U.S. recruited more ex-Nazis than thought, new report claims

(JTA) — The United States recruited ex-Nazis and collaborators and helped them avoid prosecution in larger numbers than previously known, according to newly declassified documents.

The documents were released Dec. 10 in a 110-page government report published by the National Archives, according to The New York Times.

The report discusses the close cooperation between the Nazis and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem. It says that Husseini, who drew a large monthly salary from the Third Reich, actively recruited Muslims for the SS and was promised that he would be named the leader of Palestine after the British and the Jews living there were driven out of the region.

Husseini was allowed by the French, who wished to maintain good relations with Arab countries, to escape to Syria after the war, according to the report, which adds that high-ranking Nazis who left Germany became advisers to Arab leaders.

The report also found that more important to Army counterintelligence than locating and punishing Nazi war criminals was spying on suspect groups, including  politically active Jewish refugees in displaced persons camps.

The report is based on 1,100 CIA files and 1.2 million U.S. Army counterintelligence files declassified in 2007, The New York Times reported.

It follows the discovery of a yet unreleased Justice Department paper, which the government has kept under wraps, tracing the history of American Nazi-hunting operations reportedly stating that American counterintelligence officials provided a "safe haven" for some former Nazis.
 

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