Cristian Salazar & Randy Herschaft / Associated Press – 2010-12-12 03:44:05
‘Hitler’s Shadow’ Reveals US Findings on Nazis
Cristian Salazar & Randy Herschaft / Associated Press
NEW YORK (December 11, 2010) — Newly released records reveal details on how US intelligence officials used and protected some Nazi Gestapo agents after World War II, tracked Holocaust administrator Adolf Eichmann and relied on a suspected war criminal from Ukraine living in New York to try to disrupt the Soviet Union, according to a report to Congress.
The report, titled Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War, was written by historians hired by the US National Archives and Records Administration. It was sent to Congress late Thursday and obtained by the Associated Press.
The report draws from an unprecedented trove of records on individuals and clandestine operations that the CIA was persuaded to declassify, and from more than 1 million digitized Army intelligence files that had long been inaccessible.
“The CIA records give us a much better picture of the movements of Nazi war criminals in the postwar period. The Army records are voluminous and will be keeping people busy for many years,” said Richard Breitman of the American University in Washington, DC, who co-wrote the report with Norman J.W. Goda of the University of Florida.
CIA spokesman George Little said Friday: “The CIA at no time had a policy or a program to protect Nazi war criminals, or to help them escape justice for their actions during the war. The agency has cooperated for decades with the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations.”
The records were made available under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998, one of the most ambitious and exhaustive federal government efforts to expose its own secrets.
The papers include correspondence, legal documents, excerpts, clippings, medical records and vouchers. They illuminate the activities and postwar whereabouts of some of the most high-profile alleged Nazi war criminals.
One of the report’s chapters deals explicitly with how the Americans used Gestapo officers, including Rudolf Mildner, after the war. He oversaw security in Denmark in 1943 when most of the country’s 8,000 Jews were ordered arrested and deported to Auschwitz concentration camp.
The newly disclosed records answer some questions about Eichmann’s movements before he was kidnapped by Israeli intelligence in 1960 and spirited away to be prosecuted for his crimes, the report said.
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Revealed: How the CIA Protected Nazi Murderers
US shielded war-time collaborators to try to destabilise Soviet Union
Cristian Salazar and Randy Herschaft / Associated Press
NEW YORK (December 12, 2010) — Declassified CIA files have revealed that US intelligence officials went to great lengths to protect a Ukrainian fascist leader and suspected Nazi collaborator from prosecution after the Second World War and used him to stir up trouble inside the Soviet Union from an office in New York.
Mykola Lebed led an underground movement to undermine the Kremlin and wage guerrilla operations for the CIA during the Cold War, said a report prepared by two scholars under the supervision of the US National Archives. During the Second World War, Lebed helped to lead a Ukrainian nationalist organization that collaborated with the Nazis in the murder of the Jews of the western Ukraine and also killed thousands of Poles.
The report details post-war efforts by US intelligence officials to throw the federal government’s Nazi hunters off his trail and to ignore or obscure his past.
The report, titled Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War, draws from an unprecedented trove of records that the CIA was persuaded to declassify, and from more than a million digitised army intelligence files that had long been inaccessible. Among other things, the authors say, the files also show that US intelligence officials used and protected ex-Nazis during the Cold War to a greater extent than previously known.
Elizabeth Holtzman, a former Democratic congresswoman from New York who fought for the disclosure of Nazi files, welcomed the release. “This is a difficult, and in some respects shameful, chapter in American history,” she said. “It was not known to the public, and I think it’s a mark of governmental courage and of national courage to take this era and these documents and say, ‘We want to learn the truth about what our government did,’ and to do it in a way that was professional and serious.”
In 1949 the US government brought Lebed to New York, where he was safe from assassination. Through his CIA-funded organisation, Prolog, he gathered intelligence on the Soviets into at least the late 1960s.
In 1991, he was still considered a valuable asset to the agency, the report said. Lebed was eventually identified by federal investigators as a possible war criminal but was never prosecuted. He died in 1998.
One of the report’s chapters deals with how the Americans used Gestapo officers, including Rudolf Mildner, after the war. Mildner oversaw security in Denmark in 1943 when most of the country’s 8,000 Jews were ordered to be arrested and deported to Auschwitz — though they were rescued after Danish resistance leaders were tipped off. The US army detained Mildner and saved him from war crimes investigators because his knowledge of Communist subversion was considered useful.
Nazi hunters and lawmakers have long raised questions about the US government’s involvement with war criminals during the Cold War. Between 1945 and 1955 alone, more than 500 scientists and other specialists with Nazi ties were brought to the US, and went on to play major roles in such fields as missile development and the space program.
National Archives Issues
New Report on Nazi War Crimes
Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals,
US Intelligence and the Cold War
WASHINGTON, DC (December 10, 2010) — The National Archives has released to Congress a new report on Nazi War Crimes: Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War. The report is based on findings from newly-declassified decades-old Army and CIA records released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998 (the Act), these records were processed and reviewed by the National Archives-led Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), and written by IWG historians Richard Breitman and Norman J.W. Goda.
The report highlights materials opened under the Act, in addition to records that were previously opened but had not been mined by historians and researchers, including records from the Office of Strategic Services (a CIA predecessor), dossiers of the Army Staff’s Intelligence Records of the Investigative Records Repository (IRR), State Department records, and files of the Navy Judge Advocate General.
Hitler’s Shadow augments the IWG’s 2005 final report to Congress, US Intelligence and the Nazis, and includes wartime and postwar US intelligence documents on the search for and prosecution of Nazi war criminals; Allied protection or use of Nazi war criminals; and the postwar activities of war criminals both in the United States and abroad.
The passage of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act in October, 1998, set into motion the most intense, large-scale US government effort yet to declassify records relating to a single subject. Preliminary surveys by twelve Federal agencies yielded a universe of more than 600 million pages of potentially relevant records, with more detailed surveys narrowing the universe to about 100 million pages.
Fifteen years later, more than eight million pages have been identified as relevant and declassified under the law. These records are now available to researchers to fill in the historical record, round out personal histories, answer longstanding questions about US use of war criminals during the Cold War, and aid in tracing looted valuables. These answers may help to provide a measure of justice to some of the surviving victims of horrific World War II crimes.
President Clinton established the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Work Group (IWG) by Executive Order on January 11, 1999, and charged it with coordinating and expediting this immense undertaking among Federal agencies. He named the groupâ€™s members from the major agencies holding classified records and appointed three members to represent the public.
Soon after its formation, the group set out to accomplish the tasks outlined in the statute: to locate, inventory, recommend for declassification, and make available all classified records of Nazi war criminal records.
In 2005, following the declassification and review of thousands of files containing newly-disclosed information about war crimes and war criminal documentation of the Nazis and the Japanese Imperial Government, the National Archives issued a final historians report summarizing insights gained as a result of the National Archives-supervised review of these documents. However, a large number of additional US Army and CIA/OSS documents were received too late in the processing to be included in the 2005 report.
Subsequently, Congress provided funding to be used to report separately on these remaining documents — which may total as many as 2,000,000 more pages. Congress directed the National Archives to complete the review and historical analysis of these documents and to release a supplemental report to the 2005 IWG report US Intelligence and the Nazis.
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