tv Book Discussion CSPAN January 18, 2015 9:48am-10:44am EST
gs day by day that has major huge difference. so this is a book about a do i have a smile on my face. it really is inspiring, and i want to tell their story so that's my next book. >> host: randall kennedy, if you want to watch any of his previous times on booktv go to booktv debt or search function up her left hand corner, typing his name. we've covered several of his books on booktv. as always thank you. >> guest: thanks very much. >> eric lichtblau is next on booktv. he recalls the influx of nazis who entered the united states following world war ii and reports that many of these men were granted clearance by the u.s. government who employed him as a scientist, intelligence officers engineers and spies. this is about one hour. >> we are fortunate to have with
us this evening and experienced investigative reporter, eric lichtblau. eric first got into investigative journalism at the "los angeles times" where he worked for 15 years. is final beat for the "los angeles times" was in washington covering the justice department. and when he shifted to "the new york times" 12 years ago, he continued covering justice. is left him well-positioned and very well sourced after the september 11 attack to report on the bush administration's stepped-up domestic spying operation. in 2006, he and another "new york times" reporter, james ricin, received the pulitzer prize for national reporting for as the pulitzer committee put it quote that carefully sourced stories on the secret domestic eavesdropping that stirred national debate on the boundary line between fighting
terrorism and protecting civil liberties. that reporting let eric a couple years later to come up with his first book bush law the remaking of american justice on the nsa's work as wiretapping program, and a secret activities. in his new book "the nazis next door," eric elaborates on another an older story of covert activity. is when recounting how the cia and fbi brought former nazis into the united states after world war ii to serve as spies and informants in the cold war against the soviet bloc. while some of the story has been known, eric reveals a far more extensive recruitment of former nazis. in years later when the justice department was searching for former nazis in this country, the investigations were complicated by the efforts of
other government agencies to conceal their own involvement in the past of those being hunted. it wasn't until the first years of the century that the u.s. government acknowledged much of this dark history. but even that acknowledgment came only in a secret integral justice department report that officials did not want to release the in 2010 eric wrote a story about that document which became the evidence for his book. a review of the book in "the new york times" said eric quote brings ample investigative skills and an elegant writing style to this unsavory but important story here "the nazis next door" is a captivating book rooted in first rate research. another reviewer called the book quote a fascinating and infuriating directed to the american mythologies of the cold war. ladies and gentlemen, please
join me in welcoming eric lichtblau. [applause] >> well, thank you very much. thanks for having me. it's always great to be back at politics and prose and happy to read in the paper this morning you all are expanding to other locations, which is great news for everyone in washington who loves books. so congratulations on that. this book began with a tip. i cut a tip about four years ago now from a source who told me that there was a secret report of the justice department that laid bare the whole intro history of the governments efforts to find and deport nazis going back three decades. decades. decades. yet for mysteries reasons the source of the justice department had been sitting on this report for three or four years at that point. never would put it out publicly. there's something interesting interesting new stuff in there the source told me. you should see if you get your
hands on it. one sure way to get reporters attended is way to get reporters attended is to tell him there's a secret report that the government doesn't want you to see. it's like waiting a big hunk of red meat in front of a hungry dog. of course, i did. i wanted to get the report and eventually through a bit of blind luck idea. it was fascinating stuff. it concluded by declaring sadly that america in the years after the war that allowed itself to become a quote-unquote safe haven for nazis. i wrote a story for the new york times that ended up on the front page about the report but before it finished writing the story i realized that there was a book to be written. there was so much history here, and such shameful history in a lot of ways that it demanded closer attention. i had that feeling you get sometimes as a reporter when you think you're onto an important story. you tell yourself, there is more here, and there was. so this book is mostly of course about the nazis who fled to
america after the war but in another way it's also about the holocaust survivors themselves who were the victims in those concentration camps. that's not something i intended to refocus on in the book. that took me by surprise as i was doing my research. and i realized as i looked at the period after the war, beginning in the spring of 1945, that to truly understand how maddeningly easy it was for the nazis to get into america, you have to first appreciate, first understand how horribly horrifically difficult it was for the holocaust survivors their victims, to get out of the concentration chance at that very same time. so indulge me for a few minutes while i read it to you from the first chapter of my book which is called liberation. and this is what liberation looked like for the survivors.
