PART 1 OF 2COLD WARS
Chapter 4: REVIVING THE OSTMINISTERIUM
Is it but one living soul,
That in itself has split to two?
Or is it the two do form one whole,
Each chosen part to the other true?
IN THE EARLY 1950s, Munich was a ruined city. During the war it had been far enough from the bomber bases in Britain to escape the worst damage. But it had still been hit hard and the scars were readily visible: the great Odeonsplatz was cratered and the Bavarian royal palaces gutted. Churches and theaters were shells. Survivors lived in camps. More than six thousand people died and fifteen thousand were wounded in the air raids. Bombers dropped more than three million firebombs, destroying half of the city's buildings and almost all of the old city. By the war's end, almost half the pre-war population of 900,000 had fled, while 300,000 of the remaining half million were homeless. For years, housing was at such a premium that three, four, or five families shared one apartment. Doorbells sometimes had signs directing visitors to ring once for the Schmidt family, twice for the Braun family, three times for the Muellers, and so on.
But reconstruction was the demon that possessed the city. By day, women hauled rubble from the bombed-out buildings, while others used small chisels to break apart the bricks for reuse. Construction crews strung light bulbs on wires to light up the wrecks at night. Workers cast bizarre shadows as they scurried among jagged walls, carting debris out and hauling new bricks in. In other areas, the wrecked buildings were simply clear-cut, leaving a blank slate for architects. Rubble was the only constant. Mountains of it ringed the city like druidic monuments. Even into the 1950S, the city sponsored "reconstruction days." when employees were given the day off to clear war wreckage. In one action, seven thousand people hauled away fifteen thousand cubic meters of rubble, supported by the U.S. Army, which lent 264 trucks and 4,000 liters of fuel to the effort. At the end of the day everyone got two sausages, one roll, and one liter of beer.
Almost faster than any other city in Germany, Munich recovered. As early as 1946, the great Jewish-Hungarian conductor Georg Solti was running the Bavarian State Orchestra there. Berlin had been the nation's industrial, scientific, and entrepreneurial capital up until the war, but its businesses deserted the city after the division of Germany left Berlin isolated in the middle of communist East Germany. Huge engineering and industrial conglomerates such as Siemens and financial houses such as Allianz fled to Munich. As reconstruction picked up, local companies began to gain traction. In 1951, the city celebrated as a Munich factory exported a locomotive to India -- an early sign of West Germany's startling economic ascent. The English language even borrowed a word to describe it, Wirtschaftswunder, "economic miracle."
West Germany had been formed in 1949, and its capital was Bonn. But Bonn, as the spy novelist John le Carre put it, was little more than "a small town in Germany." Because of its location and size, Munich was the country's secret capital. The city was just 120 miles from the iron curtain, which ran through the heart of Europe. The U.S. consulate in Munich was reputedly the second largest in the world, behind only Chinas listening post in Hong Kong. For about twenty years after the end of the war, Munich was a front -line city in one of history's great ideological struggles.
Hundreds of thousands of eastern European refugees flooded Munich. Most were ethnic Germans driven off lands annexed by Poland or the Soviet Union, but the city was also a magnet for people representing almost every ethnic group or cause. Most hoped to stay for as little time as possible and immigrate to more stable, prosperous countries. But many lingered. Munich had scores of emigre groups, a swarm that was constantly forming, merging, splitting, and feuding. Murders were as common as the grandiose plans hatched in cafes to retake homelands. Soviet propaganda hated the city, referring to it as diversionnyi tsentr, "center of subversion."
All this made Munich an ideal home for Radio Liberty, which was formed in early 1951 when a group of concerned U.S. citizens got together to do something about the biggest problem of their day -- communism. The United States and Soviet Union were locked in a military stalemate. What was needed was a way to subvert communism from within. The United States was the media center of the world. If a group of media people joined forces, couldn't they use new technologies and advertising-age strategies to beam a message of freedom through the iron curtain? The war could be won without a bomb being dropped. These Americans set up a nongovernmental organization called the American Committee for Liberation. Led by the former Readers Digest editor Eugene Lyons and a group of prominent journalists, the committee founded Radio Liberation, which later would be renamed Radio Liberty. The goal, in their own words, was to make a radio station available to "democratic elements among the emigration from the Soviet Union so that they could talk to their fellow countrymen in the homeland."
