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No; I couldn't look into it because, as you know, I am limited. I am retired. I would like to look into a number of these things, but Wiesenthal came up with it. It was in the press.
Mr. EILBERG. Do you have any idea who may have contributed to that fund?
Mr. DEVITO. I think a lot of rightists and Nazi minded individuals are contributing to that fund.
Mr. EILBERG. But you have no specific information as to names? Mr. DEVITO. No; I have no specific, no. As a matter of fact, other than what Wiesenthal announced in the press, I have no specific information.
Mr. EILBERG. I will ask one more question and then yield to Ms. Holtzman at that point.
You charge instances of missing files as you have said, with respect to the case of INS Newark district office. Was an investigation into their disappearance conducted, and, if so, what were the results?
Mr. DEVITO. When you say disappearance, when I left the Immigration scene and retired, thereafter I don't know what happened. I merely can tell you that when I called for the Nazi case in Jersey, the data that was provided me by the social security investigator was missing from the file; namely, the Berlin Document Center check that he wisely undertook on his own. That was gone.
Also, I felt as if other documentation was likewise missing because he handed me a lot of documents, and when I recalled the file the second time it just didn't seem right. Something was definitely wrong.
Also, I wrote a two-page memo when the social security investigator come up to me in New York during the Ryan case, two pages, and I noticed that page 2 was there, but page 1 was missing. The person who brought that to my attention was a GAO representative himself.
Mr. EILBERG. Was there an investigation into this matter?
Mr. DEVITO. Well, you are asking me something when I was not on the job. In my opinion, there was no real investigation at that time. As you know, GAO covered that and brought it out as well. There was no investigation.
Mr. EILBERG. Ms. Holtzman?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You identified at the outset of your testimony a Chief of Investigation. Let me rephrase that. You identified an Immigration officer as having ordered a halt in the investigation of a case of someone, I believe, who lived in Mineola.
What is the name of that Immigration official?
Mr. DEVITO. Wilbur Flagg.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. What was his title?
Mr. DEVITO. He was in the investigation section under Burrows. Ms. HOLTZMAN. And how do you know that he ordered a halt? Mr. DEVITO. Sid Fass told me, the investigator assigned to the case originally back in 1965 told me that. He came to me in an apologizing tone and said, "Gee, Tony, I was told to close it. Bill Flagg called up and told me to close it, and I closed it." Ms. HOLTZMAN. Was any reason given?
Mr. DEVITO. NO.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you tell this to the GAO?
Mr. DEVITO. GAO didn't ask me. They didn't appear to be interested in any good, solid evidence, guidance, information; they were interested in Blum's books, as you know, to make a determination as to the validity of the statements contained in Blum's book, as we found out a few days later after the interview.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Did you tell GAO about the reassembling of the file in this case when you retrieved it from Detroit?
Mr. DEVITO. I may have. As a matter of fact, in my answer to, for refusing to sign the memorandum that they gave me, I set out a case-by-case history of the Nazi case that we are talking about, told them where to start, what happened, who can verify it. I think I gave them the full picture on that case, and I urged that they start their probe with that matter. Incidentally, all members, I furnished Chairman Eilberg with a copy of my objective, frank and objective analysis of that report, and each and every committee member is welcome to have a copy.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Now, perhaps I missed your testimony, but what was taken from the file cabinet when it was broken into in the case you mentioned?
Mr. DEVITO. Statements of foreign witnesses, statements of witnesses, survivors. You see, the case was blocked at that point because the defense counsel had presented his case, and he was ready to move for a decision, namely, he wanted a waiver and he wanted a suspension of deportation in the case.
We were rather stuck in getting witnesses, and we did, that is, thanks to help we got from the outside, not inside Immigration, outside people who deserve credit, who guided a number of witnesses to us, survivors, and it was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising group that came forward with a number of witnesses, and I estimate, as I said before, to the best of my knowledge, that roughly about 12 survivor summaries, and the trial attorney wanted those summaries too, so that we can carry on the deportation case and, as I told you, I left one evening and came back the next morning and a batch of summaries were missing, roughly about seven. Ms. HOLTZMAN. Without naming the person you think is responsible, do you have any explanation for why the files were missing or taken?
