Barbier (History/Mississippi State Univ.; D-Day Deception: Operation Fortitude and the Normandy Invasion, 2007, etc.) builds on mounting research into the lack of persecution of Nazi war criminals who were granted entrance into the United States after World War II.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 specifically blocked the immigration of Nazi criminals into the U.S., while between 1948 and 1953, a whopping 600,000 European refugees had already entered under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. The sheer numbers overwhelmed consular bureaucracy, yet there was upper-level leniency at play as well in turning a blind eye to the questionable pasts of some of these immigrants. Among many others, these included Otto von Bolschwing, a chief SS officer stationed in Romania whose collaboration with postwar American military intelligence allowed him entrance into the U.S. in 1954; Andrija Artukovic, “Butcher of the Balkans,” who managed to get a visa to the U.S. and a job in California; and Karl Linnas, who “ran a concentration camp in Estonia” yet squeaked by authorities to arrive with his family in New York state in 1951. Barbier traces how the important Office of Special Investigations, established in 1979 within the U.S. Department of Justice—thanks to public outcry in the 1970s over the denaturalization and extradition of Hermine Braunsteiner, a German-born New York City housewife who lied about her work at a Nazi death camp—finally was able to pursue these criminals ensconced comfortably in the U.S. Besides delineating other high-profile cases, such as those of Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele, and Kurt Waldheim, the author chronicles the scandalous mission of Operation Paperclip, which allowed top German scientists and technicians—who had perfected their talents trying to destroy the Allies with the V-1 and V-2 projects and the use of chemical weapons—were lured to the U.S. to keep them from sharing their knowledge with the Soviets.
Well-researched state secrets forced into the light of truth.