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Hans Felfe

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For more information, see: U.S. intelligence involvement with World War II Nazi war criminals.

Heinz Felfe was a German Nazi official of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, then known as Hans Globke, who had co-authored the antisemitic Nuremberg Laws of the 1930s.[1] After the war, he joined the Gehlen organization, an intelligence organization made up of former German specialists on the Soviet Union, and became its chief of security. In that role, he had extensive access to Central Intelligence Agency operations. Unknown to West Germany or the U.S., however, he had become an agent reporting to the Soviets.

Postwar intelligence activities

He rose through the ranks of West Germany’s Gehlen organization to become its counterintelligence chief in 1955. It is unclear how well his Nazi activities were known, and whether he was protected due to presumed intelligence value.

Role in postwar German government

He went on to become one of West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s closest advisors.[2]

Unmasking as Soviet agent

According to an International Herald Tribune article, [1] Felfe was not a Soviet agent during WWII, but wanted to damage the West after the bombing of his home town, Dresden.

in 1961, Felfe was identified as a Soviet spy. According to Norman Goda of Ohio University, Felfe was "the West German official most knowledgeable about CIA operations in Eastern Europe", which let him sabotage one of the CIA’s most important spy operations, against the KGB base in East Germany.[3] The CIA subsequently estimated that Felfe had compromised 15,000 items. The article cited an unidentified CIA officer as saying, in 1953, "Clear evidence of a war crimes record might also serve as a possible control."[1]

Christopher Simpson claims that these agents had a long-term corrosive effect on American intelligence agencies.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Shane, Scott (7 June 2006), "CIA papers show it let Eichmann elude hunt", International Herald Tribune
  2. Kisatsky, Deborah (2005), The United States and the European Right, 1945-1955, Ohio State University Press
  3. Goda, Norman J. W., CIA Files Relating to Heinz Felfe, SS officer and KGB Spy
  4. Simpson, Christopher (August 1989). Blowback: America's recruitment of Nazis and its effects on the Cold War. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.. ISBN 978-0020449959.