Germany’s FBI is looking at the role of Nazis in the postwar West German police.
In a series of seminars the Bundeskriminalamt — the federal criminal police agency — is examining how Nazis ended up heading the postwar agency for decades after World War II.
Their influence, some scholars say, made West Germany loath to crack down on anti-Semitism and other expressions of right-wing extremism.
The agency, which was actually created in 1951, even until recently insisted officially that it had no connection to the period of National Socialism.
The three-part series of seminars started Wednesday and was introduced by agency President Joerg Ziercke. According to a 2001 book by former agency member Dieter Schenk, the postwar agency was actually built by former Nazi perpetrators. In 1959, all but two of the agency’s 47 top officials were former Nazis, he said, and 33 of them were SS leaders.