Radio Liberty was based at the Oberwiesenfeld Airport on the outskirts of town. It occupied a gray, oblong building that was itself an infamous landmark; there, in 1938, Hitler had greeted the British and French prime ministers when they arrived for the conference that carved up Czechoslovakia, making Munich a synonym for weak diplomatic will. The building had been damaged during the war and then hastily fixed up for the radio staff, which would swell to more than a thousand writers, producers, technicians, accountants, and advisers. In the winter, wind rattled the windows and whistled through the cracked walls. Rubble was piled at one end of the airfield, but German aviation buffs were able to use the remainder of the runway.
"I would look out the window of my corner office to see a plane headed right for me, piloted by some frustrated ex-Luftwaffe ace who would peel off and just miss the corner at the last second." recalled the ex-Radio Liberty official Jim Critchlow.
Most of the expats were, like Critchlow, housed at the Regina- Palast Hotel, which was still in partial ruins. At the end of each hallway was a tightly locked door -- opening it and stepping in would mean falling headlong into a bomb crater. From the street, pedestrians could see a bathtub still hanging from the fourth floor by its pipes. Many of the Americans who worked at Radio Liberty had fought in the war; others had followed it at home as teenagers. For them, the city was rife with reminders of that dark age, as Critchlow remembered it: "We sometimes ate in the American officers' club in the Haus der Deutschen Kunst, a mammoth columned building that Hitler had turned into a shrine of 'non-decadent,' purely Aryan German art. Down the street was a house where the Fuhrer himself had lived. One of the best restaurants in town was the Osteria Italiana on Schellingstrasse, which had been Hitler's favorite and where the waitresses told stories of his visits."
Many U.S. employees at Radio Liberty were young, idealistic people like Critchlow. A radar technician in World War II, Critchlow was working for General Electric in 1950 when he heard that the U.S. government was desperate for Russian speakers. He took advantage of the GI Bill to enroll at Georgetown University, immersing himself in the Russian language. After graduating he took a job with the Atomic Energy Commission, but when a friend said he was going to help found a radio station in Munich, Critchlow jumped. He went to Munich on a one-year contract and stayed for twenty. About a year after joining, Critchlow was taken aside and told something that he had already figured out. Radio Liberty was not run by Soviet emigres. It was not financed by well-meaning Americans. It was a CIA front organization, dedicated to overthrowing the Soviet Union. And it was doing so by recruiting key members of von Mende's Ostministerium team.
When most people think of U.S. Cold War policy toward communism, one word often comes to mind: containment. First defined in 1946 by the diplomat George Kennan, containment was designed to keep communism from spreading by isolating it and taking a stand whenever it threatened to envelop another country. It was seen as a tough policy, contrasting favorably with the appeasement of Hit- 1erin the 1930S. Outright confrontation with the Soviet Union was nearly impossible, but democracies could take a stand to limit its reach. But by the 1950S, however, many Americans were fed up with this cautious policy. Containment, they felt, ran counter to Americans' idealism; communism should be overturned entirely. Other terms began to gain favor, such as liberation and rollback.
The Truman administration began to reflect the new mood. In 1948, Kennan himself wrote an internal position paper backing the idea of covert operations and propaganda. This led the National Security Council to adopt a formal policy that authorized a vast array of covert operations, including "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage." Covert action was limited only by the need to ensure plausible deniability and the capacity to conceal U.S. sponsorship. Not all of these actions were meant to be violent. Many fell into the realm of psychological warfare, aimed at the enemy's civilian population.
Communications technology would become a significant means of confronting the communist threat. Just a few years earlier, the Nazis had tried to terrorize the British into surrender by bombing London. But the West had turned the London Blitz to its advantage, in part thanks to radio. The chimes of Big Ben, followed by the defiant words "This Is London Calling." on the BBC, and the rooftop dispatches of Edward R. Murrow on CBS remained inspiring memories to most Americans. Similar media tactics might help lead to victory in the Cold War.
How to get the message across? After the war, Truman had dismantled the main U.S. intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services, and closed U.S. propaganda bureaus. After World War I similar steps were taken because then, just as in 1945, many Americans felt that the United States shouldn't be engaged in underhanded actions. But the Cold War changed that. In 1947, in a sharp policy U-turn, the National Security Act created two new institutions: the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council. The CIA was to collect and analyze secret intelligence, while the NSC was to advise the president on matters relating to national security. Cold War propaganda developed along two tracks: overt and covert. Programs such as the State Department's support of film, radio, art, and exchange programs, and the Voice of America broadcasts were considered overt propaganda because they could be clearly identified as government efforts. Covert operations ranged from secretly funded magazines to anonymous smear campaigns.
