Germany admits it had Nazi spies after WW2
Published 20/03/2010 | 05:00
The German spy service has admitted that it employed about 200 former Nazi criminals for at least 15 years after the end of World War Two.
Some had been involved in massacres in Poland and Russia, others were Gestapo torturers; all found a berth in the West German intelligence service. The cases have been brought to light because the Federal German Intelligence Service (BND) is compiling a history of its espionage activities since 1956.
There was never any attempt to hide the fact that the BND employed Nazis -- it was set up in a hurry, with US help, to create spying networks against the Soviet Union -- but it has always been vague about its war records.
The 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' newspaper has been given access to files from the 1960s that detail how the BND tried, belatedly, to weed out suspected war criminals. Potted biographies of the agents, with thinly disguised names, have been listed at www.faz.net/bnd.
"It was always clear that the BND had a dark past," said Hansjoerg Geiger, who headed the BND from 1996 and 1998. "But I would never have reckoned with such a high proportion." (© The Times, London)