spring 1945 displaced persons camp outside munich. while the nazis fled the victims were left to languish. these with a quote-unquote lucky ones hundreds of thousands of catholics gays jehovah witnesses and other so-called parasites enslaved in nazi concentration consistently managed to survive hitler's genocidal killing machine. that even after turning 50 the survivors remained imprisoned for months in the same camps where the nazis first put them. better names of the charset changed. the barbed wire fences and armed guards still encircled them. they were in a postwar purgatory. jacketed beaver a geometric survived the nazi purge in ukraine was among the masses can find in that american tv can put for. we felt like so much surplus junk, he would write of his
confinement. human garbage which the governments of the world wish which somehow go away. the allied push the galaxy taylor from all sides. the russians from the east the americans and the british from the west. one by one the allied forces discovered seems a poor and 90s in concentration camps abandoned by the retreating nazis but inside the retreating nazis but inside the camps remain tens of thousands of survivors in the heats of unpaired corpses. generations later, the iron gates to the cans must have swung open at the rival of the allied forces and the mass massa both been victims must have ported into the waiting arms of a world filled with shock and joy. like trapped coal miners freed from a mine shipped or wrongly accused prisoner emerging from behind the prism wall, they were free at last to hot meals warm beds showers and doctors must have awaited him. the reality was much darker.
many thousands of the survivors did not leave the allied camps. some not for months some not for years, some not at all. thousands died from disease and malnourishment even after hitler's defeat. at dozens of camps they remained jailed inside the walls hitler had erected. directed. with survivors surrounded by the stench of death, the allied forces led by dwight d. eisenhower not allow them to lead. the world didn't know what to do with them. the survivors left to where their striped camp uniforms, the same uniforms that had become such a toxic symbol of nazi oppression. in some camps they were bombed five by five nazi pows were held up as well people who just months earlier had been their war crime tormentors. some prisoners were put in charge of jewish inmates, ruling over them even in defeat. exiled jews in the camp were originally from germany, austria and other axis nations were
classified and treated by the allies not as victims but as any nationalist because of their countries of origin. no different from the nazi prisoners jailed with them. many of the germans had it better. ex-nazi officers watched movies, played soccer even took college courses. a jewish camps meanwhile, the holocaust survivors fought move to get an extra ration of black bread and coffee to make up for the starvation. american officials resisted. theythe complaint the jews were getting preferential treatment when using black market systems of the camp to violate limits on food rations. the situation became so volatile that the german police with the consent of american officials staged a raid on black market activities in camps in early 1946. rioting broke out with police killing one jewish prisoner. you survive the holocaust but not its aftermath. word gets back to washington to
jewish groups about these horrific conditions even in victory that the survivors were experiencing. washington didn't want to believe. truman didn't want to believe it. the senate or the house didn't want to believe it. finally, the calls for some action grew so loud that truman had to appoint a special emissary to go over to the displaced person camps and of sql that these reports of such horrific living conditions could really be true. i've seen a lot of damage reports in washington covering is done to us about the most damning report i've ever read. what the dean of pennsylvania at the time wrote back to truman was quote as matters now stand we appear to be treating the jews just as the nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them. ..
