A recently released report suggests the United States helped a number of Nazis after the end of World War II:
The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades.
It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible…
Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.
The Justice Department report, describing what it calls “the government’s collaboration with persecutors,” says that O.S.I investigators learned that some of the Nazis “were indeed knowingly granted entry” to the United States, even though government officials were aware of their pasts. “America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became — in some small measure — a safe haven for persecutors as well,” it said.
Even today, everyone can agree on one group of people who were evil: the Nazis. Yet it appears the relationship between the United States, the supposed moral victors in Europe in 1945, had a much more complicated relationship with Nazis than is typically thought.
This reminds me of a chapter by sociologist Jeffrey Alexander. In this chapter, Alexander detailed how the United States was able to claim the moral high ground after World War II – after all, the US had rid the world of both the evil Nazis and Japanese. But by the mid 1960s, the United States could no longer claim this high ground with questions about whether the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan had been necessary and Milgram’s experiment suggested lots of ordinary people were capable of evil.
How much more interesting information like this is buried somewhere?