Please bear in mind: The purpose of this historical contribution is for studying purposes only, therefore, do not multiply it, as still Crown Copyrights being valid, partially!



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KV 2/769

Haller Dr. Kurt

PF 600726


Page being initiated on 13 May 2024

Current status:  16 June 2024



Part  1   (since 16  May 2024)

Part  2   (since 19  May 2024)

Part  3   (since 24  May 2024)

Part 4    (since 4  June 2024)

Part 5    (since 10  June 2024)

Part 6    (since 16  June 2024)




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KV 2/769-1 page 2:

What interests me (AOB) are the two references on 2 December 1985, and the second one dated 12 December 1985.

More than 40 years had passed since the Germans surrendered unconditionally on 8th May 1945, at Reims (Reins).


AOB: I have doubted whether it does make sense to approach this type of document.

However, during the course of studying this file - I became aware of the world-wide implications of this source of information.

Let us, therefore, jump into it.

Where necessary I will guide you through it.

KV 2/769-1, page 3

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File Disposal Instructions

File No. PF 600726 Volume 1-2

Name    Haller Kurt

R.8's instruction for Disposal

.    .    .

reason for decarding/xxx/microcopying            See attached S Formst t

Authority                                                                                                                                         f.v.m.  K6/10


Date 4.12.85    Signature TVB Bush /R8

KV 2/769-1, page 4

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Further Registry Action Outstanding

Serial                65a

Re.     Personal particulars to be amended when further information is farwarded by M.I.6.

Initial        25.2.71 ... if K (6/10?)   ...come   E4 (a section designation)


KV 2/769-1, page 7

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Minute Sheet.

22.8.42.                    Extract from report mentioning Haller.                                        12a.

30.10.42.                  Extract from further report on Hans Christian Kotze re Sonderfüher (= Sdf.) Haller.                                        13a.

14.11.42,                  Extract from note by Mr. (D. Ian) Wilson (= M.I.5 B.1.a)                                                                                    14a.

.    .    .

6.1.44.                     Copy of note by Major Masterman (M.I.5.) (B.1.a.) re Junior (= Dr. Hans Ruser, residing in Portugal) and Sonderführer (Sdf. Haller) (AOB: a Sonderführer (= Sdf.) factually did not possess a proper military training, but got his engagement and appropriate military ranking; due to his exceptional personal skill and/or outstanding abilities "Fähigkeiten")       Haller.                    16a.

KV 2/769-1, page 9 partially

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9.8.44.                    Extract from Summary of interrogation of Scharf* re Kurt Haller                    23a.

*    Scharf was a quite tragic person, born in once German Lotharingen (Loraine), then after WW I becoming a French citizen, and towards the end of the 1930 from the German perspective considered being a German. He was the wireless operator on board of the Kyloe which sailing ship conveyed the South African boxer Robey Leibrandt back to South Africa. .   However, Leibrandt refused to accompany Scharf whom did not speak English language, which being, in South Africa, quite essential. Scharf sailed back and was stuck in a Spanish Enclave in Northern Africa. However, finally he managed to get on board a Spanish plane and arrived back on the European Continent.  Via Paris he was send, on behalf of the German Abwehr to Algeria, then a French colony, and was caught under tragic circumstances. The British demanded for his expertise and got him on "loan". They did everything to extend his stay in England, but lost the race and were forced to hand Scharf over to the French justice again. They regarded him, as usually, being a French citizen whom had worked for the Germans. And sentenced him to death. Whether this actually was executed I don't know; but the British felt it highly embarrassing - as Scharf had cooperated so usefully!    

19.8.44.                  Extract from Interim Interrogation Report on the case of Scharf re Sonderführer Haller.                    24a.

KV 2/769-1, page 12 partially

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22.11.45.                    Note from I.P.I. to D.D.O. forwarding copy of an interrogation Report on Kurt Haller by Indian Security Unit.

21.5.46.                     Extract from Partial translation (AOB: The British Secret Services, generally lacked the skill/ability to communicate in German language. Therefore, every matter had to be translated firstly, implying quite some  incorrectness. Nowadays, this is no longer acceptable, even in England) of General Erwin von Lahousen (KV 2/173; PF 603251) Diary, obtained from the Americans ad brought over by Major Philips 11.3.46 mentioning Haller.

20.8.48.                    From B.A.O.R. (=British Army of the Rhine) (British Army over the Rhine)  forwarding report re Haller to Capt Liddell.

.    .    .

3.12.46                    To S.S.U. (= Strategic Services Unit) asking for information on whereabouts of Rekowski                   49a

3.12.46.                    To B.A.O.R.  (= Strategic Services Unit) asking for information on whereabouts of Rekowski            50a

17.12.46.                  To F.B.I. sending report of activities of Rekowski.                                                                                     51a


KV 2/769-1, page 13     (minute 51a)

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                    17 December 1946

            Dear Mr. Cimperman (US liaison Officer),

                    You will remember that a certain Relowski was well-known to us at the beginning of the war as a suspect German agent in touch with Georg Nicolaus and Baron Frederick (Friedrich) Karl von Schleebrugge.

                    In 1941 he disappeared from Mexico but you will now see that he got back to Germany via Japan (and Russia as long as the latter was not yet at war with Germany). We have asked both the British and American zones of Germany to keep a look-out for him, as he evidently still has a large private fortune in Mexico and may be expected to make an attempt to get back there.


Yours sincerely,


Miss Joan Chenhalls   (M.I.5)

J.A. Cimperman, Esq.,

American Embassy.

.    .    .

KV 2/769-1, page 14a    (minute 51a)

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Extract from DIC, COG (BE) Preliminary Interrogation/Final Report.

Haller, Kurt                                                                                                                                                                Int.Div/A.i/PF. 2702

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dated 30 August 1946

...27.    Mexico.

                    Even before the war consideration had been given to sending an agent to USA to Maintain liaison with the IRA via the Irish-Americans and simultaneously to act as observer on Irish-American affairs and gather general intelligence.    Two candidates were considered for this task: Pfaus and Neumeister.    Pfaus has shown himself resourceful during his mission in Eire (Ireland)  and had previously lived in the USA; Neumeister had married an American girl and could have obtained an entry visa to America without difficulty.    For reasons Prisoner can no longer recall, both schemes were rejected.

                    Towards the end of 1939 or early 1940, during a journey to Bremen, Marwede happened to be sitting in the same railway compartment as a German business man who was talking about his business trips to the USA and Mexico.    His permanent domicile was in Mexico and he complained that he and his wife had been caught in Germany by the war.    Marwede gave the man his card and asked him to come and see him.    His name turned out to be Carl Rekowski, an import and export agent, and his business in Mexico consisted mainly of purchasing oil for the German Navy and acting as export agent for German paper manufacturers. He willingly agreed to return to Mexico at the earliest opportunity.

                    While the Rekowski case was still under consideration, McCarthy, the steward from the George Washington had given Fromme on his second visit to Genoa half of an irregularly torn picture postcard, and an address in New York.    He claimed to belong to the radical wing of the Irish-Americans, and told Fromme that he and his friends would be glad to help the Germans from America.

                    The German Navy substantiated Rekowski's story, and he was soon after recruited into Abw. II. (Sabotage).    Beginning of April 40 he travelled via Rome by the Lati Transatlantic Airline (Italian (trans-Atlantic) State Airline) to South America and thence to Mexico, where, ostensibly, he was to continue his normal business.    His Abw. mission was to get in touch with the New York address of McCarthy and act as liaison agent with the Irish-Americans, whom he was to encourage by every means to engage in sabotage.

                    In June or July 1940, soon after his arrival in Mexico, the George Washington called at a Mexican port.    Rekowski established contact with McCarthy, identifying himself by means of the paper slip.    A few weeks later, the George Washington again called at a Mexican port and McCarthy became a full time German agent.

                    Rekowski communicated with Abwehr by a simple code in letters which passed between Rekowski and the Druckpapierverband for whom he was acting as export agent.    Rekowski also sent several W/T messages through the German Legation in Mexico, addressed to "OKW,  attention (for or to) Mr. Haller".

                    It was apparent that there was only the loosest contact between the IRA and the Irish-Americans, liaison being maintained by occasional Irishmen who happened to be promising over (such as McCarthy). Therefore the plan for a courier service Germany-Mexico-USA (Irish Americans)_ IRA envisaged by Abwehr II had to be abandoned.

                    McCarthy, now became Rekowski's contact with the Irish-American radical groups.    He noted that they collaborated closely with revolutionary Communist circles, and that they were mainly active among the dockers in the ports on the Eastern coast, especially in Boston. Prisoner is unable to give any details of his organisation and claims that Rekowski never left Mexico and relied entirely on McCarthy for keeping him in touch.    The normal HQ of the org seems to have been in New York. Prisoner cannot give the name or the org and personalities, but has mentioned McCarthy (?) as the founder of the movement.    He was too old at the outbreak of war to take any active interest.    The Irish-Americans, although in sympathy with the IRA, were much further to the left, and displayed an independence which made them unwilling to accept any kind of orders from Rekowski, so that sabotage operations had to be left entirely to their discretion.    Rekowski reported six successful cases of sabotage on British or American ships carrying was material to Britain., but could not give the names of the ships or any evidence other than McCarthy's →  

KV 2/769-1, page 15b

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report, and even after Rekowski's return to Germany, he was unable to confirm this sabotage in any way.    For this reason the success of the operation was regarded with scepticism by Abwehr II and they may have been faked to obtain more money from Rekowski.

                    Towards, the end of 1940 or early 1941, Rekowski was subject to Pree attacks in the USA, which alleged that he and Herzlet. another German business man in Mexico, were under-cover men for the Nazi Party and in charge of vast sums secretly transferred by Nazi bosses for their own use in the event of a German defeat.    Prisoner states that this was only half true, Herzlet was a business man who had nothing to do with either the Party or Abwehr; nor was Rekowski a Party member.    On the other hand, Abwehr II transferred considerable sums of money via neutral countries (Spain?) ostensibly for Rekowski's business account.

                    Rekowski seems to have had very good connection with Mexican Govt. circles. He often boasted of the case with which high personalities could be bribed.    In March 41 Rekowski. through one such official leakage, was warned that the USA were investigating his activities.    He thought it it prudent to withdraw; his passage on a Japanese ship was arranged through the Japanese Military Attaché in Berlin and he returned to Germany via Japan and Russia (Trans-Siberian Express).

                    When Rekowski left, he handed over the Stützpunkt to Engels, a Mexican business man of German origin.    Engels, however, remained inactive and Abwehr II were content to let matters rest, because they did not wish to infringe American neutrality any further.    The German attack on the USSR in (22) June (1941) in any case marked the end of the Irish American collaboration, since they now no longer regarded the war as one of "imperialist capitalist aggression".

                    Rekowski arrived in Germany about June 1941.    His business collapsed with his departure and another Abwehr mission was not at the moment available. He was therefore sent for military training to the Brandenburg Regiment, and then attended to Marwede's staff without and specific duties.    he suggested two schemes for his future employment:-

(a)    He wished to be sent as  the representative of the Skoda works to Argentine or Brazil, and continue his Abwehr activities from there.    As Skoda rep. had recently been sent, it was thought that a change in personnel would attract attention to Rekowski. The (Italian) Lati Airline had suspended service and hence there were difficulties in getting Rekowski to South America.

b)    a few month later Rekowski suggested that he should be landed by U-boat in Yucatan, Mexico.    he was convinced that his contacts in Mexican Govt. circles were sufficient to prevent his internment, and even if the Irish-Americans could not be induced to undertake sabotage operations, he could procure military intelligence of a central nature, and possibly organise other sabotage missions.    Abwehr II though this plan not worth the efforts in Mexico.    It was thought that he was fundamentally interested only in returning to Mexico to give his considerable private fortune there.

                    In summer 1942 Rekowski was attending as personal assistant to Grobba, formerly German Minister in Iraq and Auswärtiges Amt represenative to the Arab refugee groups in Germany.    Grobba appointed Rekowski organiser of the Arab Bureau without responsibility for policy.  In point of fact Rekowski became a glorified majordomo to the Grand Mufti

(en  and de and Cailani  (de   and en  the Iraq "Prime Minister", during the abortive revolt (against the British occupants of Iraq) and looked after the welfare of those persons and their considerable entourage.    He was also frequently consulted by Veesenmayer in view of his wide foreign experience.    Had Operation Taube succeeded, Rekowski was to have been given a high position in the German- occupied Ireland.    When Veesenmayer became ambassador in Budapest, he took Rekowski and Prisoner with him as his personal assistants. (according [1147, page: Bevollmächtiger des Großdeutschen Reiches in Ungarn ... ]


(2)   (since 19  May 2024)


KV 2/769-1, page 16   (minute 50a)

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PF 600726/B.2.b (M.I.5)/Joan Chenhalls                                                                                                        3rd December 1946

HQ.    Int. Div.

70 HQ. C.C.G.


-    -    -

                    Please refer to Int. Div/A1/PF 2702 of the 30th August 1946 which is a DIC, CCG (BE) Final Interrogation Report on Sdf. (Z) (AOB: Sdf. (Z) = Zugführer = Lt.) Kurt Haller.    On Page xx - xxii there is an account of an assignment given to a certain Rekowski in Mexico.

Rekowski was well-known to us in the earlier part of the war as a suspect German agent who was reported to have been in touch with Georg Nikolaus and Baron Friedrich Karl von Schleebrügge.  He was known to us as Karl Rikowski ? @ von Earre.

                    In 1941 he disappeared from Mexico and we now see that he got back to Germany via Japan.    We should be interested to know whether Rekowski has ever been captured or is still at large.    As he evidently still has a large private fortune in Mexico.    He should be expected to make an attempt to get back there.    We should be glad to know if he is to be found in your (B.A.O.R.) area.

 J. Chenhalls


KV 2/769-1, page 18   (minute 48a)

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            (M.I.6)                                                                                                                                                    CX/ ??/2695/R.5.B.3.    dated 15.11.46.

Dear Miss Chenhalls, (= M.I.5.),

                    You will undoubtedly have seen the SCDIC (= Combiner Services Detailed Interrogation Centre)  report on the interrogation of Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller.

                    On pages XX - XXIII there is an account of an assignment (Rekowski) in Mexico.    Rekowski was well known to us in the earlier part of the war as a suspect German agent who was reported to have been in touch with Georg Nikolaus and Baron Friedrich Karl von Schleebrügge.    He was known to us as Karl Rikowski @ von Earre.    In 1941 he disappeared from Mexico and we now see that he got back to Germany via Japan.

                    Incidentally it would be interesting to know whether Rekowski has ever been captured or still at large.    As he evidently still has a large private fortune in Mexico he can presumably be expected to make an attempt to get back there.   

Yours sincerely,

for H.A.R. Philby

AOB: The latter, for insiders Kim Philby, the Russian spy belonging to the Cambridge Five Group!

KV 2/769-1, page 20a

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                                                                                SIR 48


Special Interrogation Report


Gen. Maj. Erwin von Lahousen and Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller.

(Ref. Brief HQ Int. Div/A1(a)/PF24046  dated 19 Aug 1946.    This report should be read in addition to CSDIC (WEA = War Room) Final Report 89 on Sdf.(Z) Kurt Haller, dated 7 Aug 46).

Irish Entries in Abwehr II War Diary with Comments by Gen. Maj. Erwin von Lahousen and Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller.

