From Academic Kids

Ex-Nazis are those who were once Nazis and resigned from the party. It is also applied those who belonged to the party at the time when the Nazi party was declared illegal and was disbanded upon the victory of the Allies. Many of the latter group had to go through a process of denazification and some were subjected to the Nuremberg process.


Members who resigned

Hermann Rauschning, Otto Strasser

Status after Party disolution

During the Nuremberg trials, the leadership corps of the Nazi Party and the SS were ruled to be criminal organizations, making membership in them a crime. However, the Nazi Party, while banned, was neither indicted nor convicted as a criminal organization.

The Cold War broke out shortly after the end of World War II. As a result of the new conflict many ex-Nazis were absorbed into the CIA or the military forces of Britain or the US. Many were used for their military intelligence information about the Russians while others, such as Wernher von Braun, were employed for their technological expertise in jet airplanes and rockets.

German General Reinhard Gehlen was head of the German General Staff's Foreign Armies East Division heavily involved in intelligence gathering. His knowledge of Stalinist Russia led him to be recruited by U.S. Army intelligence. He was flown to the United States with three comrades and set up a German intelligence network that eventually became known as the "Gehlen Org". As time went on he managed 4000 undercover agents. (2)

"Democratically enlightened" Nazis were permitted to become member of the Christian Democrats. The Christian Democratic Union placed several ex-Nazis into high positions with Kurt Georg Kiesinger becoming Chancellor for a period in the 1960s and Hans Filbinger becoming Minister President of Baden-Württemberg. Kurt Waldheim became Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of Austria. See List of famous Nazis influential after 1945.

Many Nazis emigrated to South America in late 1940s.

In Austria, many former Nazis joined the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Austrian Freedom Party).

Related Topics


  1. "Intelligence" by Peter Kross; Military Heritage, October 2004. pp 26-30


  • Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazi's and Its Effects on the Cold War, Christopher Simpson
  • The Encyclopedia of World War II Spies, Peter Kross, Barricade Books, 2001.
  • "CIA's Worst-Kept Secret", May 16, 2001.
  • Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage, Norman Polmar & Thomas Allen, Random House, 1997.
  • Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency, W. Thomas Smith, Facts on File, Inc., 2003

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