US Intelligence, the Holocaust and the Nuremberg Trials: Seeking Accountability for Genocide and Cultural Plunder

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The relationship between evidence of the Holocaust presented at the Nuremberg trials and the wartime and immediate postwar role of Western intelligence agencies has become controversial. In particular, such agencies stand accused of virtually turning a blind eye to this genocide, preferring to concentrate their efforts on securing military objectives related to the defeat of the Nazis and thwarting Soviet expansion. On the basis of recently declassified OSS, CIA and other intelligence records, which are extensively quoted, this book demonstrates that such one-sided accusations now require substantial revision. Whilst it is shown that there remain grounds for criticising the acts and omissions of the Allies' wartime intelligence agencies, their efforts in monitoring the Holocaust as it was being carried out, and making a series of wartime humanitarian interventions were far greater than has previously been realised. Other positive contributions included supplying incriminating witness testimony, documentation and other trial evidence, and tracking down and interrogating many key individuals responsible for the Nazis' anti-Semitic art looting and other forms of economic plunder. Many US intelligence officials played a positive role in gathering, analysing and - in some cases - actually presenting Nuremberg trial evidence in various formats, and in a manner that helped secure some measure of legal accountability for the Nazis' crimes against humanity. Hence, contemporary war crimes prosecutors could perhaps learn important lessons from both the successes and failures of this remarkable form of interagency collaboration.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Salter, PhD in Law (Sheffield 1988, University of Sheffield, UK), is currently professor of law at Lancashire Law School, UCLan. He has published extensively on different aspects of war crimes trials, and the selective contribution of intelligence agencies to such trials, including questionable plea-bargaining and immunity deals.

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Table of Contents

Sources and Abbreviations


1. Introducing the present book’s rationale, aims and methodology The Nuremberg process: a brief summary The involvement of the OSS within the Nuremberg process.
Criticisms of the OSS’ failure to respond adequately to the Holocaust Conclusion

2. The OSS’ monitoring of the Holocaust and practical humanitarian interventions Introduction Wartime monitoring Practical humanitarian interventions by OSS staff: Oss-War Refugee Board cooperation Bartering Jewish lives Baltic relief operations OSS’ Planned interventions in Greece Monitoring relief missions Critical Comments Conclusion

3. Postwar Investigations And Preparations for War Crimes Trials Planning for war crimes trials Ascertaining the scale and impact of the Holocaust Investigating concentration/death camp atrocities Obtaining evidence of the mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe Providing evidence on methods of killing Reporting on Holocaust survivors Gathering evidence on the complicities of individual defendants Preparing evidence on organisational defendants and corporations complicit in the Holocaust Identifying potential trial witnesses Investigating the knowledge of perpetrators and others less directly involved in the Holocaust Conclusion

4. The Safehaven Programme and OSS’ Investigation Of Looted Jewish Assets Introduction The scale and nature of the Nazis’ looting of gold OSS and the Safehaven Programme OSS Safehaven reports on Nazi gold and elements of the Holocaust The contribution of Dulles’ Bern Office OSS contributions to Safehaven from its London and Paris field stations Investigations in Spain, Portugal and Sweden OSS-Econic’s contribution to Safehaven Safehaven as a life raft for OSS’ postwar survival Safehaven and looted artworks Operational successes Critical comments: Problems limiting the effectiveness of OSS’ contribution to Safehaven Conclusion and assessment


5. OSS’ Investigation of Looted Jewish Art Introduction The creation of the ALIU Staffing the new OSS Unit and creating an administrative structure The ALIU’s mission objectives ALIU’s early wartime operations The creation of master and target lists Missions to Italy and France ALIU’s postwar investigations and interrogations in Germany and Austria The final operational phase of ALIU’s work: Spring 1946-September 1946
Art looting and the Holocaust in France Investigating the Göring Collection The looting of Jewish artworks as a source for Hitler’s Linz Museum Problems concerning Switzerland and other national contexts Counter-espionage dimensions of ALIU’s work Addressing Holocaust-restitution issues The ALIU’s achievements and frustrations

6. Preparing evidence of the Holocaust: OSS’ support for the Nuremberg process Introduction The ALIU’s contributions to the Nuremberg process The nature and influence of Neumann’s spearhead theory of Nazi anti-Semitism The spearhead theory at Nuremberg A defense of the impact of the spearhead theory Wartime R&A reports on Nazi war crimes The process of composing postwar R&A Reports for the OCC The contents of postwar R&A reports relevant to the Holocaust The significance and deployment of R&A Reports: the work of the Neumann research group The Dwork Papers and the R&A Jewish Desk’s contribution to the Nuremberg prosecutors Gathering trial evidence of Nazi genocide from OSS staff Jack Taylor’s evidence on Mauthausen death camp.
The Holocaust and the OSS’ R-Series of Nuremberg evidence Other OSS-sourced evidence of the Holocaust used at Nuremberg

Overall Conclusion

Appendix One: The Nuremberg Laws On Cultural Plunder Appendix Two: Jack Taylor’s Trial Evidence at the Mauthausen Trial Appendix Three: Restitution Through Publicity? Contemporary Interest in OSS’ Role Relating to ‘Nazi Gold’

Bibliography Index

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