Scott and Jon Lee AndersonInside the League: The Shocking Exposé of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League

Nazis Among UsMore Dangerous than the German Original

The Andersons allege that a conspiracy by and of Nazis has infiltrated the fabric of American life:

When most people think of Nazis, two images are evoked: aging war criminals, the Josef Mengeles and Klaus Barbies living in frightened obscurity somewhere in South America, or else of disenchanted youths who, in brown shirts and jackboots, vandalize synagogues and march through city streets. But there is a 1third type of Nazi, who is far more powerful, public, and dangerous than the other two: these are the Croatians, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Latvians who carried out the German-dictated massacres, who never faced a Nuremberg, and who joined the World Anti-Communist League.

The participation of these Eastern Europeans in the Holocaust remains one of the least-told stories in modern history. The reason this is so is simple: 2many of them were recruited by American and British intelligence, brought into the United States and Canada, allowed to rise to prominent positions in their émigré communities, and ultimately to revise history.

Today, their rhetoric is different; they no longer talk very much about the 3“Communist, Jewish, Freemason conspiracy” for now they have allies who need them to be more discreet than that. 4In 1986, as in 1936, they hide behind the buzzwords anti-Bolshevism and anti-communism to further their goals and to forge links with others.

...Through their front groups and their 5involvement in American politics, the Nazi collaborators have blended in and become respectable.

Contention versus Fact
This echoes sentiments such as those expressed by Simon Wiesenthal, that the collaborators of the Nazis were more evil than the Nazis themselves. This book coming two years after Alan A. Ryan, Jr.'s influential (and uncontested) Quiet Neighbors, the Andersons subscribe to the meme of an escape from justice.[1] Moreover, the Cold War now provided these Nazis a safe haven and new mission: battling Communism.
There were indisputably numerous German scientists who were poached by both Western Allies and the USSR. The story of Werner von Braun, who with a large number of his team made it to Austria and surrendered to the Americans, is well known. However, those are not the individuals alluded to here, rather, the assertion is that the British and Americans recruited and supported known Nazi collaborators from now Soviet-controlled territories and facilitated their rise into leadership positions in their respective communities and their whitewashing their own personal Nazi involvement.

Declassified documents show that any Latvians who assisted the CIA were recruited as contacts only after they were already in the United States. Their function was mainly to gather information on current events and circumstances, to interview defectors and visitors in their native language, and to identify individuals willing to be sources of information from within the USSR.

The authors give too much credence to German propaganda infuencing Eastern Europe, whether Judeo-Boshevik or Judeo-Masonic conspiracies, certainly ones that scholars on the Holocaust in Latvia, such as Andrew Ezergailis, have documented gained little to no traction among the Latvian populace. That there were Latvian collaborators of the Nazis had very little to do with propaganda; German campaigns to incite Latvians against their Jewish neighbors were a failure.
Here we find echoes of other Nazis-among-us exposés, that post-war anti-Communist émigré groups were, in actuality, pre-war Nazi collaborationist organizations, already subservient to Hitler, operating in their native countries. The authors do not spell their contention out in this level of detail, however, the allegation of Nazi before, during, and after the war is clear.
Much was made of the infiltration of Republican politics by Nazi-infested émigré groups, among the more vociferous of accusers being Russ Bellant—whom the Andersons thank in their preface as a source—in his alarmist tome: The Old Nazis, the New Right and the Reagan Administration: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and Their Effect on US Cold War Politics. Bellant's report (1991, with a draft released to the press in 1988) was published by the anti-right activist Cambridge-based Political Research Associates. Bellant alleged the Bush campaign’s ethnic outreach program was rooted in a pro-Nazi émigré network, and that the GOP's ethnic leaders were among thousands of Eastern European extremists welcomed by the US because of their anti-Communist stance.

Thus, we find this “exposé” steeped in the major myths of “Latvian Nazis among us”:

  1. émigré Nazis are a powerful force in their ethnic communities and national politics;
  2. émigré Nazis are more Nazi than the German Nazis, and have been Nazis all along: before, during, and after WWII and the Holocaust;
  3. the United States government actively and knowingly recruited émigré Nazis as front-line soldiers in the Cold War.

Other than the generic tarring of Latvians and all the rest, is there anything more specific that Anderson and Anderson have to offer?

[1]The theme of escape from justice gained momentum in the first major case the U.S. government brought against a Latvian, Vilis Hāzners, and lost spectacularly. Even though witnesses were conclusively proven to have misidentified Hāzners, activists and Ryan himself blamed the loss on prosecutorial incompetence. Hāzners continued to be convicted in the press and Holocaust literature.

Updated: June, 2017

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