American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History

American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History

by Jurgen Heideking
     
 

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Even paranoids have enemies. Hitler’s most powerful foes were the Allied powers, but he also feared internal conspiracies bent on overthrowing his malevolent regime. In fact, there was a small but significant internal resistance to the Nazi regime, and it did receive help from the outside world. Through recently declassified intelligence documents, this book…  See more details below

Overview


Even paranoids have enemies. Hitler’s most powerful foes were the Allied powers, but he also feared internal conspiracies bent on overthrowing his malevolent regime. In fact, there was a small but significant internal resistance to the Nazi regime, and it did receive help from the outside world. Through recently declassified intelligence documents, this book reveals for the first time the complete story of America’s wartime knowledge about, encouragement of, and secret collaboration with the German resistance to Hitler—including the famous July 20th plot to assassinate the Fuehrer.The U.S. government’s secret contacts with the anti-Nazi resistance were conducted by the OSS, the World War II predecessor to the CIA. Highly sensitive intelligence reports recently released by the CIA make it evident that the U.S. government had vast knowledge of what was going on inside the Third Reich. For example, a capitulation offer to the western Allies under consideration by Count von Moltke in 1943 was thoroughly discussed within the U.S. government. And Allen Dulles, who was later to become head of the CIA, was well informed about the legendary plot of July 20th. In fact, these secret reports from inside Germany provide a well-rounded picture of German society, revealing the pro- or anti-Nazi attitudes of different social groups (workers, churches, the military, etc.). The newly released documents also show that scholars in the OSS, many of them recruited from ivy-league universities, looked for anti-Nazi movements and leaders to help create a democratic Germany after the war.Such intelligence gathering was a major task of the OSS. However, OSS director “Wild Bill” Donovan and others favored subversive operations, spreading disinformation, and issuing propaganda. Unorthodox and often dangerous schemes were developed, including bogus “resistance newspapers,” anti-Nazi letters and postcards distributed through the German postal service, sabotage, and fake radio broadcasts from “German generals” calling for uprisings against the regime.This is much more than a documentary collection. Explanatory footnotes supply a wealth of background information for the reader, and a comprehensive introduction puts the documents into their wider historical perspective. Arranged in chronological order, these intelligence reports provide a fascinating new perspective on the story of the German resistance to Hitler and reveal an intriguing and previously unexplored aspect of America’s war with Hitler.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This compendium of recently declassified documents, assembled by two German historians, conveys the extent of the U.S. government's knowledge of German opposition to the Nazi regime, its reaction to peace feelers from resistance circles, and psychological tactics devised by the Office of Strategic Services to undermine German morale. The papers, several of which confirm OSS foreknowledge of the July 20, 1944, attempt to assassinate Hitler, include the initial report on the attempt by future CIA chief Allen Dulles to OSS director William J. Donovan, and OSS adviser William Langer's memo outlining his belief that the event was faked (``...the attempt on Hitler's life was staged by himself''). Other documents are OSS guidelines for recruiting German agents; studies of pro- and anti-Nazi attitudes of German workers, soldiers, churchmen, women and students; and a report by Dulles on a consultation with psychologist C.G. Jung on the state of Hitler's mind. Organized chronologically, this valuable collection of primary source material will be of interest to scholars for its revelation of internal resistance in Germany as seen through American eyes. (Jan.)
Booknews
Reveals America's wartime knowledge about, encouragement of, and secret collaboration with the German resistance to Hitler, through previously classified German and US documents. Explanatory footnotes supply background information, and introductions put the documents in their wider historical perspective. Documents are arranged in chronological order from April 1942 to October 1945, and include memoranda, telegrams, and reports. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813336367
Publisher:
Westview Press
Publication date:
12/28/1996
Series:
Widerstand, Dissent and Resistance Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.29(d)

Meet the Author


Jürgen Heideking is director of the Institute of Anglo-American History at the University of Cologne. Christof Mauch is senior fellow of the German Research Foundation and is affiliated with the American University in Washington, D.C. Jürgen Heideking is director of the Institute of Anglo-American History at the University of Cologne. Christof Mauch is senior fellow of the German Research Foundation and is affiliated with the American University in Washington, D.C.

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