This work links the western Allies’ policy of denazification in occupied Germany to efforts to repatriate German intelligence agents and Nazi Party officials – so-called ‘obnoxious’ Germans – from the neutral states of Europe after the Second World War. Once on German soil, these individuals would be subject to internment and investigation as outlined in occupation policy. Using the situation in Franco's Spain as a case study, the article argues that new ideas of neutrality following the war and a strong commitment to the concept of denazification led to the creation of the repatriation policy, especially within the United States. Repatriation was also a way to measure the extent to which Franco's Spain accepted the Allied victory and the defeat of Nazism and fascism. The US perception was that the continued presence of individual Nazis meant the continued influence of Nazism itself. Spain responded half-heartedly, at best. Despite the fact that in terms of numbers repatriated the policy was a failure, the Spanish example demonstrates that the attempted repatriation of ‘obnoxious’ Germans from neutral Europe, although overlooked, was significant not only as part of the immediate post-war settlement but also in its bearing on US ideas about Nazism, security and perceived collaboration of neutral states like Spain.
Contemporary European History
Messenger, David A. (2011). "Beyond War Crimes: Denazification, ‘Obnoxious’ Germans and US Policy in Franco's Spain after the Second World War." Contemporary European History 20.4, 455-478.