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Current Status: 19 November 2021
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The sad - and scandalous - Erich Vermehren Case;
about a real human downside on behalf of the British Secret Services.
KV 2/956 .. KV 2/958
I (Arthur O. Bauer) have hesitated for quite many years - before I trusted myself to unravel a real human tragedy - once caused by an apparent attitude on behalf of the British Secret Services; between 1944 and, say, 1955!
OK, understandable; but just these words proved to be worthless, when a non British - honest family - expressed just like this, and since were dammed by means of an inhuman manner - for more than a decade - by British Secret Services, but in England!
Being chased in Britain?
Please, follow first the course the German couple Vermehren's life; whom have defected (deserted) - on religious and humane grounds - to the British Secret Services, about 8 February 1944, in Istanbul (Turkey).
This blow initiated the extinction of the German Military Abwehr.
On 12 February 1944 - since the process started that the military intelligence was forced to merge within Himmler's RSHA, thus the S.S. controlled, Amt VI.
Let us follow the unravelling of this disgusting tragedy; based upon British documents.
KV 2/956-2, page 2
The minutes 1v, 1w,1x,1y,1z and 1a are essential, as these might show, when in some respect the secret negotiations started between Erich Vermehren and some British diplomatic official (about 22 September 1943). The course of this history took some time. We may consider that on the 8th February 1944 Mr Erich Maria Vermehren, accompanied by his wife Elizabeth Vermehren, went over to the British Authorities, in Turkey.
10.2.44 Cutting from the 'Daily Mail' re "cousin of (von) Papen deserts".
AOB: My comments are: that 'von Papen' being the German Ambassador in Ankara, and Erich's wife Elizabeth's mother (Petra) was in some way related to the von Papen family; this circumstance did make it possible that Erich, being a member of the German Abwehr (Military Intelligence) on duty in Istambul (Istanbul) could manage to get his wife over. Albeit, that a request to get his wife over to Turkey, had been officially turned down by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris personally (Chief of the OKW Amt Ausland/Abwehr); but Elizabeth was related to the German Ambassador, might have made it possible, by some illegal manipulation, that Elizabeth could join her husband just at the moment of Erich's defection, on 8 February 1944.
KV 2/956-1, page 35 (minute 35a)
April 1, 1944
The case of Frau (Petra) Vermehren.
According to Mrs. (Petra) Vermehren's intimate friend M. Boveri (CH?), who has seen and talked matters over with her, Frau vermehren left Portugal for Germany of her own will immediate after she had learned of her son's flight (defection) to the Allies. She was neither influenced nor forced to do so by the 'Gestapo'.
Frau Boveri is the author of 'Weltgeschehen am Mittelmeer' and 'Minarett und Bohrturm', two books covering political events centring around the Mediterranean and the middle East. She is also known for her contributions to the scientific magazine 'Atlantis' and her articles in the 'Frankfurter Zeitung'. She was the correspondent to that paper in the U.S.A. and, until recently, in Portugal. She is known in Germany after having stayed a few weeks in Madrid in Madrid. I know her (Petra Vermehren?) from Lisbon, and believe her to be anti-Nazi inspite of certain passages in her books, suggesting the contrary. Her mother is a born American.
Frau Boveri says that Mrs. Vermehren made up her mind quickly when she heard of her son's affair. She had considered it necessary to beat the 'Gestapo' at the game and get home before pressure could be brought to bear on her. As her name was now a 'disgrace' with the Germans she would no longer be allowed to write in 'Das Reich' (a periodical), thus being deprived of the necessary foreign exchange to continue abroad. And anyway, she had to think of her family. Her husband, her daughter and one of her sons were living in Germany. If she went home voluntary before having been asked (ordered) to do so, she might facilitate thing for them.
She was furious about her son had done, not because he had 'gone over to the enemy'- she is decidedly anti-Nazi and had even warned → (page 38, instead of 37)
KV 2/956-1, page 38
→ myself met to go back to Germany when ordered to do so a year and a half ago in Lisbon - but because he son had been no inconsiderate (selfish) to the rest of the family who, as well he know, would now have to suffer badly on account of him.
She blamed the whole affair to her (Petra's) son's (Erich's) wife (very religious Elizabeth) whom she suspects of having engineered the whole thing. She is an Austrian catholic, ten years older than her husband (Erich) , with great influence over her husbands mind and actions.
The family left behind in Germany consists of of the father (Kurt), who is a well-known Hamburg lawyer, a sister, who is an artist, and a brother, who is of the German 'United Press' in Berlin, a post surrendered to him before the war by a mutual friend of his and myself, Goesta? von Uexkuell (Üxküll), who had to fled from the Gestapo to Sweden, where he is now, as a Swedish subject, working with the American 'United Press'. Vermehren's Berlin brother is well known to me. He is intelligent, a cynic and a deeply convinced anti-Nazi.
There is no doubt that the family will have already been made to suffer for what has happened in Turkey (Erich's defection on 8th February 1944), though nothing was known in Madrid about it, at the time of my mother left. That Mrs. Vermehren's shift and voluntary return from Portugal might have alleviated (eased) their lot seems highly improbable to me (Mrs. Boveri), although the Nazis will have naturally felt relieve to have no more members of this 'dangerous' family living somewhere abroad and uncontrollable.
Important Nazis and Embassy officials in Madrid took
Vermehren's flight rather badly, as was conveyed to my mother by well informed →
2/956-1, page 37(AOB there has been made a mistake at the archives, as page 2
appears at pdf page
→ friends of hers. There is no doubt that it came as a true moral shock to most Nazis and Germans in Madrid, my mother says. It formed the subject of many discussions. It was even said, the Nazis would now be more careful, as they dreaded (feared) a reputation of such a case.
But even anti-Nazis, in Madrid, condemned young (Erich) Vermehren. So outspoken and strong an anti-Nazi as Mrs. Schmidt, daughter of Justizrat Hahn, the famous lawyer, and defendant of Pastor Niemöller in his big trial against the Nazis, said to his mother: 'it is a disgrace what this Vermehren has done'. You could not run over to the enemy during the war, she contended. That would be unworthy even an anti-Nazi. After all, she said. he is not 'only' an anti-Nazi but must remember that he is also a German. She (whom?) told my mother my mother that the affair had frequently been compared with my (Mrs. Boveri's?) own case in the Embassy, where people believed I was hiding in Spain (AOB, every German residing abroad was, in some way, suspect), and it had been said, that I, 'at least' had kept away from the enemy, but he (Erich Vermehren), and as an officer, at that, had 'committed a crime' towards his country (Landesverrat). My mother could not sake her nee the stupidity of this attitude, and did not insist in order not to make herself suspicious about my own whereabouts.
AOB, it becomes evident, from the according file, that Erich Vermehren and his wife received the British Secret Service cover-name Precious.
KV 2/956-1, page 40 (minute 33a)
S.I.M.E. (Secret Intelligence Middle East) Report No.6.
dates of Interrogation: 22 February 44, 13 March 44.
A. Nature and scope of Pasha file and reports.
1. Precious (Erich Vermehren) arrived in Istanbul (Istambul) on 20 Dec 42 and almost at once opened a file for the Pascha reports. He believed that the Pascha reports had then been coming in for 18 months. They ended with the Italian collapse at the end of Aug.43.
2. A photostat copy of the file was available and formed the basis of these interrogations. It consisted of 130 pages - some of them containing only 2 or 3 paragraphs - numbered by the photographer from 1 to 74 in reverse order of date. The first report in the file is dated 24 Dec 42, the least 31 August 43 - numbered 74 and 2 respectively. (The reference numbers throughout this report are the numbers in this photostat copy). The documents filed are mainly typed reports (in French) giving information about British and Allied military, naval and air forces in the Middle east; they cover an area ranging from Persia to Gibraltar and from Sicily to Capetown; they sometimes forecast a strategic plan, but generally descend (incline) to the most particular details, for which personal observation is sometimes expressly claimed. (42, 38, 36, 32. They appear from the dates to have been mostly communicated by W/T (64, 51, 33, 24, 22, 13, 16). Of all the sources quoted, by far the commonest is a "source militaire"; the next a "source militaire anglaise". The file also contains notes in German (both manuscript and transcript), questionnaires in German and French (48, 40, 25, 21, 11, 7, 6) and answers in French (46, 36, 35, 33, 24, 19, 17, 16, 15, 14). .....
KV 2/956-1, page 49
4. Pasha sent sent
the collected reports off to Berlin by courier every Friday in the "original"
French, which he was forbidden by (Dr.
Paul) Leverkuehn (Leverkühn)
Naher Osten) to alter or annotate. If he
thought any report urgent, he would draft a signal for Hinz to send to Berlin
and Sofia (KO Bulgarien)
by the W/T transmitter (station Ida)
of the German Consulate-General in Istanbul (Istambul).
(There are specimens in the file at (20) and (1), the latter headed "Spruch an
Andreas, zugleich für Fremde Heere West (FHW)
- Cara (= W/T station in Sofia, to KO
Bulgarien) für King" (König?).
Angerer sent copies of all Pascha reports giving air intelligence to the Air
Attaché in Ankara (first Colonel (Obst.)
Morell, later General Kettenbeil)
and also '
Ludwig (= I
L Berlin); and (Counter Admiral)
Marwitz or Zaehringer sent Pascha's naval intelligence to I M Berlin. But on
Leverkuehn's (Leiter KONO)
all Pascha reports received from the S.D. were sent to "Andreas" (AOB:
according Abw. Leiter I Obst. Hansen's private
diary of 1943:
it concerns the section to South-East; including
Balkan and Turkey, of course). P. (Pascha?)
believed that there were some purely political Pascha reports (AOB,
as the S.D.
might have been involved),
which Bruno Wolf of the S.D. did not hand over to KONO.
5. It was assumed by KONO that Pascha was, or directed, an organisation of agents and that Pascha, or one or more of his head agents, sent their reports by W/T to the S.D.'s contact in Istanbul (Istambul). This contact was not himself Pascha, but received the reports of the Pascha organisation by W/T and could transmit questions by W/T to the organisation (Berlin W/T Station: Havelinstitut; Wannsee). Pascha himself had been recruited by Admiral Canaris (Leiter O.K.W. Amt Ausland/Abwehr) before the war was always regarded as an Abwehr Berlin source; hence it was for Berlin to assess the value of Pascha reports and for KONO to pass them to Berlin unaltered. It was also assumed that the S.D. (R.S.H.A. Amt IV) received the reports merely because there were no branch of the Abwehr in Istanbul (Istambul) to received them until the middle of 1941.
C. Communication of Pascha reports by W/T.
6. Precious interfered from the dates and places mentioned in the reports that they were sent by W/T; they were also sometimes written in telegraphic style. Indeed the "original" reports typed in block capitals looked like W/T messages, not telegrams; P. often saw when or before Schott copied them, and noticed also that they were sometimes crumpled, as if they had been carried in a pocket, presumably by the S.D.'s contact, since the S.D. would have passed them to Angerer properly enclosed in an envelope. The time taken by Pascha in answering P's questions was not short, but none the less indicated to P. that both questions and answers had alike been transmitted by W/T.
7. On the location of Pascha's W/T transmitters P. made the following comments:-
(a) Alexandretta (Turkish Iskenderun) seems to have been the site of one of them when P. arrived, but have ceased about the end of March (52?) (what year?).
(b) Alexandria or Cairo was probably another, as reports on areas all over the M.E. (Middle East) were represented as coming from these places.
(c) Pascha apparently had no "residential" agent as far west as Tunis until July (1943?) (19)
Precious thought that (Dr. Paul) Leverkuehn (Leiter KONO up to shortly after 12th February 1944; as he was considered responsible for the defection of Erich Vermehren and his wife Elizabeth whom shouldn't have been in Turkey at all!) asked Aussenstelle Iskenderun to check the presence of a transmitter there, but that nothing positive came of his enquiry.
KV 2/956-1, page 50
D. Abw. doubts about Pascha Apr. - July 43.
8. On 4 and 30 December 1942, 23 Feb 43 and 6 Apr. 43 Pascha reported the presence of parts of the 3rd American Infantry Div. and the 4th American Armoured Div. in the Julfa region on the Russo-Persian frontier (49, 48, 74, 51)/ This disagreed with other reports from agents of "Dennis", "Zedow" and "Theobald" and made P. begin to doubt at the end of of April (1943?) whether Pascha had eyewitness in all the areas on which he had reported, and to wonder whether he might not be relying on, e.g. truck (train?) drivers for some information, as "Zedow" (Zaehlinger's) agents often did. P. therefore asked wolf of the S.D. for particulars of the organisation; Wolf replied he knew nothing except that the reports were brought to him by his contact in Istanbul (Istambul). P. then asked if he might interview the contact; Wolf refused, but suggested that P. should send any questions he wanted ask to Wolf for him to pass to Pascha through the contact in in Istanbul (Istambul); the question should be in French (AOB, I already traced in my huge notes file, that there existed a link to France), from which P. concluded that the contact could only speak Turkish and French. P. therefore put questions to Pascha on 30 Apr. 43 (48) ending with one about Egyptian Army to discover whether he was or had a source, in Egypt. To this last question there was no reply.
9. A month or two later a fresh seed of doubt about Pascha was sown in Kono's mind by Berlin with a signal asking if coincidences between Pascha reports and material supplied to Kono's passing the material indirectly to Pascha. Berlin suggested that KONO (Kriegsorganisation Naher Osten) might have have passed it to someone, who might be, unknown to KONO, a member of the Pascha organisation or in touch with it, or might have put questions to Pascha leading him to give answers agreeing with the material. This suggestion alarmed Hinz and made him wonder whether there might not have been a leakage back to Pascha though Lt. Ancora, Italian A.M.A. in Istanbul (Istambul), with whom Hinz used to exchange military information. However, Kono asked Rohde and "Dennis" if they had been responsible for any such leakage, passed their negative answers to Berlin, and suggested that perhaps the leakage was in Spain.
10. The third blow to Kono's confidence in Pascha was his report of 9 July, amplified on 17 July, that the 5th English Div. was in Syria and consisted of the 13th, 15th and 17th Bdes and the 3rd, 9th and 91st artillery regiment (...) On 19 July Precious asked Pascha for an explanation of his report, as according to Kono's information this Div. had taken part in the attack on Sicily (...). On 24 July Pascha reported that "La repetition de la transmission" had established an error in the transmission and a confusion in the text, which should have read '5th Indian Div". (16) On 31 July Precious (= Erich Vermehren) pointed out that this reply was unsatisfactory, because Pascha had given the numbers of the brigades of that division, which could be numbers of the 5th English, but not of the 5th Indian Div.; and he asked further particulars of the source and channel of Pascha's original information - a question which was never answered (11). Precious interpreted these reports as indicating that either consciously or inconspicuously Pascha was passing to KONO British "smoke" concealing the fact that the 5th English div. was taking part in the attack on Sicily. Precious (= Erich Vermehren) thinks, however, that Pascha correctly anticipated the Allied attack on Pantelleria with two days. (...).
