The CIA- controlled
‘Gehlen Organization,’ which later became the German BND, was run by
Colonel James Critchfield of the CIA until 1955 and this
organization is now revealed to have employed hundreds of Nazi
officials wanted for war crimes.
The first person on the list was former SS-Oberführer or
Senior Colonel, Willi Krichbaum .Krichbaum was an associate of
Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo and a later CIA agent, and
later the Deputy Chief of the Gestapo. Krichbaum was in charge of
the deportation of the Hungarian Jews in 1944—a deportation that
took nearly 300,000 lives. Krichbaum is also the man who shot Raoul
Wallenberg. The Geheime Feld Polizei or the Secret Field
Police which Krichbaum had commanded was responsible for all manner
of atrocities, including the killing of Soviet prisoners of war.
Although Russia was not a member of the Geneva Convention, Germany
was a signatory and this Convention forbade the execution of
prisoners of war. Krichbaum was not only Gehlen’s chief recruiter,
mostly of former Gestapo and SD people, but also informed Müller of
the inner workings of the Gehlen organization which was considered a
highly secret American intelligence resource. Krichbaum continued to
work for Gehlen, according to an interview with Colonel Critchfield,
until at least 1956 when the West German government took over
control of the group.
The second name on the list was SS-Standartenführer or
Colonel Walter Rauff who had a most interesting career. In 1942,
Walter Rauff was chief of the SD units attached to the AOK Afrika,
Rommels’ Afrikakorps. In 1943, after the collapse of the
DAK, Rauff worked in Italy as the chief of the SD in Milan. In this
capacity, Rauff was involved with SS General Karl Wolff’s
negotiations to surrender the German troops in Italy in 1945. This
was a pet project of Allen Dulles and was called “Operation
Sunrise.” During the course of the negotiations, Dulles became very
friendly with Rauff. Consequently, as the new Gehlen organization
was formed, Dulles was instrumental in acquiring Rauff for an
advisory position with them.
1941, Rauff had been involved with the SD anti-partisan activities
in the captured areas of the Soviet Union. Rauff conceived,
constructed and personally supervised the use of gas vans. These
vans had the exhaust pipes vented inside the rear compartments which
were then filled with Jews who died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
While it spared some SD men from the guilt associated with murdering
large numbers of civilians, it did have certain negative aspects—the
collection of bodies in the back of the van. When the rear door was
opened to remove the dead, the stench proved to be a serious
occupational hazard. An ingenious man, Rauff had a special fitting
constructed that helped alleviate this unfortunate problem. A
lengthy file on Rauff’s gas vans is stored at the National Archives.
the end of the war, Rauff was imprisoned in Italy. He later emerged
in Germany, happily working for the Gehlen group. Unfortunately for
him, his presence became known to the wrong people, and he found it
necessary to move to Syria where he continued to represent Gehlen’s
interests. As the stress of discovery there became too much for
Gehlen to bear, it was decided that Rauff should move to Chile. His
friend and later protector, Allen Dulles, ordered that he be given
new identity papers and funds for travel and relocation. While in
Chile, the loyal Rauff continued to provide intelligence reports to
Gehlen and his other protectors.
Another senior Gehlen aide was former SS-Oberführer Dr. Franz
Six. Six was an intellectual academic, Professor of Political
Science at Königsberg University. Six joined the SS on April 20,
1935 and became a member of the SD. In 1941, Six was in command of
an Einsatzgruppe and was directly responsible for the murder of the
Jews in the Russian city of Smolensk. Following this military
triumph, Six was made the head of Section VII of the RSHA. In 1943
he was sent to the Foreign Ministry where he was in charge of the
Cultural Division. In 1946, Dr. Six was an early member of the
Gehlen organization but was eventually tracked down and his
supporters were unable to prevent his standing trial in April of
1948 for his actions. He received a sentence of 25 years. However,
US authorities interceded on his behalf and on September 30, 1952,
Six was released and at once returned to his duties with Gehlen.
SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Alois Brunner was a Gestapo
official who worked directly under Adolf Eichmann in the deportation
department. Ambitious and energetic, Brunner was an instigator of
the notorious razzia carried out in France in 1942 against
the Jews of Paris. So outraged was his putative chief, Gestapo chief
Heinrich Müller, that Brunner was transferred to Sofia in Bulgaria.
He was sentenced to death by a French court, in absentia
because Brunner had gone to Damascus, Syria, as Gehlen’s resident
agent. He used a number of names including “Georg Fischer” and
“Waldo Munk.” Brunner was later made a part of a CIA-directed
program to train the security forces of Abdel Nasser and Israeli
agents attempted to blow him up with a letter bomb but failed. In
addition to the French death sentence, Brunner was also on the
wanted list of the CIC.
Probably the worst offender of all was SS-Gruppenführer Odlio
Globocnik, once the Gauleiter of Vienna until fired by Hitler
for theft and pillage. Globocnik went on to run the Lublin camps in
Poland where he stole millions more and was responsible for the
gassing of large numbers of Jews and Poles. His stolen millions
saved him from prosecution. After working for a time for the
British, he eventually ended up as an American resource, also in
Damascus. The name of the program that sent him there was called
Like its Biblical counterpart, the 20th century road to Damascus was
traveled by converts to the new religion of the West.
There were many more individuals connected with the Gestapo or SD
who openly worked for Gehlen including SS-Standartenführer
Frederich Panziger, another old friend of ‘Gestapo Müller’s (also a
top CIA employee) who had married into his family. Panziger was not
responsible for wartime atrocities but was a key player in the
break-up of the Rote Kapelle, a Russian spy ring considered
to be of great value to Gehlen.
retired Lt. Colonel Hermann Baun had thought to damage his nemesis
Gehlen, he was in error. His lengthy and detailed report only made
Gehlen more popular with the US intelligence agency that ran him
and, through them, with the US-controlled puppet government of West
Germany—a government that did exactly what it was told and clicked
its heels together while doing it.
What did the CIA and those in the more elevated US positions of
command know about the flawed membership of their prize German
possession? Was the quickly suppressed Baun report the only
indicator that had surfaced between 1948 and 1956? If there was any
substantive material on this subject, it certainly would never be
made available to anyone and would, undoubtedly, be sequestered in
some remote place in Arizona or perhaps even somewhere on the
grounds of an academic institution closer to hand.
Correspondence and conversations with colonel James Critchfield,
once the CIA overseer of the Gehlen organization during its tenure
as an American agency, has shed considerable light on the subject.
Critchfield initially acknowledged awareness of the use by the
CIA-run Gehlen agency of a number of the individuals encountered
earlier in this chapter. However, the Colonel, now living in
comfortable retirement in Williamsburg, Virginia, stated that aside
from Dr. Six, he had no knowledge of any of the allegations of war
crimes against his former employees, which he termed “outrageous.”
He stated finally that Krichbaum, whom he had earlier claimed to
have played a “very important role in our history” was certainly not
a member of the SS, not Müller’s Deputy Chief of the Gestapo, not
involved with the deportation and deaths of the Hungarian Jews, and
could never have shot Raoul Wallenberg. The membership of Krichbaum
in the SS, his rank, and his position inside the Gestapo
organization is absolutely beyond doubt. All of Willi Krichbaum’s
official history, as that of the others included in this study is
presently available for public inspection in the US National
Archives records in Washington.
Also beyond doubt is the participation of a significant number of
unsavory individuals in the CIA-controlled Gehlen organization and
no question whatsoever as to the atrocities they committed while
members of the SD and Gestapo.
From 1945 on, the US had control of the Berlin Document Center,
which was the repository for all SS, Gestapo and SD personnel files.
US investigators were required to check the backgrounds of
all potential German employees against their records. In
addition, CROWCASS (Central Registry of War Crimes and Security
Suspects) files contained the names of suspected or wanted war
criminals. The CROWCASS information was widely circulated to
American agencies, including the CIA, which were in a position to
hire or come into contact with such people. These files, which
contained a great deal of potentially damaging information on German
nationals, were turned over to Gehlen in 1948, no doubt to assist
his recruitment drives.
