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Historical Review

Collage Historical discussion

When dealing with its own historical development, the transparent discussion of the origin and early history of the Bundesnachrichtendienst as well as its staff and work profile between 1945 and 1968 are of importance.

Understanding this, the Bundesnachrichtendienst initiated an internal research and working group “History of the BND” and appointed an Independent Committee of Historians.

The research and work group „History of the BND”

Supervised by the Independent Committee of Historians, the research and working group creates the conditions and basic requirements necessary for researching the history of the Bundesnachrichtendienst. The group works under the responsibility of a historian and is a long-term project.

The Independent Committee of Historians

The Independent Committee of Historians works in an open and unbiased way and is not subject to any restrictions in form and content. The committee examines the time span of the predecessor organizations of the Bundesnachrichtendienst starting in 1945 and the first term of office of President Gehlen, the first official head. On 15 February 2011, President Ernst Uhrlau and the four appointed historians signed the agreement in Berlin.

The following historians were appointed as members of the Independent Committee:

  • Professor Dr. Jost Dülffer (Cologne University)
  • Professor Dr. Klaus-Dietmar Henke (Technical University Dresden)
  • Professor Dr. Wolfgang Krieger (Philipps-University Marburg)
  • Professor Dr. Rolf-Dieter Müller (German Armed Forces Military History Research Office / Humboldt-University Berlin).

Further experts will be involved in the course of the research project. You will find more information on the Independent Committee of Historians on their website.

The committee members and the experts have unrestricted access to the relevant material in the archives of the Bundesnachrichtendienst. The free flow of information will only be restricted if legal requirements (archive regulations, personality rights or protection of classified material) apply.

For the time being, the project is laid out for a period of four years. The research results will be presented to the public in the form of publications and at various scientific conferences.

Additional Information


The Independent Commitee of Historians