US report adds details on Cold War Nazi intelligence

CIA spokesman said agency never had a policy to protect Nazi war criminals.

New York: Newly-released records reveal details on how US intelligence officials used and protected some Nazi Gestapo agents after World War II, tracked Holocaust administrator Adolf Eichmann and relied on a suspected war criminal from Ukraine living in New York to try to disrupt the USSR, according to a report to Congress obtained by a news agency.

The report, titled `Hitler`s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War`, was authored by historians hired by the US National Archives and Records Administration.

It was sent to Congress late on Thursday.

The report draws from an unprecedented trove of records on individuals and clandestine operations that the CIA was persuaded to declassify, and from over one million digitised Army intelligence files that had long been inaccessible.

"The CIA records give us a much better picture of the movements of Nazi war criminals in the post-war period. The Army records are voluminous, and will be keeping people busy for many years," said Richard Breitman, of the American University in Washington, DC, who co-authored the report with Norman JW Goda, of the University of Florida.

CIA spokesman George Little said on Friday: "The CIA at no time had a policy or a program to protect Nazi war criminals, or to help them escape justice for their actions during the war. The agency has cooperated for decades with the Justice Department`s Office of Special Investigations."

The records were made available under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998, one of the most ambitious and exhaustive federal government efforts to expose its own secrets.

The papers include correspondence, legal documents, excerpts, clippings, medical records and vouchers. They illuminate the activities and post-war whereabouts of some of the most high-profile alleged Nazi war criminals.