Scrapbookpages Blog

July 28, 2016

the story of Reinhard Gehlen

Filed under: Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:56 am


One of the regular readers of my blog mentioned the name Reinhard Gehlen, who is shown in the photo above, in this comment:

Begin quote from comment

I did have that one ol boy that popped up with the results I got for Gehiem. This dudes name was Reinhard Gehlen. I don’t trust ol Reinhard. There’s something shady about him.”

End comment

Reinhard Gehlen has gotten a bad rap because he was a traitor; he left Germany before World War II was over and came to America where he joined the side of the enemy.

Here is the story on Reinhard Gehlen:

In 1943, the Allied powers had already started making plans for their occupation of Germany after the war, which by that time they anticipated winning.

There were major conferences at Teheran, Moscow and Yalta in 1943 and 1944 where resolutions were passed regarding the means necessary to secure the occupation.

On August 2, 1945, these resolutions were confirmed and the details were planned at the Potsdam Conference, held in a suburb of Berlin. By that time, Roosevelt was dead, and President Harry Truman was the one making the decisions at the Potsdam conference, along with Churchill and Stalin. For the first time, France was also included as the fourth victorious power.

According to the Potsdam Agreement, the officials of the Nazi party and its organizations, members of the Gestapo, and anyone who might endanger the goals of the occupation were to be interned in concentration camps. Not included were Nazis who might be of use to America, like General Reinhard von Gehlen, the chief of the Nazi spy organization, and Werner von Braun, the head of Germany’s V-2 rocket program.

The former Nazi concentration camps at Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen were to be converted into internment camps for German political prisoners, while thousands of Nazi scientists were to be taken to America and the Soviet Union.

General Reinhard von Gehlen was sneaked into the United States wearing an American uniform, even before the German surrender, and became part of the new American intelligence agency, called the CIA, after the war.

In the first half of 1945, approximately 6,000 German Army officers were released by the Western Allies, but were then arrested by the Soviets and held in Zone II at Sachsenhausen. Later the Zone II barracks were filled with German prisoners who had been sentenced by a Soviet military tribunal to 15 years of hard labor. Until 1950, a large number of German citizens were imprisoned by the Soviet Union and forced to perform slave labor in the gulags of Siberia.

End of story

Many years ago, I attended a lecture given by David Irving. At the beginning of his talk, Irving asked: “Who knows anything about  Reinhard Gehlen?” I held up my hand: “I do, I do.”

Irving was amazed at this. At that time, he had a reputation for thinking that all women were stupid.

He didn’t ask me how I knew the name Reinhard Gehlen, so I was not able to tell him that I had learned about Gehlen when I visited the memorial site at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where German prisoners were held after the end of World War II.

At the Sachsenhausen memorial site, I picked up a pamphlet which had the following information:
“The history of the Special Camp of the Soviet Secret Service (NKVD) in Germany must be viewed in light of the circumstances and events of World War II as well as the Soviet camp system (Gulag).”

The Information Leaflet explained the reason for the camp, from the Communist winner’s point of view.

Begin quote from pamphlet:

The Second World War which the German Reich began in 1939, and the genocide which the Nazis pursued against Jew, Sinti and Roma, and other groups who had been declared racially inferior by the regime, caused widespread misery and destruction of unknown proportions for that time throughout Europe until the end of the war in spring 1945.

In spite of the impossibility of winning the world war, which since 1943 had been pursued as a “total war,” up to the end the political and military leadership of the “Third Reich” was not prepared to capitulate.

The Allies had to militarily overpower National Socialist Germany costing them great losses. Moreover, the propaganda of the Nazi regime conveyed the impression that after Germany was occupied, the National Socialist would continue their struggle against the allied troops with the “Werewolf” organization.

End quote

According to the same Information Leaflet available at the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site, conditions in Special Camp No. 7 were deplorable, as the following quote explains.

Begin quote

Hunger and cold prevailed in the Special Camp. The inadequate hygienic and sanitary conditions and the insufficient nourishment led to disease and epidemics. Usually the barracks were overcrowded; the prisoners had to sleep on the bare wood frames until 1947, when the Soviet camp administration distributed blankets and bags of straw.

The only clothing which the prisoners had during their imprisonment was what they were wearing at the time of their arrest. The possession of personal items, particularly books and writing material was strictly forbidden.

Violations of these rigid camp regulations, which were for the most part unknown to most of the prisoners, resulted in harsh punishment imposed by the Soviet guard personnel or the German prisoners who held special functions.

Unlike the camps in the Soviet Union, the special camps were not work camps. The prisoners suffered much more from forced idleness. This is why the assignment to one of the few work commandos serving the camp’s self-sufficiency was regarded as a privilege.

The prisoners attempted to at least temporarily escape the monotony of their daily routine in the camps by participating in any activities. Most of them [activities] were prohibited, such as lectures, lessons, singing and improving the appearance of the barracks. Only after the first order for releases in 1948 were the conditions alleviated somewhat by the allowance of board games, sports, and occasionally newspapers and radio reports.

End quote

Several of the brick barracks in Zone II were open to visitors, when I toured the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site.  Inside were TV monitors where one could see videos of interviews with the survivors, who told about the horrendous conditions in the prison.

According to one survivor, the windows of the barracks were blocked out so that the prisoners were kept in almost total darkness. They had to sleep on bare boards with no mattresses and were furnished with only a block of wood for a pillow.

End of story