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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 18 April 2021

German intelligence agency admits destruction of files linking staff to Nazi SS, Gestapo

The destruction of files relating to around 250 BND employees was discovered during a historical inquiry into the organisation’s links with Nazi Germany.

Image: Manchester Library via Creative Commons

GERMANY’S INTELLIGENCE agency BND has confirmed that files containing the personal records of its staff members who were part of the SS or Gestapo during World War II were intentionally destroyed four years ago.

Der Bundesnachrichtendienst (or the Federal Intelligence Service) said in a statement that the material destroyed had been identified as being of non-archival value, but that the move is “regrettable”:

From today’s perspective, the historiographical stock loss is nonetheless regrettable and annoying.

The destruction of files was discovered by historians who were investigating links between Hitler’s Third Reich and the BND, which was created after World War II.

Der Spiegel reports that the destroyed files concern around 250 BND employees, including people the historians say held significant intelligence posts in the SS or Gestapo.

The BND says it is working to minimise the damage caused by the loss of the documents by sourcing other reference material relating to those employees from both inside and outside the organisation.

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