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Many of the victims of Swiatlo's purges were people who had spent the war
years in the West rather than in the Soviet Union and thus had crossed Field's path.
These were people who tended to be more nationalist Communists, who wanted to put
greater distance between their countries and the Soviet Union, as Tito had done in
Yugoslavia, and who favored a more liberal regime at home. Dulles brushed aside the
argument that these were people to be supported, not eliminated. He felt that they were
potentially the more dangerous to the West because if their form of Communism were
allowed to gain a foothold in Eastern Europe then Communism might become
respectable and accepted; particularly with Italy and France threatening to vote
Communists into power, Communism had to be shown at its worst.
There were hundreds of trials all over Eastern Europe”"show trials" and lesser
spectacles”in which the name of Noel Field played an important part. What Operation
Splinter Factor began soon took on a life of its own: following the arrest of a highly-
placed person, others fell under suspicion because they knew him or had been appointed
by him; or any other connection to an arrested person might serve to implicate some
unlucky soul.
Jozef Swiatlo had his counterpart in Czechoslovakia, a man firmly entrenched in
the upper rungs of the Czech security apparatus. The man, whose name is not known,
had been recruited by General Reinhard Gehlen, the former Nazi intelligence chief who
went to work for the CIA after the war.
When, in October 1956, the uprising in Hungary occurred, these men, according
to the CIA, were not used because they were not yet ready.14 But the Agency did send

its agents in Budapest into action to join the rebels and help organize them.15 In the
meantime, RFE was exhorting the Hungarian people to continue their resistance,
offering tactical advice, and implying that American military assistance was on the way.
It never came.
There is no evidence that Operation Splinter Factor contributed to the Hungarian
uprising or to the earlier ones in Poland and East Germany. Nonetheless, the CIA could
point to all the cold-war, anti-Communist propaganda points it had won because of the
witch hunts in the East, the human cost notwithstanding.
Czechoslovakia was the worst case. By 1951 an unbelievable 169,000 card-
carrying members of the Czech Communist Party had been arrested”ten percent of the
entire membership. There were tens of thousands more in Poland, Hungary, East
Germany, and Bulgaria. Hundreds were put to death, others died in prison or went
After Swiatlo defected in December 1953, East European intelligence services
came to realize that he had been working for the other side all along. Four weeks after
Swiatlo held his Washington press conference, the Polish government announced that it
was releasing Hermann Field because investigation had revealed that the charges which
had been brought against him by "an American agent and provocateur", Jozef Swiatlo,
were "baseless".3 Field was later paid $50,000 for his imprisonment as well as having
his convalescence at a sanitorium paid for.4
Three weeks after Hermann Field's release, Noel and Herta Field were freed in
Hungary. The government in Budapest stated that it could not justify the charges against
them.5 They were also compensated and chose to remain in Hungary.
Once Noel Field had been officially declared innocent, the cases of countless
others in East Europe had to be reviewed. First in trickles, then in rushes, the prisoners
were released. By 1956 the vast majority stood outside prison walls.
Throughout the decade following the war, the CIA was fanning the flames of
discontent in Eastern Europe in many ways other than Operation Splinter Factor. Radio
Free Europe (RFE, cf. Soviet Union chapter), broadcasting from West Germany, never
missed a (dirty) trick. In January 1952, for example, after RFE learned that
Czechoslovakia was planning to devalue its currency, it warned the population, thus
stimulating a nation-wide buying panic.6 RFE's commentaries about various European
Communists were described by Blanche Wiesen Cook in her study of the period, The
Declassified Eisenhower. She wrote that the broadcasts:

involved a wide range of personal criticism, tawdry and slanderous attacks
ranging from rumors of brutality and torture, to corruption, and to madness,
perversion, and vice. Everything was used that could be imagined in order to
make communists, whether in England or in Poland, look silly, undignified, and

One of the voices heard frequently over RFE on the subject of Communist
obnoxious-ness was none other than Jozef Swiatlo, who had earned the nickname of
"Butcher" for his proclivity to torture. Needless to say, the born-again humanitarian
made no mention of Splinter Factor or his double role, although some of his broadcasts
reportedly shook up the Polish security system for the better.8
Any way the US could stir up trouble and nuisance ... supporting opposition
groups in Rumania9 ... setting up an underground radio station in Bulgaria10 ... dropping
propaganda from balloons over Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland (on one day in
August 1951 alone, 11,000 balloons carrying 13 million leaflets)11 ... dropping people as

well: four American airmen, presumably intelligence operatives, landing in Hungary12
In 1955, Eastern Europeans could be found at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
training with the Green Berets, learning guerrilla warfare tactics, hopefully to be used in
their native lands.13
By the following year, hundreds of Hungarians, Rumanians, Poles and others
were being trained by CIA paramilitary specialists at a secret installation in West

