I am seeking information on the identifying, locating and detaining of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS officials near and shortly after the end of WWII in Europe. Specifically, was there an organized or coordinated effort charged with this task similar to the effort to locate and return stolen art by the officers and men of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) program?
If so, how was this unit(s) organized, what were their standing orders, when were they commissioned and decommissioned for this task, and who commanded the unit(s)?
I have been reading Operation Paperclip - The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen (Bay Back Books / Little, Brown and Company, 2014). Jacobsen's research and sources are outstanding - this is a five star book, I highly recommend it. However, since its focus is Operation Paperclip, it deals with the effort that was frankly at cross purposes with finding, detaining and processing suspected Nazi war criminals. But to better illustrate the questionable policies of Paperclip, Jacobsen does refer in part to at least one Allied unit of seven officers (all American except for one Dutch officer, William J. Aalmans) that was tasked to go to various liberated sites and question freed prisoners and slave laborers about their Nazi and SS captors for the purpose of gathering evidence for eventual war crimes proceedings. One such incident at Nordhausen in April '45 (before the war in Europe ended) is mentioned on pp 46-47...
Following along behind the soldiers [of the U.S. 104th Infantry Division, which had just liberated Nordhausen] was a team of seven war crimes investigators. Among them was a young Dutch officer working for the U.S. Army, William J. Aalmans... Aalmans and his team [of war crimes investigators] began taking witness statements from [Nordhausen liberated] prisoners... The job facing the war crimes investigators was overwhelming, and their schedule was intense. After five days at Nordhausen they were ordered to move on...
Later, on pp 69-70 Jacobsen refers to a search for IG Farben board members who were "wanted for war crimes" (this implies a list of suspected war criminals who were being sought, prior to war's end). Jacobsen mentions a house-to-house search in Heidelberg for IG Farben CEO Hermann Schmitz in May '45 (specific date not given, but either just before, at, or just after Germany's surrender).
These details from Jacobsen's book point to an office or command in charge of investigating war crimes (perhaps in response to JCS 1067, but possibly preceding it) with at least one field unit of seven officers that was dispatched from place to place for gathering evidence, along with searches conducted for suspected war criminals (both civilian and military) - which does indeed sound similar to the MFA&A program I referenced in my original question.
Being inspired by Jacobsen's references, I just Googled "SHAEF War Crimes Office" and found some useful information. One link in particular pointed me to another book that I have just this minute ordered. I believe it will answer my original question. The book is Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment (Arieh J. Kochavi, The University of North Carolina Press, 2000, 2005).
If anyone already has this book (or a similar source) and can supply additional information here, that would be appreciated (yes, I'm asking for spoilers - I will read the book when I get it but if anyone can answer now, I would receive such an answer gladly).