reaction to that report that i just read to you that truman reffed from earl -- received from earl harrison, the dean of the penn law school. give me one second, i'm sorry. this is what patton wrote. quote: harrison and his ilk believe that the displaced person in a human being -- is a human being which he is not. and this applies particularly to the jews who are lower than animals, patton to wrote in his diary after learning of the scathing report to truman, laying bare the anti-semitism. patton complained of how the jews in one camp with, quote, no sense of human relationships wouldly in filth -- would live in filth like lazy low kansass. he -- locusts. the holy day of yom kippur. we entered the synagogue which
was packed with the greatest stink of mass humanity i have ever seen. this was eisenhower's first glimpse of the dps, patton wrote, so it was all new to him. i have marveled that being alleged to be made in the form of god could look the way they do or act the way they act. remember, this was the general in charge of the prisoners for the allied forces who had just won the war. and yet he could speak with such vulgarity and such blatant anti-semitism. at first when i read this, i thought this must be a forgery. i found it hard to believe that general patton had really written these words. so i went to a second source to find out whether this was an authentic document and sadly unfortunately, it was. and there were many orr episodes in pat -- other episodes in patton's career that affirmed his views towards the prisoners and how i he felt toward them. at the same time, he had an
almost odd fondness for the nazi p.o.w.s in his camps. in spite orders to de-nazify camps, quote if you need these men, patton told his officers, keep them. they were in the best position to run the camps. i tell another story about patton in the book that's also illuminating as far as his views and admiration for the nazi prisoners. and let me read that for a second. weeks after germany's surrender, general patton visited a german.o.w. barracks and taught out a prisoner being held there, a scientist a leading german rocketeer, he had one the nazis' missile program and had overseen the technical experts who built
the missiles that hitler had used in europe. patton impressed, pulled three cigars from his pocket and handed them to his nazi rival. my congratulations, patton said. i couldn't have done it. so i began to realize in my research that, again, the horrific unfathomable treatment of the survivors really had everything to do with this easy path to america that greeted the nazis. and i began to use that as a framework for the story. you have to remember that for every j everything w who did not -- jew who did not get into america or palestine this those difficult years, that was one more visa for a nazi collaborator maybe disguised as a p.o.w., disguised as a farmer disguised as a civilian administrator to get into america. the visas were a precious commodity with some seven million people left stateless
after the war. 40,000 visas were the small lot that was issued in the first three years after the war. and the immigration policies were stacked against the j well,ews. quote: they do not desire to work but expect to be cared for. the visas were a golden ticket out, and for every jew who was denied exit to america that meant one more visa available for someone else. in those early years after the war, fully 40% of all the visas went by design to refugees from the ballot ins. hundreds of thousands of people from the so-called captive states that are occupied by the nazis during the war. hundreds of thousands of lithuanians, estonians latvians ukrainians and others. these were people who as one u.s. policymaker put it were of good stock, of good breeding and they were welcomed in america. now, i don't want to diminish
the victimization of many of those refugees. no doubt the vast majority of those 400,000 were legitimate victims who had just been held captive by a nazi-occupied state or about to be held effectively captive by the soviet bloc for decades more. but among those 400,000 it's now clear that there were many thousands of nazis and nazi collaborators who played an active role in the holocaust during the nazi occupation of eastern europe. these were people who were police chiefs under the nazis who were prison wardens, camp guards at concentration camps, who were interrogator, who played every role you can imagine in terms of being what's often called hitler's willing executioners during the occupation of eastern europe. there were men like a police official who ran a nazi concentration camp in estonia where thousands and thousands of jews were shot to death and his
orders at a death camp. one would lead the school children from the bus that took them to the camp to the edge of the death pit their understood wear making sure to save the dolls and belongings afterwards in a bit of morbid safekeeping. he was able to disguise himself easy as a war refugee and get into america on a war visa and lived on long island quietly for 36 years. there were also men like jacob weimer who made a good living managing a restaurant. his visa application had him down as a p.o.w. during the war. it left out some of the more haunting aspects of his wartime biography; serving as a decorated officer for the ss, taking part in raids of the jewish villages training guards. half a century later, prosecutors came after weimer and others like him to deport him for his role with the nazis. this is how one of the prosecutors explained the math of postwar immigration politics
to the judge. quote. he was never entitled to emigrate to america. there were only a limited number of visas back then, and he took the visa of a real victim. one more nazi in measuring meant one -- in america meant one less actual victim who got to come to america. it was simple math. and so they came, thousands of nazi collaborators scattered across america in queens, in boston, in baltimore in washington, in chicago in los angeles. as jay cock weimer -- jacob wipe e showed you simply put down a fake name. using an alias, you could live in southern california for more than 30 years. be he'd used his real name immigration officials might have realized he was a top cabinet minister, the man who actually signed the racist and anti-semitic decrees rounding up hundreds of thousands of serbs roma and jews. but, of course, they didn't check. there was little chance of