I.    Preamble.

1.    Brief on von Lahousen.  (He was of Austrian origin)

                    From 1939  until 1942 Prisoner was Head of Abwehr II (Sabotage/Special combat operations)  and was known to have enjoyed the full confidence of Admiral Canaris.    It was therefore hoped that he would be able to provide a complete account of Abw. II activities in Ireland, and of the long term plans which for technical reasons were not put into execution, and confirm the information on this subject given recently by Sdf. (Z) Dr. Kurt Haller, of Abw. II Referat WN.

2.    Assessment of Character.

                    These hopes have not fulfilled.  (AOB: not noticed here but most essential to understand the real context: Like Piekenbrock, and others, von Lahousen favoured to extend his career becoming a commanding General. As the Abwehr does not have employed Obst. (Colonel) ranking as the top, someone has to quit Abwehr and had to follow a new educational trajectory)  Prisoner is now a broken man, mentally and physically.    In part this may be due to the conditions of his detention, and in part to sudden shock of being once more re-associated with unashamed Nazis.    Prisoner, an Austrian, considers that he has by now "worked his passage",  firstly by having plotted for some years with the Canaris Group, and secondly by giving evidence for the American prosecution at the Nürnberg Trials, handing over for this purpose many documents incriminating the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht = The German Military High Command) and German military hierarchy which he had secretly abstracted on Canaris' orders during the war.

                    It is apparent from his private correspondence, that for his part in the Nürenberg Trials he is widely regarded as a traitor to the German Army in which he voluntarily served.    It is not easy to discern the motives for his defection.    It was not to save his skin, since he voluntarily served on the Russian front (AOB: an educational shortcoming of the author of this report: All those opting for a General rank, had at least for a longer period to command a Division on the Eastern Front, thus in Russia), and also incurred great personal danger by participating in the intrigues against Hitler and by removing State documents.    As a professional soldier of aristocratic lineage, his love of democracy was not especially marked; he undoubtedly had the aristocrat's dislike for Nazi methods and certain aspects of its policy.    Nevertheless, as an int offr (intelligence officer) in the Austrian Army he had cooperated with the (Austrian equivalent of the) Abwehr since 1934 in an exchange of information about Czechoslovakia, and must have had more than an inkling of what was afoet??.    After the annexation in 1938, he was rewarded for his work by a transfer to OKW Abteilung Amt Ausland/Abwehr of the General Staff. (AOB: an ordinary  Colonel is judging a "General Major") (This man might have encountered disappointing feelings - after the new "German Bundeswehr" became their associated partner in the NATO, after 1956)

                    The probable explanation is that he was a military careerist who thought he was serving his own interest best by associating himself with ascendant German militarism and later, under the influence of (Admiral) Canaris , became the latter's faithful henchman - not on ideological or ethical grounds, but from loyalty to his chief.    Whatever the explanation, there is no doubt that he has rendered a notable service to the Allies by his cooperation with the American prosecution.

3.    Prisoner's knowledge of Irish Affairs.

                    Interrogation of Prisoner on Irish affairs has been most disappointing.    At first Prisoner dismissed the whole Irish complex with a shrug and claimed, with some justice, that it was much ado about nothing.    Offhand, he could only recall that a V-Mann was was sent to Eire (Ireland) some time in 1940.    he has further been at pains to point out that Canaris, as part of the spasmedic though cautious sabotage of the German war effort, gave Prisoner instructions privately, which were more urgently repeated on grounds of personal prestige, after the Görtz fiasco, that he was to see that no more wild-cat schemes against the UK or Eire were carried out by the over-zealous staff of Referat N.    When Brigadeführer Veesenmayer of the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) appeared on the scene, →

KV 2/769-1, page 21b

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Canaris handed over the Irish complex with great relief to the Auswärtiges Amt, the more so since Canaris, and therefore von Lahousen judged the Brigadeführer (AOB: This is a typical SS rank) to be a striking specimen of the gentlemen of the SS, then high on the list of Admiral's pet aversions. (AOB: I seriously doubt that the Colonel, on whose behalf this report has been edited, actually knew what he was suggesting) From that stage onwards, Prisoner claims he did not even attempt to keep himself informed of developments.

                    Prisoner was interrogated at length on the information given by Haller.    Some of the facts and names seemed to awaken an echo, but he could obviously not add to the detail. and referred to the Abwehr II War Diary, which at the time was not available at DIC.    Later on, when Prisoner was questioned on the Irish entries in the Abwehr II War Diary, he displayed such startling, but is believed, genuine ignorance of the subject matter, that it was decided to call Haller to comment on the entries.    In explanation of his ignorance, von Lahousen has stated that the Diary was kept by his adjutant, Major von Abshagen ( , from reports sent to him by the Gruppenleiter (von Abshagen).    Prisoner saw the Diary only about once a month, when it was submitted to him for signature, and merely glanced through the entries.    In view of the lack of interest in Ireland, he states that he cannot be expected to remember to which events individual entries refer.    Even on aspects of policy, with which Prisoner might be thought to have been at least familiar, his recollection is obscured by his conviction that nothing in fact materialised from the many schemes, a point of view Prisoner has repeated at all and every occasion as part of his defence, and elaborated at length in Nürenberg.    Abwehr II he has said, was not, incompetent, but deliberately hamstrung from the top (ie by Prisoner).    This leads him to skip airily over well-established facts; thus, Prisoner claims to be unaware of the existence of the Auswärtiges Amt ban on activities in or from Eire (Ireland) up to Spring 1939, nor does he recollect that this ban was lifted.    (There is no record of it in the Diary).    Except where otherwise stated, therefore, all comments have come from Haller.    In substance, the Diary confirm in all respects the Final Report on Haller.

II. Abwehr II War Diary.

    A.    Introduction.

4.    von Lahousen has been thoroughly questioned but, as stated, little information has been forthcoming.    For the sake of bravery, only points where von Lahousen has given positive information are listed below, since it would be tedioud to reproduce the long list of negative answers.    For instance, von Lahousen has stated categorically that to the best of his knowledge, there was no contact with the IRA before the war, and he had not heard of the Marwede/O'Donovan meetings in May and August 1939.    Such answers are therefore omitted.

5.    Operation Mainau(?).

            Von Lahousen was suggested that Abwehr I L (Referat Intelligence Luft) had a direct interest in this operation.    At the time, I L was anxious to build up weather reporting stations in Ireland, and, to the best of von Lahousen's recollections, asked Abwehr II to instruct Görtz to set up a meteorological station from IRA personnel/  They were therefore glad to put an aircraft at Görtz' disposal.

                    Haller did not mention this additional I L brief, and was not able to comment on von Lahousen's statement.    he adds, however, that when Operation Taube II was discussed, Veesenmayer suggested to Abwehr I L that weather reports could also be sent fro Eire (Ireland), in order to persuade the GAF (= German Luftwaffe)  to supply air transport.

6.    Irish Brigade

                    Von Lahousen has declared that there was never any question of forming an Irish Brigade, and was at no time subject of high-level discussions. The Irish Referat may have breached the matter among themselves, but this is as far as it went.

7.    Sonderstab Hollmann.

                    According to von Lahousen, Hollmann and his colleagues of the Brandenburg Regiment (AOB: maybe a blind spot of our "Colonel" was that in the earlier days of the war it was designated z.b.V. 800) were fanatical Nazis. (AOB: Nonsense! They were selected of particular competence, and not because they were Nazi's!), who in summer 1940 were preparing a spate of daredevil stunts in connection with the invasion of England (AOB: firstly occupying Western European territories, such as Belgium and France).    Hollmann →

KV 2/769-1, page 22c

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did not take the CO (Commanding Officer) of his regiment into his confidence, on the pretence that he was working directly for Abwehr II HQ in Berlin.    Inquiries in Berlin elicited the reply that Hollmann was not employed on special duties.    Undismayed by this and following rebuffs, Hollmann continued to prepare his own schemes;    neither von Lahousen nor his Commanding Officer exercised  more then a nominal control or were aware what he was doing.    Rumours began to reach von Lahousen that Hollmann was working for the SS(?), and this coincided with a new complaint from the CO of the regiment.  Von Lahousen was forced to take action and had Hollmann transferred from the Brandenburg Regt.

8.    Allied Shipping Losses.

                    Throughout the Diary there are recurrent references to Allied shipping losses and explosions in the  UK attributed to sabotage.   Von Lahousen has contemptuously dismissed each reference as "puffing".  He explained that enemy losses announced in the Allied press were frequently seized on by Abwehr II agents.     This looked well on paper, and never failed to impress the OKW, but in the absence of some sort of of proof, such a report from the agent responsible, they fooled no one at Abwehr II. Similarly, when the British press announced unexplained explosions and the more hysterical papers darkly hinted at sabotage, this was taken by Referat WN to mean that the IRA had been at work.    If any of the chronicled disasters should turn out to have been engineered by IRA saboteurs, this should be regarded as pure coincidence.

9.    German Embassy in Dublin.

                    From the War Diary it is apparent that Hempel, the Ambassador in Dublin, was better informed on the IRA nexus that Haller had previously suggested.    There is still some doubt as to what extent he was  put in in the picture before the agent sent over had become the subject of official enquiries by the Irish government.    Both Weber-Drohl and Görtz, contrary to instructions, appear to have approached the Embassy through the Irish intermediaries, probably at a time when they were in danger, and lost their hands, since the IRA was obviously incapable of protecting them, Hempel means to have  been opposed to Abwehr activity in Eire (Ireland) Von Lahousen relates that Hempel visited him in June 1939 - the last time Hempel was in Germany - and tactfully sounded von Lahousen about stories which had appeared in the Irish and British that the German Secret Service was backing the IRA. Von Lahousen blandly assured Hempel that there  was no foundation in such rumours, and Hempel, greatly relieved, advised von Lahousen not to compromise Irish-German relations by any such action in future.

                    Nevertheless, it is clear that Hempel reported faithfully to his government what he knew of the activities of German agents in Eire (Ireland), but the crucial point whether Hempel was aware of the presence of the German agents in Eire (Ireland) before their presence became known to the Irish government, who thereupon approached the German Ambassador for explanations, must still left be open. (AOB: German diplomats were generally against any relation with German Secret Service involvements)    Both Prisoners claim that it was not Abwehr practice to worry embassies about the German agents in the country, since embassies generally disapproved of clandestine measures, but this testimony is worthless.    More reliable evidence comes from several entries in the Diary recording messages sent by Abwehr II via the Auswärtiges Amt LO (?) to Hempel, briefing him on forthcoming interviews with the Irish government, and subsequently wired his government for instructions, at the same time passing on messages he may have received in roundabout ways from the agent.  It is extended him the physical shelter of the Embassy.

                    The one entry (3 August 1940) which could give a definite answer on this point is inconclusive.    It is the record of a conference when Veesenmayer →

KV 2/769-1, page 23d

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informed Abwehr that Sean Russell would receive advance notice of the invasion of England (AOB: German code-name: Unternehmen Seelöwe; but it never commenced) by an agreed signal displayed from the Embassy in Dublin.    Since Russell died on 15 August 1940, on his way to Eire (Ireland), this plan - clearly originating from Veesenmayer - was not put into execution, and it is probably safe to say that the Embassy had not been instructed accordingly at the time of Russell's death.    Both Prisoners deny all knowledge of this arrangement, and it is suggested that a definite answer can only be given by Veesenmayer at present prisoner in American hands.

10.    Transfer of Irish IW to concentration Camps (Reference FR 89, Part II, paras 17&43)

                    Von Lahousen has strongly resented Haller's statement that he (Lahousen) was mainly responsible for the transfer of the "unreliable" Irish PWs recruited as saboteurs to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, and has denied all knowledge of the incidents preceding this measure.  It was put to von Lahousen that a decision of this kind was a matter of policy which must have been settled at least at the level of Abteilungsleiter.    To this von Lahousen agreed, and added that it could not have been settled even by him, but would have had to be dealt with by ZR (Referat Z) (Legal department of the Abwehr) and required in any case the final sanction of Admiral Canaris.    Although he allegedly does not recollect it, von Lahousen uneasily agreed that he might have ordered the man's "isolation". but was thinking in terms of their separate internment in a Prisoner of War camp .    It seems to be a case where von Lahousen originally gave vague order and left it to his subordinates to carry it out as best they could.    If prisoners can be trusted on this point, the decision to have the man transferred to a concentration camp was made somewhere between ZR, the PW Directorate, and possibly Abwehr III (counter-espionage). Von Lahousen asserts that he was not informed of this decision, but Haller admits that the Irish Referat was notified.    Von Lahousen's claim is supported by the absence of such entry in the Diary, and is not improbable, since it is known that the head of Abwehr II was frequently in the dark about more important actions carried out in his name by his subordinates. In any case, even if Prisoners' statements are accepted at their own valuation, von Lahousen is guilty of neglect of duty in permitting his subordinates to deal with a matter which involved a principle of the first importance and taking no steps whatever to interest himself in the outcome.    Haller is equally at fault in not informing his Chief of a decision which he claims to have regarded as a violation of principle. It is submitted that in truth both men were profoundly indifferent to the fate of a few men whom they looked on as a double traitors, and, although bearing no ill-will, accepted their disposal to a concentration camp as the simplest solution to a ticklish administrative problem.

B.    Comments by von Lahousen and Haller on references to Irish Affairs in Abwehr II War Diary - Period August 1939 - August 1943.


Please digest the  summaries yourself

KV 2/769-1 page 37a

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                                                                                                                        FR 89.

Final Report


    Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller.

                    .    .    .


I.                Preamble

II.              Personal history

App. A    Introduction

                Table of Events

Part I      Abwehr II and Ireland

Part II    Büro Veesenmayer and Irish Affairs

Part III    Recruitment of Irish PW

App. B.  Abwehr II and South Africa

I.    Preamble.

1.            There were two subjects which visitors to von Lahousen, former head of Abwehr II, an excitable gentleman with high blood-pressure, were asked by his adjutant NOT to mention:    one was Ireland and the other was India.    Since Prisoner was wholly associated with the old and later also with the other, his career in Abwehr, in spite of his personal ability, was some what handicapped.

2.            From September 1939 Prisoner was one of the key men in charge of the Irish affair first in Abwehr II and from 1940 onwards as Abwehr II LO (Liaison Officer?) to Büro Veesenmayer; from December 1942 onwards he was PA (Personal assistant?) to Veesenmayer.    He is therefore well informed about Abwehr and Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) activities in Ireland.

3.            Prisoner has a good memory and has volunteered much information.    Some it has been possible to check immediately, and it is believed that prisoner has given accurate and - as far as he can -exhaustive information.

4.            Superficially Prisoner has made a good impression.    He is intelligent and highly adaptable.    Other points are against him:    in his younger days he belonged to the romantic and chauvinistic German student movements; later, through contacts made there, he came into Abwehr.    From 1940 to 1945, he was closely associated with Burggraf Veesenmayer, a summary of whose activities is given in appendix A, Part II, para 1.    Even now Prisoner has an unqualified admiration for his former chief and must therefore reflect some of this man's unscrupulous and love of hidden power.

II.    Personal History.

5.            Career.

                26 December 1913                    Born at Betzdorf/Sieg

                Apr. 1933                                       Studied law and political science at Königsberg (now Russian Kaliningrad) and Berlin Universities.    During this time met Otto Wagner of Cologne (Köln), who introduced him to Major Voss of Abwehr.