AOB: I would like to skip the rest of this reference, as my aims are to explain the relevant aspects of Erich and his wife Elizabeth Vermehren.
KV 2/956-1, page 64 (minute 32z)
Extract for File: PF 66208
Name: Vermehren E.M. (Erich Maria)
Original from S.I.S. (M.I.6)
Under Ref. (CX/ number made invisible; a typical S.I.S. praxis. 2.4.44
Extract from report forwarded by S.I.S. Source: U.35 ( = incapable and irrelevant - Mr. Jonah Ustinov; son of Peter Ustinov) report from Lisbon.
It soon transpired that the Vermehren case continues to agitate the minds of the authorities involved and that one by one the Press people are being summoned to Berlin. On top of of it all a man called Paulus, also a journalist, has now refused to return to Germany from Turkey. A.(?) says that he has not gone over the British like Vermehren and his friends (whom?), but, for the moment, seems to be lying and his friends, but, for the moment, lying low in neutral territory. Petra Vermehren has, as you know been called back, and there is, according to A. (Ustinov's source?) no trace of her. No action to be taken on the above without reference to D.D.B. (Mr. D.G. White?)
KV 2/956-1, page 73 (minute 30a)
Extract to file no: 66208
Name: Vermehren, Erich Maria
S.I.M.E. (Secret Intelligence Middle East) interrogation summary No. 2
XXI. Dr. Erich and Elizabeth Vermehren. German.
1. Erich Vermehren aged 24m was personal assistant to Leverkuehn (Leverkühn) the Leiter of K.O.N.O., Istanbul (Istambul) of the Abwehr. His wife us 32 and the stronger character. She was sent to Istanbul (Istambul) (AOB, not entirely according the documents, where at the supposed days of their defection, she was not entitled to stay in Turkey at all!) she was sent to Istanbul (Istambul) to work for the German foreign Office. They are devout Catholics, and the wife and her family were persecuted by the Gestapo in Germany. In Istanbul (Istambul) they got into touch with Allied representatives, when arrest seemed impeding they deserted to us.
2. They have given copious information, including the whole set up of the Abwehr in Istanbul (Istambul), particulars of many agents and sources of information not only about German personalities in Turkey, but also the Abwehr policy in relation to the recruitment of agents and the "Pasha" organisation. They well is by no means dry yet.
KV 2/956-1, page 78 (minute 26a)
Extract for file No.: PF 66208
Name: Vermehren, Erich Maria.
Original in File No.: PF 66190 (KV 2/955)
To Camp 020, Lt.-Colonel Stephens. From B.1.B Capt. Noakes
The following information has just been received from Cairo:-
1. Vermehren was questioned about this man (Otto Mayer) and said that Leverkuehn complained about Mayer's activities, and the latter was instructed to work under his direction. (The date on which this happened is not given).
2. Mayer sent his own information to Belgrade through Leverkuehn's courier. Vermehren does not know what type of information this was, but thinks that Mayer had connections with Abteilung (Referat) II (sabotage), and perhaps also the S.D. and Gestapo (Gestapo possessed only jurisdiction within the German Reich, not in the occupied territories; in contrast to the S.D.!) (these two organisations share an office in Istanbul (Istambul).
3. Mayer was a considerable nuisance and was finally removed from Istanbul (Istambul), leaving a string of debts behind him, and apparently taking gold and valuables with him. There was some question as to the use to which he put the money allotted to him by the Abwehr, and he had little success with agents.
4. Vermehren considers him stupid and weak. He did not think that Mayer had anything to do with W/T.
AOB, I don't think that they were mutual friends)
KV 2/956-1, page 79 (minute 25b)
Extract for File No.: PF 66208
Name: Vermehren, Erich Maria.
Extract from J.I.C. (AF) Comander's Bulletin No. 4.
5. Counter Intelligence.
1. in addition to Dr. Vermehren, a member of the German Intelligence service in Istanbul (Istambul), who, it was reported last week, had crossed over to the Allied side, two other members of the German intelligence Service in Turkey have also arrived in Allied territory.
2. These members are one Hamburger and one Kleczkowski, a counter espionage officer, and his wife.
3. A member of Italian Service Personnel formerly employed at the Italian Embassy, Istanbul (Istambul), recently refused to sign the declaration of loyalty to the Badoglio Government, and were dismissed from the service. They declared their intention of proceeding to Sofia and visiting representatives of the Republican Fascist government with a view to returning to German Occupied Italy.
KV 2/956-2, page 18 (minute 18a)
CX/as usually, number made impossible dated 14.3.44
Dear D.G. White (M.I.5),
I understand that you have already been informed that the Vermehren's are expected shortly to arrive in this country and that you have agreed to it.
You may just like to know that we are deputing an officer to find a suitable flat for them in the near suburbs. It has further been decided that although they will, of course, be registered as German nationals they will not live in their own name and in due course we shall be informing D.4. of the identity in which we wish them landed. They will not travel in their own name.
As usually in M.I.6 praxis name made invisible
KV 2/956-2, page 29 (minute 16a) This blow will make the Vermehren's life in England for about a decade impossible; even in the days when the new German "Bundesrepublik" became a NATO member!
(T601) (T601return) ↓↓↓↓↓ (L680) (L680return)
KV 2/956-2, page 30 (minute 15a)
Telegram received in Cipher
From: DSO Cairo Office File No. PF 66208 Originator No. 308/S
S.I.M.E. Passed for Action to B.1.b (M.I.5) Date of Origin /Date of Receipt 12.3.44
Your telegram DS/914/44/S of 9.3.44
No security objection in so far as no indication that Precious (the couple Vermehren and his wife) was acting on enemy instructions in coming over to us. Must point out however that while anti-nazi he appears to retain patriotic German sentiments. he or wife may later develop patriotic or religious scruples which may interfere with proposed employment.
AOB: when this is the basis or the message, then the foregoing on page 29 is already increased in its harshness.
KV 2/956-2, page 31 + 32 (minute 15za)
Extract for File No.: PF 66208
Name: Vermehren Erich Maria
Extract from J.I.C. (AF) Commander's Bulletin No. 3
1. It is reputed that there is an increase of anti-British feeling in Turkey due to enemy propaganda. Hans Fritsche, one of Goebbel's chief assistants in the Propaganda Ministry, visited Von Papen last month. The latter is believed to have expressed himself as well satisfied with the situation and the Turkish resistance to Allied pressure. At the same time, there have been no indications that this growth of anti-British feeling has impaired the collaboration between our security representatives and the Turkish S.I.S.
2. The defection to the Allies of dr. Erich Vermehren, a relative by marriage of Dr. von Papen the German Ambassador to Turkey, and assistant to Dr. Paul Leverkuehn, head of the German Intelligence Service in Istanbul (Istambul), is reported to have caused consternation in the German Embassy there. Work is at a standstill and officials are eyeing each other with suspicion. dr. Leverkuehn himself has Dr. Leverkuehn himself has been dismissed and his place taken by Admiral von Marwitz (later succeeded by: Dr. Erich Pheiffer; KV 2/267) who has been at the German embassy in Istanbul (Istambul) for some time, and who appears to be rated highly by the Germans Intelligence Service.
KV 2/956-2, page 38 (minute 14q)
Middle East Forces,
21st February, 1944
Attached hereto are copies of reports No. 1 and No. 2 on the interrogation of Erich Vermehren, who was Paul Leverkühn's secretary in Istanbul (Istambul) and became disgusted with German policy, primarily for religious reasons and came over to us with his wife, who had been ill-treated by the Gestapo.
2. Much further interrogation will obviously be required to elicit all facts which we hope to get.
3. It is likely that this case will be supplemented by interrogations of Will Hamburger (KV 2/959) who has just arrived and was the man who actually contact German agents sent to the Middle East.
A.A. Hope, Major
for colonel G.S. (General Staff)
A.J. Kellar, Esq.,
Parliament Street, B.O.
KV 2/956-2, page 52 (minute 13a)
Press cutting The Times Date 4.3.44
A German and his "Conscience" (ethics)
Attack on the Nazi System
From our own correspondent
Cairo, March 3
A statement has been made by Erich Vermehren, formerly assistant Germany military attaché in Ankara, who recently arrived here from Turkey with his wife, a cousin of von Papen. Vermehren who is now detained in the Middle east and is understood to have given information to the British intelligence service, explains that he is happy at least to have given information to the British intelligence service, explains that he is happy at least to be able to "do something for Germany" and to join, "as a volunteer," the ranks of those who have declared war against" the bitterest enemies of Germany-the National Socialists".
"My political convictions my personal ideas, and my recognition of the helplessness of Germany's situation- these alone could not bear the weight of my decision", he declares. "It was only my conscience which could acquit me of the accusation of high treason and treachery towards the Fatherland so much that one cannot stand by and see an unscrupulous party clique ruining the country? A man who loves his Fatherland must be able to recognise National-Socialism for what it really is-the curse of Germany. It has lied to us for 20 years, abused our confidence, and embezzled our property in senseless expenditure on behalf of the party and in disastrous political speculations. It has suppressed our spirits, made us dishonest through fear, and outraged our personal liberties. He says that he looks forward with great hope to Germany in close cooperation with the allies.
KV 2/956-2, page 56 (minute 12b)
Extract for File No.: 66206
Name: Vermehren, Erich Maria
Secret telegram for despatch in Cipher.
To Brigadier Maunsell,
1. Otto Mayer (KV 2/955), Abwehr officer captured by Yugoslav partisans last October (1943), is now at Camp 020.
2. He lived in Belgrade some years prior to invasion of Yugoslavia (spring 1941) and thereafter worked for Abwehr in that country until 1942 when he went to Turkey, remaining there until some time last year.
3. In this interrogation he states that transfer to Turkey was due to his release by Abwehr to carry out certain commercial negotiations for the Germans. Stehenson's materia; shows this to be untrue and he was engaged in conducting espionage organisation for obtaining military and other information about Allied activities in middle-East.
4. Mayer cannot be taxed directly with information from this source (MSS?) and therefore important obtain information from other sources to disclose to him.
5. Grateful if Abwehr Officials who have recently come over to you from turkey could be asked about their knowledge of Mayer and his activities.
6. Please telegraph summary of any information you obtain.
KV 2/956-2, page 66 + 67 (minute 7a)
As you are probably aware from the Press Erich Vermehren and his wife Elizabeth, née Gräfin von Plettenberg, have recently come over to us and are now in Cairo under accommodation arranged and control of S.I.M.E. where they will be interrogated on various matters.
Vermehren has already given us an enormous amount of valuable material concerning the activities of the K.O.N.O. in Istanbul (Istambul) against the Middle East. he was personal assistant and legal adviser to Dr. Paul Leverkuehn, the head of the organisation.
It is interesting to note that Erich Vermehren obtained a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford just before the war and was unable to take it up owing to the outbreak of the hostilities. Both he and his wife are ardent Roman Catholics, and the alleged reason for their coming over to our side is that she and her family have suffered very severely from the persecution of the Gestapo. She is a cousin of von Papen.
While in Cairo they will be examined by Haylor and his party, briefed by I.S.L.D. The following are their particulars:-
Erich Maria Vermehren, German Passport 7547/42 issued Germany 17.11.42. profession: lawyer.
Mother Frau Petra of Hotel Palace, Estoril, Portugal, (her son Erich) Born Lübeck 1919.
Elizabeth Vermehren, German Passport 2357, issued Berlin 30.11.43
Daughter of Walter Graf von Plettenberg, of Schloss Hovestadt, Kreis Soest, Westphalia. (Elizabeth was born 1911.
There is information in hart's material concerning (Erich's mother Petra (KV 2/960).
Addressed onto: A.J. Kellar, Esq. M.I.5.
AOB: in my perception this summary isn't very sophisticated - as if they don't mind: without my additional correction one easily would draw incorrect conclusions.
(3) (4 November 2021)
Reconstructed - Funklinienkarte; line XIII/12 has been a W/T communication link, controlled by Himmler's R.S.H.A., Amt IV
This is quite understandable, as whatever one may think of the Vermehren couple defection, in Germany it was an offence against the Reich (Government) and S.D. Amt IV was in charge. (Please notice the link to Buenos Aires, which was also controlled by the S.D. far down on the far left-hand side of the map code-named Schlachthof)
As to open in in full size PDF, please click at the map
KV 2/956-2, page 81 (minute 1za) RSS (R.S.S.) incepted German Intelligence W/T communications. "U" meant: Ultra; which indicated that it concerned the most secret (sensitive) Intelligence level existing in Britain!
(Z711) ↓↓↓↓↓ (Z711return)
RSS intercepts, concerning the W/T link between Berlin and Lisbon v.v. once likely communicated via the Havelinstut station
These messages had been communicated before Hitler had been informed, on 12th February.
ISBA (Intelligence Service British Agent) the numbers being the decryption
9.2.44 (9867) Berlin - Lisbon. Ref. Petra Vermehren. The son of Petra Vermehren has gone over to the English in Turkey and they intend to take him to London. This may happen any day (jeden Tag). Hence there is no time left to recall (Petra) Vermehren through (zurück) the Reich. You are therefore instruct (Petra) Vermehren at once from your end to return to the Reich.
