Reinhard Gehlen(April 3, 1902 - June 8, 1979) was a Generalmajor (Major-General) in the German Army (Wehrmacht Heer) during World War II.
Gehlen held the position of chief of intelligence-gathering on the Eastern Front. He was subsequently recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union.
Gehlen ran the West German intelligence apparatus until 1968, and is considered one of the most legendary Cold War spymasters. He organized the Gehlen Organisation, and later became President of the German Federal Intelligence Bureau.
Reinhard Gehlen was born into a Roman Catholic family, the son of an owner of a bookstore. He joined the Reichswehr in 1920 and entered the German Staff College in the 1930s. He was promoted to captain and was attached to the Army General Staff.
In 1940, Gehlen was promoted to Major and he became the liaison officer to Army Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch. He was then transferred to the staff of Army Chief of Staff General Franz Halder.
In July 1941, Gehlen was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Gehlen worked extensively on the Eastern Front and, because of his superior talents and expertise, was promoted to senior intelligence officer with the German General Staff on the Russian front.
In April 1956, control of the Gehlen Organisation was turned over to the (West) German government and it became the nucleus of the newly-created Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND or Federal Intelligence Service). Gehlen held the top leadership post (President of the BND) until forced out due to a political scandal in the ranks. He retired from the BND in 1968 and died in 1979, aged 77.
He received the Deutsches Kreuz in silver during WWII and the Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz am Schulterband in 1968. He also was a Knight of Malta.
SMOM's influence in Germany survived World War II intact. On November 17, 1948 SMOM awarded one of its highest honors, the Grand Cross of Merit, to Reinhard Gehlen, the Nazi chief of intelligence on the Soviet front. He was subsequently installed by the Americans as the first chief of West Germany's equivalent of the CIA, the Bundesnachtrichtdienst (BND: federal secret service), under West German Chancellor Adenauer, a devout Catholic who had received the Magistral Grand Cross personally from SMOM Grand Master Prince Chigi.
On November 17, 1948 SMOM awarded one of its highest honors, the Grand Cross of Merit, to Reinhard Gehlen, the Nazi chief of intelligence on the Eastern Front who took part in the failed bomb plot of July 20, 1944 to assassinate Hitler, and was later recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union.
The Order has particularly close links with the security services like the CIA. In 1948, it gave one of its most prestigious awards of honour to General Reinhard Gehlen, who was Adolf Hitler's head of anti-Soviet espionage. After the war, Gehlen was hired by the newly created CIA to organise its operations in Europe!
Reinhard Gehlen was one of Adolf Hitler's chief intelligence officers, solely in charge of espionage against the Soviet Union. In 1945, Gehlen offered the United States his considerable experience, expertise and archives on Russia and satellite countries in return for immunity from prosecution as a war criminal. The newly established Central Intelligence Agency formed the "Gehlen Organisation" which was Gehlen's former network for anti-Soviet espionage. Located in West Germany and funded by the CIA, the Gehlen Organisation became the most powerful espionage establishment in Western Europe.In 1979, Gen. Patton's cousin, Congressman Lawrence McDonald, founded the Western Goals Foundation as a front for the JBS intelligence network. McDonald directed the organization until his untimely death in the downing of the Korean airliner, KAL 007 in 1983, the year he succeeded Robert Welch as JBS Chairman. Western Goals was discontinued in 1986 following a power struggle for McDonald's position. According to the Interhemispheric Resource Center GroupWatch, files of which are available on the Public Information Research database, Western Goals had worked with Reinhard Gehlen:
McDonald formed a foundation branch in West Germany in 1981. The organization, called the American-European Strategy Research Institute, was set up with a $131,982 injection from the U.S. office. That figure represented more than a third of Western Goals' operating budget at the time...
The German affiliate is Western Goals Europe E.V.(5) This German branch is also known as the American-European Strategy Institute. It acknowledges working with Reinhard Gehlen, a former Nazi who has been honored by the elite lay Catholic organization, the Knights of Malta (SMOM).(8 ) SMOM gave its highest award of honor, the Gran Croci Al Merito Conplacca, to Gehlen in l948. Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was awarded the honor because of his efforts in the "crusade against godless Communism." Gehlen headed Adolf Hitler's spy operations against the Soviet Union during World War II. After the war, he and his spy apparatus--staffed mostly by former Nazis--were recruited by the CIA. He became the first director of the BND, West Germany's intelligence agency. 12.
"The German affiliate is Western Goals Europe E.V.(5) This German branch is also known as the American-European Strategy Institute. It acknowledges working with Reinhard Gehlen, a former Nazi who has been honored by the elite lay Catholic organization, the Knights of Malta (SMOM).(8 ) SMOM gave its highest award of honor, the Gran Croci Al Merito Conplacca, to Gehlen in l948. Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was awarded the honor because of his efforts in the "crusade against godless Communism." Gehlen headed Adolf Hitler's spy operations against the Soviet Union during World War II. After the war, he and his spy apparatus--staffed mostly by former Nazis--were recruited by the CIA. He became the first director of the BND, West Germany's intelligence agency." 12.
Gen. Reinhard Gehlen persuaded the U.S. Army and then the CIA to sponsor his intelligence network even though he employed numerous former Nazis and known war criminals.
The following year , it bestowed the Gran Croce al Merito con Placca upon Hitler's Eastern Front intelligence chief Reinhard Gehlen, one of only four recipients of this award at the time. Gehlen's brother was the secretary to Thun Hohenstein, one of the five-member ruling Sovereign Council of the order. As head of the Institute for Associated Emigrations, Hohenstein printed some 2,000 passports, which were used to relocate leading Nazis to safe hiding places around the world.
In 1948, the SMOM gave one of its highest awards of honor, the Gran Croci al Merito con Placca, to General Reinhard Gehlen, Adolf Hitler's chief anti-Soviet spy. (Only three other people received this award.) Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was touted as a formidable ally in the holy crusade against godless Marxism. After the war he and his well-developed spy apparatus—staffed largely by ex-Nazis—joined the fledgling CIA. Eventually, hundreds more Nazis ended up on the U.S. government's payroll. Among them was Klaus Barbie.
CROCI AL MERITO(PRO PIIS MERITIS)
GRAN CROCI AL MERITO CON FASCIA
10 4 1948 S.E. Gen. PAUL DARIUS DASSAULT
CRAN CROCI AL MERITO CON PLACCA
23 5 1945 S. E. HAROLD ALEXANDER, visconte di Tunis
11 11 1948 Brig. Gen. Barone DEAN de MARGUERITTES
Other sites mentioning Reinhard Gehlen being a member of the SMOM:
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