Friday 1 February 2013

How Many Nazis?

How many mem­bers of the post-war Ger­man gov and civil ser­vice were known Nazis?

Bear­ing in mind these fig­ures only include ‘known’, rather than the ones that man­aged to keep it quiet....

“204 top offi­cials in the Fed­eral Eco­nom­ics Min­istry who served under Lud­wig Erhard between 1949 and 1962, more than half had a Nazi past. Four of them joined the Nazi Party before Adolf Hitler came to power 1933, 29 per­cent after March 1933, and 20 per­cent after 1937. In the Third Reich, they were Nazi sec­tion lead­ers (Rot­ten­führer) or squad lead­ers (Schar­führer), senior assault lead­ers (Ober­sturm­führer) and assault lead­ers (Sturm­ban­n­führer) in the SA. Four belonged to the SS Cav­alry Corps, and seven to the Gen­eral SS, of whom one was an SS senior assault leader and six were block leaders.

Of the can­di­dates apply­ing for a post under the de-Nazification pro­ceed­ings, 19 (11 per­cent) were clas­si­fied as “fel­low trav­ellers,” while 70 were regarded as “tainted.” Among them were a min­is­ter and 25 state secretaries.

The basis for the recruit­ment of for­mer Nazi party mem­bers into the min­istries was a sup­ple­men­tary Act of 1951 to Arti­cle 131 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, accord­ing to which pre­vi­ously released “lesser offend­ers” could be rein­tro­duced into the civil ser­vice. Between 1951 and 1953, the total num­ber of those re-employed in the fed­eral and state admin­is­tra­tions (exclud­ing the post office and rail­ways) under Arti­cle 131 was 39,000.

In 1952, approx­i­mately 38 per­cent of senior civil ser­vants in the For­eign Min­istry were for­mer Nazi Party mem­bers. By March 31, 1955, some 77.4 per­cent of all civil ser­vants at the Min­istry of Defence had come in under Arti­cle 131.

At the Min­istry of Eco­nom­ics, the fig­ure was 68.3 per­cent, and at the Press and Infor­ma­tion Office, 58.1 per­cent. At the Min­istry of Defence, there were 190,280 sol­diers, Army offi­cials and sur­vivors who fell under Arti­cle 131.

The response lists 27 gov­ern­ment mem­bers who were in the Nazi Party. The list includes mem­bers of the Social Demo­c­ra­tic Party (SPD), Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­tic Union (CDU), Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU) and Free Demo­c­ra­tic Party (FDP).

Inter­est­ingly, the find­ings regard­ing the “Gehlen Organ­i­sa­tion,” the fore­run­ner of the Fed­eral Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND), estab­lished in 1946 by the Allies, note:
“Accord­ing to pub­lic doc­u­ments from the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency (CIA), by early 1954, some 50 or 51 employ­ees of the Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion had pre­vi­ously been in the Waf­fen SS, Gen­eral SS or the SS Secu­rity Ser­vice.” (a MASSIVE understatement)

There were 203 offi­cials with a Nazi past in the Office of the Attor­ney General.

The fig­ures in the gov­ern­ment response are incom­plete in many respects, because the report­ing of Nazi Party mem­ber­ship on tak­ing up a post var­ied widely from one insti­tu­tion to another. As one report from 2005 shows, many per­son­nel records made no note of Nazi Party membership.
Numer­ous per­son­nel files have been destroyed, mak­ing impos­si­ble a sci­en­tific inves­ti­ga­tion of those with a pos­si­ble Nazi past.

Of the nearly one mil­lion pub­lic ser­vants in 1955, the per­son­nel files of only 210,000 remain. (ie the huge fig­ures above are based on only 1/5th of the total).

The long delay in apprais­ing Nazi crimes and the long his­tory of con­ceal­ment of the Nazi links of office­hold­ers in Ger­many have led to a sit­u­a­tion where much can sim­ply no longer be investigated.”

Bun­destag doc­u­ment —

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