CIA Admits Long Relationship
With WWII German
Gen. Reinhard Gehlen
By Maria Alvarez - The New York Post
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (UPI) - The Central Intelligence Agency has for the first time confirmed that a high-ranking Nazi general placed his anti-Soviet spy ring at the disposal of the United States during the early days of the Cold War.
The National Archives said in a release Wednesday that the CIA had filed an affidavit in U.S. District Court "acknowledging an intelligence relationship with German General Reinhard Gehlen that it has kept secret for 50 years."
"The CIA's announcement marks the first acknowledgement by that agency that it had any relationship with Gehlen and opens the way for declassification of records about the relationship," the National Archives said.
Gehlen was Hitler's senior intelligence officer on the Eastern Front during the war and transferred his expertise and contacts to the U.S. as World War II reached its climax. While Gehlen's relationship with U.S. intelligence during the 1940s and 1950s has been the topic of some five books over the years, the eventual release of CIA documents pertaining to the development of his European spy ring could shed new light on the origins of the Cold War and early U.S. espionage efforts against Moscow.
Gehlen's network of agents in Europe - including many with Nazi backgrounds who were bailed out of prisoner of war camps by U.S. intelligence officers - was known as the Gehlen Organization and received millions of dollars in funding from the U.S. until 1956.
The CIA's acknowledgement of its dealings with Gehlen came in a response to an appeal of a Freedom of Information Act request by researcher Carl Oglesby, the National Archives said. The agency pledged to release its records on the general in accordance with the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act.
The Act established the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), which for more than two years has been declassifying documents related to World War II war crimes and releasing them through the National Archives.
"This shows that the law is working," said former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the IWG. "We now must work closely with the Agency to follow through with the release of these records." _____
Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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