10.2.44 (9961) Lisbon to Berlin. To Erbe for Belling (likely someone at R.S.H.A. Amt IV). Petra Vermehren leaves Roding (Lisbon) by (Lufthansa) plane on 11/2, arrive TOR (Berlin?) 12/2. Nerbach Achern (↔ name or place?) has been requested to arrange for her to fly on, I recommended that arrest should not be carried out at either Moench Stuttgart or at TOR (Berlin?) to indicate a hotel to spend the night. She will therefore not be surprised if a representative of Strauch (S.D. or Amt IV?) or Erich (Heinrich Müller?) offers to escort her. I (by “Enzmann”@ Schroeder, Amt IV by Nassenstein (at the office in the Lisbon Embassy) and probably Rheinbaben.) have forbidden her to communicate with relatives beforehand. She has learned through Reuter (Press agency) report of her son's high treason (Hochverrat), but in spite of of this has declared herself ready for journey to (the) Reich. To allay the greater part of her suspicions I gave her a card of recommendation to take to Strauch Leiter (Heinrich Müller?) Sgd. Enzmann (Schroeder at Nassenstein Leiter in Lisbon of Amt IV)
11.2.44 Lisbon to Berlin. To Erbe (Abwehr Berlin) Belling (likely R.S.H.A. Amt IV). Petra Vermehren left Roding (Lisbon?) by air at 1300 hours today. Search for Erich Vermehren and wife (Elizabeth) instituted as early as 7/2 (AOB: consequently we may draw the conclusion - that Erich defected on the 6th or early 7th February). The agents (Agenten) available on the airfields? have been ordered to report every air-passenger landing here from Cairo. (AOB: Lisbon was the airport where Allied planes made a stop before continuing their flight to England), Halma or Vetschau. Any possibility of preventing Erich Vermehren from leaving the country will be by legal means only. Please radio a personal description of Erich Vermehren and wife. Enzmann (= Amt IV representative at the German Embassy, in Lisbon)
6.2.44 (10364)(this indicates that decoding took longer than usually!) Berlin to Lisbon. The mother of the lawyer Dr. Vermehren, who went over to the English in Turkey is a correspondent for Das Reich in Lisbon. By order of Amtschef (Heinrich Müller Leiter Amt IV), Frau Vermehren is to be persuaded to come back to Germany at once by suitable means. Belling (Heinrich Müller or someone at this office)
8.2.44 (10795)(suffered also decoding delays) Ugent51 (Eilt) (Lisbon-Berlin) To Erbe for Belling (R.S.H.A. Amt IV) Petra Vermehren nee Schwarrrock (born) 2/8/1893 in Lübeck, residing in Tillo Hotel Palaciom who was intimately acquainted with the journalist, (he) is married to Countess Elisabeth Resseguier; another son, (of Petra) a lawyer, is employed in Turkey, at the German Embassy, it is said. In order to guarantee the Vermehren mother's being brought into (zurück) in Das Reich should request Frau Vermehren, via (das) Auswertiges Amt (Sommerhaus), Berlin (TOR) and our Embassy (Konto) (at Rua Buenos Aires) in Lisbon (Roding), to go to Berlin immediately (schnellstens) in order to clear up some urgent matters. I am convinced that Frau Vermehren would at once fall in with such request. Enzmann (cover-name of the Leiter representing in Lisbon AMT IV of Berlin).
KV 2/957-1, page 1
Vermehren Erich Marie
KV 2/957-1, page 5 (minutes sheet)
8.12.44 From S.I.S. (M.I.6) re finding newspaper work for the Vollmers (new cover-name of the Vermehren's) (minute 60b) have left P.I.D. and have changed their address, which should not be communicated without previous consultation with Section V (M.I.6)
5.1.45 Letter from S.I.S. in reply to (minute) 60c. Re the Vermehren's working for the Press.
KV 2/957-1, page 6
19.5.45. Extract from Notices of Questions in the House of Commons re Vermehren. (minute 67a)
22.11.45 To Air Ministry enclosing original correspondence re evasion of censorship by Vermehren. (minute 71a)
30.11.45 D.3. Minute to B.1.b. (M.I.5) re Vermehren's letters at 71a. (minute 72a)
KV 2/957-1, page 7
5.12.45 B.1.b. (M.I.5) Note to D.3 re Vermehren's correspondence. (minute 75a)
Minute 79 Handwritten
Please digest the handwritten notice yourself: ,,,On 24/11/45 H.O. (Home Office responding on S.I.S.' deliberate opinion to expel the Vermehren couple) decided they should not remain in UK (76a?) .... Sgd. ? Colonel Adam (see notice at minute 81)
Apparently the matter had been forwarded by a Mr. Cox.
KV 2/957-1, page 8
ADC (minute 80)
Handwritten note by Colonel Adam on Erich Vermehren's defection and his approaching the British Military Attaché.
Please, digest the letter yourself.
KV 2/957-1, page 9
18.7.47. Enquiry from B.A.O.R.
(British Army over the Rhine) re Vermehren E.M. (Erich
(minute 89) Note.
Miss Chenhalls (B.2.b.) has telephoned Mr. Milmo who states that Erich Vermehren was on the staff of the school at which his (Mr. Milmo's) sons are in July 1947 and he had no reason to believe that Vermehren had left the country.
Sgd. G.R. Lee
KV 2/957-1, page 10
27.1.48 Special Branch (Office at Scotland Yard) report re departure Vermehren for Geneva (minute 90a)
KV 2/957-1, page 12
(X607) ↑↑↑↑ (X607return)
28.2.49 Application for military permit by Vermehren, Elisabeth (The German Bundesrepublik was at the brink of its coming into being). (minute 106a)
28.2.49 Application for military permit by Vermehren, Erich Maria. (minute 107a)
31.5.49 Naturalisation enquiry and reply re Vermehren E.M.B.J. (minute 109a)
7.10.49 From S.I.S. (M.I.6) re Vermehren (minute 110a)
B.2. Mr. Marriott.
As agreed with you, I am passing this file to B.2. section for any action thought necessary on 110a
Sgd. Joan Chenhalls
B.3.a/JC. (Joan Chenhalls) 10.10.49
KV 2/957-2, page 13 (W606) ↓↓↓↓ (W606return)
B.2.c. Mr. Martin.
With regard to 110a, I think, that we ought to obtain particulars of Piccadilly Parcels Ltd. (AOB, Erich Vermehrens modest business) (AOB, as if it concerned a highly suspicious enterprise!) (all quite ill underbelly feelings), and later to interview (name made invisible). When this has been done we can consider whether any action is necessary. (AOB, it has become evident - that the British intelligence personnel and their according Services were becoming in a loosing position)
Sgd. J.H. Marriott
17.10.49 S.B. (= Special Branch, operating from the building of Scotland Yard at Whitehall)
20.10.49 To B.4.D. requesting Somerset (House) particulars for (Erich Vermehren's) Piccadilly Parcels Ltd., Kinver & Radov Ltd. and Welch (Welsh?) Hosiery. (minute 114a)
KV 2/957-1, page 14
Please digest its content carefully, and be aware that the new Bundesrepublik, snce early 1949 was since a friendly state and became an Allie to the Western Powers.
22.11.49 Note of telephone conversations with G.P.O. (Do you know what the G.P.O implied?) (G.P.O. (British Post) was mostly authorised to intercept mails and/or telephone intercepts; authorisation was mainly given on behalf of an Order by the Home Office. But the applicant, the Secret Services, mainly got wherefore they applied for!)
KV 2/957-1, page 15 ...
8.12.49 Return of (intercepted; withheld) Correspondence on 30 Silchester Terrace. (minute 130a)
31.1.50 To Special Branch (office at Scotland Yard at Whitehall) re Vermehren (minute 133a)
KV 2/957-1, page 16
Return of Correspondence on 30 Silchester Terrace (then the current address where the Vermehren's were residing)
Please digest this summary yourself; Secret Service personnel hunting an imaginary enemy of Britain
They, sometimes, behaved ill - like do Prosecutors.
KV 2/957-1, page 18 (minute 129a) (Y608) ↓↓↓ (Y608return)
Home Office Nationality Division.
Erich Maria Bernard Julius Vermehren.
Will you please refer to your V.7302 of 31.5.49 and our reply on the back thereof concerning the above applicant for a Certificate of British Naturalisation.
Since we wrote this report, we have received information (on behalf of the British Secret Service) which necessitates further investigation by us. We should accordingly be grateful if you would re-refer this case to us after you have received the Special Branch (Office at Scotland Yard at Whitehall) report as we should like to have the opportunity of adding further comments if the result of our enquiries calls for them.
Sgd. by RAB
Why all this?
KV 2/957-1, page 19 (minute 128a)
This empty page is showing to us that they wanted to keep hidden what once had being initiated against Erich Vermehren - through a branch of Scotland Yard at Whitehall
(V605) Please notice at the top the according minute 128; at least we know what the subject is (V605return)
KV 2/957-1, page 22 (minute 126a)
Minute 126a noticed: Note of telephone conversation with G.P.O. (General Post Office)
Note for File.
Spoke to Colonel Allan who confirmed that Welch Hosiery is at Silchester Terrace, W. 10
They have two telephone numbers Ladbroke 4449 and Ladbroke 3542
I arranged for a return of correspondence for a period of two weeks.
KV 2/957-1, page 23 (minute 128)
Apparently, they have had quite some to hide - in respect to innocence people, time and again. And indeed they had!
KV 2/957-1, page 26
They apparently have still quite some to hide fir their personal friends and general public
Wanting to believe the honest mind of the country? (Don't be too disappointed)
KV 2/957-1, page 28 Minute 121b
Still containing matters which the public should not be informed off!
KV 2/957-1, page 29
Commander, Special Branch.
Thank your for your interesting report of October 14th.
We have no trace of Welch Hoisery or of Mrs. Eva Welch, but (oh God!) Francis Aldor and Dr. Erich Vermehren are known to us. (Oh God, the services, find an indication within their for years highly infected data? What would have been their ill minds, when one of their own relatives would have been in their inflicted minds?)
We are looking forward into this matter and shall get in touch with you again in due course. (ill wordings, I do consider indeed!)
KV 2/957-1, page 32 (minute 118a)
Name of Company: Piccadilly Parcels Ltd.
Serial 454912 Date of Registration: 2.6.1948
Registered Office: 152b Walton Street, Kensington, S.W.3
Secretary: Erich Maria Vermehren, 16 Thurloe Place, London, S.W.7.
Nominal Capital: £5,000 dividend into, 5,000 shares if £1 each.
Subsequent Capital change: Nil.
objects: To carry on business as importers, exporters, buyers and sellers of and dealers in merchandise of all descriptions, including foods, food stuffs, provisions of all kinds corn , hay, straw, hops, liquors, wood and timber, coal, coke, patent fuel, oils, etc.
Latest return Directors dated; 13.1.1949
KV2/957-1, page 35 (minute 115a) Please notice: the entire KV 2/xxx series, are, with the exception of the actual minute sheets, running with increasing PDF page numbers - backwards in time. The further you come - the more you go go towards the starting point.
B.A.O.R (British Army over the Rhine) 15
18 October 1949
To: Captain C.I. Cain
Parliament Street B.O.
Subject: Vermehren Kurt Wilhelm Dr.
Reference your PF 66208 (Erich Vermehren's file-number)/B.1.d (M.I.5)/JC of 10th August 1948.
1. Subject is father of Vermehren Erich, and has been granted exit permit (from the British Occupied Zone in Germany) for one week to visit his son in England.
2. This information is passed to you in view of your previous interest in this family.
For Major General.
Chief of Intelligence Division.
KV 2/957-1, page 37 (minute 113a)
Please notice (W606) and (W606return)
Please, notice again this empty page, which is again an evidence of hiding for you that, most likely, the content of the report on behalf of Special Branch (situated at Scotland Yard in Whitehall) contained matters, which better could not be made public.
But why? We will, later learn, that it wasn't about the ill behaviour on behave of the Vermehren couple, but about the ill ways of some 'paranoia' by those hunting continuously against the Vermehren's for about a decade. Nowadays, we might place under what is now known as: discrimination on behalf of Crown Servants.
KV 2/957-1, page 38 (minute 110a)
To your notice: view at (X607) ↑↑ (X607return)
minute 110a: 7.10.49 S.I.S. re Vermehren
At least we notice how wide spread this endemic in the Services was apparent.
KV 2/957-1, page 39 (minute 109a)
271, High Holborn
Ref. No. V7302 (notice please also foregoing): (Y608) (Y608return)
The under-mentioned person has applied for the grant of a certificate of naturalization and enquiry is made as to whether anything is known or recorded about him?
Names Erich Maria Barward? Julius Vermehren
Address 16, Thurloe Place
London, S.W. 7?
Occupation Company Director
Place of birth Lübeck Germany
Date 31- 5- 1949
KV 2/957-1, page 40 (no minute)
This alien arrived in U.K. on 13th April, 1944
Shortly before this, while holding a military appointment at Istanbul (Istambul), he deserted Nazi Germany in favour of the Allies.
We have nothing recorded against him on Security grounds.
(AOB, curious - were the bad guys within the S.I.S. (M.I.6) only?)
AOB: in contrast to my, sometimes scepticism, versus the sometimes ill handlings of the British Secret Services - I admire the legal stand on behalf of the Home Office (H.O.)!
KV 2/957-1, page 42 (minute 107a)
Name of Applicant Erich Maria Vermehren 24.2.49
2. Full Address in Area to ... All Zones
3. Reason for Application Business Visit
4. Whether special Area or not Al Zones (AOB, I doubt, that it was valid legally for the French and Russian Zone (SBZ))
10. Special Observation Request your Observations (Who's?)
Reply No Objection.
Also Erich's Wife Elizabeth applied for a travel permit as well.
Granted 7 March 1949
KV 2/957-1, page 51 + 52 (minute 100a)
10th August, 1948
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
Erich Isa and Petra Vermehren.
We (M.I.5) have before us a letter, ref. H.Q. Int. Div./S1(a)/RHP/PF 4540 of July 6th and would say that there is no security record of Isa Vermehren, sister of Erich.
The following information of Erich Maria Batwood (I doubt whether this is a German name) Julius Vermehren born 23.12.1919 and his wife Elizabeth born 23.11.1911 is additional to that sent you by us on 12.9.47
In 1939 Erich Vermehren should have come to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Instead he was called into the Foreign Office service under the German Government and as the war continued he became increasingly anti-Nazi. Through influence he managed to get posted as assistant to Leverkuehn*, a friend of his father's who (Leverkuehn) was Military Attaché at Istanbul (Istambul) in 1941. Vermehren was devoted to the Roman Catholic wife and because of Hitler's treatment of the Church and religious issues he decided to defect. He was successful in getting his wife to join him in Istanbul (Istambul) (against an Order on behalf of Admiral Canaris, for the reason, that generally no German soldiers could be accompanied by their wives!) and in February 1944 they travelled to Cairo (likely on the 6th the day of Erich desertion) and placed the themselves in Allied hands. The information they gave was considerable value and was probably the largest single that had led to the break up of the G.I.S. (German Intelligence Service) in Turkey and the Middle East. We believe his motives to have been sincere though he has become somewhat bitter after a period of inaction (caused also by deliberate influence of S.I.S.!) in the U.K. For some time he has taught in a British Public School, but on May 19, 1948 he and his wife left for Switzerland as represenative of the Agency for Intellectual Relief in Germany, whose Headquarters are at 48, Princes Gardens, London S.W.
