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Berlin to investigate Nazi influence on post-war government

Germany has said it will launch a probe into possible Nazi pressure on its post-war central government, including the Chancellery. The investigation will cost Berlin 4 million euros and will complement ongoing inquiries.

The investigation will run until 2020 and will complement 20 inquiries that have already been made at numerous ministries and institutions to determine the reach of alleged Nazi networks following World War II. 

Of the 4 million euros allocated to the investigation, 1 million will be reserved for uncovering the Nazi influence on the office of the German chancellor.

The German government's post-war recruitment policies and "the mentality of the political culture" will also be examined, the culture ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The probe will look into the role that Hans Globke played as chief of staff for former West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer between 1953 and 1963. According to Germany's "Der Spiegel" newspaper, Globke, a trusted confidant to Adenauer, was responsible for recruitments during that time.

Globke also served as a senior civil servant in the Nazi-era interior ministry and was involved in the preparation of the Nuremberg race laws and the "Jewish code" that was enforced in Slovakia under the Nazis.

According to a German government report, around 77 percent of the officials in the justice ministry in 1957 had been members of the Nazi Party. The most controversial of them was former Nazi magistrate Eduard Dreher, who in 1968 drafted a law that made the work of Nazi hunters difficult and ended almost all inquiries into Third Reich figures.

shs/jlw (AFP)