The German equivalent of the FBI has acknowledged what everyone already knew: It was founded by Nazis. The agency is inviting historians to explore those dark roots, making it the first German security organization to do so, Der Spiegel reports. Owning up to the past is the only way to “live democracy with conviction each day,” says the organization's head.
After the Third Reich’s fall, West Germany had few experienced security personnel untainted by the Nazi machine, so intelligence agencies recruited heavily from the likes of the SS and Gestapo. Most of those operatives remained in the ranks for decades, and an ongoing series of conferences is allowing an unprecedented look at their legacy.