Reinhard Gehlen, 1945 (foto Wikipedia)Reinhard Gehlen (foto Bundesarchiv)Eastern Bloc Area Border Changes 1938 to 1948 (foto Wikipedia)East German Propaganda gegen Altnazis im Westen, Berlin 1957 (foto Wikipedia)CIA report on negotiations to establish the BND (foto Wikipedia)
Reinhard Gehlen, the CIA and the Nazis (Conspiracy documentary)
Published on 30 jun. 2013
This is the first authoritative account of the postwar relationship between General Reinhard Gehlen, a figure unique in the history of espionage, and American intelligence. Eleven years after the defeat of Germany, Gehlen, Hitler’s chief of eastern front intelligence, became head of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) for the democratic West German government of Konrad Adenauer. The core of his staff in the BND were the same officers who had served with him under Hitler. The instruments for this metamorphosis were agencies of Gehlens former enemy: U. Army Intelligence and the CIA. How did this happen and why? Was there a Nazi connection? This book answers these questions in detail, combining the elements of a gripping novel of espionage with solid scholarship based on US government documents and interviews with former G2, CIC and CIA officers (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0913969303).
On 22 May 1945, Gehlen surrendered to the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in Bavaria. He was brought to Camp King and interrogated by Captain John R Boker near Oberursel. Because of his knowledge and contacts inside the Soviet Union he was very valuable to the Americans. He offered them his intelligence archives and his network of contacts in exchange for his liberty and the liberty of his colleagues imprisoned in American POW camps in Germany. Boker quietly removed Gehlen and his command from the official lists of American POWs and managed to transfer seven of Gehlens senior officers to the camp. Gehlens archives were unearthed and brought to the camp secretly, without even the knowledge of the CIC. By the end of the summer Boker had elicited the support of Brigadier General Edwin Sibert, the G2 (senior intelligence officer) of the Twelfth Army Group. General Sibert contacted his superior, General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s chief of staff, who then worked with William Joseph Donovan, the former head of OSS and Allen Dulles, then the OSS station chief in Bern, to make suitable arrangements. On 20 September 1945, Gehlen and three close associates were flown to the United States to begin work for them. While there, Gehlen exposed a number of Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officers who were secret members of the US Communist Party.
In July 1946 Gehlen was officially released from American captivity and flown back to Germany, where he began his intelligence work on 6 December 1946 by setting up an organization of former German intelligence officers, first at Oberursel near Frankfurt, then at Pullach near Munich, called the “South German Industrial Development Organization” to mask its true nature as an undercover operation and spy ring. Gehlen handpicked 350 former German intelligence agents to join him, a number that eventually grew to 4,000 undercover agents. This group was soon to be given the nickname the Gehlen Organization.
Gehlen had always been under the sponsorship of US Army G2 (intelligence), but he eventually succeeded in realising his ambition of establishing an association with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), established in 1947. The CIA kept close tabs on the Gehlen group. For many years during the Cold War, Org agents were the only eyes and ears of the CIA on the ground in the Soviet Bloc nations.
Every German POW returning from Soviet captivity to West Germany, between 1947 and 1955, was interviewed by Org agents. The Gehlen Org employed hundreds of ex Nazi members and also had close contacts with East European émigré organisations. Unheralded tasks, such as observation of the operation of Soviet rail systems, airfields and ports were important functions of the Org, as was the infiltration of agents into the Baltic and Ukraine. The Org “Operation Bohemia” was a major counter espionage success.
The Gehlen Organisation was eventually compromised by East Germany, communist moles within itself and by communists and their sympathisers within the CIA and the British SIS (MI6), particularly Kim Philby. As the Org slowly emerged, bit by bit, from the shadows, Gehlen and his group came under relentless attack from both sides, East and West. The British, in particular, were hostile toward Gehlen and segments of the British press made sure the Org became known.
Ten years after the end of World War II, on 1 April 1956, the Gehlen Organisation was officially handed over to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. It formed the nucleus of the newly created BundesNachrichtenDienst (BND or Federal Intelligence Service). Gehlen held the top leadership post (President of the BND), presiding over spectacular successes as well as failures, until being forced out in 1968. He retired from government service in 1968, receiving the pension of a Ministerial direktor (one of the most senior civil service grades), plus, allegedly, a pension from the CIA. He died in 1979 at the age of 77.