BLOWBACK: U.S. Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War by Christopher Simpson

BLOWBACK: U.S. Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The second 1988 book on Operation Paperclip, the recruitment of Nazi scientists and intelligence agents for postwar US science and intelligence operations. Tom Bower's The Paperclip Conspiracy (1987) is about the hunt for once-ardent Nazi scientists whom the Allies rewarded with handsome jobs making military hardware and spaceware--it was indeed German science that helped to land Neil Armstrong on the moon. Simpson's Blowback, however, is about once-ardent Nazis whom US intelligence recruited to help set up our Eastern European networks against the USSR. Alas, they also helped invent or foment the Cold War, for their own purposes, whipping up US fear of Soviet expansion in order to avoid their own responsibility for murders they had themselves committed, and to paint over the cheap-jack anti-Soviet networks they'd tried to revive from their old Nazi networks in Eastern Europe and Russia. ""Nazi criminals,"" said Nazi-hunter Simon Weisenthal, ""were the principal beneficiaries of the Cold War."" Meanwhile, working on phony intelligence from our imported Nazi intelligence chiefs, the US set about sponsoring various Eastern European groups as provocateurs, triggering uprisings and bloodshed and increased repression of those swayed by our propaganda. ""[T] he primary victims,"" says Simpson, "". . .were the ordinary people of those lands whom the United States professed to support."" ""Blowback"" means unexpected--and negative--effects at home that result from covert operations overseas. The blowback with the Nazis was a richly compromised, befuddled CIA whose policies for at least a decade were based on disinformation and ignorance, out of which arose further covert operations that embraced more of those who had once carried out the Final Solution. Strikingly well researched and disquieting.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1988
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson