Ten years after the demise of Hitler’s Third Reich and six years after the founding of NATO, the organization felt that 1955 was the time to hire former German Nazi officers. In most cases, they were officers who were awarded the Knight’s Cross by Hitler for their (crimes) deeds, but only turned against him at the end of the war. Below three of them, namely the war criminals Hans Speidel, Adolf Heusinger and Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg.Hans Speidel.
Knight’s Cross bearer and persecutor of the Jews Hans Speidel was given NATO command of the Allied land forces in Central Europe in 1957. This despite the fact that during the Second World War he had been responsible in France for exterminating French Jews and resistance fighters and in Russia for setting whole villages on fire. Often still with the residents in their houses, who were burned alive. When a storm of criticism erupted after Speidel’s appointment, the propaganda led people to believe that Speidel had been a “good guy”. Yes, that even towards the end of the war (when Germany was almost defeated!) he joined the resistance……….. Speidel’s many war crimes and his evil role in betraying Field Marshal Rommel to the Gestapo were kept silent.
On Tuesday, December 13, 1960, Heusinger, Hitler’s former chief of staff, was appointed chairman of the NATO Military Committee. This to the great enthusiasm of the then Dutch government, which had apparently forgiven this war criminal for having been the man who, in 1940, as chief of the operations department of the German general staff, had worked out the entire attack plan against the Netherlands.
In Russia, Von Kielmansegg is said to have given orders to Einsatzgruppen of the SS. These people were responsible for the murder of 1.4 million Jews in Russia and millions of Slavs and other citizens. Nevertheless, on July 1, 1966, Von Kielmansegg was appointed Commander-in-Chief of NATO’s armed forces in Central Europe.About recruiting German Nazis into NATO. | Gerard de Boer