              Nov. 1935                                         Exchange scholarship to Faculté de Droit in Lyons. Asked by Abwehr to furnish a general report on the Breton Nationalists.

             Aug. 1936                                          Returned to Berlin University.                                                     

            Dec.   1937                                          Passed Referendar Examination.

KV 2/769-1, page 38b

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Jan. 1938                    Called up for three weeks' military service with Abwehr Gruppe VII (later Abw. II).

Feb. 1938                   Began work on thesis for doctorate.

Apr. 1938                  Short period of training wit Abwehr II 1 West (Hptm. (Capt.) Marwede.

Aug. 1938                 Gerichtsreferendar at Amtsgericht Kirchen/Sieg.

Aug. 1939                Gerichtsreferendar at Landgericht Siegen/Westphalia.

Jun. 1939                 Four weeks'training with Abwehr 1 West

Aug. 1939              Called up to Abwehr II 1 West as Hilfsoffizier, Responsible mainly for handling Irish affairs.

Mar. 1940             Appointed Sdf. (Sonderführer (Z) (Z = Zugführer = Lt.)

Dec. 1942             Appointed PA (Persönlicher Assistent?) to Veesenmayer of the Auswärtiges Amt (= German Foreign Office), Continued to deal exclusively with Irish affairs.

Mar. 1943           Since there was not sufficient work available, worked in Sonderreferat India (Bose)  : de (      en( under von Trott,

Mar. 1944           (Persönlicher Assistent)  to Veesenmayer when the latter became Ambassador to Hungary (Budapest).[1147, page: Bevollmächtiger des Großdeutschen Reiches in Ungarn ... ]

5 May 1945        Captured by Americans in Austria.


6.        Political.   

    Apr. 1933        Active member of Kyffhäuserverband der vereine Deutscher Studenten (V D St.) and Deutsche Studentenschaft.

                            During vacations travelled extensively in Poland and Lithuania, contacted Baltic-German organisations, Verein deutscher Hochschüler in Poland (Polen), and Liga (Polish nationalist student movement).

     Oct. 1933        Worked for short time in Poland Referent of deutsche Studentenschaft.

    Spring 35        Visit to Polad to contact Liga on behalf of Deutsche Studentenschaft.

    Summer 1935 Chairman of Polish and German Students' conference in Blankenburg.

    1937                Joined NSDAP, but claims that he took no active part.


            CSDIC (WEA) (War Room)   7 Aug. 1946                Sgd. for Colonel General Staff

                                                                                                Commandant CSDIC  (WEA)

KV 2/769-1, page 39c

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Appendix A for FR 89

Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller

Appendix A


1.            The three parts of this Appendix represent different aspects of the same theme:     the attempt by GIS (German Intelligence Service) and the political dept of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) to exploit Irish nationalism in particular the IRA, for their own ends.    Part I deals with the military side: the story of Abwehr II's penetration and sponsorship of the IRA, in the hope of finding there an experienced and willing sabotage organisation against military targets in the UK.    Part II covers the political angle:    the somewhat later but much more dangerous endeavour by the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) to foment unrest throughout Ireland, to use the IRA as spearhead of an Irish Fifth Column which would, simultaneously with German invasion had been cancelled, they aimed to build up an effective resistance within Eire (Ireland) to fight a possible British occupation of that country.    Part III tells of the recruitment of Irish PW in Germany for sabotage work in the USA and the UK. 

2.            In Prisoner's opinion all three attempts were resounding failures.    On the military side one high-grade agent and organiser was at least sent over and enjoyed a brief period of liberty, but had no success.    On the political side the results, according to Prisoner, were nil, and he claims that not a single one of the agents recruited for political purposes by his department ever set foot in Eire (Ireland). The story sorry crew of Irish renegades, though willing to betray Great Britain and each other, were judged to be too unreliable to be sent.    Fundamentally, Prisoner states, the course of the war was to blame for the lack of success. The invasion of England would have made a decisive difference to all political and military activities in or from Eire.    Partly, too, the Germans were unlucky: their key man, Sean Russell dies at a most inconvenient moment. Then again, they took the fantastic daydreams of the IRA at face value and greatly overrated the strength and ability of this organisation.    To some extent, also, the Germans, by playing a double game - supporting the IRA on the one hand and wooing the Irish government on the other - made both politics half-hearted in execution.

3.            It is unpleasant to think of what might have been.    The Germans gambled boldly, and though the lost, they nevertheless came uncomfortably near to achievement; as near, it may be, as did their planning; the fatal flaw lay outside the control of the men behind Irish affairs, men who had taken the trouble to think in terms of Irish - not German - history tradition.

4.            The information given in this report is not the complete story of German activities in Eire (Ireland) It is more or less complete only for Abw. II (Sabotage) and the Auswärtiges Amt.    The story of Abw. I and Amt VI (= SS controlled R.S.H.A. Amt (roman) VI (headed by Dr. Schellenberg) ( remains to be mapped in, but it is of no great significance.    For convenience a table of events has been appended.

Table of Events.


Early 1938                    Le Helloco sent by Abw. II to Ireland to contact IRA

End Jan 1939                Pfaus mission to Eire.    Contact established with O'Donovan of the IRA.

Feb/Mar 1939             Auswärtiges Amt sanctions Abwehr activities in or from Eire (Ireland), hitherto forbidden.

Apr 1939                      Fromme's mission to Eire (Ireland).

May 1939                    First Marwede/O'Donovan meeting in Hamburg. O'Donovan given money, and returns to report to IRA "Council".



(3)   (since 24  May 2024)

KV 2/769-1, page 40d

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Early Jul 39                Fromme returns fro Eire (Ireland).

Early Aug 39            Second Marwede/O'Donovan meeting in Berlin.    Abw.-IRA cooperation agreed on O'Donovan given money.

Mid Sep 39                Moyse sent from Brussels to London with money, WT instructions and code for IRA.

Early Nov 39            Intermittent WT traffic Abw.-IRA; link technically unsatisfactory.

Early Feb 40            Francis Stuart arrives in Berlin, bringing message from IRA.

Early Feb 40            Francis Stuart arrives in Berlin, bringing message from IRA.

Early Feb 40            Weber-Drohl sent as courier to Eire (Ireland).    Takes money to IRA.

Early Mar 40            McCarthy calls at Consulate in Genoa (Italy), inquires about Russell's journey to Germany.

Mar 40                      Stützpunkt Madrid (Blaum) (Abwehr II, alias Baumann) (Sdf. Dr. Blaum was head of Abwehr II in Lisbon) set up; (both men were brothers, but Dr. Blaum was the smartest one of them)

Early Apr 40           Stützpunkt Mexico; Rekowski leaves for Mexico.

Mid Apr 40             IRA courier Held arrives in Berlin (Plan "Kathleen").

3 May 40                Sean Russell arrives in Berlin from USA

5 May 40                Görtz leaves on his mission to Eire (Ireland)

Mid May 40          Operation Taube in preparation; Veesenmayer (Auswärtiges Amt) takes control

Early Jul 40          Obed, Tributh and Gärtner land in Eire (Ireland).

Mid Jul 40            Ryan arrives in France from Spain.

End Jul 40            Recruiting of Irish PW started.

1 or 2 Aug 40      Russell dies on board U-boat.

Late Aug 40        Ryan returns to Berlin.

Sep 40                  Operation Walfisch fails to reach Eire (Ireland)

Oct 40                 Clissmann joins Büro Veesenmayer. Preparations begin for operation Taube II.

Nov 40                Marharethe sent as courier to Dublin.

Mid Dec 40        Mrs. Clissmann establishes contact with Kerney in Madrid.

Winter 1940      Recruiting of Irish PW continues.

1941                  Ryan mission standing by in Berlin.

Autumn 41      Stephen Hayes' "Confession" appears in foreign Press.

Nov. 41            Clissmann visits Kerney in Madrid, Görtz arrested in Ireland.

End 41-Beg 42 Operation Taube II enters defensive phase.                      

Jan 42               Clissmann/Kerney meeting in Madrid.

Apr 42              First message received from Andrews.

Aug 42             Special SS (German Secret Service) unit in training at Oranienburg for Taube II.    Abw. II retires from operation, R.S.H.A. Amt VI-S? takes over.

Sep (?) 42         Veesenmayer/Clissman/Kerney meeting in France.

Nov 42             Clissmann reported adversely on SS unit (Amt VI-S?

1 Dec 42           Prisoner (Dr. Haller) joins Büro Veesenmayer.

Early 43           Ryan ill' Operation Taube II indefinitely postponed.

Apr 43              Fifth and last message received from Andrews.

10 Jun 44         Ryan dies in Dresden; Operation Taube II abandoned.


KV 2/769-1, page 41e

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Appendix A to FR 89.

Sdf. (Z) (= Zugführer = Lt.)   Kurt Haller.

Part I.

Abwehr II and Ireland.

A.    Early Background - Observation.

1.            Prisoner has no first-hand information on pre-war Abwehr history, his knowledge is derived from casual talks with Maj. Marwede and occasional perusal of early Abwehr files.    It forms the least substantial part of this report.

2.            German Policy towards the IRA until 1940.

                German foreign policy towards Ireland may be summarised by saying that until early 1939 the Auswärtiges Amt was not interested in the IRA; they held it to be a matter of indifference to Germany whether Ulster (Northern Ireland) was ruled by the British or by the Irish, and did not wish to antagonise Great Britain.    The Auswärtiges Amt had accordingly imposed am Abwehr ban on Ireland. (AOB: Ribbentrop's 'Auswärtiges Amt' was quite often in controversy with other state bodies, it was, therefore, often kept out of the information stream and handled as if it was in quarantine -without knowing it themselves). This ban was withdrawn in Feb or March 1939 after Abwehr had made a strong representation that, in view of the strained Anglo-German relations, Germany could not afford not to take advantage of Ireland, which might well prove to be the Achilles heel of Great Britain.    Even then, however, Abwehr found the Auswärtiges Amt hesitant in allowing Abwehr to go ahead, and the Auswärtiges Amt viewed with some nervousness Abwehr's attempts to contact the IRA.

3.                Early Abwehr plans

                    Notwithstanding the Auswärtiges Amt directive, Abwehr II had endeavoured since the middle twenties to keep abreast(?) of political trends in Ireland, since they anticipated that Abwehr operations in Ireland would one day be permitted.  (AOB: an aspect that the British/American interrogator might not have understood how could this Colonel?: the Abwehr actually was designated "OKW Amt Ausland/Abwehr. Hence, it was subordinated the the German Military High Command, and in no way subject to any other entity in the Nazi state! Thus, what they express is not taking the actual facts in account.  Abwehr II was not a purely Abwehr related matter, but it was subordinated to the German "Oberkommando der Wehrmacht" and nothing else!)

                    The Abwehr officer in charge of what became Abwehr Gruppe VII and in Spring 1938 Abw. Abt. II, was Major Voss, and old German Intelligence Service officer from the 1914-18 war, who had one Referent and was responsible for running agents recruited from dissident minorities in Europe, though at that time Abwehr was interested only in military intelligence of operational value.    It appears that Voss conceived the idea of long-term policy of subsidising and exploiting minority movements in potential enemy countries. (AOB: neglected in this Final Report:  were the Abwehr II supported special operations against the Belgian and French fortifications in May 1940; think of the spectacular Eben-Emael operations (de ) (en and the capture of strategical bridges and canals)

                    The idea of political long-term sabotage is, of course, nothing new;  both the Allies and the Central Powers had played at that kind of politics before and during the war 1914-18.    But the early twenties the GIS (German Intelligence Service was precluded from engaging in such activities, and it was Voss who argued that encouragement of minority movements abroad might well repay in time of war, in the form either of military sabotage or of political nuisance value.

4.                Organisation.

                    In 1937 Voss' Referat was enlarged and renamed Gruppe VII. (as a camouflage) internal differences prevented Voss from becoming the head of the new Gruppe; in his stead Hptm - later Major Grosscurth was appointed with the then Hptm (Capt) Stolze (Stoltze?) as 2 IC    When the German Ministry of War became OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) in spring 1938 further changes were made within the Abwehr; Gruppe VII was now called Abwehr II and two Gruppen were created Gruppe I (Abwehr I consisting of Referate: I-H; I-L- I-M) Groscurth remained Abteilungsleiter. ... Gruppe I under Major Scholze (Scholtz replaced in Spring 1940 by Major Debitsch Obst. Piekenbrock. later Astleiter Paris II Major Debitsch??? AOB I highly doubt this) was concerned →

KV 2/769-1, page 42f

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with long-term subversive activities and political and military sabotage. Gruppe I had three Referate: Referat West, Nordost and Südost, W=Marwede's Referat was 1 West, and he continued to be responsible for Iresland.    Gruppe II under Major Klug, was responsible for operational military sabotage, working in conjunction  with the Army Groups.    In late 1940, a further reorganisation of Abwehr II took place; emphasis was now placed on a regional grouping.    Gruppe West, under Obstlt. von Brandenstein and later Obstlt. Hötzel, was in charge of Referat West Nord (Hptm. Major Kohlhaas, succeeded by Major Astor, who was responsible for Ireland) and of Referat West Süd under Rittmeister (= Captain) Naumann.    Gruppe Ost (Major / Obstlt. von Marwede, succeeded by Major Putz) was responsible for Eastern countries.    A special Gruppe A, under Obst. Stolze (Stoltze?) was formed, whose functions were mainly operational sabotage on the Russian Front.    (For chain of end of Abwehr II in Irish affairs from the beginning of the war till 1940 and from 1940 till end 1942, see Annexes 1 and 2 of this appendix)

5.                Early Abwehr "Advisors".

                   In the twenties, Voss was content to collect general information on political trends from a few people who normally maintained close relations with Ireland.

AOB: In my perception, we encounter too much information on Ireland, I therefore would like to skip this particular side-subject.

I am even not convinced, that the details being really true.

We will continue with KV 2/769-2, page 1

KV 2/769-2, page 1g

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            Prisoner reportedly discussed Held's proposition Russell, but the latter could give little more information. For the first time Russell mentioned the potential strength of the IRA (including sympathisers), which he gave as 5,000-10,000 men (this figure was far below German expectations).    He expressed a hope, based on no factual information, that parts of the Irish Army would join, and, like O'Donovan, was continually emphasising the need for supplied, and suggesting schemes for their delivery.

            Veesenmayer and Abwehr II were disappointed by the scope of Russell's knowledge about IRA.    His lengthy absence from the country had left him out of touch with current events, and while he could give general information about the IRA set-up and leading IRA personalities, he lacked detailed knowledge of the organisation.     It was appeared that liaison with the Irish-American IRA sympathisers was so loose that it was barely constituted a link and did not amount, as Abwehr had hoped, to a possible channel of communication with IRA.    Russell gave some general information about several left-wing \Irish-American revolutionary groups, which were then still in the embryonic stage, but here again his lack of first-hand knowledge was evident.

            In early Aug 1940 preparations for Operation Taube were completed. A U-boat was standing by in Wilhelmshaven.    A now WT transmitter was to be taken for the enlargement of the Irene station (AOB: Irene might have stood for Ireland), and the Auswärtiges Amt had prepared a special code for Russell.    The equivalent of about RM 40,000 in sterling and dollars was handed to Russell.    On the other hand neither Görtz nor the IRA had been warned of Russell's impending arrival, although the former knew that Russell was due in Germany.

