The Gehlen Organization was an intelligence organization operating in Eastern Europe after World War II, headed by Reinhard Gehlen, the former Nazi intelligence chief.
Towards the end of 1944, Reinhard Gehlen planned his surrender to the United States. His senior officers stored their intelligence on the USSR on microfilm, which was stored in steel drums and buried in the Austrian Alps. In May 1945, Gehlen and his aides surrendered to the US counter-intelligence. Because they did not have an intelligence network directed against the Soviets, the US Office of Strategic Services made a deal with Gehlen and allowed his operation to continue, despite de-nazification programs.
His immediate staff consisted of about 350 agents, headquartered in the Spessart Mountains in central Germany. The headquarters was later moved to a 25 acre compound near Pullach, south of Munich, operating under the name South German Industrial Development Organization. By the early 50s the organization employed nearly 4,000 intelligence specialists. The organization helped in the creation of the 'missile gap', giving the CIA reports on Soviet missile development.
In April 1956 control of the organization changed hands to the West German Federal Republic as the BND or Federal Intelligence Service. Gehlen stayed as chief of the service until retiring in 1968.