Privacy SOS

CIA: Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ was “innocuous”

Shoes and clothing left behind by victims of Nazi genocide.

The CIA, which is currently facing a controversy over its refusal to allow key portions of a Senate report on its torture program to be publicly disclosed, apparently thought Hitler's Final Solution (otherwise known as genocide) was "innocuous."

The New York Times reports on newly disclosed documents revealing that the CIA and FBI hired over 1,000 Nazis after World War II. It wasn't just scientists, as prior disclosures about Operation Paperclip suggested. No, among the Nazis adopted by the US "intelligence community" after the war were top political aides to Hitler and Eichmann, including this guy:

One SS officer, Otto von Bolschwing, was a mentor and top aide to Adolf Eichmann, architect of the “Final Solution,” and wrote policy papers on how to terrorize Jews.

Yet after the war, the C.I.A. not only hired him as a spy in Europe, but relocated him and his family to New York City in 1954, records show. The move was seen as a “a reward for his loyal postwar service and in view of the innocuousness of his [Nazi] party activities,” the agency wrote.

The Final Solution as "innocuous"? Bad timing for an agency facing political heat over its campaign of murderous torture.

Bad timing also for the FBI, whose director wants the public to believe that technologies that work to protect our privacy are somehow dangerous. The building Jim Comey goes to work at every day is named after J. Edgar Hoover, the notorious grandfather of the FBI. Newly disclosed records reveal that Hoover was, in addition to being a petty authoritarian tyrant and enemy of democracy, also a Holocaust denier.

The wide use of Nazi spies grew out of a Cold War mentality shared by two titans of intelligence in the 1950s: Mr. Hoover, the longtime F.B.I. director, and Mr. Dulles, the C.I.A. director.

Mr. Dulles believed “moderate” Nazis might “be useful” to America, records show. Mr. Hoover, for his part, personally approved some ex-Nazis as informants and dismissed accusations of their wartime atrocities as Soviet propaganda.

Nice people.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.