American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” for Nazis in the United States after World War II, a secret U.S. Justice Department report said.
The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, was obtained by The New York Times, the newspaper reported Saturday.
The report examines the work of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis. More than 300 Nazis have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the O.S.I., according to the report.
The report accuses the C.I.A. of knowingly allowing Nazi war criminals to enter the United States “for postwar intelligence purposes.”
“America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became—in some small measure—a safe haven for persecutors as well,” the report said, according to the Times.
The report also said, however, that the number of Nazis that entered the United States after WWII was smaller than the 10,000 figure that is often cited.
The report was commissioned in 1999 by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, and edited by Mark Richard, a senior Justice Department lawyer, in 2006. The department has kept the report under wraps since 2006, only turning it over to the private National Security Archive last month under threat of a lawsuit. Some legally and diplomatically sensitive sections of the report were omitted before it was turned over, the Times reported, adding that it obtained a complete version of the report.
Cases examined in the report include: Otto Von Bolschwing, an associate of Adolf Eichmann; Arthur L. Rudolph, a Nazi scientist; John Demjanjuk, a retired American autoworker who was tried and acquitted in Israel of being Treblinka’s Ivan the Terrible; and Dr. Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death.