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Otto Skorzeny: The Devil’s Disciple w/ Stuart Smith – Source – Parallax Views

On this edition of Parallax Views, Stuart Smith, author of Otto Skorzeny: The Devil’s Disciple, joins the program to discuss the life, myths, and controversies of Nazi SS commando Otto Skorzeny. Skorzeny is perhaps best known for his involvement in a 1943 rescue mission operation to save Benito Mussolini in what has become known as the Gran Sasso raid. In this conversation we discuss:

– The Luftwaffe and the controversies around the credit Skorzeny gets for the Gran Sasso raid

– The connection between Otto Skorzeny and Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 novel Moonraker

– Skorzeny, Operation Greif, and the Battle of the Bulge; efforts of the Axis forces to deceptively dress as Allied soldiers to cause havoc during the Battle of the Bulge

– The myth-making of Otto Skorzeny and the media; discussing how Skorzeny’s superficial qualities, such as the distinctive scar that got him nicknamed “Scarface”, and his self-aggrandizing memoirs (My Commando Operations: The Memoirs of Hitler’s Most Dangerous Commando) made him appealing to media

– The trial of Otto Skorzeny in 1948 and how he skirted justice

– The Operation Long Jump assassinations plot; Operation Knight’s Move (the airborne raid against Yugoslavia’s Marshal Tito); War crimes and the death squad-style Operation Peter aimed at taking out the resistance in Denmark

– Otto Skorzeny and post-war intelligence; the CIA; Reinhard Gehlen and the Gehlen Organization; the Mossad; Skorzeny’s brother Alfred and the Soviet Union; French intelligence; was Skorzeny a post-war spy?; surveillance of Skorzeny after WWII

– Skorzeny’s lack of organizational skill and his penchant for having big ideas that weren’t focused on the fine details

– The question of the post-war fascist international, Nazi ratlines in South America, and Skorzeny’s involvement in those matters; Die Spinne (The Spider) and Skorzeny in Latin America

– Otto Skorzeny’s wealth in his final years and his involvement in private mercenary contracting (the Paladin Group) and arms dealing

– Skorzeny and antisemitism

– Skorzeny’s attempts to paint himself as merely patriotic German  rather than a killer

– Otto Skorzeny in Egypt; Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser