he tried to convince the British that they had an immediate problem with Communist espionage. The interrogator wondered:

Is Kopkow deliberately trying to throw suspicion between the English and the Russians or is he genuinely telling matter of facts ... ? The most probably [sic] answer to this question seems, that a conflict between the USSR [and Great Britain] would suit him down to the ground. All the same it is probable that the stories he is telling are true, only they have a normal explanation and nothing hostile towards England; but this would not enter the anti-Russian biased brain of K.


The interrogator, on the whole, thought Kopkow's accounts useful and reliable, a good window into methods used by the Gestapo. He recommended that Kopkow be interned.

Kopkow was brought to the United Kingdom for further interrogation -- that much is certain. Then the trail becomes murky. According to War Office records, Kopkow died of bronchopneumonia in June 1948, shortly after his arrival. [22] Another Gestapo official named Walter Huppenkothen heard from a British officer that Kopkow died in the fall of 1947. Then Huppenkothen got conflicting stories from those involved with war crimes prosecution. He believed that the British faked Kopkow's death as camouflage for his work for British intelligence. [23] The evidence to confirm this claim is not yet available, but it seems plausible. Kopkow's knowledge of Communist espionage methods and his hatred of the Soviets were likely assets by 1948.

In 1959, a CIA official requested one of the 1945 interrogations of Kopkow. The request form did not indicate Kopkow's death; he was listed as a citizen of Germany (with a question mark). He was described as a former Abwehr official with knowledge of Communist activities. Linking Kopkow to the Abwehr was completely inaccurate, but the organization was far less of a stain than the Gestapo. Either this was sloppy work, or it would not do in 1959 to have Kopkow identified as a Gestapo official. The CIA file on Kopkow was closed at this point. [24] The German War Graves Commission reports that he adopted the family name Cordes or became Kopkow-Cordes; he died in Gelsenkirchen on October 13, 1996. [25] The most likely explanation for a false War Office document about his death nearly forty years earlier is that he worked for British intelligence.

Martin Sandberger

Some ex-Gestapo officials escaped closer scrutiny of their wartime activities -- at least temporarily -- by feeding their interrogators useful information. Buying time sometimes meant escaping prosecution because the zeal to prosecute Nazi war criminals diminished after early trials succeeded and after the threat of a postwar resurgence of Nazism diminished.

Martin Sand berger had served in various RSHA positions, but was a prime candidate for prosecution and punishment because he headed an Einsatzkommando which, following directly on the heels of the German army invading the Soviet Union, eliminated Jews and other Nazi targets in the Baltic states. In detailed interrogations by British intelligence, Sandberger discussed this experience, but he described his functions in such a way that minimized his culpability. He spent most of his time in Estonia, so he avoided discussing what his unit did in Latvia and Lithuania. In Estonia, to be sure, he received an order to kill Estonian Jews, but he claimed he did not carry it our. Higher SS and Police Leader Jeckeln later found out that many of these Jews had been interned in a camp in Pskov, and he had most of them shot without Sandberger's knowledge, according to Sandberger.

What really distinguished Sandberger's career was his later service as head of administration for SD Foreign Intelligence. From early 1944 he reported directly to Walter Schellenberg, and as a member of his chief's inner circle, he had access to a great deal of sensitive information that British intelligence wanted and gor. Sandberger's interim interrogation runs thirty legal-size pages, single-spaced. His interrogator reported:

Throughout his confinement at Camp 020, Sandberger has been the essence of politeness, correctness and co-operation; he has often volunteered information, and there has been no evidence of willful retention of any kind on his part. The only doubtful period in Sandberger's history is 1941-43 when he was K.d.S. [Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei] in Tallinn; there is, however, no evidence of particular criminal actions on his part, and it is therefore reasonable to suppose that this account of his activities there does, to a large measure, represent the truth. The factual information supplied by Sandberger on personnel and organization is considered to be reliable ... Sandberger's main desire at present is to rerum to the legal profession for which he originally trained. [26]


He did go to court, but not as an attorney.

After American troops turned up a surviving copy of the Einsatzgruppen reports, Sandberger was directly and fatally implicated. (Holocaust expert Raul Hilberg concluded that Sandberger's Einsatzkommando and its Estonian helpers shot 440 Jews between September 26 and 29,1941, sparing members of the Jewish council and physicians.) [27] One of the defendants in the American zonal trial of Einsatzgruppen officials, Sandberger was convicted and sentenced to death. General Lucius Clay confirmed the sentence, resisting political pressures, in 1949. But a clemency board under the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John J. McCloy, commuted his sentence to life imprisonment in 1951. In 1953 Sandberger was released from prison. [28]

Missing and Escaped Gestapo Officials

Heinrich Muller


Some Gestapo officials, such as Eichmann, managed to assume false identities and to escape from Germany. Persistent news stories in respectable publications as late as 2001 have alleged that the wartime head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Muller, also survived and came to be an intelligence asset for one or more U.S. government agencies, particularly the CIA. According to an article in The Sunday Times of London, for example, Lord Greville Janner said that the Americans should now reveal all because "it is beginning to look as if he [Muller] sold his knowledge about Soviet secrets in exchange for his life." [29] The trail of newly declassified records on Muller turns out to be a long one, but it scotches this particular conspiracy theory. [30]

Months before the fall of Berlin, Anglo-American counterespionage officers began their postwar planning. Using Allied lists of Nazi intelligence officers, the SHAEF G-2 Counter Intelligence (CI) War Room supervised the hunt for the remnants of Germany's military and police intelligence services. Initially, the chief concern of the officers of the CI War Room was that Nazi intelligence units would survive the war and, financed with looted assets, launch paramilitary operations in the Bavarian Alps. Intelligence reaching the War Room in the last months of the war did not mention Muller as a possible leader of postwar Nazi operations, but given his command of the Gestapo, Muller remained an important man to capture.

On May 27, 1945, the CI War Room issued a statement about its priority targets for interrogations. At the top of the list were Nazi intelligence officials involved in foreign intelligence. Next in priority were security police and SD units in occupied countries. Gestapo officials came farther down the target list. The War Room instructed interrogators of captured RSHA officers to ask: "Where are: Schellenberg, Ohlendorf, Mueller, Steimle, Sandberger?" [31] (All but Muller were subsequently located and interrogated.) A War Room fortnightly report covering the period ending June 18, 1945, stated that no leading officials of the Gestapo had yet been arrested, and "it seems clear from most reports that Muller remained in Berlin after the collapse." [32] His fate was contrasted with that of other Gestapo personalities who fled south. A separate ass counterintelligence report at the end of the month repeated that no high-ranking Gestapo officials had yet been captured and that Muller had remained in Berlin. [33] A War Room summary for Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces, dated July 11, mentioned that only two important Gestapo officials had been captured so far; Muller was not found. [34]

A War Room monthly summary in late July 1945 reported that SD Foreign Intelligence officials had largely surrendered, while most Gestapo officials remained at large. Muller's fate was still unknown: "Some of our evidence, though it is by no means conclusive, suggests that Mueller himself may have remained in Berlin until the last ... [while] the greater part of [the Gestapo] collected itself at Hof, near Munich, and at Salzburg and Innsbruck." [35] A War Room intelligence arrest target list, dated August 21, commented that an "H. Mueller, head of the Gestapo" was "last reported Berlin, Apr. 1945." [36] A later revision to the target list reported the arrest of several Gestapo officials, including Walter Huppenkothen, who was part of the team of Gestapo officials responsible for tracking down the Communist Red Orchestra. But not Heinrich Muller. [37]

In September 1945, RSHA official Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Malz stated to British intelligence that Himmler had ordered many Gestapo officials to help in the defense of Berlin. One of them was Heinrich Muller, "whom Malz thinks is certainly killed as he spent the last days of Berlin (from about 23 Apr 45) in the Reichs [sic] Chancellery as Kaltenbrunner's deputy." [38] In November 1945, Kurt Pomme, who had been adjutant to Reinhard Heydrich, claimed that Muller had died when the Russians entered Berlin. In the same month, Horst Kopkow said that Muller had stayed in Berlin to the last. [39]

Schellenberg, a bitter rival of Muller, was the initial source of speculation that Muller had been turned by the Soviets. When interrogated by ass in 1945, Schellenberg claimed that Muller had been in friendly radio contact with the Soviets, and Schellenberg's postwar memoirs contain verbatim exhortations from 1943 by Muller on Stalin's superiority to Hitler as a leader. [40] SS men close to Muller considered such rumors unfounded and illogical. Muller's immediate superior, Ernst Kaltenbrunner (Chief of the RSHA), later insisted under Allied interrogation that Muller could never have embraced the Soviets. Similarly, in a 1959 CIA interrogation Heinz Pannwitz, Muller's subordinate who ran the Gestapo team that pursued the Communist espionage network known as the Red Orchestra, called the notion that Muller had been turned "absolutely absurd." [41]

The Allies found many Heinrich Mullers in occupied Germany and Austria, but not the right one. Heinrich Muller is a common German name. Documentation on some of them is included -- one might say mistakenly jumbled together -- in the "Gestapo" Muller Army Intelligence (Investigative Records Repository or IRR) file, which the National Archives released in 2000. Part of the problem for U.S. record-keepers stemmed from the fact that some of these Mullers, including Gestapo Muller, did not appear to have middle names. An additional source of confusion was that there were two different SS generals named Heinrich Muller. In at least one instance, an index card purporting to collate information on Gestapo Muller, which was prepared by an American official after the war, actually contains two different birth dates, as well as data about a third man of the same name. A Heinrich Muller was held briefly at the Altenstadt civilian internment camp in 1945. [42] Another killed himself along with his wife and his children in April 1946. [43]

In the initial period after the Nazi surrender, U.S. counterintelligence attempted to track down all leads to Muller. Information reached U.S. Army Intelligence that Gestapo Muller had taken the assumed name Schwartz or Schwatzer and had gone south from Berlin with another Gestapo official, Christian A. Scholz. But no clear indication that either man left Berlin was ever found. [44] In 1947, British and American authorities twice searched the home of Gestapo Muller's mistress Anna Schmid for clues, but found nothing suggesting that Muller was still alive. [45] With the onset of the Cold War and the shift of intelligence resources to the Soviet target, U.S. intelligence presumed that Gestapo Muller was dead.

The dramatic Israeli abduction of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in May 1960 created new interest in Nazi war criminals and particularly in Muller. (Eichmann himself speculated during his Jerusalem trial that Muller survived the war.) In July 1960, the West German office in charge of gathering information on war criminals charged local police authorities in Bavaria and Berlin to investigate. The West Germans were skeptical about the proposition that Muller was working for the Soviets, but did think it possible that Muller was corresponding from somewhere with his family or possibly with his former secretary, Barbara Hellmuth. All of these West German citizens were closely watched, and in May 1961 the Bavarian police asked the U.S. occupation forces to put Muller's relatives and Hellmuth under surveillance. Anna Schmid, Muller's former mistress, told West German investigators that she had not seen Muller since April 24, 1945, when he gave her a vial of poison and then disappeared. Her efforts to find him in the subsequent days and weeks had been fruitless. [46]

According to various witnesses interviewed by the West German police in 1961, the last time Muller was seen alive was the evening of May 1, 1945, the day after Hitler's suicide. Several eyewitnesses placed Muller at the Reich Chancellery building that evening and recounted his refusal to leave with the breakout group that night. Hans Baur, Hitler's pilot and an old friend of Muller's, recounts Muller as saying, "We know the Russian methods exactly. I haven't the faintest intention of ... being taken prisoner by the Russians." Another claimed that Muller refused to leave with the rest of Hitler's entourage and was overheard saying "the regime has fallen and ... I fall also." He was last seen in the company of his radio specialist, Christian A. Scholz. And while the bodies of others that remained that night were recovered and identified, no one in the final group witnessed the death of Muller or Scholz. [47]

West German authorities pursued three major leads in an effort to confirm Muller's death and burial in Berlin in 1945. First, there was the testimony of Fritz Leopold, a Berlin morgue official who had reported in December 1945 that Muller's body was moved (along with many others) from the RSHA headquarters at Prinz Albrecht Strasse (2000 feet from the Chancellery) for reburial in a local municipal cemetery on Lilienthalstrasse (Berlin-Neukolln) in the western half of the city. Leopold was later deemed an unreliable source, but the burial was officially registered with the Berlin authorities and a headstone was placed at Muller's grave which read, "Our loving father Heinrich Muller -- Born 28 April 1900 -- Died in Berlin May 1945." A second story came from Muller's ex-subordinate Heinz Pannwitz, who had been captured by the Soviets and returned to West Germany in 1957, whereupon he told the West German Secret Service (BND) that his Soviet interrogators revealed to him that "your Chief [Muller] is dead." The body, they said, had been found in a subway shaft a few blocks from the Chancellery with a bullet through the head and with its identity documents intact. [48]

Walter Lueders, a former member of the German civilian fighters (Volkssturm), maintained that he had headed a burial detail in the summer of 1945. Of the hundreds of bodies buried by the detail, only one, said Lueders, wore an SS general's uniform, and it was found in the garden of the Reich Chancellery with a large wound in the back. Though the body had no medals or decorations, Lueders recalled with certainty that the identity papers were those of Gestapo Muller. It was moved to the old Jewish Cemetery on Grosse Hamburgerstrasse in the Soviet Sector, where it was placed in one of three mass graves. In fact, in 1955, the German Armed Forces Information Office inquired with district authorities in East Berlin and received confirmation that Gestapo Muller was buried at the Grosse-Hamburgerstrasse cemetery in 1945. Since the grave was a mass grave, however, there was no actual plot. [49]

The CIA started its involvement in the hunt for Muller at roughly the same time as the West German search, albeit from a different source base. The January 1961 defection and interrogation of a Polish intelligence officer brought Western counterintelligence tips that led to several Soviet and Polish agents active in the West, including George Blake, a mole in the British MI-6; Harry Houghton, a clerk in the British navy; and Heinz Felfe, a high level West German intelligence officer. The defector surely was Lieutenant Colonel Michal Goleniewski, the Deputy Chief of Polish Military Counter Intelligence until 1958, who had also operated as a mole for the KGB in the Polish service. In recounting his work as an interrogator of captured German officials in Poland from 1948 to 1952, Goleniewski revealed information about the fate of some Nazis. He had heard from his Soviet supervisors that sometime between 1950 and 1952 the Soviets had picked up Muller and taken him to Moscow. [50] There was little with which to evaluate this claim, and some reason to be skeptical of this hearsay. Pannwitz, after all, had recently dismissed as "nonsense" to CIA interrogators the idea that Muller worked for the Soviets, while claiming that his own Soviet interrogators repeatedly said that Muller was dead. [51]

In the aftermath of the Eichmann trial, the West German weekly Stern ran two articles by journalist Peter Staehle that appeared in January and August 1964. Staehle said that having followed a path after the war that included the Soviet Union, Romania, Turkey, and South Africa, Muller then became a senior police official in Albania before fleeing for South America. [52] From the start, the CIA suspected that Staehle's articles were a "plant" -- part of a "clever bit of [disinformation] work" to mislead the public as well as intelligence agencies. [53] The CIA checked and disproved Staehle's claim that Muller was in fact an Albanian police official named Abedin Bekir Nakoschiri. [54] The BND and CIA also discovered that Staehle had failed to get his articles printed in the more respected weekly Die Zeit because he had reportedly lied about his sources. [55]

In May 1970, a Czech defector, very likely Ladislas Bittman, a disinformation specialist himself, weighed in. [56] Bittman said that the Stern article was planted from Prague in order to neutralize rumors that Muller might in fact be in Czechoslovakia. Bittman added for good measure that within Czech intelligence circles, it was common knowledge that the KGB had used Nazi war criminals for intelligence purposes and that key sections of Nazi archives had also been captured by the Soviets for use in "operational aims." [57]

These comments caught the eye of the CIA's Counter-Intelligence (CI) Staff, headed by the legendary James Angleton. Angleton must have recognized two possibilities. If Muller really had been in the USSR or elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and if he had taken RSHA central files with him (many of which had indeed vanished after the war), then the Soviets might be able to use this information against some prominent West Germans. It was crucial to discover what had happened, not necessarily to Muller, who well might have been dead in any case, but to the files. The opposite scenario, that Muller had died in Berlin, was equally significant: Angleton also had a special interest in Soviet disinformation.

The CI Staff undertook a thoroughgoing inquiry of Muller starting in late 1970. It resulted in a forty-page brief, "The Hunt for 'Gestapo Mueller,'" which was circulated as an internal report of the Directorate of Plans in December 1971. A memo in the file dated December 9, 1971, explaining the purpose of the report states:

Our principal original objective in preparing the attached study of the Mueller case was to produce a training aid illustrating the vagaries and pitfalls of protracted investigations. In the past, Mueller had been viewed mainly as a missing war criminal. As the material was collected, however, we became aware of another important possibility: that Mueller had defected to World War II Soviet counterintelligence (SMERSH) and had taken with him a large assortment of files. (The central files of the German National Security Service (RSHA), of which Mueller was de facto chief ... in the last weeks of the war, were never recovered by the Western Allies ... ) If SMERSH actually seized Mueller and the best part of the RSHA records, Soviet capabilities to control important Germans and some other Europeans would far exceed those heretofore attributed to them. [58]


The report ended on a note of skepticism. "No one appears to have tried very hard," it said,

to find Mueller immediately after the war while the trail was still hot, either in the West or the East ... The presumption is that Allied officials searching for Mueller soon stumbled over the ... holdings of his effects and the ... burial record and considered these sufficient proof that he was dead ... There is little room for doubt, however, that the Soviet and Czech services circulated rumors to the effect that Mueller had escaped to the West. These rumors were apparently floated to offset the charges that the Soviets had sheltered the criminal ... There are strong indications but no proof that Mueller collaborated with [the Soviets]. There are also strong indications but no proof that Mueller died [in Berlin]. .. One thing appears certain. Mueller and Scholz had some special reason for entering the Berlin death trap and remaining behind in the Chancellery. If their object was to carry out a memorable and convincing suicide, they really bungled the job. [59]


More information about Muller might still emerge from secret files of the former Soviet Union. But currently available records of the War Room as well as other records in the National Archives indicate that Muller most likely died in Berlin in early May 1945. Muller, who apparently wanted to die fighting, would not at all have minded having the Allies struggle to figure out what had become of him.

Walter Rauff

Another severely incriminated Gestapo official, Walter Rauff, fell into American hands at the end of the war, but he was able to escape. His postwar travels have been recounted previously, but newly declassified documents add details to Rauff's postwar intelligence activities. They also show that no serious effort was made to extradite and punish Rauff until several decades after 1945.

As historians have shown, Rauff was one of a number of German officials who sought to surrender German forces in Italy to the Allies near the end of the war. [60] Cardinal Ildebrando Schuster, Archbishop of Milan, had told Rauff that Allied forces in Italy would leave the takeover of northwest Italy to Italian partisan forces, and that Marshal Graziani of the Italian Social Republic (Mussolini's rump regime) would fight the partisans till the very end. Schuster thought that an Allied takeover of the area instead would spare senseless bloodshed and destruction, which could only benefit Bolshevism. Rauff got a go-ahead from his SS and police superior Wilhelm Harster and used Schuster's secretary Don Giuseppe Bicchierai to contact Allen Dulles in Switzerland. [61] But the British as well as Italian partisans both firmly rejected Schuster's initiative, and Dulles concurred. Within a short time Dulles was involved in other negotiations with Karl Wolff's emissaries to surrender all German forces in Italy. So Rauff and two subordinates simply surrendered on April 30, 1945. [62]

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Spingarn, chief of the Counterintelligence Corps (CIC), Rauff was "most uncooperative during interrogation ... His contempt and everlasting malice towards the Allies [are] but lightly concealed. [Rauff] is considered a menace if ever set free, and failing actual elimination, is recommended for life-long internment." [63] But Rauff found his way to a postwar career nearly as adventurous as his prewar and wartime activities.

Rauff officially joined the NSDAP in May 1937, but he supported the Nazis well before then. [64] In April 1938 he joined the SS. Reportedly a close friend of Reinhard Heydrich, Rauff was immediately assigned to SD headquarters in Berlin. [65]

In September 1941, as German forces were overrunning the western Soviet Union, Rauff initiated an important invention in the technology of genocide. In charge of the Security Police division that controlled motor vehicles, Rauff asked one of his subordinates if exhaust gas could be channeled back inro a closed compartment in a van carrying passengers. Getting a positive response, Rauff arranged for the acquisition and conversion of vans, which were then sent ro the eastern front as substitutes for execution squads. Although these "mobile gas chambers" were not without problems (they broke down frequently), [66] they were widely used in Soviet territories to liquidate Jews. One van was also used to kill Jews at the Semlin camp outside Belgrade, and parked vans were continuously used at the Chelmno extermination camp in German-annexed Polish territory. [67]

In the summer of 1942, as commander of a Security Police detachment in North Africa, Rauff flew from Munich to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's headquarters at Tobruk, reportedly in order to discuss the liquidation of Jews in Cairo once it was captured by the German Africa Corps. [68] Disgusted with the idea, the "Desert Fox" apparently refused to discuss the matter and sent Rauff on his way. [69] Later the same year, Rauff was in charge of an SD detachment in Tunis, where he was responsible for rounding up some 4,500 Jews for slave labor. [70] His superiors recommended him for a high decoration. [71]

With Italy's defection from the Axis in September 1943, Rauff was ordered to Bolzano for a meeting with SS-Brigadefuhrer Dr. Wilhelm Harster, commander of all Security Police and SD forces in Italy. Shortly thereafter, Harster appointed Rauff as chief of the Security Police and SD in northwestern Italy. Rauff established his headquarters in Milan and set about organizing the Nazi security apparatus there. Rauff's men, several of whom had served with him in Africa, were responsible for meting out particularly brutal reprisals for acts of resistance to German occupation forces. One of his chief subordinates in Italy was SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Theodor Saevecke, who had also served as Rauff's deputy in North Africa. [72]

In December 1946, Rauff, together with several other prisoners, escaped from American internment at Rimini, Italy. Rauff later claimed that he was aided in his escape by a Catholic priest in Naples, who helped him to make his way to Rome. Throughout 1947 and much of the following year, Rauff successfully eluded efforts to recapture him by hiding out in the convents of the Holy See, apparently under the protection of Bishop Alois Hudal.[73]

In July 1948 the Syrian government sent Captain Akram Tabarr (alias Dr. Jean Hamsi) to Rome to recruit military and police specialists, especially Germans. The Gehlen Organization, the West German intelligence organization, reported that Tabarr hired Rauff as his representative in Rome with instructions to recruit German specialists for work in Syria. [74]

Eager to begin a new life, Rauff and his family left Italy for Syria in November 1948. A few months later, Colonel Husni al-Za'im, chief of staff of the Syrian Army, led a successful coup against President Shukri Kuwatli. The coup came about as the result of public and military discontent with the humiliating defeat of the Syrian military by the Israelis in 1948. The new Syrian government looked to hire out-of-work German military and police specialists in order to prepare the nation for future confrontation with the State of Israel.

One CIA report credited Rauff with "a leading role in the German experts group in Syria prior to and during Za'im's regime." [75] As a result of German army general Hyazinth von Strachwitz's influence with Za'im, Rauff was appointed as a "commissioner of security with the special task of reorganizing Syrian intelligence." According to Strachwitz, Rauff helped model the Syrian secret police, the Deuxieme Bureau, along the lines of the Gestapo. The former SS officer may also have served as an advisor to the Syrian military, as he was reportedly close to General Medani, chief of Syrian military intelligence.

Following the Za'im coup, Reinhard Gehlen considered Rauffs value as a potential intelligence operative in Syria. In the end, however, the CIA believed that the Gehlen Organization "used its influence, as far as this was possible, to prevent serious and reliable former German military officers from taking part in the adventurous scheme of going to Syria." [76]

Za'im's military dictatorship was highly unpopular. Following a successful coup d'etat in August 1949, another Syrian officer, Sami al-Hinnawi, seized power in Damascus. On the day of the coup, Rauff was arrested and reportedly charged with "terrorism." The Syrians claimed Rauff had employed torture devices in order to extract information from people (presumably Jews) suspected of being connected with a "Jewish bombing incident." [77]
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According to one CIA report, the new Hinnawi government arrested Rauff because members of the Syrian military leadership disliked him and resented his influential position as an advisor to Za'im. Another report stated that Rauff was suspected of involvement in "aiding the Syrian Communist movement." [78] For whatever reason, the former SS officer was forced to flee Syria in the aftermath of the coup that toppled Za'im. After a brief stay in Beirut, Lebanon, Rauff returned to Italy in late 1949. Rauff decided his best course of action was to emigrate with his family to South America.

As a young naval officer aboard the cruiser Berlin, Rauff had spent some time in South America and Spain during the interwar years. [79] In 1949, Rauff and his family settled in Ecuador, where they remained for nearly ten years. The CIA received what it regarded as "authoritative" information that Rauff settled in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, where he found work as a salesman for the Parke-Davis and Bayer corporations. The CIA suspected that Rauff was organizing an intelligence network in Quito but could not confirm it. Based on the information contained in its file, the CIA apparently never thoroughly investigated Rauff's activities in Ecuador.

Rauff apparently moved from Ecuador to Chile in October 1958. According to one unconfirmed CIA memorandum, the former SS officer was accused of "organizing vague international operations against Jews" during his first years in Chile. In 1959 Rauff was granted permanent residency status in Chile. In April 1960 Rauff felt secure enough in his new life to take a trip to West Germany with his wife. He apparently traveled on a Chilean passport under the name of Herman Julius Walter Rauff Bauermeister, and was in no way hindered in his travel by West German authorities. [80]

One year later, in April 1961, Rauff's name emerged during the Eichmann trial in Israel, which led authorities in West Germany to request his extradition from Ch He. Chilean authorities arrested Rauff in December 1962 in the town of Punra Arenas. Five months later, the Supreme Court of Chile ruled that Chile's stature of limitations on murder (fifteen years) had expired, and since Rauff had broken no Chilean laws during his stay there, he could not legally be extradited. In July 1974, CIA sources reported that Rauff was living in the town of Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego, where he was ostensibly engaged in raising livestock.

Around the same time, the French newspaper Ie Monde ran a story that Rauff was serving as chief of the Chilean Inrelligence Service, the Direccion de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA). [81] Rauff once again became an international press sensation. It appears that as late as March 1976 the CIA was not clear on exactly what, if any, connections existed between Walther Rauff and the Chilean government. A report contained in the CIA file reflected the view that Rauff had "no known history of political activities in Chile, or association with illicit groups." The report went on to say that Rauff was viewed by his neighbors as " ... a highly respected member of the community who is living out his old age quietly ... " [82]

When Presidenr Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity government were overthrown in 1973 in a coup led by General Augusto Pinochet, Rauff found a friend and a cause he could serve. During Pinochet's iron-fisted rule, which lasted from 1973 to 1990, Rauff was allegedly involved in the torture and deaths of many Chileans who opposed Pinochet's regime. [83] A CIA report, heavily redacted to protect intelligence sources, hints at such involvement, describing Rauff as "working within" the Chilean Interior Ministry. [84]

In August 1983, the U.S. Department of State inquired what, if any, connection the CIA had with Walther Rauff. The CIA undertook what was described as "an intensive search of the files and indices" of the Agency's Directorate of Operations. A CIA officer advised the Agency's Office of the General Counsel that the State Department could be informed that: "a review of Rauff's file indicated no association or utilization of ... [him] by this Agency." [85]

Rauff's presence in Chile for a quarter century generated significant international criticism and repeated calls for his extradition. (The following sketch of outside efforts is based largely on materials previously declassified: it is far from comprehensive.) Dissatisfied with the Chilean Supreme Court's 1963 decision, various West German governments asked Chile to extradite Rauff. But the government of Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei, the Marxist government of Salvador Allende, and the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet all allowed the 1963 Supreme Court decision to stand. [86]

On April 12, 1983, Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal sent President Ronald Reagan a personal telegram thanking Reagan for quoting him in a recent speech to the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Wiesenthal also pointed out that Rauff was living undisturbed in Chile: "No regime including the present one [Pinochet] has acted on West Germany's request for his extradition." Wiesenthal asked President Reagan to get involved. [87]

Although Wiesenthal later claimed that the United States did little with his suggestions, [88] his telegram helped to generate American efforts. State Department legal adviser Donald Koblitz visited West Germany in December 1983 to confirm that West German authorities were still interested in prosecuting Rauff. The state prosecutor in Hannover, Rauff's hometown, was eager to move ahead; he assessed Chile's opposition to extradition as entirely political. Koblitz also consulted with Wolfgang Walter, chief of the West German Ministry of Justice's international section. Walter called the Rauff case one of the last great outstanding war crimes cases for West Germany. If the United States wanted to put pressure on the Pinochet government, Bonn would eagerly cooperate. Walter regarded the United States as the only country in a position to influence Chile to deport Rauff. [89] Neither the United States nor West Germany made public the serious diplomatic measures that were under discussion.

On January 20, 1984, Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld arrived in Santiago to launch a loud and conspicuous campaign. During the next three weeks, Chilean police arrested Klarsfeld twice, once for leading a demonstration outside Rauff's home. On February 1, while Klarsfeld was still in Santiago, Israel entered the fray when David Kimche, Israel's Director of Foreign Affairs, stopped in Santiago on his way to Ausrralia. The U.S. Embassy in Santiago thought the timing "more than accidental" and feared that the Chilean government would perceive it as an international conspiracy. Actually, the Israelis had cautioned Klarsfeld that a public campaign might spoil their efforts, but Klarsfeld insisted that only a frontal approach had any chance against entrenched views of the Chilean government. [90]

The European Parliament passed a resolution on February 19 calling upon Chile to hand over Rauff. The Chilean Minister of the Interior complained to the international press at a conference that the Rauff case had been transformed into a political cause designed to accuse the Chilean government of refusing to take steps that could lead to punishment of a person accused of war crimes. United States Ambassador James D. Theberge lamented after this press conference that the Chilean government "seems convinced that the campaign being mounted in other countries is more anti-Pinochet than pro-justice." Never sanguine about resolving this issue, Theberge had advised against pressing Chile to hand over Rauff: an American effort to dislodge Rauff would damage general U.S. interests in Chile, he said. [91]

Latin American specialists in the State Department were also cool. Langhorne A. Motley, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, claimed that the West Germans were not pursuing the issue and had not asked for U.S. help; he also denied that the United States had particular political leverage or any legal role to play. If the United States were to become involved, then it should be in a supporting role for a West German demarche. The West Germans, who had the legal claim to Rauff, should take the initiative. Even so, an American push on Rauff would "inject a new issue into our already strained relations," creating "a bilateral issue where none existed before." [92]

The decision whether or not to engage Chile lay with Lawrence Eagleburger, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. [93] Eagleburger had previously served as ambassador to Yugoslavia and as assistant secretary of state for European Affairs; he would later serve as secretary of state under President George H. W Bush and would spearhead the trial of Balkan war criminals in December 1992. [94] He did not hesitate in early 1984: the United States would ask the West Germans to claim Rauff again, and the United States would back the West German request with a clear, unambiguous verbal demarche in Santiago. Secretary of State George Shultz signed Onto this decision and gave it high priority, telling the embassies in Bonn and Santiago that congressional inquiries and a strong request from Simon Wiesenthal to President Reagan were driving U.S. interests:

After careful review we believe that it would serve the interests of justice to advise the FRG [Federal Republic of Germany] that the U.S. would support its request to the Government of Chile for Rauff's deportation ... We recognize that the FRG ... has already gone to considerable lengths to pursue the case ... [but if the West Germans would approach Santiago again] we would be prepared to support this request and approach the Chileans urging that they comply ... We believe that if anything is to be done, it should be done quickly. We are concerned that Israeli approaches in the last few weeks may precipitate a formal and irreversible Chilean stand ... [This] may be the last, and perhaps the best opportunity to allow German justice to close this case. [95]


In mid-February 1984, Simon Wiesenthal met with President Reagan and expressed satisfaction with State Department efforts to bring Rauff to justice. A White House spokesman confirmed that "it is longstanding United States policy to see that Nazi war criminals are brought to justice ... [and that] the United States is prepared to offer appropriate assistance to see that justice is done." [96]
The government of Christian Democratic Chancellor Helmut Kohl moved quickly, perhaps to make amends for blunders on related issues. [97] The West German judicial system had wanted Rauff for decades. On February 29, 1984, West German Ambassador Hermann Holtzheimer called on Mario Barros, Director General of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request RaufFs deportation -- an easier legal procedure than extradition, and one that would bypass the Chilean Supreme Court. West German police officers could arrest Rauff and transfer him to the Federal Republic at Bonn's expense. Barros responded coolly that only new facts concerning crimes Rauff committed since Chile's 1963 court decision would influence the case. He suggested that Holrzheimer submit a note verbale to the Foreign Ministry, but for the time being, RaufFs deportation was simply not in the Chilean public interest. Holtzheimer described Chile's position as nonsense (Augenwischerei): Rauff was still a German citizen, and he had obtained his residence permit in Chile under false pretenses. The decision to deport or not to deport was political. Holtzheimer also warned that the Israelis, the Americans, the British, the French, and private Nazi hunters like Wiesenthal would all line up against Chile on this matter, but Barros was unfazed. [98]

The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded sharply to the West German note verbale a week later, but launched its sharpest remarks against the United States. Chilean Foreign Minister Jaime del Valle called U.S. support for the West Germans "disconcerting, illogical, unacceptable, and absurd." Why should Pinochet overrule a twenty-one-year-old Supreme Court decision in order to arbitrarily bring about deportation of a man accused of no crimes in Chile? (It was more than a little curious that the Pinochet government endorsed the sanctity of a Supreme Court decision of a regime that it had overthrown by force.) The American Ambassador observed that the Chilean foreign minister's anger reflected frayed nerves and deepening hostility of the Chilean government to foreign interference. [99] The State Department dropped the matter for the time being.