getting caught since the postwar refugee system in europe was so inept. think of the flawed rollout of obamacare but without the computers. so thousands of nazis came in quietly through the back door disguised as someone else. but several thousand others were essentially invited by the u.s. government, the pentagon, the cia, the fbi and ore intelligence branches -- other intelligence branches. i mentioned the head of the v2 program. he and some 1600 nazi scientists came to america after the war in program paper clip all about the cold war and defeating the soviets. the idea was to keep pace with the russian scientists, so we brought over our own teams of german scientists. now, officially the people we brought over couldn't be, quote-unquote, ardent nazis, whatever that might have meant. but this was clearly a fig leaf that was disregarded very quickly and, in fact these were high ranking nazi officials who worked in hitler's scientific
program who were involved in building rockets on the backs of slave laborers doing medical experiments on prisoners and worse. von braun, for instance, built rockets at a camp in germany they didn't build themselves, of course. slave laborers did that for them. most of the prurses were p.o.w.s, not jews but french, russians, poles and the orrs, and the nazis literally built them to death. the more rockets hitler wanted built to bomb antwerp the faster he wanted them the more prisoners died of disease, malnutrition, exhaustion and worse. if workers didn't perform their daily quota or if they were suspected of trying to sabotage the parts so that the rockets wouldn't work, they were taken to a giant construction crane in the middle of the worksite and hanged while all the other prisoners were made to come along and watch as a lesson of
what would befall them if they tried the same thing. this was the place the non-ardent nazis ran before they set up shop in alabama. unlike the discovery of dachau and many other camps we talked about, americans didn't hear much about in order hawzen and i suspect that was by design. officials were willing to let americans know their raiding this factory of its hardware parts and blueprints and of its scientists and engineers as well and bringing them back to live as americans in alabama texas, ohio and california. men by the name of arthur rudolph was the head of production. he reported to von braun. he came to the u.s. with the paper clip scientists, became one of the top engineers in the saturn space program. not as famous as von braun, but quite renowned. decades later prosecutors confronted him about what had really happened under his watch at that slave labor factory this
in order housen. rudolph said he just built rockets. the prisoners, as far as he knew he said with a straight face, were well treated. he was just doing his job. three dozen just in san taupe owe. one of them was named dr. hugh bear discuss -- [inaudible] what werner von braun was to rocket science, this man was to space medicine. the father of space medicine, they called him. his job was to keep pilots alive in space in the changing atmosphere, and he was doing it long before he got to texas. in germany he and the nazi doctors in the medical experimentation programs ran and oversaw the grisly experiments even on children to see what the body could withstand. children would be put into, excuse me, into a flight simulator and subjected to sudden, viability changes in altitude. many died. other prisoners were made to drink putrid sea water until
they vomited or died. the idea was to sea how much sea water the nazi pilots could withstand and survive once their planes crashed as was happening often during the war itself. he was brought over to america and was feted as an american hero. you could make the case, i suppose, and some have that morality aside the scientific expertise that the nazis brought to america outweighed the obvious baggage they brought with them. von braun's work on jet propulsion the u.s. might never have landed on the moon in 1969 ahead of the russians, so the argument goes. the recruitment of the nazis brought the united states clear technological breakthroughs. but there's another group of hundreds of nazis who were also aided and protected by the u.s. government, and i write about them in my book. for this group you can't make the, well, it was worth it argument. these are the most insidious in my mind, the nazi spies used by
the cia, the fbi os is -- oss as anti-soviet assets in europe the middle east latin america and inside the united states itself. the thinking was that no one hated the soviets more than the nazis, and american intelligence gurus like j. edgar hoover and alan dulles at the cia wanted to put that hatred and that visit roll and that expertise against -- vitriol by anointing the ex-nazi spies as more than spies, cold war spies and informants. dulles, in fact, started dealing with the nazis even before the war was over. i tell the story of how he met a few months before the end of the war with a nazi general karl wolfe, himmler's chief of staff. he was the general involved in developing the train system that, of course, took millions of victims to their death. yet he and alan dulles with the war still raging sat by a fire
and sipped scotch while talking in german about common acquaintances and mutual interests. dulles sent a series of amazing cables back to washington after that meeting in which he described general wolfe -- again, chief of staff to himmler -- as one of the moderate nazis. that was his word, not mine. who could help america. he was an attractive, romantic man who wanted to put the war behind him and he could help america, in dulles' view. now, as i wrote about in the book and in "the new york times" last week in a story we adapted for the book, there were as many as a thousand nazis who worked for the as spies this the cold war after 945 -- 1945 in europe in the middle east, in latin america and some in the united states itself. unlike the technology that von braun and the nazi engineers brought to america, much of the information that these nazi spies brought to the u.s. proved worthless. i spent weeks at the national
archives in college park going through now-declassified intelligence files on the nazi spies, and their value to the u.s. was practically nonexistent. it should surprise no one sitting here -- although it did the cia at the time -- that once these ex-nazis went to work for the united states, they turned out to be liars, thieves and drunkings. [laughter] some, in fact, turned out to be soviet double agents. the obvious lesson, which u.s. officials didn't seem to get at first, was that you couldn't trust a nazi. [laughter] one of the nazi spies, for instance, was a man named aler -- [inaudible] who lived in massachusetts for years and years after the war of before that for the nazis he had worked as a secret service police chief in lithuania during massacres there at the start of the war. he was the one who would sign the orders rounding up the jews thousands and thousands of jews and turn them over to the gestapo where 60,000 of them were led to a death pit outside town and massacred to death.