8. Germany 1950s
Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism

Within a period of 30 years and two world wars with Germany, the Soviet Union
suffered more than 40 million dead and wounded, enormous devastation to its land, and
its cities razed to the ground. At the close of the Second World War, the Russians were
not kindly disposed toward the German people. With their own country to rebuild, they
placed the reconstruction of Germany far down on their list of priorities.
The United States emerged from the war with relatively minor casualties and its
territory completely unscathed. It was ready, willing and able to devote itself to its main
priority in Europe: the building of an anti-Communist bulwark in the West, particularly
in the strategic location of Germany.
In 1945, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson has written, official American
policy was explicitly "to bring home to the Germans that they could not escape the
suffering they had brought upon themselves ... [and] to control [the] German economy
to ... prevent any higher standard of living than in neighboring nations."1
"From the outset," Acheson added, US officials in Germany believed this plan
"to be unworkable".2
Acheson did not explain what lay behind this prognosis, but its correctness soon
became apparent for three distinct reasons: (1) influential American business and
financial leaders, some of them occupying important government positions, had too
great a stake in a highly-industrialized Germany (usually dating back to before the war)
to allow the country to sink to the depths that some American policy-makers advocated
as punishment; (2) a revitalized West Germany was seen as an indispensable means of
combatting Soviet influence in the Eastern sector of the country, if not in all of Eastern
Europe. West Germany was to become "the showcase of Western democracy"”
dramatic, living proof of the superiority of capitalism over socialism; (3) in American
conservative circles, and some liberal ones as well, wherein a Soviet invasion of
Western Europe remained perpetually imminent, the idea of tying West Germany's
industrial hands was one which came perilously close to being "soft on communism", if
not worse.3
Dwight Eisenhower echoed this last sentiment when he later wrote:

Had certain officials in the Roosevelt administration had their way, Germany
would have been far worse off, for there were those who advocated the flooding
of the Ruhr mines, the wrecking of German factories, and the reducing of
Germany from an industrial to an agricultural nation. Among others, Harry Dexter
White, later named by Attorney General Brownell as one who had been heavily

involved in a Soviet espionage ring operating within our government... proposed
exactly that.4

Thus it was that the de-industrialization of West Germany met the same fate as
the demilitarization of the country would in the coming years, as the United States
poured in massive economic assistance: $4 billion of Marshall Plan aid and an army of
industrial and technical experts.
At the same time, the Soviet Union was pouring massive economic assistance
out of East Germany. The Soviets dismantled and moved back home entire factories
with large amounts of equipment and machinery, and thousands of miles of railroad
track. When added to war reparations, the toll reached into the billions of dollars.
By the early 1950s, though social services, employment, and cultural life in East
Germany were on a par or superior to that in West Germany, the Western sector had the
edge in those areas of prosperity with the most sex appeal: salaries were higher, the
eating was better, consumer goods more available, and the neon lights emblazoned the
nights along the Kurfürstendamm.
American cold warriors, however, as if discontent with the game score or with
leaving so much to chance, instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion
against East Germany designed to throw the economic and administrative machinery
out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services in West Germany
(with occasional help from the likes of British, intelligence and the West German
police) recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals
of West and East. Finding recruits for such a crusade was not difficult, for in post-war
Germany, anti-communism lived on as the only respectable vestige of Naziism.
The most active of these groups, which went by the name of Fighting Group
Against Inhumanity, admitted that it had received financial support from the Ford
Foundation and the West Berlin government.5 Subsequently, an East Berlin news
magazine published a copy of a letter from the Ford Foundation confirming a grant of
$150,000 to the National Committee for a Free Europe "so that it, in turn, could support
the humanitarian activities of 'The Fighting Group Against Inhumanity'."6 The National!
Committee for a Free Europe, in turn, was a CIA front organization which also ran
Radio Free Europe.7
The Association of Political Refugees from the East, and the Investigating
Committee of Freedom-minded Jurists of the Soviet Zone, were two of the other groups
involved in the campaign against East Germany. The actions carried out by these
operatives ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything "to make
the commies look bad". It added up to the following remarkable record:8
• through explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods they damaged power stations,
shipyards, a dam, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, shops, a radio station, outdoor stands,
public transportation;
• derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and
destroyed air pressure hoses of others;
• blew up road and railway bridges; placed explosives on a railway bridge of the Berlin-Moscow
line but these were discovered in time”hundreds would have been killed;
• used special acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory,
bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories;
stole blueprints and samples of new technical developments;
• killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy by poisoning the wax coating of the wire used to bale
the cows' corn fodder;
• added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools;
• raided and wrecked left-wing offices in East and West Berlin, stole membership lists; assaulted
and kidnapped leftists and, on occasion, murdered them;
• set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings;

