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Look Inside Allen Dulles, the OSS, and Nazi War Criminals

Allen Dulles, the OSS, and Nazi War Criminals
The Dynamics of Selective Prosecution


  • Date Published: November 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107025936

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the circumstances surrounding SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff's escape from prosecution for war crimes in 1945. Wolff avoided prosecution because of his role in 'Operation Sunrise', negotiations conducted by high-ranking American, Swiss and British officials - in violation of the Casablanca agreements with the Soviet Union - for the surrender of German forces in Italy that enabled the Anglo-American forces to take Trieste. After 1945, Allied officials, amongst them Allen Dulles, in a move that later helped him ascend to the head of the CIA, shielded Wolff from prosecution to maintain secrecy about the negotiations. 'Operation Sunrise' thus relates to the early origins of the Cold War in Europe and had wide-ranging implications, even in the field of justice: new evidence suggests that the Western Allies not only failed to ensure cooperation between their respective national war crimes prosecution organizations, but in certain cases even obstructed justice by withholding evidence from the prosecution.

    • Most detailed study to date on why certain high-ranking Nazis were exempted from prosecution for war crimes
    • Will be an important book for scholars of military law
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Kerstin von Lingen's most important book sheds light on a fascinating, cinema-like story. For the first time we learn how Karl Wolff, one of the most prominent surviving SS generals, managed to avoid prosecution with the help of the OSS. This well-researched book is essential reading for everyone interested in the astonishing story of German war criminals in the postwar period.' Sönke Neitzel, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'This fascinating study sheds new light on the role of Allen Dulles in Operation Sunrise, the related protection of Nazi war criminals, and the origins of the Cold War.' Thomas Reifer, University of San Diego and Transnational Institute, Amsterdam

    '… a thought-provoking and comprehensive narrative on Karl Wolff …' Duncan Bare, Journal for Intelligence, Propaganda and Security Studies

    '[Von Lingen's] commendable research based on declassified sources at various national archives in Germany, England, the United States, and Switzerland as well as university libraries and newspaper archives has resulted in a meticulously detailed and well-written work of scholarship. Successfully interconnecting different historical themes, [she] is convincing in her argument that 'political considerations that foreshadowed the coming of the Cold War began to dominate as the war ended'.' Sebastian Huebel, H-Net Reviews

    '[This Book] does not fit into a single category of historical analysis. It is in part a militar history of the final stages of World War II; it is intelligence history of the early Cold War with strong focus on the United States' Office of Strategic Services; and finally, it is a part political, part social history of Germany's ambiguous postwar attempt to come to terms with its recent past … Above all, however, it is a case study that seeks to analyse and bring into context the story of SS General Karl Wolff … The reader is left with the important lesson that not only had the alliance between the East and West crumbled before the war even ended, but that the United States went so far as to negotiate a separate, secret surrender agreement with the enemy, … which in turn resulted in the complicated conundrum for the United States of protecting, instead of bringing due punishment to, a high-ranking SS general.' Sebastian Huebel, H-War

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107025936
    • length: 339 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The protagonists: Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles
    2. Surrender in northern Italy: Operation Sunrise
    3. War crimes policy
    4. Protection from prosecution, 1945–1949
    5. Wolff's public image: hero or vernichtungsburokrat, 1950–1984
    6. Immunity and its origins: geopolitical interests

  • Author

    Kerstin von Lingen, Universität Heidelberg
    Kerstin von Lingen is Research Group Leader and Lecturer in the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe' and the Department of Contemporary History at Heidelberg University, Germany. She is the author of Kesselring's Last Battle: War Crimes Trials and Cold War Politics, 1945–1960 (2009, translated from the German by Alexandra Klemm). Professor von Lingen has testified in court as an expert witness in recent war crimes trials concerning Nazi war crimes committed in Italy during World War II.

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