How Nazi Germany’s ‘most diabolical’ SS officer escaped post-war justice

One of Nazi Germany’s top Holocaust criminals traded rocket-making secrets for freedom, according to an investigator who researched the post-war traces of SS General Hans Kumler for more than a decade.

During the Third Reich, Kumler oversaw the construction of the concentration camp system, including the assassination facilities at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Later in the war, he took over Germany’s “secret weapons” program, forcing thousands of workers to build and live in underground factories.

“The Holocaust Wouldn’t Have Been as ‘Efficient’ as It Was for Kumler,” said Dean Reuter, author ofThe Hidden Nazi: The Untold Story of America’s Deal with the Devil, “recently published in paperback. “He was integral to the development of mass murder.”

For decades, it was believed that Kamler died by suicide or was killed shortly after liberation in April 1945. However, a Reuters book indicates that the Kumler was “delivered” by rocket scientist Werner von Braun to US officials, who feared that Kamaler’s Secrets – and colleagues – will fall into Russian hands.

“Kamler and the Americans made a deal in which he gave them the Rocket Team and they erased their past,” Reuters told The Times of Israel. “As part of that deal, we covered his death and the world accepted that he died,” said Reuter, whose book was published in hardcover in 2019.

Opening with the hypothesis that Kumler did not commit suicide, but had emigrated to South America, Reuters examined records showing that Kumler had been interrogated by top US investigators in November 1945. Although von Braun had scientific information, Kumler – as von Braun’s direct superior – knew a great deal about hidden personnel, supplies and documents.

SS General Hans Kumler (Public Domain)

,[Kammler’s] The knowledge is probably only second hand, but he knows what areas are covered and where documents, stocks and pilot plants are hidden,” read one British intelligence report good. “Some of these were secret in Russian territory. It would be dangerous for us if he reveals this to the Russians.”

‘He was the most diabolical’

Kamler began his Nazi career modestly, working on construction projects for the Ministry of Hawaii. However, after joining the party in 1931, he was a staunch thinker.

In 1934, Kumler wrote a treatise about Germany’s eastward expansion, where the population would need to be dominated by ethnic German colonists. Kumler, who holds a doctorate in civil engineering, believed that “subjugation” would require the murder of 20-30 million people.

SS General Hans Kamler (second from right) and other SS officers visit Auschwitz (Public Domain)

To help bring about the Holocaust on a larger scale, Kumler shifted from traditional construction projects to implementing the architecture of the genocide. In particular, he oversaw the transition to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp where 1 million Jews were murdered.

While building the Birkenau death camp next to Auschwitz, Kumler—whose signature appears on preserved work orders—demonstrated astonishing efficiency. For example, they decided to convert underground morgues into gas chambers, adding a small cargo lift to carry corpses to the crematorium.

None of the details at Birkenau were too small for Kummer’s input, from the size of the prisoner barracks to the perimeter fence. The SS officer was nicknamed the “cloud of dust” for his frequent visits to the camp and unforgivable speed.

“His work was carried everywhere and replicated throughout the Reich,” said Reuters. “He was the most diabolical.”

‘We could have had a different outcome’

After turning Auschwitz-Birkenau into the Reich’s largest death camp, Kumler partnered with SS chief Heinrich Himmler on the creation of “secret weapons”. Eventually, the so-called “Vengeance-2” (V-2) rocket program became the crown jewel in Kumler’s slave labor empire.

“The V-2 rockets were massively important,” Reuters said.

London, 1944 (Public Domain) after a V-2 rocket attack from Germany

Each 46 feet long, the V-2 rockets built by Kumler’s workers reached 55 miles in the atmosphere of northern France and landed in London with terrifying explosions. At supersonic speeds, rockets churned heavily and could travel up to 300 miles.

Fortunately for the Allies, Germany’s V-2 rockets were not ready for use until October 1944, four months after the D-Day invasion. The Nazi system prioritized several different projects at once, ensuring that only a few of them took off.

“We knew that the Germans were testing these rockets,” Reuters said. “If they had reached the launchpad on time, our results in the battle could have been different.”

‘Someone came and cleaned the files’

as part of “operation paperclip“US officials sought to capture German technical experts for use in the space program. Starting in 1945, an estimated 5,000 German scientists and technicians were brought to America, including “severely tainted men who involved in the Holocaust and the use of slave labor,” included.

Werner von Braun and President John F. Kennedy at the rocket launch (Public Domain)

Despite the “stigma” associated with Nazi scientists, bringing rocket experts such as Werner von Braun to the US was considered important as tensions with the Soviet Union increased. German scientists helped the US build an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and eventually helped Russia land on the Moon.

With his record of building death camps and operating slave labor, Kumler was never a candidate for “rehabilitation” in America. Instead, Reuters believes, Kumler gave the US military what they wanted and the former SS general was allowed to flee Germany. The infamous “Ratline” out of Europe, through which thousands of Nazi war criminals fled to Argentina and other countries.

In addition to the Reuters hypothesis that Kummer fled to South America, “there is also the possibility that he was used as an intelligence asset in Europe, like Klaus Barbie or others that we used and shipped,” Reuters That said, not even Israel’s Mossad or the Simon Wiesenthal Center hunted down Kamler.

In 2012, the US Justice Department responded to Reuters’ request to view records on Cameler by sending the author a set of “highly modified” documents. Seven years later, before “Hidden Nazi” went to press, Reuters made another Freedom of Information Act request and was told the government had no records about Kumler.

“As one archivist told me, it was as if someone came in and cleaned up the files,” Reuters said.