The report, titled Hitler's Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War, draws from an unprecedented trove of records that the CIA was persuaded to declassify, and from more than a million digitised army intelligence files that had long been inaccessible. Among other things, the authors say, the files also show that US intelligence officials used and protected ex-Nazis during the Cold War to a greater extent than previously known.
Elizabeth Holtzman, a former Democratic congresswoman from New York who fought for the disclosure of Nazi files, welcomed the release. "This is a difficult, and in some respects shameful, chapter in American history," she said. "It was not known to the public, and I think it's a mark of governmental courage and of national courage to take this era and these documents and say, 'We want to learn the truth about what our government did', and to do it in a way that was professional and serious."
In 1949 the US government brought Lebed to New York, where he was safe from assassination. Through his CIA-funded organisation, Prolog, he gathered intelligence on the Soviets into at least the late 1960s. In 1991, he was still considered a valuable asset to the agency, the report said. Lebed was eventually identified by federal investigators as a possible war criminal but was never prosecuted. He died in 1998
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