his signature was at the bottom of those orders. and yet in the view of the cia, he was a cold war asset. he became a spy in europe for america each though in the cia's own files they noted almost in passing that he was under the control of the gestapo during the war and that he was probably involved in the massacres at vilnius. but he was u.s. material. probably the most insidious of the gnats t city spies and the man i devote the most attention to was a man by the name of otto von boll,ing. once on a train in austria in 1953 he lott a suitcase filled -- he lost a suitcase getting it mixed up with another passenger's luggage, he opened the bag and realized instead of secret spy photos, there were pajamas and a shaving kit. but the cia kept him onboard and
even helped him move to the united states where he live inside new york and later california for decades. the cia said that his relocation to the united states which included essentially whitewashing his record of any notations to his nazi service, was what they called a reward for his cia service and in view of the quote-unquote, innocuous ness of his activities. now, that's an odd choice of terms when you consider who he worked for in germany. his boss in the jewish affairs office was a man by the name after adolf eichmann, the ark check, of course, for the final solution. and in the years before the war, he was not only a mentor and adviser to eichmann and the nazis, but a policymaker who devised ways of terrorizing the jews in the hope that they would be so victimized that they would flee germany and europeal together. so this is what he wrote for
eick han in a paper -- eichmann in a paper in 1938 called "the jewish problem." he wrote: a largely anti-jewish atmosphere must be created among the people in order to form the basis for the continued attack and the effective exclusion of them. the most effective means is the anger of the people leading to exoduses in order to take away the sense of security from the jews. even though this is an illegal method it has had a longstanding effect. the jew has learned a lot and fears nothing as much as a hostile atmosphere which can go spontaneously against him at any time. now, in the national around kentucky documents -- archive documents that i mentioned i spent quite a bit of time examining, i found fantastic records from 1960. for those of you with long memories, you may remember the pivotal event in 1960 was the capture of adolf eichmann in argentina by the israelis in a
bold secret mission that no one in the u.s. or anywhere else knew about in advance. they can kidnapped him from a bus stop not far from his home as he was returning home from work and they swept him out of the country and back to israel to stand trial in what would become one of the great famous trials of the 20th century, and he was ultimately executed for his role as the architect of the final solution. now, the raid made headlines, of course, around the world, but for otto von boll she slipping, this was a terrifying moment. he was worried that his name was going to come out at eichmann's trial and, in fact, he was right. it came out several times. eichmann credited him as one of the early pioneers of the anti-jewish policies, and he was worried that the israelis were going to come and swoop in, get him too. he'd already built up a good life for himself in new york as a successful international businessman with his nazi past behind him. in fact, he was being nominated at that time for a big job with
the state department in india, an export/um port job and now he thought all of that was at risk. so he went for help back to the cia. the cia was worried too about their own exposure if link total agency became known -- to the agency became known. quote: it's our assumption that -- if our assumption that he may be named as a collaborator and that the resulting publicity may prove embarrassing to the u.s. so the cia came up with a plan. they would protect him. they would not hell tell the israelis, the justice department, they would not tell anyone else, any of the nazi hunters that eichmann's former aide was living a quiet life in new york city. but there was one condition for their protection. they told him that he had to drop that bid for the state department job because they couldn't risk his name being tied to eichmann and the cia.
