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Himmler's daughter worked for post-war German spy agency

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image captionGudrun Burwitz pictured with her father Himmler - who led the SS

The daughter of top Nazi Heinrich Himmler was hired by West Germany's foreign intelligence agency (BND) in the 1960s, officials have confirmed.

The revelation about Gudrun Burwitz was first reported in the German newspaper Bild following her death aged 88.

Her father was in Hitler's inner circle and is viewed as the chief architect of the Holocaust. He killed himself in custody in 1945.

Burwitz never disavowed Nazism and defended her father's reputation.

She was a teenager when the war ended and was released in 1946 after testifying at the Nuremberg trials.

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German Tabloid Bild reported on her post-war involvement with the BND on Friday, following her death in Munich last month.

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image captionGudrun Burwitz continued to attend neo-Nazi events throughout her life, and died in May

The head of the spy agency's history department then corroborated the newspaper report about Burwitz's activities in West Germany, which reunited with communist East Germany in 1990 to form the present German state.

"The BND confirms that Ms Burwitz was a member of the BND for a few years until 1963 under an assumed name," Bodo Hechelhammer said.

"The timing of her departure coincided with the onset of a change in the understanding and the handling of employees who were involved with the Nazis."

She worked as a secretary at BND headquarters in Pullach, near Munich, from 1961 to 1963.

At that time the organisation was under the control of Reinhard Gehlen, a former Nazi military intelligence commander who left the BND in 1968.

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image captionHimmer (left) pictured inspecting SS Guards with Adolf Hitler

Mr Hechelhammer said the organisation did not ordinarily discuss current and former employees but was making an exemption because Burwitz had died.

German organisations such as the BND have grappled with how to address their own Nazi links in the post-war era.

Burwitz remained prominent in far-right politics throughout her life. She was reported to be a prominent member of Stille Hilfe (Silent Help), a secretive group known to provide legal and financial support to former SS members.

She was also known to attend other neo-Nazi events and rallies before her death.

Heinrich Himmler was in Adolf Hitler's elite circle. He commanded the SS (Schutzstaffel) - the organisation which played a major role in murdering millions of Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners-of-war, Roma and others categorised as "racially inferior" during the Holocaust.

After being taken into British custody in 1945 he killed himself, evading trial for war crimes.

Related Topics

  • Germany
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Neo-Nazism