Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld accused French intelligence organizations of having employed notorious former gestapo and Nazi officials in the post-war years.
In an interview today with Le Monde, the Klarsfelds said that America “was not the only country to have used former Nazis” and said that several French intelligence outfits, including one investigating wartime Nazi crimes, had employed former Nazi officials. The Klarsfelds called on France to follow America’s example and appoint an investigating commission to throw all possible light on these practices.
Using secret documents obtained from the files of the D.S.T., a major French intelligence service which was responsible for investigating wartime Nazi crimes, the Klarsfelds named a former high-ranking gestapo officer, Ernst Misselwitz, as one of the war criminals employed by the French. Misselwitz served during the war in the Paris gestapo headquarters and in 1952 was found guilty of having tortured French resistance fighters during interrogation. The court said he probably drove to suicide a prominent resistance leader, Pierre Brossolette. The documents published by the Klarsfelds show that the French secret service spirited Misselwitz out of the country at the time of his trial and hid him in Germany to ensure his protection.
Misselwitz and the other former Nazis were mainly employed in investigating wartime Nazi crimes and preparing court cases against wartime French collaborators.
The Klarsfelds’ revelations were front-paged by Le Monde which also called on the government to open postwar intelligence files. The paper said “France can and should do what America has done with Allan Ryan’s investigation.”
It is not known whether Misselwitz or any of the other unnamed former Nazis employed by the French are still alive. Le Monde called an the authorities to try and investigate this as well.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.