On the morning of May 14, 1984, Walter Rauff died at his home of heart failure. One of Nazi Germany's worst perpetrators of crimes against humanity was able to escape justice through a combination of circumstances: American negligence in the immediate postwar period; active assistance from certain officials of the Catholic Church; and longstanding protection by several different Chilean governments, particularly President (and dictator) Augusto Pinochet. International efforts to force Rauff to answer for his crimes during the last two decades of his life were insufficient to reverse earlier mistakes and to overcome political resistance in Chile.

Alois Brunner

In March 2003, an American documentary film entitled Alois Brunner: The Last Nazi was released, reflecting widespread interest in the fate of a key war criminal who was never caught. His crimes had been brought before courts, but he had never personally appeared there. His entire postwar career was shrouded by fog and deception. [100]

Born in 1912 in the Austrian Burgenland, Brunner joined the Nazi Parry illegally in 1931 and joined the SS on October 10, 1939. From 1939 he served as Eichmann's secretary in the Zentralestelle fur judische Auswanderung, whose task it was to force Jews from the Reich. In this capacity he organized forced deportations of 47,000 Austrian Jews to ghettos and death camps. Transferred to Salonika in March 1943, Brunner oversaw the deportation of 43,000 Jews from Greece in two months. In June 1943 he took over the Drancy camp, the assembly point for Jews to be deported from France. In fourteen months he sent roughly 24,000 Jews to the East. He also directed a special commando unit to arrest Jews in Nice and bring them to Drancy, and he paid French collaborators for each Jew arrested. As late as July 1944, he organized a sweep for hidden Jewish children in France, which located and deported 250 minors as well as the last Jewish convoy from Paris on August 17, 1944.

Brunner's movements at the end of the war will likely remain a mystery. His Army IRR file, if there ever was one, is now gone, and his CIA Name File is very thin. In 1960, in the aftermath of the Eichmann capture, a number of unconfirmed sources, including the West German weekly Der Spiegel, suggested that Brunner was living in Damascus under the alias Dr. Georg Fischer. The Israeli and Austrian governments both requested his extradition from Syria in 1961. [101] The CIA made inquiries around that time. Certain records suggested that Brunner was hanged in the Soviet sector of Vienna in 1946, but his name popped up sporadically in Austria unril1948. "[If] he was not ... executed," said one CIA analysis in May 1961, "but was in the hands of the Soviets, it raises the speculation that he might have become a Soviet agent." [101]

The best evidence suggested that Brunner was in Damascus. He was said to have suffered disfiguring wounds from a package bomb attack in September 1961, possibly sent by an Israeli intelligence agent. [103] The CIA also gained information on Brunner while watching another Nazi official, Franz Rademacher. Rademacher, the author of plans to send Europe's Jews to Madagascar and to deport Jews en masse from Western Europe, had been tried by West German authorities in 1952, found guilty, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. On his appeal, a new trial was ordered, but rather than face it, Rademacher fled to Damascus in 1954. By 1957 the CIA learned that Rademacher was using the alias F. Banholome Rosello and that he was establishing business contacts in western Europe for a Syrian import-export firm. According to his CIA Name File, Rademacher also reestablished his contacts with Brunner, and the two maintained a friendship. Rademacher and Brunner worked as advisers to the Syrian Ministry of the Inrerior. [104] West German sources thirty years later indicated that Brunner had helped to train Kurdish guerrillas operating against Turkey. [105]

The CIA turned up more information on Brunner during the Eichmann trial while monitoring the communication of Hans Rechenberg of Munich, a former Nazi propaganda official who had taken it upon himself to help the Eichmann family financially, to provide positive propaganda on the Eichmann trial, and to help Eichmann's West German defense attorney, Robert Servatius. In February and March 1962, Rechenberg and Servati us had tried to get Rademacher to testify on Eichmann's behalf or at least to provide evidence, but Rademacher refused even to meet Servatius secretly in Cyprus. The reason, he said, was the recent attempt on his friend Brunner's life, and the fact the he himself could get kidnapped. [106] In the meantime, Rademacher had begun spying on Syria for another foreign government (the name of which is redacted), providing information on Syrian politics to his handlers through the open mail. The Syrian government discovered Rademacher's activities and arrested him in 1964. Realizing that Rosello was Rademacher, the West German government requested his extradition, and the Syrians complied two years later. Rademacher was tried again in 1968 and sentenced to five years three months, all of which was waived. Yet while looking into Rademacher's activities, the CIA confirmed that he had been connected with a circle of Germans, including Brunner, who had direct or indirect connections with a number of intelligence services including the Soviets, the Algerian FLN, and the Egyptians. [107]

Another impetus to find and extradite Brunner in the 1980s was triggered by evidence uncovered by Nazi-hunters and journalists. In the summer of 1982, Serge Klarsfeld traveled to Syria posing as a Nazi sympathizer and managed to phone Brunner before the Syrian authorities deported him. In March 1983, Robert Fisk of the Times of London located Brunner's residence in Damascus despite denials by Syrian authorities that Brunner was in the country. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) pressed the Austrian and German governments to make representations with the Syrian authorities. Austrian authorities recounted that they had asked Damascus for Brunner during the Eichmann trial in 1961 but that the Syrian government had denied Brunner's presence there. But by October, Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold Graz told members of the ADL that Austria would work "expeditiously and forthrightly" to secure Brunner's arrest. A month earlier, the West German government announced that it, too, would make efforts to secure Brunner in light of a warrant for his arrest recently ordered in Cologne. [108]

The West German government acted in December 1984, conveying a formal note to the Syrian Foreign Ministry requesting Brunner's handover, though no formal extradition treaty existed between Syria and the Federal Republic. The U.S. Embassy (which claimed to have a reliable source in the West German Embassy in Syria) reported, "Brunner is known to be protected in Syria by armed guards, presumably from the Syrian intelligence services. In the past, our source added, Brunner has done work on behalf of the Syrian intelligence services in training Kurdish guerrillas who operate from Syria against Turkey." But the West German source did not hold out much hope for Syrian compliance even though Bonn repeatedly reminded Syrian officials of the request. The official Syrian position remained that no one by the name of Alois Brunner (or Georg Fischer) lived in Syria. [109]

By the summer of 1985, more information had surfaced on Brunner's whereabouts through the West German magazine Bunte, which carried an interview with Brunner. The article not only noted Brunner's street address on Rue Haddad in Damascus, but also his comment that he "had no bad conscience" over his role in the extermination of Europe's Jews. The State Department then decided to become directly involved. The Austrian government, concerned with appearing too closely linked with the Americans, rejected American diplomatic support, but the West Germans welcomed the possibility of a U.S. demarche in Damascus just as they had in Santiago. [110] George Shultz hoped that the Bunte article, with its specific information as to Brunner's presence, could "be helpful in pressuring the Syrians, since they have told others ... that Brunner was not in Syria." He ordered the U.S. Ambassador in Damascus, William L. Eagleton, Jr., to make the point that

the U.S. firmly supports the [West German] request for the extradition of Alois Brunner [of] December 18, 1984 . .. In the view of the U.S., Brunner's crimes are among the most serious and appalling of those committed during the war; he is widely considered to be among the most wanted Nazis still at large ... We believe ir is imperative that Brunner be brought to justice. [Syrian government] assistance in this regard would be viewed by all of the governments and peoples involved as a wise and just act. Brunner's continued presence in Syria, on the other hand, will serve only to prolong negative international attention to his presence in Syria. [111]


This particular American demarche, however, was never delivered in Damascus, despite the West German hope that it would be of some help after the Syrians rebuffed subsequent German inquiries. As was the case in Latin America, Embassy officials on the spot did not wish to see the Brunner issue jeopardize their more urgent concerns. "Having our plate full with negative demarches involving terrorism, hostages and missiles," said Ambassador Eagleton in December 1985, "we have not found an ideal time to raise the Brunner issue here. [112] Brunner's Bunte interview seems to have taken place withour Syrian government approval. According to U.S. Embassy contacts in Bonn, the Syrians moved Brunner after it appeared. [113]

The West Germans continued their efforts. Bonn tried throughout 1987 with a number of diplomatic notes and statements, even to Foreign Minister Shad to get the Syrian government to change its mind, but to no avail. Syrian interlocutors either made no comment at all or continued to deny that Brunner was in the country. The most dramatic West German step came in January 1988, when Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher raised the Brunner issue with President Hafez al-Assad himself during Genscher's visit to Damascus. Genscher's demarche was a surprise to Assad, who denied knowing Brunner's whereabouts. It was also a shock to the West German Embassy, which expected that Genscher, a superior diplomat who had wanted a smooth visit, would not raise such a touchy subject traditionally left to lower-level officials. The Syrian Ambassador to Bonn, Suleyman Hadad, even protested to the West German Foreign Ministry insisting -- according to a U.S. paraphrase -- that Genscher's raising of the issue was "inappropriate, in bad taste, and 'just isn't done."' [114]

Genscher risked Assad's ire because the West Germans, according to their U.S. contacts in Damascus and Bonn, were especially well informed by this time. Eagleton reported that "there is no question ... regarding Brunner's presence in Damascus. The Germans know where he lives and who sees him. Brunner arrived in Damascus from Egypt ... and appears to have had some sort of consulting role for a few years after that with some unspecified security organization. Throughout the Assad regime, however, Brunner has essentially been under house arrest in Damascus." [115]

The West German Foreign Ministry had even considering buying Brunner's extradition with a cash reward to the Syrians, as the French had done with Klaus Barbie in Bolivia, but the West German Embassy advised against it, since in its estimation, the cost would be prohibitive. "Damascus," reported the U.S. Embassy in Syria, after speaking with German sources, "is too embarrassed to admit his presence and has a perverse sense of pride which would prohibit turning the former Nazi over to any [W]estern authority, since this would be perceived locally as giving in to Israeli pressures. Brunner is old and frail and the Syrians are confident that nature will eliminate the issue in the not too distant future." [116]

According to American Embassy sources in Damascus in 1990, Austrian President Kurt Waldheim made an effort during his trip to Damascus in 1988 to secure Brunner's arrest. The Austrians, like the West Germans, had been trying since 1984 to secure Brunner, but Waldheim's placement on the U.S. watch list for his wartime activities in the Balkans might have prompted him to make an effort on his own. In any event, the Syrian government did not change its story. [117]

There was a brief hope after the Gulf War of 1991 that Syria's participation in the U.S.-led anti-Iraqi coalition might make it possible to raise the Brunner issue again, this time with success. Senators Ted Kennedy and Daniel Moynihan raised American hopes in the summer of 1991. The State Department replied, "We hope to use the opportunity afforded by our successful prosecution of the Gulf War, and our contacts with the Syrian government that emerged from it, to make progress towards resolution of many of the issues of importance to us, including this one." [118]

In December 1991, Beate Klarsfeld appeared in Damascus with a false passport and protested outside the Syrian Ministry of the Interior in December 1991. After her immediate deportation, she held a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in January 1992, attacking the Syrian government.

The date and circumstances of Brunner's ultimate demise are not clear. By the end of 1992, the National Security Agency intercepted statements to the effect that Brunner had died, though it was clear that since the Syrians never admitted his presence in the country, there would be no official death announcement. [119] The hope that Brunner was alive and could still be brought to justice, however, remained. In March 2001, he was tried in absentia in the Paris Court of Assizes. It was the second such trial for Brunner in France, the first having taken place in 1954 before the Permanent Court of the Armed Forces, where Brunner received two death sentences. If Brunner were still alive in 2001, he would have been eighty-eight years old.

The story of how Alois Brunner escaped from Europe -- and from justice -- after World War II is too sketchy to assign responsibility to individuals, organizations, or governments. On the other hand, Brunner's apparent ability not only to remain in Syria for decades, but even to apply his Gestapo experience there, is, in effect, a Syrian endorsement of Nazi cruelty and anti-Semitism even in the late twentieth century.

_______________

Notes:

1. Undated Report, Sections of the RSHA possibly involved in War Crimes, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 57, folder 1632. The report seems to have been compiled by American intelligence analysts in London.

2. Declassified documents are available in NA, RG 242, T-175.

3. NA, RG 242, Himmler Collection, entry 27, boxes 1-8.

4. For the file card on Rothenberg, seeNA, RG 242, entry 27, box 2, file card A 1090. For the general story of Goring and Rothenberg, see Bent Bludnikow, So mom de slet ikke eksisterede: Hugo Rothenberg og kampen for de tyske joder (Copenhagen: Samleren, 1991).

5. E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw M. Jankowski, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (New York: J. Wiley, 1994); Darius Stola, "Early News of the Holocaust from Poland," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 11, no. 1 (1997): 1-27. More generally, David Engel, In the Shadow of Auschwitz: The Polish Government-in-Exile and the Jews 1939-1942 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993).

6. Deuss to Morse, 15 Feb. 1943, NA, RG 226, entry 16, box 293, folder 29586.

7. Mitteilungsblatt der Gruppe IV E, Jg. 1942, nt. 7, redated 19 June 1943, NA, RG 242, entry 27, box 4, folder 6.

8. Gestapo IV E Account of the Security Conference ar Berlin, 15-17 June 1942, attached to Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 9 Dee. 1944, NA, RG 226, entry 210, folder 5-XX 4224.

9. Field Interrogation Report of Guenther Pancke, 6 July 1945, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 36, folder XX8540-XX8559.

10. Ibid. See also Whitney R. Harris, Tyranny on Trial: The Trial of the Major German War Criminals at the End of World war II at Nuremberg, Germany, 1945-1946 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1954; 1999),216-19. We are grateful to Kevin C. Ruffner for this reference used in his unpublished paper "The Fog of War: OSS and the Clearing Murders."

11. Circle Report, 31 May 1945, German Countermeasures Against Danish Acts of Resistance, NA, RG 226, entry 210, folders 001-009 and 011 The date suggests that it took Allied cryptographers several months to break the top-level German diplomatic code and read these messages.

12. Ronald Headland, Messages of Murder: A Study of the Reports of the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the Security Service, 1941-1943 (Rutherford, J: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992),40-43.

13. The RSHA in Occupied or Neutral Countries, NA, RG 226, entry 171A, box 78, folder 886.

14. They were later used for the American zonal trial of Einsatzgruppen officers. Headland, Messages of Murder, 13-14.

15. See, for example, the Preliminary Interrogation Report on Leonhard Halmanseger, 7 Sept. 1945, and attached documents, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 53, folder 1563. Also, Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 4 June 1945, War Room Monthly Summary No.2, NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 26, folder XX7260-XX7289.

16. NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 59, folder XX10820-XX1 0839.

17. Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 14 Feb. 1946, with final report on SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Harro Andreas Wilhelm Thomsen, 24 Jan. 1946. This report drew on several interrogations of Thomsen in November 1945 and some other sources. NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 59, folderXX10820-XX10839.

18. Ibid.

19. OSS copy of Security Summary, Middle East No. 162 (Published by S.I.M.E., Cairo), 30 Dec. 1943, NA, RG 226, entry 108, folder 453, no. 3 cont.

20. Fourth Interim Report on Horst Kopkow, appendix 3, p. 36, NA, RG 263, Horst Kopkow Name File.

21. NA, RG 263, Horst Kopkow Name File.

22. Fourth Interim Report, p. 19. On Kopkow and the UK, PRO WO 309-248. This information in PRO WO 309/248, comes courtesy of Stephen Tyas.

23. Manuscripts written by Walter Huppenkothen, Oct.-Dec. 1948, attached to 7970 CIC Group to Commanding Officer CIC Group VI, 7 Jan. 1949, in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Walter Huppenkothen.

24. NA, RG 263, Horst Kopkow Name File.

25. Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraberfursorge (Beate Kalbhenn) letter of 5 June 2002 to Stephen Tyas.

26. Interim Camp 020 Report on Martin Sandberger, Oct. 1945,NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 33, folder 870.

27. Raul Hilberg, Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945 (New York: Harper Collins, 1992), 97.

28. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, rev. and definitive ed., vol. 3, (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985), 1105; Frank M. Buscher, The U.S. War Crimes Trial Program in Germany, 1946-1955 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989), 166.

29. Henry Weinstein, "New Questions Arise on the Fate of Gestapo Chief," Los Angeles Times 26 Feb. 2001; "US May Have Used Gestapo Chief as Cold War Warrior," Sunday Times of London 8 Apr. 2001; Charles Fenyvesi and Dal Gilgoff, "Secrets in the Archives," U.S. News and World Report 7 May 200 I. The Simon Wiesenthal Center asked Congress for a full investigation of the Muller case, according to a press release of 26 Feb. 2001.

30. A longer version of this section on Muller was published by Timothy Naftali, Norman J. W. Goda, Richard Breitman, and Robert Wolfe, "The Mystery of Heinrich Muller: New Materials from the CIA," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 15, no. 3 (2001): 453-67. Though the HGS article is longer, the version here contains some new evidence.

31. War Room Publication, G.!. S. Priorities for Interrogation, 27 May 1945, and War Room Publication, Tactical Interrogation of Members of the RSHA, 21 May 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 22, folder 621.

32. W. R. C. 3 Fortnightly Report for the period ending 18 June 1945,NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 25, folder 639.

33. Progress Report, X-2 Branch, 1-30 June 1945, attached to Saint, London to Saint, Stockholm, 13 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 125A, box 7, folder 76.

34. Copy in Saint, London to Washington, 13 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 88, box 645, folder-Incoming Plain Saint London July.

35. War Room Monthly Summary No 4, 23 July 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 24, folder 629.

36. NA, RG 226, en try 119A, box 22, folder 621.

37. Arrest Target List-Revision Note, 1 Nov. 1945,NA, RG 226, entry 122, Tab 6.

38. Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 5 Feb. 1946, with copy of Preliminary CSDIC Interrogation of Malz, 3 Sept. 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 109, box 58, folder 10702-10730.

39. Saint, London to Saint, Washington, 19 Apt. 1946, with copy of British interrogation of Pomme, 12 Nov. 1945. The comment on Muller is on p. 5 of appendix 2. Also, Field Interrogation Report on Horst Kopkow, part 2, p. 1, copy in NA, RG 263, Horst Kopkow Name File.

40. Excerpts from the interrogation of Schellenberg are in memo 201-742896 of 10 Feb. 1965, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 1. Walter Schellenberg, The Labyrinth: Memoirs, trans. Louis Hagen (New York: Harper, 1956), 319-20.

41. For Kalrenbrunner's interrogation, see the excerpts in memo 201-742896 of 10 Feb. 1965, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 1. On Pannwitz, see [CIA/EUR] to Chief, EE and Chief SR, [A]-44835, 24 Sept. 1959, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 1.

42. Two consecutive index cards, probably prepared in 1946, are reproduced in Gestapo Muller's IRR File; they give two birth dares, the correct date and 7 June 1896. Card #2 contains the misinformation that Heinrich Muller was being detained at Civilian Internment Enclosure # 10, Altenstadt. It is quite possible that a Heinrich Mullet was there, but neither of those two whose birth dates were listed. The U.S. Army did nor list any further dealings with the Altenstadt Muller. NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Heinrich Muller.

43. See the note by the Intelligence Bureau, C. C. G. (British Element), Bad Oeynhausen to G-2 (CI), USFET, 23 May 1946, inNA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Heinrich Mullet. There is also a reference to this information in "Subject: Muller, Heinrich," 5 May 1961, the same U.S. Army consolidated report that lists Muller as having been in Altenstadt in December 1945. This report was easily dismissed because Gestapo Muller's wife and children were still alive.

44. See the cards photocopied in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Heinrich Muller.

45. CIA Directorate of Plans, "The Hunt for 'Gestapo Mueller,''' a counterintelligence brief issued Dee. 1971, [hereafter cited as "Hunt for Gestapo Mueller"] p. 12, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 2. The origins of this brief are explained below.

46. See Landeskriminalamt Baden-Wurttemberg, Sonderkommission Zentrale Stelle, Tgb. Nr. SK. Zst. III/I-79/60, 29 July 1960 to Barnett at the U.S. Consulate, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Heinrich Muller; Landeskriminalamt Baden-Wurttemberg Sonderkommission Zentrale Stelle, SK Zst. 1/1-79/60 to Zentrale Stelle Ludwigsburg, 27 Feb. 1961, ibid. The U.S. Army helped for ninety days beginning in May 1961 with the surveillance of Muller's father and children, but this surveillance yielded no results.

47. The witnesses, questioned in connection with a West German police investigation in 1961, are quoted in "Hunt for Gestapo Mueller," 16, 18.

48. [CIA/EUR] to Chief, EE and Chief SR, [A]-44835, 24 Sept. 1959, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 1.

49. See the lengthy German police reports of 1960 and 1961 submitted to U.S. Army Counterintelligence and contained in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Heinrich Muller. Fainter copies or these reports were made available by the Army to the CIA in 1970 and are included in the CIA's Muller file: NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File. See also, "Hunt for Gestapo Mueller," 33.

50. Memo [A]-744, 10 May J 961, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 2. The defector's name is redacted, but Tim Naftali has identified him as Goleniewski.

51. To: Chief, EE, Chief SR A [excised] [excised/excised]/Operations Further [excised] Reports on Rote Kapelle Personalities, 24 Sept. 1959, NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 1. The informant is revealed by name as Pannwitz in "Hunt for Gestapo Mueller," 14-16.

52. "Gestapo-Muller lebt in Albanien," Stern, January 1964; "Die Spur fuhrt nach Sudamerika," Stern, 16 Aug. 1964. The latter article in full is in NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. l.

53. On the possibility or disinformation, see [CIA/EUR] dispatch [A]-13564 CS, 31 Jan. 1964, ibid.

54. Ibid.

55. [CIA/EUR] to Chief, EE, [A]-63831, 5 Feb. 1964, ibid.

56. Staff memorandum, 9 Dee. 1970, in ibid. This is a debriefing or a defector with inside knowledge or Czech intelligence and KGB active measures. The 1971 "Hunt for 'Gestapo Mueller,''' p. 38, further identifies this source as an apparently reliable Czechoslovak defector. The name or this defector is redacted. However, the information that this defector provided and the timing of this defection strongly suggest that this source was Ladislas Bittman.

57. Memo [A]-19267, 9 Dee. 1970, in ibid.

58. The 9 Dee. 1971 memo is in NA, RG 263, Heinrich Muller Name File, vol. 2.

59. Ibid.

60. Rauff was head of Sipo and SD for northwestern Italy.

61. On these maneuvers, see Fourth Detailed Interrogation Report on Klaus Huegel, 10 June 1945, NA, RG 226, entry 174, box 39, folder 307. On Schuster and Bicchierai, see Bradley F. Smith and Elena Agarossi, Operation Sunrise: The Secret Surrender (New York: Basic Books, 1979), 57-59.

62. Interrogation Report on SS-Standartenfuhrer Rauff Walther. CSDIC/SC/15AG/SD 11, 29 May 1945, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File.

63. Ibid. We must note that Army Intelligence (IRR) destroyed its file on Rauff. Christopher Simpson had obtained a partial copy of it through a FOIA request and graciously made it available to us.

64. Rauff's SS file reflects the fact that he received the coveted "Old Fighter's" award, indicating his involvement with the Nazis prior to Hitler's appointment as chancellor in January 1933. See Rauff SS Officer File, NA-BDC, RG 242, A-3343, 550, roll 010B.

65. Heydrich had also been forced to leave the German Navy for dishonorable actions.

66. British intelligence and OSS captured some of the documents about the use of gas vans, including August Becker's May 1942 letter to Rauff giving a litany of complaints about breakdowns and technical problems, but suggesting adaptations. NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 25, folder 639.

67. Christopher R. Browning, Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985),60-65.

68. Rauff's flight is mentioned in a British analysis of decoded German messages about Einsatzkommandos. At the time (Nov. 1942) British intelligence was still grappling to figure out what these units did. See ZIP/IS/1 23 Nov. 1942, copy in NA, RG 226, entry 119A, box 25, folder 637. The source for Rauff's discussion with Rommel is a postwar source, cited immediately below. Rauff could have arranged for the conversion of vehicles into gas vans, as he had done in Europe.

69. Memorandum Dr. Voss and his friends, 9 Feb. 1954, Rauff, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File. This information may originate with the State Department. The document paraphrases "The Ambassador," but does not supply the source of the ambassador's information. During the war, SS-Standartenfuhrer Dr. Wilhelm Voss was director of the armaments industrial complex at Skoda, in the Reich Protectorate [today the Czech Republic]. The CIA identified Voss as "head of the German Advisory Group in Egypt," actively engaged in promoting German investment in aircraft manufacturing in Egypt. According to a separate CIA document, Voss was closely associated with Dr. Wilhelm Beissner, a fellow SS officer with alleged links to the Institut fur Gegenwartsforschung under Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz. Beissner was allegedly responsible for introducing Otto Skorzeny to influential persons in Egypt in the early 1950s. NA-BDC, RG 242 A-3343, SSO, roll 212B; Activities of Certain German Experts in Egypt, 16 Feb. 1954, and untitled note card, 15 June 1953, NA, RG 263, Friedrich Beissner Name File.

70. Daniel Carpi, Between Mussolini and Hitler: the Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1994), 233-37.

71. Karl Wolff recommended Rauff for the German Cross (in silver) in June] 944. Wolff was only one of several senior officers who desired to see Rauff decorated. The German ambassador in Rome, Rudolf Rahn, and General von Arnim also voiced approval for the award. The award apparently was not bestowed. In April 1944, Rauff did receive the War Service Cross First Class (with swords), a significant non-combat medal. Rauff SS Officer File, NA-BDC, RG 242, A-3343, SSO, roll 010B.

72. In June 1999 an Italian tribunal found Saevecke guilty of ordering the execution of fifteen Italian partisans in 1944 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

73. English translation of Exhibit "H" (sworn statement of Hermann Julius Walter Rauff Bauermeister, Santiago, Chile, 5 Dee. 1962, SS Col. Walter Rauff: the Church Connection 1943-1947, (Los Angeles: Simon Wiesenthal Center, May 1984). Rauff claimed that his family left the Soviet zone of Germany with the help of the Catholic Church.

74. Hyazinth von Strachwitz, a former Wehrmacht general who served as a senior advisor in Damascus, estimated that there were fewer than fifty Germans employed in Syria during the late 1940s, dropping to about thirty by early 1954. As late as the summer of 1950, agents of the Syrian government were actively attempting to recruit former German Army and Waffen-SS officers in Germany. Both Otto Skorzeny and his adjutant, Karl Radl, met with a Syrian agent in Munich in December 1949 to discuss the possibility of working in Syria. Apparently neither of these officers accepted an offer to work for the Syrians. See NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Rudolf Dirnagel.

75. "Background Information on German Military Experts in Syria," 23 February []9]54, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File.

76. Gehlen Organization Report, dated 2 ov. 1949, on German military experts in Syria (Questions from "20"), ibid.

77. Excerpt of a report dated 2 Sept. 1949, ibid.

78. Official Disparth. Chief, Foreign Division T, dated 13 June 1950, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File.

79. Rauff had served in South America and Spain during 1925-1926. See Rauff SS Officer File, NA-BDC, RG 242, A-3343, SSD, roll 010B.

80. Bauermeister was Rauff's mother's maiden name. "Herman Julius Walter Rauff Bauermeister" was the name Rauff used when he appeared in a Chilean court on 5 December 1962 to answer charges in his extradition hearing. Rauff possibly obtained identity documents in the name of Bauermeister as early as 1947 through his contacts in the Catholic Church.

81. In the aftermath of the 1973 coup d'etat that brought Pinochet to power, DINA was formed. From its inception, the organization functioned as a secret police and was engaged in the repression of dissidence within Chile and revenge on its enemies abroad. DINA was responsible for countless human rights violations including illegal arrests, executions, torture, and forced disappearances of opponents of Pinochet's regime. Colonel Manuel Contreas was the director of DINA. DINA was dissolved in 1977.

82. Report, dated Oct. [19]74, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File.

83. More than three thousand people died or disappeared (and are presumed dead) in the political violence that marked Pinochet's seventeen-year rule.

84. Report to the chief of CIA Latin American Division, dated 13 Apt. 1976, NA, RG 263, Walter Rauff Name File.

85. Memorandum from Non-Disclosure Litigation Office DO/IMS to Office of General Counsel (CIA), dated 13 Sept. 1983, ibid.

86. Simon Wiesenthal claims that Allende might have worked to hand Rauff over, had he not been deposed and murdered in September 1973; see Wiesenthal, Justice not Vengeance, trans. Ewald Osers (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989), 63.

87. Wiesenthal to Reagan, 12 Apr. 1983, State Department, Central Foreign Policy Archives, Rauff Materials, IP 10. For the Reagan speech, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Ronald Reagan, Book 1: January 1-1-July 1, 1983, (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1984), 523-25.

88. Wiesenthal, Justice not Vengeance,63.

89. Memo by Donald Koblitz, Attorney Adviser, 22 Dec. 1983. "Memorandum of Conversation with Hannover Prosecutor and FRG Justice Ministry Officials." NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials, GX-24A. The actual discussions took place on 1 Dec. 1983.

90. For Klarsfeld in Santiago, see Theberge to Secretary of State, No. 0186. 2 Feb. 1984; Theberge to Secretary of State, no. 0972, 9 Feb. 1984; Theberge to Secretary of State, no. 1189, 21 Feb. 1984, all in NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials, U.S. Embassy B.

91. Theberge to Secretary of State, no. 3679, 1 June 1983 and no. 1189, 21 Feb. 1984, NA, RG 59, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials, IP-15. For relations between the U.S. and Chile in these years, see Paul E. Sigmund, The United States and Democracy in Chile (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993); and David R. Mares and Francisco Rojas Aravena, The United States and Chile: Coming in From the Cold (New York: Routledge, 2001).

92. Langhorne A. Motley to Lawrence Eagleburger, undated, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy files, Rauff Materials.

93. Handwritten note to Ambassador Theberge, 6 Feb. 1984, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials, GX-25.

94. Michael P. Scharf, Balkan justice: The Story behind the First International War Crimes Trial since Nuremberg (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1997).

95. Secretary of State to U.S. Embassies in Bonn, Santiago, Tel Aviv, 17 Feb. 1984, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials, GX-16.

96. Secretary of State to all American Republics Diplomatic Posts, no. 9539, 17 Feb. 1984, NA, RG 263, Records Released under the Nazi and Japanese War Crimes Disclosure Acts, CIA Subject File, folder-Nazis in South America, vol. 2. Wiesenthal claims credit for influencing Chancellor Helmut Kohl to make another request to the Chilean government; see Wiesenthal, Justice not Vengeance, 63-64.

97. West Germany had failed to claim jurisdiction in the case of Klaus Barbie, and Kohl had given a speech in Israel's Knesset that was heavily criticized by the West German left. Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History of West Germany, vol. 2, Democracy and its Discontents 1963-1990 (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1993),423-24.

98. This information was obtained by the U.S. Embassy in Santiago from Holtzheimer himself. See Secretary of State to U.S. Embassy Bonn, no. 066327, 7 Mar. 1984, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Rauff Materials, IP-52.

99. For a copy of the West German note, see DB Santiago, Nr. 48/84 "Nota Verbal" 1 Mar. 1984, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Western Hemisphere Posts, Rauff Materials. For the text of the Chilean reply, see Chilean Foreign Ministry Note, no. 02251, 8 Mar. 1984, NA, RG 59, GX-8A. Secretary of State to U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, no. 075093, 14 Mar. 1984, NA, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, Rauff Materials, IP-63.

100. See also Georg M. Hafner and Esther Schapira, Die Akte Alois Brunner, (Frankfurt, 2000).

101. http://www.diplomatiquejudiciare.com.

102. Munich to Director, 25 Apr. 1961, NA, RG 263, Alois Brunner Name File; Chief Munich Operations Group to COS Germany, 10 May 1961, NA, RG 263, Alois Brunner Name File.

103. [Excised] to Director, 25 Sept. 1961, NA, RG 263, Alois Brunner Name File. CIA information was incomplete on this attack, and initial reports suggested that Brunner had been killed. Other sources, however, suggested that the Syrians had moved him to a number of different hospitals and planned to give him a new identity.

104. Director to [excised], 13 Mar. 1958, NA, RG 263, Franz Rademacher Name File; [excised] to [excised], 20 Apr. 1961, NA, RG 263, Franz Rademacher Name File.

105. U.S. Embassy Damascus (Eagleton) to Secretary of State, No. 00319, 16 Jan. 1985, NA, RG 59, N-111.

106. Chief Munich to Chief EE, 21 May 1962, NA, RG 263, Franz Rademacher Name File.

107. CIA Summary of 10 Mar. 1965, ibid.

108. Fact sheet from B'nai B'rith enclosed in Senator Arlen Specter to George Shultz, 3 July 1985, NA, RG 59, CC-97.

109. U.S. Embassy Damascus (Eagleton) to Secretary of State, No. 00319, NA, RG 59, N-111.

110. State Department (Whitehead) to U.S. Embassy Vienna, No. 230898, 27 July 1985, NA, RG 59, N-153.

111. Shultz to U.S. Embassies Bonn, Vienna, Paris, No. 335422, 10 Nov. 1985, NA, RG 59, N-156.

112. Eagleton to U.S. Embassy Bonn, No. 00679, 31 Jan. 1986, NA, RG 59, N-159. See also U.S. Embassy Bonn (Burt) to U.S. Embassy Damascus, 03327, 30 Jan. 1986, NA, RG 59, N-158.

