The OSS and Project SAFEHAVEN
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE
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By the fall of 1944, it was obvious that the war in Europe was in its final year. In France, British and American forces had broken out of Normandy and were driving toward Paris and the Rhein. In the East, the Soviet Army was expanding its control westward across Europe. All over the Continent, Allied domination of the air was complete, and in the North Atlantic the back of the German U-Bootwaffe was finally broken. Policymakers had started to think of the peace. Future stability seemed to depend on taking measures to ensure that Germany would not provoke a third world war. Already the German problem was dominating Allied political thinking. In the United States, the War Department and the Department of Justice were making plans and drawing up lists for the postwar war crimes trials. At the Department of the Treasury, Secretary Henry Morgenthau had completed his scheme for the wholesale destruction of Germanys military and industrial power and its re-creation as a feudal, agrarian state. More immediately, in the wartime For Economic Administration FEA, a small group of policymakers were putting the finishing touches on Project SAFEHAVEN, an operation designed to root out and neutralize German industrial and commercial power wherever it might be found. The origins of SAFEHAVEN are to be found in two memorandums sent from the FEA to the Departments of State and Treasury on 5 and 17 May 1944, proposing an interagency program to track down and block German assets in neutral and nonbelligerent countries throughout Europe and the Americas. The fear was that the German political and economic leadership, sensing defeat, would act to transfer secretly blocs of industrial and fiscal capital to neutral countries, thereby escaping confiscation and the reparations bill.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Intelligence
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics