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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Shame and The Horror

The shame of the Holocaust and its consequences continue to reverberate, more than a half century later. The L.A. Times reports that the French state railroad company, SNCF, which wants to bid on a high speed rail contract in Florida, has finally conceded its complicity in the transportation and “deportation” of more than 70,000 French Jews to their doom.

Collaboration has always been a sore subject with the French people who have a hard time swallowing the truth of their behavior during the Nazi occupation after June, 1940.

But you don’t need to visit Paris to find shameful actions and inactions regarding Nazis. The New York Times exposes a US Justice Department report of American use of Nazi scientists after the war.

Fifty years after the events, the government continues to conceal embarrassing details about this episode. In response to the Cold War, some Nazis were given safe haven here, used by U.S. intelligence agencies including the C.I.A., to follow East German Nazis who were aiding the Soviets. One was Otto Von Bolschwing, an assistant to Adolf Eichman. He died peacefully in the U.S. in 1981 before the O.S.I. could deport him.

Another Nazi that the U.S. government valued was Arthur Rudolph, whose story has been well documented and dramatized in other sources. The scientist was credited by NASA and the military with work on the Saturn 5 rocket. He had a leading role during the war in managing the slave labor used to build and maintain the German V1 and V2 rocket program. More slave laborers, mostly Jews, died in the launching of the rockets than were killed in England by the explosions caused by the rockets.

"Operation Paperclip", the program to bring these scientists, including the famous Werner Von Braun, to the U.S. is well known. The recently disclosed documents show details of how the C.I.A. conducted the cover-up to conceal the extent of their complicity in war crimes.

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