Only now accessible archives of the intelligence services of the USA and Germany brought it to light: one of the worst Nazi mass murderers was spared and protected from persecution at the end of the Second World War because he was useful to the CIA and also to the German Federal intelligence Service BND as a spy against the communist East.
The “Report Munich” of the ARD and the New York Times published excerpts from the secret service documents on Tuesday. Only a few major media have reported on this so far.
All Jews destroyed in Vienna
After the German annexation of Austria in 1938, Huber became Gestapo chief of a large part of Austria, including Vienna, where he immediately ordered “unwanted … Jews to be immediately arrested and transferred to the Dachau concentration camp.”
Dachau was opened in January 1933. For years, “under Huber’s leadership, the Gestapo and the police in Vienna were responsible for collecting Jews, putting them on trains and leaving them to their fate in concentration camps,” Professor Moshe Zimmermann of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem told the NYT. Huber had driven tens of thousands of people to their deaths.
Huber lived untroubled and with a pension in Munich until his death in 1975
The CIA made incriminating material disappear and hired Huber as a spy after the end of the war. It was not until nearly twenty years after the end of the war, in 1964, that the CIA released him, according to the NYT, for fear that his past might still bring the intelligence services into disrepute. Because Huber never concealed his past from the CIA, his dismissal was classified as “unfounded dismissal” so that he could draw a pension until his death in 1975 at the age of 73.
From 1956, when the BND was founded, Huber was also in its service from the very beginning. This was confirmed in the “Report München” by the BND chief historian Bodo Hechelhammer: “The search for intelligence officers with a clear anti-communist attitude led far too often to former Nazis.”
Requests for extradition from Austria and claims by victims lawyers to investigate Huber were rejected by the US occupation authorities and intelligence agencies “with numerous bureaucratic pretexts”. The US had successfully urged the German authorities to let Huber get away with a conditional conviction and a fine in the denazification proceedings.
Unlike other Nazi criminals, Huber never had to escape and go into hiding, but always lived a carefree life under his real name. “It’s hard to believe and a shame that Huber was able to lead a quiet life under his own name,” explains Professor Shlomo Shpiro of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.