            In the meanwhile Rank Ryanm a prominent IRA man, had arrived in Berlin in mid July (see part II para 4).     Ribbentrop and Veesenmayer were still wondering whether Russell might not be a British plant, and three days before Russell left, he was unexpectedly confronted with Ryan.    Their reactions were so genuine that their credentials  were established beyond doubt.    A day later, Russell had his only interview with Canaris (AOB: Canaris was Chief of the entire Abwehr (up to 12 February 1944); and von Lahousen was Leiter Abwehr II), and then with Ribbentrop.    Even at this stage the operation was still in balance, and von Ribbentrop's hesitation was overcome only when Veesenmayer told him of the touching scone of reunion with Ryan.

            It was left to the discretion of Russell whether or not he took Ryan with him on his mission.    After some hesitation (Ryan and Russell had formerly belonged to opposite camps within the IRA), he consented. The German motive for sending Ryan was that Russell throughout his stay in Germany had shown considerable reticence towards the Germans and plainly did not regard himself as a German agent.    Departmental jealousies also played their part:    The Auswärtiges Amt did not allow Abwehr II to brief Russell, and whished to concentrate on political matters.    Russell knew that Görtz was in Eire (Ireland), but Abwehr was not allowed to instruct Russell in detail: (AOB: in formality "das Auswärtiges Amt" possessed no jurisdiction over the Abwehr, the only means possible was playing it via Hitler) and Canaris issued a special order to this effect to von Marwede.    Nevertheless, Canaris was so doubtful about his ability to impose such an order that he sent Stolze (Stoltze?), Deputy Head of Abwehr II, with von Marwede and Prisoner (Kurt Haller) and Prisoner to Wilhelmshaven, whence Russell was to sail, to make sure that the order was obeyed.

            By sending Ryan, Abwehr II felt their own interests would be better safeguarded, as Ryan accepted more easily his position as a German agent.    Although he could not command the same measure of support within the IRA, he knew a wider circle of nationalist Irishmen then Russell did, and Abwehr II, throughout the war, tried - unsuccessfully - to extend their Irish contacts.    Nevertheless, Prisoner is certain that Ryan did not receive the detailed brief from Abwehr; in the first place, there was no time and secondly, it was understood that Ryan was going only as companion and passenger.    he was given a small amount of English and American currency for his personal use.

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            Two days after the Ribbentrop interview (early 1940) they left on their mission.    After a few days at sea, Russell suddenly died, probably of gastric or intestinal uicors??.    His body was committed to the sea and the U-boat was ordered to return to Lorient.

23.        Frank Ryan @ Richard.    

             Ryan's activities in Germany centred mainly round Operation Taube II the successor to the abortive Russell mission.    It was controlled by the Auswärtiges Amt (Veesenmayer) throughout and the Abwehr was consulted only for tech facilities. Full details about Frank Ryan are therefore given in Part II, para 4 and 5.

D.    Liaison with IRA via neutral countries.

24.        General.

             In the course of the war it became increasingly difficult to collect information about Ireland; to send couriers to the IRA by U-boat or aircraft was always a risky undertaking.    The GAF (Luftwaffe) and German Navy also made difficulties, reserving their unconditional right to decide on the dropping or landing point of an agent.    from begin 1940 onwards it was thought that couriers could be sent more unconstructively and with less risk by using neutral countries. Three neutral countries were used: Italy, Spain and Mexico (for USA).

25.        Italy.

            At the beginning of the war Italy seemed the most suitable neutral country (AOB: England and Italy were at war, after Mussolini attacked France (10th of June 1940) and hardly could be since considered a neutral country) for information about Ireland, since Irish priests were living in Rome.    Apart from Jupp Hoven, who was looking for an Irish priest, for the Irish PW Camp (...), two separate attempts were made to penetrate Irish circles in Rome.    The first was made by Fromme, who contacted Irish Catholic circles in Rome via Bewley, the former Irish Minister in Berlin who was then living in retirement in Rome.    The second attempt was made by one Heinrich von Arnoldi, a partner in the Wien (Vienna) building firm of Arnoldi, who believed he could make contact with Irish circles in Rome through German and Austrian priests in Rome.    Prisoner states he cannot recall which particular Irish priests were contacted by those two men, but in any case the results were nil.    A certain amount of general information on Ireland was provided, but it was useless to Abwehr.    Arnoldi was later taken over by Obst. Helfrich (Leiter Ast Rome, and later Leiter Abwehr Italien/Italy)     A plan for sending him to Brazil, where he had some relations, had previously been turned down by Abwehr for reasons Prisoner no longer remembers.

26.       Spain.        

            a)    Stützpunkt Barcelona.

            Herbert Mohr, an Argentine national, had opened this Stützpunkt → in Apr 1940

 KV 2/769-2, page 3i

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            in April 1940.

            It was intended as a link to the Bretons, but was closed down again in July 1940 and not marked by any Abwehr activity.

            b)    Stützpunkt Lisbon-Estoril.

                   Robert Stahmer, a German business man, had opened this Stützpunkt about the same time and was connected with Operation Weisdorn.    It had no significance as regards Ireland.

            c)    Stützpunkt Madrid.

                  The Abwehr report here was Blaum @ Friedrich Baumann, a personal friend of von Marwede and the elder brother of the elder brother of Sdf. Dr. Blaum (AOB: the latter was the much smarter and educated brother), Leiter II  in Portugal   (KV 3/172, KV 3/173 and KV 3/174) Ref. I West(?).    He was an employee of the North German Lloyd, Bremen, and when he was called up, von Marwede arranged for him to be posted to the Brandenburg Regt. (AOB: this Regiment was not yet in existence in 1940!) and later sent him upon the Stützpunkt in Madrid.    The Stützpunkt from Dec. 1940 onwards became part of KO Spain.    Blaum had many friends in the Falangist circles and in and in early 1940 (?) was put in touch by them with the skipper of a small vessel in Bilbao who had volunteered his services and was prepared to take a courier or agent to Eire of Great Britain.    It was thought, however, that the skipper was not reliable; no suitable courier was available at the time and the offer was therefore turned down.

                    In late 1940 the Spanish legal advisor to the Irish Legation in Madrid, Champourcin, put Blaum in touch with a client of his, an Irish woman living in Madrid, Mary Mains @ Margarethe. Margarethe was wiling to act as a courier of the IRA.    She was about 45 years of age, had lived in Spain for many years working as a governess, and had some connection with a Catholic convent. She seemed to come from a highly respectably and staid background, and Abwehr was somewhat puzzled why she agreed to go.    Financial considerations were not involved. Ostensibly she had some legal business to settle in Eire and she left Spain in November 1940,  travelling via England to Eire.    She was given O'Donovan's address in Dublin and brought him again an equivalent of approx RM 30,000 in British and American currency.    She also took the news of Russell's death, an? inquiry whether Frank Ryan, who was now in Germany, would be welcomed by the IRA (the reply was that it was a matter of indifference to the IRA whether Ryan was Germany, Spain or Ireland), WT instructions for Irene, (German W/T station in Ireland), a message for Görtz (in secret writing?) that he would have to make his own way back to German-controlled territory, and above all urgent requests to the IRA to concentrate on military targets in Great Britain and to begin operations.    Margarethe fulfilled her mission satisfactorily.    She met O'Donovan several times and through him Görtz.    She returned to Madrid at Christmas 1940 without a mishap, but later telegrams from Hempel, reporting on Stephen Hayes, showed that she had aroused suspicion.    her connection with Abwehr ceased after her return.

                    In 1941 Blaum succeeded in obtaining crew-lists of Irish vessels calling at Vigo. →


Vigo, strategically situated just north of the Portuguese-Spanish border

→ Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) denies that he was successful in recruiting seamen to act as couriers or agents to Eire.    On the other hand, Blaum did contact Eastwood, the cook of the Edenvale, who had been named by Andrews (..) in one of the messages.    Prisoner again claims that nothing further resulted from this contact.

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27.        Mexico.

.    .    .    .

            Towards end of 1939 or early 1940, during a journey to Bremen, von Marwede happened to be sitting in the same ?? compartment as a German business  man who was talking about the business trips to the USA and Mexico. His permanent domicile was in Mexico and he complained that he and his wife had been caught in Germany by the war.    Von Marwede gave the man his card and asked him to come and see him.    His name turned out to be Carl Rekowski an import and export agent, and his business in Mexico consisted mainly of purchasing oil for German navy and acting as export agent for German paper manufacture, He willingly agreed to turn to Mexico at the earliest opportunity.         

            While the Rekowski case was still under consideration, McCarthy, the steward from the George Washington, had given Fromme on his second visit to Genoa half of of an irregularly torn picture postcard, and an address in New York. He claimed to belong to the radical wing of the Irish-Americans, and told Fromme that he and his friends would be glad to help the Germans from America.

            The German Navy substantiated Rekowski's story and he was soon after recruited into Abwehr II.    Begin April 1940 travelled via Rome by the (Italian) Lati Transatlantic Airline to South America and thence to Mexico, where, ostensibly, he was to continue his normal business.    His Abwehr mission was to get an touch with the New York address of McCarthy and act as liaison agent with the Irish-Americans, who he was to encourage by every means to engage in sabotage.

            In June or July 1940, soon after his (re-)arrival, the George Washington called at a Mexican port.    Rekowski established contact McCarthy, identifying himself by means of the paper slip.    A few weeks later, the George Washington again called at a Mexican port and McCarthy became a fulltime German agent.

            Rekowski communicated with Abwehr by simple code in letters which passed between Rekowski and the Druckpapierverband, for whom he was acting as export agent.    Rekowski also sent several W/T messages through the German Legation in Mexico, addressed to "OKW, attention Mr. Haller".

            It was apparent that there only the loosest contact between the IRA and the Irish-Americans, liaison being maintained by occasional Irishmen who happened to be crossing over (such as McCarthy).    Therefore the plan for a courier service Germany-Mexico-USA (Irish-Americans) - IRA envisaged by Abwehr II had to be abandoned.

            McCarthy now became Rekowski's contact with the Irish-American radical groups.    He noted that they collaborated closely with revolutionary Communist circles, and that they were mainly active among the dockers in the ports on the Eastern coast, especially in Boston.    Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) is unable to give any details of his organisation and claims that Rekowski never left Mexico and relied entirely on McCarthy for keeping him in touch.    The nominal HQ of the organisation seems to have been in New York.

            Even before the war consideration had been given to sending an agent to USA to maintain liaison with the IRA via the Irish-Americans, and simultaneously to act as observer on Irish-American affairs and gather general intelligence.    Two candidates were considered for the task: Pfaus(?) and Neumeister (?. Pfaus had shown himself resourceful during his mission in Eire and had previously lived in the USA;    Neumeister had married an American girl and could have obtained an entry visa to America without difficulty.    For reasons Prisoner can no longer recall, both schemes were rejected.


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Prisoner cannot give the name of the organisation or names of personalities, but he mentioned McCarthy(?) as the founder of the movement.    He was too old at the outbreak of war to take any active interest.    The Irish-Americans although in sympathy with the IRA, were much further to the Left, and displayed an independence, which made them unwilling to accept any kind of orders from Rekowski, so that sabotage operations had to be left entirely to their discretion.   ??      


(4)   (since 4  June 2024)

I reported  →   six successful cases of sabotage on British or American ships carrying war material to Britain, but could not give the names of the ships or any evidence other than McCarthy's report, and even after Rekowski's return to Germany, he was unable to confirm this sabotage in any way.    For this reason the success of the operations was regarded with suspicions by Abwehr II and they may have been faked to obtain more money from Rekowski.

            Towards end 1940 or early 1941, Rekowski was subject to Press attacks in the USA, which alleged that he and Herzlet, another German business man in Mexico, were under-cover run from the Nazi-Party and in charge of vast sums secretly transferred by Nazi bosses for their own use in the event of a German defeat.  Prisoner states that this was only half true. Herzlet was a business man who had nothing to do with either the Party or Abwehr; nor was Rekowski a Party member.    On the other hand, Abwehr II transferred considerable sums of money via neutral countries (Spain?) ostensibly for Rekowski's business account.

            Rekowski seems to have had very good connection with Mexican Government circles. He often boasted of the case with which high personalities could be bribed.    In March 1941 Rekowski, through one such official leackage, was warned that the USA were investigating his activities. He thought it prudent to withdraw; his passage on a Japanese ship was arrange through the Japanese Military Attaché in Berlin and he returned to Germany via Japan and Russia (Trans-Siberian Express) ... .

            When Rekowski left, he handed over his Stützpunkt to Engels, a Mexican business man of German origin.    Engels, however, remained inactive and Abwehr II were content to let matters rest, because they did not wish to infringe American neutrality any further.    The German attack on the USSR in June (22nd, 1941)  in any case marked the end of Irish-American collaboration, since they now no longer regarded the war as one of "imperialist capitalist aggression".

            Rekowski arrived in German in June 1941 (before the 22nd).    His business collapsed with his departure and another Abwehr mission was not at the moment available.  He was therefore sent for military training to the Brandenburg Regiment, and then attended to von Marwede's staff without any specific duties.    He suggested two scheme's for his future employment:-

            a)    He wished to be sent to the representation of the Skoda works to Argentina or Brazil (AOB: in the event that Rekowski had arrived in Brazil, he would have been expelled und US diplomatic pressure and interned in the US and then exchanged against US citizen in German hands and would have arrived in Germany again; this in contrast to Argentine), and continued from there.    As a genuine Skoda representation had recently been sent, it was thought that a change in personnel would attract attention to Rekowski.    The (Italian) Lati Airline had suspended service and hence there were difficulties in getting Rekowski to South America.

            b)    A few months later Rekowski suggested that he should be landed by U-boat in Yucatan, Mexico.    He was convinced that his contacts in Mexican government circles were sufficient to prevent his internment, and even in the Irish-Americans could not be induced to undertake sabotage operations, he could procure military intelligence of a general nature, and possibly organise other sabotage missions.    Abwehr II thought this not worth the effort and did not believe that Rekowski could, in fact recruit saboteurs in Mexico.    It was thought that he was fundamentally interested only in returning to Mexico to save his considerable private fortune there.

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            In Summer 1942 Rekowski was attending as personal assistant to Grobba, German (Diplomat) Minister in Iraq, and Auswärtiges Amt representative to the Arab refugee groups in Germany.    Grobba appointed Rekowski organiser of the Arab Bureau without responsibility for policy.    In point of fact Rekowski became glorified majordomo to the Grand Mufti and Galiani, the Iraq "Prime Minister", during the abortive revolt (opposing strongly against Britain), and looked after the welfare of these persons and their considerable entourage.    He was also frequently consulted by Veesenmayer in view of his of his wide foreign experience.    Had Operation Taube succeeded, Rekowski was to have given a high position in the German-occupied Ireland. When Veesenmayer became Ambassador in Budapest, he took Rekowski and Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) with him as his personal assistants.

28.        Other Agents sent or to be sent.

                Prisoner has been interrogated at some length on these disclaims knowledge of them.    Some of the were controlled Abwehr I (= military intelligence), and others by Abwehr II Gruppe 2 (Major Klug).  Interdepartmental cooperation in Abwehr was not all that could be desired, and these missions were planned and sometimes started in spite of directive that Veesenmayer should be consulted.

            a)    Schütz (?)