As Truman's second term in office was drawing to a close, efforts at psychological warfare were scattered among many agencies, causing confusion. So in 1951, Truman created the Psychological Strategy Board to unify planning and cut through red tape. Its aim was nothing less than the breakup of the Soviet bloc through psychological operations. Covert operations weren't to be limited to the communist world but would include the "free world" as well. Put less euphemistically, the U.S. government would secretly manipulate public opinion at home and in scores of other noncommunist countries.
Truman's efforts were strongly supported by his successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. As a World War II general, Eisenhower had been a big fan of psychological warfare, routinely ordering that leaflets be dropped from planes before an attack, in hopes of misleading the enemy. While running for president in October 1952, he gave a speech in San Francisco supporting psychological warfare. "Don't be afraid of that term just because it's a five-dollar, five- syllable word," Eisenhower said. "Psychological warfare is the struggle for the minds and wills of men." He invoked the "basic truth" that "humans are spiritual beings; they respond to sentiment and emotions as well as to statistics and logic ... The minds of all men are susceptible to outside influences."
The new administration ramped up psychological warfare. Eisenhower appointed C. D. Jackson, a World War II psychological operations specialist, to a post in the White House, designating him special assistant for psychological warfare. Jackson had worked at the Time magazine empire, where he was the right-hand man to the magazine's founder, Henry Luce, and well known for his staunch anticommunism. Jackson headed the Psychological Strategy Board, which was later renamed the Operations Coordinating Board. This body headed most of the covert propaganda activities in Munich and the Muslim world during the 1950s.
Another boost to psychological warfare came from Eisenhower's National Security Council, which approved an order giving the CIA even more power to manipulate popular opinion. Later, the CIA director William Colby would estimate that up to half the CIA budget at this time went to propaganda, political action, and paramilitary operations. Recently declassified documents show that the U.S. Information Agency alone spent about $50 million per year on covert operations during the 1950s. Overall, the United States spent roughly half a billion dollars per year trying to influence world opinion -- in 1950s dollars -- a vast and unprecedented undertaking. One of the least-understood creations of this era was Radio Liberty's parent organization, Amcomlib.
On January 21, 1951, the American Committee for Freedom for the Peoples of the USSR was incorporated in the state of Delaware. It sounded like the name of a nongovernmental organization -- after all, it was incorporated, with a board of directors and staff -- and giving that impression of course was the idea. But from the start it was a product of U.S. intelligence.
In 1948 Truman's National Security Council passed a memorandum outlining the need for political warfare. The document surveyed recent history, saying the British Empire had survived so long because it understood that very thing. The Kremlin had the "most refined and effective" strategies in history. But the United States, it claimed, had historically been handicapped by a sentimental attachment to fair play. The paper suggested creating "Liberation Committees" and said an "American Committee" should be formed to keep emigre leaders in the public eye.
The group's name would change repeatedly as it struggled to find a title that would define its mission. Later in 1951 it became the American Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia -- it was bad form to mention the USSR, which some of the group's members considered illegitimate. But the word Russia itself became a problem. It seemed too narrow because it excluded non-Russians, who made up nearly half the country's population. So in 1953 the group changed its name again, to the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism. That in turn seemed a bit quaint -- even in the 1950s no one but the hardest-core anticommunist spoke of Bolshevism, a term out of the 1920s and '30s. So the last two words were dropped in 1956, leaving the group with a bizarrely generic name: the American Committee for Liberation. Outsiders often knew it simply as the American Committee -- which gave it a wholesome, patriotic ring. Internally, it was known by the acronym Amcomlib. The term has a delicious jargony mystique, perfect for an era that coined obscure and clipped nomenclature for military and espionage missions. Amcomlib could have been a code word for a parachute operation behind enemy lines.
Over time, Amcomlib would command a large budget and a staff of thousands. Its main duty was to run Radio Liberty. But it had two other important tasks. It operated a supposedly independent think tank, the Institute for the Study of the USSR, which published papers by Amcomlib employees and people close to intelligence agencies. It also had an emigre relations department that recruited agents, mostly in Munich, and sent them around the world on covert propaganda missions. U.S. government involvement was carefully masked. Amcomlib's board misled listeners and supporters in the United States into thinking it was run by emigres and prominent journalists, instead of the CIA. When leaflets were printed, listing radio broadcast times and frequencies, the American role in the endeavor was purposely obfuscated, according to minutes of Amcomlib board meetings.
