Dear Mr. Jahn,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Second Release of Name Files Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts and the series Second Release of Subject Files Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts in the Records of the Central Intelligence Agency (Record Group 263) that may be helpful for your research. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online via the Catalog. You may use the “Search within this series” feature in the Catalog entries to search for specific names or keywords in the records. The series First Release of Name Files [...] and the series First Release of Subject Files [...] are also part of Record Group 263, but they have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at email@example.com with any questions you might have about these records.
We also located the series European Name Index to the Series "Case Files, 1944-1949" in the Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) that may be of interest to you if you are looking for information about specific individuals related to the operation. This index has been digitized and can be viewed and searched online in the Catalog. It corresponds to a number of other non-digitized series, including Case Files, 1944-1949. You may contact RDT2 for assistance with these records.
The series Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers Impersonal Files in the Records of the Army Staff (Record Group 319), which is where the file on Operation DWINDLE can be found, also contains 18 files related to the Gehlen Organization that may be useful for your research when the National Archives’ research rooms are open again. The series Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers Personal Files is also part of Record Group 319 and may be of interest. Please contact RDT2 with any questions you might have about these non-digitized records.
We also located the series German Records Relating to Cryptography in the National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242) that may helpful for you in the future. There are 3 series related to German cryptography in the Records of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (Record Group 457), as well. You may contact RDT2 for assistance with these non-digitized records.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Finally, you may also wish to review documents available online via the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Dear Rachael Salyer,
thanks a lot for your reply and the detailed list of NARA-files. The most of the once that are available online I was already ware of. But the Judge files might give me some new hints. The Gehlen files that you listed are to some extend also available online in the CIA reading room. There are a lot of infos inside, also on operations that are not much know till today. But unfortunately - from what I know - there is no trace of operation DWINDLE.
I guess for operation DWINDLE the same counts as as it did a long time for operation PAPERCLIP: by the time it was handled as TOP SECRET, cover names were used (p.e. I know from sources that in Oberursel the US-Army gave fake IDs to people involved in the operation), and so it makes it very difficult to track back informations that can be find in the files to real people.
I will run through the files you listed and keep my fingers crossed, that the NARA will reopen quite soon.
And of course I still hope that someone with ancestors in the US-ARMY Intelligence, OSS, CIA or NSA remembers operation DWINDLE from personal documents or oral memories.