• floated balloons which burst in the air, scattering thousands of propaganda pamphlets down
upon East Germans;
• were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it
was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans;
• attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations,
false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations; carried out attacks on participants
with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; set fire to a wooden bridge on a main
motorway leading to the festival;
• forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards”for example, for 60,000 pounds of
meat”to cause confusion, shortages and resentment;
• sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster
disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions;
• "gave considerable aid and comfort" to East Germans who staged an uprising on 17 June 1953;
during and after the uprising, the US radio station in West Berlin, RIAS (Radio In the American Sector),
issued inflammatory broadcasts into East Germany appealing to the populace to resist the government;
RIAS also broadcast warnings to witnesses in at least one East German criminal case being monitored by
the Investigating Committee of Freedom-minded Jurists of the Soviet Zone that they would be added to
the committee's files of "accused persons" if they lied.

Although many hundreds of the American agents were caught and tried by East
Germany, the ease with which they could pass back and forth between the two sectors
and infiltrate different enterprises without any language barrier provided opportunities
for the CIA unmatched anywhere else in Eastern Europe.
Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly
lodged complaints with the Soviets' erstwhile allies in the West and with the United
Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the
offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided
names and addresses. Inevitably the East Germans began to tighten up entry into the
country from the West.
The West also bedeviled the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East
German professionals and skilled workers. Eventually, this led to a severe labor and
production crisis in the East, and in August 1961, to the building of the infamous Berlin

While staging their commando attacks upon East Germany, American
authorities and their German agents were apparently convinced that the Soviet Union
had belligerent designs upon West Germany; perhaps a textbook case of projection. On
8 October 1952, the Minister-President of the West German state of Hesse, Georg
August Zinn, disclosed that the United States had created a secret civilian army in his
state for the purpose of resisting a Russian invasion.
This force of between 1,000 and 2,000 men belonged to the so-called "Technical
Service" of the German Youth Federation, the latter characterized by the New York
Times as "a Right-wing youth group frequently charged with extremist activities" (a
reference to the terrorist tactics described above). The stalwarts of the Technical Service
were hardly youths, however, for almost all appeared to be between 35 and 50 and most,
said Zinn, were "former officers of the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht and the S.S. [Hitler's
For more than a year they had received American training in infantry weapons
and explosives and "political instruction" in small groups at a secluded site in the
countryside and at a US military installation.
The intelligence wing of the Technical Service, the state president revealed, had
drawn up lists and card indexes of persons who were to be "put out of the way" when
the Soviet tanks began to roll. These records, which contained detailed descriptions and

intimate biographical information, were of some 200 leading Social Democrats
(including Zinn himself!, 15 Communists, and various others, all of whom were deemed
"politically untrustworthy" and opponents of West German militarization. Apparently,
support for peaceful coexistence and detente with the Soviet bloc was sufficient to
qualify one for inclusion on the hit-list, for one man was killed at the training site,
charged with being an "East-West bridge builder". It was this murder that led to the
exposure of the entire operation.
The United States admitted its role in the creation and training of the guerrilla
army, but denied any involvement in the "illegal, internal, and political activities" of the
organization. But Zinn reported that the Americans had learned of the plotting in May
and had not actually dissolved the group until September, the same month that German
Security Police arrested a number of the group's leaders. At some point, the American
who directed the training courses. Sterling Garwood, had been "supplied with carbon
copies of the card-index entries". It appears that at no time did US authorities
communicate anything of this matter to the West German Government.
As the affair turned out, those who had been attested were quickly released and
the United States thwarted any further investigation in this the American Zone of
occupied Germany. Commented Herr Zinn: "The only legal explanation for these
releases can be that the people in Karlsruhe [the Federal Court] declared that they acted
upon American direction."9
To add to the furor, the national leader of the Social Democrats accused the
United States of financing an opposition group to infiltrate and undermine his party.
Erich Ollenhauer, whose name had also appeared on the Technical Service's list,


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