29 September 2011 | robert-temple-1
A true scandal exposed
This important TV movie has never been issued on DVD, but only as a 1980s video, so that it is very difficult to obtain. It may be the only accurate portrayal of one of the shadier aspects of American post-war foreign policy ever filmed. It is based upon the 1982 book by John Loftus, THE BELARUS SECRET, which is a historical work, not a novel as stated by IMDb. The film was made as a stand-alone TV movie spin-off of the famous KOJAK detective series, starring Telly Savalas. This film tackles a profoundly controversial and disturbing subject, namely the protection of Nazi war criminals by the security establishment of the United States Government. As Savalas and Suzanne Pleshette, the female star of the film, both say, it is a total disgrace and insult to what America is supposed to stand for. The reason why the title refers to the country of Belarus is that it concerns SS officers from there who have made their way under American official protection to new lives under false identities in the USA. Belarus at the time this film was made was part of the Soviet Union. Today it is an independent, but far from free, country, headed by the man widely called in the press today 'the last dictator in Europe'. Belarus in an earlier age was known as Byelorussia, and also as 'White Russia'. During the War it was under German occupation, and many locals enthusiastically did the Nazis' dirty work for them, just as the Vichy French did, only more so. So keen were the Belarusians to aid the Nazis that some of them were initiated into the SS and carried out their murderous duties as SS officers. Hundreds of thousands of people died at their hands. After the War, many of these horrible mass-murderers were brought to America secretly and evaded trial. Thousands of SS officers came to America after the War, some as part of Operation Paperclip, and others under various other programmes, many of them given protection by those great Nazi-lovers, the Dulles Brothers, who were the American lawyers for the Gestapo's front organisation in America in the 1930s. Interesting, isn't it, that two men whose salaries came indirectly from the Gestapo before the War ended up respectively as American Secretary of State and Director of the CIA? What does that tell you? And everybody thought Germany lost the War! The Belarus part of this disgraceful story has been extensively exposed, and the book by Loftus has been reissued in recent years, giving all the gory details. It is readily available as a paperback and is based upon contemporary documents and is full of proof, not merely assertions. In this film, Max von Sydow plays a former inmate who suffered under the Belarus SS and is trying to expose them and bring them to justice. Savalas, as Detective Lieutenant Kojak of the New York Police Department, becomes involved as the investigator of the murders of various strange elderly men living under false names, one with a false grave, whose files are all kept under wraps at the State Department in Washington, and who he discovers all came from Belarus. This is not just a film, it is an education.