“Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehorigen,” or “Organization of Former Members of the SS,” or Odessa was a secret organization set up by the then Nazi officers in the Hitler’s Germany during the World War II. The existence of this organization has been a matter of great dispute on the international secret agencies. However, there are enough supporting evidences and findings which points to the existence of such an organization. Even those who oppose the view that an organization named Odessa did exist ever, they are willing to concede that there were some organizations established during this period to help the Nazi war criminals.
Odessa was established to shield and help those Nazi officers escape from the prospect of punishment for their war crimes. Odessa established safe routes for the attempted escape of the Nazi men and most of those men who escaped ended up in Latin American countries and the Middle East Countries with which Hitler and the Nazi administrator had close relationships.
Those escape routes were later known as ‘ratlines’ among the intelligence agencies and scholars. Some of the more famous figures who used these routes make good their escape were Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele, Erich Priebke, Aribert Heim, Edward Roschmann etc.
Some members of Odessa even infiltrated the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst – a German federal intelligence agency which was formed after the war with the support of CIA) and had worked as double agents who organized and helped many SS members escape the trials, even after the occupation of Allied forces started. History of Odessa According to some, the founding stone for the formation of Odessa as an organization, which could serve later as a secret, supporting network for all the surviving Nazis to regroup and reorganize was laid on 10th August,1944, at the Maison Rougue Hotel, Strasbourg, Germany.
The meeting was attended by the leading industrialists of Germany and the top brass of the SS. They all held the view that the fall of Berlin was imminent and they along with others would be killed or captured by the advancing Allied Army. Their dreams of 1000 years Riech was abruptly ending with this war. If they want to redeem their glory they will have to survive and will need adequate funds even after the war ends. This will help them reorganize in a third country and they will be, someday, able to capture the power back.
Accordingly, it was decided that second rung leaders and the strategists of the Third Reich would escape from Germany to plot the victory from outside, in the coming years. The fund was to be arranged in a swapping method. The party would fund the operations of the industries inside the country and the industrialists who had business presence in other countries would arrange for the funds for these SS men when they escape to those countries.
According the interview of former members SS, conducted by ZDF TV station, Odessa was not a single entity which operated on a world wide role, still it received enormous logistic and intelligence support from a variety of government and non-governmental organizations including (surprisingly! ) CIA and even some catholic clergy from Italy. They made use of the chaotic atmosphere existed after the war and approached international agencies like Red Cross as the victims of war and escaped to freedom. One of the methods they employed was to get enrolled as the truck drivers for the US Army.
The Red Cross or American military failed to verify the authenticity of their backgrounds. This provided them formal acceptability and a chance to gather intelligence inputs. According to Joseph Wechsberg, former American OSS officer and member of the US War Crimes Commission, the Odessa was a thorough and efficient network which had set up camps along the boarder area, Linadau – boarder with Austria and Switzerland- which facilitated in and out movement of Nazi men. This claim was corroborated by Simon Wiesental in his memoirs named ‘The Murderers Among US’.
According to Joseph Wechsberg, formation of an escape route for SS men was part of a bigger plan, i. e. was to establish a Fourth Reich, if the current third riech get defeated in the war. The claims and the counter claims In her book “Into That Darkness,” published in 1974, the famous historian Gitta Sereny, has reflected upon the prosecution members of Ludwigsburg Central Authority, which investigated the Nazi Crimes, saying had no conclusive evidence for the existence of Odessa. Some surviving Nazi concentration camp supervisors also claimed that such an organization did not exist at all.
However, according to Sereny, even they could not deny the existence of agencies or organizations which helped the fleeing SS men. And, the American OSS(Office of Strategic Services) members and the members of the US war crimes commission claimed that Odessa did exist. How did Odessa establish the escape route? The main escape route was t through the small Bavarian town of Memmingen in Germany to Innsbruck, in Austria. From there they crossed over Italy through the Brenner pass. Nazis referred to this as the “B-B” route (from Bremen in Germany to the Italian port of Bari).
Underground networks like, Die Spiner (the spider) has arranged for the fake papers and documents which gave the fleeing SS men new identity which enabled them to cross the Italian boarder and then to other parts of the world. There is another route known as ‘the seminary route: this refers to the help provided by catholic priests in Italy for the stay and safe travel for the SS men while they were in Italy. This was one of the major escape method employed by the Nazis and the Vatican Bishop who facilitated and organized this modus operandi was Bishop Alois Hudal.
It is estimated that more than five thousand elite SS men escaped capture and death by fleeing to other countries, thanks to Odessa and its efficient secret network. The war crimes commission could try only a handful of the top leaders along with the lower rung soldiers. This points to the efficiency of the Odessa network. How other countries facilitated the escape of SS men? Among the Latin American countries to which the Nazi SS men fled, Argentina was particularly sympathetic to their cause.
Even before the Nazi refugees arrived from Germany, the country had passed a secret law which prohibited people who were forced out of other countries from entering Argentina. This was mainly to stop Jews from entering taking refuge in Argentina. Till recently Argentinean government took an unhelpful stand in the investigations of Nazi refugees. But in 2003, Argentinean government bowed to the international pressure and agreed to open up some secret documents which contained the details of the Nazi refugees living in the country. Another country that welcomed the Nazis with open hands was Egypt.
Abdul Nazar, the ruler of Egypt has identified the potential use of the escaping Nazis. He welcomed those men and gave them befitting duties and responsibilities in his country. He has utilized them in revamping his intelligence network and imparting commando training and other military strategies. As Egypt was seething with hate for the Jews, both the fleeing Germans and Egypt found their cooperation to be mutually beneficial. While Argentina and Egypt were accepting anybody from the SS into their country, the US and the Russia were not falling behind. They had their own intentions in protecting the Nazis.
The CIA and KGB recruited SS men for espionage work in Germany and other European countries against each other. The US even employed German scientists to augment their quest for space supremacy over the Russians. The part played by the German scientists in the space development programme in Us is and open secret. This covert operation of recruitment was named ‘Operation Paperclip’ by the US intelligence agencies. Present day scenario The existence of Odessa, the secret network which helped the Nazi men escape capture and death, has been proven beyond doubt.
But their present day activities are not known. Some fatal attacks on the Jews at different parts of the world, in previous decades and the car bomb attack in France in 1979 were attributed to the handiwork of Odessa. There is no recent history to prove the existence of Odessa. ? Reference: http://dic. academic. ru/dic. nsf/enwiki/270269 http://www. jewishvirtuallibrary. org/jsource/Holocaust/odessa. html http://www. leesaunders. co. uk/html/world_war_II/ww2_events/odessa. php http://www. leesaunders. co. uk/html/world_war_II/ww2_events/odessa. php
Cite this essay
The secret SS organization. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-secret-ss-organization-new-essay