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The US Recreated the Nazi War Crimes Machine * Part 1
by Jared Israel

Six decades of cover-up and still going strong...

The Nazi war crimes apparatus was recruited lock, stock and barrel and secretly redeployed worldwide. It became US Intelligence.

Part 1: Primed not to hear

[Posted 4 January 2004]

Part 2 of this series is at


The other day, someone called to make a donation to Emperor's Clothes, and he asked, "What's this article you're going to post about the origins of US and German Intelligence?"

And I said, "It's really shocking. The US foreign policy establishment created both intelligence services by re-creating the Nazi war crimes apparatus. Lock, stock and barrel."

I expected the caller to be amazed but I was the one who was amazed because he wasn't.

"Oh that," he said.  "Yeah, they were working with some Nazis. Everyone knows that."

Notice that what he said is not what I said.

I have had virtually the same exchange with other people. I now realize that this reaction is common because over the past 20 years we have gradually been inoculated against hearing the truth about US recruitment of Nazi war criminals. We have been fed fragments of accurate information mixed with lies. We have been taught a trivialized version of what happened. This is worse than not knowing anything at all because when I say, "The US ferreted out and reconstructed the Nazi war crimes apparatus which then *became* US foreign intelligence and covert political operations", people hear, "They were working with some Nazis."

In this series of articles I will show you that the picture you have been shown of the relationship between US intelligence and Nazism after World War II is deliberately off-focus. I will dissect a few texts so you can see how you were lied to.

The truth is much worse than you think. Indeed, it is probably much worse than what I presently think because the more research I do, the worse it looks.

Let's start with the caller's statement, that US intelligence was "working with some Nazis."

Why is this wrong? Because the phrase, “working with”, implies equality of power. A slave owner does not "work with" his slaves.  A jailer does not "work with" his prisoners.  And US intelligence officers do not “work with” Nazis who lost the war and are wanted for mass murder.

The Nazis recruited by US intelligence were wanted for the most heinous crimes. Many were members of the SS, the Gestapo and the Nazi Leadership Corps. The Nuremberg Tribunal, whose decisions were binding under international law, defined these groups as parts of the worst criminal conspiracy in history. The fact that a person had been a member subjected that person to arrest.  [1]

The people sought out for recruitment by US intelligence had been involved in war crimes all over Europe, especially in the East. The US was obliged under the Moscow Declaration to turn over these Nazis so they could be tried in the countries where their crimes were committed. [2]

People hunted for war crimes are in no position to bargain with those supposedly hunting them. If the US "employed" these criminals, then they were "employees" whose alternative was the hangman's noose. If US operatives treated these Nazis super-well, even deferring to their judgment - and they did - it was because they were told to do so by their chain of command: [3]

[Excerpt from Dabringhaus testimony starts here]

"Barbie was so well in with my superiors that he did not ask me for orders, but just told me what he was going to do. In fact he was so well thought of that I was more like his chauffeur."

-- American college professor and former US intelligence officer Erhard Dabringhaus, testifying at the trial of Klaus Barbie, the mass murderer in charge of the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Lyon. Dabringhaus was Barbie's US handler in 1948.

[Excerpt from Dabringhaus testimony ends here]

In the following series of articles, I will show:

1) That starting before the end of World War II, the US Establishment sought out and protected thousands of the worst Nazis, deliberately re-creating the Nazi foreign war crimes apparatus on all levels; that this included some people like Reinhard Gehlen (a top Nazi involved in planning the murder of millions) and thousands of people like Klaus Barbie (a hands-on killer).

2) That this was done despite opposition, including from within US intelligence;

3) That this was done in clear violation of international law; 

4) That the highly sophisticated US planners who ordered the reconstruction and absorption of the Nazi murder machine knew this would result in the Nazification of US intelligence including covert political operations;

5) That a section of the US-created Nazi apparatus later became West German intelligence (the BND);

6) That the US sent Nazi war criminals worldwide, thus Nazifying intelligence and security forces in the Arab world, Latin America and elsewhere.

One might like to believe that the Nazi-dominated cultures of these organizations were transformed when the original Nazis retired or died.  But this is wishful thinking because of the way that all institutions, and especially intelligence and security organizations, operate. Secret and cliquish, these groups recruit young people loyal to the institution's ideas and methods. New recruits are conditioned to adopt the institution's culture.