Perhaps for this reason Radio Liberty never entered the popular imagination as did its better-known sibling, Radio Free Europe. Although both were front operations based in Munich, the two were quite different. Radio Free Europe focused on eastern Europe -- Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and other countries dominated by the Soviet Union -- while Radio Liberty beamed into the Soviet Union itself. Radio Free Europe's parent organization, the National Committee for a Free Europe, solicited funds from ordinary Americans, and high-profile public figures sponsored it. It penetrated public consciousness to such an extent that, decades later, it inspired a hit song of the same name by the rock group R.E.M.
Amcomlib might have been relatively unknown, but it never lacked money. Its exact budget is hard to reconstruct, although some information has escaped the CIA's information blockade. Records show that in 1955 its budget was $2.8 million (roughly $23 million in 2010 terms). It grew to $7.7 million in 1960.
People working for Radio Liberty quickly realized that such funding had to come from somewhere significant. "I doubt that there was a single stoker or sweeper in our building out at Oberwiesenfeld who did not have some inkling of the true state of affairs." said Critchlow, who worked in the radio's programming department.
Critchlow has strongly defended Radio Liberty. In 1995, he wrote a charming memoir called Radio Hole-in-the-Head/Radio Liberty that took its name from the station's bumbling ways -- at least as it was seen by those who doubted its value. He notes that the CIA largely stayed out of the broadcasting side: "If you stop to think about the massive volume of material that goes into a daily broadcast, and the speed with which it must be handled, the instant decisions that must be made, it should be obvious that no agency outside our building could exercise effective control. They had to trust us."
And of course the CIA was clever to do so. Propaganda doesn't have to be false; it is most effective when it is true or as close to the truth as possible. So most employees on the radio side of the operation felt quite comfortable with what they were doing -- spreading information about an awful regime.
It is a tribute to Radio Liberty that it attracted capable people like Critchlow. From the start, the radio station's roster included legitimate journalists such as Edmund Stevens, a Pulitzer Prize winner who was hired to train the staff. The heart of the operation was Boris Schub, a son of Russian emigres. Intellectually brilliant, he inspired his colleagues with his vision of a democratic, free Russia. It was Schub's idea -- and it became a classic CIA strategy -- to use disillusioned leftists to attack the Soviet Union. Schub called it his "left hook."
Radio Liberty developed a strong esprit de corps. Manyemployees still remember their years working there as some of the best of their lives, a time when they got to travel overseas and work with a fascinating group of emigres. Several former Radio Liberty employees have written accounts of life at the station. Like Critchlow, most play down the CIA connection, or skirt it. Critchlow wrote somewhat defensively that "I would demean the many devoted men and women who conscientiously put out the broadcasts if I tried to link them with the shadowy world of intelligence."
This is undoubtedly true. Critchlow and others who worked at Radio Liberty were no stooges. Critchlow became a classic news journalist during his two decades at the broadcasting station. To him the CIA was unimportant -- he contemptuously called the CIA "the boys in the back room."
Yet others saw the experience in a different light. The senior Radio Liberty manager Gene Sosin said he found it odd to lie in the name of broadcasting the truth. In his memoirs, Sosin wrote of going to Cornell University to talk with a professor who was an expert on Soviet education. The professor had traveled to the Soviet Union on a grant from the Human Ecology Fund; later on he learned that the CIA covertly supported the fund. Sosin worried that the professor would think that Radio Liberty too was a CIA project and therefore he might not grant an interview with the station to report on what he had seen -- when, in fact, his giving an interview about the USSR was the whole idea behind the trip. Sosin was there on damage control, to keep the professor in line and to reassure him of the station's independence.
"I could not help seeing the anomaly of working for a medium that was communicating 'THE TRUTH' to the Soviet peoples while we were lying to our own people." Sosin wrote. But Amcomlib had another secret, one that most Americans would have found more unpleasant. That was the issue of its emigre employees.
