Monday, October 31, 2005

Nazi Foundations of the DDR

Apparently East Germany made good use of its former SS officers:

Henry Leide's book, NS-Verbrecher und Staatssicherheit. Die geheime Vergangenheitspolitik der DDR, claims that high-profile convictions covered up a more cynical reality -- instead of serving sentences they were blackmailed into working for the ubiquitous Stasi, which had more operatives per member of the population than any other spy network in the communist bloc.

"The Stasi deliberately and systematically recruited Nazi criminals, sometimes those who orchestrated massacres, as informers and agents both in the east and the west," Leide said.

Josef Settnik, a Gestapo operative who was based at the infamous Auschwitz death camp, was awaiting a death sentence and had already said goodbye to his wife when he was recruited by the Stasi in 1964 as a church spy.

Another case in point is Willy Läritz who was a member of the Gestapo in the eastern city of Leipzig who took his spying skills over to the Stasi and gained a reputation for "heavy-handed" interrogation methods. He was drafted into the secret police in 1961 "to support our fight for peace and socialism," according to an entry in his Stasi file.
Läritz was considered vital because he had compromising information about other Nazi operatives who were then blackmailed into joining the Stasi as well, Leide said.

Read more.

1 Comments:

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