When pressed, Colonel Critchfield acknowledged the existence of the
background and personal history files and dossiers but averred that
the investigation of his employees had been a matter for the Central
Registry of the CIC. When asked if he had ever been advised by this
agency that many of his senior functionaries were on the wanted
lists, Critchfield gave no response.
Intelligence agencies have a tendency to place former military
personnel in positions of responsibility precisely because they are
trained to obey, without questioning, orders from superiors.
A very significant number of the German nationals
belonging to the CIA-controlled Gehlen Organization have been
discovered to have belonged to either the Gestapo or the RSHA, the
Reichssicheitshauptamt. This was the blanket organization for
all German State and Party intelligence and counterintelligence
The fact that an indivual was assigned to the RSHA
does not mean that they were involved in anything more sinister than
clerical work in an office. But included in this list are a number
of individuals whose wartime record indicates their activities were
of a criminal nature and their inclusion in any U.S. sponsored and
controlled agency has no justification whatsoever.
The American members of this group (the Gehlen
Organization was entirely controlled by the U.S. CIA from
1948 through 1956) will be included in a subsequent study. The
listing here of some, and it must be emphasized that this treatment
covers only the most serious offenders, is alphabetical and not by
Many, including Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo,
initially worked for Swiss intelligence as a Soviet expert and was
taken over by the CIA’s Gehlen organization in 1948 and subsequently
sent to Washngton where he ran a department on Soviet espionage
Emil Augsberg, SS No. 307 925. Born May 1, 1905. Subject was a
member of the RSHA, the adjutant to SS-Gruppenführer
Globocnik who was SS and Police Leader in the Polish district of
Lublin. He was the head of the concentration camps of Treblinka and
Belzec. Augsburg later was a member of the Wannsee Institute in
Berlin where he was a specialist in Polish problems. He ended the
war on the personal staff of Heinrich Himmler.
Dr. Fritz Baader, SS No. 278 278. Born April 9, 1909. Dr. Baader was
on the staff of the Senior SS and Police Leader in Hungary.
Otto Barnewald, SS No. 6 469. Born January 10, 1896. Subject was on
the staff of the Concentration Camp, Buchenwald.
SS-Sturmbannführer Ernst Biberstein, SS No.
272 692. Born February 15, 1899. Biberstein was a member of the
RSHA. He also commanded Einsatzkommando 6 of Einsatzgruppe
C. The Einsatzgruppen were composed of RSHA personnel and
operated behind the front lines in warfare against partisans. The
activities of these groups often far exceeded their briefs and many
of them were responsible for dreadful atrocities against partisans,
civilians and Jews. Biberstein’s activities were such as to secure a
death sentence by an Allied court after the war, a sentence that was
commuted in 1951, permitting him to work for the Gehlen
Ludwig Boehme, SS No.249 802. Born August 21, 1898. Subject was on
the staff of the Concentration Camp at Auschwitz.
Christoph Diehm, SS No.28 461. Born March 1, 1892. Diehm was chief
of staff of the Kaminiski Brigade. This unit was commanded by a
Russian named Kaminiski and was involved in fighting partisans on
the East Front. The unit took part in the fighting in Warsaw in 1944
where its behavior was so brutal that it was ordered disbanded and
its leader shot.
Karl Döring, SS No 67 310. Born February 5, 1903. Subject was on the
staff of the Concentration Camp at Dachau. He was later the postwar
West German Ambassador to the Cameroons.
Dr.Max Eberl, SS No. 680 352, Born December 26,1892. Dr. Eberl was a
member of the RSHA and was involved with euthanasia at Treblinka
Concentration Camp under Globocnik.
SS-Standartenführer Hans Eichele, SS No. 21
640. Born May 1, 1901. Eichele was Standortkommandat at the
Concentration Camp, Dachau
Globocnik, SS No, 292 776. Born April21, 1904. Globocnik was Senior
SS and Police Leader of the Adriatic Coastal area and previous, the
SS and Police Leader, Lublin. He also ran the Lublin concentrations
camps, Treblinka and Sobribor.
