German intelligence to open books on Nazi past

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Reinhard Gehlen was a flexible man: The former major-general and chief of the Foreign Armies East military intelligence organization within the German military once spied for Hitler; soon afterward he was in the service of the United States.

Gehlen helped set up Germany's post-war secret service for the Americans, the body that would go on to become the Federal Intelligence Service (BND).

With the Cold War looming, Gehlen did not hesitate to look to the ranks of former Nazis in his recruitment drives. Culprits of the Holocaust - former SS and Gestapo members - were given a new lease on life, and a new identity with the BND.

In 1965, an internal BND investigation tracked down around 200 former Nazis in the agency's employ. Some 70 were deemed unsuitable for continued service and dismissed. It is believed the number of former Nazis in government ranks could have been much larger, a hypothesis that remains unconfirmed. Though this is about to change....

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