Thousands of Nazis fled after WWII and settled under false names in United States


Disclaimer: The author does not claim to be an expert in the field, but the article is based on credible sources.

An untold history of the United States government's Nazi-hunting program suggests that American intelligence authorities built a safe refuge in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II. It describes decades of confrontations, often secret, with other governments over war criminals here and abroad.

According to NPR, thousands of Nazis settled in the United States after the war. Many came in one by one and worked as spies for American intelligence personnel. They were allowed to start afresh, living under fake names to safeguard their identities and background.
Image for representational purpose OnlyPhoto by Simon Infanger on Unsplash

As per investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau's book, The Nazis Next Door, thousands of Nazis succeeded in settling in the United States after World War II, usually with the direct support of American intelligence agencies who regarded them as possible spies and informants in the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

In the early 1970s, New York Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman got a secret tip suggesting American immigration officials were aware of thousands of former Nazis, some of whom were involved in major war crimes, who were residing in the United States. Holtzman investigated and determined that it was indeed true and that the Immigration and Naturalization Service was doing nothing to address it.

The majority of Americans understood very little about the Nazis. Finally, in 1979, media allegations and legislative interest prompted the Justice Department to establish a Nazi-hunting division.

The Justice Department compiled a 600-page report on the events, but it was not made public until 2006. Under fear of legal action, it sent up a heavily redacted version to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then, many of the most legally and diplomatically sensitive elements were deleted. Although a complete version was obtained by The New York Times later.

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Saurabh is a Computer Science Engineer pursuing his writing interests. He enjoys researching current events/news as well as Evergreen Topics and has also been writing on Medium, Quora and Vocal.


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