113. Eagleton to Secretary of State, No. 00557, 28 Jan. 1988, NA, RG 59, N-185.

114. U.S. Embassy Damascus (Eagleton) to Secretary of State, No. 00557, 28 Jan. 1988, ibid.

115. Eagleton to Secretary of State, No. 07006, 9 Dee. 1987, NA, RG 59, N-184.

116. Ibid.

117. U.S. Embassy Damascus (Craig) to Secretary of State, No. 04168, 10 July 1990, NA, RG 59, N-209.

118. Frederick Vreeland, Department of State, Asian Affairs, to Senator Kennedy, 1 May 1991, NA, RG 59, GT-14; Lawrence Eagleburger to U.S. Embassy Damascus, NA, RG 59, GT- 7. According to West German sources, in 1990 Brunner was living in the mountain resort village of Slenfe. U.S. Embassy Damascus (Craig) to Secretary of State, No. 04168, 10 July 1990, NA, RG 59, N-209.

119. NSA intercept paraphrases, Shipment 1, Dec. 1991, 3/00/49603-91; Shipment 2, Jan. 1992,2/00/1488-92. Klarsfeld was in Syria owing to a sighting of Brunner being taken to a hospital in October 1991. Secretary of State (Ross) to U.S. Embassy Damascus, Dec. 1991, NA, RG 59, GT-2.
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

Postby admin » Tue May 29, 2018 12:32 am

Part 1 of 2

7. Banking on Hitler: Chase National Bank and the Ruckwanderer Mark Scheme, 1936-1941
by Norman J. W. Goda

WITH CHASE NATIONAL BANK ASSISTANCE, the Nazi government earned dollars in the United States through the sale of special German marks -- known as Ruckwanderer ("returnee") marks -- to U.S. residents of German descent. [1] The currency scheme began in the late 1930s and lasted until the June 1941 executive order freezing German assets. Newly declassified FBI records offer a far more detailed picture of how and why the Nazi regime gave Germans abroad generous terms to move back to Germany and how they financed these subsidies through seized Jewish assets.

The Development of the Ruckwanderer Mark Scheme

After Hitler came to power and began to re-arm, Germany continued to import large quantities of American goods. In 1939 alone, for example, Germany imported 197 million Reichsmarks worth of American foodstuffs, raw materials, and finished goods (including lead, copper, aluminum, and oil) while exporting RM 125 million worth of goods to the United States. It needed dollars to finance its trade deficit. [2] The Reich Ministry of Economics (RWM) under Hjalmar Schacht experimented with several ways to acquire dollars through its subsidiary office, the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control, created in December 1933 and led by Dr. Hans Hartenstein. [3] A sure method of raising dollars lay in selling marks to Germans who wished to return to Germany temporarily or permanently, or to Germans living abroad who simply wished to purchase goods there.

The problem lay in fair compensation in marks for Germans who wished to exchange dollars. On March 16, 1935, the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control ordered Germans returning to the Reich to sell their liquid assets to the German National Bank (Reichsbank) within ten days at the current rate of exchange. [4] But the dollar had depreciated precipitously. Whereas Germans who had relocated to the United States in the 1920s could purchase U.S. currency at about RM 4.10 to the dollar, upon their return in 1935 they were able to receive only RM 2.48 per dollar.

To compensate, the Reichsbank allowed returnees to Germany to exchange 50 percent of their dollars at a rate of RM 4.10 per dollar. [5] The Reichsbank paid this favorable rate from blocked accounts once owned by refugees who had fled Germany, most of whom were Jews. Emigrating Jews lost the better part of their remaining assets through a 25 percent flight tax or through the freezing of their liquid wealth in blocked accounts over which they would no longer have control. [6] Just as the German government set the exchange rate at which it would trade marks for dollars, it purchased these blocked marks at the low rate of two to three cents per mark before trading them for dollars at set exchange rates. "The German government," the FBI would note later, "thereby netted a profit in dollars of nearly 90 percent." [7]

News of the favorable exchange rate caught the attention of entrepreneurs involved in foreign exchange markets, particularly Indiana native and Wabash college graduate Roy Frazier Potts, once a U.S. consular official in Rio de Janeiro and later an employee of the National City Bank of New York; and Hans Ziegra, a native German and Nazi Parry member, and a close acquaintance of Potts also living in Rio. [8] The two concocted a plan ostensibly matching Jews who wished to leave Germany but could not leave with their assets with Germans who wished to return and could use the same assets, exchanging the property between the two. Ziegra and Potts would charge a commission for their service. Nothing came of this idea until May 1936, and Potts blamed its ultimate failure on the 25 percent tax that Jews had to pay on their capital before leaving. [9]

A month earlier, Ziegra and Potts had founded their own company, the New York Overseas Corporation, specifically for the purpose of exchanging German-Jewish and German-American property. Ziegra served as president and Potts as executive vice president. [10] A relatively early Nazi Parry member who had some clout with German government agencies, [11] Ziegra procured a temporary special exchange permit that allowed New York Overseas to transfer up to $400,000 at a RM 2.48 rate and up to $400,000 at a RM 4.10 rate for returning German immigrants. The Reichsbank could thus build a balance of $800,000 while New York Overseas could profit from arbitrage in blocked marks.

The experiment was successful. New York Overseas handled 312 returnee applications. [12] The New York World Telegram even carried the story in June 1936 "American and Nazi Cut Red Tape on Marks for Homesick Germans," while the contract was in force. [13]

In July 1936, a new arrangement regularized the Ruckwanderer mark trade. Returning immigrants could change 100 percent of their devalued U.S. currency into so-called Ruckwanderer marks at the rate of RM 4.018 per dollar. [14] To increase the flow of foreign exchange, three banking institutions in the United States that were well connected in Berlin formed a consortium and received a special permit from the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control to facilitate the exchange. The three banks were: the New York Overseas Corporation, which had negotiated the original permit and now hoped to amass a fortune in commissions; Robert C. Mayer & Co., a partnership in New York handling German transactions in the United States, which had forwarded Ruckwanderer applications to New York Overseas during the original permit but now wanted full commissions for itself; and the J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation, a British bank involved in international trade with a chartered office in New York. Ziegra had discussed his original exchange plans with this bank and had used it for deposits during the first permit. [15]

The German government authorities expected that a new 5 percent commission directly paid by the German government would encourage the three permit holders to find German Ruckwanderers in the United States, where Berlin had few contacts. Potts' brother Joseph, who acted as Treasurer for New York Overseas, testified accurately in 1941 that the Germans were more interested in foreign exchange than they were in the returnees themselves. The Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control would pay only a 2 percent commission for Ruckwanderers with less than $2,500 to convert. But the licensed financial houses did not complain at first -- they saw a chance to make a significant profit, particularly with German power on the rise and German unemployment on the wane. [16]

The license holders would hand over roughly 3 percent of their 5 percent commission to wholesalers who would help locate German-Americans willing to emigrate. These wholesalers tended to be import-export companies or brokerage houses with ties to the German-American community. The three permit holders could do their own wholesaling if they wanted, but wholesalers such as Hans Utsch & Co., Robert Hautz & Co., Amerop Travel Service, the Hamburg Amerika Line, and even the American Express Company did most of the wholesale business themselves. Below the wholesalers were retailers, companies with day-to-day contacts in the German-American community, such as local travel bureaus. [17]

A German resident or citizen in the United States responding to an advertisement and wishing to repatriate could apply to the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control through a local retailer. The prospective immigrant had to obtain from the German consulate (for a $4 fee) a declaration of suitability (Unbedenklichkeits-Erklarung) after completing a questionnaire declaring his or her place of birth, occupation, number of children, and previous service to Germany, such as army service in World War I. The prospective immigrant would also declare his or her assets and debts and the amount of liquid assets to be converted. [18] The retailer would forward the entire application to the wholesaler, who would make sure the paperwork was in order. The application was then forwarded to one of the three permit holders, which would then forward a copy of the application to its office in Berlin. From there it went to the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control along with a request that the applicant's liquid assets be converted at the preferential rate.

Once permission was granted, the applicant would give the retailer the dollars that he or she wished to change. The money would then be forwarded to the wholesaler, and then to one of the permit holders, where it was deposited in a New York account of the German Gold Discount Bank. The Gold Discount Bank was a subsidiary and clearinghouse of the Reichsbank, which also liquidated the assets of Jewish firms in Germany whose owners had fled the country. [19] In the United States, the Gold Discount Bank's largest accounts were at the J. Henry Schroder Bank, the Bank of Manhattan, and Chase National. [20] The Reichsbank could then use the dollars in these accounts for German dollar purchases.

Chase Elbows In

How Chase National's New York Headquarters learned of the program is a mystery, but it came to the attention of the Foreign Department in August 1936, shortly after the permit was issued to New York Overseas and the others. Joseph C. Rovensky, the vice president of the Chase's Foreign Department in New York, immediately cabled Chase's representative in Berlin, Ernest H. Kuhlman, "to find out whether Chase Bank could not also participate in this business." Kuhlman arranged a meeting with Hans Hartenstein, but he did not get far, at first. "Mr. Kuhlman," Hartenstein asked, "why does the big Chase bank want to be in this particular line of business? This is small business. Why do you want to be in it?" [21]

Hans Ziegra, who along with Potts had created the entire Ruckwanderer business network in the United States, had no intention of allowing Chase to move in. Ziegra told Hartenstein that Chase National had no German expertise (despite their office in Berlin) and that the inclusion of Chase would ultimately harm the interests of the Reich. [22]

On August 25, 1936, Rovensky cabled Kuhlman from New York and directed: "Be emphatic. Insist [on the] same privilege as Schroder and the other two who guarantee payment of 4.018 marks." At the same time, Chase tried to influence German banking officials directly. The breakthrough did not take long. Kuhlman's telegram of August 26 contained a single, celebratory line: "CHASE ADDED TO PRIVILEGED THREE." In an explanatory letter to his superiors of September 3, 1936, Kuhlman explained:

The only reason why we were added to the inner circle is because we (or rather you) knew too much and Hartenstein, who only handles financial matters, knew enough about our leading position in commercial matters nor to rake a chance of having us go to the top ... [24]


The "privileged three" were not happy that an elephant had stepped into their garden. Potts was furious that Chase had even learned about the Ruckwanderer arrangement, and in early September he urged Ziegra to make forceful protests to Hartenstein about Chase's addition to the consortium. [24]

In August 1936, New York Overseas, which could not accept or hold deposits itself, was negotiating with another major bank, Chemical Bank and Trust, to handle the domestic and overseas banking procedures for its Ruckwanderer business. Officers in Chemical's Foreign Department were therefore very interested in the Ruckwanderer mark program and seem to have been willing to take a commission of less than 0.5 percent for the handling of what they expected would be a ballooning business. "The general opinion prevails," said E. O. Detlefsen of the Foreign Department at Chemical, "that if [the rate of exchange] should be increased to about [RM] 4.30 to the dollar, the volume in all probability could be doubled." [25] The expectation that the Gold Discount Bank would set up and maintain a very large account with Chemical was part of the thinking in New York Oversees, too.

In mid-August 1936, Chemical's Foreign Department officers in New York enlisted Ziegra to approach officers of the Gold Discount Bank to open an account with them in New York. But Chemical's representative in Berlin, Hermann A. Kollmar, who was involved in numerous schemes to attract Nazi business, commented to Detlefsen that he was "frankly, not greatly impressed by the gentleman [Ziegra]." On August 20, 1936, he told his superiors in New York that Chemical should use its own prestige and Kollmar's own connections to secure the Gold Discount Bank account, and not Ziegra. [26] Chemical's officers in New York simply wanted a deal with the Germans before it was too late.

But by this time Chase National had already bullied its way into the Ruckwanderer business. Chemical Bank and Trust failed to open the coveted Gold Discount Bank account, and New York Overseas watched a potentially massive part of its business slide to Chase National. Money designated for the Gold Discount Bank in the New York Overseas account at Chemical went to the Gold Discount Bank account at the Bank of Manhattan instead, which became the conduit for Ruckwanderer mark deposits for New York Overseas, Robert C. Mayer, and, after it joined the consortium, the Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst.

Chemical Bank and Trust was left with a tiny 0.25 percent commission paid by New York Overseas for its trouble in transferring Ruckwanderer dollars from its own account to the Gold Discount Bank's account at Bank of Manhattan. By the time the operation shut down nearly five years later, Chemical held a mere $150,000 in Ruckwanderer money. [27] Others got much more.

In September 1936, Potts and Ziegra of New York Overseas imagined ways to increase business. Potts wrote Ziegra on September 9 to inform his German interlocutors as follows:

In the field of publicity, we will perform the most valuable services for the Reich ... We have reached German and English language newspapers and magazines all over the country ... For our publicity we have engaged Publicity Associates, Inc., probably the best publicity firm in the world ... They are the ones who handled the worldwide publicity (really propaganda) for Haile Selassie and Ethiopia for many months ... Everyone knows how successful the Ethiopian publicity was. Ethiopia had, and still has, the sympathy of practically the entire world.

It would also have another very important and desirable consequence. It would be marvelous propaganda for the Reich and would offset the prejudiced, Jewish-inspired anti-German propaganda of which you saw some first-class examples when you were here. Germany badly needs this sort of assistance here. There is evidently no organized German effort to combat the almost universal anti-German propaganda. This would be the best kind of pro-German propaganda because it would be indirect, disguised, and would not proceed from an official source. The American public reacts very unfavorably to the kind of direct government propaganda that is used in Europe. The result of our constant hammering would be not only good for the Rueckwanderer business; it would create a friendly feeling coward the Third Reich, with incalculable benefits in international trade and politics. [28]



But Potts' predictions were overblown. Despite the high hopes, money trickled in slowly. Part of the reason was that few Germans wished to return to a continent menaced by darkening clouds of war. Cutthroat competition within the consortium in 1936 did not help, particularly after August 1936, when a fifth member, Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst International Commerce Service, was added to the circle of licensed institutions. This was a German-owned brokerage company located in the same building as the German General Consulate in New York. [29] New York Overseas tried to outbid its competitors with an exchange rate of RM 4.05 instead of RM 4.018. Chase tried rate cutting, too, which brought a rebuke from the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control. [30]

The remedy for slow business, insofar as the five licensed consortium members were concerned, was for the RWM to offer higher conversion rates to prospective returnees and higher commissions to the American banks. On May 1, 1937, Potts wrote to Ziegra in Berlin:

It will be a pity if the [Ministry] does not make some change in the regulations which will enable them co reap the benefit of all the Rueckwanderer money that would come into Germany jf more favorable terms were offered co the public and co the agents ... Could you not take this opportunity co call on Marwede, Hartenstein and perhaps even Dr. Schacht co urge them in Germany's own interest co give this matter their ,ost serious attention and take some immediate action?


Potts also tried to impress on the Germans the need to cut the other institutions out, leaving New York Overseas as the sale handler of the Ruckwanderer business. [31]

German financial officials were willing, however reluctantly, to experiment with higher exchange and commission rates. In September 1937, the conversion rate was raised to a full RM 4.10 per dollar for returnees, and the commission rate was raised from 5 percent to 7 percent on all amounts transferred, not just those of $2,500 or more. It was understood that 4 to 5 percent of the commission would go to the wholesalers and retailers. "I anticipate," wrote Dr. Daniel of the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control, "that this increase will bring about greater activity in the Rueckwanderer business and that in the future it will be possible to count on considerably greater transfers of Devisen [foreign exchange]." [32]

Though a considerable number of Germans in the United States were willing to gamble with their savings, most remained less willing, prompting consternation in the RWM. As J. Henry Schroeder's representative in Berlin reported to his home office in early February 1938, "As far as the North American Rueckwanderer business is concerned, the RWM is considering a radical change if the increase in volume which the RWM had expected after they had raised the commission, has not materialized." [33]

Disappointed in the licensed firms, whose increased commission was supposed to induce them and their subagents to find more business, the RWM "even thought of throwing the business wide open so that every American bank or firm could bring in Rueckwanderer." [34] Indeed, there were American suitors. By May 1938, a short time after the German expansion into Austria, more than forty U.S. companies, including American Express, had applied to the German government to rake part in the Ruckwanderer business. [35] By July 1938, the RWM seriously considered raising the conversion rate for Ruckwanderer marks from RM 4.10 to RM 4.20. Though the new rate never went into effect, U.S. banking representatives in Berlin understood that Nazi Germany urgently needed dollars. At Chase National in New York, Rovensky was informed as follows from his representatives in Berlin:

Germany is making definite efforts to interest these people [Germans living abroad] in returning by making a special conversion rate for dollars ... In this way Germany pays off its foreign obligations at cheap rates and has, at the same time a fair proportion of dollars left over from the transaction ....

The German authorities allow us a commission of 7 percent (in dollars) for each "Rueckwanderer" so that, even though a large part [4 percent] goes to agents and sub-agents who locate the Rueckwanderer originally, such transactions are definitely profitable. [36]


On November 9, 1938, a wave of orchestrated violence terrorized Jews across Germany. Synagogues were burned, Jewish shops were destroyed, and Jews were beaten and arrested all over Germany and its new Austrian and Sudeten areas in an event that became known as the "Night of Broken Glass" (Reichskristallnacht). High Nazi officials decided several days later to impose a RM 1 billion penalty upon German Jews to repair the damage that they themselves suffered. The majority of the American public was appalled at the anti-Jewish pogrom, and President Franklin Roosevelt recalled the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

While German Jews tried to escape a new level of state-sponsored terror (120,000 Jews would flee Germany virtually penniless from November 1938 to September 1939), [37] German financial officials and American banks dickered over the commission from the sale of marks from the swelling accounts of appropriated Jewish assets. On November 30, 1938, the German Economics Ministry hosted a meeting of the five permit holders. While the representatives from Chase, Schroder, and the others suggested the Germans raise the exchange rate to RM 5 per dollar, irritated RWM representatives suggested lowering the five permit holders' commission from 7 percent to 4 percent. The Germans also insisted on assurances that no one involved in the Ruckwanderer business on any level be Jewish. [38]

Following the meeting, Chase appealed to the German Economics Ministry not to reduce the 7 percent rate. As matters then stood, Chase paid its subcontractors up to 4 percent out of the 7 percent, out of which these agencies placed advertisements to attract Ruckwanderers in the first place. "The resulting difference," argued Chase, "in no wise appears excessive in consideration of the specially trained personnel ... for the carrying out of the Rueckwanderer business. Doubtless a reduction of the commission would have a detrimental effect upon the present working procedure ... which naturally is not in harmony with the interests of Germany." [39] Chase's argument worked. The settled rate in 1939 was RM 4.10 to the dollar with the commission remaining at 7 percent.

At the same time, the American banks worked to keep an especially low profile for their business with Germany following the November 9 pogrom. After the Germans raised the idea of having the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange open an office in New York to speed the approval and conversion process for prospective returnees, Henry Drath, Chase's assistant representative in Berlin, shot the idea down:

[Because of] the present strong anti-German attitude [in the United States] ... a minimum of publicity [must] be given to the Rueckwanderer business ... The opening of a Devisenstelle branch in New York [would] cause a storm of indignation, the extent of which is hardly to be overlooked. In such a case, the Rueckwanderer business would undoubtedly be shown up in detail for all sides with the result that Germany would suffer only disadvantages. [40]


In fact, Dr. Marwede, RWM specialist in charge of transfer of immigrant assets, had already rejected the idea of such representation in New York, though not from any consideration of what the American public would think. Public representation in New York by the Reich Office for Foreign Exchange would make it necessary, Marwede told Drath privately, to open up the Ruckwanderer business to the many U.S. firms that wanted to receive the commissions. As matters stood now, the German government paid commission on only 40 percent of the dollars changed by returning Germans because 60 percent of those returning changed their money on their own. [41]

Utterly unbothered by recent events in Germany, Chase Foreign Department Second Vice President Alfred Barth hosted a meeting of the consortium on February 15, 1939, in New York to discuss ways to cut into the imagined 60 percent mentioned by Marwede. At Barth's urging, all members of the consortium agreed that German consulates throughout the United States should refer prospective Ruckwanderers to them for currency conversion, rather than allowing them to convert their dollars on their own. Chase National quickly informed the German government of this bold resolution. [42]

When war broke out between Germany and the forces of Poland, Great Britain, and France, J. Henry Schroder Bank, which had been incorporated in Great Britain, decided to drop out of the Ruckwanderer mark business, leaving four permit holders. [43] The business itself also dipped since few individuals -- rates of exchange and Nazi theories of volkisch struggle notwithstanding -- wanted to return to a country at war. But after the smashing German victory in France in June 1940, German-American interest rose to a level never before seen. Of the nearly $9 million of foreign exchange built up for the Germans by Chase alone between September 1936 and June 1941 ($503,031 of it commissions), over $3.5 million of the total -- well over 30 percent -- came in the six months between December 1940 and June 1941. [44] New York Overseas and the Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst made over 50 percent of their Ruckwanderer mark sales after June 1940. [45] Numerous Germans in the United States, in other words, believed that the war was practically won and a new order in Europe would ensue. [46] Assistant Attorney General Wendell Berge pointed out, "The Ruckwanderer program [from 1940 to 1941) was the German government's principal source of foreign exchange in the United States." [47] The deposit figures for the Gold Discount Bank account at Chase National Bank along with the percentage of total foreign exchange represented by these deposits are seen in figure 1. The deposits and commissions for each of the five permit holders for the entire period 1936-1941 are shown in figure 2. If the executive order of June 14, 1941, freezing German assets in the United States had not terminated this program, the totals would have been higher. [48]

How much did Nazi Germany benefit from the Ruckwanderer mark scheme? Twenty-one million dollars (equal to over RM 52 million) was not a huge amount. Germany gained more foreign exchange through its conquests and seizures in Poland, France, and so on. Yet the sum remained significant, especially in light of the German effort to repurchase dollar bonds and buy German branch plants of American companies. [49] Even in 1943 the Gold Discount Bank could muster but RM 1.95 million worth of Swiss francs. 50 In other words, the German war economy continued to suffer from critical shortages of foreign exchange. Having found $21 million in dollars helped Germany more than the absolute value of the money.

Image

FIGURE 1. Ruckwanderer business at Chase National Bank, November 1940 to June 14, 1941

Source: Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 124.

Image

FIGURE 2. Deposits and commissions of Ruckwanderer scheme permit holders Permit Holder

Sources: For total figures on number of applications and amounts paid between May 22, 1936, and June 14,1941, see report by H.J. Bruninga, May 20,1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96,107; Hoover to Attorney General, August 21,1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-83-1717, box 98; D. M. Ladd to Hoover, August 11, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1724, box 98. Note that 429 of the applications were submitted by Germans living in Canada and Latin America. Figures on individual permit holders' commissions are the following: J. Henty Schroder Banking Corporation, report by H. J. Bruninga, September 16, 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-64-1283, box 91; New York Overseas Corporation, report by H.J. Bruninga, May 5, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1636, box 95; Robert C. Mayer & Co., report by H. J. Bruninga, July 15, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267- 81-1714, box 97. Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst figures approximate. Report by H.J. Bruninga, May 20, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 190.

a This number is for both permits.


The FBI Investigation of Chase National Bank

Although some information about the Chase-German cooperation was publicly available, the FBI's discovery of the Ruckwanderer mark scheme was in pan coincidental. [51] In November 1939, a normally reliable source used by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence reported that the German government had $6 million in gold within the United States to be used for espionage purposes. [52] The money was to be distributed by the German General Consulate in New York under Consul General Dr. Hans Borchers to other German consulates in the United States, then to German agents. Following this lead, the FBI began to chart the German General Consulate's primary bank account at Chase National Bank with the help of Sherrill Smith, a vice president at the bank. The tale of the $6 million for espionage turned out to be false. But the FBI continued to watch the General Consulate's Chase account while tracing, via serial number and again with Sherrill Smith's help, all $1000 bills withdrawn from Chase National by German consular personnel. [53]

Discoveries were interesting. The German Consulate made large dollar payments in 1939 to J. P. Morgan Company so the Hamburg Amerika Line could purchase -- at below face value -- 5.5 percent interest coupons on German debts from the Dawes and Young Plan Loans. The coupons, which Morgan had urged its investors to purchase before the Nazis began to make electoral gains, were set to mature in December 1939. [54] Since the German government would not pay its debt to U.S. bearers, this (legal) arrangement allowed J. P. Morgan to salvage something. [55] FBI agents also followed leads to Robert C. Mayer & Co., one of the five permit holders in the Ruckwanderer business. In April 1940, through a source close to Mayer & Co.'s president, August T. Gausebeck, it was learned that this company had funneled significant donations in small, untraceable five- and ten-dollar cash denominations to the notorious anti-Semitic radio priest, Father Charles Coughlin. [56] Mayer & Co. also expressed the intention to donate $500,000 to the 1940 Republican presidential campaign in small amounts through its employees in accordance with campaign finance laws. It appeared that the German government was secretly trying to make trouble for the Roosevelt administration.

The FBI's discovery of the Ruckwanderer mark program did not come until October 1940 -- four years after the program had begun. A memorandum originating from the FBI's Chicago field office reported that prosperous Chicago Germans were being urged to liquidate their dollars and to invest in special "Reichwander [sic] marks." The FBI's Chicago agents knew that Friedrich Heinicken, one of the most conspicuous Nazis in Chicago with close ties to the German consulate as well as to the pro-Nazi German American Bund, operated the Chicago office of a Ruckwanderer wholesaler, Hautz & Co. Upon searching Heinicken's office one night and studying the local account of Hautz & Co., the FBI discovered that many of Hautz & Co.'s checks were being written to the Chase National Bank in New York. [57]

The expected German victory in Europe increased money Row from wholesalers to Chase. "Representatives approach investors," FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was told in late October, "and indicate to them that Germany will undoubtedly win the war ... and that marks will undoubtedly increase many times in value ... " The news sparked immediate attention in Washington, where it was understood that the 1939 Neutrality Act, which prohibited loans and gifts to belligerent nations, was likely being violated. In addition, the Johnson Debt Default Act of 1934 prohibited loans and gifts to states defaulting on American-held debts. Hoover, Attorney General Robert Jackson, and Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau reacted immediately and an extensive investigation began. [58] W. S. Deveraux, Special Agent-in-Charge in Chicago, thought about purchasing Ruckwanderer marks himself until he discovered that the German Consulate would have to approve his application. [59] The real information was in New York, anyway. The entire picture would emerge only slowly, and a complete image would not emerge until after August 1941, when the Ruckwanderer case was put before a federal grand jury. [60]

Newly declassified FBI records reveal that the FBI had confidential help from officials within the Foreign Department of Chase National, specifically Carl Weis (Assistant Cashier in the Foreign Department) and Leo Kelly (Assistant Manager of the Foreign Department). Both men allowed FBI agents to examine files in the bank during certain evenings without the knowledge of other Foreign Department officials or other senior figures at the bank. [61] FBI agents were especially interested in very active Chase accounts of pro-German wholesalers and retailers who had roots in the German-American community. Hautz & Co., Hans Utsch & Co., and Amerop Travel Services were among the most active wholesalers, and they sent most of the Ruckwanderer applications they received to Chase National Bank.

Hans Utsch was a naturalized American citizen who remained well connected in Berlin financial circles. His commercial credit department was managed by Hans Richter, a former director at the]' Henry Schroder Bank, whose father was then a director at Dresdner Bank in Germany (an institution with its own dubious wartime past). [62] Utsch & Co.'s most recent venture was the financial backing of a new import export firm known as the Foram Management Corporation, which did business between South American companies and Germany. The president of Foram Management was none other than Roy Frazier Potts, the executive vice president of New York Overseas, who could evidently use his Rio connections. [63]

At the same time, Utsch was especially interested in the Ruckwanderer trade. He had tried and failed to become one of the permit holders in 1936, [64] but in May 1939, Utsch & Co. had purchased all stock in New York Overseas from Potts, thereby assuming 100 percent ownership and the potential to earn the lion's share of the 7 percent commissions on Ruckwanderer transfers that he managed. [65] Hoover concluded that "this man [Utsch] is a bad actor and runs several outfits involving clandestine Nazi activities, all of which have frozen funds ... He collects and sends money to Germany, and has been engaged in sending mining accessories to South America ... Utsch also sends stuff to all firms in South America that have been placed on the black list." [66] Throughout, Utsch angled for a monopoly of overseas business of the German American Bund, which included Ruckwanderers or others who sent gift remittances and packages to Germany.G7 Like Chase National Bank and J. Henry Schroder Bank, Hans Utsch & Co. would remain a significant New York financial entity after the war.

The FBI, however, was interested primarily in the individual Germans in the United States who had purchased or would purchase Ruckwanderer marks. To some degree this interest delayed the formation of a comprehensive picture and hindered the grand jury investigation of the entire trade. New York Special Agent-in-Charge B. E. Sackett reported to Hoover on November 23, 1940, that Chase National had about 3,500 Ruckwanderer applications on file dating from 1937. [68] Sackett informed his fellow Special Agents-in-Charge throughout the country: "In filing an application to purchase these German marks, it is necessary for the applicant to obtain an affidavit from the nearest German Consulate certifying to his acceptance by the German government to reestablish permanent residence on Germany ... " The application itself, explained Sackett, "is tantamount to an oath of allegiance to the German government." [69] Hoover agreed. After Germany and the United States were at war, over a year after the original discovery of the Ruckwanderer scheme, the FBI director noted the use of the assembled data. "The fact that these people applied for or actually purchased Rueckwanderer marks," he said, "is in itself a very strong indication of where their sympathies may lie," and "vigorous investigative effort ... will undoubtedly result in the ultimate internment of many of the alien purchasers of Rueckwanderer marks." [70]

In other words, the FBI investigation did not eliminate the Ruckwanderer program in the United States immediately after discovering it, nor did it try to do so. Though Hoover asked the Attorney General's office for a legal opinion as to whether the practice violated federal law, [71] the FBI's investigation focused on the counterintelligence value of the information garnered from Chase sources to smoke out Nazi spies or saboteurs. Virtually each and every purchaser of Ruckwanderer marks became the subject of an individual FBI surveillance file. By January 1941, nightly visits to the Chase bank by twenty-two special agents had resulted in a 281-page list of 2,800 purchasers all over the United States. The list was forwarded to every FBI field office from Albany to San Francisco. [72] This practice was repeated periodically with more names added to more lists, so that there were 7,300 names by May 1941. [73] Files were opened on each purchaser by the relevant field office, with the names also referred to local police "for appropriate investigative attention." [74] Local police were asked for background "with reference to any subversive activities in which [purchasers] may be involved." If relevant information were to turn up, then the FBI would keep the purchaser on another list "for possible future custodial detention." [75] Hoover added in late December 1940 that since naturalized purchasers ostensibly intended to leave the United States, then perhaps their American citizenship could be revoked or prevented, too. [76] Hoover complained in March 1942 that many individual cases had been wrongly closed based on local police investigations that had been "quite superficial." He ordered the field offices to review all case files of individuals who had purchased Ruckwanderer marks and to conduct their own investigations through the use of confidential informants. The Department of Justice saw matters similarly. After the German declaration of war on the United States, it informed Alien Enemy Hearing Boards that they were to take the purchases of Ruckwanderer marks into account when judging aliens because "a purchaser ... has made dollars immediately available to the German government in the United States and has transferred all or part of his savings to Germany." Thus, "it is reasonable to conclude that a purchaser of these marks ... has an interest in a German victory." [77]

In April 1942, FBI Assistant Director P.E. Foxworth asked for and received from Hoover a hundred additional agents to complete between 2,000 and 3,000 Ruckwanderer cases that had yet to receive sufficient attention in New York. Foxworth had estimated that 130 workdays would be needed simply to examine 3,500 un-copied applications taken the previous year from Robert C. Mayer and the Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst. [78] Regardless of workload, the FBI followed up each case. For the FBI, the lists "served as a very lucrative source of information in connection with the Internal Security Program." [79]

Was the information of use? Ruckwanderer information in many cases provided the first entree into more derogatory information on German aliens and naturalized Germans disloyal to the United States. [80] In Newark, for example, eleven Germans were arrested while celebrating Hitler's birthday in April 1942. [81] In August, the FBI raided 150 German homes "looking toward," as Special Agent-in-Charge J. F. Sears reported to Hoover, "the internment of alien purchasers and denaturalization of citizen purchasers, in accordance with your instructions." [82] Though thirty-five of the targets had already returned to Germany, sixty possessed contraband such as guns and Axis propaganda material, leading to denaturalization proceedings. [83] On a higher level, August T. Gausebeck of the Robert C. Mayer Company, who had sold Ruckwanderer marks while financing the broadcasts of Father Coughlin, was also interned as an enemy alien, though the Swiss government intervened on his behalf through the State Department to secure his release. [84]

By February 1944, the files of 547 would-be Ruckwanderers working in defense-related industries were forwarded to Army and Navy intelligence, and fifty-three of these were ordered discharged from their employment by the War Department. [85] The case of Heinrich Claus is not atypical. Claus, who had purchased a sizable sum ($5,000 worth) of marks through Hautz & Co. via Chase National, was foreman in the machine shop of the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation on Long Island, which built aircraft for the U.S. Navy. Blinded by potential commissions, Foreign Department officials at Chase National had never contemplated connections such as this. The FBI did. It forwarded such information to the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Department of State, and the Department of the Treasury. [86] Indeed, as early as July 1941 the War Department had reported that the Ruckwanderer mark business was one of the most important sources of foreign exchange used to pay for subversive activities (espionage and propaganda) in the United States and elsewhere. [87] Among the most famous internees were two of the eight German saboteurs who had arrived in the United States via submarine in June 1942. Both had purchased Ruckwanderer marks while in the country previously. [88]

By the fall of 1942, it became clear that about a third of the over 10,000 Germans who had bought Ruckwanderer marks had already returned to Germany to claim their new bank accounts. [89] But by February 1944, the FBI had apprehended 997 German aliens who had purchased Ruckwanderer marks. Of the 997 apprehended, 441 were jailed on the order of the Attorney General. [90] Thirty-five naturalized citizens of German origins had their citizenship revoked as a result of investigations that started with the lists of Ruckwanderer mark purchasers. [91]

The FBI's surveillance had a significant drawback. The Ruckwanderer trade continued for nine of its busiest months, from October 1940 to the executive order of June 1941 freezing German assets. The Justice Department surely could have moved against the Ruckwanderer mark scheme at any time while it was still in progress. Though a strike would have left the Bureau with far fewer names of possible subversives, it also would have stopped the Germans from building significant amounts of foreign exchange, to say nothing of commissions for Chase, Utsch, and the rest. By the day of the freezing order, Chase National itself had handled 4,588 Ruckwanderer applications, helping the German government to garner nearly $9 million in foreign exchange, while making $503,000 in commissions for itself and its subagents. Out of this amount, the FBI watched while the Germans garnered over $3.4 million through Chase National alone, paying that bank $237,000 in commissions. [92] The assumption might have been, however, that while more Germans would not walk into a closed trap, there would always be time to prosecute.

