Nazi Is Exposed, but Did He Have Anything to Hide?

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BERLIN — Please do not call Mark Gould a Nazi hunter.

He finds the phrase demeaning.

Mr. Gould prefers this description: a 43-year-old college dropout from Los Angeles who says he made a lot of money in finance, became interested in Nazi memorabilia and ended up on an undercover odyssey where he posed as a neo-Nazi to befriend a former Waffen SS officer and recorded many of their conversations with the plan to someday expose the man’s role in the Third Reich.

But an alternative description might read like this: a man on a self-appointed mission to expose an aging Nazi — one who has published an autobiography and has never been accused of war crimes — and hoping, in the process, to publish a book and land a movie deal.

Whatever the subtext, on Saturday Mr. Gould revealed having posed as a neo-Nazi to the former SS officer, the 97-year-old Bernhard Frank, once a trusted aide to Heinrich Himmler, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany. Mr. Frank looked at his accuser and through the confusion of age and betrayal asked, “Are you my enemy or my friend?” according to a transcript of the encounter provided by Mr. Gould....

“I think Mark is an unconventional guy who has done courageous and lonely work,” said Stephen D. Smith, executive director of the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California and founder of The Holocaust Center in Britain....

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