“Honest and idealist….enjoys good food and wine.…unprejudiced mind…”
That’s how a 1952 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessment described Nazi ideologue Emil Augsburg, an officer at the infamous Wannsee Institute, the SS think tank involved in planning the Final Solution. Augsburg’s SS unit performed “special duties,” a euphemism for exterminating Jews and other “undesirables” during the Second World War. Although he was wanted in Poland for war crimes, Augsburg managed to ingratiate himself with the U.S. CIA, which employed him in the late 1940s as an expert on Soviet affairs. Recently released CIA records indicate that Augsburg was among a rogue’s gallery of Nazi war criminals recruited by U.S. intelligence agencies shortly after Germany surrendered to the Allies. Pried loose by Congress, which passed the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act three years ago, a long-hidden trove of once-classified CIA documents confirms one of the worst-kept secrets of the cold war–the CIA’s use of an extensive Nazi spy network to wage a clandestine campaign against the Soviet Union.
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