Book claims Stasi employed Nazis as spies
The former East Germany's feared Stasi secret police set Nazi officers to work as spies and protected them from prosecution, according to a new book that belies the official anti-fascist stance of the communist regime.
Historian Henry Leide drew on Stasi files that have not been opened to the general public since the fall of communism in 1989 to trace the often well-paid careers of 35 of Hitler's men who found a reprieve in the secret police.
The case of SS officer Hans Sommer is not exceptional, according to the book titled "Nazi Criminals and the Secret Service: The German Democratic Republic's Secret Ways of Dealing With the Past."
Sommer was instrumental in the bombing of seven synagogues in Paris in October 1941. But after World War II, he spent years spying on right-wing politicians for the new regime in East Germany, and was later posted to Italy where he continued to do the same.
Many Nazis were tried after the war but some were saved by the StasiBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Many Nazis were tried after the war but some were saved by the StasiOfficially, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) adopted a resolutely anti-fascist stance and in the years following World War II its courts condemned more than 8,000 former Nazis.
The Waldheim trial in Saxony in 1950, for example, saw 32 former Nazi operatives sentenced to death.
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