The Failure to Prosecute Chase National and its Associates

The possibility of a Department of Justice prosecution of Chase National and the rest of the Ruckwanderer consortium developed very slowly. The FBI asked the Attorney General's Office for legal opinions on the Ruckwanderer practice on December 7, 1940, and again on January 4, 1941. The Department of Justice did not respond until June 4, 1941, nearly six months after the original request. In the meantime, complaints arose within the Treasury Department that it was "shocking that nothing is being done by Justice." Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau drafted a letter to Attorney General Jackson saying that "the proportions of this problem appear enormous" and that since the practice violated the Johnson and Neutrality Acts, "the matter ought to be turned over, it seems to me, for grand jury action." [93] Hoover explained some of the potential difficulties: "Should any action be taken ... there would have to be a determination of who is responsible; that is ... as to what the responsibility is of the purchaser, what the responsibility of his agent, such as R. E. Hautz & Co., and what the responsibility of the bank, such as the Chase National Bank, in these transactions." [94]

To prove that the practice violated the Johnson and Neutrality Acts, the FBI had to determine whether the dollar sales constituted a loan to the German government. In April 1941, the Treasury Department reported that the Gold Discount Bank was indeed a complete Reichsbank subsidiary under the direction of the Reichsbank president himself. [95] The history of the practice was hard to determine, as well. Not until July 1941 -- after the executive freezing order -- did the FBI discover that the Ruckwanderer practice began in 1936, that it originated with the New York Overseas Corporation, and that other financial institutions such as J. Henry Schroder were involved. [96] Whether the Bureau fully comprehended at that time that the marks were paid out of blocked Jewish accounts is equally unclear. In any event, the Jewish connection was not mentioned before the grand Jury inquiry.

On May 12, 1941, Winthrop W Aldrich, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Chase National, addressed a letter to Morgenthau claiming that though "it is extremely important that American banks should cooperate ... with the Administration ... it is difficult, in the absence of action by the United States government to control assets owned by German, Italian, and Japanese nationals." In an attached memorandum explaining Chase National's business with regard to these states, Aldrich explained the Ruckwanderer marks business in the most innocuous terms: "We have received from German residents of the United States desirous of returning to Germany to take up permanent residence there, dollars which were credited to the account of the Deutsche Golddiskontbank for the purpose of conversion into marks to be paid to those emigrants upon their arrival to Germany." Aldrich failed to mention the recruitment of emigrants through wholesalers like Hautz and Utsch or Nazis such as Heinicken, let alone the commissions earned by Chase National by acting as an agent for the German government. Evidently he was completely unaware of the cooperation of his own subordinates at Chase National with the FBI. [97]
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

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Part 2 of 2

In June 1941, George A. McNulty, Chief of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division, finally reported that Attorney General Jackson considered the Ruckwanderer mark scheme a possible violation of federal law. A grand jury investigation, he announced, would ensue with a view toward the prosecution not of the purchasers of Ruckwanderer marks, but of the brokers. Legal opinions within the Justice Department focused on probable violations of the Johnson Act of 1934 and the Neutrality Act of 1939, both of which prohibited loaning money to those who had defaulted on financial obligations to the United States or to active belligerents, since the German government was in essence receiving a loan of dollars in return for a promise to pay back marks to the Ruckwanderer at some future date. [98] Conviction based on the Johnson Act would mean penalties of fines up to $10,000 or five years' imprisonment. Conviction under the Neutrality Act of 1939 would carry a penalty of $50,000 or five years' imprisonment. Each bank officer or broker involved was subject to the same penalty. [99]

On August 11, 1941, the Ruckwanderer mark case was presented to a federal grand jury for the Southern District of New York. The prosecution focused on the five permit holders, as well as the largest wholesalers such as Hautz & Co. and Hans Utsch & Co. [100] Subpoenas and search warrants were issued to officers and employees of more than twenty companies. Over seventy file cabinets of records were received immediately, including those of the Deutsche Handels-und Wirtschaftsdienst, stored in a private warehouse after the German principals had Red the country. A call was also issued for Justice Department officials who could read German. [101] The subpoena to Chase National was issued later and with special care so as not to expose the FBI informants Weis and Kelley. [102] After the discovery that five firms dealt in Ruckwanderer marks in return for straight commissions, prosecution of these dealers for violations of the 1917 Espionage Act and the 1938 Foreign Agents Act were considered, as well. Chase National and the others had clearly acted as agents of the German government without informing the Department of State, as was required by law. For a time, the Department of Justice considered a conspiracy charge, too. [103]

The FBI wanted very much to prosecute, since, as Hoover said, "the Bureau had put a tremendous amount of work in this case." The Justice Department moved to prosecute Chase and placed McNulty and Frederick Rarig, an Associate Attorney at the Trial Section, at the head of the prosecution team. Though McNulty and Rarig were under strong pressure from the Justice Department and the FBI to move quickly, Rarig, an eager twenty-five-year-old, needed little pressure. According to Treasury officials, he "was quite excited about the whole thing." [104] Rarig's brief on the issue argued passionately that "indictment and prosecution will ... serve the public purpose of demonstrating to appeasement-minded business interests that they cannot Rout the interests of a democratic government with impunity." [105] To Rarig, the prosecution of Chase was a matter of "high policy." [106] The State Department and Treasury Department quickly approved moving forward. The Treasury Department had already shut down Robert C. Mayer & Co. and seized its records while freezing the overseas activities of the travel agencies in question. [107]

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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C.

ADDRESS REPLY TO "THE ATTORNEY GENERAL" AND REFER TO INITIALS AND NUMBER WB:MNA:mhb

June 9, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

Re: Rueckwanderer

Reference is made to your memorandum of May 29, 1942, inquiring whether prosecution will or will not be undertaken in this case.

The Attorney General has examined the case and after conference with United States Attorney Correa, has decided that no prosecution will be had under the Johnson or Neutrality Acts.

The information gathered has been and will continue to be of great value in the enforcement of the laws relating to National Defense and I take this occasion to thank you for the excellent results obtained through your efforts.

Respectfully,

WENDELL BERGE,
Assistant Attorney General.


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JOHN EDGAR HOOVER
DIRECTOR
JH:EW
65-7264

Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.

February 25, 1944

MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR

Re: GERMAN FUNDS; MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION CONCERNING

Reference is made to the attached letter (65-7267-1885) dated February 12, 1944, from the New York Field Division in the above entitled matter, expressing the viewpoint that it would be "most undesirable and perhaps embarrassing to the Bureau should the Chase National Bank and its officers be indicted" for participation in the promotion and sale of Rueckwanderer Marks in the United States prior to the promulgation of the President's Freezing Order of June 14, 1941.

There was attached to this letter a memorandum from Special Agent Oliver D. Collier of the New York Field Division, reflecting briefly the results of information furnished to him by Mr. Frederick J. Rarig, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, to the effect that Mr. Rarig was contemplating further action in the Rueckwanderer Mark case. For your information, Mr. Rarig was in New York City to assist Mr. Bruno Schachner, Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in the preparation of a case against Anton Smit and Company, diamond dealers, which resulted in a conspiracy indictment being returned against the Chase National Bank of New York. The memorandum of Special Agent Collier also reflected briefly a summary of the Rueckwanderer Mark case and the possible subjects who would be involved should such prosecution be instituted.

In view of the attitude taken by the New York Field Division with respect to possible prosecution of the Chase National Bank, there is attached hereto, for your approval, a letter criticising the New York Field Division's viewpoint with respect to possible prosecution of the Chase National Bank.

There is also attached a memorandum setting forth the background and history of the Rueckwanderer Mark case.

Respectfully,

D.M. Ladd

Attachments


Left: Memorandum from the Assistant Attorney General to Hoover stating that the office will not take action against Chase National Bank for its involvement in the Ruckwanderer mark scheme (Berge to Hoover, 9 June 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1703, box 96). Above: Memorandum from FBI NY field office to the Attorney General stating that prosecution of Chase could be "embarrassing" to the FBI (Ladd memorandum to Hoover, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267- 87-1887, box 99).

Yet one man, Mathias Correa, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (where the grand jury was impaneled), objected to prosecution. Correa registered what were called "strenuous objections [not specifically justified] to any indictment of the Chase National Bank." To sidestep Correa's objections, McNulty and Rarig talked about moving the case from New York to Washington, D.C. [108] On June 9, 1942, however, Berge informed Hoover that after consultation with Correa, Attorney General Francis Biddle (appointed September 5, 1941, after Jackson became a Supreme Court Justice) had decided not to prosecute under the Johnson or Neutrality Acts. [109]

In 1944, Rarig, evidently on orders originating with Biddle himself, tried to re-open the prosecution of Chase Bank. Rarig again met with FBI agents of the New York field office. [110] But in February 1944, the FBI's New York field office, without the approval of headquarters, expressed the sentiment to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York that it would be "most undesirable and perhaps embarrassing to the Bureau should the Chase National Bank and its officers be indicted" since information "was obtained by groups of Agents of this office ... in the evening when members of the Foreign Department were not present." [111] The New York office did not wish to expose Weis or Kelly, whose cooperation with the FBI was still unknown to their superiors at the bank even after the grand jury investigation. [112]

Hoover was furious with the New York field office and with its attempt to influence policy. It was true, Hoover told New York Special Agent-in-Charge E. E. Conroy, that certain Chase officials had "... rendered valuable assistance ... by allowing our agents to review the records of the Foreign Department of the Bank in the evening for the purpose of preparing lists of individuals who had purchased ... Ruckwanderer marks." Evidence concerning the prosecution of Chase bank officials involved in the high end of the Ruckwanderer business was another matter. Here, Hoover said, the key evidence to be used at trial had come not from inside sources at Chase, but through the subpoena of testimony and documents before the grand jury. The grand jury inquiry had been under the purview of the U.S. Attorney's Office, not the FBI. In fact, the decision to prosecute or not was never within the purview of the FBI. "As you are well aware," Hoover chastised Conroy,

it has been a long established policy of the Bureau not to influence any discussions relating to prosecution, but to merely present the facts ... and from there let the chips fall where they may ... The Bureau, therefore, is unable to account for the consternation by your office in regard to possible prosecution of officials of the Chase National Bank ... unless overtures relating to compromises or promises regarding possible prosecution were made by Agents of your office who were engaged in procuring the lists of Ruckwanderer mark purchasers at Chase National Bank ... In view of the sentiments expressed by your office, which are unprecedented in Bureau procedure, the Bureau can only deduce ... that overtures of compromise relating to possible prosecution were made to ... officials of the Chase National Bank. [113]


Conroy quickly and emphatically denied that any deals had been made, but he did point out the following: Chase National was already under indictment for other unrelated violations of the June 1941 executive order on the freezing of funds. [114] The bank had chosen its lead attorney wisely. He was John D. Cahill, "one of the best lawyers in the country," according to the FBI, but more importantly, a former U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where the grand jury investigation of Chase had occurred. Cahill was thus well acquainted with the federal government's Ruckwanderer mark case and with the fact that the FBI had attained a great deal of information in secret with the cooperation of Chase officials. He also knew that some of this information had been shared with Army and Navy intelligence. On learning that the Justice Department was again considering prosecution, Cahill privately yet firmly apprised Department officials of his awareness that Chase officials had cooperated directly with the Bureau, as well as Army and Naval Intelligence. "It is not known," said Conroy, "... to what extent Mr. Cahill will make use of the circumstances," but Cahill had strongly indicated to the U.S. Attorney's Office that he would indeed do so. [115]

Thus, Hoover's expectation that only information attained by subpoena would be used in the prosecution was dashed. The secrecy of FBI sources and methods, to say nothing of Army Intelligence sources and methods, was now at stake. The Department of Justice decided that no FBI agents could be placed in a position where they might have to testify in open court. [116] Despite Hoover's own eagerness to see Chase National's officials prosecuted, he did not challenge this decision. The case simply died. Over a decade after Frederick Rarig's death in the 1980s, his wife remembered that the failure to prosecute the Ruckwanderer case was the biggest disappointment in her husband's life. [117]

In a supreme irony, Chase officials who had cooperated with the FBI had unwittingly protected other Chase executives who had cooperated with Nazi Germany. Thanks to Chase National's shrewd choice of attorneys, the extraordinary story of Chase National's simultaneous cooperation with the Nazi government and the FBI has remained mostly buried to this day.

_______________

Notes:

1. Chase's involvement is well known and was first made public during [he war. See Excerpt from Pearson and Allen Broadcast of Sunday Evening, 12 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 131, box 174, folder-Germany-Ruckwanderer Marks. See also "Travel Marks Led 923 into FBI Net," New York Times, 1 Nov. 1943. A superficial treatment of the issue is in Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy: An Expose of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949 (New York: Dell, 1984), 44-45. While a full account of American business dealings with Nazi Germany is lacking, a good account for Great Britain is Neil Forbes, Doing Business with the Nazis: Britain's Economic and Financial Relations with Germany 1931-1939 (Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2000).

2. For German imports and exports by country for 1939 alone see the secret report by the Statistisches Reichsamt, "Der Aussenhandel Deutschlands-Erganzungsheft 1 1939," NA, RG 242, T-71, roll 108, frames 611210ff. Information on US-Germany trade begins on frame 611301 (page 89 of report).

3. The law creating Reich Office for Foreign Exchange Control, dared 18 Dec. 1933, is in Germany, Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, Teil I, 1097. There were also twenty-seven local foreign exchange offices in Germany, known as Devisenstellen. The office went out of existence on 9 April 1938, when its functions were transferred back to the RWM. Schacht's policies and how they affected Jewish emigration from Germany are discussed in Albert Fischer, Hjalmar Schacht und Deutschlands "Judenfrage": der "Wirtschaftsdiktator" und die Vertreibung der Juden aus der deutschen Wirtschaft (Cologne: Bohlau, 1995), 104-223. See also Avraham Barkai, From Boycott to Annihilation: The Economic Struggle of German Jews, 1933-1943, trans. William Templer (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press, 1989), 59-63.

4. As per Runderlass 53, DSt., 16 Mar. 1935, reprinted and explained in Report by H. S. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 26.

5. These policies are explained in report by H.J. Bruninga, ibid., 24ff.

6. For a full explanation of blocked Jewish accounts see Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, rev. and definitive ed., vol. 1 (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985), 139-144. The prohibition against any German, Jewish or not, taking liquid assets out of Germany dated from August 1931 and aimed to thwart currency speculators. It remained in force after 1933 so that Jews wishing to emigrate from Germany could nor transfer their assets, lest the Reich have to pay in foreign currency for the amount of Reichsmarks taken abroad. Hilberg lists twelve methods by which emigrating German Jews could salvage something of their assets, but immigrants who did nor manage to take their liquid assets abroad lost them to blocked (Sperrmark) accounts. Local foreign exchange offices controlled these accounts, not their owners. The blocked mark accounts could be used by Jews for a few things, such as the purchase of German real estate or for credits to Aryans, so in theory and practice Jews could sell the blocked mark accounts, though at a significant loss, sometimes up to 80 percent. In certain cases, Jewish relief agencies purchased blocked mark accounts to pay for the emigration of Jews who had no financial means. See S. (Shalom) Adler-Rudel, Judische Selbsthilft unter dem Naziregime, 1933-1939: im Spiegel der Berichte der Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland (Tubingen: Mohr, 1974), 177-81. Generally, however, the German state came to control the vast majority of such accounts. See Barkai, From Boycott to Annihilation, 99-106, which points out that the Reich sold blocked marks for foreign currency first at 50 percent of the mark's value, and ultimately, by 1939, at 4 percent. In addition, Jews leaving Germany had to pay a flight tax of 25 percent on all assets worth more than RM 50,000. 7. Memorandum by Wendell Berge to the Attorey General, 30 Apr. 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-85-1803, box 98.

8. Biographical information on Pons is in Report by D. E. Goubleman, 22 Oct. 1941, NA, RG 65,65-7267-68-1337, box 93.

9. See his comments in "Reich Lures Many with Special Currency Rate," New York World-Telegram, 25 Aug. 1936. Cited in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88.

10. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, 12-13, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96. New York Overseas, in spite of its business, would steadily lose money. In April 1939, all shares were transferred to Hans Utsch and Co.

11. See NA-BDC, RG 242, NSDAP Zentralkartei, roll T162. Ziegra joined the party while still living in Rio de Janeiro.

12. $938,000 was paid against these 312 applications. Report by H. J. Btuninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65,65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 25-6.

13. The FBI did not notice the story until its full investigation into the maneI' in the summer of 1941. See Report by Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941; and Report by H.J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941; in NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88.

14. Decree No. 104 of 20 July 1936 issued by the German Minister of Economics, printed in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88, 53-5; Runderlass, Nr. 104/D. Sr., 20 July 1936, printed in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65,65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 37-8; for the 11 Aug. 1936 letter, see ibid., 41-2. The full German text is provided in Report by Collier, 11 Nov. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267- 68-1358, box 93.

15. The impression made by Hitler's Olympics the same summer had inspired Robert C. Mayer employee Hans Schlieper to join the Nazi Party. New York Overseas and Robert C. Mayer & Co. no longer exist. J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation, chartered in New York in 1929, took the name IBJ Whitehall Bank and Trust Company in January 1999 after merger deals in 1978 and 1993. The use of Schroeder as New York Overseas' bank of deposit had come at the behest of the German authorities, who insisted during the initial permit that New York Overseas transfer funds through a reputable bank in order to build confidence with Ruckwanderers. The president of Robert C. Mayer & Co. was August T. Gausebeck, a resident alien and Nazi Party member. See Report by H.J. Bruninga, 16 Sept. 1941, NA, RG 65,65-7267-64-1283, box 91.

16. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 25-6, 184.

17. There were about ninety subcontractors (wholesalers and retailers) in all, with about forty located in New York City. According to FBI figures, the busiest wholesalers were Hautz & Co. (New York and Chicago), Hans Utsch & Co. (New York), American Railway Express Co. (New York), Amerop Travel Service (New York), North German Lloyd (New York), Hamburg America Line (New York), and Weniger & Walter (Philadelphia). See Memorandum by P.E. Foxworth, 22 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-61-1204, box 90.

18. A copy of the forms over time are in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 27-9, 47-50, 67-68, 98-106.

19. See the numerous cases included in NA, RG 242, T-71, rolls 89-90, frames 593826-958.

20. Robert C. Mayer deposited the dollars it collected in the Gold Discount Bank's account in the Bank of Manhattan. Hans Utsch & Co., Amerop, and Deutsche Handels- und Wirtschaftsdienst also deposited a portion of their re-immigrant dollars there so that from July 1940 to January 1941, over $2.1 million in Gold Discount Bank foreign exchange was deposited. This was more than at Chase National during the same months. SAC B. E. Sackett to Hoover, 25 Feb. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-29-650, box 76. The FBI was incorrect, though, when assuming in April 194 J that the Bank of Manhattan was actually in the Ruckwanderer mark trade. From January 1937 to March 1941, the total dollars paid in Ruckwanderer transactions was over $6.79 million. See Hoover to Berle, Hoover to Morgenthau, 14 Apr. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-39-812, box 81; Hoover to Berle, Morgenthau, 17 May 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-42-864, box 82.

21. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 137ff.

22. Ibid., 44ff.

23. Ibid., 139ff. In August 1937, Dr. Wilmanns was in Referat A6 of the Reichsstelle fur Devisenbewirtschaftung, in charge of legal questions concerning foreign exchange. See Reichsstelle fur Devisenbewirtschaftung, 7 Sept. 1937, NA, RG 242, T-71, roll 80.

24. Letters printed in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 44-5.

25. E.O. Detlefsen, Foreign Department, Chemical Bank and Trust, to Hermann Kollmar, 21 Sept. 1936, photostat enclosure in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88, 70. These photostats were made available by confidential informant H. W. Gottwald of the Chemical Bank and Trust Foreign Department.

26. Kollmar to E.O. Detlefsen, Foreign Department, Chemical Bank and Trust, 28 Aug. 1936, photostat enclosure in ibid.

27. Memorandum by H. W. Gottwald, Foreign Department, Chemical Bank and Trust, I Oct. 1937, Photostat enclosure to Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 4.

28. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 111-12.

29. Ibid., 191-2.

30. Ibid., 174-5.

31. Ibid., 185.

32. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, 56ff,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96. Dr. Daniel in September 1937 was the Gruppcnleiter of Group A of the Reichsstelle fur Devisenbewirtschaftung and was therefore the superior of Marwede and Willmanns. Group A handled foreign exchange control and money and capital exchange; see Reichsstellc fUr Devisenbewirtschaftung, 7 Sept. 1937, NA, RG 242, T-71, roll 80.

33. M. Stoltz, Berlin Office, J. Henry Schroeder to New York Office, J. Henry Schroeder, 9 Feb. 1938, quoted in report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96,64-65.

34. Letter of 9 Feb. 1938 quoted in ibid., 56ff.

35. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 65.

36. Ibid., 69.

37. This figure was greater than the Jewish emigration for the previous five years combined, and the financial loophole wherein Jews were allowed to rake goods and merchandise valued up to RM 1000 and to pay for passage in German currency was closed in the wake of Kristallnacht. Schacht, still Reichsbank President, worked on plans after Kristallnacht to make possible the emigration of 400,000 Jews in three to five years, with Jewish assets being retained by Germany, save that fraction needed to pay for emigration itself. Jewish organizations abroad understood the aim. The Jewish Central Information Office in Amsterdam (an organization of German-Jewish immigrants) commented: "German governmental offices are sparing no effort to utilize the moneys pilfered from the Jews to ... expand German export trade and reduce German foreign debts ... It is of the greatest importance that other countries, in full knowledge of the German policy of plunder, voice their resolute opposition to such policies." See Barkai, From Boycott to Annihilation, 138-146.

38. The meeting is discussed in a letter dated 5 Dec. 1938 from J. Henry Schroder's Berlin representative, Hans Zeuner, to the New York office, printed in Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 71.

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid., 76-7.

41. Report by H. J. Bruninga, May 20, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 72. Marwede, the FBI would later surmise, exaggerated these percentages in order to pressure the five permit holders into drumming up more business. The FBI, on investigating the matter in 1942, found evidence of but a tiny number of direct applications. P.E. Foxworth to Hoover, August 18, 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1727, box 98.

42. Minutes of meeting of 15 Feb. 1939, printed in ibid., 78-9; also in NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

43. Memorandum from Rarig to McNulty, 10 Jan. 1942, NA, in ibid.

44. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 105-6. On Chase totals from 1936 to 1941, see also Hoover to Berge, 10 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60-1173, box 90.

45. Foxworth to Hoover, 21 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-77-1663, box 96.

46. See the reports on individual purchasers in NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

47. Memorandum to the Attorney General, 30 Apt. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-85-1803, box 98.

48. On the other hand, the German government responded to the freezing order by freezing American assets in Germany in a decree of 26 June 1941. Reichswirtschaftsminister V Dev. 6/19401/41, 30 June 1941, NA, RG 242, T-71, roll 81, frames 583215-7.

49. Memorandum by Gass, Division of Monetary Research, 16 Jan. 1941, NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

50. Deutsche Golddiskontbank to Walter Funk, Nr. 23463, 31 Dec. 1943, NA, RG 242, T-71, roll 82, frames 584347-8.

51. As mentioned above, The New York World-Telegram ran stories on New York Overseas in 1936. When questioned by the FBI in 1941, J. Henry Schroder Bank Vice President Ernest H. Milei claimed that in 1936 the matter was freely discussed with members of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and with Erwin G. May, the Treasury attache there. T.J. Donnegan to Hoover, 21 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60-1198, box 90.

52. Captain E. B. Nixon, Office of Naval 1ntelligence to E.A. Tamm, FBI, 30 Sept. 1939, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-1-1, box 66.

53. Memorandum for E.A. Tamm, 5 Dec. 1939,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-1-12, box 66; Memorandum for the File, 7 Dec. 1939, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-1-23, box 66; memorandum of 26 Sept. 1940,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-14-291, box 70.

54. On J. P. Morgan's involvement with the Dawes Plan, see Stephen Schuker, The End of French Predominance in Europe: The Financial Crisis of 1924 and the Adoption of the Dawes Plan (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976).

55. Report by Special Agent Joseph A. Genau, December 29, 1939, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-2-51, box 66; SAC P.E. Foxworth to J. Edgar Hoover, 2 Jan. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-2-54, box 66.

56. Gausebeck was a German citizen and resident alien in the United States. See Hoover to Henry Morgenthau, 10 May 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-5-97x, box 67; memorandum by Hoover, 9 May 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-5-102x, box 67; memorandum for Tamm, 17 May 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-5-104x, box 67. Gausebeck is also known for his lobbying against the Wagner-Rogers Bill of 1939, which aimed to bring 20,000 Jewish children to the United States. See David Aretha, ed. The Holocaust Chronicle I (Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 2000), 157-8.

57. FBI Chicago to Director, SACs Milwaukee, New York, 26 Aug. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65- 7267-17-398, box 71; Memorandum of29 Oct. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-17-389, box 71. Among Hautz's more important c1ients was Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, head of the German Auslands Institute. On Heinicken's Nazi contacts, see Memorandum of 5 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-21-479, box 72. Later the Treasury Department incorrectly claimed that it tipped off the FBI on the Ruckwanderer scheme. See J. C. Wiley to Morgenthau, 5 Mar. 1941, NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

58. Memorandum for the Director, 28 Oct. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-17-399, box 71; Tamm to Hoover, 1 Nov. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-17-415x, box 71.

59. Memo to Hoover, 20 Nov. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-19-436, box 72.

60. Report by Collier, 5 Nov. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-68-1358 box 93.

61. See Foxworth to Hoover, 9 July 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1709, box 96.

62. Johannes Bahr, Der Goldhandel der Dresdner Bank im zweiten Weltkrieg (Leipzig: Kiepenheuer, 1998); Michael Hepp, Deutsche Btlnk und Dresdner Bank: Gewinne aus Raub, Enteignung und Zwangsarbeit 1933-1944 (Bremen: Sriftung fur Sozialgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts, 1999).

63. See for example Memorandum from Rubenstein to Tamm, 30 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-23-549x, box 73, which describes arrangements struck with bank employees to photograph forms and receipts; Report by CA. Herring, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-24-573, box 74,7; Report by A. H. Gunsel, 24 Jan. 1941,NA, RG 65, 65- 7267-27-604, box 75; Report by A. H. Gunsel, 9 Apr. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-37-776, box 80.

64. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 45.

65. Potts sold all shares to Utsch because New York Overseas was losing money. New York Overseas kept its separate identity from Hans Utsch & Co., but moved its offices to 29 Broadway, where Hans Utsch & Co. was located. Utsch kept Hans Ziegra as the nominal president of New York Overseas because of his Berlin connections. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 14-15. On the export of strategic material to Germany and Japan from Brazil, see Sumner Welles to Morgenthau, 30 Apr. 1941, NA, RG 131, General Correspondence, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

66. Hoover to SAC New York, 10 Oct. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-65-1289, box 92. Previously released documents concern the financial relationship between Hans Utsch & Co. and Robert Hautz & Co. with the German American Bund and the desire of both firms to conceal the full extent of the relationship. See Hautz & Co. memo to Fred Heinicken, 1 Nov. 1938, NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

67. For this complicated relationship, see Report by H.J. Bruninga, 20 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-78-1665, box 96, 117ff.

68. Sackett to Hoover, 23 Nov. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-19-453x, box 72; Sackett to Hoover, 3 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-19-458, box 72.

69. B.E. Sackett to SACs, 6 Jan. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-74-1519, box 95.

70. Hoover to SACs, 30 Mar. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-74-(1531-1577), box 95. Hoover to SAC New York, 21 Apr. 1942,65-7267-74-1602, box 95.

71. Memorandum to the Attorney General, 7 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-726-21-479, box 72. In a memorandum, Hoover listed the five biggest wholesalers, including Hautz & Co. and Utsch & Co., noted that dollar transactions to Chase for Ruckwanderer marks from July to October 1940 totaled about $1.6 million dollars, and pointed out that "large sums of American capital can be immediately transferred [to] the German Government in this manner." See, Hoover to the Attorney General and to the Treasury Secretary, 27 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-23-545, box 73.

72. Report by CA. Herring, 4 Jan. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-24-573, box 74.

73. Report by CA. Herring, 19 Mar. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-35-74 J, box 80; on the Bank of Manhattan Ruckwanderer files, Report by H.J. Bruninga of 9 May 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-42-864, box 82; Memorandum from Rubenstein to Foxworth, 12 May 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-45-916x, box 84; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941, NA, RG 65, 65- 7267-51-1018, box 87.

74. See for example SAC B. E. Sackett to Hoover, 28 Jan. 1941,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-26-592, box 75.

75. Sackett letter of Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-19-458, box 72.

76. Hoover Memorandum of26 Dec. 1940, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-23-551x, box 73. By May 1942, the Department of Justice had made the purchase of Ruckwanderer marks a chief criteria in cases involving the revocation of U.S. citizenship and repatriation to Germany. See Berge to Hoover, 23 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-79-1668, box 96. R.C. Suran, (SAC Cincinnati) to Hoover, 2 June 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-79-1678, box 96. The DOJ prepared questions in March 1942 so that Enemy Alien Hearing Boards and courts (for naturalized citizens) could determine the true intent of the purchaser. See Berge to Hoover, 26 Mar. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1697, box 96.

77. Edward J. Ennis, (Director, Enemy Alien Control Unit) memorandum to U.S. Attorneys and Members of Alien Enemy Hearing Boards, Circular 3651, 7 Mar. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-79, box 96.

78. Foxworth to Hoover, 14 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1593, box 95; Foxworth to Hoover, 24 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1623, box 95; Foxworth to Ladd, 2 May 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-77-1650, box 96; Hoover to SAC New York, May 9, 1942, ibid.

79. Memorandum by Horn, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99.

80. Strickland memorandum to Ladd, 2 May 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-77-1650, box 96.

81. Strickland memorandum to Ladd, 22 Apr. J 942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1621 x, box 95.

82. Sears to Hoover, 12Aug. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1725, box 98.

83. For publicity see The Philadelphia Record, 12 Aug. 1942; The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12 Aug. 1942. See also D.M. Ladd memorandum to Hoover, 12 Aug. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267- 84-1730, box 98.

84. Gausebeck, who testified for the grand jury and would have been a key defendant in any Ruckwanderer mark case, was allowed to leave the country and return to Germany. Two other possible defendants allowed to leave thanks to Swiss intervention were Hermann F. Jahn of the Hamburg Amerika Line and Eugene C. Rieflin of Hans Lloyd International Commercial Travel Service. Foxworth to Hoover, 1 May 1942, and Hoover to Berle, 13 May 1942 both in NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1635, box 95.

85. Hoover to SACs, 11 Nov. 1943, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1872, box 99. Memo by Horn, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99.

86. Memorandum by P.E. Foxworth, 22 June 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-61-1204, box 90.

87. Military Intelligence Division also pointed our that the Gestapo raised dollar exchange through the ransoming of Jews who had family in the Unites States. Lt. Col. S.V. Constant, Acting AC of S, G-2, Memo of 16 July 1941. NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60-1187, box 90.

88. "List of Nazi Mark Purchasers Leads FBI to Arrest 923," The Washington Post, 1 Nov. 1943.

89. This meant denaturalization for naturalized citizens. By October 1943, 30 of the 119 naturalized Germans who had been denaturalized had purchased Ruckwanderer marks. Hoover to Berge, 8 Sept. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1747, box 98; Berge to Hoover, 28 Sept. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1759, box 98; Hoover to Berge, 15 Oct. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1765, box 98; Hoover to SACs 11 Nov. 1943, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87- 1872, box 99.

90. Strickland memorandum to Ladd, 18 Sept. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1752, box 98. Strickland memorandum to Ladd, 21 Apr. 1943, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-84-1856, box 98; NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1872, box 99.

91. Memo by Horn, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99. Between 14 March and 14 June 1941 alone, Chase and its sub-agents such as Hans Utsch & Co. pocketed over $130,000 in commissions from the German government. Report by H. J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-51-1018, box 87. This seems to have been the first realization by the FBI that Chase itself was earning commissions on Ruckwanderer mark transactions; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88.

92. Report by H. J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941, Report by H. J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88, 7a.

93. Memorandum from J.C. Wiley to Morgenthau, 5 Mar. 1941, NA, RG 131, General Correspondence, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks; Morgenthau to Jackson, draft, ibid. By this rime, Treasury estimated that the FBI had already traced between $10 and $12 million from Germans in the United States to German government accounts, in addition to $8 million in the food package business. See also Morgenthau's enclosed memorandum to Jackson dared 7 Mar. 1941, on the applicability of the Johnson and Neutrality Acts, ibid. The memorandum was requested by Hoover himself.

94. Hoover Memorandum to the Attorney General, 11 Jan. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-26- 579, box 75.

95. Klaus to Rubenstein, 5 Apr. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-39-790, box 81. 1be Gold Discount Bank was originally founded in 1924 to link the internal Rentenmark, which was issued to end the great inflation, to the world's foreign exchange markets. See the long explanatory report on the Gold Discount Bank by Carl A. Herring, 22 May 1941, NA, RG 65,65-7267-45-901, box 84. In 1940, Walter Funk was President of both the Reichsbank and the Gold Discount Bank, as well as Reich Economics Minister. This was considered the definitive report on the issue and Hoover forwarded ir to the Treasury Department and the Attorney General in June.

96. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 7 July 1941; Report by H.J. Bruninga, 4 June 1941, all found in NA, RG 65, 65-7267-54-1052, box 88.

97. Aldrich was the son of Senator Nelson Aldrich (R-RI) and brother-in-law of John D. Rockefeller. Aldrich to Morgenthau, 12 May 1941, NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks.

98. Memorandum by George A. McNulty, Special Asst. to the Attorney General, to Wendell Berge, 23 May 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60-1157, box 90.

99. Memorandum by P.E. Foxworth, 22 June 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-61-1204, box 90.

100. Rubenstein to Foxworth, 24 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60-1154, box 90.

101. Memorandum for P.E. Foxworth from Rubenstein, 5 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60- 1149, box 90; Hoover to Morgenthau and Berle, 10 July 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-60- (1171-2), box 90; Rubenstein to Foxworth, 13 Aug. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-61-1230, box 90; S.S. Rubenstein to P.E. Foxworth, 19 Aug. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-62-1242, box 91.

102. Foxworth to Hoover, 9 July 1942,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1709, box 96. The FBI was still using Vice President Sherrill Smith as a confidential source on the tracing of German consular accounts even during the grand jury investigation. See Foxworth to Hoover, 17 Nov. 1941, A, RG 65, 65-7267-69-1389, box 93.

103. Penalties for Espionage Act violations included fines up to $5,000 or five years in jail. See Report by Collier, 11 Nov. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-68-1358, box 93; J.C. Strickland memorandum to Ladd, 1 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-74-1578, box 95; Berge to Hoover, 4 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 65. 65-7267-74-1585, box 95.

104. Report by H.J. Bruninga, 24 Oct. 1941, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-67-1322, box 92. See also Berge to Bernard Bernstein, Associate Counsel, Treasury Department, 18 Apr. 1942,NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany: Ruckwanderer Marks; Morgenthau to Biddle, April 14, 1942, ibid; Memo of 12:30 PM, 8 Apr. 1942, ibid.

105. Memorandum from Rarig to McNulty, 10 Jan. 1942,NA, RG 131, box 174, File-Germany- Ruckwanderer Marks.

106. Ibid.

107. Memorandum by Bernard Bernstein, 2 Feb. 1942, ibid.; Bernstein to Samuel Klaus, 18 Aug. 1941, ibid.

108. F.D. Vechery Memorandum to Ladd, 26 Feb. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-74-1525, box 95; D. M. Ladd memorandum to Hoover, 24 Apr. 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-75-1625, box 95; Memorandum by Horn, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99. There was some skepticism within the Treasury Department as to whether senior officials could be prosecuted or whether "the case will ... be confined to the minor officials within Chase Bank who ran the Rueckwanderer business." Yet these minor officials were indeed senior names within the Foreign Department such as Kuhlman, Barth, and Rovensky. Memo by Quint, 31 Mar. 1942, NA, RG 131, box 174, File Germany-Ruckwanderer Marks.

109. Berge to Hoover, 9 June 1942, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1703, box 96.

110. Memorandum by Horn, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99.

111. SAC E.E. Conroy to Hoover, 12 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1885, box 99. Ladd memorandum to Hoover, 25 Feb. 1944, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1887, box 99.

112. Foxworth to Hoover, 9 July 1942.NA, RG 65, 65-7267-80-1709, box 96.

113. Hoover to SAC New York, 2 Mar. 1944,NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1885, box 99.

114. The case was United States v. Leonard J. A. Smit, Chase National Bank, et al. and involved Smit's sale of diamonds to the Germans with the help of Chase officials.

115. Conroy to Hoover, 10 May 1944, NA, RG 65,65-7267-87-1890, box 99.

116. Ladd to Mumford, 12 Apr. 1945, NA, RG 65, 65-7267-87-1907, box 99.

117. 2000 IRE Awards entry form for NBC Dateline, "Mark of Dishonor?" attained from Dateline NBC, 3.
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

Postby admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:59 am

Part 1 of 2

8. The Ustasa: Murder and Espionage
by Norman J. W Goda

A NUMBER OF U.S. INTELLIGENCE RECORDS declassified under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998 provide new evidence and insight into the activities of officials of the Independent State of Croatia, a wartime ally of Nazi Germany. Under the leadership of Ante Pavelic, the Ustasa (oo-sta-she) regime in Croatia persecuted and carried out atrocities against Jews and Serbs while maintaining amicable relations with the Vatican. At the end of the war, the Ustasa regime collapsed, but Pavelic, after a number of mysterious episodes, was able to escape to Argentina in 1948. Meanwhile the United States Army used Father Krunoslav Draganovic, a senior Ustasa functionary who had helped suspected war criminals to escape from Italy after the war, as an agent against the Communist government of Yugoslavia.

Background: The Ustasa and the War

Ante Pavelic began his career as a Croatian separatist in the multi-ethnic, Serb-dominated Yugoslav kingdom established after World War 1. Pavelic went into exile in 1929, when King Alexander proclaimed a royal dictatorship in Yugoslavia. In 1930, at age forty, Pavelic founded the Croatian Liberation Movement -- also known as the Ustasa ("rebels") -- a group of Croatian emigres pledged to conspiracy and terrorism in the aim of an independent Croatia. The Ustasa received financial and logistical support from Fascist Italy and Hungary, both enemies of Yugoslavia that expected to gain territorially if that state were destroyed. [1] The most famous prewar Ustasa success was the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in October 1934 in Marseilles -- an attack that also killed French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou. Sheltered in Mussolini's Italy, which refused to extradite him, Pavelic never stood trial. Throughout 1940, Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano schemed with Pavelic for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in return for long-coveted territories on the Adriatic. After the Germans seized control of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Pavelic, with the help of German agents in Zagreb and of Mussolini personally, was installed as the Chief of State (Poglavnik) of the Independent State of Croatia -- an enlarged country that, despite territorial concessions to Italy, consisted of Croatia itself, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and portions of Dalmatia. [2]

Pavelic and his Ustasa cohorts immediately began a process of "ethnic cleansing." In a blizzard of new laws promulgated from April to July 1941, Serbs (who represented 30 percent of the new state's population), Jews, and Gypsies -- along with their property -- were denied legal protections in the new state.3 Croatia was to be completely emptied of Orthodox Serbs, through forced conversion, forced emigration, or murder. More than 100,000 Serbs were forcibly expelled without their property beginning in the spring of 1941. Thousands more fled on their own accord. Massacres of Serbs began less than three weeks after the proclamation of the Independent State. According to the most careful and least polemical estimates for the entirety of the war, between 330,000 and 390,000 Orthodox Serbs (including Orthodox clerics) were murdered, and roughly 32,000 Jews were killed either directly by the Ustasa or through delivery to the Nazis. [4] In the concentration camp system of Jasenovac, consisting of five camps in all, 42,000 to 52,000 Serbs and 8,000 to 20,000 Jews were murdered. [5]

Ustasa methods were so lawless and chaotic that Italian and German officials criticized them. The Ustasa had triggered broad Partisan resistance that jeopardized German economic interests and the safety of ethnic Germans living in Croatia. Yet Adolf Hitler refused to curb the Ustasa and registered no complaints in his meetings with Pavelic in June 1941 and September 1942. In the first meeting, Hitler advised Pavelic that a policy of national intolerance in Croatia "had to be pursued for fifty years" if Croatia were to become "really stable." [6] And in 1942, Hitler continued to promise a free hand to Pavelic's Ustasas to continue a war of extermination.

As German power in the Balkans collapsed in 1945, so did that of the Ustasa. Its leadership, including Pavelic, fled to Austria in early May, hoping to escape the reach of the Partisans under Josip Broz Tito, against whom they hoped to fight another day. Tito's regime was unforgiving to Nazi and collaborationist war criminals. General Alexander Lohr, the Commander of German forces in southeastern Europe, was tried as a war criminal and executed in 1946. Alojzije Stepinac, the Archbishop of Zagreb, was tried the same year and sentenced to sixteen years at hard labor. [8] In May 1945, the Partisans annihilated thousands of Croatian refugees after their surrender to Partisan forces by British authorities in Austria, though the numbers cannot be precisely established. [9]

New Information on Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb

The Catholic Church's special bond with Croatia began in the late fifteenth century, when Croats formed the Christian barrier to Ottoman expansion into Austria and Italy itself. In the early twentieth century, leading Catholic functionaries in the region vicwed Eastern religious influence and Communism as new threats, so the Vatican maintained a close relationship with the loyal Catholics of the Ustasa regime. Most scholars who have written on the Church in Croatia during World War II have shown that most Croatian clerics vicwed the Serbs as schismatics and the Jews as foreigners; many clerics were even active accomplices in Ustasa crimes against Serbs and Jews. Even on occasions when bloody Ustasa excesses triggered clerical alarm, such crimes never caused a church rupture with the state. Despite the fact that no de jure relations existed (the Vatican did not recognize states created in wartime), de facto relations were established quickly between the Vatican and Zagreb. Historian Michael Phayer has recently confirmed that the Vatican knew of Ustasa atrocities in detail. Yet despite its discomfort, Rome made no public protest, for as one senior Vatican official said, "Croatia is a young state [and] youngsters often err because of their age." Pavelic was even received by Pope Pius XII in a de facto act of recognition in May 1941. [10]

Equally controversial was the stance of Croatia's senior cleric, the Archbishop of Zagreb, Monsignor Alojzije Stepinac. After his arrest by Tito's regime, Stepinac was the chief defendant in a broadly publicized and one-sided show trial in Zagreb in October 1946. Stepinac was charged with treason, and specifically, with welcoming, sympathizing with, and collaborating with the Ustasa regime, particularly in the persecution of Serbs. Another charge involved plotting with the Ustasa and other reactionary elements to overthrow the "people's government." The fact that Stepinac greeted Pavelic when he arrived in Croatia from exile in April 1941, that he had attended government functions in which Ustasa and German dignitaries were present, and that he had served as military vicar to the Ustasa regime did not help his defense, [11] nor did his refusal in court to answer many questions while providing curt answers to others. Forced conversions, massacres, and the like, he said bluntly, all occurred without his approval, and his conscience, he said repeatedly, was clear. The court could do with him what it liked. And indeed it did. [12]

In subsequent years, Stepinac's reputation in the non-Croatian parts of Yugoslavia has not improved.13 Outside Yugoslavia, accounts more sympathetic to the Archbishop appeared in the years immediately following the trial, including two that received official Vatican approval: Fiorello Cavalli's Il processo dell'Arcivescovo di Zagabria (1947) and Richard Pattee's The Case of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac (1953). Both argue that during the war Stepinac had tried to curb Ustasa excesses. They include in his defense several of his wartime sermons and certain letters to the Ustasa authorities and even to the German Plenipotentiary in Zagreb, Edmund Glaise-Horstenau. [14]

Despite their postwar political context of Vatican anti-Communism, these published documents remain instructive in attempting to understand the ambiguity of Stepinac's position in Croatia during the war. Though the Archbishop never broke with the Ustasa leadership, he was disturbed enough by its brutality and inhumanity to say as much on a number of occasions. But what did the Archbishop's statements really mean? Was Stepinac simply a bit bolder than his superiors in the Vatican while supporting the Croatian state in principle through his continued service? Israeli historian Menachem Shelah argues, based on these documents, that Stepinac did not disapprove of the state's aims, only its methods. [15] The most recent account by the late Balkan historian Jozo Tomasevich notes that Stepinac's protests to Pavelic were easy for the government to disregard and thus were effortlessly ignored. Stepinac's arguments, Tomasevich adds, only became impassioned in October 1943, when the Germans shot his own brother as a Partisan. [16] Stepinac's biographer, Stella Alexander, is more charitable, arguing that "it was some time before [Stepinac] could bring himself to believe the worst about [the Ustasa]." He was "a conscientious and brave man, of deep piety and considerable intelligence but with a blinkered world vicw ... In the end one is left feeling that he was not quite great enough for his role." [17] Phayer reaches a conclusion with similar nuance. "In comparison with other eastern European church leaders," he says, "Stepinac showed courage and insight in his actions." On the other hand, Phayer concludes that Stepinac's responses remained limited and belated because both "the Holy See and Stepinac wanted to see a Catholic state succeed in Croatia." [18]

OSS records declassified under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act add important details to this story. Early on, the OSS depended on British reports to follow Ustasa excesses as they were occurring. "There is a good deal of killing by Ustasa bands," said one newly declassified British report from the fall of 1941, which also noted that "the Croats intend to expel in all 2,000,000 Serbs from Croatia." [19] By 1942, the OSS had developed a number of its own sources from Croatia, including members of the Pavelic government who had become disillusioned and fled, members of the Catholic clergy within Croatia, and diplomats who had served in Zagreb and still maintained contacts there. [20]

One of the most important OSS sources was Monsignor Augustin Juretic, a Croatian Catholic priest. Before Germany's invasion of Yugoslavia, Juretic had worked under the Archbishop of Belgrade. Into 1942, he served the Catholic Episcopal Conference in the Independent State of Croatia. On the urging of Archbishop Stepinac himself, Juretic left Croatia for good in September 1942. He settled in Switzerland, where he remained until his death in 1954. Before the war, Juretic was sympathetic to Vlatko Macek's moderate nationalist Croatian Peasant's Party, which had favored greater Croatian autonomy within Yugoslavia through democratic means. He was very uneasy with the Ustasa. Once in Switzerland, Juretic served as an intelligence source, receiving secret envoys from Zagreb and then reporting on Croatian affairs to Macek's followers within the Yugoslav government-in-exile in London.

Juretic made several of his reports available to the Allies, too. One of these, a lengthy written report by Juretic on June 10, 1942, was described recently by Tomasevich. This June 1942 ''Juretic Report" revealed to the Allies the extent of Ustasa atrocities, particularly at the Jasenovac camp. "The concentration camp at Jasenovac," Juretic wrote, "is a real slaughterhouse. You have never read anywhere -- not even under the GPU or Gestapo -- of such horrible things as the Ustasa commit there ... The story of Jasenovac is the blackest page of the 'Ustashi' regime, because thousands of men have been killed there." [21]

A new fifteen-page report has now come to light. [22] Juretic wrote "The Catholic Episcopate in Croatia" in French in June 1943 and relayed it to the ass in December specifically for the eyes of Allen Dulles. [23] Juretic's report makes no secret of its aim, namely the maintenance of Archbishop Stepinac's reputation: "The brief expose ... has no other goal [than to] refute ... erroneous and tendentious opinions, which, in these painful times ... [make it difficult to] achieve the tasks, which fall on to [the Archbishop] in accordance with his educational and pastoral mission."

The report contains short and long excerpts from a number of Stepinac's sermons and as well as letters from Stepinac to Croatian government officials from 1941 to 1943, all of which question and attack the regime's persecution of other races, religions, and nationalities. Most of the statements by Stepinac included in "The Catholic Episcopate" are not new, having been published by Cavalli or Pattee five decades ago and quoted at length by Shelah, Tomasevich, and others. Parts are new, however, and the report as a whole, which contains editorial comments by Juretic, reveals fascinating trends. First, it is difficult to imagine that whole texts of Stepinac's sermons and private correspondence with Ustasa Interior Minister Andreija Artukovic, among others, reached Juretic without the approval of the Archbishop himself. Stepinac had sent Juretic abroad in the first place. Stepinac probably intended for Croatian leaders in exile to see his statements, and for the British and Americans to see them, too.

It is hard to say exactly why Stepinac would make known to the enemies of the Croatian government his moral objections to that same government. Perhaps he was not convinced that the Ustasa regime in Croatia would last. Perhaps he hoped to confirm a respectable place for the Catholic Church in the minds of Croatians and other Yugoslavs living abroad. The leading Catholic publication in the Croatian language, Katholiki List, was taken over by the government when Pavelic came to power, thereby becoming a state rather than a church organ, and the state press even criticized papal encyclicals and pronouncements on a number of occasions (a hitherto unfamiliar fact which needs further study). [24] Understanding that his powerful moral position outweighed his far lesser capacity to alter the murderous actions of the present regime, perhaps the Archbishop simply wanted to go on record before the wider world. Alexander has already shown that Stepinac was dismayed by criticisms of him in 1941 and 1942 broadcasts by the BBC. He was also familiar with the tools of espionage, having knowingly allowed a British wireless radio setleft by a Croatian Jew in 1941 -- to operate from within his bishopric. Alexander also discovered that Stepinac had met five times starting in April 1942 with Lieutenant Stanislav Rapotec of the Royal Yugoslav Army and Yugoslav government-in-exile. Smuggled into Croatia via British submarine in January, Rapotec met with the Archbishop after hearing his praises from underground Serb and Jewish figures. In their meetings, Stepinac spoke wistfully of a new federared postwar Yugoslav state as advocated by Macek's followers. [25] If Stepinac wanted his opinions on the discrepancies between Christian teaching and Ustasa policies known to a broader audience, which is likely, then Juretic provided an excellent channel.

"The Catholic Episcopate in Croatia" reveals a set of general humanist ideals noteworthy for its breadth amidst chaos. Stepinac, to be sure, remained on very safe religious and political ground in his sermons -- he spoke of Ustasa crimes only in the vaguest sense and he conveyed his disagreements publicly within the context of Holy Scripture. It was clear, though, that he rejected any ideology, from the left or right, which on the basis of race, religion, or class degraded the dignity and rights of the individual. In accordance with scripture, the Fascism of Hitler and Pavelic and Communism of Stalin and Tito were equally abhorrent. In one of many condemnations of racism, Stepinac said the following on the Feast of Christ the King on October 25, 1942:

We affirm then that all peoples and races descend from God. In fact, there exists but one race. Its genealogy is explained in the Book of Genesis, where it is written why the hand of God built the first man from the dust of the earth, and that He inspired to him the soul of life. As he gave him a partner and as he blessed them and said, "Be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth" (Gen 1, 28). All members of this race have in common and will have in common until the end of time: the arrival in this world and the exit from this world, because it is written without exception for all: You are dust and to dust shall you return." (Gen 3, 19). The members of this race can be white or black, -- they can be separated by oceans or live on the opposing poles, [but] they remain first and foremost the race created by God who must serve God, according to the precepts of natural law and positive Divine law as it is written in the hearts and minds of humans or revealed by Jesus Christ, the son of God, the sovereign of all peoples. [26]


Political violence was another bete noire for Stepinac. In a hitherto unpublished statement, he publicly ridiculed the Minister for State Education Mile Budak by name on June 21, 1942, after Budak's publication of the short story "Revolutionary Blood." He did not as a rule take issue with government ministers in public, but Budak went too far:

Not a long time ago we were struck [by] a magNazine article under the tide "Revolutionary Blood." We read it, and we were very affected by the words that we found there: "Pacifism should be destroyed." "It is necessary to progress on the new path." And the last words of the story: "We are and we remain a pack of wolves."

We believe, first of all, that the author ... did not think much on what he wrote. If he had wanted to stress that we have the duty to defend our fatherland, we could still understand, because the love of the Fatherland is a precept of God. But if the intention is to say that any man can do what one [sic] likes and that there is no limit to what we allow and what we do not allow -- we ourselves stand in the presence of one of the greatest aberrations, which can generate nothing good. With regard to [Budak's] words, "Pacifism should be destroyed," Christ instituted the principle "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God" (Math. 5, 9).


Finally, Juretic's report contains the text of an intriguing letter, dated March 6, 1943, from Stepinac to the Croatian government. A slightly different version of the same letter is printed in Cavalli's 1947 volume. The cause of the letter was the earlier Croatian government decree that all non-Aryans -- which included all Jews married to Catholics, Jews who had converted to Catholicism, and half-Jews -- register with the Croatian authorities. By now, most Croatian Jews not married to "Aryans" had already been interned or murdered. The Germans had recently decided to round up Berlin's German Jews in mixed marriages amid some public protest, so well-informed observers in Zagreb understood clearly that now Croatian Jews in mixed marriages were endangered. [27]

The situation in Croatia was anomalous however, because Pavelic himself and Armed Forces Commander Slavko Kvaternik were married to half-Jews, and other senior Croatian officials were married to full Jews. [28] Stepinac pledged that if mixed marriages were to be dissolved, "I will raise my voice as a representative of the Church" -- an indefinite mix of protest and threat. He objected chiefly to Croatian meddling in thousands of Church-sanctioned marriages, which would contravene Church law. The version of Stepinac's letter published by Cavalli is addressed specifically to Pavelic himself, but Juretic's version is to the Croatian government as a whole. While Cavalli's Italian-language version points out:

No power of the state has the right to dissolve marriages. If the state wishes to avail itself of physical force, it must admit to itself that it does nothing other than gross violence, from which nothing good can come. For the rest, I know that marriages [exist] among exponents of the government, but in contrast to these, such marriages are protected. [29]


Juretic's French-language version reads:

Consequently, no capacity of the state has the right to dissolve them. If, nevertheless, the State would take recourse to physical coercion, such would constitute an arbitrary act, which would involve fatal consequences. [For] it is known that such marriages exist within the community of very high dignitaries of the state, and these are sheltered from persecutions. [30]


The latter version thus contains much stronger language, even to the point of an implicit threat to make a public issue of mixed marriages within the highest echelons of government. The textual differences are especially notable in that Juretic was generally precise when quoting the Archbishop. (Two letters from Stepinac to Interior Minister Andreja Artukovic, both quoted in Juretic's report, are carefully noted as such, and Juretic's French translations of various excerpts are true to the texts in Cavalli's and Pattee's books.) [31] Juretic was similarly careful with passages quoted from Stepinac's sermons. Only the March 6, 1943, letter on Jewish spouses shows a strong discrepancy. Could it be that the document that was forwarded to Juretic was never sent in that form? Or could it be a more accurate translation of a lost or still-hidden Croatian-language original text? It is impossible to say, but one of these versions surely carries historical significance. Nazi officials noted by April 1943 that actions against Jews in mixed marriages and against many half-Jews were encountering obstacles since many Croatian leaders were related to Jews. [32] As Mile Budak soon sulkily informed the papal legate, Abbot Giuseppe Marcone, "mixed marriages in Croatia are protected and no measures will be taken against them." [33]

What did the aggregate of Stepinac's commentaries and letters mean during the war itself? For Jews unprotected by mixed marriages, it meant nothing. Despite the Archbishop's sermons and letters, a new sweep for Jews occurred in May 1943, in which Dr. Hugo Kon, the president of Zagreb's Jewish community and Miroslav Freiberger, Zagreb's Chief Rabbi and a personal friend of Stepinac, were arrested. Neither was heard from again. [34] But Juretic made the argument to his OSS contracts in December 1943 that the Archbishop had increasingly risked his own safety by the fall of 1943 by intervening for others:

The courageous attitude of the Archbishop of Zagreb, Monsignor Stepanic [sic], his energetic intervention in favor of the persecuted, his condemnation of the execution of hostages, of massive deportations, of scorched earth methods, etc., have dug an insuperable ditch between him and the Quisling government and the German authorities ... The entire population of Croatia thinks of their Archbishop with pride. The churches are full, and religious life intensifies day by day. The clergy are following ... the example of the Archbishop. More than one hundred priests have been arrested ... The only real motive is that these priests have distributed the sermons of the Archbishop. [35]


Ironically, according to this report, Stepinac was accused by some Ustasa officials of being in league with the Partisans, who would eventually put him on trial. [36]

Historians will surely continue to debate Stepinac's part in the Croatian genocide of World War II. But the new material from OSS records demonstrates once again the difficulty of placing Roman Catholicism's senior clerics together into easy moral categories.

The Escape of Croatian War Criminals to South America

A high percentage of Ustasa leaders escaped from Europe to South America in the immediate postwar years. An Argentine government-sponsored commission recently placed the number of senior Ustasa leaders who reached Argentina at fifty-two, while also noting that the number of Ustasa overall might have gone as high as 115 by 1947. [37] Some of these men arrived on their own from Genoa or from ports in Spain; some arrived with the aid of the so-called "ratline" created by Father Krunoslav Draganovic.

Like many Croatian clerics, Draganovic was a nationalist as well as a theologian. He would later candidly say that he "placed his country before his church." [38] His prewar doctoral thesis was used later to justify forced conversions from Orthodoxy to Catholicism. [39] Soon after the proclamation of the Croatian state, Draganovic became the Vice Chief of the Ustasa's Bureau of Colonization, which was responsible primarily for the redistribution of property taken from dead or deported Serbs. He also participated in forced conversions and served as Army chaplain at the Jasenovac concentration camp. Draganovic carried out his state functions in the uniform of an Ustasa lieutenant colonel. [40] In mid-1943, Archbishop Stepinac sent Draganovic to Rome in a move which U.S. Army analysts would later call a model example of "kicking a man upstairs." [41] In Rome, Draganovic lived and worked in the Collegio San Girolamo degli Illirici (College of St. Jerome of the Illyrians), a hospice and church where for nearly five centuries young Croatian clerics lived while studying at Vatican institutions. Not part of the Vatican itself (the land was donated by Pope Nicholas V in 1453), the college was (and remains) under Vatican protection. Draganovic soon became the leading figure there.

After the war ended, Draganovic helped to create an Ustasa political nerve center called the Committee of Croatian Refugees in the College of San Girolamo. He also helped wanted Ustasa leaders escape to South America by obtaining false identity papers from the Red Cross and the International Refugees Association. The money for the documents as well as for passage seems to have come from a number of sources. Draganovic raised some of it by selling travel documents to other refugees. He might also have drawn from a treasury of loot stolen from Croatian Jews and Serbs, though this has never been proven. [42]

In a 1983 U.S. government report on its intelligence relationship with Klaus Barbie (the "Butcher of Lyon"), Allan Ryan explained how agents from the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) paid Draganovic in October 1951 to smuggle Barbie to South America so that he could avoid arrest by the French authorities. [43] Ryan posits that the "CIC may have been involved in -- at least it contemplated the possibility of -- assisting Draganovic with the escape of Croatian war criminals," and he notes that at the very least the money the CIC paid Draganovic for assisting with the escape of Sovict defectors paid for the escape of Croatian fugitives. [44]

Newly declassified records from the CIC and the CIA reveal that, as early as 1947, the CIC grasped Draganovic's functions in providing an escape route for Croatian war criminals. But thanks to the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by visitors to Vatican institutions and to Draganovic's own skill in hiding his compatriots through false identity and travel documents, the CIC was unable to plug this ratline effectively.

In the fall of 1945, the Strategic Services Unit (a smaller successor of the OSS) learned that Draganovic was "undertaking political activity in Rome in connection with the collection of Croatian emigrants." [45] By October 1946, the CIC became aware that Draganovic was in touch with Pavelic (then in Austria), that he was sending sabotage teams into Yugoslavia, and that he was sending war criminals wanted by the British to South America. [46] The rumors prompted CIC Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd to place an agent in the College at San Girolamo "to find out if possible if ... the place was as had been alleged, namely that it was honeycombed with cells of Ustashi operatives." This was no easy task. Armed Ustasa youth formed guards within the college and even stood before certain individual chambers. Passwords were required to move from one room to the next, newcomers were interrogated extensively, and Ustasa "salutes" were given and received continually. Mudd's infiltrator actually had to suspend his work "abruptly when it became too dangerous ... for the agent." In the meantime, however, the CIC established that at least nine senior Ustasa ministers were "either living in the college, or living in the Vatican and attending meetings several times a week at San Geronimo [Sic]." [47] To move between the Vatican and the college, they used a chauffeured car several times a week with Corpo Diplomatico license plates issued by the Vatican. "Subject to diplomatic immunity," said Mudd, "it is impossible to stop the car and discover ... its passengers." "Draganovic's sponsorship of these Croat Qusilings [sic]" said Mudd,

definetly [sic] links him up with the plan of the Vatican to shield these ex-Ustashi nationalists until such time as they are able to procure for them the proper documents to enable them to go to South America. The Vatican, undoubtedly banking on the strong anti-Communist feelings of these men, is endeavoring to infiltrate them into South America in any way possible to counteract the spread of Red doctrine. [48]


Later in the year, Mudd procured photostats of Draganovic's personal files that revealed further the scope of his operations. The files also indicated the presence of twenty more Croatian war criminals in the college. These included most notably Ivan Orsanic, the leader of the Ustasa Youth. [49]

By this time, the CIA had become better acquainted with the Ustasa exodus to South America, as well. "Ustasa emigration to Argentina," said a CIA report of October 1947, "has been particularly intense." Documents received by the CIA from London suggested that the Ustasa leaders indeed expected to fight another day in Yugoslavia. [50] "The possible tie-up of the Vatican with this organization," the CIA report continued in a suitable understatement, "is interesting." But even the CIA was not able to penetrate Draganovic's organization entirely. They could not identify with complete certainty the Ustasa ministers who had made it to Argentina other than to say that they had confirmed the identity of some. "Owing to the delicate nature of this matter," said an Army Intelligence report in November, "more precise details could not be obtained." [51] Pavelic himself, the biggest catch of all, had yet to surface.

Pavelic's path immediately after the war remains murky. Published theories, based on interrogations with Pavelic's retinue taken and then stored in Titoist Yugoslav archives, postulate that he had prearranged his escape to Austria, where he successfully hid from Allied forces there until his escape to Italy. [52] United States Army records indicate that U.S. authorities indeed hoped to arrest him and hand him over to Tito for trial, and most probably execution. Although most Yugoslav extradition requests were received with skepticism, [53] there was no doubt whatever of Pavelic's guilt.

The Strategic Services Unit maintained contact with other Croatian nationalists who were enemies not only of Tito, but of Pavelic as well. Primary among them was Vlatko Macek, exiled leader of the Croatian Peasants' Party, and his top military supporter, Colonel Ivan Babic, a former Yugoslav General Staff officer who had escaped on one of Pavelic's private airplanes to the Allies in January 1944. Though the United States would not support Macek's desire to launch a full rebellion against Tito, it held him as a trump card in reserve, particularly for intelligence purposes. [54] As long as Pavelic remained at large, however, the former Poglavnik could discredit any U.S. effort associated with Croatian nationalists. The United States thus had a political interest in seeing Pavelic brought to justice.

The Yugoslav government, which had pressed repeatedly for Pavelic's extradition since 1945, was convinced that the Allies were protecting him. "The Yugoslavs believe," said Walter C. Dowling in the State Department's Division of Southern European Affairs in May 1947, "quite sincerely, that he is in our custody or that at least we know where he is and are protecting him. Of course he isn't. And as for us, we don't and aren't." [55] "If Pavelic is in Rome," said Colonel J. W Fisher, U.S. Army Intelligence assistant chief of staff in August 1945, "he should be apprehended and arrested if possible." [56] Pavelic was nor yet in Rome. Special Agent William Gowan, who headed the Pavelic case in Rome in 1947, reported that in May 1945 Pavelic was "in British-guarded and requisitioned quarters" in Austria. [57] As late as 1946 he was thought to be still in Austria, though only classified British records may reveal whether British occupation forces protected him there. [58]

The Holy See was not of one mind where Pavelic and the Collegio San Girolamo were concerned. The advance of atheistic Communism into Central Europe was a principal fear of the papacy throughout the war. The Yugoslav Communist domination of the Adriatic was alarming too, especially given the ways in which Tito's Partisans dealt with Catholics in Croatia. The Partisan slaughter of nine thousand Croatian refugees (returned to Yugoslavia by the British authorities in Austria in May 1945), the high-tension dispute between Italians and Partisans over the future of Trieste in the summer of 1945, the highly publicized Yugoslav trial and conviction of Archbishop Stepinac in 1946, and Belgrade's general persecution of the Catholic Church in Croatia after the war all added to the Vatican's apprehension about Yugoslavia's new government.