His mother, Petra, has had an eventful career as a well-known journalist in Lisbon but her son's defection she was recalled to Berlin - whether she knew the reason for the recall is not clear but she and the other members of the family were than interned (Petra landed in the Concentration Camp Sachsenhausen). We have no present knowledge of her whereabouts.
Sgd. Mss Joan Chenhalls (M.I.5)
* Dr. Paul Leverkuehn, in the late 1940s, became the German lawyer on behalf of Feldmarschall von Manstein's trial (British military Tribunal).
KV 2/957-1, page 55 (minute 98a)
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
6 Jul 48
To Box 500 (British Intelligence mailbox)
Subject: Vermehren, Isa.
1. 1. The following is passed to you for your information and any action you may wish to take.
2. Isa Vermehren is the sister of Erich Vermehren who was the subject of our letter of the 12th Sep, 1947 to this H.Q. ref. PF/66208/C1a (Erich Vermehren's file). She recently made an application for an exit permit to Switzerland and the U.K. which was turned down by this Headquarters, on account of the past history and associates of her family. (all being the result of deliberate, and ongoing, denunciations on behalf of, at least, S.I.S. (M.I6)).
3. At the personal request of the Religious Affairs Adviser, however, who was sponsoring her journey, the case has been reconsidered and our previous objections have now been withdrawn. An exit permit for the U.K. will therefore be issued.
4. For our own records we should be glad if you could inform us of the present whereabouts and employment of Dr. Erich Vermehren and his mother Petra.
Sgd. R.H. Philips
for Major General
Chief, Intelligence Division.
KV 2/957-1, page 57 (minute 95a)
Metropolitan Police (Special Branch)
Among the passengers leaving this airport for Zürich at 2.39 p.m., today was Erich Maria B.J. (Barward Julius) Vermehren on Home office certificate of Identity No. B7302, issued London on 27th August, in which he is described as a schoolmaster.
He was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Nikita??? Elizabeth Sofia Ida Maria Huberta Vermehren, German born at Bremen on 23rd November 1911, travelling on home Office certificate of Identity, in which she is described as a school mistress.
Both gave as their last address in this country: 16, Thurloe Place, S.W.7.
They said that they were going to Switzerland as representatives of the Agency for Intellectual Relief in Germany. They would attend a conference about to be held by a 'sister organisation'.
KV 2/957-1, page 66 (minute 78?? or 86??) (C618) ↓↓↓↓↓↓ (C618return)
S.I.S. (on behalf of)
With reference to your C1a/PF66208/GRLee dated 11.8.47 concerning Erich M. Vermehren, both from our files and from my own personal knowledge of Vermehren and his wife (but not his mother Petra Vermehren of whom I have no experience), I should say that these was not the slightest objection to Vermehren (really?) being allowed to publish periodicals and books in Germany (but in England?). This ism of course, based on his attitude towards the Allies in general, and this country in particular, up to January, 1946, after which we ceased to have dealing with them.
During the ensuing period Vermehren himself was engaged in trying to educate the youth of this country who in all probability taught him a great deal more him a great deal more than he was ever able to teach them (really?), but we do not know at all what effect, or the general political situation, may have had on his attitude. (no objections, really? Not quite flattering, I suppose). The only thing certain is that he will indubitably have remained anti-Russian and anti-Communist.
With regard to his repatriation, although we suggested it at the end of 1945, we were satisfied not to pursue it when the Home Office agreed that they no longer held us responsible for either Vermehren and his wife. (really?)
He now appears to have gone back (mission closed?) to Germany, but this is the first intimation that we have of it.
S.I.S. practice, name made invisible
G.R. Lee Esq., (M.I.5)
KV 2/957-1, page 68 (minute 85a) (this implies that reference being missing)
11th August, 1947
Dear Captain (at S.I.S.) name made invisible,
Erich M. Vermehren.
We have had considerable correspondence with you in the past about the above-named, under your reference CX/number made invisible terminating with your letter of 3rd Jan. ... qp46.
We are informed by our contact in B.A.O.R. that Vermehren and his mother, Petra Vermehren, have applied for a licence to publish a periodical and books in Germany and we have been asked for advise on their suitability to be granted such a licence.
from the information in our records it would not appear that any objection need to be raised to the Vermehren's application but in view of the fact that Erich Vermehren was in your case whilst in this country, we are referring to you for your views. in view of this enquiry it seems clear that Vermehren's proposed repatriation to Germany did actually take place, although we do not appear to have anything in our records to show this (They went over for a visit to Germany but kept staying in the U.K.); perhaps you will be good enough to confirm this when replying.
G.R. Lee (M.I.5)
The devil becomes visible!
KV 2/957-1, page 73 (minute 76a)
S.I.S. dated 3.1.46
Dear Captain Guy Liddell (M.I.5),
Referring to our conversation of 2.1.46 concerning the Vermehrens attach hereto, as agreed, copies of recent correspondence with the Home Office and the Foreign Office, about (intercepted Vermehren letters) viz:-
1) Letter to Prestige dated 19.12.45
2) Letter to Gravey dated 31.12.45
3) Letter to Gravey dated 2.1.46
You said that in all probability your organisation (M.I.5) would eventually be approached and that if you had copies of the correspondence, which I am now sending you, that will enable you to speak with the same voice as ourselves (S.I.S.).
Captain name made invisible
Isn't their attitude insane?
(Z615) ↓↓↓ (Z615return)
The nuclei was only this, quite incompetent notice:
All what blind-minded was engendered, since spring 1944, continued to remain
What comes next shows rather well what kind of personnel we encounter, Service estimations on personal matters without proof; maybe the way they were used to handle 'bodies' as captured were noticed.
KV 2/957-1, page 74 (minute 76a) (R690) ↓↓↓↓↓ (R690return)
Albeit kept hidden: CX/ proves undoubtedly that it concerns a S.I.S. (M.I.6) document registration
It was a curious coincidence that my telephone call to you on 18.12.45 on the subject of the Vermehren should have been made just when you had in front of you a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster to the Home Secretary asking that they (The Vermehren couple) be allowed to stay in the U.K. and mentioning the fact that M.I.6. had originally brought them to this country.
It may be useful if, at this point, I briefly recapitulate the circumstances of their departure from Germany and their arrival in the U.K. They were always anti-Nazi on both sides; Mrs. Vermehren's family, the Plettenberg's, as strong Roman Catholics, and the Vermehren's rather from political than on religious grounds. Eventually, however, he became converted by her to Roman Catholicism, which of course means that he is even more fervent than she is (of course; How could he prove this?). It is only just to add that there is not the least reason to doubt their soundness on this (religious) point.
Vermehren managed to obtain for himself a position with the German Embassy in Ankara (Angora) as a member of the German (military) Secret Service, and got his wife down there too. (Incorrect, his wife was employed elsewhere in Germany; what he illegally managed, against the deliberate will of Admiral Canaris, whom decided: that almost all German soldiers weren't able to have their wives around, why should they establishing an exception?) from Ankara they got to Istanbul (Istambul) where they endeavoured to contact the British but failed to do so, and instead got into touch with the Americans to whom, however, they made it clear that it was with the British that they wished to deal, and eventually contact with the British was established.
They had a certain amount of useful information to give and it was decided that in order to make the best possible use of their knowledge and keep them in reasonable safety, the most suitable arrangement would be to bring them over here (England), where they arrived in Spring (April) of 1944.
At first they lived in the name of Vollmer, but in July 1945 it was considered that there was no reasonable ground for their alias being maintained, and they reverted to their real name Vermehren.
During the whole of their stay they have been housed and maintained on a very reasonable scale at the expense → (page 75) → of the British Government.
KV 2/957-1, page 75
→ of the British Government. (AOB, untrue, and he knows it, as they (S.I.S.) forbade Erich Vermehren's journalistic employment at the BBC! Also Erich's wife did have a job!) (These latter details will be proved in the course of this survey)
Naturally, there was a limit to the amount of information they were able to give (supply), and ultimately, therefore, their actual usefulness to the Government (in casu - his S.I.S. Department) ceased. Attempts were made of course to find some occupation for them which would be useful to M.I.6 but this did not prove possible (and employment elsewhere in the British society wasn't tolerated!), largely owing to the fact that they were extremely "choosey" and hedged violently over every implied acceptance of a proposal, so that we finally came to the conclusion that they were not prepared to commit themselves to anything whatever, although quite ready to accept commitments made by others towards them. (such as the BBC, already during wartime days!)
Finally, my Department (was he the Director?) came to the conclusion that there was no justification whatever for keeping them (the bodies) in this country at Government expense (notice, that employments outside M.I.6: exploitation?), and this coincided with various (non M.I.6 related) reports showing that they had been, if not actually indiscreet, at least unduly talkative (why should they be silent versus a British State controlled entity, which was so deliberately against there existence?). There have been, moreover, indications that they are prepared to make the fullest possible use of any influential social acquaintances to ensure that things go according to their wishes. (Ultimately, the writer of this report proved to be on the losers side; and he wasn't yet aware of his eminent deficit! As S.I.S withdrew their commitments with the Vermehrens in January next!)
The decision of my Department to recommend repatriation was communicated to them on the 6th December (1945) (Did they realize what the consequences would have been to return to a devastated Germany - where everyone once engaged to undermining the German military endeavours? Their intellectual level wouldn't, most likely, have allowed such thoughts outside their daily scoop!) by me, in accordance with instructions received from my (S.I.S.) superiors.
One reaction is evident from the letter of the Archbishop to the Home Secretary, and I also received a strong protest from them in which they rather took the attitude that a refugee was entitled to stay in this country provided he could suitable guarantees for his behaviour and financial maintenance, which they claim to have got. Nothing that I ever received from the Home Office has ever indicated to me that any refugee had any established right to stay in the U.K.: it has always been laid down most emphatically that they were only allowed to stay by favour of the home Secretary.
I am instructed to say that this department (S.I.S) that this Department feels that it is most undesirable that the Vermehrens should be allowed to stay here, not because they have any ill intentions (but S.I.S. has!) but because they do not show that discretion which we consider essential in a case like theirs. I may add that the results of their indiscretions abroad would, paradoxical as it may seem, → (page 76) → be far less grave.
KV 2/957-1, page 76
→ be far less grave.
I am also instructed to point out that if it is decided, in spite of what precedes, to allow them to stay here, my Department must disclaim completely any sort of kind of responsibility for their behaviour, whether political or social, for their welfare, both financial and moral (what does moral implicate for this anonymous author?), and indeed for any acts whatsoever that they may commit which are in any way prejudicial to the interests of his Majesty's Government.
I am sure it will be agreed that it is only just and right that we should be entitled to have such a disclaimer accepted (poor boy!), or to request that the Home secretary decide that they must go back to their (devastated) land.
My Department would be very grateful for as early a decision is possible, if only for the reason that we do not wish to incur further unnecessary expense on the Vermehren's account. and it will, I hope. be clear from the above that we should prefer that they be repatriated.
Signature made invisible
H.H.C. Prestige, Esq.
10, Old Bailey, E.C.4
KV 2/957-1, page 77 (minute 76a)
(By) S.I.S dated 31.12.45
With reference to my conversation with you and Selby (at the H.O.?) on 27.12.45 concerning the Vermehrens, it is understood that at present no forced repatriations of alien refugees are taken place except for the gravest circumstances. Moreover, persons concerned in the 20th July movement (the failed assassination attempt on Hitler) are, if anything, the subject of benevolent consideration. Furthermore, refugees who wish and volunteer to return to Germany are at present not being allowed to do so.
I admit that my Department could not claim that the Vermehrens' conduct had been so grave as to necessitate their immediate deportation. You further stated that if they were allowed to stay now their case would in normal course come up for consideration when it was decided that it was possible to effect repatriations to Germany, probably about April.
On behalf of my Department I claimed, however, the following three conditions:-
1) That the F.O. (Foreign Office) should undertake the discussion of the Vermehrens' future with the Home Office concerning Cardin Griffen's (Archbishop of Westminster) letter, and at recommendation would probably come before the Home secretary that a definite date for the Vermehrens' departure should be fixed.
2) That my department should be relieved completely of any sort or kind of responsibility for the Vermehrens whilst in this country, whether financial, moral, social or concerning security.
3) That my Department should still be the sole judges of whether any offence against security, or indiscretion committed by the Vermehrens were sufficiently grave to necessitate their immediate repatriation, and that we decide that the offence was of that gravity your Department would undertake not to oppose the deportation but to assist us in making repatriations to the Home Secretary to achieve it.
I think I am right in saying that both you and Selby accepted these three conditions. I suggested that it would be best for me to see the Vermehrens, and inform them that, as a result of their letter to us, it had been decided that for the time being they would not be repatriated, → (page 78) → at the same time pointing out that the reprieve is entirely conditional on their good behaviour, most especially in regard to us. Selby and I both considered that this was the best approach to a German.
KV 2/957-1, page 78
→ at the same time pointing out that the reprieve is entirely conditional on their good behaviour, most especially in regard to us. Selby and I both considered that this was the best approach to a German. (AOB, how ill deep is their hatred versus the Vermehren couple! But losers they are anyway, ultimately!) The nuclei goes back to these two references of March 1944: (Z615) (Z615return)
I believe you stated, although it is not of great importance, that a certain Dr. Kinnemouth is prepared to act as their financial sponsor.
It is understood that you will take up with the Home Office the question of Erich Vermehren's permission to accept teaching appointment at Christ's Hospital. (please notice in which way in a previous reference expressed about this: (C618) (C618return) (In this latter reference, you can notice how really ill the attitude of S.I.S. had been, in respect to the Vermehren Couple)
KV 2/957-1, page 79 (minute 76a)
S.I.S. → CX/ number made invisible dated 2.1.46
Confirming our telephone conversation of today, Prestige has agreed to my sending to you to you a copy of the Home Secretary's reply to Archbishop griffin, giving the decision on the Archbishop's request that the Vermehrens be allowed to stay in the U.K.
name made invisible
T.W. Garvey, Esq.
KV 2/957-1, page 80 (no minute reference)
24th December, 1945
My dear Archbishop,
You wrote to me on the 15th December on behalf of of Dr. and Mrs. Erich M. Vermehren of 77, Upper Richmond Road, S.W.15, and I have now given the case the careful consideration in the light of our representations. I am sorry to have to tell you that I feel unable to agree to Dr. and Mrs. Vermehren prolonging their stay in this country and further, and they should, therefore, avail themselves of the facilities which have been offered to them for returning to their own country.
