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Response to Hortensis (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 27, 2021, 12:38 PM

13. Lots and lots.

Mr. Establishment, for one.

The Real McCloy

THE CHAIRMAN: JOHN J. McCLOY; The Making of the American Establishment,
By Kai Bird (Simon & Schuster: $30; 800 pp.)

APRIL 19, 1992 12 AM PT


When McCloy took over as high commissioner of defeated Germany, he talked a tough line about crushing the many still- active Nazis. But he promptly turned to mush, permitting Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to fill his cabinet with notorious antisemites and Nazi war criminals (some of whom became McCloy’s personal friends). McCloy also vastly expanded the shameful programs begun before he got to Germany, of letting some of the worst war criminals off the hook.

He commuted two-thirds of the death sentences of mass murderers (such as the SS officer who personally executed 1,500 Jews) and radically reduced the prison sentences of doctors who had conducted experiments on death-camp inmates, of high-ranking Nazi Judges who had administered Gestapo justice, and of industrialists who had built the Nazi war machine.

McCloy freed some immediately, including Alfred Krupp, whose munitions factories had worked thousands of slave laborers to death. Krupp’s original sentence had included loss of all property; McCloy canceled that punishment and within a few years Krupp was again one of the richest industrialists in the world. Obviously McCloy’s obsequiousness toward money and power made him the wrong man to reform Nazi Germany. “Though he could understand the special culpability of the ‘big Nazis,’ ” Bird writes, “when it came to a wealthy and politically well-connected man like Krupp, he suspended his good judgment.”

As high commissioner, McCloy dabbled disastrously in the intelligence business, setting up a network of agents in Germany that included the likes of Klaus Barbie, who had shipped 78,000 French Jews to the gas chambers, and Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, who had been responsible for some of the “grisliest mass killings on the Eastern Front.” Not surprisingly, many of the intelligence operations carried out under McCloy were, says Bird, “fiascos.”



Mr. McCloy was joined by another “Mr. Establishment” type with extensive ties to wealthy NAZI industrialists and anti-communist NAZI spy rings, former CIA Director Allen Dulles, in service on the Warren Commission. Coincidentally.

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