Paladin Group

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The Paladin Group was a far-right organization founded in 1970 in Spain by former Waffen-SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny. It conceived itself as the military arm of the anti-Communist struggle during and after the Cold War. It was a private security contractor, the group's purpose was to recruit and operate security contractors to prevent the spread of communism worldwide.

The French Nouvel Observateur magazine, of 23 September 1974, qualifies the group as a "strange temporary work agency of mercenaries" (étrange agence d’interim-barbouzes); in The Great Heroin Coup (1976), Henrik Krüger calls it a "fascist group" or "neo-fascist group", while Stuart Christie speaks of it as a "security consultancy group" in Granny Made me an Anarchist. Lobster Magazine describes it as a "small international squad of commandos".


The Paladin Group was created in 1970 in the Albufereta neighborhood of Alicante, Spain, by former SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny and former US Colonel James Sanders. A former special operations officer, Skorzeny had become a member of the ODESSA network after the war, helping to smuggle Nazi war criminals out of Allied Europe to Spain, South America and other friendly destinations so they could avoid prosecution for war crimes. Skorzeny himself resided after the war in Spain, protected by the Spanish government.

Skorzeny envisioned the Paladin Group as "an international directorship of strategic assault personnel [that would] straddle the watershed between paramilitary operations carried out by troops in uniforms and the political warfare which is conducted by civilian agents".[1]

In addition to recruiting many former SS members, the Group also recruited from the ranks of various right-wing and nationalist organizations, including the French Nationalist OAS, the SAC, and from military units such as the French Foreign Legion. The hands-on manager of the Group was Dr. Gerhard Hartmut von Schubert, formerly of Dr. Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry, who had trained security personnel in Argentina and Egypt after World War II. Under his guidance, Paladin provided support to the PFLP-EO led by Wadie Haddad at the same time as the Mossad. The Group's other clients included the South African Bureau of State Security. They also worked for the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 and the Spanish Dirección General de Seguridad, who recruited some Paladin operatives to wage clandestine war against ETA. The Group also helped Augusto Pinochet’s Regime fight against Communist insurgents after getting the dealing through Stefano Delle Chiaie of The Italian Neo-Fascist Organization known as National Vanguard (Italy) and to have provided personnel for José López Rega's notorious Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance death squad, however, this was never confirmed.

The Paladin Group was also allegedly allied with a number of other right-wing governments, including Salazar’s Portugal, and some of the Italian neo-fascists involved in the years of lead era attacks of the 1970s and 1980s. The Paladin Group also held offices in Zurich, Switzerland.[2]

The Soviet news agency TASS alleged that Paladin was involved in training US Green Berets for Vietnam missions during the 1960s, but this is considered unlikely. This is because Skorzeny's methods were considered somewhat antiquated, and he resented the USA for its role in destroying Germany and promoting communism during World War II.

Von Schubert became the head of the Paladin Group after Otto Skorzeny’s death in 1975.

Following Francisco Franco’s death in 1975

Otto Skorzeny died the same year as Fransisco Franco, whose death on November 20, 1975 led to the democratization of Spain. Third position political organizations, including Fascists and National Socialists, formerly supported by the Falangist government ceased to be welcome in the new regime and fled to South America, in particular to Augusto Pinochet’s Chile, and Argentina, where the return of Perón after a 20-year exile in Spain had seen the June 20, 1973 Ezeiza massacre.


  1. ^ Lee, Martin A. (1999). The Beast Reawakens: Fascism's Resurgence from Hitler's Spymasters to Today's Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists. Taylor & Francis. pp. 185–186. ISBN 0-415-92546-0. 
  2. ^ Patrice Chairoff, Dossier B... comme barbouze, 1975, éd. Alain Moreau, p.59 and p.254


See also

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