and in closing, let me read you just a little bit from a series of remarkable meetings and horrifying meetings to be honest that the c irk a held with -- cia held with him in 1961. and so on a spring evening in new york city, two cia officials who worked with von boll,ing in eastern europe sat him down to deliver the ultimatum either relinquish the state department job or risk the messy consequences. despite the message, they struck a conciliatory tone. the cia valued his, quote, continued friendship. agency officials did feel a bit dupe by everything they were now learning of his close ties to eichmann his handler claimed but no one was angry with him he stressed and the meeting wasn't meant as a punishment. the purpose was to draw his attention to the scandal that might result if he pressed his desire for employment with the state department. eichmann's arrest had simply made it impossible for him to
serve in a government post, they told him. he protested, it was ridiculous for anyone to suggest he'd been eichmann's collaborator. he brought out a denaziification certificate he'd received after the war surely that have evidence of his innocence, wasn't it? he tried to explain how he'd been forced to join the party and played only a nominal role before turning against hitler. they cut him off. they'd expected his strident denials. it was obvious, his handler told him, that he had told the cia far less than the truth about his nazi activities. just as an aside, they knew he was a nazi they just didn't realize quite how bad a nazi he was. [laughter] back to the script okay? as much as he liked him, his handler said, it was impossible to believe from the ss records in their possession that he was anything but an active participant and full partner in eichmann's operations in nazi germany. that was all likely to spill out
if he pushed ahead with the state department posting, his handler warped him. the record of his would likely become known and a pariah. this was a risk of a war crimes prosecution. did he really want to go through, quote, the anguish and expense of a trial before a west german/israeli court? no, he finally agreed, he didn't want to take a risk. realizing there was no way to press on, he agreed to withdraw his name from consideration. he would cite personal reasons, his health, perhaps. his handler would draft a telegraph to the state department the following day along with a letter to one of his congressional supporters who'd strongly backed him for a job. he was despondent over seeing his nazi past thrown back at him 15 years after the war. twice he mentioned suicide to his cia friends. he was particularly worried about how to, plain to his wife his sudden change of heart. she'd been depressed recently
and she was still recovering from a car accident. this would no doubt upset her even more, he confided. she knew little about his path he said -- his past, and he grudgeingly settled on a plan. he would admit that he had worked for the nazis in emigrating jews out of germany. his work was being misinterpreted now in the wake of eichmann's capture and he was pulling his name from the state department job as a result. that was all she needed to know. and what about his american citizenship? he was worried about that too. he'd received his citizenship papers only two years before. was his immigration status now this danger too? the cia couldn't make any guarantees, his handler told him, but the agency would do what it could by working to insure or no one else outside the cia security channels found out about his deep ties to eichmann. his secrets were safe with the
cia. no one else needed to know. he was satisfied. as upset as he was over the sudden turn of events, his mood seemed to brighten as he and his old cia friends agreed on a course of action to contain the damage from this ugly episode. quote, he showed surprising resilience and apparent courage end quote his handler wrote admiringly. he is tough and resourceful, he was glad to report. the ex-nazi would no doubt soldier on. he was already looking to the future and seemed intent on, quote, clearing his record and reinstating himself as a first class citizen. and it was another 20 years, believe it or not before the prosecutors in the justice department realized exactly who he was. another 20 years that he lived an upper class lifestyle in new york and then in northern california living freely, only for a few months at the end of his life did shadow of his nazi past finally come back, and on his deathbed he admitted yes,
he was a nazi. so i think we're going to take some questions. [applause] thank you. we're trying to use the microphone for questions right up here on your right. no one? i guess we can go home. [laughter] oh, the mic is right up here. >> um, first of all, let me thank you for this important talk. i think it's quite important. again with, i'm not from america, i'm from the caribbean so i'm really an outsider here which is important. three questions. >> yes. >> well, two questions, let me squeeze it to two. the first question is -- [inaudible] trying to create a context against which all of this
happened. i think you leave us a little bit hanging here. how could a country that claims to be a democracy, stands up for freedom and human rights, you know protect people -- etc., etc. ultimately and we can't want to hear the justification of the cold war okay? because i don't completely buy that. but how can such a country quite well -- fully aware of who they're working with decide to go ahead with these people? let me be provocative and maybe give an answer -- >> sure, go for it. >> it could be very provocative. >> sure. >> could it be that the history of the united states the slaughter of indians the slavery of black people, what they had done in philippines in my beloved caribbean where they behaved in very horrific fashions, that there was in essence, a certain -- the brutality was not a very big problem to them under certain conditions? that's the first thing.