Reinhard Gehlen was one of the most important Nazis recruited by the US. As we shall see, as head of the Nazi army's intelligence corps in the occupied part of the Soviet Union, he helped plan the slaughter of *millions* of civilians and POWs. These killings were not militarily necessary; indeed, they may have been militarily costly because they increased the will to resist.  Then why were these millions of non-combatants murdered, mainly by deliberate starvation? Why did General (later Field Marshal) Erich von Manstein tell the Wehrmacht, the German Army, that the Soviet population *had to be* starved and that nothing: [4]

“...may, out of a sense of mistaken humaneness, be distributed to prisoners or to the population - unless they are in the service of the German Wehrmacht.”

Why?  Because they were supposedly subhuman: [5]

[Quote from Simpson starts here]

This was a war not only of conquest but of extermination.  Entire regions of the USSR were to be cleared of the existing Communist apparatus and of Slavic "subhumans" to make way for settlement by "Aryan pioneers."

...At least 100,000 Jews and Slavs were slain at Babi Yar, near Kiev [Ukraine], and so on, and on, and on.

[Quote from Simpson ends here]

The Nazis recruited by the US believed in what they had done:

"'What is there to regret?'...[Klaus Barbie, the 'Butcher of Lyon'] told an interviewer after two decades in exile. 'I am a convinced Nazi . . . and if I had to be born a thousand times, I would be a thousand times what I have been.'" [6]

General Gehlen did not shed the world-view that enabled him to calmly plan racist mass murder because he took the Swastika off his coat and sewed on the Stars and Stripes. He and the many thousands of other Nazis who had the same beliefs and the same willingness to slaughter supposed 'subhumans' passed on their ideas: the most extreme racism and antisemitism; belief that the supposedly superior 'races' must rule over the supposedly inferior; contempt for ordinary people; hatred for social change; a cult of the most extreme brutality. 

The policy of Nazification, pursued by the US establishment starting at the end of World War II, meant that though the Germans lost the war, Nazis came to dominate powerful institutions in many countries. This was truly a world catastrophe.

First the US Establishment preserved the deadly plague of Nazism intact. Made it the dominant force in the secret services of the US and Germany and spread the disease around the world.

Then for 35 years they buried the truth in classified documents. 

Then, when the truth began to leak out, they launched a disinformation campaign to indoctrinate people with an inaccurate and trivialized 'critique' of US-Nazi relations which blocked perception of what the US Establishment had really done.

This disinformation campaign began in 1983 in response to a bombshell that broke the silence about US recruitment of Nazi war criminals. That bombshell was the interview with Erhard Dabringhaus on NBC TV News, on February 5th.

That is dealt with in "Part 2: U.S. Intelligence takes Charge of Investigating the Recruitment of Nazis by...U.S. Intelligence."

Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes

[ Footnotes follow the fundraising appeal ]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] Below are links to texts from the Nuremberg Tribunal. The first link presents the reason for ruling that membership in the Gestapo should be viewed as a crime: 
The second link is the ruling in which the Gestapo, SS and SD were ruled to be criminal organizations. Thus, having been a member was considered a crime. 
This link does not mention the Nazi Leadership Corps as one of the groups defined as criminal but apparently it was.  See for example the US government report that:

"The IMT [International Military Tribunal, i.e. Nuremberg Tribunal] also convicted three of the groups, the Nazi leadership corps, the SS (including the SD), and the Gestapo."

[2] The Moscow Declaration obliged the US to hand over members of the Nazis' foreign war crimes apparatus to the victim countries.  General Reinhard Gehlen should have been turned over to the USSR.  Klaus Barbie should have been turned over to France.  And so on.  Instead, thousands of these men were shielded from prosecution. (Indeed, as we shall see later, Barbie was used against France. In the case of Gehlen, the *justification* has been that he was used against his former target for racist mass murder, the USSR!)

Here is the relevant section of the Moscow Declaration:

"At the time of granting of any armistice to any government which may be set up in Germany, those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for or have taken a consenting part in the above atrocities, massacres and executions will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of free governments which will be erected therein. Lists will be compiled in all possible detail from all these countries having regard especially to invaded parts of the Soviet Union, to Poland and Czechoslovakia, to Yugoslavia and Greece including Crete and other islands, to Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy." 

[3] The Dabringhaus quote is from:
Manchester Guardian Weekly; May 24, 1987; Section: Pg. 7; Headline: Barbie's American Links Exposed; Byline: By Paul Webster In Lyons
To learn more about Klaus Barbie, please see "Klaus Barbie, 'a model of Third Reich savagery,'" at 

[4] Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.14)

[5] Simpson, Christopher. 1988. “Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War.” New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (p.15)

[6] Newsweek; February 21, 1983, United States Edition; Section: International; Pg. 40; Headline: France; The 'Butcher's' Tracks; Byline: Steven Strasser With Scott Sullivan In Paris, Theodore Stanger In Bonn, Barry Came In Rio De Janiero And Bureau Reports

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