Mr. DEVITO. You mean those summaries?
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Yes.
Mr. DEVITO. Precisely, yes. I think a fix was in the case. I think the defense counsel had gotten together with central office personnel and told an agreement had been reached whereby he was to go ahead and consent to denaturalization since you can't buck Morse in Brooklyn. Go ahead and consent to denaturalization. We will go through a superficial deportation hearing, your client will be granted a waiver, deportation will be suspended and she will be able to regain her citizenship several years later.
That is what I think.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Who was head of the New York office at the time that you were concerned about that?
Mr. DEVITO. Sol Marks, at that time, and perhaps the committee would like to be apprised about the Lennon case, the John Lennon
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case, where Immigration tried to shaft John Lennon and his wife, and all efforts and energies were directed toward that case.
If we had got a fraction of that cooperation from Immigration superiors in the Nazi female's case, why it would have simplified our task much greater. And, incidentally, as a result of the deposition stage in the lawsuit filed by the Lennons, I presented the committee with a copy whereby Sol Marks admitted he lied to the press in the Lennon case.
Ms. HOLTZMAN. Now, with regard to the witnesses who were threatened in the trial that you talked about, and the fact that your wife received telephone calls, what efforts did you make with respect to obtaining protection for the witness and what was the response?
Mr. DEVITO. There was only one thing I could do; that is an FBI matter. I reported it immediately to the FBI through Sol Marks, and I waited for an investigation to get underway. I found out that an investigation did get off the ground. Two witnesses were interviewed, one who received mail as well and then after that, as I said, it died out. The agent retired and nothing else was heard of it. In the meantime I had alerted another witness and my wife, told them chances are the FBI is going to talk to you. Try to remember what happened precisely. FBI never showed up. They finished that investigation and I thought when I got called down to the FBI office concerning Deputy Attorney General Snead's investigation, I offered to bring my wife and the other witness. He wasn't interested. Some other time. To this date they have not been intereviewed. Ms. HOLTZMAN. Mr. Chairman, I don't have any further questions of the witness. I just want to state that he has done a very important service in his concern for these cases, and I want to commend him for his concern and his interest.
Mr. EILBERG. Thank you.
Mr. DeVito, we have some more questions for you, but I would reiterate that we are anxious for you, to meet, when you can and when it's convenient, with the subcommittee staff to fill in some of the blanks, particularly those that cannot be testified to according to rules of the House.
Mr. DeVito, with regard to another case I note that no record was kept of the testimony given by another individual during his naturalization proceeding in Detroit. You attribute this omission to the decision of a Detroit district INS examiner not to keep a record. Based on your experience, is it normal procedure within the INS or that particular district office not to keep a record of testimony received in naturalization proceedings?
Mr. DEVITO. It is commonsense and logic to keep records of all testimony in a denaturalization proceeding. The fact you point out one case of missing documentation, as time went on we found out that that was a common ailment with Immigration files throughout the years.
Mr. EILBERG. What do you think prompted the decision on the part of the INS examiner in that case not to keep a record? Mr. DEVITO. I find it unusual and unacceptable, contrary to policy and good judgment.
Mr. EILBERG. You have made charges of an alliance involving certain alleged Nazi war criminal and the FBI and CIA in aid of
those agencies post-war anti-Communist efforts. Could you please elaborate on these alliances, including any facts you have to substantiate them?
Mr. DEVITO. Yes; it was not my job throughout the year to accumulate facts, but certain things came to my attention.
Now, I am going to violate a committee policy and I am going to mention the name of Gen. Reinhardt Gehlen. He was an intelligence officer on the Eastland front for the German Army.
Mr. EILBERG. Where is he now?
Mr. DEVITO. He is in Munich. He has one foot in the grave and one foot above it. He is in Germany.
Now, in 1945 the Russians were out for Gehlen because of some of the atrocities that he ordered in Russia and some of his tactics contrary to the rules of warfare.
Well, Gehlen, in short, made his way to the American Zone with his records on Russia and sold the Americans a bill of goods. The Americans, contrary to General Storng who was the head of Eisenhower's G-2 intelligence, contrary to the English advice, contrary to the French advice, the Americans embraced Gehlen. He was brought to the United States where he stayed for a year and was interrogated supposedly on Russian matters.