On the other hand, there were those such as Cardinal Eugene Tisserant of the First Congregation, who were clearly appalled and embarrassed by Vatican ties with the Ustasa. When, in April 1946, Vladimir Stakie, a former solicitor in Belgrade, confronted Tisserant in his own palace, the latter was at least straightforward. How, asked Stakie, could the pope have received and shaken the hands of Ante Pavelic? Tisserant answered that the Croats had displayed inferiority in spite of their Catholicism. For "the crime they had committed, [they] were condemned by the Catholic Church ... You may have my full assurance that we have the list of all the clergymen who participated in these atrocities and we shall punish them at the right time to clean our conscience of the stain with which they spotted us ... Finally," Tisserant continued, "I can assure you that neither I nor the Vatican know the whereabouts of Pavelic; if we did we should denounce him to the Allied police." [59]

Pavelic arrived in Rome disguised as Catholic priest Don Pedro Gonner in the spring of 1946. He stayed in various Vatican residences, but apparently not in the College of San Girolamo. Once apprised of Pavelic's possible location, U.S. authorities hoped to act. Pavelic, argued Mudd in January 1947, "tops the list of Quislings whom the State Department and the Foreign Office have agreed to hand over to the Yugoslavs for trial [and he] is not a criminal in just the ordinary sense." Giving him to Belgrade would silence Yugoslav propaganda, which "has on several occasions accused the Anglo-Americans of hiding Pavelic to further their own aims." [60] Gowan added that Pavelic's arrest and extradition were a precondition "if ... Croat democratic and resistance forces are ever to be recognized by the United States." [61]

Yet the arrest of Pavelic was in large part a diplomatic problem. The CIC could nor exclude the possibility that British intelligence was indeed protecting Pavelic. Gowan and his colleague, CIC Special Agent Louis Caniglia, thought that Pavelic was still "closely linked to the British ... though [the] degree is unknown." Both were positive that the British were at least protecting Pavelic's family, all of whom were known to be living undercover in Florence (family members could not live on Vatican grounds). [62] Thus, though British Foreign Office representatives in Rome agreed on the need to arrest Pavelic, it remained unclear how such an arrest would be managed. [63] In addition, Gowan and Caniglia assumed Vatican noncooperation. Pavelic, they said,

is receiving the protection of the Vatican whose view of the entire "Pavelic Question" is that since the Croat state does not exist and, since the Tito regime cannot be expected to give anybody a fair trial, the Subject should not be turned over to the present Yugoslav Regime with the excuse of bringing him to justice. The extradition of Pavelic would only weaken the forces fighting atheism and aid Communism in its fight against the Church ... Pavelic's crimes of the past cannot be forgotten, but he can only be tried by Croats representing a Christian and Democratic Government, the Vatican maintains. While Pavelic is allegedly responsible for the death of 150,000 persons, Tito is the agent of Stalin, who is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of persons in the Ukraine, White Russia, Poland, the Baltic and the Balkan states over a period of about twenty-five (25) years. [64]


They would add later that, "Pavelic's contacts are so high and his present position is so compromising to the Vatican, that any extradition ... would deal a staggering blow to the Roman Catholic Church." [65] And if Pavelic were to be arrested, the arrest would have to occur after he had left Vatican precincts on his own. Brigadier General]. D.A. Anderson, deputy chief of staff to the Acting Supreme Allied Commander Lieutenant General John Lee, noted that the arrest "will be an extremely tricky operation requiring elaborate co-ordination between U.S., British and Italian authorities and the maintenance of absolute secrecy." [66]

The most important new document from the CIC file on Pavelic, declassified in 2001, concerns a long meeting on August 11, 1947, at the British Embassy in Rome between Lieutenant Colonel George F. Blunda, of the U.S. Army's Intelligence Division, and two British officers using the names Bendall and Verschoyle. [67] Verschoyle was a British intelligence officer and his name, said Blunda, was probably a cover. Their conversation with Blunda suggests what British intelligence knew, where Pavelic was located, and what went wrong with the arrest. Verschoyle claimed to know the exact room in which Pavelic lived on Vatican property. Verschoyle insisted, however, that the United States should arrest Pavelic without British participation. Blunda refused, stating later that it "would not [be] to our best interests as a number of Croats have been used as informers by U.S. intelligence agencies [and a number of them] are known to be loyal to Pavelic's anti-Communist activities and Catholic fanaticism." [68] Since neither ally wished to have its fingerprints on Pavelic's arrest, it was agreed that the Italian police would take Pavelic into custody. Verschoyle agreed to arrange a pretext for Pavelic to leave Vatican grounds, after which a squad of Italian police would make the actual arrest under the supervision of selected U.S. and British officers. Such a scheme held promise, since according to Verschoyle, Pavelic, in a monk's habit with his hair cut short, had left Vatican territory as recently as July.

Yet the arrest never occurred. When asked why in November 1947, Verschoyle claimed that he was unable to lure Pavelic out of Vatican territory. The failure might have been due to a serious medical procedure which Pavelic, according to sources close to Draganovic, was said to have undergone in early September -- an operation which he barely survived. [69] It might also have been due to unelaborated reluctance on the part of British intelligence to implement the scheme, though it is impossible to say for sure without British records on the subject. According to CIA sources, Pavelic stayed at a monastery near the pope's summer home at Castle Gandolfo in the summer and fall of 1948. In November 1948, he arrived in Buenos Aires aboard an Italian merchant ship. He wore a heavy beard and mustache, which he shaved thereafter. Gowan said years later that Pavelic's escape was facilitated not only by the Vatican, but also by British intelligence, though he was unable to say why the British would aid Pavelic's escape. [70]

Pavelic became active politically from the moment he reached Buenos Aires. He held two long conferences with Branco Benzon, the former Ustasa Minister to Berlin and then Bucharest and a member of Pavelic's inner circle during the war. Benzon informed Pavelic that the latter would have the "full help and cooperation" of the Argentine government. Pavelic then met with former ministers Vrancic, Josip Dumandzic, Oskar Turina, Lovro Susic and others. "Pavelic's first steps upon arrival in Argentina," said a CIA source in Buenos Aires, "indicate that he plans to become politically active ... Pavelic is convinced that he has a mission to perform, and ... he and his followers still regard him as the 'Poglavnik.''' [71] In subsequent years, he maintained numerous liaisons with Draganovic in Rome. [72] He also conducted a private foreign policy: his associates told Italian representatives in Buenos Aires that Italy could count on "eternal Croatian friendship" and "recognition of the legal Italian claims concerning the Adriatic." [73] In the late 1950s, Pavelic still commanded the personal loyalty of 3,500 Croatian emigres in Italy and Germany, though his extreme rightist leanings stymied the formation of a united Croat emigre movement. [74] In April 1957, after he was shot twice in a failed assassination attempt in Buenos Aires, Yugoslav officials demanded his extradition, as did the French press, which still remembered the Marseilles murders of 1934. Yet just as the Argentine Ministry of the Interior ordered his arrest, he disappeared. He died in Spain in December 1959. [75]
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Part 2 of 2

The Ustasa Spy: Draganovic as a U.S. Intelligence Source

In the years following Pavelic's escape, Draganovic maintained his position within the College of San Girolamo, helping Klaus Barbie, among others, escape justice. Yet he increasingly became an irritant for certain Vatican officials. Officially, the College of San Girolamo was under the protection of Cardinal Pierro Fumasoni-Biondi, who, according to a CIA report in August 1952, never gave approval for the non-religious work that occurred there. Draganovic's ardent pro-Ustasa sentiments did not even spare fellow priests. Draganovic, said the report, was "without love for that segment of his fellow man who does not nourish Ustasha ideology, in short, [he is] an uncompromising and dangerous extremist." The same report claimed that "[Draganovic's] work is well known to the Vatican Secretariat of State, in an unfavorable light," [76] though a report in Draganovic's IRR file suggests that the Secretariat's objection was primarily to his exploitative financial dealings. [77] "The church," said a later report, "sometimes looks at him with suspicion as it is alleged that the Franciscan Fathers in Yugoslavia owe more allegiance to him than they do the church." [78] Draganovic himself would later argue that his removal from the college was due to the feeling within the Vatican that Tito would not allow Croatian priests to come to the college so long as Draganovic was there. [79]

The death of Pope Pius XII in October 1958 finally brought action. Immediately after the election of Pope John XXIII, the new Secretary of State, Cardinal Domenico Tardini, asked Draganovic to leave the college. [80] Draganovic, who had boarded at San Girolamo, took up a new address within Rome and obtained Austrian citizenship. Thanks to strong support among the Croatians within the college, he maintained his standing there unofficially; in fact, the Croatian Committee, a Croatian nationalist and separatist organization, survived there as well. [81] Draganovic was further engaged by the Vatican as the Secretary of the Croat Committee of the Pontifical Commission on Yugoslav Refugees because, as Vatican sources put it, Draganovic was "the most knowledgeable individual on Yugoslav affairs." [82] With Pavelic's death in 1959, Draganovic also worked harder to reconcile Croatian exile groups, primarily the former followers of Pavelic and the more moderate followers of Macek. He remained, as his Army handlers repeatedly mentioned, passionately committed to Tito's ouster.

The U.S. Army Intelligence Division recruited Draganovic in May 1959 after the Vatican itself had lost patience with him. A retiring Irish priest who had served in the Vatican for thirty-seven years and who had helped U.S. intelligence in Italy since early in World War II recommended him to Army Intelligence. [83] Draganovic, said Captain Bruno FrancNazi (code named "Franco"), the U.S. Army agent who recruited him as a source for the 168th Military Intelligence Battalion, enjoyed "excellent coverage of Yugoslav activities." He would be of "extreme value to this unit." [84] Overwhelmingly, Army Intelligence was interested in order of battle information for specific locales within Yugoslavia, but general economic and political information was desirable as well. [85]

Yugoslavia seemed to be in political transition. Starting in 1954, Nikita Khrushchev worked to restore the bonds of friendship with Yugoslavia that Joseph Stalin had destroyed in 1948. This meant that Yugoslavia would not join a proposed Balkan Bloc with new NATO allies Greece and Turkey. It also meant that in a war, Tito's troops could fight on the side of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (founded in 1955) by invading Italy. [86] By 1959, moreover, East-West tensions over the Allied presence in West Berlin had reached a dangerous pitch. [87]

The Army reimbursed Draganovic handsomely, though not, as he had wanted, with a signed U.S. government agreement concerning the political future of Croatia and a meeting with a U.S. Senator, preferably a Catholic. [88] (Army Intelligence was also aware when first they recruited Draganovic that he was still in contact with Pavelic, although the latter would soon be dead). [89] The relationship between the Army Intelligence Division and Draganovic, code named "Dynamo" (and "Dottore Fabiano" for financial transactions), lasted for over two years. Draganovic used his clerical connections in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, and Croatia, his refugee camp contacts in Trieste, [90] his underground Croatian associates in Yugoslavia, and even a contact within the Gehlen Organization to provide detailed bimonthly reports on everything from the Yugoslav ordet of battle to the location of anti-aircraft batteries to poli tical, social, economic, and scientific developments. He even claimed at one point ro have inside information on the pressure exerted by Khrushchev on Tito.91 In one case, when Draganovic felt that the Vatican might become roo friendly with Tito's regime, he provided the United States with secret Vatican diplomatic information. [92]

Despite its close ties with Draganovic from 1959 to 1961, Army Intelligence became disenchanted with the Croatian priest. Draganovic never concealed that his motives were financial and that his first allegiance was to the Croatian cause against Tito. Therefore, he insisted on heavy U.S. financial support for Croatian nationalist organizations. Some of his schemes, such as the formation of a Croat legion under the command of General Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, were harebrained. Once the legion was formed, said Draganovic, ironically not long before the Bay of Pigs fiasco, "the United States would not have to worry about Castro ... as the [Croatian] Legion would take care of this problem without the United States getting involved.93 After Pavelic's death, Draganovic worked incessantly toward a reconciliation of former Ustasa followers and Peasant Party adherents of Macek, even though U.S. Army Intelligence undersrood that "Pavelic and the Ustashi are to most Croats, an anathema."

Draganovic was loath to reveal his sources, a problem for Army Intelligence. Draganovic's most valuable source in 1959 and 1960, a Croatian agent code named "Mr. X" in Trieste, who claimed to receive his information from a Yugoslav army colonel, had worked for the Italian government, and the CIA had received the same reports originating from Mr. X. [94] Other Draganovic sub-sources turned out to be intelligence peddlers with dubious bona fides. One, who was also working for West German intelligence, recklessly reported through Draganovic that the Soviets had stationed atomic weapons in Yugoslavia. [95] Others had simply been compromised by Yugoslav intelligence. A CIA evaluation of Draganovic warned Army Intelligence as follows:

Quite a bit of information on file shows a history of dubious allegiances and actions, and indicates that his leads are blown or penetrated. Aside from the possibility of present or future Yugoslav [intelligence] control, such individuals seem to represent organizations who have a vested interest in gaining U.S. government support ... In short, we believe that the security hazards represented by the backgrounds of the individuals and the organizations they represent pose a greater threat to American interests in Yugoslavia and Austria than the circumstances warrant ... We would [also] like to point our that [Draganovic] as well as other members of Croatian nationalist organizations in other parts of Europe have been seeking American support ever since 1945. We have learned from sad experience that involvement with them leads to more sorrow than truth. [96]


Army Intelligence concluded that "the [Draganovic] operation has neither been clandestine nor controlled." [97] Draganovic, in the meantime, had come to learn too much about the U.S. intelligence structure.

Finally, in August 1961, during the East-West crisis over the construction of the Berlin Wall, Draganovic seemed to blow a fuse. He complained bitterly to his handler that the United States was not helping the Croat cause enough (while helping Tito too much) to justify his own help to U.S. intelligence. [98] Later he even claimed that Serbs were controlling the Pentagon. [99] In January 1962, Draganovic was dropped "with prejudice" thanks to his demands for "outrageous monetary tribute and U.S. support of Croat [organs] as ... payment." [100]

After being dropped by U.S. Army Intelligence, Draganovic lived in seclusion in a monastery at Pressbaum near Vienna. There he worked on a book on the Partisan shooting of Croatian returnees in May 1945. He also continued to prepare propaganda against Tito's Yugoslavia, and might have helped in the preparation with sabotage activities as well. [101] In September 1967, however, Draganovic, now sixty-four years old, suddenly disappeared during one of his routine visits to Trieste. Incredibly, he reappeared in Sarajevo, where he would live until his death in 1979 at age eighty-three.

On his disappearance, the Croatian emigre community and the Austrian press quickly charged that Yugoslav agents had secretly abducted the priest. The Yugoslav press countered with lengthy verbatim statements allegedly from Draganovic himself that his return had been completely voluntary, that he wished to dissociate himself once and for all from Croatian emigres and their terrorist activities, and that he could not get over how fantastic Tito's Yugoslavia looked. [102] Clearly the statements were prepared and not surprising in their profligacy. The real surprise, according to CIA observers, was that a Roman Catholic priest had seemingly been kidnapped without a single protest from the Vatican. On the contrary, the CIA noted, "the Vatican stated flatly that Father Draganovic returned to Yugoslavia voluntarily and that the Vatican is not interested in the matter any further." [103]

It did not take long for the CIA to posit an explanation for these strange events. It was tied, they said, to the recent Concordat between the Vatican and Yugoslavia, signed in June 1966. The agreement between Belgrade and the papacy, now under Pope Paul VI, had been a long time in the making. Yugoslavia had broken relations with the Vatican in 1952 when Pope Pius XII responded to Archbishop Stepinac's postwar struggles in Yugoslavia by making him a Cardinal. [104] Talks leading to a rapprochement between the Vatican and Belgrade did not begin until 1964, with an agreement not to be reached for two more years. The 1966 agreement would ostensibly protect the spiritual interests of Catholics in Yugoslavia. [105] Yet in return for the Yugoslav recognition of Vatican jurisdiction over the Catholic Church there, the Vatican agreed to the principle that the functions of Catholic clerics must take place solely in an ecclesiastical setting. Political activity by priests, in other words, was prohibited. The Holy See also promised to investigate certain cases of political activity by priests that Belgrade found especially harmful. Draganovic was a continuing embarrassment to the Yugoslav government. "It is obvious," said a CIA assessment,

that the position of Monsignor Draganovic and that of numerous other Yugoslav clergymen who are involved in the activities of organizations of anti-Communist refugees, which activities are often of an exclusively political nature and even go so far as sabotage in Yugoslavia and terrorism inside and outside their homeland; these activities now find themselves in conflict with the pledges of the Vatican and with certain new policies of the Catholic Church toward Socialist countries.
[/quote]

This analysis also noted that the Yugoslav authorities who still had Draganovic's name on their list of wanted war criminals would not try or punish him. "The fact that he is at liberty," noted the CIA analysis, "is eloquent." And the first officials in the West who knew about Draganovic's return to Yugoslavia were indeed members of the Vatican Executive Council. The Vatican, the CIA concluded, was somehow involved in Draganovic's kidnapping. The only surprise registered within the Catholic Church itself was that his return had even become a matter for public discussion. [106]

Ironically, Tito's attempt to placate Croatian Catholics and to put the past to rest by allowing Draganovic to travel to Zagreb in November 1967 backfired. The Croatian Communist Party leadership commented that Draganovic's freedom of movement provoked "justified revulsion" while the Croatian Catholic Church maintained a "studious silence." The American Consul in Zagreb reported that "the initial handling of the Draganovic case by Yugoslav federal authorities has not produced ... the desired propaganda coup." Indeed, the last voices in the world calling for the freedom of Pat her Draganovic were, paradoxically, U.S. and Canadian citizens of Croatian descent, who lobbied their governments to rescue a man for whom even the Vatican had no more use. [107]

_______________  
Notes:

1. For the Ustasa's early history, see Jozo Tomasevich, War and Revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941-1945: Occupation and Collaboration, (1985; Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 30ff. The best account of the Ustasa regime as a whole is Edmond Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia 1941-1945: A Record of Racial and Religious Persecution and Massacres, trans. Lois Perkins (Chicago: American Institute for Balkan Affairs, 1961).

2. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 50-60.

3. Ibid., 380-87.

4. Figures are from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, http://www.ushmm.org.

5. Figures are from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibit. Smaller numbers are presented in Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 592ff.

6. On Glaise-Horstenau, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 278, 404. For Hitler's comment, Germany, Auswartiges Amt, Akten zur deutschen auswartigen Politik, 1918-1945, Series D, vol. 12 (Goeningen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1979), document 603.

7. Percy Ernst Schramm, gen. ed., Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Wehrmachtfuhrungsstab) 2, part 1, (Munich: Bernard and Graefe, 1982), 137.

8. On Germans tried by the Yugoslavs, see Josef Foltmann, and Hanns Moller-Witten, Opfergang der Generale, 3rd ed. (West Berlin: Bernard and Graefe, 1957).

9. On the myths and realities of the British surrendering Croatian refugees to Partisan forces, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 759-66. See also Nikolai Tolstoy, The Minister and the Massacres (London: Century Hutchinson, 1986); Robert Knight, "Harold Macmillan and the Cossacks: Was there a Klagenfurt Conspiracy?" Intelligence and National Security 1, no. 2 (1986).

10. Michael Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 37; Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 74-78.

11. On these issues, see Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 55-58,63-67, 165-67, 203-5.

12. See Stella Alexander, The Triple Myth: A Life of Archbishop Stepinac (Boulder: East European Monographs, 1987), chapter 12.

13. Vladimir Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican: The Croatian Massacre of Serbs during World War II, trans. Harvey L. Kendall (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1992).

14. Fiorello Cavalli, Il processo dell' Arcivescovo di Zagabria (Rome: La Civilta Catolica, 1947); Richard Panee, The Case of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1953). The making of myth surrounding Stepinac from the Serb and Croatian sides is discussed in Alexander, Triple Myth, 3-5.

15. Menachem Shelah, "The Catholic Church in Croatia, the Vatican, and the Murder of the Croatian Jews," in Remembering for the Future: Working Papers and Addenda, vol. 1: Jews and Christians During and After the Holocaust, ed. Yehuda Bauer, et al. (New York: Pergamon Press, 1989).

16. This prompted the pastoral letter of 31 Oct. 1943, against the shooting of hostages, which resulted in the arrests of several dozen Croatian priests. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 536-38, 556-58; Shelah, "Catholic Church in Croatia," 276.

17. Alexander, Triple Myth, 3, 5.

18. Phayer, Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 34-36.

19. "Conditions in Yugoslavia," 10 Sept. 1941, NA, RG 226, entry 16, box 3, folder 338-373.

20. See the report to Allen Dulles, 28 Dee. 1943, A, RG 226, entry 210, box 94, proj. 974345.

21. Quoted in Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 400. On Jurevic himself, see Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 525n27.

22. "L'Episcopat Catholique en Croatie: Son point de vue a l'egard du racime-Son attitude a l'egard de la persecution des Orthodoxes-Son activite charitable," NA, RG 226, entry 210, box 94, proj. 974345.

23. Memo from Lagrange to Dulles, 28 Dee. 1943, in ibid.

24. On the takeover, see Alexander, Triple Myth, 82. On the criticism of papal pronouncements, see ''The Catholic Episcopate," 8-10.

25. Alexander, Triple Myth, 92-5.

26. "L'Episcopat Catholique en Croatie." Another very small part of this long sermon is printed in Pattee, Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, 205, as part of the defense statement of 8 Oct. 1946.

27. The Croatian "racial" definition of Jewishness was modeled on Nazi definitions but was more severe. See Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, rev. and definitive ed., vol. 2 (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985),710. On the Berlin roundup of German Jews in mixed marriages and the resulting protests from spouses, see Nathan Stoltzfus, Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany (New York: Norton, 1996).

28. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 593-4. The following officials were married to full Jewish women: Pavelic's military advisor General Ivan Percevic; Ustasa Youth Leader Ivan Orsanic; and Minister to Italy Milovan Zanic.

29. Translation mine. "Nessun potere dello Stato ha il diritto di sciogliere dei matrimoni. Se lo Stato vuole servirsi delia forza fisica, deve dirsi che esso non compie altro che una violenza volgare, da chi nessun buon frutto puo venire. So d'altra parte che di tali matrimoni ve ne sono anche fra gli esponenti del Governo, ma, nei contronti di questi, tali matrimoni sono protetti."

30. Emphasis my own. "Par consequent, aucun pouvior etatier n'a la droit de les dissoudre. Si, cependant, l'Erat aurait recours ala coercition physique, il commetrait de ce fait un acte arbitraire, qui entrainerait des consequences fatales. Or, il est connu que de tells mariages existent dans les millieux de plus hauts dignitaires de l'Etat,--et quils sont a l'abri des persecutions."

31. Cavalli, Il processo, 218, 253-56; Pattee, Cardinal Aloysius Stepanic, 300-302.

32. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 595-96.

33. Marcone to Cardinal Luigi Maglione, 31 May 1943, Acres et Documents du Saint Siege Relatifs ala Seconde Guerre Mondiale 9, Le Saint Siege et les Victimes de la Guerre, Janvier-Decembre 1943 (Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1975), documents 211 and 324.

34. Shelah, "Catholic Church in Croatia," 275.

35. Note no. 1: Informations fourniers par Mgr. Jureric (Decembre 24 [1943]), NA, RG 226, Proj. 974345, box 94.

36. Ibid.

37. Dennis Reinhartz, "Huida de los Ustasa a la Argentina despues de la Segunda Guerra Mundial," in the report of the Comision para el Esclarecimiento de las Actividades del Nazismo en la Republica Argentino, http://www.ccana.org.ar.

38. Headquarters, Detachment "B," APO 168, U.S. Army, XOR: 0-0214, 2 May 1959, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

39. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 390, 539-40. For the thesis, see Krunoslav Draganovic, "Massenubertritte von Katholiken zur 'Orthodoxie' im kroatischen Sprachgebiet zur Zeit der Turkenherrschaft." PhD diss., Pontifical Institut, Rome, 1937.

40. See, for example, CIA report "Yugoslav Emigre Personalities" No. [excised], 19 Nov. 1953, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File; Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 220. Reports from World War II also stated that Draganovic was responsible for massacres of Serbs and the forcing of Serbs into labor battalions. See [excised] to [excised], No. [excised], 12 Dee. 1958, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

41. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 557-58; Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 175. For the Army comment, see Report by Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd, 12 Feb. 1947, HQ, CIC, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

42. William Slany, U.S. and Allied Wartime and Postwar Relations and Negotiations with Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey on Looted Gold and German External Assets and U.S. Concerns about the Fate of the Wartime Ustafa Treasury: Supplement to Preliminary Study on us. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1998), 141-57.

43. Allan A. Ryan, Jr., Klaus Barbie and the United States Government (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1984), 135ff.

44. Allan A. Ryan, Jr., Klaus Barbie and the United States Government: Exhibits to the Report to the Attorney General of the United States (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1983), 138-40.

45. Saint Rome to Saint Washington, Memo JZX 4080, 18 Sept. 1945, RG 266, entry 108B, box 607, folder 8.

46. CIC Report of 10 Oct. 1946, 314-16, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

47. These included Dr. Vjekoslav Vrancic, head of the Political Section of the Croatian Foreign Ministry and one-time propaganda chief who was decorated by the Germans; Dr. Lovro Susie, the Secretary General of the Ustasa Organization who served as Political Commissar with German troops in Lika; and Colonel Vilko Pecnikar, a senior Ustasa military officer who also served as leader of Pavelic's personal bodyguard and Commander of the Croatian Gendarmerie. Biographical Material in "Jugoslav Basic Handbook. Supplement No. 1, Part 1: List of Personalities," Jan. 1944, NA, RG 266, entry 120, box 478, folder 4.

48. Report from Robert Clayton Mudd to AC of S, G-2, AFHQ, February 12, 1947, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

49. Report by Mudd to G-2 Trust, y-3019, 5 Sept. 1947, ibid.

50. Chief, Foreign Branch T to Chief [excised], dispatch No. [excised], 27 Oct. 1947, A, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

51. AFHQ Liaison Office IAI, RAAC, to AC of S, G-2 (C-I, AFHQ, 26 Nov. 1947, ibid.

52. Tomasevich, War and Revolution, 755-6.

53. See for example NA, RG 466, Records of OMGUS retained by HICOG, Records relating to CROWCASS, Administration of War Crimes Trials, box 23.

54. SSU to Director, Operations, X-2, 22 Jan. 1946, RG 226, entry 210, box 119, folder 518 (3 of 3). See also the FBI File on Macek: NA, RG 65, 100-148034, box 30.

55. Walter C. Dowling to J. Graham Parsons, American Embassy, Rome, NA, RG 59, entry 1068-Myron Taylor Collection, box 17, folder 16.

56. Fisher to Commanding Officer, Rome Zone CUC Detachment, 8 Aug. 1945, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.

57. CIC, Rome Detachment, Zone Five, Case No. 5650,29 Aug. 1947, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic. Another CIC report by Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd, dated 30 Jan. 1947 and also in this file, cites a reliable source to the effect that Pavelic stayed specifically in the village of Celovac (Klagenfurt) near the Austro-Yugoslav frontier.

58. "Whereabouts of ex-Croat Leaders," 11 Oct. 1946, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File. Originating agency redacted, but most information came from General Miodrag Damjanovic, a Chernik General living in exile in Rome. Paris, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 259, mentions that the Americans had told the Yugoslav Government that the British had arrested Pavelic.

59. Secret: Interview between Vladimir Stakic and Cardinal Tisserand [sic], 7 Apr. 1946, Rome, NA, RG 59, entry 1068-Myron Taylor Collection, box 28, folder 14. This document has also been declassified as part of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. For Tisserant's similar views during the war, see Alexander, Triple Myth, 76.

60. Memo by Robert Clayton Mudd, 30 Jan. 1947, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic. It might have been the possibility of arresting Pavelic that prompted Mudd to place an agent in the Monatery of San Girolamo in the first place.

61. CIC, Rome Detachment, Zone Five, Case No. 5650, 29 Aug. 1947, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.

62. Ibid. For the tense relations between London and Belgrade in 1945 and 1946, particularly over the issue of Trieste, see Ann Lane, Britain, the Cold War, and Yugoslav Unity, 1941-1949 (Brighton, UK: Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 1996), chapters 4 and 5. See also Ann Lane, "Putting Britain Right with Tito: The Displaced Persons Question in Anglo-Yugoslav Relations, 1946-47," European History Quarterly 22 (2) April 1992: 217-46.

63. P. W. Scarlett, British Political Adviser to Supreme Allied Command, Mediterranean Theater, 47/166/2A, 2 Aug. 1947; and Joseph N. Greene, Acting U.S. Political Adviser, SACMED, 29 July 1947, both in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.

64. CIC, Rome Detachment, Zone Five, Case No. 5650, 29 Aug. 1947, ibid.

65. CIC, Rome Detachment, Zone Five, Report of 12 Sept. 1947, signed by Gowan and Caniglia, ibid.

66. Memo by Brigadier J. D. A. Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFHQ, to Chief of Staff Major General L. C. Jaynes, 7 Aug. 1947, ibid. This document was declassified in June 2000.

67. Lt. Col. G. F. Blunda, GSC, HQ, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, to Col. Carl F. Fritzsche, Assistant Deputy Director of Intelligence, HQ. European Command, U.S. Army, 8 Nov. 1947, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.

68. Ibid.

69. CIC, Rome Detachment, Zone Five, Report of 12 Sept. 1947, signed by Gowan and Caniglia, ibid.

70. Phayer, Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 174.

71. CIA Report No. [excised], 2 Dee. 1948, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

72. See the report of the discussion between Draganovic and the CIC Agent code named "Sardi," dated 29 May 1959, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

73. See card dated 18 Oct. 1954 in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Ante Pavelic.

74. This information came from Draganovic, who pointed our that these 3,500 emigres had sworn personal loyalty to Pavelic. See XOR 0-0209, 26 Mar. 1960, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

75. See the reports in NA, RG 65, 105-11194-A, box 125.

76. CIA Report of 24 July 1952, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File. Pius XII had no Secretary of State after 1944 with the death of Cardinal Luigi Maglione. He acted as his own Secretary of State until his death in 1958.

77. "It was reported in August 1953 that ... for some time Draganovic had realized about 25,000 lire from each Yugoslav refugee, on the promise that he would arrange for their emigration . At that time, reportedly, he had lost face in political civilian and ecclesiastical circles, including the Vatican Secretariat of State. Ir was also reported in September 1954 that Draganovic had received a contribution of 186,000 lire in March 1954, to be distributed among Croat refugees and having used the money (received from World Council of Churches) to help only a few refugees of Ustashi leanings." Francis G. Coleman to Research and Development Agency, 16 Apr. 1959, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 1348, Krunoslav Draganovic.

78. Seraf 41-Dynamo, [excised] 1961, ibid. Draganovic's later American handler, "Franco," commented in December 1959 that "ir is well known that Dynamo [Draganovic] has a very strong hold over Franciscan priests inside Yugoslavia." XOR: 0-0712, 23 Dec. 1959, ibid. 79. NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

80. Report by [excised] II Dee. 1958, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

81. Convinced that Tito would attempt to kidnap or kill rum, Draganovic had several addresses in Rome. See XOR: 0-0214, 2 May 1959, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

82. Setaf 41-Dynamo, Date excised, 1961, ibid.

83. Colonel Richard G. Ciccolella, AC of S, G2/G3 to Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence, U.S. Army, Europe, AESE-CBC-MIB, 10 June 1961, ibid.

84. Franco to HQ, Department B, U.S. Army, XOR: 0-0214, 2 May 1959, ibid.

85. Sardi to HQ, XOR-0-0271, 29 May 1959, ibid.

86. Sverozar Rajak, introduction to "New Evidence from the Former Yugoslav Archives: The Tito-Khrushchev Correspondence, 1954" Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Issue 12/13, Fall/Winter 2001, 315-24.

87. Hope Harrison, Ulbricht and the Concrete Rose: New Archival Evidence on the Dynamics of Soviet-East German Relations and the Berlin Crisis, 1958-1961, Cold War International History Project Working Paper No. 5 (Washington, DC: CWIHP, 1993).

88. Franco to HQ, XOR-0-0399, 3 Aug. 1959, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 1348, Krunoslav Draganovic.

89. Sardi to HQ, XOR-0-0271, 29 May 1959, ibid.

90. Draganovic created nets within the refugee camps in the Trieste region and would pick up information during his frequent visits to the camps, ostensibly to hear confessions. See the handwritten report on the La Frascherre camp, [excised] to [excised], No. [excised], 28 Apr. 1955, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

91. XOR 0-0364, 13 July 1959; and XOR 0-0399,3 Aug. 1959, both in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 1348, Krunoslav Draganovic.

92. Franco to HQ, XOR: 0-0859, 15 Dee. 1960, ibid. Along with a number of Order of Bartle reports, Draganovic supplied what he called a top secret copy of an official Vatican proposal made through the twenty-one Catholic Bishops in Yugoslavia to the Yugoslav government for closer relations between the Vatican and Yugoslav government.

93. Franco made no comment. See for example Franco to HQ, XOR: 0-0026,13 Jan. 1960, NA, RG 319, lRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

94. Operational Plan, 28 Aug. 1959, 236-9; and Franco to HQ, XOR: 0-0490, 7 Sept. 1959, in NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic. After much pressing, Draganovic revealed Mr. X's name on 17 Jan. 1960, but the name is redacted. Franco to HQ, XOR: 0-0031,18 Jan. 1960, ibid. Mr. X had worked for Italian Intelligence until 1949. Army Intelligence concluded in September 1961 that Draganovic's refusal to reveal his sources raised "the inherent danger of 'paper-milling.''' Report to CO, 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 13 Sept. 1961, ibid.

95. Report to CO, 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 13 Sept. 1961, ibid.

96. Ibid. The CIA had never trusted Draganovic and noted in December 1958 that "it is fairly evident in the case of Draganovic that his sponsorship of ... Ustashi elements stem from deep-rooted conviction that the ideas espoused by this arch-nationalistic organization, half-logical, half lunatic, are basically sound concepts." It was also clear to me CIA by this time that some of Draganovic's "mosr trusted henchmen" were members of Yugoslav intelligence and that at one point a Yugoslav agent posing as an Ustasa refugee had penetrated Draganovic's organization. See [excised] to [excised] No. [excised], 12 Dec. 1959, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

97. Report to CO, 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 13 Sept. 1961, NA, RG 319, IRR, entry 134B, Krunoslav Draganovic.

