• Germany's news in English

Intelligence agency to probe own Nazi past

DDP/The Local · 14 Jul 2010, 07:55

Published: 14 Jul 2010 07:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), or Verfassungsschutz, will appoint an independent scholar to lead a research project to determine what role and how much influence former Nazis had on West German intelligence, daily Berliner Zeitung reported.

“The BfV is planning to commission an independent historian or, if necessary, a research institute for the review of the history of the office’s beginnings,” spokeswoman Tania Puschnerat told the paper.

The agency, set up in Cologne in November 1950, worked until the 1970s with former members of the SS, Gestapo and National Socialist secret services, some of whom are suspected are supposed to have taken part in war crimes during the Second World War.

However the depth and breadth of their involvement has remained a subject of controversy.

The influence of the Nazis within the community of BfV workers will also be probed by the new investigation.

Story continues below…

The agency will call for tenders as soon as the financing for the project is approved, the paper reported.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

14:59 July 14, 2010 by bmck
As if they do not already know....
16:41 July 14, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Just another idiotic political gesture. Of course they were all Abwehr and Gestapo, it's not like we had any other convenient, politically-correct spies laying about. And yes, they were probably all bastards. But they played their game well against the soviet union, and thereby ultimately redeemed themselves in the eyes of their country. Just let the past lie. It's been too long to still worry about this crap.
20:28 July 14, 2010 by bernie1927
You are so right. For God's sake, enough already. How long has it been? 65 years, right? Who gives a damn?
20:36 July 14, 2010 by wxman
Der Grenadier uas Aachen has it right. Wasting time and resources on this sort of "navel gazing" is of little contemporary value.
20:48 July 14, 2010 by Frenemy
You're asking sh!t-stirring bureaucrats (without alternative means of career advancement) to let sleeping dogs lie??

...yeah right, fat chance!
21:36 July 14, 2010 by mikecowler
Was well known fact that the occupiing forces after the war used ex nazi spies to spy on others...
22:10 July 14, 2010 by Frenemy
not only that! The US used ex-Nazis (like R. Gehlen) to renovate their OWN foreign intel service (OSS/CIA) and others to (literally) get the American space program off the ground (W. von Braun)...

Now thats what I call a proud history of transatlantic cooperation :-)
23:34 July 14, 2010 by JAMessersmith
This is hardly news, and the agency has to know it's own history... merely a political gesture. As has been said, even the US heavily recruited Nazis after the war in regards to espionage, intelligence, and science, so what choice did West Germany have? All of the leading agents/scientists had either been Nazis or worked for Nazis, so you're not left with much of a choice if you wish to continue on. Had the West German government purged every former Nazi from their posts, they would've been left with inexperienced novices who would've lacked the skills necessary to do the job. An inconvenient truth, perhaps, but a truth nonetheless.
02:40 July 15, 2010 by wood artist
From a pure history standpoint, whatever they "discover" might well prove interesting. It's long been known that the American policy of de-nazification was a failure, both because it punished a lot of low-level people who were members because they had to be, and failed to punish a lot of higher-ups, simply because their skills were "needed."

Hopefully, regardless of the outcome, the world is ready to simply say "Yup" and move on. The bulk of current German society wasn't even born then, and it's time to move on.

05:43 July 15, 2010 by vonSchwerin
Actually, I think this is an interesting topic, but as part of research into Germany history and not as a political stunt. It's not worth wasting government money and man-hours on. Can't they ask a group of historians research the topic? Opel, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, usw. have had outside, independent, serious historians do interesting, scholarly, de-politicized research on their NS pasts.
Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd