I have finally finished up my paper on Reinhard Gehlen. The final version was due today and it is a great relief to have it finished. I wrote up a brief summary of how the Gehlen Organization came to be on my German blog, but I will write a rough translation of it here.
Gehlen was a very interesting man. During the Nazi-period in Germany he was the head of the General Staff division, Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East). The division dealt with the condition of the soviet military. Just before the end of the war he foresaw that German was going to lose and thus decided to hide the information collected by his division in Bavaria. He wanted to give all of the information to the Americans so the Americans could be more prepared to fight against the Soviet Union in the upcoming battle of ideologies he saw coming.
After the war, he was taken prisoner by the Americans which is when he began to work for the Americans. In 1946, the Gehlen Organization was founded by the American Army and Gehlen. Gehlen worked with his colleagues from the Fremde Heeren Ost for the Americans until 1956. The Gehlen Organization was taken over by the new West German government in 1956 and the Bundesnachrichtendienst(Federal Intelligence Service) was born.
Interesting read, this coming from someone who is not really interested in 20th century history, lol.
Thanks! Yeah, I can’t say I’m terribly interested in 20th century history either. Unfortunately it was a required paper and I didn’t get much of a say in the subject matter…