You may rest assured that they will not be neglected on their arrival in Germany, but steps will be taken to ensure that they will be maintained above the hardship level.
Sgd. J. Chutter Ede
The Most reverend
KV 2/957-1, page 81 (minute 75a)
D.3. Mr. Sargant
With reference to the attached minutes, Vermehren's (by means of G.P.O. intercepted/retained) correspondence does not appear to be of great security interest, but I have arranged that he shall be suitably reproved.
Please send these papers to W.R.H. (War Room (on) Hold?) for p.a. PF 66208 (= Vermehren's file number)
Sgd. J.K. Brock
B.1.b./JKB (= J.K. Brock) (consequently, Brock is employed at the office of B.1.b.)
KV 2/957-1, page 82 (minute 74a)
5th December, 1945
We spoke about letters written by Erich Vermehren and you undertook to take the necessary action.
J.K. Brock (M.I.5)
Major Wallace Hadrill
let us approach directly minute 71a
KV 2/957-1 (minute 71a)
22nd November, 1945
I herewith enclose in original, for any action you consider necessary, correspondence relating to the evasion of censorship by a (ex) German (but now stateless) named Vermehren.
KV 2/957-1, page 88 (minute 71a)
From:- Provost Marshal Air Headquarters (Admin) B.A.F.O.
To:- Provost Marshal, Air Ministry, 30-34 Moorgate, London E.C.2
Date:- 13th November, 1945
Tel.No.:- Bueckeberg (likely a place between Bielefeld and Hannover (Hanover))
Evasion of Censorship.
On the 12th October, 1945 a person, later known to be Mr. T. Creighton, was travelling from U.K. to Berlin. The aircraft touched down at B.168 (Hamburg) for refuelling and, whilst there, Creighton passed to an airman on the airfield for letters, written in German, and asked that such be posted in Hamburg, giving the airman two Marks to cover postal expenses. Action being taken against Creighton, who is employed by Military Government, Berlin Area.
2. It has been ascertained that the organisator of the letters is Erich Vermehren of 8 Edge Street London, a (stateless) German who is sponsored by the British Foreign Office and is well known to Creighton.
3. I enclose herewith the four original letters, with English translation, for your information as it is thought, in view of the contents, they may be of some intelligence interest. Will you please let me know the result of any enquiries made?
Sgd. Flight Lieutenant,
for Provost Marshal
Air Headquarters (Admin) B.A.F.O.
KV 2/957-1, page 90 (minute?)
Beaumont College 19th August 1945.
Dear Parents (Liebe Eltern),
Your letter of July 19th reached us yesterday. I have it with me here (bei mir), -where we are attending an international Catholic meeting for a week - in the hope that the silences of this beautifully situated Convent-school and its good atmosphere may help me to impart the news which you have so much reason to expect, and the imparting (conveying) of which has weighted on my heart for months. (AOB: this may well have been the reason why Erich Vermehren tried to find a more efficient means to communicate with his parents in Germany) The trust that you (for whom all suffering has lost its object) have always given to me, demands it.
If I understand you correctly (wenn ich euch gut verstehe), you are not angry (böse) with me for the decision itself; that is, no longer to serve the National Socialists and to fight on the side of the "enemy" against them with what little power I have, and as would be possible within the framework of an understanding and Christian Fatherlands-love (Faterlands-Liebe), is no reproach. Mother writes (Mutter schreibt), that her first thoughts were: Thank God - at last, one on the right side:- and she was long enough abroad to know the difference between false and true in this great and complicated business, and to be able to take the responsibility for herself and others. Your questions, and your reproaches must arise first of all, where out of this background well known to you both, practical consequences may be drawn; and Father's (Vaters) first objection is that "in the face (Angesicht) of the thousands of soldiers/ in the same or similar positions had to lay their lives daily, "he would not have taken my step".
"Had to"- that it is exactly. These unlucky ones, of whom I have so often thought, could not do otherwise, and the discipline under which they were placed increased tenfold the bitterness of their innermost convictions (Prinzipien). At the same time it arose out of the necessity of choice of an alternative between the two positions. In neutral country I had this freedom of decision, spiritual and practical, and because i had it, I must choose what they could only hope for, and was obliged to see in their weakness the duty which, in their minds, it was in my power to discharge. It appeared so simple, and still does (he might disclaim what is opposing him), today - that it was imperatively necessary to this step (deserting to the British Forces), quite independently of the question whether it would be successful, this is, suitable in practice, to serve the true interest of the Fatherland (Vaterland) (be it only in the slightest way). I do not know (ich weiß nicht) whether I can expect you Papa, to agree with this kind of opinion. I am sure of Mother's agreement, because she has shared my experiences abroad, which have helped me so much to see the whole problem in clear perspective, and to free myself from the ban of those all-too-sentimental conventions on which I depend before, as did most of us, and I was nearly caught up in them again when I came back from Turkey about three weeks ago, at the end of autumn (1943, 1945?).
I should like to assure you that I did not come easily to these conclusions, and whether I ran into danger I tried to judge the events of life intellectually and without regard for feeling, and on the high value of pressing claims of what was natural - there Elisabeth guided me 9 and herself) and her protestations compelled us to take into account all aspects of our decisions. I thank the inexorableness (unavoidability) which she proved, again and again to me, our reasons, arguments, and the measures we had taken. Above all, she has explained Father's objections, as she was herself drawn into these problems through the death in action of her brother, her brother-in-law's severe wounding, the six cousins already fallen, and the other ten who where still at the front - and I am sure that, even with these well-known connections with the thoughtlessness and weakness of like-thinking soldiers in the front line, she has agreed - I am sure Father, that you must accept that we who were more practical in our opposition have thought it over very well and have dealt with it properly.
but the problem goes further. Even when the decision as such seems to be correct, one cannot accomplish without regard to the expected consequences, and the value or worthlessness of the practical execution of his actions. Mother (Petra) is absolutely right when she says that "none of us is so free and independent that he can follow his own good conscience without regard to the consequences of his actions". We did not discuss these things at the time, but in these days this vexed (displeased) question comes up again and again.
KV 2/957-2, page 1
Cont. as from Beaumont College 19.10.45
And next: we could expect at that time that the original character of our step would-remain secret, that it would not appear as a "step", i.e., a decision of free-will, but as the act of a higher (religious) Power, as an inexplicable (mysterious) disappearance, possibly even as a stroke on the side of the enemy power, similarly to the act of banditry which, shortly after the beginning of the war claimed two officers of the British Intelligence Service as victims (Venlo Incident) , near to the German-Dutch frontier. There was no real danger that there would be witnesses (apart from the independent of the "plotters", those two impressive English officers in Doessel, with whom I had spoken so long and clearly in 1942) (Best and Stevens) (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venlo-incident); their lips were sealed (after the war it was discovered not in as much as is expressed here), not only their word of honour, but by the pressing needs of their own interests.
That "Leverkuehn Hptm. (Captain)" today knows of your awareness of it is only a further consequence of those unlucky circumstances which which caused the real background of our then inexplicable disappearance to appear in the (German) Press. This indiscretion was the cause of two of my acquaintances being compelled to take similar decisions, which they may have to take later on, or perhaps not at all, in connection with me. That they followed us so soon gave rise to the impression that they were in collaboration with us. I had to keep quite in case Leverkuehn had more than this appearance of their connection as proof of their actual witnesshood. And if he has more, he must have got it after the opening up of the real circumstances - otherwise why had the German papers, in their first confusion, and until the appearance of the English version, put out so unbelievable a story as our common suicide on the Bulgarian frontier near Istambul (= Istanbul)? but even if it had been so, that (Dr. Paul) Leverkuehn had been told the circumstances before the news came out, and had spread these rumours among all our connections to protect himself and you as well as he could, in the hope that the truth would never come out (quite naive) - then this can only be shown by circumstances which were in no way to be anticipated, and which we were simply unable to take into account. (Was Erich Vermehren not aware that all became public after British Newspapers reported on this; quite instantly?) You will detect - here as in other places - that it was certainly, just this, unpredictableness, so many possible short-circuits and other dangers, which had to prevent us from destroying ourselves in this risk, you and us (Erich Vermehren and his wife Elizabeth). You would say that we should not have engaged in this dangerous game of chess, in which the freedom and even the lives of others was at stake, unless we (Erich Vermehren and his wife Elizabeth) had been absolutely certain to take all possible countermoves against the devil and the enemy in their defence. We have often asked ourselves whether we weren't in the position through a breaking of the rules of the game (to emply Mother's expression) and were to blame, and we are, because we cannot give ourselves a plain answer to this question, open to be blamed by you. it appears to me that if one says (and this is in agreement with Mother's innermost conviction) that one can only have a clear conscience, if one is sure that no-one else must be scarified, it appears to me that such a comprehension in face of of the impossibility of predicting all the eventual working out of ones own acts, the freedom of action of the individual is crippled, and he who in the political sphere, leaves no other choice than unprotesting (and to my way of thinking, spineless (ohne Rückengrad)) conformity, collaboration, and "yes-mannishness", finds often enough the way to dishonour. It appears to me (Erich Vermehren) a contradiction in itself, to so prevent the conception of conscientiousness, as to force oneself to copy the way of the unscrupulous in particular circumstances. What would be, in view of such a comprehension, the position of millions of French, Poles, Belgians, Greeks and Italians who have fought through their resistance movements, actively, against the brutal power of the conqueror, and so through their deeds, inspired (by their feelings for the honour of their Fatherlands) not only their own people, but also complete strangers - the thousands of innocent hostages - these extradited "bands of murders and robbers' who accepted their foreign sacrifice with tenfold more unrestrained Sadism than your German political prisoners? What would be the position of the men of the 20th July, who were well aware that should their attempted "putsch" fail, not only they, but above all their families and relatives would be pitilessly made to answer for their "miscalculation"?
Therefore, in February 1944, this unbelievable perversion of a comprehension of "rights", these thoughts of "family-atonement", were only in the → (page 2) → minds of a small number of extremist "people's"-judges (Volksgerichtshof), and Elisabeth's brother-in-law Hans, who for years had practised as Advocate in the High Courts and the persecution-prosecutions, wrote to us that he himself knew nothing of it.
KV 2/957-2, page 2
→ minds of a small number of extremist "people's"-judges (Volksgerichtshof), and Elisabeth's brother-in-law Hans, who for years had practised as Advocate in the High Courts and the persecution-prosecutions, wrote to us that he himself knew nothing of it. In the same way, we must therefore accept that if the true background of our disappearance should become known, or if the Gestapo had come to the conclusion, without complete evidence, that we had left Turkey of our own free will with intention to betray - for ourselves we should have nothing to fear, that you could be made in any way responsible for what we had done. none of you, nor Elisabeth's relatives were in any way whatever aware of our intentions and were therefore innocent (causing, nevertheless, his parents "Sippenhaft"). And your personal regard with the authorities was not such that it would be specially endangered by bare evidence built-up by Gestapo agents. We had more anxiety for Elisabeth's parents and her brother-in-law than we had for you, because he had already been imprisoned under the accusation of high treason, as all powerful Catholic of high degree were suspected; Hans has also fearlessly acted as counsel for the defence that he was several times been warned that owing to his deeds during the war he has one leg (and not a wooden one!) already in the concentration camp. The one thing we were afraid of was that they might take you as hostage and intern you, and it appears that they nearly did so (AOB, at least we know that Erich's mother was interned in the concentration Camp Sachsenhausen). As hostage on two counts: first to prevent you from following us, or to prevent us from communicating with highly treasonable circles through you, and secondly in case i might become one day a political asset in the hands of the enemy, and by holding you they would have a means of forcing me from indulging in any "unpleasant" and open political activity; and though for about three months we did not know if you had been taken, we had considered the possibility and taken steps accordingly. Every attempt to persuade us to take part in any open activity I avoided, and later too, all attempts in this direction were refused. That we harmed ourselves by it was clear (AOB: upsetting the aims of S.I.S. quite); often enough they had tries to persuade us that our precautions were unnecessary after the capitulation was made known; and the Gestapo had given them had given them reason to believe that what had been threatened, had been carried out. Thank God that we knew the state of affairs better, and we know today that, had we acted otherwise we should have brought a terrible fate upon you. because of that some fear we have avoided many to make enquiries about you, and we have always taken care that our actions here, and the measures we have asked of the English authorities have given the German authorities the impression that the English regarded us as a "fake" and we were actually interned in the near East.
But to know that you were interned as hostage, or even in a worse position would be grim enough, and we had to reckon with that; one step of this kind could affect you, we explained to ourselves in the light of Mother's questions. And it appeared to us that in this case, the success which we could expect from our step would play a striking role. If we had the right to expect that our step and its anticipated result in the political and military events could serve the Fatherland's interest (so far as I understand them, and I believed you understood them) then we had also, I believe, the right to ask you to make the sacrifice on the other would stand in relation to one other in a true standard of values. I cannot tell you anything of the success, neither of the real success nor that which is to come. I can only ask you to believe that when I came to the conclusion at the time, that given such a balance between success and sacrifice, I saw that success was far below that which I later realised would be the result, and at the same time it worried me, if to no purpose, that what I conceived as sacrifice on the same plane as truth, was indeed less than that which you poor people would have been obliged to give - to estimate the the highest possible demands which might be made upon you. What is - in these circumstances - a true standard of values? I fear it is not possible to find a common standard. There were families in France who found themselves justified dying so that their son should keep his honour as a patriot, and Elisabeth's sister Gisela writes to us that she was prepared to die for us (and Isa will be able to tell you how serious and earnest her own preparations have been). Lastly, these things can be decided as well by discussion as by the qualms of personal conscience- and also by the intensity of their responsible convitions in regard to their people and humanity → (page 3)→they will recognise larger or smaller sacrifices as justified in balance of a given success.
KV 2/957-2, page 3
→they will recognise larger or smaller sacrifices as justified in balance of a given success. I believed at that time that you would all agree with that presentation of justice in these circumstances, if I had been able to show you how, according to my understanding, success and sacrifice were balanced - and if you - above all, Father (Vater or Papa), were prepared to accept certain premises (whose rightness has been proved in the meantime). If it should so happen that we can never agree on this side of the problem, and can never make clear to each other our opposite positions, then I cannot and shall not ever be expected to be understood by you. You, Father (Du Vater) will perhaps always believe that my immaturity has led me into this position of taking a "righteous" standard of values as given, whilst in reality, in your opinion, a glaring misunderstanding between success and sacrifice is clearly shown. And you, Mother, will perhaps think that the personal relations between us as members of one family - the personal relations which you in a moment of bitter inclination on my behalf and for the protection of love which you believed, would always draw me toward you - would make it clear to me how heartless and grim and un-natural and "un-righteous" such a justice which makes a satisfactory balance between win and lose can be, where the opposing values - the interests of the mass, and the life and freedom of ones own people, the sacred right of the family, belong to such incommensurable scales of values. And if it is not possible to draw the sting of this deepest natural reservation out of one's heart, we must carry it with us as an incurable error (unheilbarer Fehler) of understanding, from which no one can fully detach himself. We must seek to rebuild anew the integrity of our family from the elements of opposition, and bind ourselves together again.
