Die Berliner Post-Times, 1943
By William Blum
(Written in response to the US press reaction in 1996 to charges by journalist Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury of a CIA connection to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles.)
The ZIA und Auschwitz: Evidence Lacking
Die Berliner Post-Times, November 15, 1943
For more than a month, some journalists and politicians have been trumpeting a Stuttgart Mercury News series that they say links the Zentral Intelligenz Agentur with a so-called concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. According to the articles, many thousands of our respected Jewish citizens have been packed into trains like cattle, shipped to the camp, and enslaved there, or executed in special chambers into which so-called Zyklon-B gas is injected. Jewish leaders, as well as Jewish radio, have been virtually up in arms about these charges.
However, a careful reading of the Mercury News series reveals that it doesn’t actually say explicitly that the ZIA has anything to do with this alleged camp, or even that it knows of its existence. Instead, the articles state simply that two men, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann, have been running the camp, and, when arrested by Polish authorities, claimed to be working for the ZIA. But their claims must be looked upon with a measure of skepticism inasmuch as neither one was able to produce a certified, notarized, in-triplicate, laminated, gold-parchment, employment document, witnessed and signed by 12 high-ranking ZIA officials.
In response to the outcry, ZIA Director Johann Deutsch has denied any Agentur connection whatsoever to Auschwitz. “This is an old story,” he announced yesterday. “These charges have been going around for a decade. They have been investigated on several occasions and found to contain no substance. Nevertheless, I ordered our Inspector General to undertake a new and extremely thorough internal review of our files as soon as the stories broke. And the results are in: we have turned up no information under
Zyklon-B',trains packed like cattle’, or
Heinrich Himmler'. We did find one reference toAdolf Eichmann’. That reference, however, is classified for national security reasons, but I can assure the German public that it has no connection to the issue at hand.”
Mr. Deutsch’s predecessor, Vilhelm Vebster, has confirmed the Director’s statement. “Trust us,” he declared.
The Ministerium of Justice has also promised a no-holds-barred, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may, completely independent investigation of itself.
It is noteworthy that the Mercury News could not present any dead bodies or current internees, nor a single gas chamber or packed train. The newspaper did interview one person, Frau Adelheid Rosenberg, who claims to have escaped from Auschwitz. But the story of this alleged-so called-pseudo-self-proclaimed escapee appears confused. She was unable to state the exact route of her alleged packed-train ride, nor the precise dates of her alleged internment, nor the full name of a single alleged camp guard of the alleged camp.
Moreover, when interviewed by the Post-Times, the author of the series, Gary Vebb, backed down on his claim that the ZIA had gas chambers specially built for Auschwitz. He concedes the possibility that such devices may have had earlier industrial use.
But all these questions and contradictions have not deterred countless Jewish activists from turning the issue into a cause célébre. As is well known, Jews have long been highly suspicious – one might go so far as to say “paranoid” – about the motivations of the National Socialist government.
Correspondent for the Berliner Post-Times: William Blum, author of “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II”.