                    Controlled by Abwehr I L(=Intelligence Luftwaffe concerned).    Parachuted into Co (Commanding Officer??) Wicklow in early 1941 and arrested on landing.    Abwehr II knew of this case only through newspaper reports, and Veesenmayer was not consulted.    After this Canaris (head of the entire Abwehr)  issued another order requiring Abwehr to contact Veesenmayer in all casus.

            b)    O'Neil.

                    Controlled by Abwehr I M (= Marine = Navy) (Ahlrichs and Meizel(?).    Merchant seaman recruited by Hoven from an internment camp near Bremen.    Permission to send this man to Eire (Ireland) was refused by Veesenmayer in January or February 1943.

            c)    O'Reilly

                    Controlled by Abwehr Wi (=Wirtschaft think of industrial or economics). .    An Irish labourer of some education, who had been brought from the Channel Island (mainly Jersey and Guernsey) and worked for some time at the Hermann Goering Werke Waterstedt?    He had then worked in the Irish Service of the German Radio (Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft) under Hartmann, and was recruited from there for a mission to Eire (Ireland).    Permission was refused twice (?) by Veesenmayer in 1943.    Prisoner was surprised to learn that O'Reilly had been sent to Eire (Ireland) after all and concludes that he must have been sent by R.S.H.A. Amt VI (AOB: thus after, say, August 1944; the SS controlled R.S.H.A. was a different situation. Abwehr II was amalgamated with in Skortzeny's Amt VI-S!) and after Veesenmayer left as German Minister in Hungary = Budapest).

            d)    O'Duffy @ Winter.               

                        Another Irish labourer from the Channel Islands (think of Jersey and Guernsey).    He also worked at Waterstedt, then came to Berlin and volunteered his services to the S.D., who asked Clissmann to screen him.    O'Duffy was trained as WT (W/T) operator at a Reichspost trg (training?) centre and considered as a possible member of Operation Taube II (see Appendix A Part II, ppara 5 (b).    He was meanwhile working as WT (W/T) operator at the main WT station of Auswärtiges Amt (= Beelitz).    Prisoner lost sight of him beginning 1944.

            e)    Anon (?).

                    Irish seaman. name forgotten.    He had stayed behind in Hamburg(?) at the outbreak of war because of a wound in the leg, and subsequently was recruited by Abwehr I M (= Marine / Navy)  (Ast) Hamburg or (Nest) Bremen (Humpert).    Permission for his employment was refused in 1943 and he returned to Eire (Ireland) via Portugal without any Abwehr brief.

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            f)    Dillen.

                    Another Irishman recruited from an internment camp, and working for Hartmann of the Irish Service until 1944.     He then left for some other employment, but Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) can give no information as to whether he was used by Abwehr or SD.; he considers it very likely. (AOB: time and again the Allied interrogators do lack understanding between the S.D. and the Abwehr and their later successor R.S.H.A. Amt VI (whereas S.D. belonged to R.S.H.A. Amt III (Germany internal) and IV (S.D. related to foreign countries). Amt VI and Mil Amt or Amt Mil. were not directly related to the S.D/SD! It is really sad that these men had been so poorly trained and informed!!)

            g)    Obed, Trybuth and Diewergärtner.

                        Prisoner claims complete ignorance about this mission.    Responsibility for it rested with Abwehr II Gruppe 2 (Major Klug).    Gruppe 1 was not informed, although they later heard that the three men had been captured soon after the landing.

29.    Activities of Francis Stuart.

                Towards en January or February 1940, Francis Stuart, the Irish writer, left Eire ostensibly for Switzerland, but went on to Germany, where he took up the post of reader English at Berlin University.    On this occasion he brought a short message from O'Donovan, the contents of which were unimportant (something like: "All well, send money").

                Prisoner states that Stuart did not play any appreciable rôle in Irish affairs in Germany.    His main use was in providing general information about Ireland.    Abwehr II had hoped to use his services to a much greater extent than, in fact, they did.    Stuart was known for his rabidly anti-British attitude and his attitude and his Irish nationalist sentments.    He was, however, not a member of the IRA, although in sympathy with them, and seems to have lacked the necessary courage and temperament to associate himself actively with revolutionary or sabotage activities.

                Görtz had long talks with Stuart before he left on his mission. The nature of these talks is not known to Prisoner but it was part of Görtz'attempt to glean background information and practise his English.    Stuart also gave Görtz the address of his wife in Eire (Ireland).

                In summer 1940 Stuart took part in the preliminary selection of Irish PW (Prisoner of War).    He also looked after Ryan when the latter arrived in Berlin; this was later taken over by Clissmann.

               Stuart's collaboration with the Abwehr comprised:

                a)    Bringing a message from the IRA

                b)    Selection of Irish PW.

                c)    Giving general information on Ireland, specially in Görtz'case, and giving Görtz the address of his wife in Eire (see para 18)

                d)    Reporting favourably on Rosaleen James (see para 30)

                e)    Looking after Frank Ryan for a short while.

            Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) states that Stuart had nothing to do with operations Taube or Taube II.    He denies that Stuart was to take a shipment of arms to Eire (Ireland), although the possibility may have been vaguely discussed with him.    Stuart would have certainly agreed to go, but Abwehr II did not think him suitable for such mission.

30.      Abwehr Activities of Rosaleen James @ O'Mara.

                    Rosaleen James was an English actress of Irish descent, who during the war broadcast for the Germans. In late 39 she had a love-affair with a Ukrainian whom she met at Vienna (Wien) Broadcasting Station (House), and became pregnant,. She separated from him soon after and found herself in a difficult position, since she could no longer continue her stage career and was without resources.

                    Von Marwede's attention was drawn to the girl by a man from the Reichstheaterkammer and he ordered Prisoner and gave von Stauffenberg (not the one whom placed the bomb next to Hitler on 20 July 1944) to see if she → might be

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might be of use to the Abwehr.    Prisoner states that Abwehr II's motives in taking up the case were largely humanitarian, but admits that they tried to recruit her as an agent.

                    Prisoner cannot say why James was not interned at the beginning of hostilities, but it was not due to Abwehr intervention.    At the time Prisoner first met her she was under very strict police supervision.    During Prisoner's first visit with Görtz @ Dr. Braun, he offered to get her a "stateless" Fremdenpass and James gave him her British passport for safekeeping, since it might have been if it were found on her.    Prisoner stood surety for James to the police, and after that police supervision was completely relaxed.

                    On Prisoner's suggestion Abwehr paid her for the next four of five months about RM 400 per month, which sum was entered as advances to a potential agent.    It was contemplated using her as a courier to Eire (Ireland) and Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) tentatively broached the subject to her once or twice.    At the time James, although not actualy volunteering for any mission, seemed not disclined to go, and constantly tried to prove to Prisoner her strong Irish nationalist and pro-German sentiments, but he thought her views were merely opportunist in order to make the most of thisunexpected source of income and he therefore remained unconvinced.  He declares that for this reason Abwehr at no time seriously considered her as a suitable agent and it was definitely not the case that James either refused to go or that he lost his temper with her.

                    He further states that it is a matter of mystery to him why James has mentioned England or Wales as her possible destination.    There was never any suggestion that she should act as pathfinder for German troops in the invasion; he he angrily denies that he asked her to lead troops to Churchill's country house or other places.

                    Görtz @ Baun made use of James to brush up his English for his liaison to Eire (Ireland).    Prisoner thinks it improbable that James was aware at the time that she was being used; after Görtz had left she was told however, his real name and tha he he had gone to Eire, either by Stuart or by Prisoner.    These English lessons were her only contribution to the Abwehr work.

                    In late summer (?) 1940, Prisoner introduced James to Stuart and asked him to use her as translator in connection with his academic work.    Stuart agreed, and in fact took her into his house. Rumours reached Prisoner that she was Stuart's mistress.    from this time onwards all Abwehr payments ceased.

                    It is quite possible that Fromme (who was not really a professor) advised James to steer clear of Prisoner.    Fromme, as Abwehr man, may have been trying from humanitarian motives to save the girl from getting embroiled? in in Abwehr work.    The same cannot be said of Stuart.    His hatred of Britain was too strong for him to treat Prisoner's suggestions as a joke. In fact, Prisoner once asked Stuart's opinion of James' suitable as a courier but not as an Agent.

                    Later James left Stuart's house and Prisoner recommended her to Hartmann of the Irish (Broadcast) Service of the German radio, where she found temporary employment.    Prisoner lost sight of her from 1940 onwards, but assured that she must have resumed her stage career.    She phoned him occasionally to keep him  informed of her whereabouts, since he continued to stand surety for her to the police.    Prisoner adds that James was really a charity case for Abwehr II.    Her cover-name "Dornröschen" was aptly chosen.


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Appendix A to Final Report 89

Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller

Part II

Büro Veesenmayer and the IRA.

1.    Introduction.

                 Veesenmayer played a sinister role in the brief and brutal history of Nazi power politics.    He applied the Nazi technique of disruption, conspiracy, bribery, cynical exploitation and sudden force to the field of foreign relations and patiently prepared for his country's lightning conquests.    A mad visionary, an untiring  intriguer, a hard-boiled realist, he had little respect for traditional diplomacy or the crudity of uncouth, blundering displays of force.                   

               He was the "political agent" on the grand scale, the man of mystery operating in the murky twilight of Balkan politics.    Patiently he plotted to disrupt the stability and integrity of German neighbours; so that when the Wehrmacht struck, a government would crumble more easily, an army surrender more quickly, a general desert to the other side, and a new government of "honourable men" be in office before the dazed people had had time to express their indignation.

                Veesenmayer was born in 1905 in Kempen/Bavaria, the son of an unsuccessful painter. He studied political science at München working his way through college, and then became assistant   to Professor Dorn of the Technische Hochschule München.

                Early in his student days he was drawn into politics and became fascinated by the brilliant nihilism Oswald Spengler (AOB: author of: Untergang des Abendlandes)    he met other admires, such as Gregor Strasser and Himmler, quarrelling with the latter over the suppression of the trade unions.     An early member of the Nazi Party, he became the protégé of the notorious Wilhelm Keppler, the brain behind Hitler's Goering's Four-Year Plan, later Undersecretary of State in Ribbentrop's Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).    from 1933 onwards he was employed in a minor capacity in the Reichskanzlei, but his work brought him into contact with business interests in Süd-Ost Europe.    He held,    among others, directorship in the Dresdner Bank and Schenker & Co (Reichsbahn property), the transport firm.

                  In 1938 Keppler took Veesenmayer as his right-hand man to prepare the annexation of Austria.    Keppler had picked Seyss-Inquart when he was comparatively unknown, and conducted secret negotiations in which Veesenmayer showed great adroitness.    It was here that Veesenmayer gained his first laurels.

                Veesenmayer was then sent as secret envoy of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) to prepare for his country's expansion in the Balkans.    He used Balkan émigrés abroad and penetrated the Ustasha Secret Society. His mission was to foster a Croatian State and weaken the fighting power of the Yugoslav and Greek armies.    In Spring 1941, after fighting begun, Veesenmayer was smuggled into Yugoslavia through the Abwehr II  agents' net Jupiter and persuaded Colonel, later Genaral Kvaternik, to go over to the German.    Kvaternik proved an inept politician; after the occupation Veesenmayer  chose Pavelic, then in exile in Italy, as new Premier of Croatia.     

                Next Veesenmayer turned his attention to Serbia.    HMihailovic and his Cetniks were making trouble there.    Veesenmayer put Nedic in power after study of captured documents which showed him to have been secret leader of the peace-at-any-price faction, and thereby hurt the feelings of Ljotic, leader of the Serbian Fascist Party.

                One puppet government were satisfactory installed Veesenmayer to Berlin, but he kept a watchful eye on the Balkan scene and apparently had excellent information services.    He had a habit of turning up unexpectedly just before a crisis, a fact which made him unpopular with the career diplomats.

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                During 1942-43 Veesenmayer concentrated on crushing Tito's resistance and Communist influence; he persuaded Mihailovic to stop fighting the German Army and is believed by Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) to have approached the British and American missions attached to Mihailovic.    Later on he approved of the flirtations of the Greek, Yugoslav and Roumanian governments with the Western Allies, in whom he saw the last remaining counterchecks to Soviet expansion.   In March 1944 Veesenmayer became German Ambassador to Hungary (AOB: actually: Bevollmächtigter des Großdeutschen Reiches in Ungarn), where he tolerated the traditional Balkan policy of double-crossing, but himself double-crossed the Hungarians through Szalasy's Fascists. Allegedly he came into conflict with Himmler, whose neat Teutonic mind wished to solve the Balkan problem by arresting all Balkan politicians and running the countries through SS plenipotentiaries, but a compromise was reached on this point.  

2.    Veesenmayer takes over control of Irish Affairs from Abwehr.

                    Veesenmayer's concern with the IRA was only of minor importance.    As a specialist on Süd-Ost Europa Europe, he knew little about Ireland, but, when Ribbentrop in May 1940 Sean Russell to Germany, he entrusted Veesenmayer with the handling of the IRA as the only FO (Foreign Office = Auswärtiges Amt) man versed in conspiratorial technique.    Ribbentrop gave orders (legally not directly possible but indirectly) to Canaris that in future all Abwehr operations from or against Ireland required Veesenmayer's consent.

                    On the whole, Veesenmayer did not view military sabotage with favour.    Firstly, he argued, the again achieved was rarely in proportion to the effort of risk, and secondly, at least in the case of Eire (Ireland), De Valera (President of Ireland) government might be induced to abandon neutrality in the face of an open German alliance with the IRA, or the British might make it an excuse to invade the country.*

* A terse paragraph in the Irish national dailies on 3 May 1945 started the avalanche of international protest. Under the heading ‘People and Places’, the Fianna Fáil-backed Irish Press reported laconically that the Taoiseach and Minister for External Affairs, Éamon de Valera, accompanied by the Secretary of External Affairs, Joseph Walshe, ‘called on Dr Hempel, the German minister, last evening, to express his condolences’. The condolences were for Hitler who had committed suicide on 30 April. The Irish Times was prevented by the censor from publishing the following report from Reuter on 3 May: ‘Éire delegation mourns Hitler. Lisbon, May 3. The Éireann Minister in Lisbon today hoisted the German swastika at half mast over the legation as a sign of mourning for Hitler’. While the report that de Valera had condoled with the German minister was accurate, the Lisbon report was incorrect on one count. The swastika did fly at half mast over the Irish legation in Lisbon; but it had not been placed there by an Irish diplomat. While the Irish occupied the ground floor, the headquarters of German intelligence for the Iberian peninsula was situated on the floor above. They, not the Irish, had hung out the swastika in sympathy.
Both pieces of information—one accurate and the other false—were sent by the international wire agencies around the world. Éamon de Valera, the leader of neutral Ireland, was widely interpreted internationally as being pro-Axis and personally sympathetic to Hitler. The swastika at half mast was further proof, if proof were needed, that the Irish diplomatic service abroad had been instructed to show respect for Hitler and his fallen Reich. No such instruction had been issued by the Department of External Affairs to its mission abroad. One Irish envoy, Leopold Kerney, had, without instructions, called on 3 May at the German embassy in Madrid to express his condolences. The reports of his visit were carried by the Spanish news agency, EFE. Fortunately, for Ireland’s tattered reputation the letters of gratitude he received remained unpublished. A former Spanish foreign Minister and philo-Nazi, Ramon Serrano Suner, wrote with embarrassing warmth to Kerney about de Valera’s action: ...


