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Post-war intelligence service recruited mass-murdering Nazi

The Local · 25 Sep 2011, 11:29

Published: 25 Sep 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00

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Walther Rauff was a senior SS man who had led the working group which developed the mobile gas chamber – converted trucks which killed the people in the back with engine exhaust fumes. They were taken to concentration camps through Germany, Poland and Ukraine.

The newly created Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), West Germany’s federal intelligence service hired him in 1958, even though he never made a secret of his past, according to the documents seen by Der Spiegel magazine.

The recruitment of Rauff was, “in no way politically or morally defensible,” said head of the BND’s history research group, Bodo Hechelhammer.

Rauf had fled an Allied prisoner camp after the end of the war and ended up in Chile, where a fellow former SS man Rudolf Oebsger-Röder contacted him on behalf of the BND.

He received generous payments to his work, which took him through South America, although the results were apparently disappointing – in 1962 his monthly payment was halved as he had not succeeded in opening intelligence avenues in Castro’s Cuba, the documents show.

By this time German justice department investigators had caught up with him and by the end of the year he had been arrested by Chilean police ready for extradition.

Yet he never had to stand trial for his crimes – murder charges had a 15-year- statute of limitations in Chile at the time and so after a few months in custody, he was again a free man.

He died in Chile 1984 aged 77, having never been held to account for his actions, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that some of those at his funeral called ‘Heil Hitler’ at his funeral.

Story continues below…

The release of the papers documenting the shameful use of such a criminal by the BND has been driven by the service’s head Ernst Uhrlau.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:30 September 25, 2011 by storymann
This shows the lack of remorse for crimes committed during the reign of the Third Reich by the people in power at that time,shortly after the war ended.
18:19 September 25, 2011 by michael4096
Nonsense. The 50s & 60s were a time where all security services were a law unto themselves. The end justified any means. Compared to the tricks of the CIA and Britain's SIS, recruiting an ex-nazi was tame.
20:56 September 25, 2011 by TurboDirectInjectionDiesel
Fools, it's because the high-ranking officers and thereby the authorities never really renounced Hitler and they adored him under their breath. Take the recent publication of Hitler in 3D, for example. The purpose is clear: idolization.
23:20 September 25, 2011 by BR549
Dang... is "Bundesnachrichtendienst" a real word?? Where are you supposed to stop to breathe saying that? BTW, I "gegoogled" the longest word in German...it's "Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän". It takes longer to say that than doing a "number 2". Lol
04:48 September 26, 2011 by wood artist

That's why it's called the BND. Whole newspaper columns have been saved with that abbreviation.

It is true that agencies like the CIA turned a blind eye, just as the KGB did, if somebody had "special skills" that seemed likely to be of value during the cold war. Sad...but true.

07:10 September 26, 2011 by zeddriver
And it still goes on. Look at the NSA in America. Bush the second signed an exec. Order giving the NSA permission to spy on American citizens without the req. Court order. Thereby doing away with the fourth amendment to our constitution. NSA equals Stazi light.
07:14 September 26, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Pfft. The CIA and the KGB employed just as many, or more, Nazis. Let's face it; governments do what they think they need to do to survive and screw each other most effectively. Nobody is innocent.
20:27 September 27, 2011 by mixxim 1
I read about this in 'The Good German'. Are we surprised?
22:25 September 27, 2011 by wxman
When you move in and occupy a country, it's always smart to hire the former administrators. They know how to run the things you need controlled. This was the mistake in Iraq. We got rid of all the people who knew what they were doing and hired those that didn't.
11:25 September 28, 2011 by storymann
To my knowledge Michael the CIA and Britain's SIS were never convicted of war crimes,the Nazi's were. The issue is not the covertness of the 50's or 60,s but the hiring of known and in many cases convicted war criminals.
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