Huppenkoethen, SS No.126 785. Born December 31, 1907. Huppenkoethen
was a member of the RSHA and Commanding Officer of the SD & Police
in Lublin and Cracow (Poland). He was tried after the war for his
SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Erich Isselhorst,
SS No.267 313. Born February 5, 1906. Subject was Commander of the
Police and SD at Strassburg and also Inspector of the SD, Stuttgart
. He was also Commanding Officer of Einsatzkommando 8 of
Müller, SS No. 107 043. Born April 29, 1900. Müller was head of the
RSHA Amt IV (Gestapo) from 1935-1945.
Oswald Poche, SS No. 267 316. Born January 28, 1908. Poche was
commanding officer of the Security Police and SD, Tromsö, Norway.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Albert Rapp, SS No.280
341. Born November 16, 1908. Subject was Inspector, Security Police
and SD, Braunschwieg and commanding officer of Einsatzkommando 7,
Walter Rauff, SS No. 290 947. Born June 19, 1906. Rauff was a member
of RSHA and with Senior SS and Police Commander, Italy (Karl Wolff).
Rauff was responsible for the construction of the gas vans and
eventually had to move to South America to avoid prosecution.
Franz Six, SS No.107 480. Born August 12, 1909. Dr. Six was a member
of RSHA, and Commanding Officer of Einzatzgruppe Vorkommando
Moscow. Six was an early member of the Gehlen Organization, but
was finally arrested and tried for his activities in 1948. He was
sentenced to life in prison, but released in 1951. Six worked for
Porsche and Gehlen after his release.
Eugen Steimle, SS No. 272 575. Born December 8, 1909. Subject was a
member of RSHA and commanding officer of Einsatzgruppen B and
later C. He was subsequently convicted by an Allied court and
sentenced to a long term in prison, but released in 1951.
Thaler, SS No.347 142. Born November 28, 1909.
Subject was a member of RSHA and was Senior SS &
Police Commander, Italy.
Dr. Ernst Weimann, SS No. 263 985. Born August 5, 1906. Commanding
officer, Security Police & SD, Bergen, Norway
Kurt Weisse, SS. No. 563 159. Born October 11, 1909.
Subject was a member of SS Regiment Dirlewanger.
Oscar Dirlewanger was a convicted child molester and friend of
Himmler. His unit was made up of paroled convicts and used to fight
the partisans. Like the Kaminiski unit, their record was so
appalling that they were withdrawn from combat by Hitler’s order.
Dirlewanger vanished at the end of the war
Wenner, SS No. 200 581. Born November 15, 1912. Wenner was a member
of RSHA and was with the Senior SS and Police Commander, Italy.
SS-Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Wiebens, SS
No.16 617. Born March 17, 1906. Subject was a member of RSHA and
Commanding Officer of Einzatzkommando 9 under
These names represent only a small percentage (less
than 4%) of the names found on a listing of all personnel of the
Gehlen Organization from 1945 onwards. These are only the names of
higher ranking officers in the SS/SD and Police. The names of many
lower rank SS/SD and Police members are still being verified as of
this writing, but the names of thousands of Croatians, Slovenes,
Balts and Russians are impossible to locate in existing files so
they are excluded from this study.
The international uproar attendant upon the discovery
that Klaus Barbie was gainfully employed by the U.S. CIC after the
war, even after it became well known that Barbie was wanted for his
Gestapo activities in Lyon, France, would pale to insignificance
when the full impact of the Gehlen Organization’s complete list
becomes a matter of public record.
The Gehlen group was controlled completely by the U.S. Army from
1945 until 1948. It was then taken over and controlled directly by
the Central Intelligence Agency under the command of Colonel James
Critchfield until 1955-56, when the group was taken over by the
Federal Government of Germany and renamed the
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) or State Intelligence Service.
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