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His guidebook was 'ubiquitous in Nazi Germany's courtrooms'

Report: Official at heart of Nazis’ racial laws worked to help Israel go nuclear

Hans Globke, who wrote notorious guidebook on anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws, later helped prepare secret $5.5b loan for development of Dimona reactor, Times of London reveals

A portrait of Hans Globke, the under-secretary of state and chief of staff of the West German Chancellery, from 1953 to 1963. (CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)
A portrait of Hans Globke, the under-secretary of state and chief of staff of the West German Chancellery, from 1953 to 1963. (CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

An official who helped the Nazi regime frame the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws reinvented himself after World War II “as a spymaster, diplomat and kingmaker” and “played a key role” in the development of Israel’s nuclear program, according to a British newspaper report.

Hans Globke was a senior civil servant in the Nazi-era interior ministry and was centrally involved in the interpretation and implementation of the Nuremberg race laws, as well as contributing to the “Jewish code” that was enforced in Slovakia, the Times of London said.

When Hitler seized power, Globke “took responsibility for ‘questions of citizenship and race,'” and won praise from his bosses for his “positive attitude” to Nazism, the Times of London reported. “In 1936, he wrote an infamous legal commentary on the Nuremberg race laws,” and his guidebook “became ubiquitous in Nazi Germany’s courtrooms,” offering “many harsh interpretations of the rules.”

He stipulated, for example, that “sex between Aryans and non-Aryans was a crime even if it took place outside Germany.” He also introduced the statute that “forced Jews to take the middle name Israel, if they were men, or Sara, if they were women, so that they would be easier to identify.”

In 1941, according to the Times, he was involved in drafting “an ordinance that stripped Jews in the conquered nations of their statehood and allowed their possessions to be confiscated, regarded as one of the most important legal bases of the Holocaust.”

When World War II began, he traveled through Nazi-occupied territories, “from France to Czechoslovakia, issuing further rulings on how to distinguish between Aryans and ‘lesser’ races.”

In 1941, according to the Times, he was involved in drafting “an ordinance that stripped Jews in the conquered nations of their statehood and allowed their possessions to be confiscated, regarded as one of the most important legal bases of the Holocaust.”

Globke and the extermination of the Jews: A book published in East Germany in 1960 (Amazon)

Yet, the Times noted, Globke managed to reinvent himself after the war, to the point where he “had a distinguished cast of anti-Nazis lining up to testify under oath that he had been an instrumental figure in the resistance against Hitler.”

In its story published earlier this month, the Times said documents it had discovered also show Globke had connections to the formation of Israel’s nuclear program and to the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust.

After World War II ended, Globke was seen by the West as more of a functionary in the Nazi government than a true loyalist or Nazi ideologue, the Times noted. He even appeared as a witness at the post-war Nuremberg trials.

Globke went on to serve as chief of staff and a trusted confidant to former conservative West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, between 1953 and 1963, and was responsible for recruitment to the heart of the West German government.

His continued service in the West German government led him, in turn, to a well-connected position within the intelligence community.

This position and his connections were used to ensure Globke’s name did not come up in the 1961-1962 trial of Eichmann in Israel, and, with help from the CIA, to ensure his name was also kept out of documents related to the trial. “The Germans persuaded the White House to get the CIA to expunge all mention of Globke from a serialization of Eichmann’s memoirs in an American magazine,” The Times reported. More than that, Eichmann’s lawyer, Robert Servatius, who was also “a West German intelligence asset, cut Globke’s name and others out of his client’s final speech to the court.”

Months before the Eichmann trial, the Times reported, Globke had assisted Adenauer in beginning work on a secret deal to lend Israel today’s equivalent of £4 billion (about $5.5 billion) for a “development project” in the Negev desert.

View of the nuclear reactor in Dimona, southern Israel, in 2016. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Documents released to Gaby Weber, a German journalist, show that this money was intended for use in the Dimona nuclear research facility and reactor. Foreign news reports have said the facility is used to make nuclear weapons.

The Times report said a memorandum from the German foreign ministry at the time describes a meeting between German defense minister Franz-Josef Strauss and then-prime minister David Ben Gurion: “Ben Gurion addressed the production of atomic weapons. In the conversation, Ben Gurion explained that the chancellor had promised him Germany would take part in the development of the Negev desert.”

The report said the Germans appeared to have suspended the nuclear-related negotiations during the Eichmann trial. “In no event can we make any undertakings before the conclusion of the Eichmann trial,” a German foreign ministry document said.

The Times report did not say whether the talks were renewed after the trial, and nor did it specify whether the $5.5 billion loan money ended up being sent, though it said Globke “played a key role in Israel’s development of nuclear weapons.”

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