I am happy and thankful to you that you have given your son (eueren Sohn) the chance to explain to the people whose enigmatical deeds have darkened, and nearly destroyed his picture in your hearts, and whatever your last decision and your final position may be, I shall never stop working to build up that new picture, in childish trust (kindliches Vertrauen) in your unfailing sympathy, of which Mother writes that she would always find herself on the side of her accused child (Kind or Sohn), and in acknowledgement of my fault to you. And if God whose infinite compassion has led us so strikingly along the whole way should bless my deeds, as he has heard our ardent prayers to protect you all, then some time everything will once be right between us.
And now another question to which I have referred above, the question of the value or worthlessness of our step (Erich's deserting the British), and its practical execution. Father (Vater schreibt) of the "disloyalty against my people" and of the breach of trust, which comes double hard, because I had to be strong enough to take advantage of my position in Stambul (Istambul = Istanbul) "to recognise the unconditional reliability and all the enticements (temptations) of this position". Father, you must believe me, that of all problems that have been put to me (think also of the ill handling on behalf of some of S.I.S.), this was the most difficult. It was clear to me that what I did was a breach of trust (Vertrauensbruch), not against Hptm. Leverkuehn, my Commanding officer, but against Leverkuehn, your friend (dein/mein Freund), and my protector. This was the most frightful; that I must betray personal trust, personal friendship and extraordinary personal good-will. If I had known Leverkuehn in the service (Abwehr), I should have my decision less difficult my duty towards him would not have been deeper than my duty towards the whole hierarchy of the Nazi regime, no deeper that the duty which many oaths had been able to bind me to unbreakable obedience to Hitler's commands (Befehle), and of which the worthlessness (Wertlosigkeit) was clear as day (?). As commanding Officer (Leiter K.O.N.O.) I owed Leverkuehn nothing, neither dependence nor trust; his authority was grounded in the higher authority of the Führer and the right of people to the service of all its sons, and both did not bind me - the first because it was unreasonable, the second either, because I believed I saw clearly that the service which was required of me lay in the direction of the step I wanted to take. As a friend amd protector I owed all to him (Leverkuehn), and this was so clearly visible to me that I nearly did not go on with it for your sake. It has finally become clear, after endless discussions with Elisabeth that these two duties under which I saw myself bound, were opposed to each other, that constituted a real and tragic conflict whose solution would in any case involve me in blame (schuldig).
KV 2/957-2, page 4
Remained the question of the lesser blame, lesser not only for the judgement of my own conscience but also for the decision of history. I had clearly before me the possibility of making an important, perhaps an unique contribution towards the true interests of the Fatherland (Vaterland). Could I let it go, just for the friendship of Leverkuehn? Was it then so pure a growth that when broken by my treachery (Verrat) the world would be left so much or even more improvised than if the good I could do remained undone/ Must my step of necessity destroy friendship? Leverkuehn was politically uninformed, and he saw many things falsely and in wrong perspective. Would he not, when the opportunity came later. understand in retrospect enough of my step to rediscover his trust in me, and renew our friendship? I still believe that the breach of trust was least blameworthy, but it was a fault, and the background of this tragic conflict cannot be erased. You cannot believe how happy I am to see from your letter that nothing has happened to him (Dr. Paul Leverkuehn) to him and above all since afterwards it appeared in the newspaper that he was condemned to death on my account. I soon knew, thank God, that this news was not true. Elisabeth and I have been very afraid for him, and this has made me feel more to blame than anything else.
perhaps you can tell him this, and let him read this letter if possible. Father (Vater) not to be able to explain to him has worried me for a long time. I must close here. I have known, with no word of these things being spoken, which for me as a Christian are of so much greater - if not of the greatest - importance, than all the above mentioned deliberations and arguments. It does not appear right to me, to write about them. If we can see one another and speak to one another again, it will be easier to discuss - and I ask you, my dear parents (Euch meine lieben / Eltern) for the sake of these things, which may supply the key to the mysteries not mentioned in this letter, to keep an open heart until i can pour them out before you.
God protect you (Gott schütze Euch) - your son and brother Erich.
PS. In the meantime we have met Sidney, your good and brave companion in misfortune. He sends you all hearty greetings, above al to you, Mother; he has a deep admiration for you, and in one of his letters, he writes "I never wish to meet a finer woman" (written in English language). Sidney has told me that the rumour went about shortly after my flight that I had spoken on the radio. You will probably have heard of it too, and will have been shocked at such a lack of political instinct. Now then, this story is completely untrue. I have never in any shape or form made propaganda, especially over the radio. They have asked me several times, and it was not always easy for me to refuse. I have not even dreamed of accepting. I would have betrayed the real meaning of my step if I had done so.
PSS From Elisabeth 5.9.45
Dear Patents and Sisters-in-law,
With the same feeling as Erich, with sadness in my heart for you and your sufferings and with his hopes for you and for us, I write this letter to enclose with his, and wish in conclusion that he can at least answer in a provisional manner your doubts, questions and speculations, and to which your love has the key. We suffer more than this letter, which only attempts to justify a formal claim, can tell you. but you will know from Erich's first letter of June, which naturally, as this one, is also mine. I ask for your understanding, more for your sake than for ours, for which he hopes so much. Thank God for your safety, through the wonderful protection of God. with the love of your daughter and sister-in-law,
KV 2/957-2, page 5 + page 6 (marked 3)
8 Edge St., W.8.
Herr Kumlien, our indefatigable and helpful postillion phoned us the night he returned (AOB, please notice, that Erich Vermehren's letters were especially censored, that most likely also his phone calls being tapped by G.P.O.!) and we met him some hours after he had said goodbye to Michel. What he told us about you made us very glad - it reassures us to know that you are all doing your own work (with the exception of Isa, as it seems - but her qualifications are so many that the difficulty will be to find the right job for her) and probably with success and employment.
Herr Kumlein was most of all impressed by Mother - who wouldn't be? - and he spoke with great respect about the political brain of Michel. He was glad to have met you; the conversations with you have helped him a great deal to put into some sort of order the confused impressions which he collected during his short stay. We hope that your plan to meet him again on such and such a date at 12 o'clock on a certain spot will really come true.
Just now, Sidney phoned. A friend of his will go to Hamburg (Mr. T. Creighton, minute 71a) tomorrow by air and will see you. We have given him a trunk, part of which is for you, and part for Elisabeth's relatives. The two big parcels are for you, and the little one with Father's name written on it. We hope it will please you. Isa will look after the distribution regarding Grandmother and other friends of whom she knows that we would like to give something.
Everything we have said about trunks does not apply now. Sidney's friend could not take everything with him. We do not know yet when we can send it off. certainly we cannot send send a big trunk, and we will send you new instructions then.
Many thanks, Father for your parcel. I was very pleased with the little Homerbrust, and for Isa's records. Sidney and I will try to find colonel McGrath in order to play the records to him. It would be too wonderful, if Isa could come over here. To my annoyance I have heard that our letters of the 5th have not been sent. I have got them back from the F.O. (Foreign Office) and attach them here.
Isa, darling; you naturally don't need to carry out the instructions regarding the distribution of the goods in the trunk. The things that you cannot give away, or which do not suit the person, you an do with what you like, or keep them yourself - and not a single piece back please'. ... what nonsense.
About ourselves there is little to say. We have difficulties, as always (due to continuous hatred driven objection versus the Vermehren couple), many hopeful plans, few notable success, and much suffering. What we hear about Germany from friends, is troubling us very much, and we would very much like to come back to help as much as we can. At the present time however, it looks as though we would be more of a nuisance than a help, and probably we could do much more here than with you. It is not easy to be so "clever" and our sufferings grow more with every difficulty which comes in the way of our work. I often think of you, Father, and of the numerous plans and projects for which you have been working for years without regard for yourself, and mostly at high cost, one wills if one wishes to reach the ultimate goal. It is quite possible that the essential part of our work will be one day nothing more than a memory, a bundle of dusty papers with a stroke in place of the date in the "brought-forward" column'. But there is much argue that we shall succeed, perhaps soon, perhaps in a few months. At the present time the prospects are so good, that the expenses for which we strive are fully justified and our presence here will be essential.
We are very sorry for you and Elisabeth's family on account of the need you will have in the coming winter. How will you keep warm, and feed yourselves, protect yourselves from sickness - and how shall you bear the sufferings you must see but are powerless to help? Shall we send you medicines? Cough- medicine, Camomile tea, aspirin, etc? Please write us when you think we could help - it would make us feel easier.
Kind regards and good wishes, and we hope that the enclosed letter will not disappoint you.
God protect you all,
your son and brother,
1. We hopes that Sydney's friend could bring the trunk to Hovestadt. Now he is unable to do so. Isa, will you please look after this, and ask Sydney's friend how best he can help you.
2. Sydney's friend will give you a small parcel with medicine for Gisela who needs it urgently. Please sent it immediately as a registered letter (Einschreiben), to Hovestaft. It is important for her life's sake!
KV 2/957-2, page 11 (minute 70a)
B.1.b. Mr. Kellar.
Reference that attached letter from P.I.D. (see next reference) I imagine the "Thriller" will reach your desk in due course. If you like I will ask Colonel Holt to come and see you when the story arrives.
C.1 Oct, 45.
Handwriten: .... I will let you know when I am thrilled. Sgd. JKB = J.K. Brock (M.I.5)
KV 2/957-2, page 12 (minute 69a)
Political Intelligence Department
Of the Foreign Office
(the Ministry whose servants were accomplished in highly negative sense towards the Vermehren couple)
17th October, 1945
Mr. & Mrs. Vermehren.
I gather you may be getting a "thrilling" (AOB, a punishment / grilled?) about the above two from one de Courcy". If you should like the other side of the picture, would your let me know, as I can get details from a third party (within S.I.S.?) - and English officer - who is conversant with the matter.
Major H.C. Stone, M.I.5, War Office
KV 2/957-2, page 13 + 14 (minute 69z)
Extract for File No.: PF 66208 name Vermehren
Original in File PF 46969 Pheiffer, Erich Date 15.1..45 (Pheiffer was the successor of Hptm. Dr. Paul Leverkuehn; the latter was sacked due to Erich Vermehrens desertion)
"Such was the state of affairs when Vermehren affair broke in Istanbul (Istambul). Vermehren had been a Gefreiter (Gfr.); he had been sent to Turkey at the request of Hptm. Dr. Leverkuehn, the then K.O.N.O. Leiter. He held an important post under the latter (Dr. Paul Leverkuehn was a personal friend of Erich Vermehren's father Kurt, a Naval Officer himself), despite his military rank, for he had worked in Leverkuehn's legal office in Berlin. (AOB: Dr. Paul Leverkuehn was a world-wide well respected Lawyer; about the 1948s/1949s he became the German lawyer on behalf of Feldmarschall von Manstein's process).
"Vermehren (graduated Dr. in Law) had married a certain Gräfin Plettenberg who was several years older (she was born in 1911 and he in 1919) then himself; and she had converted him to the Catholic faith. Her family had got trouble with the Stapo (for the first time noticed the correct executive Services) some time before the war for disturbing Catholic literature.
In the autumn of 1943 Vermehren had asked Abteilung I for permission to have his wife sent to Turkey. The request was refused by me (Erich Pheiffer), as acting Abteilungschef, on principle (also Admiral Canaris gave his opinion). About Christmas time he repeated the request, now asking that his wife be allowed to visit turkey for reasons of health. Obst. Hansen (then Chef section I, in Berlin) turned down the request.
"Then Vermehren began to adopt shady methods. Either he himself or his wife made contact with friends or acquaintances in the Foreign Office; despite the Abwehr ban, a Turkish visa was obtained for his wife. In some way the fact became known in Istanbul (Istambul), perhaps because Vermehren had told his Chef (Hptm. Leverkuehn). Anyway, the latter had the Turko-Bulgarian frontier closed at Svilengrad (where the train crossed the Turko-Bulgarian border). When Frau Vermehren arrived there she was turned back to Sofia. Again she obtained diplomatic help (the Ambassador von Papen was a family relative of the Plettenbergs) against the Abwehr's measures; she obtained a passage in the express plane to Istanbul (Istambul).
"Then Vermehren began to adopt shady methods. Either he himself or his wife made contact with friends or acquaintances in the Foreign Office (das auswärtiges Amt). Leverkuehn wanted to send her back again at once, but at the request of Ambassador Von Papen, he finally agreed to let her stay for a fortnight on sick leave". Towards the end of that period the couple absconded ..(deserted)
KV 2/957-2, page 20 (minute 67a)
Notice of Question for Oral Answer on 30.5.45.
Mr. Stokes:- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, why the surrender of Mr. Vermehren (ca. Spring 1943), head of the German secret service in Turkey (incorrect: had was Hptm. Dr. Paul Leverkuehn; Dr. Erich Vermehren was his assistant) and his wife, the Countess Vermehren, was declined by the British authorities in Turkey early in 1943, with the result that they were at large for a further year before surrendering to the Americans. (?)
Extract from Notices of Questions in the House of Commons, received 19.5.45.
KV 2/957-1, page 22 (no minute reference) 00) Please notice the remarks at the end (T700return) ; (X709) Please notice the remarks at the end (X709return)
List of names of persons apparently connected with Vermehren;-
Bleckwedel, Kurt Merchant. Hamburg.
Burchardt Retired Bank Director
Diels, Rudolf Retired Regierungspräsident
von Fluege, Baron Representative of I.G. Farben in Ankara
Gundlach von Hans Jürgen Rittmeister (Capt.) Half-Jewish
Jenke Albert Born Athens 29.4.1888. German minister (Gesandter) in Ankara
Lahrs In Ankara, Head of branch of "Nordsee".
