Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Title: Education for Death: The Making of A Nazi
Writer: Gregor Ziemer

During World War II, Walt Disney entered into a contract with the US government to develop 32 animated shorts. Nearly bankrupted by Fantasia (1940), Disney needed to refill its coffers, & making American propaganda films didn’t seem like a bad way to do it. On numerous occasions, Donald Duck was called upon to deliver moral messages to domestic audiences (see The Spirit of ’43 & Der Führer’s Face). But that wasn’t the case with Education for Death: The Making of Nazi, a film shown in US movie theaters in 1943.

Based on a book written by Gregor Ziemer, this animated short used a different lineup of characters to show how the Nazi Party turned innocent youth into Hitler’s corrupted children. Unlike other topics addressed in Disney war films (e.g. taxes & the draft), this theme, the cultivation of young minds, hit awfully close to home. & it’s perhaps why it’s one of Disney’s better wartime films.

As written on Spiegel Online


Source: National Security Archive, Edited by Tamara Feinstein
Article published on AF-E

The CIA was surprised by Israeli agents’ capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, and a subsequent CIA file review uncovered extensive ties between Eichmann & men who served as CIA assets & allies (like Franz Alfred Six & Otto Von Bolschwing), according to the CIA’s three-volume Directorate of Operations file & their Directorate of Intelligence file on Eichmann.

Obersturmbannführer (Lt. Col.) Eichmann was originally a member of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst or Security Service), & went on to head Gestapo Section IV B4 (responsible for Jewish affairs) where he helped plan & implement the Holocaust. Eichmann was captured at the end of World War II by allied forces, but managed to escape the internment camp where he was confined in 1946. On May 2, 1960, Eichmann was apprehended by Israeli secret agents in Argentina, where he had been hiding under an assumed name, & smuggled back to Israel to stand trial for his crimes. After a highly publicized trial in 1961, Eichmann was sentenced to death & executed in 1962.

The CIA file on Eichmann includes a number of revelations, including the lack of American intelligence on Eichmann’s whereabouts before his capture, as well as a lack of intelligence on the Israeli operation to find & bring him to justice. The documents contained in this names file reveal CIA surprise at the initial capture of Eichmann in Argentina by Israeli agents. After news of the capture surfaced, the Director of the CIA immediately requested that CIA operatives with contacts in the Israeli intelligence service, gather “all possible details” on the operation. In one such interchange between a CIA agent & his Israeli counterpart about the Eichmann capture, the undisclosed CIA agent notes “I opened the conversation by asking him to transmit to [excised] & [excised] congratulations on the final accomplishment of what appeared to be a magnificent job & our desire to help in any way possible. Although we felt sure that [excised] had much more information on the men than we have, nevertheless, there may be captured Nazi war documents in which he might be interested.” [Vol 1, document 49].

Later documents reveal CIA attempts to locate relevant documents in German captured documents, files in the Berlin Document Center in Germany, & other sources like the International Tracing Service. To help strengthen the close ties between the CIA & Israel’s intelligence agencies, the Counterintelligence Staff at the Directorate of Operations (headed by James Angleton) combed through the archives & submitted for further research other German officers’ names that were mentioned in the Eichmann documents. The consequence was the discovery that some of those linked to Eichmann also had ties to the CIA & the CIA-sponsored West German intelligence service (BND). ( Note 1)

At the top of one of these lists of associated officer names was Otto Von Bolschwing [Doc 7, Vol 2]. Bolschwing “had been Eichmann’s tutor on Zionism & the politics of Zionism in the mid-1930s & then his ally in persecuting the Jews of Austria.” ( Note 2) After the war, Bolschwing served as an asset first for the Gehlen organization, & was then recruited directly by the CIA for work in Austria. Despite his less than stellar achievements as an asset, the CIA rewarded him for his service by helping him obtain entry & citizenship in the United States. In his essay from the IWG-sponsored anthology U.S. Intelligence & the Nazis, University of Virginia Professor & IWG historian Timothy Naftali details Bolschwing’s panic after discovering that Eichmann had been captured by the Israelis. Naftali notes that he went so far as to contact one of his former CIA handlers:

The retired U.S. intelligence officer, who had only a superficial knowledge of Bolschwing’s actual career in the SS, could not understand his former employee’s anxiety-it was inconceivable that the Israelis would try to snatch Bolschwing on U.S. soil & so he turned to an acquaintance in the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff to learn more about him. Once Bolschwing’s former case officer saw the captured German records found in the torpedo factory, he was shaken, saying that neither he nor others had known about Bolschwing’s past, & asserting that ‘we would not have used him at that time had we known about it.’ Some of what this intelligence officer did not remember knowing had been known by others in the CIA from the moment Bolschwing was hired. ( Note 3)

The 289-document name file on Eichmann was compiled by the CIA in response to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. It is one of 788 name and subject files released to the Nazi War Crimes & Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG). The CIA name & subject files total close to 60,000 pages, all of which are available to the public at the National Archives & Record Administration at College Park, Maryland. For a full list of names files & their release dates, please refer to this chart compiled by IWG staff. The names files are unique because they contain post-war operational files from the CIA which are normally exempt from review under the FOIA. (The National Security Archive has previously posted names files on Reinhard Gehlen & Adolf Hitler.)

