[Marxism] Cozying up to Nazis

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri May 14 09:09:23 MDT 2004


NY Times, May 14, 2004
Documents Show U.S. Relationship With Nazis During Cold War
By ELIZABETH OLSON

WASHINGTON, May 13 - The American government worked closely with Nazi 
war criminals and collaborators, allowing many of them to live in the 
United States after World War II, and paying others who worked for West 
Germany's secret service, according to declassified documents from the 
F.B.I., C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies released Thursday.

The disclosures came as part of a project to place more than eight 
million government documents in the public domain, under legislation 
passed by Congress in 1998 to create the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese 
Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group, or I.W.G.

"Although we have long known the outlines of the U.S. government's 
covert dealings with Nazi war criminals, the full scope of these 
relationships has never been fully documented or revealed," said 
Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the working group and a former 
congresswoman from New York. "Until the work of the I.W.G., these 
relationships remained one of the great post-World War II secrets."

The 240,000 pages released Thursday reveal a pattern of American 
cooperation with questionable people who were protected on the grounds 
that they had valuable intelligence to offer during the cold-war period.

It was not that such collaborators fell through the bureaucratic cracks 
and were overlooked by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said 
Norman J. W. Goda, an Ohio University history professor whose 
examination of the material is included in the book, "U.S. Intelligence 
and the Nazis," that the working group released Thursday.

"We had assumed that the I.N.S. dropped the ball, making only 
perfunctory background checks on these people," Mr. Goda said. "But the 
records show that immigration officials did investigate and tried to 
have these people deported."

"The problem," he said, "was that there were preferences in the C.I.A. 
and the F.B.I.," particularly of J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I. director, 
"to keep these people in the country so they could report on any 
Communist trends inside their own community."

Ultimately, Mr. Goda concluded, "such men added nothing except grist for 
the mill for their own propaganda."

Mr. Goda and other historians who studied the documents said that at 
least five associates of the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, each of whom 
had a significant role in Hitler's campaign to kill Jews, had worked for 
the C.I.A. The records also indicate that the C.I.A. tried to recruit 
another two dozen war criminals or Nazi collaborators. Some of them 
received employment and, in two cases, United States citizenship, 
according to the documents. The documents did not deal with those people 
who concealed their Nazi pasts in order to gain entry into the United 
States.

Also, several dozen people with criminal or dubious backgrounds were 
paid by the United States while they were employed by West Germany's 
secret service.

Timothy J. Naftali, an intelligence historian at the University of 
Virginia who examined the documents and also wrote chapters in the 
I.W.G. book, said: "We had no policies for helping Gestapo members, no 
disqualifiers unless the public knew about the crimes. It was kind of a 
'don't ask, don't tell' culture."

The Interagency Working Group's mandate to examine declassified 
intelligence documents has been extended by one year, and its staff 
members said there would be a report in 2005 about activities in Asia 
and a final report later to summarize the group's findings.


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