Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Our Nazis: the Gehlen Org


CIA Nazi espionage treason deception duplicity cold war Germany BND

In February 2019 Germany opened a brand new intelligence complex in the city of Berlin. The new headquarters of the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst or Federal Intelligence Service) occupies a huge space—by the way, much as STASI or State Security Service once did in East Berlin the former German Democratic Republic—and supposedly employs a total of over six thousand persons. The move from its former secret location in the Munich suburb of Pullach reflects both the centralization in Berlin of federal institutions that after World War Two were widely dispersed throughout Germany and importantly, European Union-NATO leader Germany’s efforts to get away from the nation’s Nazi past. The new BND location in Germany’s capital city seems also a giant step away from the former obsessive secrecy of its location in Munich, hidden away in that obscure suburb and operating under a cover name and, above all, until the late 1950s an affiliate of the CIA. The move to Berlin can be interpreted as the BND’s declaration of sovereignty.

The BND dates back to its formation in 1956 when it replaced the CIA-affiliate, known (or rather largely unknown), as the Gehlen Organization, named after its creator, the East European specialist, former German Lieutenant General Reinhard Gehlen. In the immediate postwar, Gehlen Org, as it was called in intelligence parlance, zeroed in on Soviet-dominated East Europe. Its operations were financed by the CIA and staffed by hundreds of Gehlen’s own Nazi intelligence staff and former SS men released from West European internment camps to join Gehlen’s first headquarters in the Spessart Mountains in central Germany. Since American intelligence of those times knew little about the Soviet Union, ultra-top secret Gehlen Org was the CIA’s eyes and ears throughout East Europe.

A look at the figure of Reinhard Gehlen and his relationship with the CIA is well worthwhile since to a certain extent he and his SS men established early postwar policies of the USA vis-à-vis its erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union. Policies which have remained largely intact.  (more...)

Our Nazis: the Gehlen Org

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