This posting comes in the wake of the CIA’s decision to reassess its disclosure policy under the Nazi War Crimes act, & review additional documents sought by the IWG. ( Note 4) The CIA originally resisted efforts to broaden its narrow interpretation of the act, but after a public outcry in late January ( Note 5), they reversed their decision.

The documents annexed in the CIA names file posted by the Archive span from the time of the war to the mid 1990s, & include both captured German documents & documents from various U.S. government agencies. As with all the CIA names & subject files, only copies of the documents were released to NARA, not the original documents. The names & subject files are artificial creations made by the CIA for the purpose of obeying the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, while disguising how the CIA organizes its own files. For a more detailed description of the Names Files & the history of their compilation refer to this notice.

Some of the highlights from the CIA name file on Eichmann include:

May 24 & 26, 1960 documents revealing CIA surprise at the capture of Eichmann, requesting more details from an Israeli counterpart on the operation, & offering help in supplying captured Nazi war documents (Documents 48 & 49, Vol 1) & a later June 15, 1960 document detailing efforts to locate relevant material in the “five-miles” of captured documents ( Doc 13, Vol 2).

Documents detailing the capture of Eichmann by Israel, including specifics on how the Israeli agents determined and verified Eichmann’s identity. This included staking out his house in Argentina on the day that would have been his 25th anniversary, & observing him returning home with flowers & celebrating the date with his wife. He had remarried his original wife under an assumed name, & the agents surmised that that the wife would not be celebrating the original date she married Eichmann, unless it was Eichmann. Another document claims the Israelis also brought in a man who had worked on a kibbutz with Eichmann, who identified him & also engaged Eichmann in a conversation. In the conversation, the man intentionally made several minor mistakes about their past meetings, & Eichmann corrected every one. (Documents 62 & 66 Vol 1, Documents 85 & 108 Vol 2)

There were attempts by the CIA in the wake of Eichmann’s capture to gather more information on names connected to Eichmann (Document 7 Vol 2). One CIA memo reveals the fear that incriminating information on such individuals – including Franz Alfred Six (an SS Lt. Col & Eichman’s boss from 1936-39, & a section leader in the post-war Gehlen intelligence organization – would make them vulnerable to Soviet recruitment (Document 23 Vol 2).

An August 24, 1962 walk-in of a man claiming to be Eichmann’s son, who offered to help capture Josef Mengele in exchange for a changed identity ( Document 72 Vol 3).


1. For further reading on the role of the CIA’s Counterintelligence (CI) staff in locating documents & their relations with Israeli intelligence, see Timothy Naftali’s essay “CIA and Eichmann’s Associates,” in U.S. Intelligence & the Nazis, (Washington, DC: National Archive Trust Fund Board, 2004), 339.

2. Ibid, 340.

3. Ibid, 343. The National Security Archive plans to publish the full CIA names file on Otto Von Bolschwing and four other Eichmann associates profiled in Naftali’s essay in the coming weeks.

4. Douglas Jehl, “CIA Defers to Congress, Agreeing to Disclose Nazi Records,” New York Times, February 7, 2005.

5. Douglas Jehl, “CIA Said to Rebuff Congress on Nazi Files,” New York Times, January 30, 2005.

The initial American military response to Churchill’s plan for a second front in North Africa was firmly negative. On July 11th, 1942, less than three weeks after the prime minister’s visit to Washington, army chief of staff Marshall & navy chief of staff Ernest J. King recommended to the president that he “assume a defensive attitude toward Germany, & use all available means in the Pacific” should the British insist on “any other operation rather than forceful, unswerving adherence to full Bolero plans.”

Roosevelt; however, had no intention of abandoning his “Europe first” strategy & immediately sent the two chiefs to London to work things out with the British. When Churchill proved adamant, Marshall & King, following Roosevelt’s instructions, acceded to the North African landing, now code-named Torch.

