The Nazi-CIA Connection After WW2
It has been 70 years since WW2 ended and many historically true facts have been lost to millions born long after 1945. Most Americans have no clue that in 1918, 15,000 troops were sent to North Russia (along with 5000 British) at Archangel in Operation Elope. The intent was to march down the Dvina River and either meet advancing White forces (anti-Communism) of the Tsarist regime or onto Moscow to stamp out the virus, known then as Bolshevism under Trotsky and Lenin. The last account of this event was published in 1930 or so. It was a secret operation until Americans returned in body bags and the press looked into the cause. By 1919, all allied troops had returned home defeated. The Russians did not defeat them, but the troop morale and lack of direction had turned a good idea from Winston Churchill into a fiasco. Had it succeeded, the world would not have had Cold War or maybe WW2 on the scale it was.
The Nazi-CIA connection is just as bizarre. When General Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s notorious eastern front espionage chief, secretly contacted the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, in late May, 1945, the OSS leaders quickly sought the information he had. He was flown to the USA in disguise as a US Army general. After talks, it was determined that Gehlen would be a profound gain for the OSS and then offered him $3.5 million to become the Director for a new Russian Intel bureau. Gehlen's terms (this is amazing since he was a POW) included that this agency would be autonomous and not part of the OSS and only procure intelligence on Russia and other Communist nations. The leaders of the OSS agreed.
Gehlen was well prepared. In March 1945, he has his staff in the Alps begin microfilming all intelligence documents on Russia and then burying it until its security was secure. Upon his capture, he made the deal and then revealed the location of the intel trove. While at Ft. Hunt, Virginia, he convinced the Americans that the Russians were planning to move westward to seize all of Germany and more. Gehlen and his staff had obtained the information through the torture of 4 million Russian POWs before the end of the war.
Gehlen has his cohort was the single source of information about the Russians the CIA had until 1955. Gehlen was not the only war criminal recruited by the OSS: SS officer Baron Otto von Bolschwing, a senior aide to the notorious Adolf Eichmann, known for skinning Jews like cattle, was recruited to conduct interviews and recruited other SS intelligence officers. SS Obersturmführer Robert Verbelen, who had tortured two US pilots, was allowed to remain in Vienna as a US spy. Then, there was General Walter Dornberger, a German rocket expert recruited and given US Citizenship. He was indirectly responsible for the death of 20,000 slave workers at the Nordhausen factory that he directed. Many were killed from experiments or starved. He ended up as senior vice-president in the Bell Aerosystems Division of Textron Corporation.
That is how the OSS turned into the CIA at its inception- through the Nazi intelligence experts on Russia.