German Agents in the US

Timeless Truth Off 23

As soon as the elections were over in November, Russia quickly emerged as a rising foreign threat to our democracy. The new administration was quickly linked to Russia in any way possible, and the hunt for evidence of collusion is underway as we speak.
Although there are some serious concerns about Russia, there was a time when our government put aside both its common sense and its morals to combat a much more serious enemy called the USSR.
Recently disclosed records reveal that the CIA, under the leadership of Allen Dulles, actively recruited and employed more than 1,000 ex-Nazis in their efforts to stay one step ahead of the Russians. Despite the inherent problems of providing refuge to these criminals, the agency decided to overlook what one official called “moral lapses” of the very people who had loyally served Hitler.
Although none are alive today, these individuals were protected from prosecution by our own government. As recently as 1994, the CIA pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania.
How did the CIA come up with this idea? Even before the war ended, many high-ranking Nazis defected to the US, correctly assuming that they would be treated well, especially if they offered their services against the Russians. But the US intelligence also interviewed German POWs to determine if any could be helpful in anti-Russian activities.
In truth, the CIA was probably barking up the wrong tree. The German intelligence service, known as Abwehr, had little success in infiltrating Russian sources to obtain information of much value. The reason for this was twofold: any agent dropped behind enemy lines faced the huge challenge of covering ground in the vast Russian territory, so he was almost always unable to simply reach and surveil any place of interest. In addition, Stalin’s NKVD had created a very effective system of checkpoints and informers to negate any threat of spies. In fact, of the hundreds of Germans agents who parachuted into Russia, nearly all were turned into double agents by the enemy and used to transmit false information to their handlers.
Yet, the US persisted in their efforts by even employing known criminals. Otto von Bolschwing was a mentor and top aide to Adolf Eichmann, architect of the “Final Solution,” who personally helped create the policies designed to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
Yet after the war, the CIA not only hired him as a spy, but relocated him and his family to New York City in 1954, records show. The agency justified this as “a reward for his loyal postwar service and in view of the innocuousness of his [Nazi] party activities,” according to their own records.
His son, Gus von Bolschwing, admitted that “it shouldn’t have happened. He never should have been admitted to the United States. It wasn’t consistent with our values as a country.”
When Israeli agents captured Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, Otto von Bolschwing went to the CIA for help because he was concerned that he might be the next target, memos show.
Agency officials were also worried that von Bolschwing might be named as Eichmann’s “collaborator and fellow conspirator and that the resulting publicity may prove embarrassing to the US,” a CIA official wrote.
In the 1980s many of these men were still living in the US under false identities. When the Justice Department requested information about them, the FBI refused to turn anything over, because the 16 of them had all worked as FBI informants, providing leads on Communist “sympathizers.” The truth is that this policy reflects the desperation of the US at the height of the Cold War. Many of the German recruits turned out to be liars and embezzlers, and some were even Soviet double agents. The tasks they were assigned were often trivial and worthless, such as analyzing Soviet stamps for hidden messages and preparing for an invasion of the Soviet Union.
In conclusion, I believe that Congress is correct in investigating the failures of our intelligence services as they relate to Russia. However, the main focus should be on not repeating the mistakes of Allen Dulles, not on the present administration.

About the author / 

Rabbi Sholom Friedmann

Rabbi Sholom Friedmann is a Talmid of Rabbi Leib Bakst זצ”ל, of Yeshivas Ateres Mordechai, Detroit, Michigan. After learning in the yeshivah and kollel, Rabbi Friedmann moved to the British colony of Gibraltar and studied in the Gateshead Kollel for three more years, at which time he received rabbinical ordination. From there, Rabbi Friedmann moved to London, England. In London, Rabbi Friedmann taught in the Menorah Grammar School, and was appointed the communal Rov of Kehilas Kol Yaakov, Edgware, London. Rabbi Friedmann was awarded Qualified Teaching Status by the British Board of Education in 2002, and a diploma in educational psychology by the Tavistock clinic (London) in 2006.

In 2005, Rabbi Friedmann was accepted as a Fellow in Holocaust Education by the prestigious Imperial War Museum, London. Rabbi Friedmann relocated to New York in 2008 to become the Director of Zechor Yemos Olam, the Holocaust education division of Torah Umesorah. While occupying that position, Rabbi Friedmann created teaching materials, videos, and teacher training programs, including the ZYO Holocaust education fellowship program. In April 2012, Rabbi Friedmann was appointed as the director of the Amud Aish Memorial Museum. The museum founded by Elly Kleinman will carry on the legacy of holocaust history. For more info about when it is expected to open read this article.

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