If the two chiefs of staff were perturbed by the shelving of Bolero, their agitation was niggling compared to Soviet premier Joseph Stalin’s outrage. In the wake of the PQ 17 disaster, Churchill had already halted the Arctic convoys, & now the second front in France that had been promised for 1942 was also disappearing. Meanwhile, the Germans were once again on the move, advancing on Stalingrad & punishing the Soviets, who continued to bear by far the heaviest part of the fighting against Hitler. Unless the British & Americans became more actively involved & soon, Churchill feared, Stalin might well choose to seek a separate peace. Therefore, the British prime minister decided to visit the Soviet leader personally & use his considerable diplomatic talents to improve, as best he could, Stalin’s morale.

During his subsequent journey to Moscow, Churchill contemplated how he might mollify “this sullen, sinister Bolshevik state I had once tried so hard to strangle at its birth.” In the end, there was little he could do. As he noted later, “Stalin observed that from our long talk it seemed that all we were going to do was no Sledgehammer, no Roundup, & pay our way by bombing Germany.” The RAF had indeed intensified its area-bombing campaign during 1942, but this was hardly equivalent to the Soviet contribution & did nothing to distract the Nazis from their onslaught in the East. “Peering into that Kremlin gloom in August 1942,” David M. Kennedy has written, “some historians have discerned the first shadows of the Cold War. Certainly the Soviets at this point had ample reason to doubt their Western partners.”


Between 1933 & 1945, Hitler’s Nazi regime conquered most of Europe & North Africa. It unleashed a war that took over 50 million lives. It forced tens of millions of people into slavery. & it carried out the biggest mass murder campaign of the 20th century. Six million Jewish people, half a million Romani’s, & millions of Slavic people were poisoned in gas chambers, shot, deliberately starved or tortured to death in fiendish scientific experiments. Hundreds of thousands of disabled people, gays, communists, socialists & other anti-Nazis–many of them German–were also murdered by Hitler. These crimes were carried out in the name of Nordic racial purity.

The nightmare came to an end on April 30, 1945. Hitler blew his brains out as victorious Soviet troops closed in on his underground bunker in Berlin. His closest ally, Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had been executed by Italian Communist fighters a day earlier. On May 9 the Nazi armies surrendered. Clinton, Kohl & Yeltsin are sure to recount all this on the anniversary. They will say the horrors must never happen again. But it will all be hypocrisy. They will conceal the class character of World War II. They won’t say that Hitler & the Third Reich were creations of the capitalist profit system. They won’t say that the millions of Soviet soldiers who gave their lives to defeat the Nazi war machine were fighting under the red flag of socialism. & they won’t denounce the giant banks & corporations that financed fascism & profited from the Holocaust it unleashed. [Read More]

In October 1937, America was a nation sharply divided between isolationists & interventionists. World War I had been a great disappointment. President Woodrow Wilson had promised in April 1917 that American entry into the war would bring about lasting world peace. Yet the onerous terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, never ratified by the United States, made another European war more, rather than less, likely.

American disillusionment intensified during the mid-1930s, when Senator Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota sponsored a series of congressional hearings to investigate World War I munition sales. President Wilson had declared that the war was being fought to make the world “safe for democracy,” yet Nye showed that the war had also been fought, at least in part, to safeguard the US-backed international loans & enrich American war profiteers. Arms manufacturers were Nye’s favorite target because, as he revealed, these so-called merchants of death had made huge fortunes before 1917 selling exorbitantly priced munitions to both sides.

The resulting public outrage moved Congress to pass a series of four increasingly restrictive neutrality acts that shackled US foreign policy during the years leading up to World War II. The first of these laws, passed in August 1935, forbade all arms sales to belligerent nations once the president had determined that a state of war existed among them. Because the law made no distinction victim & aggressor, there was little the president or his interventionist cabinet could do to counter the expansionism then being practiced by Germany, Italy, & Japan. In fact, in July 1937, when Japan instigated a war with China, the president chose not to acknowledge the conflict formally because doing so would have forced him to bar all weapons sales to our Chinese allies.

Instead, Roosevelt made another sort of public statement. Motivated by Japan’s aggression in China (as well as German & Italian adventurism in Spain & elsewhere), the president decided to take on the isolationists directly in his famous “quarantine” speech. It’s often forgotten that, when immediate public reaction proved somewhat negative, Roosevelt quickly backed off the strong words he spoke that day in October 1937. Yet the Quarantine Speech nevertheless proved prophetic, expressing thoughts & attitudes that would only grow stronger in Roosevelt’s mind as the international situation worsened & war drew near.


A secret United States government report has offered fresh evidence that the CIA granted Nazi war criminals a “safe haven” in the US after World War 2. [Read More]