05:45 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Hans Josef Maria Globke, co-author of the official legal commentary of the Nuremberg Laws which revoked the citizenship of German Jews and Director of the West Germany Chancellor's Office from 1953 till 1963.

    Over Half of West Germany's Interior Ministry Workers Were Ex-Nazis

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    A considerable number of the West German Interior Ministry's employees were former Nazis between 1949 and 1970, according to a newly-released report.

    From 1949 until 1970, over half of the West German Ministry of the Interior’s staffers were ex-Nazis, including former members of SA and SS, according to a team of researchers at the Center for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam who spent 11 months investigating the ministry's personnel files.

    An interim report presented by the historians in Berlin on Wednesday stated that during that period, an average of 54 percent of the ministry's employees were former Nazis, though between 1956 and 1961 the percentage swelled to as high as 66 percent, according to Deutsche Welle.

    According to the report, about 5-8 percent of the ministry's staff consisted of former SS members.

    Dr. Frank Bosch, the lead researcher on the project, claimed that in 1949 being a former Nazi party (NSDAP) member wasn’t considered a "bad thing".

    "There was a belief that they were people who had done their duty in a difficult time," Bosch told Local, claiming that during the postwar period West Germany needed people with a legal education to manage its bureaucracy and there was often little choice but to employ ex-Nazis.

    Furthermore, many applicants also "simply lied" about their past during the recruitment process. However, even when their past was discovered, usually there were no consequences, according to DW.

    The study's authors point out that the official’s background had a significant impact on the policies and legislation decisions that they enacted, “with the fundamentally anti-Semitic attitude of the Foreign Affairs Department in the Federal Ministry of the Interior as well as to the censorship practices of the Cultural Department” serving as a clear example, DW adds.

    The report also mentions the existence of a network of former Nazis who helped other former NSDAP members secure employment in postwar West Germany. For example, Hans Globke, co-author of the official legal commentary of the Nuremberg Laws which revoked the citizenship of German Jews, held the office of the Director of the West Germany Chancellor’s Office from 1953 till 1963 and was a close confidant of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer himself, and was thus able to exert great influence over the hiring of high-ranking officials.

    According to AP, the study is expected to be finished in 2018.


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