secondly there's some talk now about the possibility that the nazis contributed to, indirectly or directly to a kind of hutting up of the cold -- heating up of the cold war, right? that they came in and that this thing may have infected the developing cold war. did you see any of that? did you get any of that? some writers are suggesting this who are looking at paper clip and orr -- other type of things. if you could maybe say something about that -- >> the question of how could this have possibly happened is really the ultimate question and is a matter for probably philosophers as much as historians and moral theologians. ..
unfortunately not all that uncommon. so i think it was the cold war and anti-semitism. as far as whether or not the nazis fueled the cold war i mean, it did in an indirect way in the sense that i mentioned allen dulles who met with himmler's chief of staff before the war was over, and there's a section of the book were talk bout how that was really, that led to the opening of the cold
war because what happened was that stalin found out about dulles meeting with general wolfe and was furious because the u.s., fdr had promised we are not going to negotiate. the big three made a commitment we will not negotiate with nazis. and then he was allen dulles meeting over scotch with general wolfe. and stalin sent a series of blistering cables to fdr fdr had to write back on his deathbed. he died just a few weeks after this, saying you doublecrossed us essentially. you are already plotting ways to use the nazis against us when we are still fighting a war. and some historians i think correctly view this as sort of the opening moments of the cold war, even before the war was over.
>> your collar. >> i look worse than that. >> i want to get thoughts any sense of any financial payoffs related to all these people able to get what they got? >> you know i didn't find evidence of direct financial payoffs for protection for any of the nazis, but certainly a number of them went on to very lucrative careers. i mentioned otto von balch one whose victim international businessman who would go back to germany and was involved in chemical production in germany and that was partly through the help of the united states and cia. also mentioned general wolfe the one that dulles befriended, and he spent, he originally was facing execution at nuremberg is one of the top of the nazis
involved war. thanks to dulles he was limited as a defendant and was just a witness. not actually defend. had to spend a couple of years in a pow camp. dulles can get them out of the pow camp completely slowed to carry a gun and he would go off voting on a yacht on the weekends. so it's prism confinement was not accept what one would consider normal prism time. as far as the financial rewards, he wrote letters to dulles who helped him escape or crime prosecution wanting to be reimbursed or all of this lost time in the pow camp because a business career to resume and this was costing him money. and so one of dulles' aides wrote back, he put in he literally put in for like dry cleaning and tailoring and close and said this was, this was run 1951. one of dulles' aides wrote back
to general wolff saying he should thank his lucky stars come is lucky didn't lose a lot more than his shirt. >> you mentioned at the beginning that the jews were victims, and that i do not take lightly. that part really disturbed me and i listened to yesterday on pressure which is what brought me here tonight. but also it's the betrayal of our soldiers. i mean i have visited graves in europe and i've seen the gravestones in normandy facing the west so our soldiers could be laid facing the united states when they were buried. i just find this i am incredulous how any of this can be justified by the government. >> as i said yeah, the most eye-opening part of the research for me was probably the condition of the survivors as prisoners. i had sort of a vague idea
before i started researching this book but it was tough for them to get into america. it was tough for them to get into palestine. i knew life wasn't great but i had no sense that they were literally still prisoners behind barbed wire under armed guard. guard. >> but did he give any consideration to the military for those who sacrificed their lives for that were? >> the military were the ones running the camps. sad. >> i'm wondering how many european collaborators that were not german we brought over but were pro-nazi and rounded up jews in their own country? >> most of the ones who made into the united states were not from germany itself. there were some. probably in the hundreds who were germans. there were other people, but
probably the vast majority of the 10,000 or so nazis from -- committed to the us were from eastern europe. i talked about the floodgates from eastern europe and the baltics and those were the came into view as an occluded thousands of nazi collaborators who running concentration camps, who were rounded up jews. that was the biggest group of nazi fugitives to make it to the u.s. not from germany itself. >> those that were treated as access because they were german jews or -- >> the policy the policies in, beginning around late 1946 east of a little bit the conditions for the survivors in the dp camps. it improved, patton died which was maybe part of the reason, in