98. Marty to HQ, XOR 0-0542, 17 Aug. 1961, ibid.

99. Marty to HQ, XOR 0-0565, 31 Aug. 1961, ibid.

100. Ibid., 281 if.

101. For the suspicion that Draganovic was involved in sabotage in these years, see Memorandum to Headquarters Chief by [excised], No. [excised], 16 Nov. 1967, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

102. "Quisling Voluntarily Returns to Sarajevo," Belgrade Tanyug International Service, 10 Nov. 1967; "Emigre Priest Denied Forced Return Charge," Zagreb, Vjesnik, 12 Nov. 1967, both in NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

103. "Re: Father Krunoslav Dragonovic" [excised], 28 Dec. 1967, ibid.

104. Archbishop Stepinac was sentenced to twelve years in prison 1946 and served pan of his sentence in Lepoglava prison. In December 1951, he was released due to poor health bur remained under house arrest. He died in Krasic in February 1960.

105. The official name of the agreement is The Protocol of Discussions between the Representatives of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Representative of the Holy See. Formal relations were reestablished when envoys were exchanged in 1970. On March 29, 1971, Tito made a formal state visit to Pope Paul VI.

106. Memorandum to Headquarters Chief by [excised], No. [excised], 16 Nov. 1967, NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.

107. FBI records on these groups are included in NA, RG 263, Krunoslav Draganovic Name File.
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Re: U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis, by Richard Breitman, No

Postby admin » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:46 am

Part 1 of 3

9. Nazi Collaborators in the United States: What the FBI Knew
by Norman J. W. Goda

Thou gavst us a haven, Thou openst the gates To the blessed soil Of the United States!

-- "We Lift our Hearts: Hymn of the Refugees," words and music by Frederick C. Nagy, 1953 [1]


NEWLY DECLASSIFIED FBI FILES, supplemented by files of other agencies, provide new insight into the activities of Eastern European emigres who had collaborated with the Nazis in the murder of Jews and other ethnic groups before relocating to the United States under the 1948 Displaced Persons Act. Many have concluded that the arrival and naturalization of war criminals in the United States was the fault of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which has been portrayed as understaffed and even incompetent. [2] Yet the INS was not as negligent as has been assumed. The FBI, as the nation's chief law enforcement agency, knew much about the criminal backgrounds of many emigres, but it never acted on what it knew, nor did it assist other agencies that wished to act, including the INS.

The FBI's indifference must be understood in context. In the 1950s it was widely held that the threat to American security came not from Nazis or their collaborators, but from the Soviets and theirs. Communism had been a target of FBI operations since 1917, and such remained the case during World War II despite the FBI's surveillance of Nazi-related activities. [3] Postwar FBI counterintelligence directed against Communism was similarly broad in scope. [4] War crimes, on the other hand, generated considerably less FBI interest. The past crimes of Nazi collaborators were difficult to prove, and collaborators committed no new Nazi-related crimes after having settled in the United States. Moreover, in some cases, collaborators could be used as anti-Communist bulwarks in their own emigre communities. Yet, even in cases where the immigrant in question was not a major anti-Communist figure in the emigre community, the FBI was apathetic as to whether or not the accused was a war criminal. As a result, the FBI did not dig deep for the truth, and in some cases it even protected foRmer collaborators while using them as sources or allowing other agencies to do so.

This chapter presents six case studies. These particular cases were chosen because their criminality is not in doubt. Two, John Avdzej of Byelorus and Andrija Artukovic of Croatia, were "quiet criminals" who held normal jobs and tried to live inconspicuously. The FBI ignored the evidence of criminality for both. Two others, Laszlo Agh of Hungary and Viorel Trifa of Romania, were important anti-Communist figures in their communities. The FBI withheld incriminating evidence in each case during the 1950s that might have resulted in their deportation. Russian Vladimir Sokolov and Ukrainian Mikola Lebed were also leaders in their respective emigre communities. The FBI ignored the crimes of both, using the former as a source and allowing the latter to work extensively for the CIA.

Agh was ordered deported in 1960 after a long INS investigation, but remained in the United States after he appealed. Trifa and Avdzej both were obliged to leave the country and renounce their U.S. citizenship in 1984. Sokolov had his citizenship revoked in 1986. Artukovic was ordered deported in 1952, but for reasons described below was not extradited to Yugoslavia until 1986. He died in 1988 awaiting execution. Lebed died in the United States in 1998 at age 88, and his criminality was clear to everyone who knew his background.

The FBI and the "Quiet Criminals"

John Avdzej


John Avdzej (or Awdziej) was a Byelorussian collaborator who surrendered his U.S. citizenship in 1984 rather than face legal denaturalization proceedings. Avdzej spent the war years in Stolpce, claiming to have been a farmer, tradesman, and road engineer. After telling the U.S. authorities in Frankfurt that he had arrived in Germany as a forced laborer, he received an immigration visa in 1950 and came to the United States. He held skilled labor jobs while living in Passaic, New Jersey, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959. [5]

Evidence surfaced against Avdzej in 1954 when his brother Alexander, six years John's junior, applied for a visa to immigrate to the United States. Information garnered by the 66th Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) and furnished to the FBI liaison in Heidelberg indicated that John Avdzej went to Germany with the separatist White Russian Committee in 1939 when the Germans attacked Poland; that after working with this committee in Warsaw he was transferred in 1942 by the SD to Baranowicze (then in German-occupied Byelorus); and that the Germans made him mayor of the Niasvizh district the same year. The CIC report noted that John's first act was to remove all Poles from administrative posts. He also helped engineer the arrest of members of the Polish intelligentsia, including journalists, professors, priests, and former military officers. According to the report, John submitted a list of 120 politically dangerous Poles to the SD in Baranowicze and physically participated in their execution in Gajki. John also was said to have participated in the executions of thousands of Jews in the Niasvizh area. According to the CIC, John Avdzej had been labeled a war criminal not only by Polish and Soviet radio in 1945 and 1946, but also by the anti-Communist Polish Home Army, which had sentenced him to death in absentia. [6]

Newly released material shows that the Visa Division of the Department of State had seen the CIC information and contacted the INS in October 1954 with the comment that the "highly derogatory information [in the CIC report] concerning one [John] Avdzej" indicated that he "may have entered the country illegally." [7] The INS took the case seriously and contacted the CIA for additional information on Avdzej, but the CIA had none beyond what the INS knew. [8] The INS also contacted the Newark field office of the FBI in March 1955 to discover whether an INS investigation of Avdzej would "interfere with any action you contemplate." [9]

The FBI looked into John Avdzej. In July 1955, the Newark office interviewed Waclaw Wisniewski, a Polish immigrant to the United States from Stolpce who also lived in New Jersey. Wisniewski would provide information which, when fully developed, would show that the CIC had confused the Avdzej brothers. Alexander had been the mayor of Niasvizh. However, John was also implicated, having been the German-picked mayor of Stolpce. Wisniewski could not say whether the brothers had physically participated in executions, but he knew both had "collaborated with the Germans in carrying out their decrees, were friendly toward them, and were sympathetic toward their political beliefs." [10] Based on this information, Alexander would never be allowed into the United States. As for John, the FBI field office in Newark noted that he "may have entered the country illegally." [11]

By October the Newark field office had enough information to interview John personally in order to determine "whether or not [he] is a threat to the internal security of the United States." But before the FBI interviewed him, the Newark office sent a separate message to FBI headquarters "requesting authority to recontact the subject as a potential security informant or double agent," possibly to infiltrate Byelorussian immigrant circles in New Jersey. [12] Hoover was uninterested in investigating Avdzej for deportation or in using him as an FBI source, commenting that "since the war there have been a great number of complaints that people aided the Germans during the war in persecuting the Jews. Interviews in other cases have developed no substantiation of the allegations." Hoover added that since a review of Avdzej's file revealed neither "substantial subversive activity" nor "sound indication of any informant potential," the case was to be closed. [13]

It was true that in the immediate postwar years the FBI had received reports of war criminals living in the United States from eyewitnesses who claimed to know their identities. It was also true that in such cases it was hard to confirm the identity of the accused based on eyewitnesses alone. [14] The evidence against Avdzej, however, was worth pursuing, especially since one of the reports came from Army Intelligence and since the INS and the State Department were convinced that an investigation was worth doing. Avdzej did not leave the United States until nearly three decades later.

Andrija Artukovic

Andrija Artukovic was the Interior Minister of the Independent State of Croatia during the war. He authorized anti-Serb and anti-Jewish legislation as well as mass shootings, deportations, and the creation of Croatia's concentration camps. When Archbishop Stepanic became alarmed in 1941 about Ustasa racial hatred, it was Artukovic that he addressed. ass had been fully aware of Artukovic's stature, too. [15] Like most leading Ustasi, Artukovic Aed Croatia before the Partisan advance in 1945. Rather than flee to Argentina like Ante Pavelic and others, Artukovic joined his brother in southern California in the summer of 1948. He entered the United States illegally under a false name, and then overstayed his temporary visa. In 1949, the INS, with the help of the State Department, discovered that Artukovic was indeed no refugee. [16]

Yugoslav attempts to have Artukovic extradited throughout the 1950s were stymied. Neither the Justice Department nor the State Department wished to deport or extradite him to Tito's Yugoslavia, where he would surely be executed. The Yugoslav government filed an extradition request in August 1951, but the federal circuit court in Los Angeles (where his case was heard) was also sympathetic to Artukovic, who had the noisy backing of the Croatian American community there. By 1959, after much legal maneuvering, he was allowed to remain in the country. [17]

The FBI's main concern in the Artukovic case was propagandistic. After a Yugoslav request for Artukovic's extradition in August 1951, the Yugoslav Information Agency funded and distributed to American press agencies an eighty-five-page booklet, This is Artukovic. The booklet contained graphic photographs of corpses at Jasenovac, letters from Stepanic to Artukovic, and excerpts from Artukovic's own speeches. But the FBI (and Army Intelligence) viewed the booklet as simple Communist propaganda. [18] The only facet of the Artukovic case investigated by the FBI in 1951 was the origins of the pamphlet. Hoover warned, "The Yugoslav Embassy ... is very anxious to have the American press build up this story." [19] The FBI indeed traced the pamphlet's origins back to the embassy, which confirmed Hoover's belief that ''Artukovic is believed to possess great potential propaganda value inasmuch as appropriate action taken against him would greatly impress Yugoslav citizens who do not trust the Tito regime."

The Israeli trial of Adolf Eichman n in 1961 triggered new Yugoslav hopes that Artukovic could be extradited. The CIA reported that Belgrade would send documents to Israeli prosecutors linking Artukovic to Eichmann. If the documents were used at trial, then Yugoslavia would open the extradition case again in the United States based on the validity of their evidence in the Israeli case. [20] But anti-Communist suspicion continued to dominate FBI thinking. After renowned journalist and FBI bete noire Drew Pearson published "Facts on Himmler of Yugoslavia" in The Washington Post in June 1962, the FBI's assessment, possibly based on phone taps, was that "Pearson is more than friendly with Yugoslav officials in the U.S." The FBI even tipped President Kennedy's press secretary Pierre Salinger so that Kennedy could sidestep questions having to do with Artukovic at his June 7, 1962, press conference. [21]

Artukovic was never an FBI informant in the 1960s, but the FBI questioned him on matters pertaining to Croatian terrorism in the United States. The Bureau also contacted him when it received rumors of Serb or Israeli assassination plots against the former Ustasa minister. In one interview in his California home, Artukovic expressed "his deep appreciation of the FBI's interest in his safety." [22] Justice for Artukovic was delayed for decades. In 1986 he was finally extradited to Yugoslavia, where he received the death sentence after his trial.

Emigre Leaders

Laszlo Agh

A fascinating story concerns the Hungarian Warriors Comradeship Association (MHBK), a global society led by former Hungarian Arrow Cross officers who had served Ferenc Szilasi's collaborationist government. [23] In 1950, the CIA and Army Intelligence put the story of the Hungarian Warriors together as follows: [24] With the Red Army pushing into Hungary, leading Hungarian SS officer Karoly Ney ordered the General Staff to create a stay-behind network of special combat and intelligence forces known as Kopjas (pike men). They were ultimately organized by General Andras Zako, whom Szalasi made Chief of military intelligence on October 15, 1944. [25]

Many Kopjas fled into Austria with the Soviet occupation. Zako arrived in Innsbruck in 1947, and the following year the Kopjas became the "Hungarian Warriors Comradeship Association." United States Army Intelligence thought Zako aimed to become war minister in a new Hungarian government, but his group was an "organization of extreme rightists and nationalists with racial bias." Most post-1945 Hungarian exiles were loathe to identify with Zako, afraid to lose support of the Western European and U.S. governments. [26] In the meantime, he forged an intelligence relationship with French. [27]

The MHBK also intended to help with Western military operations in Hungary (should they occur) by providing Hungarian troops. It thus kept tabs on Hungarian refugees with representatives in Austria, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Latin America, and the United States. [28] The MHBK distributed a worldwide publication called Central Bulletin (Kozponti Ttzjekoztato) known after May 1950 as The Way of the Warrior (Hadak Utjan). The politics of the MHBK leadership were clear to the CIA, which said that it was "composed of a clique of former Hungarian officers who were members of the Arrow Cross and are still sympathetic to its fascist principles." [29]

FBI interest in the MHBK focused on Dr. Liszlo Agh. Agh came to the United States in 1947 and became the U.S. MHBK president in 1949. Agh ingratiated himself with the FBI from the start. He wrote to the New York field office on September 8, 1949, to introduce himself as the MHBK representative in the United States, describing the MHBK as centered in Austria but "friendly to the United States." The Central Bulletin, Agh said, was friendly, too, and he promised to send a copy of each issue to the FBI for approval before distribution in the United States. [30]

Agh appeared at the FBI New York field office twice -- on September 28, 1949, and on March 31, 1950. When first questioned, Agh said that he was a lawyer in Budapest before the war and that in 1938 and 1939 his reserve artillery regiment was called up to help occupy Slovak territory awarded to Hungary when Czechoslovakia was dismembered. In 1942, he said, his regiment was sent with the Second Hungarian Army to the eastern front on the Don. He said he was wounded in 1943, hospitalized in Budapest, and spent the remainder of the war uneventfully in Hungary. He fled as the Soviets advanced on Budapest, lived first in Austria as a refugee and then in Italy, and entered the United States in 1947. Living in Newark as of 1950, Agh registered Hungarian veterans and distributed MHBK literature for General Zako. Familiar with the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, he registered his organization with the Department of Justice in December 1949, listing Zako as the foreign agent for whom he worked.

This registration -- which indicated that Agh and the MHBK at the very least leaned to the extreme tight -- followed by Agh's visits to the FBI New York office triggered the FBI's investigation of Agh in 1950. [31] The INS Enforcement Division described the MHBK as "an organization of former Hungarian Nazis and pro-Nazis now abroad." [32] A reliable FBI informant added that the MHBK was led by pro-German Hungarian officers whose aim was "to organize and maintain contact to fight against Russia and communism when the occasion arises." The informant wondered "whether ... the organization would not then turn toward some Nazi form of government." [33]

Agh understood American sensitivities. He registered the MHBK with the Justice Department as the Collegial Society of Hungarian Veterans, avoiding the more belligerent term Warriors, which was the accurate Magyar translation. He told the FBI that CIC and U.S. consular representatives in Austria had screened all Hungarian veterans in the United States for war crimes, though Agh, INS would later discover, lied that he came from Slovakia rather than Hungary so that his name could not be checked. At his March 1950 visit to the FBI, Agh offered his services as an FBI informant. Hoover would later note that ''Agh is in periodic contact with [the New York] office as a source of information." [34] This visit brought another key statement, since Agh had to counter recent accusations in Az Ember, the newspaper of the Hungarian National Committee. In September 1949, he denied any wartime political affiliation, yet he now admitted that he had been an Arrow Cross member and connected with Counter Espionage and Intelligence at the War Ministry. The FBI had also begun translating MHBK literature. One issue of Central Bulletin claimed that the MHBK would shoulder "the task of driving back into the sewer the Moscow-worshipping rats." [35]

Hoover wanted TheWay of the Warrior read regularly to see whether the MHBK was a disruptive force in Hungarian emigre politics. Yet Hoover was not interested in what Agh had done during the war. Agh's anti-Communist credentials and his willingness to spot Communists made his organizations an asset. As the New York field office reported:

Investigation ... has failed to reveal any pro-Communist activities on the part of this organization; on the contrary, because of the numerous members therein of pro-Nazi (Arrowcross) background, predominantly former Hungarian Army and gendarmerie officers, the organization is considered by some observers to be the most active group opposed to the Hungarian Communist regime. [36]


Agh bolstered his status by sending the FBI publications that emphasized the MHBK's loyalty to the United States. A 1953 booklet, Hungarian Fidelity, [37] claimed that the MHBK had 12,500 members in 24 countries and 21 U.S. cities, that 51 members currently served in the U.S. Army, that 18 served in Korea, and that the MHBK had raised 532 pints of blood for the American Red Cross. [38] Whitewashing the Hungarian past and the leadership corps of the MHBK, Agh added:

Our special salute goes to President Eisenhower and to all citizens of the United States, whose consideration and good will have made it possible for us freely to plan and organize the liberation of our native land ....

In fondness, we think of General Zako and his aids, who, in defiance of all the hateful attacks and vilifications that had been hurled at them, were first to lift the Hungarian soldier's flag then disgraced and dragged through the mud [and] built up what has become the largest Hungarian emigrant organization in the world.

The members of the [MHBK] are composed mainly of refugees who fought against Communist Russia during World War II ... We all honestly wish to take part in the fight against Bolshevism, in accordance with the intentions of the wise leadership of American statesmen. [39]


Image
Among the items Laszlo Agh sent to Hoover was the published score of the 1953 song "We Lift our Hearts: Hymn of the Refugees", which bears on its cover Benjamin Franklin's words, "Where liberty dwells, there is my country" (NA, RG 65, 97-2994-37, box 1).

Image
Cover letter to this correspondence.
COLLEGIAL SOCIETY OF HUNGARIAN VETERANS IN U.S.A.
P.O. BOX 724, NEWARK 1, N.J.
Newark, February 2, 1956.

The Hon. Mr. J. Edgar Hoover
Director of F.B.I.
4936. 30th Pl.
Washington S. D.C.

Dear Sir:

We are hereby sending you a complimentary copy of "We Lift Our Hearts -- Hymn of the Refugees", which is an expression of gratitude to God and a tribute of indebtedness to America. Please accept it as a token of our appreciation.

This idea of thanksgiving was originated and artistically developed into the above choral composition by a Hungarian refugee, a member of our organization, and we are also sending you the "Thanksgiving of the Refugees," which contains further data of interest concerning the hymn.

The attached Hymn was composed and given to the cultural world of the USA by Dr. Frederick C. Nagy who is a member of our Organization. Dr. Nagy was a judge in Hungary and also served in the Hungarian Army as a First Lieutenant in the reserve.

He lives now at 2834. N. Sheffield Ave, Chicago 14, Ill.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Laszlo Agh
chairman of the CSHV


The booklet also contained a reproduction of "The Two Bells," a mural by painter Steven Juharos that was commissioned by the MHBK and presented as a formal gift to the Hall of Presidents at Gettysburg at its formal opening in June 1957. The painting is a prime example of appropriated historical memory. Surrounding a portrait of Eisenhower in his general's uniform were scenes from Hungary's heroic past, most notably the 1456 Hungarian victory "over the pagans at Nandorfehervar," and the delivery of Pope Callixtus III's proclamation that church bells be rung each day in commemoration. While Hungary's bells were now silent, Agh explained, the American Liberty Bell still represented freedom. Eisenhower had become the new guardian of a heroic Hungarian identity, and even the American shrine at Gettysburg was co-opted by the Hungarian emigre right in 1957. "As the freedom for which American soldiers died at Gettysburg was achieved," said Agh, "so will the freedom for which the Hungarians died [in 1956] be achieved. This is the meaning of ... The Two Bells." [40] The White House found the painting odd enough that Bernard Shanley, the special counsel to the president, requested that the FBI perform a new check on the MHBK.

The FBI replied that an investigation had been carried out in 1950, but discontinued "inasmuch as it failed to reflect any pro-Communist activities on the part of this organization. [41] When asked by the Cincinnati field office in 1955 whether there should be an investigation of that city's MHBK branch, Hoover replied that though "several leading members [of the MHBK] are known to have been connected with the Hungarian Nazi Party" and that the MHBK "is considered on the extreme right," there was no need to investigate. "The major effort of this group in the United States," he said "is to distribute a monthly publication ... which exhorts its leaders to be good American citizens and to report all Communist and subversive activities to the FBI." [42] Agh had done his job. The MHBK had become a desirable part of the American landscape. [43]

In July 1951, the INS began investigating whether Agh should be deported as a war criminal. Many leads came from Az Ember, which claimed to have uncovered twelve witnesses who could testify "as to the anti-Semitic atrocities committed by Laszlo Agh." [44] The way of the warrior answered that Az Ember was engaging in a Communist smear campaign. [45] But INS investigators collected dozens of witness statements and affidavits from the New York area, Israel, and even South America. Agh, everyone said, had been in charge of a Jewish forced labor detachment at the Frigyes Barracks in Komaron in 1942. Witnesses cited a speech he made to Hungarian guards in which he ordered that the Jews should be treated so harshly that ten would die and be tossed on the garbage heap each day. Others cited the sadistic punishments that Agh would inflict on Jewish prisoners, including the performance of calisthenics to the point of unconsciousness, the forced eating of non-kosher food, burial up to the neck, and the eating of one's own feces. The most terrible punishment involved the order for Jewish laborers to throw themselves on a piece of ground studded with partially buried bayonets. [46] According to the chief INS investigator:

The evidence of record indicates [Agh] was the prime mover in the commission of atrocities on inmates of a forced labor camp in Hungary during World War II. The evidence consists of depositions sworn to by witnesses who are now in all parts of the world. One witness who resides in Chile appeared personally and withstood several hours of cross-examination and remained unshaken in his testimony and in his identification of [Agh] as the perpetrator or the man who ordered the perpetration of atrocities ... The evidence ... would appear to indicate that [Agh's] activities ... at the forced labor camp in Hungary showed such a state of moral depravity that [Agh] should never be admitted to citizenship of the United States. [47]


The INS' problem lay not in the discovery of evidence pertaining to Agh's activities in Hungary, which was plentiful, but in U.S. law, which provided a five-year statute of limitations protecting applicants for naturalization. Agh applied in 1955. Since the crimes had occurred over a decade before his application and since Agh had been a law-abiding resident of the United States since his arrival in 1947, the INS could deport him only with evidence that he had broken the law since his arrival or that his character was the same as before his arrival and within five years of his petition. [48] In INS hearings Agh "vehemently denied under oath" that he had ever been a member or affiliate of the Arrow Cross. Yet on March 31, 1950, Agh had admitted to FBI Special Agent Elmer Roth at the New York field office that he had indeed been an Arrow Cross member. The INS could use the statement to show "that [Agh's] character had not changed since his residence in the United States and that he had testified falsely for the purpose of facilitating his naturalization." [49] The FBI thus held the key to the case.

In July 1958, the INS asked if Roth would testify in an INS hearing and if his report dated June 22, 1950, could be admitted as evidence. Roth, said the INS, was "a necessary witness" whose testimony "is the only matter delaying the completion of this case." [50] Roth remembered Agh's comments. But in September 1959, after numerous delays, Hoover announced that Roth would not testify. "We are taking this position," Hoover said, "because of the lack of protection afforded our Special Agents when they testify in INS hearings." Specifically, Hoover referred to a recent hearing in San Francisco, where an FBI agent "was subjected to unfair and uncalled for criticism." [51]

The INS eventually lost patience. On October 8, 1959, the INS informed the FBI that they now had enough evidence without Roth to warrant a deportation proceeding. [52] In the initial INS hearing in March 1960, Agh was ordered deported after a flood of corroborative witness testimony. Agh's own witnesses did not help his case. One insisted that Hungary had a Jewish problem and that Szalasi had been a good Christian in trying to ship Jews out. Another claimed that Agh in 1939 had written an Arrow Cross pamphlet titled "We Shall Do Hanging." Agh, meanwhile, could only insist that the case was one of mistaken identity, that he had never lied to a United States official, and that everyone testifying against him was part of a Communist plot. [53]

Yet the deportation was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals in April 1961. The Board excluded most witness testimony and argued -- based on information found in the Encyclopedia Britannica -- that since the Germans did not invade Hungary until March 1944, mistreatment of Jews could not have occurred before that date. [54] Before the 1961 appeal, INS officials had worried that too much of their case depended on witness testimony. Much would hinge, they said, on Agh's documented lie that he had never told a U.S. government official that he had been a member of the Arrow Cross. [55] Special Agent Roth remained a key figure, but he did not testify. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Hoover could have made Roth available had he wished. Partly as a result of the FBI's non-cooperation, Agh, a war criminal identified by dozens of his own victims, remained in the United States.

Viorel Trifa

A case of more overt FBI protection is that of Viorel Trifa, a war criminal from Romania who immigrated to the United States in 1950. A one-time theology student, Trifa was a leading member of the Fascist, anti-Semitic Iron Guard. Under its leader Horia Sima, the Iron Guard shared power with Romanian dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu from September 1940 to January 1941. Anti-Jewish legislation and terrorist incidents inspired by the Iron Guard abounded, but an Iron Guard revolt on the night of January 20, 1941, sought to oust Antonescu and create a more radical Guardist dictatorship. The revolt failed, but not until the Jewish portion of Bucharest was subjected to one of the war's worst pogroms.

Before the 1941 revolt, Trifa edited the anti-Semitic newspaper Libertate, which railed against the Jewish presence in Romania. On Simas recommendation, Trifa also became president of the National Union of Romanian Christian Students, a post giving him control of all university student groups. On the night of January 20, Trifa helped precipitate the revolt and the Bucharest pogrom by railing before a massive student rally and signing a public manifesto posted throughout the city. He called for an Iron Guard government while praising Hitler, damning England, and condemning the Jews. He thus helped ignite mob action in which hundreds of Jews were brutally murdered, their shops destroyed, and their synagogues burned. After the Romanian Army put down the revolt, German SD agent Otto von Bolschwing spirited the Iron Guard leaders our of Romania and into Germany, where they lived in a comfortable protective custody. After the war, Iron Guardists in Europe under Horia Sima would hire themselves out as intelligence agents to the Americans, British, and French. [56]

Trifa fled to Italy, where he served as a committee member for Constantin Papanace, the leader of an Iron Guard intelligence group supported by the Vatican. [57] He arrived in New York as a displaced person in July 1950 and went to Cleveland, where he edited the official organ of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in the United States, Herald (Solia). By this time, he had already been tried in absentia twice in Romania: in 1941 the Antonescu government sentenced him to life at hard labor, and in 1946 the People's Court in Cluj sentenced him to death for crimes amounting to genocide under the Romanian penal code. [58] As early as August 1951 the CIA and the State Department were familiar with the "Trifa Manifesto" of January 1941 and so understood that Trifa "may have misrepresented the facts of his career in obtaining a visa." [59] By March 1952, State Department officials had found "scads of info on [Trifa]," none of it good. [60]

Trifa's presence in the United States and the FBI's involvement must be understood within the context of Romanian Cold War politics. Before World War II, the Romanian Orthodox Church in the United States was headed by a bishop appointed by the Patriarch of the Romanian Church, who performed his functions from an estate known as the Vatra Romaneasca in Grass Lake, Michigan. The post was vacant when the war ended, and the de facto head of the church was Reverend John Trutza, a financially ambitious cleric who became president of the Romanian Episcopate Council. This body voted in March 1947 to break with the Romanian Patriarch and become autonomous. FBI investigations revealed a number of facts about Trutza's desire to control the Vatra and other Romanian church assets in the United States, and they also showed him to be a strong anti-Communist. Trutza sponsored Trifa's arrival in the United States in 1950, and arranged his job at Herald. [64]

In November 1950, a small number of Romanian clerics responded to Trutza's actions by electing a new bishop -- Romanian-born Reverend Andrei Moldovan, who came to the United States in the 1920s and was naturalized in 1943. Nothing concerning Moldovan's elevation to the post was normal, particularly his secret trip to Romania (via Canada) in November 1950, where he was invested with his office by the Romanian Patriarch Justinian. Before the trip, Moldovan lied to his parishioners that he was going to Arkansas. He lied when attaining his U.S. passport, telling State Department authorities that he was going to France. He also arranged the trip to Romania with the financial and administrative help of the Romanian legation in Washington and was invested in the presence of the Romanian Minister of Cults and Religion, Stanciu Stoyan.

United States authorities immediately suspected that Moldovan was a Communist agent. Secretary of State Dean Acheson warned the American legation in Bucharest that "[Moldovan's] elevation ... and the arrangements connected with it [could] have potentially significant consequences [and] possibly prejudicial national interests." [62] The CIA warned that Moldovan's consecration in Romania was part of a plan elaborated in a secret meeting of Orthodox bishops in Moscow to invest bishops who had a pro-Communist disposition in an effort to sway Orthodox Christians, even those in the United States. [63] Consensus even among Moldovan's enemies was that he was an unwitting stooge of below average intelligence used by the Romanian Communist party to gain traction in the United States. [64] Justinian's "pastoral letters" concerning alleged U.S. biological warfare against North Korean civilians and Moldovan's attempt to lead a "peace tour" to Romania did not help his legitimacy in the eyes of anti-Communists in the United States. [65]
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Trutza completed the growing schism when he called a meeting of the Romanian Episcopate Council in Chicago, which narrowly chose his nominee, Viorel Trifa, as the new Romanian Orthodox bishop. The nomination was breathtaking in its audacity. Trifa was a known Iron Guardist, a war criminal, and not even an ordained priest. The FBI questioned two Catholic sources highly knowledgeable about the Romanian Church -- Monsignor Gerald P. O'Hara in Ireland and Monsignor John C. Kirk in Madrid. Both commented that while it was true that the Patriarch Justinian was "a complete Communist" and a "tool of Moscow," Trifa was unprepared for a bishopric "either from the standpoint of intelligence, spiritual inspiration, or morals." He was the cat's paw of Trutza. [66]

The FBI also had a source from within the Romanian National Committee in Washington, D.C., who added that Trutza had no easy time before that committee on September 25, 1951:

[The Council] pointed out to Reverend Trutza the awkward position in which he was placing the members of the Rumanian Orthodox faith by insisting on having a former member of the Iron Guard as Bishop of the church ... [They] warned Reverend Trutza of the vulnerable position in which he was placing the church insofar as [a] Communist propaganda attack was concerned ... It was pointed out to Reverend Trutza that Rumanians as a whole knew the connection that Trifa had with the Iron Guard Students Movement in Rumania. This particular movement was the strongest organization in the Iron Guard. .. As leader of this movement, Trifa advocated and called for anti-British and anti-Semitic activities on the part of his followers and ... proclaimed the benefits of ... Hider and Mussolini ... Trutza was warned that this background of Trifa made him undesirable as a church leader in the United States. [67]


Trutza insisted that Trifa was "a repentant sinner" who "now realizes the wrongs of the Rumanian Iron Guard Movement" and that Trifa was "now willing to serve in every way possible and promote the ends of democracy." Trutza further assured the committee that he "could prevent any trend in the United States ... toward a return of the Iron Guard movement" and that "he personally [could] always handle Trifa [who] will be a substantial contributor to the solidification of Rumanian Americans who today are troubled over the recent imposition of the Rumanian Communist Bishop Moldovan." [68] The National Committee was unconvinced.