Rickertsen Ernst In Hamburg
Rittgen Privy councillor
Suesskind Ministrialrat in the RWM (Reichswirstsministerium)
Telschow Gauleiter. In Lüneburg born or living there
Waytjens, Dr. In the Imports - and Exports-Syndicate, Berlin
The above names have been extracted from a card-index of (R.S.H.A.) Amt VI; all their cards bore the same reference -- "s. P 38/1000 Vermehren. It is considered very likely that they were persons working for a V-Mann of this name. The V-Mann in question may be the V-Mann Vermehren" whose card iis being sent to WRH (War Room (on Hold??)) in a bundle of V-Männer; his particulars are as follows; Vermehren, Dr. Kurt. Rechtsanwalt. Born in Lübeck 28.8.1895. Living in Hamburg. Decknamebezeichnung V;38/526. N.B. The Vermehren whose particulars have been extracted above from the Amt VI index is not identical with the Vermehren already known as an agent in Turkey, as their ages do not tally. (AOB, Erich Vermehren's father bore the name Kurt, and some of the Vermehren family had been born in Lübeck. (as was once Thomas Mann, too)
KV 2/957-2, page 42 (minute 60c)
D.B. 13th December, 1944
Dear name made invisible
(Derek) Tangye has sent me your (S.I.S. reference code) CX/ number made invisible dated 8.12.44.
I feel bound to say that I do not feel very happy about the whole arrangement, either from your point of view or from ours (= M.I.5). It is, however, a little difficult for me to express a positive view without knowing all the facts and precisely what it is we are trying to achieve both on a short and a long term basis. Prima facie the points that strike me are these:-
1. The Vollmers (the Vermehren couple), though they have every reason to be anti-Nazi at the moment, and perhaps in some way grateful to this country, may very well in a year's time not feel so well disposed towards this country. There is not the slightest reason for thinking that they are anti-German and they may, in due course, hotly reset Allied policy in their own country. I question, therefore, whether it is a wise move to get them into Fleet Street (where once the main London Newspapers were made) where they would have every possibility of picking up information and might well try to influence the Press against the policy of the Government today. (this perception being mainly based on: (L680) (L680return) and (P685) (P685return)
2. It would, I think, be entirely impossible, and with this
Tangye heartily agrees, to introduce the Vollmers to the "Daily Mail" without
revealing their real identity. In fact I think that their identity and the story
behind→ (page 43)→them
is likely to be only thing that would attract the "Daily Mail". It would be no
use going to the Editor and saying, "Here is Mr. X. who could give you good
slant on German affairs". The Editor would immediately want to know the
man's name. Even if you gave it only to the Editor you could be quite sure
that every member of the staff would make it his business to find it out and
would probably do so within a matter of hours. This might well be serious
for Vollmer's mother (Petra)
who, I understand is still in the hands of the
3. I do not know what plans you have for the ultimate disposal of the Vollmers (the Vermehrens) (R690) (R690return). I think, however, that it might be well to consider these relation whatever plans you are making for the immediate future.
I should be pleased to discuss this whole problem with you ?? feel that it is worth while.
Capt. name made invisible by S.I.S.
KV 2/957-2, page 44 (minute 60b)
(S.I.S. source) CX/as usually file number made invisible
Dear (Derek) Tangye (M.I.5),
You will doubtless recollect our last interview in which I asked your advice as to how we could get work on a newspaper for the Vollmers (The Vermehrens). You then said that you thought the "Daily Mail" were far the best people to approach. This was duly passed on and I have now been instructed to ask if you will implement your good advice by approaching the "Daily Mail", to see if you can get either the Husband (Erich) or the wife (Elisabeth), or both, taken on.
I made it quite clear that you had no intention of revealing the real identity of these people and that is, of course, one of the conditions laid down by my authorities (inside S.I.S.). On the other hand, I imagine you will be able to indicate to Horniblow that they are in fact, people whose opinions are worth attention.
Would you very kindly explore a little and let me know what progress you make.
Signature make invisible
Capt. Derek Tangye
KV 2/957-2, page 45 (minute 60a)
(S.I.S. reference →) CX/number made invisible
Reference our CX/ number made, as usually invisible: dated 16.9.44. which was addressed to Dick White, I imagine that at least some of this mantle has now fallen on our shoulders so this is to notify you that the Vollmers (the Vermehren couple) have left the P.I.D. (Political Intelligence Division) and are now our interest in the sense that we are keeping them on ice (auf Eis legen) until such time as certain plans we have can be put into effect.
They are now residing at 20 Nevern Road, S.W. 7. and I have today taken them to the Aliens Registration Office to have this change address notified and endorsed. They will themselves go to the N.R.O. food Office at Kensington.
For certain reasons which I will let you have verbally (thus intending to keep matters hidden!) when I see you would ask particularly that their address should not be communicated to anybody and especially to P.I.D. (Foreign Office) without our being previously consulted.
The last paragraph of my letter of 16.9.44 still holds good.
as usually no S.I.S. signature.
Lt.-Colonel T.A. Robertson, M.I.5, London.
Reconstructed - Funklinienkarte; line XIII/12 has been a W/T communication link, controlled by Himmler's R.S.H.A., Amt IV
This is quite understandable, as whatever one may think of the Vermehren couple defection, in Germany it was an offence against the Reich (Government) and S.D. Amt IV was in charge. (Please notice the link to Buenos Aires, which was also controlled by the S.D. far down on the far left-hand side of the map code-named Schlachthof)
As to open in in full size PDF, please click at the map
KV 2/957-2, page 49 (minute 55z) RSS (R.S.S.) intercepts of Abwehr communications
Please the communication line-numbers with the map above. These line-numbers, often being employed also for other destinations. The serials above X are most often controlled by the R.S.H.A. Havel Institut (Havelinstitut)
XIV/39 was also maintained with Buenos Aires. What counts, is that it was handled by the Havelinstitut bordering the Wannsee west of Berlin.
ISBA - Intelligence Service British Agents links which could easily be deciphered.
Am grossen Wannsee 74, was once the location, known as the Havelinstitut; due west of Berlin
5.10.42 (19561 running 'ISK' Enigma decrypt) Istanbul (Istambul) - Berlin. 27 To Andreas (to my data: Abwehr I dedicated to S.E. Europe as the Balkan and Turkey) Please second Schuetze (German regular soldiers rank) (fit for garrison duty) Dr. Jura Erich Vermehren at present employed in guarding prisoners of war, as clerk for Pollux (= Dr. Paul Leverkuehn Leiter K.O.N.O. in Turkey). A trained lawyer (which also Erich Vermehren was) who knows languages (regularly German, French and English as being educated at a German Gymnasium; A-Level education) is urgently need for additional work, especially on return (Rueckfuehrung) (von) and suirs connected with Danube (Donau) ships. Exact address can be obtained from Dr. Kurt Vermehren (Erich's father?), Hamburg 1, Alsterufer 1, Telephone No. 336655. Kastor. (= Pollux = Dr. Paul Leverkuehn Leiter K.O.N.O. Turkey). (AOB, please notice (T700) (T700return) )
6.10.42 (20398) Ankara - Berlin. via Istanbul (Istambul) No. 36 to Andres (to my data: Abwehr I dedicated to S.E. Europe as was - the Balkan and Turkey). Ref. yesterday's Kastor (Leverkuehn)-message. Dr. Vermehren can be worked in as clerk in the Military Attaché office with green service-passport. In this case, according to our (35 letters corrupt) necessary Kastor.
12.11.42 (22072) Berlin - Istambul, 50 For Pollux. Vermehren has reached Lehrregiment (a forerunner of the ''Division-Brandenburg' , belonged to Abwehr/Abteilung II). A visa is being procured. Attachégruppe desires explicit consent of Military Attaché to incorporation at your end before granting authorisation. Please radio immediately to this end decision in this matter. Andres. Ganz 948.
13.11.42 (23732) Ankara - Berlin. 43. Andres Ganz (someone at Abteilung I concerned with K.O.N.O) 43. Andrez Ganz. Ref. your 948 (above). Military Attaché has given his consent to the incorporation of Dr. Vermehren. Kastor 100.
18.11.42 (22732) Istambul - Berlin. 108. To Andreas ref. 50 of 12/11 (above) For Mil. Att. Abteilung. Agree to incorporation of Vermehren at Istambul. Rohde Pollux (= Leverkuehn) 40.
15.12.42 (25746) Vienna for Instambul via Sofia (line XIV/100, via Cuno at Sofia) from Wera 6 (Vienna, Wien, Funkleitstelle). For Pollux, Sulla. ref. your message 16 of 14/12/ Sulla cannot be fetched from the airfield (Flugplatz). Bus available. Family informed. Seat for return flight secured for 30/12. Grulei (Gruppenleiter).
8.7.43 (54889) 26. For Dennis for Vermehren. Plane seat booked for 13th Cara (= KO Sofia) 3296.
22.9.43 (65475) Berlin - Instambul. 71 For Poster (= Leverkühn). ref. letter K.O.N.O. no. 4/9/43 secret (geheim) of 1.9.43. Amtschef (Admiral Canaris, Leiter OKW Amt Ausland/Abwehr) has rejected Vermehren's application for his wife to enter the country bearing in mind (Turkey) the state of leave on the front. Senior (= Obst. i.G. Hansen, Leiter I) 1452.
8.11.43 (71683) Istambul - Berlin. 26. Andeas, Promi, Bofinger (Böfinger?) Vermehren discussion. Consulate General refused entry visa for Prinz (Frau Elisabeth Vermehren?) because of AA. (Auswertiges Amt German Foreign Office) instruction signed by Ruehe. Reason the presence of Arab personalities and Egypt prince Mansur Daud. Journey consequently impossible. (Poster) 7 (Hptm. Leiter K.O.N.O. Leverkuehn)
9.11.43 (ISK 72298) Sofia Istambul. 26, For Poster (Leiter K.O.N.O. Leverkuehn) I seat in plane has been booked for Dr. Vermehren for 16/11. Ticket can only be issued against a cash payment of 7220 Lewas (Bulgarian currency). Cara (= W/T of KO Sofia) No. 5009 D.
10.12.43 Berlin - Istambul. (76159) 41, ( For Poster (K.O.N.O. Leiter Dr. Paul Leverkuehn) Delfter will arrive at your end on Wednesday 15/12/43 insteadof on 12/10, as he has been detained on on official business. Andreas-Holm Bo. 735.
14.12.43. Istambul - Sofia. No. 30. To Cara (K.O. Sofia) for Aladin. Please ensure that Frau Delfter (?) does not enter the country (Frau Elisabeth Vermehren??). Poster (Leverkuehn?) No. 36.
17.12.43 (ISK 77040) Istambul - Berlin. 67. Andreas, Major Zibis, As is known at your end Frau Delfter (most likely Frau Elisabeth Vermehren) left Germany with a passport from das Auswertiges Amt and a Turkish entry visa. She is in Sofia as I have hirtherto prevented her entry into Turkey. Will you please radio immediately whether, in spite of the refusal of Chef Abw. I (Obst. Hansen) there are any objections at your end against Frau Delfter (Frau Elisabeth Vermehren) entreing the country (Turkey) with an exit visa granted by the Auswertiges Amt and not by O.K.W. Poster 14 (= Leverkuehn)
18.12.43 Istambul - Berlin. (ISK 77373) 69. Andreas. Mjor Zibis. regerence (?) 11 of 17th December. and your unnumbered message of 18/12. Without an official statement of the attitude at your end towards the Delfter (wife Vermehren's case), journey will be again refused, consequently a report is requested immediately. Andreas Zacharis, Nr. 573.
5.1.44 Istambul - Berlin. Andreas. Ref your message no. 76 (8 corrupt) 5/1 the following I H ( Abwehr I Heer (=Army) strength are reported Offiziere. Leverkuehn 93, hinz 06, Ulshoefer 10, Braun 13 AV, Momm 97, Passage 96. Sonderführer (Sdf.): von Koblinski ??, Dr. Roemer 15. Other ranks Reich 04, Lochner 18, Bendische 17, → (page 50)→Vermehren 19 GVH, Wunsch 12, Hoehne 07, Eggen 10 GVF, Lederbauer 98 GVVF, where there is no indication of medical grade KV is meant.
KV 2/957-2, page 50
→Vermehren 19 GVH, Wunsch 12, Hoehne 07, Eggen 10 GVF, Lederbauer 98 GVVF, where there is no indication of medical grade KV is meant. Medical grade of Passage not fixed. Official and German nationals, V-Leute declared indispensable: nil return. Female employee 7. Poster (= K.O.N.O. Leiter Dr. Leverkuehn) via Kolter No.8.
12.1.44 (80691) Berlin - Istambul. 38 for Poster (Leverkuehn) ref. economy of Personal. KO at your end must release 2) 5 soldiers (n.c.o. (Uffz.) or men) and b)1 female Angestellte, and the names of these are to be submitted at once. Dume, Kalteisen, Delfter (Mr. Erich Vermehren) the letter only to be excluded if he is beyond doubt fit only for home garrison duty. Please radio at once. Andreas-Zacharias 301.
13.1.44 (80159) Berlin - Istambul. 42 secret. For Delfter (Erich Vermehren). What is to be done with the piles of mail which have reached this end for Frau Delfter (= Elisabeth Vermehren) Andreas Zacharias. 363
16.1.44 (80443) Sofia - Istambul. via Berlin. 48 From Sepp (W/T station to KO Sofia) Bo. 10. For Aladin. Frau (Elisabeth) Vermehren, who was sent back from Svilengrad (railways border town between Bulgaria and Turkey) to Sofia at your request, has now arrived in Istambul by courier plane. Cara (= KO Sofia) 35C.
7.2.44 (ISBA 1656) Lisbon - Berlin. No. 217. To Pellis (?) 1) As reported confidentially by Polmann representative here the son (Erich) of Frau (Petra) in Lisbon has gone over to the the English in Turkey (Lisbon was the place in Europe where most of British Newspapers could, more or less, regularly be obtained); she herself is suspected of being an accessory. Frau (Petra) Vermehren is as I (= ISBA, but whom is he?) (Petra Vermehren was a journalist and wrote for the German weekly periodical Das Reich (very successful) and in contact with (Dr. Hans) Ruser (= Junior); as the German Ruser was a British agent of M.I.5). A subsidiary of Ruser is said to have been arrested and to havve declared that Ruser works for the Russian Officers Committee (Seydlitz Komitee). 2) Portugal friends warn warn us against important V-Mann of the English in Berlin who has access to our correspondence. With reference to communication of Portugal friends we think (he has access) to Herkules's correspondence. Please treat Polmann (at the German Consulate?) report as confidential. Details per courier. Ludovico (Leiter K.O. Portugal) Ciro (= Fritz Kramer; KV 2/1742).