                    By then Görtz had already left on his mission, but it was soon apparent that Görtz had failed. The Auswärtiges Amt was uneasily aware that its worst fears might well be realised and, during his period in liberty Görtz was a source of embarrassment to Veesenmayer;    in fact, he expressed further mischief (Prisoner had meanwhile been attached to Veesenmayer as Abwehr II liaison officer).   

3.    Sean Russell Operations Taube.

                    Veesenmayer was playing for bigger stakes.    In May 1940, a week after Russell's arrival, the German offensive against the Low Countries (10 May 1940) began, and made the invasion of Britain a likely development.    Eire (Ireland) might serve as an additional jumping-off point; at the  very least, unrest in Eire (Ireland), fostered by Germany through the IRA, would force Britain to divert forces to guard her exposed flank.    (Veesenmayer was exceptionally secretive and Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) was not present at any of his meetings with Russell, but he gathered as much from chance remarks made by Veesenmayer later on.)

                    Prisoner cannot say how far Russell was told of German plans.    There is no doubt that he was given to understand that if he succeeded in welding the IRA into an effective underground organisation, he would receive German support, but at the same time Russell's reticence, the unknown strength of the IRA, Ribbentrop's suspicion of Russell, the fact that Russell had largely lost touch with the IRA rank and file, and finally the danger that Russell might be captured, must have made the Auswärtiges Amt  exceptionally cautious.  It is unlike that Russell would have been entrusted with information which might have far-reaching effects on Irish neutrality or have been of value to the other side.    The German attitude depended on results; if Russell could build up an efficient subversive movement with his IRA, Germany would be more ready to commit herself at the cost of losing De Valera's neutrality.

                    Russell's death on the U-boat came as a shock to Veesenmayer.    Apart from the end of Operation Taube, Veesenmayer knew that Russell's death might well be regarded with suspicion by the IRA.    He therefore took statements from Ryan, the U-boat Commander and the sickbay orderly, and noted the names of →

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→ the crew.    Ryan died in 1943, and the U-boat was later sunk, but the statements and the Russell file remained in Veesenmayer's personal safe. When Veesenmayer left for Hungary they were taken to the basement of the Auswärtiges Amt. Prisoner cannot say whether these documents were later destroyed or where they might be now.

                    The IRA was notified by "Margarethe" (...) and Rekowski (see ...) of Russell's death.    The Irish government had also come to hear of Russell's presence in Germany (through American Press reports?), and naturally viewed it with great suspicion.    They remained unconvinced when rumours began to reach them about his death, which they flatly disbelieved. Kerney, the Irish Minister in Madrid, put out a feeler through Clissmann in Nov 1941; he was told privately that Russell had died in Aug 1940 of gastric ulcers, in France.

  (5(since 10  June 2024)

4.    Frank Ryan @ Richards (= KV 2/1291 - KV 2/1292; PF 45668)

                    When Veesenmayer returned with Frank Ryan in mid Aug 1940 from Lorient (German Submarine base up to May 1945) , where Ryan had been landed after Russell's death on board the U-boat,  he had already decided to use Ryan as Russell's successor in the IRA operation. Ryan's only effective use to the Germans was in connection with this operation.    In Oct 1940 control of Ryan was transferred from Abwehr II (basically concerned with some form of sabotage) to the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office).

                    Until 1940 Ryan was barely known at Abwehr II , and not at all (überhaupt nicht) at the Auswärtiges Amt (A.A.).    Mordrel in 1937 or 1938 had reported a meeting with Ryan,  while on leave from International Brigade in Spain (AOB: mainly 'Communist minded' volunteers opposing Franco's Forces)     It was later learned through Press reports that he had been condemned to death by Franco, but that the sentence had been commuted to thirty years' imprisonment.    Pfaus, after his mission to Eire (Ireland) in 1939, reported that IRA feeling was against Ryan, since he had alienated their sympathy by fighting for the Reds.    This information, seemingly emanating from O'Duffy's  Fascists, was discounted as untrustworthy.    Towards the end of 1939 the Hoven/Clissmann circle attempted to intervene of Ryan's behalf, on the grounds that they would guarantee his collaboration with Abwehr.    When Major Diebitsch became Gruppenleiter I (= military intelligence), Jupp Hoven and Clissmann gained his confidence, and he backed their request.    In May 1940, Abteilung II (sabotage) requested the release of Ryan by the Spanish government.    As a preliminary measure Blaum (AOB: alias Baumann, the less smart brother of Sdf. Dr. Blaum in K.O. Portugal) of Madrid was instructed to obtain information about Ryan: this he produced through Chamourcin, the Spanish legal advisor to the Irish Legation in Madrid.    He found out where Ryan was held (in Spanish captivity), and made it clear that Ryan would only be released at the intervention of the highest German government circles.    Canaris (Leiter of the entire Amt Ausland/Abwehr) intervened personally (at the request of von Lahousen or K.O. Spain) (AOB: Canaris was on most friendly terms with the highest Spanish military circles, up to his dismissal in February 1944) up to and Ryan's release was granted on condition that he should appear as a successful escape.

                    In July 1940 Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller)    was sent to Henday (AOB: the French (train) border town opposite Urun, in Spain), where Ryan arrived in company of Blaum and a numerous Spanish escort.    Ryan and Prisoner immediately left for Paris, where Ryan remained some weeks to recover from his imprisonment.    Two days before Russell's departure (AOB: trip to Ireland in a German U-boat where the latter passed away) he was ordered to Berlin and confronted with Russell.    As already related he then accompanied him on Operation Taube.

5.    Operation Taube II ("Seeadler" in the Abwehr files).

                    Veesenmayer found Ryan an able politician and a fervent Irish nationalist.    He was favourably impressed by his strong personality and political acumen (judgement), which was much above that of Russell and what was known of the other IRA leaders.    On the other hand Ryan had been away from Eire (Ireland) since 1936 and had made enemies among the right-wing clique in the IRA. He was, however, the only Irishman of sufficient stature available and after his return from Lorient in Aug 1940 Veesenmayer began to groom (?) him for his role as leader of Operation Taube II, the proposed sequel to the Russell mission (AOB: which was interrupted due to Russell's death onboard a German submarine heading for an illicit landing at an Irish shore, but returned after Russell's death to his base in France) 

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                    Operation Taube II never materialised.    It dragged on for three years and changed its character from an auxiliary offensive operation against Great Britain to a defensive action in the event of a British infringement of Irish neutrality.

a)    The First Phase:    Offensive.

                    From October 1940 till about summer 42 it was still conceived as essentially a repetition of the Russell mission.    Ryan had good connections with nationalist circles on the fringe of and outside the IRA;  he had numerous friends in the Republican movement, in Fianna Fail, the Labour Party and TUs, the Irish Press, the Gaelic League and the Gae?ic Athletic Association.    While stimulating the IRA to activity (here the emphasis lay on fomenting feeling against England rather than sabotage) Ryan - who claimed to have indirect access through his friends to 'De Valera' (Irish President) and his Cabinet - was at the same time to approach the Irish government and suggest that the German invasion of |Britain would be an opportune moment for the seizure of Northern Ireland.    Public opinion would be on their side (Ryan would see to that) and German support assured, but the Germans would act after 'De Valera' had committed himself.    Ryan had told Veesenmayer that De Valera would support such a plan as this, provided he considered it a legitimate risk to take.

                    The Taube II Mission was to consist of the following:

Frank Ryan                    Leader of the Mission.

Helmut Clissmann       German LO (leading officer?).    Clissmann had been attend? to Büro Veesenmayer after his return from the abortive Operation Walfisch.

Ogfr. Bruno Rieger      W/T Operator, detailed from Regiment Brandenburg.    He was to maintain communications between Auswärtiges Amt, Abteilung II and the Mission and restore the Irene (likely meant Ireland?) W/T traffic.

                    A more powerful W/T transmitter than had been given to Russell mission was provided.    As regards codes and W/T procedure these remained as before.    The operation was controlled exclusively by Veesenmayer (AOB: thus directed by the German Foreign Office), although Abwehr was instructed to cooperate in technical matters.    The mission was to have been landed at a point on the Irish coast by U-boat. The coast of County Kerry, Dingle Bay and Galway Bay were considered, but the exact point point was never settled.    For reasons of security no one was warned of their impeding arrival.    Neither Clissmann nor Ryan nor Rieger was given a cover-name or false papers.    Ryan was too well known and Clissmann also had many acquaintances. Furthermore Abwehr I G (AOB: I G = Abteilung I Geheim, this section 'I' handled false documents of all kinds) was at the time in no position to issue forged Irish papers (AOB: falsified documents can only be produced as long as they possessed detailed knowledge of what something is about and the peculiarities of each kind of document is known), nor was it believed that they would be necessary.    After landing, the party planned to bury the W/T set and split up, Rieger remaining with Clissmann.    Posing as hikers on a holiday (as Görtz had done before them)  the would make their way to Dublin independently and trust on their many friends to look after them from then onwards.

                    Irish Contacts:     Clissmann has stated that no out-and-dried plan of action was evolved, but had agreed to meet again either at Ryan's former lodging, An Staid, Parnell St. Dublin, or possibly at the printing works (name forgotten) owned by Ryan.    Clissmann has given the following names of Ryan's friends who were also known to him personally and all of whom were considered reliable.    After arrival in Dublin they would have contacted some of them and studied carefully the Irish attitude in the light of changed circumstances before deciding to act.

Ellie Ryan                    Sister of Ryan, age 37-40.    Employed as a typist at the National University Association, St. Stephens Green, Dublin.    Lived with her parents in a Dublin suburb.

Ryan (fnu)(= first name unknown)    brother of Frank, aged 50-55.    Profession: teacher. Could be contacted through the Irish National Teachers Club, Parnell Square, Dublin.

.    .    .

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b)    The Second Phase: Defensive.            

                    Winter 41/42 saw the height of unrestricted U-boat warfare.    It was now seriously feared that Great Britain might overrun Eire (Ireland) to gain the use of Southern Irish ports as anti-submarine bases.    German forces were engaged elsewhere; it was suggested by von Lahousen (Abwehr II) or Veesenmayer (German Foreign Office) that two German divisions should be held in readiness near Brest for such an eventually; they would be ferried across to Eire (Ireland), together with arms for the Irish, under protection of the German Navy (Kriegsmarine).    The mission would act in liaison HQ between the Irish Army and the German forces.    The plan was rejected out of hand by OKW (= Oberkommando der Wehrmacht), since neither neither land nor sea forces of sufficient strength were available.    Veesenmayer suggested to Ribbentrop (German Foreign Affairs Minister) a more modest plan which he would prepare in collaboration with R.S.H.A. Amt VI (Leiter Walter Schellenberg).    A preliminary conference was held at the Sonderstab HWK (= Handels- und Wirtschaftskammer) under Admiral Gross in OKW) in which the German Navy, the GAF (=Luftwaffe) and Abwehr II took part, Major Hotzel or Major Astor representing Abwehr II. Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) does not know what was discussed - possibly the feasibility of getting arms to Eire (Ireland) by air or blockade-runners.    Later on Veesenmayer had repeated conferences with Schellenberg (Leiter Amt VI) and Ostuf (= Obersturmführer = Oblt.) Dörner, of Amt VI.    Prisoner understands the following have been the upshot of these talks:

                    Through (S.S.) Obergruppenführer (= General Oberst) Jüttner, who is believed by Prisoner to have acted as LO (Leading Officer?) between R.S.H.A. and the Waffen-SS, the Waffen-SS put at the disposal of  Amt VI a unit of about 100 picked men, commanded by Hauptsturmführer (Htpm. = Captain) van Vessem, a Dutchman.    These men were to act primarily as instructors to Irish regular and irregular forces.    The Ryan mission was to land a few days in advance of the main party, which was to be dropped later at points notified by the mission by W/T.    Arms would be simultaneously be dropped by air, and later sent to Eire (Ireland) by blockade-runners from France (Christian Nissen had already been vaguely earmarked for this job).    The S.S. men were to train Irish volunteers and units of the Irish Army in the use of modern weapons, and take charge of small dets ? of irregular forces.    It was Ryan's first task to ensure that the Germans would be welcomed as allies and liberators.    In the event of Eire (Ireland) being over by the British within a few days, it was hoped that the Irish, by temperament and tradition, would be suitable for conducting guerrilla warfare. provided they received the stiffening of German instructors.

                    Meanwhile Brady and Stinger (...) had been trained by Rieger as W/T operators,    After the unfortunate experience with Wash, Irish PW (Prisoner of War)  were viewed with distrust and it was intended that they should go to Eire (Ireland)  with the Waffen-SS detachment, where, under close supervision, they would operate sub W/T stations, and act as local guides.    O'Duffy @ Winter (...) was another possible W/T operator.    He was considered reliable enough to work without supervision. Oblt. Jupp Hoven, then on active service with a parachute Regiment  and Lt. Hocker of the Brandenburg (Regiment Kurfürst) were also earmarked as further members, and would have been recalled for operational purposes.

                    Prisoner (Dr. Kurt Haller) insists that the outline of the plan, as given above, is in fact all that was worked out and that no further details are available. Prisoner has never heard of "Unternehmen Tausend ".

                    In Nov 1942 Clissmann and Rieger were sent to the SS unit then training at Oranienburg.    Ostensibly they were to give English lessons, but their real instructions were to form personal  impressions about the unit, and weed out those unsuitable for the operation.    They found the men arrogant and contemptuous of all the foreigners: as a result of their adverse report and even more of the new unlikely eventually of a |British attack on Eire (Ireland), the unit was released by Veesenmayer for other duties.

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                    By the end of 1942 no one, least of all Veesenmayer, believed that Operation Taube II would still materialise.    He officially notified Ribbentrop that about twelve men were nevertheless still standing by.    This was an overstatement.    Available were: Ryan, Clissmann, Rieger, possibly Brady, O'Duffy and Stinger.    Veesenmayer added to these Oblt. Hoven, Lt. Hocker and Christian Nissen, who could be made available, and Rekowski and Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller), as his personal assistants.

                    In Feb. 1943, Clissmann returned to the Regiment Brandenburg and Rieger as W/T operator to the Auswärtiges Amt.    Ryan's health deteriorated, so that from that time onwards he was unfit for active service.

c)    Ryan Waits.  (AOB: quite incorrectly writing Waits instead of waits or even better waiting)

                    From Oct 1940 until Jun 1943 Ryan (Waits?) lived in Berlin, waiting first for the Germans to invade Britain (Unternehmen Seeloewe), and then for the British to invade Eire (Ireland).    To his regret - as he was anxious to return home - neither materialised.    Until Jan 1943 Clissmann was detailed to look after him. They shared various furnished flats in Berlin and virtually did nothing.    Ryan (Waits?) moved under the alias Richard (AOB: this may point at Waits meant is waiting instead of a name), had a German passport and was paid his expenses and RM 600 per month.    To keep him "sweet", he received Irish and foreign (news)papers, and was occasionally asked to write reports on Irish affairs.    He could move about freely and was often visited by the Büro Veesenmayer staff.    He sometimes met Stuart, but avoided the Irish Legation staff and Irish Prisoners of War).    Regarding himself as an Irish patriot and  not a creature of the Germans refused to associate himself in any way with Hartmann's Irish broadcasts, where he might otherwise have found temporary employment.    Towards end 1942 Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) asked him to give an opinion on Codd, Stringer, Brady, Strogen, Lee, Cawley and Johnson, and he saw these men briefly under the alias of Maloney (?).

