Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In 1956, the CIA recruited Hildegard Lächert, who during the Second World War was the supervisor of a concentration camp and was particularly brutal, reports Der Spiegel. At the trial of Majdanek, which lasted from 1975 to 1981, the biggest trial of German Nazis, the modestly dressed woman was accused of nearly 1200 murders.
Authors Christoph Franceschini and Klaus Wiegrefe found out that the prisoners of the camp were afraid of Lächert, who was known as “Bloody Brigitte”. An employee of the SS, overseer of the concentration camp and death camp in Lublin/Majdanek in Poland herded children by beating them onto trucks that were going to the gas chambers, pushed prisoners into latrines, who then drowned in the feces.
According to the research conducted by the German newspaper, the reports on recruitment and meetings of CIA employees with the former supervisor of the concentration camp, on the transfer of Lächert to the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany (BND) confirmed that the security services of Western democratic states after 1945 recruited not only male Nazi criminals, but also female criminals of the Third Reich.
The CIA began to cooperate with Lächert after she was released in Poland after serving her term for Nazi crimes, and in 1956 was expelled from the country. Employees of the Central Intelligence Agency considered the SS past of Lächert to be useful. They noted that, Lächert fulfils all instructions concerning security “very good”, and it’s thanks to her “learning” in the SS”. The Americans were especially interested in information about a possible defector from the Polish Secret Service, whom she met while serving her sentence. The CIA instructed Lächert to not say anything about this defector to the West German authorities. She had to each month send a letter with her current address to a post box, to assure the CIA that everything was in order.
But soon, Lächert began to disclose information about her contact with the American agency, and in April 1957, she was sent to the newly created Federal Intelligence Service of Germany. The Germans, which in the beginning liked the former supervisor, drew the same conclusions as the CIA, and stopped to cooperate with her.
When the police, after a dozen years, arrested Lächert for crimes in Majdanek, she was posing as a simple clipboard lady who kept order. She vainly hoped that her connection with the CIA will help her to avoid punishment. Hildegard Lächert received 12 years.
During the trial she tried to become a candidate of the extreme right-wing party in the European Parliament elections.
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