Records of the Army Staff (RG 319)
Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)
Records of the Investigative Records Repository (IRR)
Notice to Researchers in Records Released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act and the Japanese Imperial Government Records Act
The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), in implementing the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act and the Japanese Imperial Government Records Act, has taken the broadest view in identifying records that may be responsive to the Acts. Information relevant to the Acts is often found among files related to other subjects. In order to preserve the archival integrity of the files, the IWG and the National Archives and Records Administration, where possible, have released entire files together, not just those items related to Nazi or Japanese war criminals, crimes, persecution, and looted assets. These records may relate to persons who are war criminals, former Axis personnel who are not war criminals, victims of war crimes or persecution, or civilian or military personnel investigating Nazi activities; the records may also include mention of, or information about, persons having no connection to these activities.
This series of records includes reports, memorandums, interrogations, interviews, and other records collected during the course of investigations of specific organizations and general topics of intelligence and counterintelligence interest. There are case files on the exploitation of German scientists, Nazi party membership, and counter-Intelligence files on German government and military organizations. Several of the files concern post-World War II Eastern European Communist intelligence and security organizations and Soviet intelligence activities. A small number of files pertain to World War II in the Pacific. Some case files relate to the Vietnam conflict. Also included are several boxes of files relating to the "Association of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime."
The U.S. Army "Gehlen Organization" and "Operation Rusty" Files are Counter-intelligence Corps (CIC) dossiers from the Intelligence and Security Command's (INSCOM) Investigative Records Repository (IRR) documenting the Army's involvement with German Spymaster General Reinhard Gehlen. The files contain more than 3,000 pages and cover the period 1945 through the mid 1950's. The Gehlen Organization was West Germany's intelligence organization prior to the establishment of the independent West German Government when it became the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Gehlen, who had served as Hitler's most senior military intelligence officer on the Eastern Front, was a Wehrmacht officer who became a key U.S. intelligence resource after the war. During the postwar period he ran an extensive network of spies, some with Nazi and collaborationist backgrounds that made them vulnerable to the principal adversary, the Soviet Union. The Gehlen Organization purportedly received millions in U.S. funding. In October 2000, the Central Intelligence Agency filed an affidavit in a Freedom of Information Act case in U.S. District Court acknowledging an intelligence relationship with Gehlen and his intelligence service that it had kept secret for fifty years. The CIA pledged that it would declassify and process the CIA information in the Army's "Gehlen Organization" files for release in accordance with the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. The CIA cited a commitment to conform to the spirit of the Disclosure Act as the primary reason for its release decision at that time. The CIA's action allowed the Army to the release these files. The files are in Record Group 319, Entry 134A, Boxes 144A-147A.
This series of records includes reports, memorandums, interrogations, interviews, and other records collected during the course of investigations of individuals and organizations. Many dossiers relate to individuals connected with German wartime intelligence and security organizations, including several persons allegedly connected with concentration camps. Some dossiers concern Japanese wartime senior government and military leaders, as well as a considerable number of files related to Japanese military personnel captured by Soviet forces in Manchuria in August 1945.
A number of dossiers of well-known wartime personalities are to be found in these records. One such dossier is that of Otto Ohlendorf, who served in several senior positions in the SS during the war, most notably as commander of a mobile killing unit (Einsatzgruppe) in the Soviet Union. The Ohlendorf dossier provides interesting information concerning corruption in the Third Reich leadership, as well as details concerning various Nazi personalities. The Army dossier concerning Hermann Hoefle is a revealing one. The dossier on Hoefle, an SS officer who was deeply involved in atrocities in Poland, reveals that he served briefly as a paid informant of the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) during the early 1950s. According to the contents of the Hoefle dossier, although the CIC knew of Hoefle's SS connections, it apparently did not uncover the extent of his wartime activities. The dossier concerning Ante Pavelic, leader of the Croatian terrorist organization known as Ustascha, is also of interest. The Army dossier on Pavelic, a wartime German collaborator, details some of the difficulties surrounding postwar efforts on the part of Anglo-American agencies to arrest the Croatian leader.
Some 8,000 dossiers or portions of dossiers previously transferred were reviewed and declassified under the Nazi War Crimes Records Disclosure Act of 1998 (PL 105-246).
View the List
(Also see the November 30, 2001, NARA press release on these newly declassified documents.)