Trifa's consecration was not easy. He had to be ordained as a sub-deacon, a deacon, and a priest, and take orders as a monk before he could become a bishop. Archbishop John Theodorovich, Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States, consecrated him after three other archbishops refused. Theodorovich, who claimed he was the last surviving bishop among those elected in Russia in 1921 (the rest, he said, were purged), was eager to insult the Russian Orthodox Church. In March 1952, Theodorovich received a telegram from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate Council warning that Trifa was "a Nazi collaborator morally responsible for the murderer [sic] of thousands of Rumanian Jews on ... 21-23 January 1941." [69] Insisting that evidence of Trifa's crimes against Jews was nothing more than "Communist intervention," [70] Theodorovich invested Trifa with his new office on April 27, 1952, and Trifa took the name Bishop Valerian. Herald reported the consecration with the headline "The Bells Shall Ring and the Hearts Shall Leap with Joy." [71] Trifa and Trutza also won an ongoing legal battle with Moldovan later that year. Moldovan's series of lies regarding his 1950 consecration in Romania convinced the U.S. District Court in Cleveland to award Trifa control over the Vatra and all assets of the Romanian episcopate. Moldovan was enjoined from using the title of bishop and would hold little sway in the Romanian community. He died in 1963. [72]

The FBI followed this controversy; both Trifa and Moldovan became the subjects of FBI investigations in the 1950s. Plenty of evidence surfaced on Trifa. But Hoover was obsessed with getting the names of Romanian priests who followed Moldovan; with obtaining the names of individuals who wished to travel with him to Romania in order to see family members; with tracking penicillin shipments Moldovan made to Romania through Canada; and above all with discovering whether Moldovan took a loyalty oath to the Romanian government while in Bucharest. [73]

Hoover's fixation on the loyalty oath lay in the fact that it was the best legal ground for Moldovan's denaturalization and deportation as a foreign agent. It was on this basis that Hoover approved an FBI interview of Moldovan in Detroit in April 1953. If Moldovan could be fooled into admitting that he took the oath -- and sources said he was not very smart -- then this information would be forwarded to the INS and deportation proceedings could begin. [74] Although FBI agents in Detroit caught Moldovan in a number of lies concerning his November 1950 trip to Romania, Moldovan insisted he took no loyalty oath and that he was a loyal anti-Communist citizen of the United States. [75] The Detroit field office thus suggested closing the Moldovan investigation, while the Attorney General's office urged Hoover to get information that could prove that Moldovan "is engaging in any form of political activity," since the Foreign Agents Act under which he could be deported exempted purely religious pursuits as foreign agent activity. [76]

The FBI meanwhile protected Trifa from a great deal of evidence, including that from the FBI's own (and only) Romanian translator, Mathew J. Cazan, who reported in 1950 that "Trifa was instrumental in the Iron Guard movement and organizations attached thereto throughout [Romania]." [77] The State Department reported to the FBI the following year that Trifa had been adjutant to Iron Guard leader Horia Sima and that he probably got into the United States through fraud. The FBI had a translated copy of the Trifa Manifesto with its call "Death to the Masons and the Jews," with Trifa's name on the bottom. [78] The CIA reported (based on its own discussions with Monsignor O'Hara) that Trifa was "a leading Iron Guardist in Romania," and that "reports from various sources indicate that [he] participated in large scale massacres of Jews ... notably the burning and looting of the Dudesti and Vacaresti sections of Bucharest in 1941," and that the Romanian newspaper Universul in January 21, 1941, carried the full text of Trifa's speech from the night before which praised Hitler for confronting the Jewish threat to Europe. [79] Well-informed Romanians and others who were in no way Communists also provided information on Trifa to the authorities. The comments of the Romanian National Committee to Trutza, about which the FBI was fully informed, have already been mentioned. Even a former member of the Iron Guard living in Oregon told the FBI that Trifa was a key member of the Iron Guard and that he issued his famous manifesto. [80]

None of this swayed Hoover. The Romanian Episcopate in the United States published a lot of anti-Communist literature, all of which was sent for Hoover's approval. Communistic Attempts to Gain Control over American Church Organizations (1952), for example, argued that the Kremlin was trying to infiltrate emigre groups in the United States, that the Romanian state was using Patriarch Justinian in this regard, and that the Romanian Church in the United States was a free outpost for Romanian Orthodoxy to which "liberty and justice-loving people look" for leadership against Justinian, who was "anxious to serve the interests of pro-Soviet politics and ... Communist ideology throughout the Church." Part of this campaign, the pamphlet said, was to accuse Bishop Trifa of war crimes. "It is our humble but considered opinion, read the conclusion,

that the machinations of Andrei Moldovan and the activities of anyone directly connected with him in his attempt to obtain control over the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and its assets, ate part of a huge Communistic plan designed to gain inroads to our American way of life and thereby subject it to the domination of Moscow. [81]


Hoover thought enough of the pamphlet to forward it to the State Department's Office of Security and the Attorney General's office with the comment that it "contains a detailed analysis of the factional dispute presently existing within the Romanian Orthodox Church." While there was consensus that Justinian was a tool of the Romanian government, Hoover's insistence on accepting Trifa's stilted version of the schism -- and most notably Trifa's argument that the wartime evidence against him was simply a Communist attempt to smear an upstanding American bishop -- was tantamount to FBI protection of a known war criminal. [82]

The FBI's version of events surprised even the CIA. In response to Hoover's comment in late 1953 that the denunciations against Trifa reflected nothing more than "the bitter animosity exhibited by the Communists toward Trifa," the CIA's Deputy Director of Plans made a rare historical corrective:

Without wishing to enter into the merits of the long -- standing dispute within the Rumanian Orthodox Church ... we would like to point out that despite the emotionalism and mutual name-calling indulged in by both sides, there is a body of fact to support both contentions. As far as Subject is concerned, there is, for example, a well-known inflammatory document known generally as the "Trifa Manifesto," which Subject issued during the time of the Iron Guard uprising, in which he calls for reprisals against the British for the alleged assassination by their orders of a German officer in Bucharest. In this Manifesto he states, among other things: "Cerem guvern legionary" which, translated literally, means "I call for a Legionnaire (Iron Guard) Government." There are official records of Trifa's participation, as one of the moving spirits, in the 1941 Iron Guard Rebellion, as well as evidences of his having been given sanctuary in Nazi Germany when the attempted coup failed. His adherence to Horia Sima, Iron Guard leader, was a matter of common knowledge in Rumania. [83]


None of this was substantial enough for the FBI, which counted the 1955 interrogation of Trifa himself as bona fide exculpatory evidence. The interrogation was undertaken only as a result of reports that Communists might have been able to infiltrate Iron Guard members in the United States and Canada and that Trifa might be a conduit for Communist party funds. Though the FBI field office in Detroit was skeptical of this charge, it recommended an interview since Trifa "was an official in the Iron Guard" and that "if Trifa is truthful, he could continue to supply information regarding the Iron Guard in the United States and Canada and on Rumanian immigrants." [84]

Trifa's interview, which took place over three days in February 1955, showed that he was a better liar than Moldovan. He argued that he was nothing more than the leader of a democratic students group in Romania; that he was never a member of the Iron Guard; that Horia Sima wrote the Trifa Manifesto and put Trifa's name on the bottom; that he attended the student demonstrations in the hope of keeping them orderly; that the speech he gave on the night of January 20, 1941, was also foisted on him by Sima; and that he was arrested by the Gestapo after the demonstrations, whereupon he spent the remainder of the war in a series of German concentration camps. Moldovan and his Communist friends had manufactured the war crimes charges, which, Trifa said, went unanswered because the episcopate lacked the money for a political war of words. It was an imaginative performance and one the FBI never questioned despite all evidence it had received to the contrary. [85]

The most disturbing episode of Trifa's presence in the United States came on May 11, 1955, when he delivered the convocation prayer in the United States Senate. On the same day, he met with Vice President Richard Nixon and asked for Nixon's support on behalf of Romania and "our brothers in Bessarabia," now under Soviet rule. [86] This was too much for Nicholas Neamtu Martin, an American citizen of Romanian descent. For the past five years, Martin had supplied the FBI Detroit field office with information regarding Trifa. Included in Martin's research was the location in Ontario of a former Romanian Army officer named Stavro Jianu, who had himself interviewed a number of Jewish victims of the Iron Guard who could identify Trifa. AJI had lost family members in the Bucharest pogrom of January 1941. Martin had no special ecclesiastical axe to grind, since he was not associated with Moldovan in 1955. [87] After the convocation prayer, Martin contacted journalist Drew Pearson, who used Martin's information for his radio broadcast of May 30, 1955, as well as columns in the Washington Post, Washington Herald, and Detroit Free Press. Martin also told the FBI Washington field office that Pearson was in the process of arranging a meeting between him and Nixon, wherein Martin would tell the vice president the truth about Trifa and his illegal entry into the United States. [88]

Hoover scotched the interview in a brief note to Nixon, belittling the charges as nothing more than the result of a "factional schism within the Rumanian Orthodox Church of America" while smearing Martin as a "follower of Reverend Moldovan." Hoover included no information on Trifa's career in Romania other than to say, "Bishop Trifa, in an interview with agents of this Bureau, denied actual membership in the Rumanian Iron Guard ... There has been no known activity of this type on the part of Bishop Trifa since his entry into the United States." Hoover also told Nixon that sources "have reported Mr. Martin to be a braggart and of questionable moral character." [89]

Later the same year, more information reached the FBI concerning Trifa's orders during the pogrom of January 1941 that the tongues of three Jewish clothiers were to be cut out. But in 1957, the Detroit field office recommended that Trifa's case file be closed based on the 1955 interview with Trifa. "A review of the file," the field office reported, "reveals no indication that [Trifa] still adheres to the Nationalist teachings of this organization. Trifa has stated that he is ready to do all in his means to defend the American way of life. There is no indication that Trifa's activities are inimical to the United States, therefore, this case is being closed." [90]

A relationship of sorts continued between Trifa and the FBI well into the 1960s. Anti-Communist pamphlets published under Trifa's auspices and pointing to Communist attempts to infiltrate emigre groups and churches continued to be sent to the FBI and continued to pique Hoover's interest. Trifa's reputation, however, induced Hoover to dissociate FBI headquarters from the bishop, ordering that the receipt of Trifa's information not be acknowledged in writing and that the Detroit Field office should "tactfully suggest in the future that [Trifa might] desire to contact [the] Detroit office directly." Such would avoid what Hoover called "embarrassment" to the Bureau. [91] Regardless, Trifa understood clearly the debt that he owed to the FBI. Rumors that President Lyndon Johnson would replace Hoover as FBI Director in 1963 prompted a letter to the president from the bishop himself, which claimed in the strongest terms, "The American people need men like J. Edgar Hoover." [92]

Emigre Agents

Vladimir Sokolov


Image
Image

CONFIDENTIAL
Mr. Kitchel

BY COURIER SERVICE
June 16, 1955

Honorable Richard M. Nixon (orig)
The Vice President
Washington, D.C.

My dear Mr. Vice President:

On June 12, 1955, Mr. Nicholas [illegible] Martin contacted our Washington Field office and advised that Mr. Drew Pearson, the columnist, is to arrange an appointment for Mr. Martin with you. The purpose of the appointment is to enable Mr. Martin to supply you with information concerning Bishop Viopel Donise Trifa of the Rumanian Orthodox Church of America.

Mr. Martin stated that he had furnished information concerning Bishop Trifa to Mr. Pearson, and this information was utilized by Mr. Pearson in his May 30, 1955, radio broadcast and in recent newspaper columns.

Mr. Martin stated that on June 13, 1955, he intended to supply all United States Congressmen and Senators with the full text of Mr. Pearson's articles, which protest Bishop Trifa's entry into the United States. These articles also mention that Bishop Trifa offered the convocation prayer at the beginning of a session of the United States Senate in May of this year.

There has existed for some time a bitter factional schism within the Rumanian Orthodox Church of America. Bishop Trifa heads one of the factions and Reverend Andrew Moldovan heads another. Adherents of both factions have made allegations against adherents of the opposing faction, alleging both Communist and Fascist activities on the part of their opponents. Mr. Martin is a follower of Reverend Moldovan.

Information has been received indicating that Bishop Trifa was possibly a member of the Rumanian Iron Guard in Rumania prior to and during World War II. Bishop Trifa, in an interview with Agents of This Bureau, denied actual membership in the Rumanian Iron Guard, but stated he was closely associated with the organization and worked with its leaders. There has been no known activity of this type on the part of Bishop Trifa since his entry into the United States. Sources of unknown reliability have reported Mr. Martin to be a braggart and of questionable moral character.

The above is for your confidential information and possible interest.

Sincerely yours,

Edgar

GWK:skw
(6)
105-14006
(A cover memo from Belmont to Boardman was prepared by GWK:skw on 6-16-55 in connection with this outgoing mail.)


Note from Hoover to Nixon -- with an ad hominem dismissal of Nicolas Martin's allegations against Trifa -- opposing a Nixon interview by a journalist covering the story (Hoover to Nixon, 16 June 1955, NA, RG 65,105-14006-4-108, box 159).

The case of Vladimir Sokolov, aka Vladimir Samarin, also demonstrates how anti-Communist credentials could outweigh a collaborationist past. But Sokolov was more than an emigre leader; he was a willing Nazi collaborator who slipped into the United States by lying about his wartime past. He was naturalized in 1957. The FBI used Sokolov to spy on potential Communists and Soviet agents in the United States.

Sokolov was born in Orel, Russia, in March 1913 and worked as a teacher under the Soviet system from 1936 to 1942. The Germans occupied Orel from December 1942 to August 1944. Orel's strategic importance and large population meant that Russian collaborators were key elements to German control. SS Sonderkommando 7b, which hunted and murdered Jews in the region, needed various forms of local support. Sokolov voluntarily collaborated with the Germans as a senior editor and writer for Speech (Rech) a German-controlled, Russian language newspaper, and his contributions combined older Russian anti-Jewish tradition with the Nazi idea that Bolshevism was the latest manifestation of Jewish conspiracy. "The Kikes," he once wrote representatively in Speech, "will be destroyed thoroughly and decisively." According to Sokolov, Jews surrounded Joseph Stalin; Jews had started the current war; Jews controlled President Roosevelt; and the Germans with their allies "were fighting the Kikes of the world." [93] The Germans thought highly of Sokolov and decorated him with medals in 1943. [94]

Retreating with the Germans, Sokolov continued to serve them. As a displaced person in the British zone of Germany after the war, he worked for more discreet anti-Communist publications such as the weeklies Put and Possev. The latter newspaper was the official organ of the NTS (National Alliance of Russian Solidarists), an organization with its own collaborationist history. Founded in the 1930s by Russian emigres of extreme rightist and anti-Semitic feeling, the NTS collaborated closely with the Nazis in Russia, providing local administrators, propagandists, and informants. The NTS rebuilt itself on purely anti-Communist grounds in 1945, first in Limburg an der Lahn and then in Frankfurt. [95]

In June 1951, Sokolov entered the United States as a displaced person after signing an affidavit that he had "never advocated or assisted in the persecution of any person because of religion, race, or national origin." [96] Under the pen name Vladimir Samarin, he became active in Russian emigre organizations. He worked as a proofreader for the Russian language Chekhov Press, which, funded by a $3 million Ford Foundation grant, published roughly two hundred Russian language books, including classics banned in the USSR. He contributed several articles to New Russian Word (Novoye Russkoye Slovo) and other emigre publications. He worked under Dr. Ivan London of Brooklyn College as a researcher for the Inwood Project, which studied Soviet propaganda. He contributed papers for the Columbia University Research program on the USSR, funded by the Ford Foundation and administered by the noted expert on the Soviet Union, Professor Alexander Dallin. Finally, Sokolov joined the North American Branch of the NTS, headquartered in New York City, and soon became branch president. [97] The NTS by this time remained a staunch anti-Communist organization with tight discipline and secret methods. It spread Russian language anti-Soviet propaganda even within the USSR. [98]

The FBI first became interested in Sokolov when conflicting reports emerged on him in 1954 before his naturalization. On the one hand, the FBI received a tip that a man named Vladimir Sokolov had been an NKVD (Soviet Secret Police) agent. This lead was a case of mistaken identity. [99] At the same time, the FBI received information from another Russian emigre who had known Sokolov in Orel that Sokolov had worked for Speech in 1943, that Sokolov had shared the views of this publication, and that he had collaborated with the Gestapo in Orel. [100] Though the mistaken NKVD charge had been a cause of great concern, the charge of collaboration with the Nazis seems to have been outweighed for the FBI by the fact that the informant did not like Sokolov and by Sokolov's anti-Communism. The same FBI report contained the assessment of another informant who described Sokolov as "a burning anti-Communist," who as the head of the NTS North American branch had even written Secretary of State John Foster Dulles on behalf of Dr. Alexander Truchnovich, a Russian who had recently been kidnapped by the Soviets in Berlin. [101] The FBI assessment of Sokolov as a "sincere, outspoken anti-Communist," was only enhanced in November 1957 when he was arrested while demonstrating outside the Park Avenue residence of the Soviet delegation to the United Nations and charged with assault. [102]

A more in-depth check of Sokolov was completed only after his naturalization in 1958 and 1959, when Sokolov applied for an announcer's position with The Voice of America. Though the State Department and the U.S. Civil Service Commission performed the checks, and though Sokolov was not hired as a VOA announcer, the FBI took a direct interest in the results of the check because, as Hoover said, "It is contemplated that we may interview [Sokolov] as a potential source" regarding the reliability of NTS members in the United States and possible Soviet penetration of other emigre organizations. The rumor that Sokolov had been an KVD agent still hung in the air. Another FBI informant had said that "the Soviets have been able to obtain voluminous information from captured Gestapo files relating to Samarin," and that Moscow intended to make the information public. Moreover, the Soviets had published a photograph in August 1957 that included Sokolov's in-laws in Russia, possibly as a method by which to intimidate or pressure him. [103]

State Department checks on Sokolov ranged from the perfunctory to the incompetent. One researcher performed a brief check of agencies that might have had information on Sokolov including the CIC, the Berlin Documents Center, and Army Intelligence, but not the CIA, which might have had more information about NTS leaders than any other agency. He found nothing. [104] Another State Department agent interviewed one of Sokolov's NTS colleagues in Frankfurt, who naturally emphasized Sokolov's anti-Communist credentials. In this context, Sokolov was "absolutely reliable politically, intelligent, and decent in all respects." [105] The checks from the Civil Service Commission (USCSC) were, for the most part, also superficial. [106]

One USCSC report, however, by Harold Palatsky, found much more. Amid more interviews that confirmed Sokolov's aversion to the Soviet system, Palatsky found "derogatory information ... in that subject allegedly collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation of Russia from approximately 1942 until August of 1944, and in Germany, from approximately August of 1944 until the end of the war." [107] Vera Schwartz, the editor in chief at Chekhov Press who had supervised Sokolov for four years, related the following:

He had been Editor in Chief of a German sponsored Russian paper in Orel, Russia. This paper served the purposes of Hitler. In Germany, I would assume that Vladimir was probably in the Nazi propaganda organization. Whatever his work was in Germany before the end of the war, you cannot escape the fact that he was in the service of the Germans in Germany ... [Sokolov] is probably absolutely loyal to the United States, as his destiny is tied to the free democratic world. However, I can't help but feel that a man who once switched to the Nazis could do it again. Other Russians who helped the Nazis have admitted their mistake but not Mr. SokolNov.


A thoughtful assessment also came from Mark Weinbaum, the editor of New Russian Word:

He was a conscious, ardent collaborator. He felt it was the thing to do -- that the Nazis would help free Russia from the Communists.

The Russians in the United States, including myself, who are anti-Nazi, had to decide as to [the] degree of collaboration undertaken by such men as SokolNov. We had to make this decision when the United States Government allowed these people to come to this country. Of course, those who helped to murder Jews and Poles were rejected by us. That is why I spoke to Samarin and I will say that his past is "clouded." I will not say whether it is good or bad. It is up to the United States Government to question him about his past. He told me that he was an ardent anti-Communist and that he looked upon Germany as the liberator.


The most serious assessment might have come from the Columbia University history professor, Alexander Dallin, who was at the time the leading academic authority on the German occupation of Soviet territory during the war. His book, German Rule in Russia (1957), though revised in the 1980s, was the standard work on the German occupation, [108] and he also had worked with Sokolov on Columbia's Research Program on the USSR. "Mr. Samarin," Dallin said, "was a teacher in Russia."

He was later a newspaper editor under the Germans. The Editor in Chief of that newspaper [Speech] was Michael Oktan, who was one of the leading ... Fascists in Orel, Russia. [109] My impression is that the N.T.S. placed responsible people in good positions under the German Occupation. I do not know whether or not Sokolov agreed with Oktan, who was an out and out Nazi sympathizer and collaborator. I have no reason to feel that Sokolov was enthusiastic about what the Nazis were doing, but I will say that he was prepared to work with them whatever mental reservations he had ... I feel certain that he must have wtitten some articles of which he is not overly proud today.

I would have no reason not to recommend him for work involving ... national security. However, I will say to you that I am not too enthusiastic about his political attitudes and development.


Finally, the FBI studied the statements of Sokolov himself, who was interviewed in April 1957 in connection with his desire for a reentry permit following a political conference in Amsterdam. [110] If anything, Sokolov's comments foreshadowed those of Schwartz, Weinbaum, and Dallin. He admitted that he had been the literary editor and then deputy editor of Speech for nearly two years from December 1942 to August 1944. Yet he emphasized nothing more than its anti-Communism, which he knew would please his interrogators. "I wrote against the Communists," he argued, "because it was an anti-Communist paper ... I am writing against Communists for the last fifteen years." Yet when he was pressed as to the more overtly anti-Semitic tenor of Speech, Sokolov had to be more forthcoming. "Under German occupation," he said,

there were many Russian newspapers published ... and we were forced to assume certain political lines. We Russians fought the best way we could, but under the ever-present danger of being shot to death on the spot, we had to put in ... Fascist and Anti-Semitic [remarks] to please the Germans ... As to anti-Semitic remarks, there may have been some to which I was forced.


Sokolov then explained how he left Russia for Germany in August 1944, and how he "wrote against Communism" in the Vlassovite paper Vola Narodna, then edited Put and Possev during the Allied occupation of Germany. [111]

Hoover was indifferent to these revelations. "The results of the United States Civil Service Commission investigation of the subject," said Hoover, "contained no unfavorable information. A few persons who were interviewed stated that they knew [Sokolov] worked for the Germans during World War II and they indicated that they were uncertain as to whether he willingly cooperated with the Nazis." Hoover continued, however, that in view of "the lack of any factual derogatory information ... [Sokolov's] cooperation will be sought regarding information concerning NTS activities in the United States and his knowledge of any Soviet infiltration into Russian anti-Communist organizations in the United States." [112] The FBI performed no further checks concerning Sokolov's actions from 1942 to 1945.

Due to post-1958 redactions in the FBI's file on Sokolov, it is hard to say how effective a source Sokolov was for the FBI. Perhaps he was a disappointment at first. Though willing to speak in general terms to the FBI about Soviet interest in the emigre community, Sokolov would divulge little concerning the NTS membership, organization, and activities. The furthest Sokolov went was to permit one NTS subordinate to speak with the FBI from time to time due to what the FBI called the increased amount of known Soviet activity in the emigre field. [113]

Later in 1959, Sokolov gained a position on the faculty of Yale University teaching Russian language and literature. How a man with no high academic credentials suddenly procured such a prestigious position is a mystery. It is clear that the FBI used him as an informant while at Yale, possibly to report on Russian students or on faculty in the 1960s. [114] It is clear from this case that the Army Counterintelligence Corps and the CIA were not the only U.S. agencies that made active use of Nazi collaborators.

Mikola Lebed

Mikola Lebed is one of the better-known cases of a former collaborator living in the United States. Newly released FBI records, together with Lebed's CIC file, CIA Name File, and INS dossier, make it possible to reveal his history with greater detail. [115] Before and during World War II, Lebed was a leading member of the younger, more radical wing of the Ukrainian Nationalist Organization (OUN) under Stephan Bandera (OUN-B) and its military/terrorist arm, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Based in Galicia, a region of Ukraine that was located in Poland from 1919 to 1939, the OUN had long called for an independent greater Ukraine. OUN counted among its enemies those that had denied Ukrainian independence (Poles, Soviets) and those in the Ukraine who had failed to assimilate (Jews). [116] During the Polish government's repression of the OUN in Galicia, Lebed helped plan the assassination of Polish Interior Minister Bronislaw Pieracki in Warsaw. In 1936 he was jailed by the Polish government for his role. Following the German attack on Poland in September 1939, he escaped from a column of prisoners.

In its work to destabilize the Polish state, the OUN's ties with Germany extended back to 1921. These ties intensified under the Nazi regime as war with Poland drew near. [117] Galicia was allotted to the Soviets under the August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, and the Germans welcomed anti-Polish Ukrainian activists into the German-occupied General Government. In 1940 and 1941, in preparation for what would become the eastern campaign, the Germans began to recruit Ukrainians, particularly from Bandera's wing, as saboteurs, interpreters, and police, and trained them at a camp at Zakopane near Cracow. In the spring of 1941, the Wehrmacht also developed two Ukrainian battalions with the approval of the Banderists, one code named "Nightingale" (Nachtigall) and the other code named "Roland."

Germans and Ukrainian units reached Lvov four days after the eastern campaign began, and on June 30, 1941, OUN-B officials proclaimed an independent Ukrainian state under a government of OUN-B members who hoped the Germans would accept the fait accompli. But though the Germans hoped to use the Ukrainians against the Poles, Soviets, and Ukrainian Jews, they had no intention of allowing even a semi-independent Ukraine. TIle Germans arrested Bandera and other OUN-B leaders and moved them to Sachsenhausen. [118] On July 16, the Germans absorbed Galicia into the General Government.

When the Germans arrested the OUN-B leadership, Lebed slipped through the German police net and became the de facto leader of the OUN-B. In October 1941, the German Security Police issued a wanted poster with Lebed's photograph. The following year he would form the underground terror wing, the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), which would initially fight German imperialism in the Ukraine but which also settled scores with rival Ukrainian leaders, Poles, Communists, and Jews. [119] Indeed, the Banderists sent a manifesto to the Gestapo in Lvov that Hitler had deceived them but which also proclaimed, "Long Live greater independent Ukraine without Jews, Poles and Germans: Poles behind the San [River], Germans to Berlin, Jews to the gallows." [120] There are numerous survivor testimonies concerning the Banderist murder of Jews who had escaped to the forests in Galicia in 1941 and 1942. [121]

From the fall of 1941, German police officials in the western Ukraine had nagging problems with Banderist sabotage and anti-German Ukrainian nationalist propaganda issued by the OUN-B. Certain German police reports even mention Banderist aid to Jews in the form of false papers, most likely for Jewish doctors or skilled workers who could help the movement. [122] Only in 1943 -- the year in which German police units carried out a major campaign against the UPA -- did OUN-B leaflets suggest that for the moment participation in anti-Jewish actions would make the OUN-B "a blind tool in foreign hands." [123] In the long run, the OUN-B's chief enemies remained the Soviets, who were more likely to regain control of Galicia with the German retreat from the Ukraine in 1943 and 1944. Red Army POWs told their German captors in 1944 that the UPA, led by Lebed and made up of "fanatic" Banderists, was a "terror" for Red Army units in the Ukraine to the point where the Soviets viewed them as German agents. A war of extreme atrocities thus raged between the Red Army and the UPA, with former Ukrainian Nazi collaborators backing the UPA but eventually suffering Red Army counter-insurgency methods. With the advance of the Red Army, Jews serving the UPA were murdered either by the UPA or by the Germans, and by September 1944 German Army officers in northern Ukraine told their superiors in Foreign Armies East that the UPA was a "natural ally of Germany" and "a valuable aid for the German High Command." [124] Himmler himself authorized intensified contacts with the UPA. [125] Though UPA propaganda emphasized that organization's independence from the Germans, the UPA also ordered some young Ukrainians to volunteer for the Ukrainian SS Division "Galicia," and the rest to fight by guerrilla methods. [126] Lebed still hoped for recognition from the Germans. In July 1944 he helped form the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR), which would claim to represent the Ukrainian nation while soon serving as a theoretical government-in-exile. The leadership positions in the UHVR tended to be held by OUN-B members, since more moderate Ukrainian nationalists had drifted away earlier in the year. [127]

With the war lost, Lebed adopted a strategy similar to that of General Reinhard Gehlen -- he contacted the Allies after escaping to Rome in 1945 with a trove of names and contacts of anti-Soviets located in the western Ukraine and in displaced persons camps in Germany. The contacts theoretically made him very useful in the postwar intelligence world, and CIC took the bait. Though CIC noted in July 1947 one witness's claim that "[Lebed] is a well known sadist and collaborator of the Germans," it used him in 1947 and 1948 because he could provide complete information on Ukrainian groups within the U.S. zone of Germany, information on Soviet activity within the U.S. zone, and information on Ukrainian and Soviet activities outside of occupied Germany. [128]

In late 1947, the danger arose that the Soviets, who had recently ordered Lebed's arrest, would kidnap him from Rome, especially should U.S. occupation forces withdraw from Italy. "Should such an eventuality arise," said the American authorities, "the interest of the U.S. would suffer an indirect damage in as much as [Lebed] is in possession of vital information regarding the Ukrainian resistance activities ... in the Ukraine." [129] In addition, Lebed's safety would reassure Father Ivan Hrynioch (Hirnyj), a wartime collaborator of Lebed who was now the chief of the UHVR Political Section and a provider of counterintelligence to American authorities. Hrynioch requested Lebed's movement to safety. [130] The CIC therefore smuggled Lebed and his family from Rome to Munich in December 1947.

By late 1947, Lebed had thoroughly sanitized his prewar and wartime activities for American consumption. In his own rendition, he had been a victim of the Poles, the Soviets, and the Germans -- he would carry the Gestapo "wanted" poster for the rest of his life to prove his anti-Nazi credentials. [131] Though he admitted to U.S. authorities his involvement in the 1934 Pieracki assassination, he blamed Pieracki. Lebed characterized his participation in the proclamation of the Ukrainian State in Lvov in June 1941 as having taken "part in the Ukrainian independence demonstration." After the June 1941 house arrest of OUN-B leaders, Lebed said, he began to organize resistance against the Germans while becoming the "spiritual father" of the UPA. For this, he said, the Gestapo and NKVD both placed a price on his head, and the Gestapo took his family to Buchenwald and Auschwitz in an attempt to force him to surface. In 1947, he was the official Foreign Minister of the UHVR, and he presented his manufactured credentials via mail to Secretary of State George C. Marshall and British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin. He also published a 126-page booklet on the UPA, which chronicled the heroic struggle of Ukrainians against both Nazis and Bolsheviks, while calling for an independent, greater Ukraine that would represent the human ideals of free speech and free faith. The UPA, according to the booklet, never collaborated with the Nazis, nor is there mention of the slaughter of Galician Jews or Poles in the book. [132] The CIC considered the booklet to be the "complete background on the subject." [133] The CIC overlooked the fact that under its own watch an OUN Congress held in September 1947 had split, thanks to Lebed's own criticism of the creeping democratization of the OUN. [134] This was also overlooked by the CIA, which began using Lebed extensively in 1948. [135]

Despite living under an assumed name (Roman Turan) in Munich, Lebed was still in danger of being found by his Stalinist enemies. He hoped to immigrate ro the United States, but, unlike most Nazi collaborators, he became familiar enough with U.S. immigration law to be "loath to perjure himself and face deportation after ... passing false [information]." [136] He managed anyway. In June 1949, after Assistant CIA Director W. G. Wyman notified the INS of the fact that Lebed "has been rendering valuable assistance to this Agency in Europe," the CIA smuggled him into the United States with his wife and daughter under the legal cover of the Displaced Persons Act. [137]

After his arrival, Lebed reverted to his real name and began speaking to immigrant groups in New York, which triggered Justice Department interest in him. The INS began investigating Lebed the same month he arrived in the United States. It reported to Washington in March 1950 that numerous Ukrainian informants had spoken of Lebed's involvement in the Pieracki assassination and of his role as "one of the most important Bandera terrorists." During the war, these informants said, the Banderists were trained and armed by the Gestapo and responsible for "wholesale murders of Ukrainians, Poles and Jewish [sic] ... In all these actions, Lebed was one of the most important leaders." [138] At some point during the investigation, the INS learned of the CIA's interest in Lebed, and in 1951 top INS officials apprised the CIA of its findings along with the comment that Lebed would likely be subject to deportation. The CIA countered on October 3, 1951, that all of the charges were false and that the Gestapo "wanted" poster of Lebed proved that he "fought with equal zeal against the Nazis and Bolsheviks." Lebed's deportation, added the CIA, would damage national security. [139]

INS officials were willing to suspend the investigation but they remained uncomfortable. In the first place, they noted that the CIA note of October 3 "does not ... dispose of the allegations." Additionally the INS worried that "this is the sort of case that can be exploited by commentators of the [Walter] Winchell variety," especially since Ukrainians that knew Lebed could contact the press on their own. "We will [then] be in no position," said W W Wiggins, the Chief of the INS Investigative Section, "to explain our failure to investigate." [140] INS officials asked the CIA to notify them when their need for Lebed's services would end so that the INS could "pursue our investigative responsibilities." [141] The CIA sidestepped the question. Instead, the Agency pressed the INS in February 1952 to grant Lebed reentry papers so that he could leave and reenter the United States at will. [142]

This was too much for Argyle Mackey, the Commissioner of the INS. He contacted Attorney General J. Howard McGrath to ask for guidance. "We have always cooperated whole-heartedly with the Central Intelligence Agency within the permissible limits of the law," Mackey said, "and have in this case suspended further investigation of what appears to be a clear-cut deportation case." But should Lebed leave the country and apply once again for readmission, said Mackey, "I do not see how we can give the requested assurance." Mackey gave the same reply to the Director of the CIA, Walter Bedell Smith. A reentry permit for Lebed, he said, brought "no guarantee of readmissability," since for non-U.S. citizens each re-entry was legally a new entry under which the subject had to be investigated. In other words, if Lebed left the country on CIA business, he would likely not get back in. [143]

Mackey's comments are notable in light of the notion that the INS was careless in allowing war criminals into the United States, and his warning that Lebed might not get back into the country showed there were limits beyond which the INS could not comfortably go. His statement that the INS had "always cooperated with the CIA" suggests, moreover, that there might have been similar cases.

Regardless, the CIA would not be denied Lebed's services. In a decisive letter to Mackey of May 5, 1952, Allen Dulles, then Assistant Director of the CIA, said that Lebed was the "authorized Foreign Minister of the Ukrainian Supreme Council of Liberation (UHVR), an underground organization within the USSR," and his contacts as such "have been of inestimable value to this Agency and its operations." Dulles added:

In connection with future Agency operations of the first importance, it is urgently necessary that subject be able to travel in Western Europe. Before [he] undertakes such travel, however, this Agency must ... assure his reentry into the United States without investigation or incident which would attract undue attention to his activities.


Dulles claimed that Lebed's 1936 trial in Poland could be discounted because it "was largely influenced by political factors and this Agency has no reason to disbelieve subject's denial of complicity in this assassination." This statement contradicted all information on Lebed, who had not denied his role in the killing. [144] Dulles also wanted Lebed's legal status changed to that of "permanent resident," under Section 8 of the CIA Act of 1949, since his continued availability, as Dulles said, was "essential to the furtherance of the national intelligence mission and is in the interest of national security." Thus Lebed would be able to come and go from the United States as he pleased. Dulles also wanted Lebed's application for permanent residence status backdated to October 1949, when Lebed had first entered the United States. Since Section 8 of the Act provided legal cover for permanent residence without regard to existing immigration laws, the INS had no choice but to comply even though, as Wiggins later said, Lebed's "deportability would be established" if the INS should investigate further. [145] They never did -- Lebed became a naturalized U.S. citizen in March 1957.
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