Intelligence agency to probe own Nazi past

Intelligence agency to probe own Nazi past
Photo: DPA
Germany’s top domestic intelligence agency is to delve into its own post-war history to examine the role played by former Nazis and war criminals in the agency’s early days, a Wednesday media report said.

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.

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

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