Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Too Late For Justice... But Not For Truth

Machla Abramovitz

In 1982, John Loftus, a young attorney in the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), appeared on 60 Minutes, the most acclaimed television news program of the time, and revealed that following World War II, both the Justice and State departments covertly admitted vast numbers of Nazi war criminals into the US and naturalized many of them. In his latest book, America’s Nazi Secret, John Loftus reveals the shocking secret of the Justice Department’s decades of Nazi collaboration.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

As Mordechai Vanunu can testify, being a whistleblower carries with it grave personal risks. But, unlike Vanunu, whose public revelations regarding Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons program placed Jewish security at great risk, John Loftus, a Roman Catholic, took on this role in the pursuit of truth and justice for Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

In 1982 Loftus appeared on 60 Minutes, the most acclaimed television news program of the time, and revealed that following World War II, both the Justice and State departments covertly admitted vast numbers of Nazi war criminals into the United States and naturalized many of them. For this, 60 Minutes received an Emmy Award for outstanding investigative journalism, while Loftus and his family received death threats.

In 1977, as a young attorney working for the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), Loftus was officially assigned to investigate Nazi war crimes cases from Byelorussia (known today as Belarus), but also covertly to determine who had fixed some of the Nuremberg trials, and why.

Little did he know that within those darkened, underground, highly classified archives in Suitland, Maryland, he would come across a dusty box containing the diary of Sol Shnadow, a Byelorussian Jewish survivor and Bielski partisan, and that in doing so his life was about to take an irreversible turn.

What he read shocked him to the core. As he told Mishpacha: “Many saw that file and closed their eyes. But I understood that if I kept quiet about what I read, someday my name would be listed on the declassified files as the last man who knew — and did nothing while the Nazis were still alive. Sol’s diary was the reason I went public.”

That 60 Minutes interview led to the 1982 publication of The Belarus Secret, the Knopf Nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in history, and the first of his many highly controversial works. It detailed who these Byelorussian Nazis were, and identified the US agencies and individuals responsible for bringing them into America — all done behind Congress’s back. His latest book, America’s Nazi Secret, has just been released and includes details previously censored out from The Belarus Secret by the government.

“I can finally tell the whole story,” he said.

These intricate details were made available to him when he worked as a special investigator for the OSI, under the direction of former Nuremberg Trials prosecutor Walter J. Rockler. The OSI was established by Congress to investigate allegations of Nazi war criminals residing in the US. Loftus’s security clearance was upgraded from Top Secret to COSMIC (NATO), Q (nuclear weapons), and SCI (codeword).

“I might have been the first person in half a century with the authority to browse the US and NATO classified files at will.”

After leaving government, he arranged permission with the CIA to conduct interviews under attorney/client privilege, on the condition that this information would be cleared with the CIA. The CIA, as well, coordinated this clearance with the other intelligence agencies.

“As a result,” he stated, “I received a great deal of assistance from many good and honest people in the intelligence community who told me whatever I wanted to know, as long as I kept my word and submitted my books to the CIA for censorship.”

Now, thirty years later, this CIA clearance is no longer necessary.

“It might be too late for justice, but it is not too late for the truth,” he said.

Although Loftus has many detractors, he is determined to continue to put out the facts as he sees them. Loftus, a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, was in Montreal recently promoting America’s Nazi Secret. It was there, in the offices of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR), where Mishpacha first caught up with him. In follow-up phone conversations and e-mail correspondence, Loftus discussed his new book and its secrets; his detractors; US intelligence networks; and what he claims is the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into these agencies — particularly the FBI. His revelations — finally declassified — were shocking.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without