U.S. Built NATO By Putting Nazi War Criminals in Charge

– Dougal MacDonald –

As the situation in Ukraine develops, imperialist propaganda keeps promoting the false notion that NATO (and by default the U.S.) is somehow an alliance for peace. This fraud is being perpetuated to try to convince people that the situation in Ukraine can be simplistically boiled down to "bad" Russia on one side and "good" U.S. and NATO on the other side. Therefore, everyone should support the U.S. and NATO and oppose Russia and that will somehow bring about peace on earth.

Aside from the fact that the whole history of the U.S. and NATO focuses on war against other countries rather than peace, this big lie is also refuted by the history of NATO itself.

The facts show that as soon as the Hitlerites surrendered at the end of the Second World War, with the Soviet Union playing the main role in their defeat, the Anglo-Americans began helping Germany rebuild, economically and militarily. Germany was to serve as a bulwark against the socialist Soviet Union, the Anglo-Americans' supposed wartime ally, now designated their main foe. This post-war plan, which was already being hatched before the war ended, included the formation of the aggressive NATO alliance in 1949 within which a number of Hitler's military leaders played key roles.

Adolf Heusinger with then U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at the Pentagon,
February 28, 1964.

One typical example is General Adolf Heusinger, a career military officer who, with the outbreak of the Second World War, became part of the German headquarters field staff and helped plan the Nazi invasions of Poland, Denmark, Norway, France and the Low Countries. The Nazis perpetrated against Poland one of the worst crimes history has ever known. Poland suffered the largest number of casualties per capita of any European country, with a total of about six million people killed. Heusinger rose quickly through the Wehrmacht's administrative ranks and in 1944 was appointed Adolf Hitler's Chief of the General Staff of the Army.

After the war, Heusinger was interrogated by the Americans but not put on trial. A declassified CIA document says: "Upon surrendering to U.S. Army authorities in May 1945, the question of [Heusinger's] implication as a war criminal arose in connection with certain orders he signed and forwarded which sealed the fate of captured Russian political indoctrination officers and Allied commandos. However, in view of Heusinger's cooperative attitude at Nuremberg and the fact that he had only initialed the orders in transmittal, no action was undertaken. Instead, Heusinger served as a research consultant without pay for the Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg periodically between 1945 and 1948."

So instead of being put on trial for war crimes, Heusinger became an advisor on military matters to Konrad Adenauer, appointed the first Chancellor of West Germany in 1949. One of Adenauer's first acts was denunciation of the denazification of Germany and an amnesty for Nazi war criminals. By the end of January 1951, almost 800,000 war criminals had benefited from the amnesty. Adenauer and John J. McCloy, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and later Chairman of the Rockefellers' Chase Manhattan Bank and the Ford Foundation, were linked by marriage. McCloy played a key role in the early release from prison of many Nazi war criminals convicted at Nuremburg, including industrialists Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick who went right back to enriching themselves by taking leading roles in the post-war German economy.

With the 1955 establishment of the Bundeswehr, the reconstituted West German Armed Forces, Heusinger returned to military service, and was appointed Lieutenant-General in 1955. In 1957, he was promoted to full general and named the first Inspector-General of the Bundeswehr. He served in that capacity until 1961. In 1961, Heusinger was appointed Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, making him the senior military spokesperson for NATO and in 1963 he also became NATO's chief of staff, serving in that capacity until 1964.

Many other prominent ex-Nazis followed similar paths, in particular serving as Commanders-in-Chief of Allied Central Forces Europe. Here are just a few examples:

- General Hans Speidel, who participated in the invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union, played a key role in German rearmament and integration into NATO, and in 1957 became Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe.

- Sturmführer Dr. Eberhard Taubert worked with Goebbels in the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda where he was responsible for designing the yellow badge for Jews. After the war, he eventually became an adviser to ex-Nazi Franz Josef Strauss, German Minister of Defence from 1956-62, and was assigned by Strauss to NATO's "Psychological Warfare Department" which spewed anti-communist propaganda just as Goebbels' ministry had during the war.

- Nazi Admiral and U-Boat commander Friedrich Guggenberger, whose U-boat sank 17 allied ships, later served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the NATO command Armed Forces North (AFNORTH) 1968-72.

- Johannes Steinhoff, a Luftwaffe fighter pilot, was made Chairman of the NATO Military Committee 1971-74, holding other NATO positions prior to that.

- Johann von Kielmansegg, General Staff officer to the High Command of the Wehrmacht, 1942-44, was NATO's Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, 1967-68.

- Ernst Ferber, a major in the Wehrmacht, was NATO's Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, 1973-75.

- Karl Schnell, First General Staff officer of the LXXVI Panzer Corps, was NATO's Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, 1975-77.

- Franz Joseph Schulze, Chief of the Third Battery of the Flak Storm Regiment 241, was NATO's Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, 1977-79.

- Ferdinand von Senger und Etterline, Lieutenant of the 24th Panzer Division of the German Sixth Army, was NATO's Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, 1979-83.

The historical facts are clear. Instead of facing trial and paying for the countless crimes they planned and committed, Heusinger, Speidel and other prominent Nazi war criminals were given a free pass by the Anglo-Americans. Instead of being made accountable, they were rewarded for their service to the Nazis by being given key roles in rebuilding the West German army to oppose the Soviet Union and by being appointed as key NATO functionaries in Europe for the same nefarious purposes. There is a clear connection from the Nazis to the U.S. occupiers to the West German military to NATO that once again exposes NATO's true role.

NATO has never been a force for peace or a defence against some fictional Soviet threat. Instead, it has always been an aggressive military alliance that exists solely to serve the aims of U.S. imperialist domination of the world.

(TML Daily, March 28, 2022)

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 8 - September 2023

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