the immigration policies loosen up a bit of so beginning in 1947-48 he became a little easier that thousands have died before that happened in the dp camps. meanwhile, not to come in an even bigger numbers and amazingly there was a period in the 1950s where immigration laws, being a nazi was not a band to getting into the united states. that became a legal problem years and years later when adjusted for start going after these guys in 1980s because they couldn't claim that they violated immigration policy because it wasn't illegal to be a nazi and come to the united states. had a big of a problem on their hands. >> as heu i can only ask one question. -- as ag. i'm shocked is how well the nazi prisoners would live didn't hate them as much as the russian gis did. they were fighting them for
years. you said eisenhower walked through the camps with patton and saw how badly the jews were treated? >> patent talk about that in his journal, that eisenhower to his credit seemed shocked about office. >> he's the guy who led german villagers through dr. howell who said he didn't want people -- -- ed patton similes of some of things, publicly patton said the right things about the whore of the concentration camps and liberating dachau. he was a good politician in that sense who publicly was recalls but then you see what he writes in his journals and what he did in practice at the camps spent to truman or i or anyone from america from the beginning after the war fight this? you know, we don't want nazis we want to liberate the prisoners? >> there were people at the state department who are adamantly opposed to the idea of bringing in scientist.
the pentagon really wanted that. people like allen dulles will he wanted that to us for became the cia. door people in the state department who said this would be a black mark in history and we can't do this. and basically they lost that debate. [inaudible] >> after that report that i've mentioned to truman where you had the dean of the 10 law school comparing the u.s. displaced person camps to nazi concentration camp, things did improve a bit. it was a slow process but they were not treated as reviled prisoners to the extent that they have been in those first six months or so after the war. >> thank you. you've done a great service so thank you very much. >> thank you. >> hello. >> hi. so in light of this exposure of
this very important piece of history that needs to be corrected, here we are in the 21st century with descendents of those people who came here, and had to somehow reconcile their own, i mean, i feel like we keep passing generation to generation, these kinds of traumatic experiences. so do you have any suggestions for how we can go forward now that this information is out? and i also was curious as to how it is being received by officials who are officials in the justice department state department? >> well, i think one thing one thing the government could do to move forward would be to acknowledge its past behavior when i wrote the story initially
for the times last week about a nazi spies the cia declined comment, as if we're we were talking about some episode in 2013 rather than 1946. it would be nice if they were kind of the equivalent of truman commissions to say this is wrong and was driven by irrational fear and moral indifference et cetera. you asked about the families and the later generations i actually spent a lot of time talking to the children of a number of these nazis and i have a whole chapter on that in the book. overwhelmingly the children believe that their fathers were wrongly accused, they were not guilty of the atrocities that the justice department later accused them of the. they were the victims of soviet propaganda, which is something j. edgar hoover said for years. his fbi informants would be accused of being nazis internally and he would say
that's just communists talking to the children to they believe essentially that same thing despite what i was his overwhelming evidence. there's one son, the son of auto -- otto who did come to terms with his father being a monster that they accused him of being. he at first denied it for a long time and then he began looking at things like that report on the jewish problem, and he realized this was my father. >> americans are a curious people and so it can't found me that -- compounds me that i told nazis with the heavy german accent can come to america and find solid, mid-level careers
and no one is saying what did you do during the war? so how -- >> some people did later on, you remember, sir, in the '50s and '60s, the government and the public at large seemed indifferent to the question of whether they were nazis and nazi collaborators in the u.s. there were some journalists and others who i write about or tried to bring attention to this in the '60s. in fact, not only were they ignored but this left wing journalist who writes nazis in our midst, the thanks he got from the fbi is that they wiretapped him for years and said fbi agents to follow him while he gathered his evidence. it was only in the 1970s 1980s that people started waking up to the idea that this guy made in a concentration camp guard or a supervisor or ss officer, or worse. you