In the waning months of the second world war, when it was clear that Adolf Hitler’s war machine would soon be toppled, the United States government began focusing on the Soviet Union, which was shaping up as its strongest post-war rival. Perhaps for this reason a number of Nazi were given safe haven in the United States, to ostensibly be used for intelligence gathering purposes.
Though attempts were made to keep a report of the arrival of Nazis in the United States after the second world war private, a threatened lawsuit recently brought the report out in the open, despite the Justice Department’s desire to sit on the report a bit longer.
This recently released report reveals how the United States became a safe haven for both people persecuted by the Nazis, and for the Nazis themselves. Surprisingly, some of these ex-war criminals were pretty high up on the list of perpetrators of genocide. For example, Otto Von Bolschwing, who helped Adolf Eichmann develop plans for the extermination of the Jews in Germany, entered the United States with the knowledge of the CIA.
Though eventually the United States did make vigorous attempts to deport ex-Nazis living within its borders, this report may also lead to new questions about American knowledge of the Holocaust in the early years of the second world war.