When the war ended, most of the Soviet soldiers who had served Germany landed in Western prisoner-of-war camps. Many credited von Mende for this, stating that he engineered their deployment west in the waning months of the war. That is impossible to prove from the historical record, but in any case winding up in the camps helped few of them. At the Yalta Conference in 1945, Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States agreed that all citizens should be repatriated after the war. That seemed harmless then, even a good idea -- most people would naturally want to go home. For the hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens fighting for the Germans, however, it meant disaster. Most correctly assumed they would be shot immediately or, if lucky, face a long stay in the gulag for their treason.
When the war ended, soldiers in uniform were sent to holding camps, and most were repatriated. But Europe was in a state of near chaos, and Germany was awash with "displaced persons," or DPs. They consisted of the Nazis' slave laborers, concentration camp prisoners, Germans who had fled the Soviet onslaught, and thousands of Soviet citizens who had fought for the Nazis but avoided a prisoner-of-war camp. The Red Cross and German officials estimated that eight million DPs were in Germany by war's end, and most would have to be repatriated. Within a short while, British and U.S. authorities would deliver two million of these people to the Soviet Union in accordance with the Yalta agreement.
But the occupying forces were overwhelmed. For the quick-witted and lucky, the anarchy of the situation meant a chance to start a new life. Muslim soldiers were especially fortunate. For most of the war, Turkey had remained neutral and maintained normal diplomatic and academic exchanges with Germany. A Turkish student union had been formed to represent Turks studying in Germany during the war. Nationalistic and pan-Turkic in their thinking, the students hit upon a simple solution to save their fellow ethnic Turks: declare the soldiers Turkish and issue them student identity papers.
The idea wasn't as far-fetched as it sounds. Most of the soldiers were in their late teens or early twenties. If they had had the presence of mind to ditch their Wehrmacht or SS uniforms and papers before entering the DP camps, no proof existed of their nationality or profession. Their mother tongues were Turkic dialects. With a bit of polish they could pass as Turkish students.
The Turkish student union had been based in Berlin, but when the bombing got too fierce, it moved to the medieval university town of Tubingen in southern Germany. That put the students in close range of the refugee camps, especially in the U.S. sector. Within months, they were issuing Turkish identity papers wholesale. To vary the story and thus throw suspicious officials off their trail, they also claimed that some of the young men were from Xinjiang, China, a western province with a large Turkic minority.
That became Garip Sultan's new homeland. After the war ended, he was sent to a DP camp. There, the students gave him a new first name, Garip, in place of the Russified name he had previously used, Garif. "We became ethnic Turks." Sultan said. "They gave me an identity from Kashgar in Xinjiang. So that's why I survived."
It was a ruse used by many of von Mende's top deputies, including two who would playa key role after the war: the political activist Veli Kayum and the military liaison Baymirza Hayit. They made their way to Czechoslovakia and surrendered to the U.S. Army. They were immediately sent to be debriefed by the army's Counter Intelligence Corps, or CIC, and then to a DP camp. The Turkish student group in Munich vouched for Hayit and Kayum, and the UN did not repatriate them.
Hayit, who later became a historian of the liberation struggles of Central Asians, estimates that eight hundred Muslims from Central Asia avoided capture this way. Other estimates are higher. In the 1950s, one German author wrote that seven hundred Kalmyks lived in West Germany. The Kalmyks were small compared to the other ethnic groups; if one extrapolates proportionally from their numbers, then around ten thousand Soviets of various backgrounds stayed after the war in West Germany. This number is certainly too high, but it's safe to say that several thousand remained.
The ploys of the Turkish students might not have succeeded indefinitely, but it was unnecessary to keep up the subterfuge for long. By late 1945 the repatriations had stopped. General Dwight D. Eisenhower ended the practice after criticisms arose that the men were being sent back home to certain death. Even if they had fought for the Nazis, that made them no worse than millions of Germans, who were not being condemned wholesale to death. Why should the Soviet ethnic minorities be singled out for such punishment? Their desperate situation became impossible to ignore when 230 Turkestani officers, held in a camp outside Munich, committed suicide the night before they were to be returned to the Soviet Union. They doused themselves with benzene and set themselves alight. Only one of the group survived; he was taken to Ankara and died in 1950.
Within months, efforts to repatriate the minorities had reversed into a free-far-all to keep and recruit them. One of von Mende's main leaders in the Ostministerium, the Georgian prince Mikhael Alshibaya, was saved by the CIC. He had already been meeting with CIC officers when one pulled him aside to say that Alshibaya should expect a visit the next day from a Soviet repatriation squad, adding significantly, "You don't have to be there." Alshibaya took the hint and fled to the hills of northern Bavaria for a few days until the Soviet search team had left the area.