Mr. EILBERG. Interrogated by what agency?
Mr. DEVITO. I don't think the CIA was set up then. I think it was the OSS or perhaps a group of illegal, an illegal group who took it upon themselves or patriots or call them what you may. I could mention some names. They are dead, by the way. Allen Dulles was one of them.
Now, they kept Gehlen here for a year and the Russians, right after the War ended, pointed to certain agreements between the allies for Gehlen. We lied to the Russians. We told them we don't know where he is. All of the time he was in Washington.
Now, what eventually happened, incidentally, some of these butchers we brought over here, especially Ribbentrop's deputy, how great were these people? These were people on the losing side. If they were so brilliant how come they lost the War, especially in the East? We didn't need these people. We could have gotten to the moon without them, and this country would be better off without them.
In any event, Gehlen was here for a year and then was sent back. The CIA set him up in business which, in reality, was nothing but an extension of CIA operations. What I am giving you appeared in a number of books, by the way, respectable authors, and the CIA and Gehlen worked near Munich for a number of years thereafter.
As time went on, Gehlen kept sending men in the Ukraine, in Russia and they kept getting slaughtered. So, his contribution to the intelligence picture is, indeed, in doubt. But what really came about during Gehlen's administration was it turned out to be nothing other than a conduit for Nazi war criminals on the run. This was one of the purposes of the thing. It got so thick and heavy at one time that the German newspapers were making jokes out of it, also comic strips. The allies were looking for war criminals, when they were being provided cover in Gehlen's receiving organization, protection documentation, money, and comfort.
Mr. EILBERG. With respect to the Detroit case, you stated your initial review of the file revealed an optimistic attitude about a case on the part of the INS investigators assigned to it, but despite the promising leads uncovered the investigation was terminated at the direction of the Assistant Commissioner for Investigations in Washington.
Can you elaborate on these discoveries?
Mr. DEVITO. Surely. What happened in Detroit, you see here is another reason why the Immigration echo, and also echoed by GAO won't work. While that file was buried in Detroit, the New York FBI conducted an investigation of their own during the 1967-68 ERA. In connection with that investigation they had occasion to review the Immigration file which was then located in Detroit.
They requested the Detroit FBI office to conduct what is known as an auxiliary. That FBI official in Detroit went to the Detroit Immigration office and reviewed the file and indicated that in his report, specifically that the subject's file was reviewed at the Detroit INS office. He set forth a lot of good data, really good data, heavy data, that was certainly worthy of exhausting.
For instance, there was a film, a very damaging film on this individual, I read. Also other names of people that apparently had made distance from the man. That is what I mean by leads. Leads, good FBI leads from within the Latvia emigree group. And also that film that was circulating amongst them.
Mr. EILBERG. You don't know how the circumstances of the disappearance of that film came about?
Mr. DEVITO. You mean how it got from New York to Detroit? I don't know. There was no record of it at the New York office. And there should have been because it was a secret file.
Mr. EILBERG. And there was no investigation made into that matter?
Mr. DEVITO. No, not to my knowledge, no investigation was ever made.
Mr. EILBERG. Although this question is not directly in point with the specific nature of this hearing, I would like to inquire as to the current attitude of the West German Government on prosecuting Nazi war criminals. We had some testimony yesterday on this
In an article you wrote for the Baltimore Sun last year you stated that the West German Government had shown "little interest" in extraditing Nazi war criminals and that "prospects for more zealous execution of their laws are dim." Would you please elaborate on those statements, and do you feel there is any interest today on the part of the West German Government in prosecuting these individuals, particularly in view of the fact that the Ryan case has dragged on for so long?
Mr. DEVITO. The West German judicial system, when it came to Nazi war criminals, has been a joke. It has been the subject of conversations and ridicule throughout the years.
People who will support that feeling are Wiesenthal, who has been criticizing them and head of the International Survivors groups. There have been other journalists. Also, if you look at the record, likewise verifies it. And let's face it, gentlemen, the feeling