                    Ryan remained in Berlin from Oct 1940 onwards, with the following exceptions:

Oct or Nov 1940           Brief visit with Clissmann to Mrs. Clissmann in Copenhagen.

Christmas 1940            As above.

Easter 1941                   Visit with Clissmann to the latter's family in Aachen, followed by a holiday in the Ardennes.

Autumn 1941               Visit alone to the Leipzig Fair.

Winter 1942                 Another visit to Nissen.

Christmas 1942           Another visit to Mrs. Clissmann in Copenhagen.

Begin 1942                   Short stay in sanatorium in the Harz Mountains.

                    Prisoner disputes that Ryan could have met Mordrel at Christmas 1940 and in March 1941.    Throughout his stay in Germany he was under continual supervision and it is impossible that he could have slipped away unobserved.  The only times he could have met Mordrel were in Jul 1940, when he arrived from Spain, and in Aug 1940 on his return from Lorient (= German Submarine Base).

                    From begin 1943 onwards Ryan's health declined; he remained sickly throughout 1943, entered a sanatorium in Dresden in Feb 1944, and died of cardiac embolism on 10 Jun 1944.    He was buried under his alias, Richard in the cemetery at Dresden-Loschwitz.

6.    Contact with Kerney.               

                    This has been fully covered in paras 10, 14 and 15 of Second Supplement to FR 41  (AOB: FR = Final Report this is typically an US G-2 type of designation; and not a British designation) dated 30 May 1946.    For the sake of completeness it is here briefly summarised as follows:

                    Veesenmayer had noted a lack of accurate "inside" information about Ireland, and wished to contact the Irish Minister in Madrid, Kerney, for this purpose.    Kerney was a personal friend of of Mrs. Clissmann and in Dec 1940 the latter was despatched to establish contact on a purely personal basis.    This led to two meetings between Kerney and Clissmann in Nov 1941 and Jan 1942 in Madrid, and to a further meeting between Kerney and Veesenmayer,  in or near Biarritz (at the Bay of Biscay in France) in Sep 1942, Clissmann noting as interpreter.    The fact that these meetings tool place was kept secret.    Kerney was given →

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reassuring information  about Ryan and Russell (he was told the latter had died in France (AOB: it should have occurred onboard a German submarine heading for Ireland) and an attempt was made to elicit information from from him about the IRA and De Valera's (AOB: Irish Minister President during, at least, the wartime day) attitude.    Veesenmayer's main idea to impress Kerney with the strength of Germany and the value of Germany as Eire's (Ireland's) ally: he thought that Kerney would pass his views on to the Irish government, who, he considered, were getting only one-sided information.    At the same time he suggested a scheme whereby modern weapons, by arrangement with Spain,  would be made available to the Irish government;    this suggestion was not accepted by Kerney and not mentioned again at the second meeting.    Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) admits that Kerney may have gone beyond the bounds of diplomatic security, but at the last meeting Kerney was much more reserved than previously, owing, no doubt, to German military reverses, and no further contact was attempted.

7.    Contact with Bewley.

                    Bewley was the former Irish Minister (highest diplomat, here of Ireland) in Berlin, who had retired and was living in Rome.    He was well known to Abwehr II through Fromme, who had previously obtained general information to the S.D.  This was confined when Veesenmayer happened to mention Bewley's name at a conference with (S.S. controlled R.S.H.A.) Amt VI (AOB: Up to, say, mid 1944 Amt VI was headed by Schellenberg and constituted a mixture of all sorts of intelligence; politically, and in some respect also military. After the amalgamation of Amt VI and Amt Ausland/Abwehr, the operational military matters were accomplished by Amt Mil/Milamt; up to 21 July 1944 the latter was headed by Obst. i.G. Georg Hansen. Thereafter Hansen was removed from office and executed (hung by means of a thin wire!) on 8 September at Plötzensee Prison), who expressed their willingness to invite Bewley was so insistent in questioning Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haler) about Ryan and Russell, whose presence in Germany was a closely guarded secret, that he suspected Bewley of being a double agent working for the British Intelligence Service.    He therefore broke off all contact.

                    Bewley was almost hysterically anti-De Valera (Irish President) and an ardent admirer of authoritarian governments.    While he was in Berlin he lent Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) the MS (manuscript?) of a book on Ireland, which he hoped to get published with official backing. In view of the its factual inaccuracies and personal attacks on De Valera, Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) recommended that it should not be allowed to appear during the war.

8.    Donald Hayes.

                    Bewley brought Donald Hayes, another Irishman, with him to Berlin, presumably also at the request of (R.S.H.A.) Amt VI.    Hayes was a former Irish nationalist who lived in Genoa (Italy) during the war.    He had been previously contacted by Hoven, but without results.    Frank Ryan knew Hayes and described him as a militant IRA man.    Clissmann @ Kaufmann interviewed Hayes, but reported that he was a colourless old gentleman (he was about 60) and useless as a political agent.    He returned to Genoa and was not contacted again.


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Appendix A to FR 89

Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller

Part III.

Recruitment of Irish Prisoner of War.

                                        A.    Segregation of Irish P.o.W.

                                        B.    The First Group (Codd and Stringer)

                                        C.    The Second Group (Walsh, Brady, Cushing, O'Brien and Murphy)

                                        D.    The Third Group (Stroggen, Lee, Cawley and Johnson)


A.    Segregation of Irish P.o.W..

1.            In Summer 1940, at the end of the Western Campaign, Abwehr II began to segregate all P.o.W. belonging to national minorities into special camps, e.g. Ukrainians were separated from Poles, Flemings and Wallon (Belgians), Bretons from French, and Irish from British P.o.W.    Abwehr II  was responsible, in cooperation with Kriegsgefangenenwesen OKW ... for effecting the segregation, hoping that these P.o.W. would form a pool from which they could recruit agents and saboteurs.    Other authorities requiring agents or collaborators (e.g. Abwehr I (intelligence), Propaganda Ministry)  obtained access to these men through Abwehr II.

2.             The same methods were employed throughout.    The Abwehr III (counter-espionage) offr att (?) to each P.o.W. camp.    These men were then interviewed by special recruiting officials sent by Abwehr II and those thought suitable were transferred to a special Irish Camp (AOB: concerning thus those originating from Ireland) and those thought suitable were transferred to a special Irish P.o.W. Camp - Damm I - where each individual was again thoroughly tested and subjected to propaganda before being released and recruited for Abwehr work.

3.    Formation of Irish Brigade.                             

                 The formation of an Irish Brigade from these men was near to the hearts of the staff of the Irish section of Abwehr II.    There was historical precedent for such a step in the Irish Legion which Sir Roger Casement had formed in the 1914-18 war.    They envisaged a highly trained body of men, comparable in standard to the Brandenburg Regiment, keen and reliable, who could be cowaitted?, either alone or together with German troops, in a National War for the liberation of Ireland, or later, as defenders of Ireland against British aggression.

4.               On the other hand, such a plan fell outside the scope of Abwehr II, and when Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller), for instance, discussed it with Major Marwede and later with Major Astor, he was told that it was too ambitious.    Had such a plan been realised, Abwehr II would have had to cede control and would thus have lost their only remaining source clear that not more than 150 men at the outside were available - hardly sufficient to form a Brigade - and that their normal fibre and loyalty to the Irish - let alone German - cause was doubtful in the extreme.    Even Veesenmayer, who in principle was later prepared to incorporate such a scheme in his Operation Taube II, had to abandon the idea;  no more than two of the 150 odd recruits were eventually earmarked as possible members of this Irish mission.    Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller)  states that no concrete plan for the formation of an Irish brigade was ever submitted to Abwehr II or the Auswärtiges Amt.

5.     Organisation.   

                    Abwehr II had  appointed Rittmeister (AOB: rank from the old cavalry equal to Hptm. and Captain) von Stauffenberg as the (Leitender Offizier?) with the P.o.W. Directorate (Direktorat) (Referat?), O.K.W.  This man was responsible for the administrative arrangements for the segregation of Irish of Breton, Irish and Flemish P.o.W.   Von Stauffenberg was in →

-    -    -

-    -    -

KV 2/769-2, page 28

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This schematic is briefly explaining what Dr. Kurt Haller's file is about

Central we notice that they consider here Abwehr II (sabotage as their core business) mainly




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Appendix A to FR 89

KV 2/769-2, page 30a

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Please digest, thus,  read its content, yourself

Annexe 3 to Appendix A, FR 89

Sdf. (Z) Kurt Haller

Irish P.o.W.s

KV 2/769-2, page 31b

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Please digest, thus read, its content yourself

Löwe I


V-Vickers Wilhelm

KV 2/769-2, page 38a

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Appendix B to FR 89

Sdf.  (Z) Kurt Haller

Appendix B

Abw. II and South Africa.

I.    Abwehr II Activity in South Africa

II. Operation Weissdorn

-    -    -


I.    Abwehr II Activity in South Africa.

1.                    From about 1938, Referat Übersee of Abwehr II was responsible for South Africa. Leiter of this Referat at the outbreak of war was Lt. Eschwege (later promoted Major) (AOB: to what my archive provides: he became even Obstlt. and succeeded Wolfgang Abshagen (, whom was Leiter II in Paris up to August 1944 after the latter's arrest),

(6(since 16  June 2024)

 who at the same time was Leiter of Referat 1 I (Insurierung) in Abwehr II.    Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) thinks that Krüger (later Sdf. or Regierungsrat) may have taken over Referat Übersee soon after the outbreak of war.

2.                    Work was at first confined to the Arab countries, possibly because it was thought that in the event of war only these regions would be of direct strategic importance. Furthermore, the Referat was too small to prepare extensive operations against South Africa, which in any case would probably have been forbidden by the Auswärtiges Amt.

3.                    Until about summer 1940, Abwehr II took no serious interest in South Africa and Referat Übersee was engaged solely in examining and filling news reports from international Press agencies and official sources.

4.                    At about summer 1940, the Referat was disbanded and Referate West/Nord (dealing with North America) and West/Süd (dealing with South America and Africa) were set up.    Leiter of Referat West/Süd was Rittmeister (Captain) Naumann zu Königsbrück.

5.                    After the conclusion of the Western campaign and Italy's entry into the war, Abwehr II interest focused on South Africa, probably as part of the preparations for the operations of the German and Italian forces in North Africa. →

(AOB: this assumption is entirely incorrect: The Italians started a campaign against British Forces about south of the Red Sea. The British Forces  pushed the Italians rapidly northwards and Hitler foresaw that it was not unlikely that the Italians were even loosing Libya. This would change the Mediterranean theatre. Therefore, he ordered Rommel to at least hold-up the approaching British Forces. Which Rommel managed, and Rommel created even an Force pushing back the British influence) 

(AOB: the origin of this operation was of a different nature: the Americans had started to send supplies from Southern Africa to the North as to supply Allied operations; and used Fort Lamy as a storage in-between centre)

→ At first Abwehr II was interested in the West and South South African ports and industries, but when it transpired that supplies were being sent by the Americans and British direct from West Africa to Egypt, the Referat also started planning sabotage operations in the Lake Chad district. (AOB: The German did sent a He 111 to accomplish a bombardment of Ford Lamy; which was successful. Albeit that the He 111 suffered on its way back from fuel shortage and the plane had to make an emergency landing somewhere in the Sahara. (  in particular page 24 at the sentence: Der Agentenfunk bewährte ... ) And: for the big picture. (AOB: I would like to add: that Blaich might not be the true cover-name, but this is pointing at Bleich the famous pilot who suffered ultimately fatal)  

Owing to the lack of French cooperation, military setbacks in North Africa and geographical and technical difficulties, these operations were unsuccessful.

II.        Operation Weissdorn.

6.                    In South Africa, only one attempt was made to get a footing in the country and enlist the help pf the militant section of the Boer opposition, the Ossewa Brandwag, ( and (  and with their destroy shipping, harbour installations and war industries, and foster sedition in the Union Forces.    This Operation Weissdorn, was started early in 1941.

II. Operation Weissdorn.

7.                    First Meeting with Elferink (KV 2/202 ; PF 65880) (AOB: nationality Dutch)

                                In Oct 1940, Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) was told by Rittmeister von Stauffenberg of Abwehr II of a Dutchman named Elferink who was then staying in Berlin for a short period.    Elferink was worming in South Africa for General Konsul Karlowa of Dienststelle →

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of Dienststelle Ribbentrop, a special political internal department of the Auswärtiges Amt., and had come to Berlin primarily to report.  Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) understood that Elferink had been working for Karowa since at least the outbreak of the war.    He had penetrated anti-German emigration from Holland to South Africa, posing in Lisbon as a refugee and forwarding political internal reports to the Embassy via the German journalist Abshagen.

AOB: again the British Secret Service was poorly informed, and derived entirely incorrect information and according conclusions.  Dr. Karl-Heinz von Abshagen, a journalist living in the 1930s in London - left just a few days before the outbreak of the war England. But, he left Germany and landed in China - where he remained during the war; engaged in Radio broadcasting. He might not have been able to return to Germany again - after the German-Russian war broke-out on 22 June 1941. The British lost sight on him, and therefore made the huge mistake: considering his brother Wolfgang Abshagen actually being Karl-Heinz von Abshagen.

Nowadays drawing such ill based conclusions - is known as a "tunnel vision"         

Elferink had married his South African African wife before the warm and it was thought that his loyalty to the German cause was sustained mainly by the fact that she came from a Boer Nationalist family.    Prisoner  (= Dr. Kurt Haller)  also understood that information collected in South Africa for Karlowa by Elfrink was forwarded via the German Consulate in Lourenco Marques (, was in direct contact with the Auswärtiges Amt in Berlin,. Tevenar (Tevenaar?), who had known Elferink previously in Holland, warmly recommended him to von Stauffenberg, and Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) ascertained that there was nothing recorded against Elferink in the  in the Abwehr? Central Card-Index.    Karlowa entertained  some doubts as to Elferink's reliability (he frequently asked for large sums of money),  but agreed to Prisoner's (= Dr. Kurt Haller's) meeting the ?ian?.    Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) therefore approached Elfrink in Berlin concerning the plans for Operation Weissdorn, and it was arranged that they should later meet in Lisbon, where Mrs. Elfrink already was.    (Dr. Heinrich), Stahmer (Chef AG Ausland) of Abwehr II Stüzpunkt (AOB: Dr. Blaum?), Lisbon-Estoril, was to act as contact between Elfrink and Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller).

8.                    Training of Leibrandt. (Robby Leibrandt: (KV 2/924 - KV 2/925; PF 45496)   

                                In the meantime, Leibrandt was being trained as sabotage agent for Operation Weissdorn by Margueppe? .    Leibrandt was recommended to Abwehr II by Karlowa in October 1940 (AOB: Robey Leibrandt lived in Germany since the Olympic Games in 1936 in Germany), when the former was still a soldier in a parachute Regiment. He had first come to to Germany to represent South Africa as a boxer in the Olympic Games and had remained in the country ever since.    His father was South African and he claimed his mother was Irish;  he had lost touch with his family, however, and obtained German nationality shortly before or after the outbreak of  war (AOB: Robey Leibrandt did admire Hitler, he therefore might have had a favoured treatment with a speed-up nationality procedure)    Karlowa recommended him as entirely reliable and Marcuerre?? described him as the best sabotage agent he had ever trained.

9.                            Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) describes Leibrandt as a fanatic who tried to blend his pro-German and pro-Boer sympathies into a new and more vicious form of National Socialism. He was incapable of organising or making deliberate decisions, and his intolerance of the other people made him unsuitable for working in partnership, but his inexhaustible energy and complete fearlessness, combined with natural aptitude for work, made him the ideal lone sabotage agent.

