Over the last 10 or 15 years large German commercial enterprises, those that are around not just since yesterday and have developed a kind of tradition and pride, but also political institutions, have decided to write their own history – or allowed historians to write their history, especially covering the 12 years from 1933 to 1945. A common practice is to form a commission of historians, of course accepted scholars, and allow them access to the own archive. Emphasis is put on the fact that the commission is independent. Basically that is what Deutsche Bank does, Daimler Benz accepted its responsibility, and of course the Auswärtige Amt did it exemplary.
So maybe it is about time for the German foreign intelligence service, BND, to have a look into the own history. The soon retiring head of the organisation Ernst UHRLAU (Ger., Eng.) had exactly this idea and established a commission of historians (German article – the author is not quite content with the whole action, and describes it as a nice cover-up – in January 2011).
Said commission, regardless whether the members are qualified or not in the eyes of critics, should basically see anything in the archives.
Yesterday, the commission made public (Ger. example) that the BND destroyed the personnel files of circa 250 former officials, who had held high positions in the SS, SD, or Gestapo (English article here) – in 2007.
It’s not very likely that Herr UHRLAU even knew about this, and indicates that a part of the organisation simply took things in its own hands.
How terribly stupid and short-sighted. As if it would be great news that the BND and it’s predecessor institution Organisation Gehlen (Ger., Eng., pre 1945 known as Fremde Heere Ost (Ger., Eng.)) was a collecting tank for old Nazis, there was nobody unencumbered and free of guilt.
BTW I found this interesting website, they have a weekly newsletter for free.