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Report Details U.S. Knowledge of Nazi Residents

Newly revealed document shows CIA awareness

Marc Tracy
November 15, 2010
Arthur Rudolph, in NASA’s employ, showing off a Saturn V model.(Wikipedia)
Arthur Rudolph, in NASA’s employ, showing off a Saturn V model.(Wikipedia)

The CIA knowingly permitted some former Nazis ‘safe haven’ in the United States after World War Two to an extent previously not publicly understood, according to a Justice Department report kept secret for four years but obtained by the New York Times. Among the revelations in the 600-page document, which Justice says was six y’ears in the making and never formally completed:

• The CIA knew early on that Tscherim Soobzokov, who was killed in New Jersey by the Jewish Defense League, had been a Waffen SS agent, despite court filings stating the contrary.

• Otto Von Bolschwing, who aided Adolph Eichmann in planning the extermination of the Jews of Europe, was the subject of a series of CIA memos concerning what the agency should do if Von Bolschwing’s background ever came up—that is, after he had gained admittance to the United States, where he lived until his 1981 death.

• Intelligence officials were more aware, and earlier than was known, that Arthur Rudolph, who ran a German munitions factory before working on American arms after the war (he has been honored by NASA for helping create the Saturn V rocket), was directly involved in exploiting human labor.

• Justice proved as early as 1997 that Switzerland culpably bought formerly Jewish gold from the Nazis.

• A director of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to investigate and deport former Nazis living stateside, kept a piece of skin believed to be a part of Dr. Josef Mengele’s scalp in a drawer.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.