10.                          Leibrandt's mission was to sabotage shipping, harbour installations and war industries in South Africa, and, with the help of the Elfrinks, establish contact with Ossewa-Brandwag ( + (KV 2/942 ... KV 2/944 Masser Hans Herbert; PF106140).    He was equipped for his mission with a box of time fuzes, and it was arranged that he should obtain further supplies from friends in South Africa.    In addition, he was to be accompanied by a W/T operator (KV 2/207 ... KV 2/209; PF 600000   AOB: in my perception a rather sad ending file series)  equipped with a W/T transmitter. (AOB: Leibrandt refused to land accompanied by Scharf - as this man did not speak English language at all. Here, in particular, Abwehr II and likely Abwehr I as well, in Berlin, had to be blamed! As everybody should have known - that the English language is essential in South African life!) Leibrandt received for the operation a sum of of money in foreign currency equivalent to RM 30-40,000.    As he was somewhat of an idealist concerning such matters, Leibrandt stipulated that this money be considered as a loan which he would repay as soon as possible.                              

11.                   Lisbon Meeting with Elfrinks.

                             In Dec 1940, Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) went to Lisbon and met Mr. and Mrs. Elferink as arranged.    They agreed to pave the way for Abwehr II activity in South Africa, and it was arranged that Leibrandt should be landed at Lamberts Bay and hide in ?????.    The Elfrinks would give shelter to any other Abwehr II  agents and would prepare the site for a W/T station (AOB: ultimately all went differently).   This station would be used to maintain direct communication between Abwehr II and the South African opposition groups, once these had been contacted by the Elfrinks, and was also to be at Karlowa's disposal.

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12.                          Prisoner sovereignty states that Mrs. Elferink was implicated in the preparations for Operation Weissdorn in that no decision could be reached until she was consulted in Lisbon.    It was her house near Lamberts Bay that was to be used as a hideout, and her family were to assist in setting up the espionage network by establishing suitable contacts. 

13.                          Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) paid Elfrink the equivalent of RM 30,000 (?) in foreign currency (not South African) in Lisbon.

14.                         During the same visit, Elfrink received a further briefing for Dienststelle Ribbentrop (The German Minister for Foreign Affairs)  Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) knows no details of those instructions.

15.            Departure of the Elfrinks for South Africa.

(AOB: The Republic of South Africa was independent, England had to take this matter in account, but when possible they did not soundly respected South African Sovereignty)

                             Elfrink and his wife left Lisbon for South Africa on a Portuguese steamer in Jan or Feb 1941, and Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) heard nothing further of or from them.

16.                        A W/T operator named Schneider was then chosen to accompany Leibrandt on his mission. Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) insists that his real name was Hans Schneider (Not Scharf); (AOB: the Scharf file was partly based on Scharf's interrogations at Camp 020 in England, we may consider therefore Scharf being his correct name), that the name Scharf while working in Abw. II. Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) admits he may have used this name while working for Abwehr I M (M = Marine) later.

17.                        Schneider (Scharf) was Alsatian (AOB: this constitutes the Tragedy, as the Germans considered him German, because when born Elsass and Lotharingen they belonged to Germany, the French took it back in 1918, and considered them French citizen)    He spoke French and was brought up as a Frenchman, although politically he was pro-German.    In May 1940 he was called up into the Brandenburg Lehr Battalion (AOB: it was only known, by then, as: z.b.V. 800) and in the following month was sent to recruit Bretons for the Breton Separatist Movement (AOB: a Breton anti-French resentment, even today, does exist a bit!)    He was an extremely good W/T operator and these qualifications were considered so important for the establishment of W/T contact between South Africa and OKW Chi/III station in Berlin. (AOB: OKW Chi was only involved in principle cases. The daily operation was handled by Stahnsdorf, or more likely by Ast Hamburg station Domäne (in Wohldorf); as Domäne was fit for long distance communications generally (  please consider page 18 +)

(6)    (since 16  June 2024)

18.                        Christian Nissen and the "Kyloe" (French sailing vessel)  (  

                                Abwehr II decided that Leibrandt and Schneider (Scharf) should be landed with their W/T set at Lamberts Bay by the "Kyloe", captained by Leutnant zur See Christian Nissen.    Before Operation Weissdorn, this man had been employed by Abwehr II on missions off Breton coast as captain of the fishing-vessel "Anni Braz Bihem".  He was an experienced amateur yachtsman and had suggested to Berlin that he should take agents overseas aboard Ocean-going sailing ships.    The "Kyloe", a 20-metre French yacht built in England, which had been seized by the German Navy (Kriegsmarine), was fitted out for the trip to South Africa at Paimpol. Nissen recruited the crew of four from from amongst his former yachting acquaintance and for this mission they were enrolled as seamen in the German Navy.

19.                         Sailing of the "Kyloe".

                                 In April 41,    the "Kyloe" sailed from Paimpol? with Leibrandt and Schneider Scharf (KV 2/207 ... KV 2/209; PF600000) aboard.    While still in French territorial waters, a British aircraft made a surprise attack, but all bombs missed and the ship escaped undamaged.

20.                            During the voyage the "Kyloe" was challenged by a British war-ship, but as the precaution of flying the American ensign had been taken and Nissen was able to speak English with an American accent, she passed as an American yacht.

KV 2/769-2, page 41d

                                                                                                                                        Crown Copyright

21.                        Landing of Leibrandt.

                                    After a few days at sea, Leibrandt announced that he did not trust Elfrinks, whom he considered "foreigners", and that he intended to continue with his mission without their help.    This gave Schneider Scharf some cause for anxiety, as he had relied on the Elfrinks for protection in South Africa (AOB: Scharf did only speak French and German language), and the two men quarrelled about the matter.    It was finally decided that Leibrandt should be landed alone with the W/T set, and he was therefore put ashore near Lamberts Bay in June 41 (AOB: necessitated about two month sailing).

22.                                Nothing more was heard of Leibrandt until his arrest and death sentence were published in the Press (AOB: "SA President Muts" changed the death sentence; and he was set free in 1948. After all: not directly where the British had hoped for)    No W/T link was set up, and Abwehr II were not informed of any contact being established with the Elfrinks or the Boer Opposition.

23.                                Nothing of any importance happened to the "Kyloe" after Leibrandt, but when Nissen picked up on the ship's radio rumours of American landings in the Azores he decided to put into the (Spanish enclave) Villa Cisneros to avoid trouble.

24.                        Arrival at Villa Cisneros.                      

                                    They arrived at Villa Cisneros in August 1941.    It was discovered that Abwehr I M (Intelligence Marine) had a W/T base in the town, in charge of the German agent Don Pablo, and Schneider Scharf was given employment as W/T operator.    Nissen flew to Berlin by Lati (Italian Airline) (AOB: there existed a regular Spanish air link) aircraft to report, leaving the "Kyloe" in Villa Cisneros harbour. Some time later, the ship's crew were also flown back to Berlin.

25.                        Prisoner's (= Dr. Kurt Haller's) Visit to Villa Cisneros.

                                    At end 1941, Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) himself went to Villa Cisneros to consider a new mission for the "Kyloe" to contact Elfrink, but this idea was later abandoned as Villa Cisneros offered no facilities for making the ship seaworthy.

26.                                Nissen was later engaged on experiments for Abwehr II and the German Navy (Kriegsmarine)  in connection with fast, silent motor-boats suitable for landing agents or troops.    Schneider Scharf continued work for Abwehr I M as W/T operator, returning to Abwehr II the money had been paid for the "Kyloe" expedition.    Prisoner (= Dr. Kurt Haller) has not heard of his being employed on any further mission, and does not connect the name of Charles Bedaux with espionage in North Africa.


-    -    -

KV 2/769-2, page 45a   (minute 45a)

                                                                                                                Crown Copyright

Report on the interrogation of:-

Kurt Haller

1.        Introduction:

           Information was received that Kurt Haller was held for interrogation at United States S.A.I.C., Sechenheim.     Arrangements were accordingly made with U.S.F.E.T. and 7th (U.S.) Army H.Q. to interrogate him, and on securing the necessary clearance and passes (there was no P.I.R. on this prisoner), I was the first to interrogate him, on 24 and 27 September 1945. Captain Warren was associated with this interrogation throughout which, an N.C.O. (non commissioned officer) of S.A.I.C. remained present in accordance with S.A.I.C. procedure.

2.        History:

           Born at Betzdorf/Sieg on 26-12-1913. Short sighted; wears thick glasses; inclined to stoutness; average height; general appearance, typically German.    Took law degrees at Königsberg, Berlin (1937) and Lyons, and was preparing for doctorate degree in international law. Spoke French fluently and English haltingly, evidently having little practice in the latter.    Joined the N.S.D.A.P. on 1-5-1937, as without this qualification he would never have got a worth-while job?  ?? in 1940, his wife being a secretary in the Reichs Rundfunk. and

 no children.    Home address:- 11 Schillerstrasse, Betzdorf/Sieg (Rhineland).

3.        History

          Haller's family was known to Wesenmeyer Veesenmayer, an employee in the A.A. (= Auswärtiges Amt)  (who latter went to Budapest as German Ambassador (Bevollmächtiger des Großdeuschen Reiches in Ungarn) With Veesenmayer's influence, he secured an appointment on RM 500/- a month as Wissenschaftlicher Hilfsarbeiter in the A.A. (German Foreign Ministry)  and was at once (plötzlich) placed under von Trott for training and experience. His first function was to study the news issued by Reuter, Whitehouse, Tass (Russian Press agency), Domei, Seehaus (the A.A. wireless communication service), D.A.F. (Deutsches Arbeitsfront) and to collect information of economics, cultural, financial and political interest relating to the general Indian problem.    The idea seemed to be prepare for p?ntwar developements in India.    He continued to understudy??? von Trott and Werth (who had offices in both Wilhelmstrasse and Kurfürstenstrasse) and in the course of this came into close contact with Alsdorf??? (aged 35-40) and Furtwängler (the famous Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker?) (40-50), also of the Information Abteilung whose offices were in the Tiergartenstrasse (Tiergarten = Zoo). Leiboldt's ?? section in the Kurfürstenstrasse dealt largely with purely welfare administration concerning the Indians of the F.I.C. (?Free Indian Corps?), while Schulze, believed to have once been missionary in India, was the contact for Indian affairs in the Politische Abteilung which also was interested in the Rundfunk (Saalanstrasse).    As he understood the policy then, the idea was to keep the Indian element in Germany content and encourage every tendency of friction between the Allies. 

4.           So far as Haller remembers during his connection with them, ?? made one journey to Switzerland and von Trott 3 to Sweden and 1 to Turkey in a diplomatic capacity.    These travels interested him, since it was obvious that they were not in connection with Indian affairs (AOB: Subhas Chandra Bose WO-208-3812), yet he did not think that he had enough standing to inquire into their purpose.    He pres?, however, that as both von Trott and Werth were of the aristocratic??cy, they may have been sent to these places to feel the pulse of political life in those countries.

 KV 2/769-2, page 46b

                                                                                                                        Crown Copyright

only partially transcribing due to incorrect reproduction

But please try to read this intriguing first paragraph yourself.

6.        He attended only one function at the Kaiserhof (AOB: A Hotel in Berlin, actually favoured by Hitler) and that was the tea-party on the anniversary of Jallianwallah Bagh in 1943. He never met Subhas Chandar Bose ( , and A.C. Nambiar (,  English: (, and A.C. Nambiar  ( very seldom at first, but later about once a week.    He considers Nambiar to have been too intelligent and broad minded to be fanatical; he had a deep knowledge of European politics.    He remembers Ganpuley ?,  G.K. Mukherji, Vyas, Mama and Habib-Ur-Rahman for what we know them, but cannot recollect other names or personalities clearly, though he met them from time to time at the F.I.C in Hilversum (AOB: is still today the centre of Dutch broadcasting and TV) (AOB: The Germans facilitated Dutch transmitters, formerly operated for short-wave broadcast transmission to their Dutch Indies Colony; now Indonesia). He never came in contact with von Harbou nor does he know the source of her income other than from her writings.    He know Niedermeyer as Nambiar's secretary, but seldom met her; he considered it not impossible, but lite?probable, that she informed von Trott of Nambiar's activities and thoughts.    He does not know the name of Levinsky, nor would he appear to know anything of the Erforschungstelle Indien, and the Deutsche ?normally a word is missing?? Gesellschaft. 

 7.        Haller ?? knows nothing regarding the method or contents of communications either between India-Afghanistan and Berlin, and between Bose - the Far East and Nambiar-Berlin  

8.        In Match 1944 he was asked by Veesenmayer who was then appointed German Ambassador in Hungary (Bevollmächtiger des Großdeuschen Reiches in Ungarn), to join the entourage in Budapest. As Haller had little interest of this benefactor. His appointment was as an Assessor, in which capacity he dealt largely with the press, and matters of economic interest. In October 1944 he was operated on for appendicitis.    He remained there until January  1945 when the Embassy gradually retired, he eventually was taken prisoner by the Americans in Salzburg.

9.        Conclusion:

            Haller is cooperative and talkative, but had evidently not been let? into many of the inner workings of the A.A. (Auswärtiges Amt) in regard to the F.I.C. or Legionary matters.    He was, of course, a probationer learning his job, and so cannot be expected to have had the access to the information that others might be expected to have.    He is an earnest and studious young man who probably joined the N.S.D.A.P. in 1937 as it then was the proper thing to do, in order to ensure a good start in life, rather than as the great of any deep rooted political convictions.

 Signed J.J. ??ie?  Major

Indian Security Unit.

KV 2/769-3, page 12a   (minute 41ab)

                                                                                                                                                                                Crown Copyright


Extract for File No :    PF 600726                                                                            Name Haller

Original in File PF 603066 (not existing anymore)  (Hptm. Schoeneich)            Serial:    11a    Dated:    8.11.45

            Original from:    CSDIC Interrogation report on Schoeneich. No.32       Under Ref.    CIB/INT/PF2005  (31.10.1945)

            Extracted:    17.12.45

9)    Prisoner attributes the abandonment of Arab propaganda by Abteilung II to the clause in the Armistice (Waffenstillstand 22 June 1940 at Compiègne) by which Germany agreed to observe the integrity of the French Colonies.    There was no further point in stirring up disaffection among the Arabs under French rule, just as there was no further point in festering the Breton autonomist movement. Haller had prepared a special edition of Signal (AOB: A very well made German magazine, published in various continental languages spoken in German controlled countries; though not in the German language. In the centre of the magazine there always existed a broad-sheet colour picture of very nice quality; it is said that 'Paris Match' later copied this magazine concept; of course its aim was propaganda, but made in a way that it did not felled so), illustrated in colour, showing the swiftness of the German campaign in France, for the distribution of Arab PW (Prisoners of War) and in North Africa.    In view of the changed situation large numbers of copies were destroyed. Prisoner states that they were in any case printed on thick art paper and were quite unsuitable for transport in large quantities.   de ; en (AOB: huge numbers came on the market in the late 1950s and early 1960s; the last issue in the Netherlands was May 1945! Quite revolutionary subjects still)


AOB: after studying the remaining document pages - I drew the conclusion - that the remaining pages do not contain conclusive matters

and we will therefore close Haller's File Series.




By Arthur O. Bauer