Such help became increasingly common. Even in 1945 Western intelligence agencies were suspicious of the Soviets' postwar intentions. They began to pick up agents who could operate in the Soviet Union, coming up with novel ways to find and recruit them.
Charity organizations also got into the act. The Tolstoy Foundation was set up as a cultural group for Russian exiles by the granddaughter of the famous novelist. In postwar Munich, the organization tried to aid refugees, sending employees to the DP camps to sort out their identities and help them immigrate to the United States or start afresh in Germany. But the foundation also appears to have been closely linked to intelligence work, and perhaps was even directly funded by the CIA. Alshibaya's wife worked for the foundation. She says U.S. intelligence subcontracted work out to the foundation. "We did interviews for them." Mrs. Alshibaya said. "We asked people about their background, what they did, and so on." The goal was to recruit the men for covert operations.
In 1952, Garip Sultan was looking for work. He was married and had a permanent West German residency permit. But what would he do for the rest of his life? Now twenty-nine years old, Sultan had matured into a strikingly handsome man, with black hair, an elegant aquiline nose, and a strong chin. He and his wife were thinking of starting a family. He had survived Stalin and Hitler and was ready for a new phase in life. He latched onto anticommunism with a vengeance.
In the 1940s, Sultan had joined the Scottish League for European Freedom. Backed by Britain's foreign intelligence agency, MI6, the league tried to line up members of Soviet minority groups such as the Tatars to combat the Soviet Union. It led to a more durable organization, which Sultan also joined, called the Anti -Bolshevik Bloc of Nations. Both were largely the creation of British intelligence services and rife with von Mende's ex-Ostministerium collaborators. Now Sultan was looking for something that paid a real salary but would allow him to keep fighting communism. He found what looked like a perfect fit: Radio Liberty.
One reason Sultan found it easy to choose Radio Liberty is that he already knew most of its employees. The station was organized into "desks." each with a specific nationality -- Russian and non- Russian. Programming concepts and guidelines were developed in New York, but the desks in Munich had autonomy to pick topics to cover and people to interview. This is not in itself unusual for broadcasters. The non -Russian desks, however, duplicated the Ostministerium's nationality committees in many ways, hiring similar personnel and even using Nazi ethnic terms such as Idel-Ural to refer to Tatars from the Volga River region.
The people on the desks had almost all worked for von Mende in the Ostministerium. Besides Sultan, other top-level Ostministerium employees included Aman Berdimurat and Veli Zunnun on the radio's Turkestani desk, Hussein Ikhran on the Uzbek desk, and Edige Kirimal on the Tatar desk. The Ostministerium stalwart Abdul Fatalibey ran the Azerbaijani desk. A year after Radio Liberty went on the air, Fatalibey didn't show up for work one day. Police eventually found his body, bound with wire and mutilated, in the apartment of another Azerbaijani, who had fled to East Germany. Next to Fatalibey was a sign inscribed with the warning TRAITORS TO THE MOTHERLAND. (Not long after, the body of an employee of the Belarussian desk was found in the Isar River. Police never established a motive, but radio employees assumed the Soviets were responsible for both deaths.)
Intelligence hires usually are vetted to ensure their personal histories contain nothing compromising, but that requirement was apparently waived for the emigres. Radio Liberty relied so heavily on Nazi collaborators that the station would have closed without them. One estimate put the proportion of Radio Liberty employees who had worked for the Nazis at 75 to 80 percent.
"At RL we had a special problem: the tendency of many in the audience to view our emigre staffs as traitors to their homelands." Critchlow wrote in his memoirs, adding that "for Americans of my generation, many of us World War II veterans, there was initially something distasteful about having to associate with people who had worn German uniforms, whether or not they had committed war crimes. Yet there were scores of such people in our building in Oberwiesenfeld."
There was a way of dealing with this discomfort. Typically, the American would have a proper sit-down talk with his ex-Nazi colleague, who would give assurances that he had had no choice but to serve the Reich, or -- perhaps in a fit of candor -- that he had been young and foolish. These former Nazis never claimed to believe the anti-Semitic propaganda they had produced or been fed. Everyone had been a victim. Then the two coworkers would go out for a drink, their friendship reestablished.