10 Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped Justice Because They Were Useful to the US

Friedrich Hoffman. World War II Database

Dr. Friedrich Hoffman Experimented on Prisoners, and Infected Hundreds of Catholic Priests With Malaria

Doctor Friedrich “Fritz” Hoffman was a German scientist and chemist who worked for the Lufftwaffe’s Technical Research Institute from the 1930s until the end of WW2. As part of his research, he was wont to conduct poisonous chemical experiments on human guinea pigs, selected from concentration camp inmates. He was saved from accountability after the war when he was selected for Operation Paperclip, and sent to the US.

During the war, Hoffman was based in Frankfurt and Berlin, but conducted many of his experiments in the Dachau concentration camp, whose inmates were used as unwilling human subjects for his medical atrocities. A large and gregarious man who spoke English fairly well, Hoffman claimed after the war that he had been opposed to the Nazis, but there is slim evidence to support his self serving claims.

However, Hoffman’s gregariousness, ability to ingratiate himself with the victorious Allies, and willingness to turn on his former colleagues to save himself, served him well. He gave evidence against other scientists and doctors during the Dachau trials after the war. Although he testified about his involvement in the murder of 324 Czechoslovak Catholic priests, who were deliberately infected with malaria to examine its effects, he escaped punishment.

Hoffman ended up in Britain as part of Operation Matchbox, the British counterpart to the American Operation Paperclip, and worked on developing synthetic poison gasses in Porton Down. However, he did not like living in postwar Britain, and did not get along with British researchers. So the British passed him on to the Americans, and in 1947, he was brought to the US as part of Operation Paperclip.

In the US, Hoffman went to work for the US Army in Fort Detrick and the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, center of America’s biological and chemical weapons research. His research included the development of nerve agents such as sarin, and psychoactive agents such as LSD. True to his Nazi experimentation form, Hoffman’s test subjects in the US, mainly enlisted military personnel and federal prison inmates, were not told that they were being given toxins.

In the 1950s, doctor Hoffman worked on developing a variety of chemical agents for the government, such as Agent Blue, Agent White, and Agent Orange. The last was a herbicide used to defoliate vegetation, and its widespread use during the Vietnam War would have adverse health effects on soldiers and civilians alike, from both sides of the conflict.

Starting in 1952, he also began working side gigs for the CIA, commencing with oxygen deprivation experiments similar to ones conducted by the Nazis on concentration camp inmates. He later joined the staff of a CIA front organization named Chemrophyl Associates, and worked on developing the chemicals used in the CIA’s various attempts to assassinate Cuba’s Fiedel Castro. Hoffman finally died in 1967, having gotten away scot free with his medical atrocities.