8.2.44 (83033) Berlin - Lisbon. 40 Most Secret. For Ciro (Fritz Kramer) confidential. Dr. (Erich) Vermehren with wife (Elisabeth), ne Graefin Plettenberg, is probably flying within the next few days via Lisbon to London from Turkey (AOB: incorrect). Vermehren was a soldier (Ogfr.= Corporal) with the German Military Attaché and and has taken flight as a traitor. Will probably meet in Lisbon with his mother, The German journalist Petra or Carola Vermehren (did not take place). Arrange for strict observation of the married couple (Erich and Elisabeth) and the mother (Petra). Ascertain with what papers (Erich) Vermehren and his wife (Elisabeth). If it is possible to prevent departure to London by legal means, on the ground that Vermehren has embezzled German service funds, use every means possible to obtain this. In any case radio for Freund (Rudolf; Amt III-F Berlin, counter-espionage) whatever is ascertained at your end. Pellis. 222
(83207) Lisbon-Berlin. (Continued)
Vermehren knows Bogmolez. Bogmolez was previously a worker? for Roman I (Referat
I). About 2 years ago
Ludovico von Karshoff
(Leiter KO Portugal)
(real name Obstlt.
(Kraemer) von Auenrode)
received orders from Berlin to resume contact with B. B. refused.
Portugal friends now reveal the Guillermo's (Admiral
journeys to Lisbon were reported to B to the English and American further that
HIOB I's (incorrect - because HIOB stood for:
intended meeting at the beginning of October last year (1943)
with important worker at a Quinta (= country house) when HIOB (Leiter
I Obst. Hansen) was in
Lisbon with Guillermo, was betrayed to the Allies by the same
route (please be
aware, that the R.S.S. provided the British with all necessary information!).
Place and time of meeting was transmitted to Berlin by W/T to this end (Berlin).
meeting place was kept under surveillance by the Allies and the police, but a
day later. Activity of the worker Ballhorn (real
name Hans Brandes,
whom was half-Jewish,
but an active V-Mann
in contact with the Abwehr/Amt
he travelled to the bitter
end between Lisbon and Berlin v.v.)
I H Ast 111?? was largely betrayed to the Allies (nevertheless,
quite much wasn't know in England!)
and Portugal-friends through the same channel. Ballhorn (Hans
Brandes) is in the
know about this and 9will be) in Berlin the next few days. (Possibly part
missing). The journalist Koester (liaison
with Petra Vermehren in Portugal)
who is suspected of espionage and who is being called up at present through
Wehrbezirkskommando Ausland in Germany was also in contact at this end with
9.2.44 (ISBA 1657) text identical with above.
9.2.9867 (ISBA 9867) Berlin - Lisbon. Rf. Petra Vermehren. Rf. your signal of 8/2. The son of Petra V has gone over to the English in Turkey and they intend to take him to London (he actually arrived there in April 1944). This may happen any date. Hence there is no time left to recall V (Petra Vermehren) through (durch das Reich). You are therefore to instruct V (Petra Vermehren at once from your end to return to the Reich.
10.2.44 (ISBA 9961) Lisbon - Berlin. Urgent 55. To Erbe (Senior, Hansen) for Belling. Petra Vermehren leaves Roding (airport Lisbon?) by plane on 11.2, arrives TOR 12/2. Nerbach Achern has been requested to arrange for her to fly on. I recommended that arrest should not be carried out at either Moenich Stuttgart or at rot. Because of my suggestions to her → (page 51) → to her is expecting Moench Leiter at Tor to indicate a hotel to spend the night.
AOB: After due consideration, I have decided that continuing the RSS transcription does not make sense, as too many inside themes being dealt with.
Skipping quite some pages, we have entered KV 2/957-3
KV 2/957-3, page 1 + 2 (minute 49b)
Extract to File No: PF 66208 Name: Vermehren
Serial in File PF 600038 Dumont
Extract from the Interrogation of Mme Dumont who was employed in the Shipping Office of Walton and Goeland in Istanbul (Istambul) and was suspected of passing copies of all correspondence to the Germans. She was arrested at Beirut in May 1944
C. The Safe and the Keys.
12. Vermehren was questioned by a representative of Force 133 on 5th March 1944 concerning the leakage of information from Mr. Walton's office. Two passages from this report are specially significant. The first reads as follows: "In addition to the regular "news service" Aladin (i.e.Ludwig) possessed the key to Walton's safe and on certain night all papers were withdrawn photographed and replaced". Again: Vermehren stated that they had seen Walton's report in which he gave the details of how the German lawyer had been fixed by us and, as a result of which we were able to raise the sequester which had been placed on ships".
13. The first statement categorically states that a key had been obtained and a successful operation had been carried out. The second indicates a report which was probably kept in the safe because of its confidential nature. If Vermehren is telling the truth and does not base his statement on idle gossip, and there is no reason why he should do this, then the most probable traitor is Dumont ...
The next reference is of side interest, but, nevertheless, of significance because it deals with collaboration between the Abwehr and the R.S.H.A. representative of Amt IV (S.D.) and Schellenberg's Amt VI; the branch which, as a direct result of the defection of the Vermehren couple dissolving of the O.K.W. Amt Ausland/Abwehr and it amalgamating with the R.S.H.A.'s Amt VI.
KV 2/957-3, page 8 (minute 48a)
Vermehren on Abwehr and S.D.
1. Relations of Abwehr and S.D. in Turkey.
Vermehren re-emphasised his earlier statement that it is quite untrue that there was any friction between the Abwehr and the S.D. (Amt IV; maybe meant also Amt VI) in Turkey. He believed that this is good collaboration was exceptional, and depended on the personalities of Leverkuehn and Moyzisch. (similarly happened in Holland between Schreieder (S.D.) and Giskes (Abwehr III-F), in regard to their mutual commitments in the Englandspiel = Nordpol Spiel). Although many people, including Vermehren himself, distrusted him, Moyzisch was personally pleasant, and not a thug (not a criminal). Leverkuehn was impressed by an interview which he had with Schellenberg (https://www.cdvandt.org/schellenberg-survey.htm) in Berlin (albeit that Schellenberg himself was not committed with Amt IV (S.D.) but to his military intelligence Amt VI); he returned to Turkey saying that it would not be such a bad thing if the RSHA (Amt VI) were to take over the Abwehr, since it was so much more efficient. There was regular consultation and interchange of reports between the two organisations in Turkey.
2. Routing of Reports.
Vermehren attributed his belief in the superior effectiveness of the S.D. (Amt IV maybe also, like was in Lisbon, dedicating to Amt VI) two factors, the most important being the efficient distribution of its reports. Reports from a S.D. station go directly to Himmler's Headquarters and many reach the Führerhauptquartier (codename Wolfschanze near to Rastenburg in East Prussia) within twenty-four hours of their dispatch. Abwehr reports on the other hand have to pass through a multitude of inefficient channels before they reach the Führer's headquarters; only once did Leverkuehn enjoy the honour of having one of his reports submitted to the Führer (Hitler), and even then the report chosen was, in Vermehren's opinion, a poor specimen; it was a report of a statement by the American Earle that the English and Americans would never invade Europe until they believed themselves strong enough to defeat both the Germans and the Russians. An Abwehr report of general strategic interest must first pass through appropriate offices at Abwehr Headquarters (Nikolaiken; situated near to the Wolfschanze, and/or Berlin), and then be submitted to the Generalstab; the general Staff must sent it to Staffel Zwei at Hitler's headquarters (Wolfschanze), who could then pass it to Staffel Eins. This cumbrous machinery was not often often set in motion, because officers at Abwehr H.Q. did not understand and were not interested in political or semi-political reports, preferring minutise about divisional signs and numbers. (AOB, notice that the Abwehr was: O.K.W. Amt Ausland/Abwehr; thus a purely military intelligence organisation within the German Military High Command). So political political reports were pigeon-hold. Leverkuehn and Vermehren were interested in politics and not in divisional signs, which were the preoccupation of Hinz and Lochner.
→ Hansen (Senior, Leiter I) had tried to overcome this by setting up an independent Abwehr recruiting-office, but the scheme had not been accepted. The Abwehr was the Cinderella of the OKW, and had to accept officers who had no experience of foreign countries. The S.D. on the other hand, could choose its officers for foreign service carefully and was not compelled to send abroad the first man who happened to be available. Vermehren emphasised the difference between the S.S. and the party as a whole; the S.S. both included and co-opted intelligent men who were not Party hacks. Moyzisch is the type of smooth and socially acceptable S.S. man, while Duplitzer is a mere Party official. The Abwehr in Turkey is also ludicrously understaffed and cannot hope to compete effectively with the British and American I.S., whose members out numbered those of the Abwehr by nearly 10 - 1.
KV 2/957-3, page 9
4. Relations of Abwehr and S.D. with the Ambassador.
Vermehren had heard the stories of von Papen's quarrel with Friede, formerly Landesgruppenleiter which ended in a defeat for Friede, whom Vermehren believes now to be in a Gauleiter's office on the Eastern Front. This was a personal quarrel, Friede being excessively ambitious and 'common'. But in Vermehren's time von Papen's relations with Abwehr and S.D. were correct. Both organisations were supposed to send a copy of their political reports on turkey to the Ambassador, and the Abwehr at least actually did so. If Von Papen disapproved of the report, he would say that it was false and it would not be sent.. Vermehren said that as the German Foreign Office (A.A) had no secret-intelligence source of its own, it relied on the S.D. for secret political intelligence.
Vermehren described Hansen as 'a great man', certainly the most efficient officer in the Abwehr. He is honest, cultivated, energetic and determined to get results; his efficiency had made him unpopular. He had been ill, suffering apparently from some tubercular infection of the bone, which made him limp; but he had overcome this. he was responsible for moving the Abwehr headquarters from Berlin to improvised offices with air-raid shelters in Zossen (Zeppelin), saying that he would make the officers work 'even if it were in the desert'. He was constantly travelling all over Europe maintaining personal contact with the stations; in the old days visit from Berlin were rare, and usually connected with the buying of Christmas presents; Pheiffer (https://www.cdvandt.org/pheiffer-kv-2-267.htm) also had a reputation for efficiently. (Pfeiffer succeeded Leiter K.O.N.O Leverkuehn as consequence of Erich Vermehren's defection to the British). Kuebart, who was brought into the Abwehr by Hansen, is able, but conceited (arrogant) and tiresome (dull).
I would like to skip some paragraphs as being, in my perception, of no relevance in our context.
Vermehren Erich Marie (Maria)
KV 2/958, page 2 (minute sheet)
(Y710) Please consider minute 134a ↓ and compare it with minute 137 ↓ (Y710return)
Hatred continues for almost 6 years!
18.1.50 S.B. (Special Branch, situated at Scotland Yard, Whitehall) (minute 131a)
25.1.50 Extract from Home Office File V.7302 (identical number to his still temporary travel-document)
31.1.50 To Special Branch (connected to M.I.5 but located at Scotland Yard at Whitehall) re Vermehren (medically this could be designated being "paranoia")
2.2.50 B.2.c (M.I.5) summary re Vermehren
3.2.50 To H.O. Nat. (Naturalisation?) Div. in reply to (minute) 132a
3.2.50 From Mr. Richard Butler asking for information re Vermehren (Note on letter re action taken by DDG)
16.3.50 Cert. of naturalisation postponed re Vermehren Erich Maria (Marie)
KV 2/958, page 5 (minute 183a)
S.I.S. CX/number usually made invisible dated 10th May, 1950
Dear Miss Russel-King,
May I please refer you to your letter PF 66208/B2c (66208 was since about 1943 Erich Vermehren's British file number) of 3rd November 1949.
We now have a report that a member of this (S.I.S.) Service is in touch with Erich Vermehren, and I should be grateful if you would let me know whether, as a result of your investigations, you can tell us whether there is any security objection to this man or not.
Yours signature made hardly visible
KV 2/958 (minute 139a)
18th May, 1950
Dear Mr. Steedman,
Please refer to your letter of 10.5.50 No. (S.I.S.) CX/ number made invisible requesting information on Erich Vermehren.
As a result of Mr. Oldfield's letter of that reference dated 6.10.49 name made invisible (page 12 reveals that it was a Mrs Rogers) was interviewed and asked to explain Her suspicions about Piccadilly Parcels Limited and Erich Vermehren. She was unable to supply and evidence involving Vermehren in subversive activities.
In January of this year we received an up-to-date report from Special Branch (located at Scotland Yard, Whitehall) arising out of Vermehren's application for naturalisation. There was nothing in this report to suggest Vermehren's present activities are of security interest.
Nadia Dabell (B.2.c. M.I.5)
W? Steedman, Esq,. S.I.S.
KV 2/958 (minute 137a)
Our Reference: V.7302 Nationality Division,
Home Office Whitehall,
14th March, 1950
Reference naturalisation application of Mr. Erich Maria Vermehren
of 16, Thurlose Place, London, S.W.7
The application has been postponed (put on hold)
KV 2/958, (minute 136a)
My dear Guy (Liddell),
I had hoped to look in and see you, but I have not been able to manage it. I really do not want to worry you personally but to ask you would be interested, and possibly give me a little friendly help on the following story.
Nicholas Elliott rang me up a little while ago and said would I help a friend of his a Dr. E.M. Vermehren. He said that it concerned a claim to some funds in Germany. He also said that that Vermehren was very well known to your colleagues in other organisation (S.I.S.), and because of assistance he had given them abroad, he is now living under the protection of the Foreign Office.
The young man came to see me. His address is 152, Walton Street, S.W.3, where he seems to run a business called Piccadilly Parcels. he is very pleasant mannered, very good looking, and I should think very intelligent. His Father is apparently a prominent lawyer in Hamburg (X709) (X709return), and is closely associated with the senior German counsel for Field Marshal Von Manstein (AOB, as was Dr. Paul Leverkuehn, once Leiter K.O.N.O. Istambul; whom Erich Vermehren has betrayed in February 1944) these two lawyers have worked for years on behalf of a woman called Mrs. Anastasia Anderson. This woman claims to be the second daughter of the late Czar - the Grand Duchess Anastasia. I gather her claims have received considerable notoriety in Germany and, to a certain extent, in this country, but he assured me that his father is convinced of the identity of this woman. He produced, in support of his father's conviction, an astonishing story of how the woman spoke voluntarily of a secret visit to Russia in 1916 by the Empress's brother the Grand Duke of Hess. He assures me that they have, to her utter amazement, obtained quite independent corroboration of this story from an old Russian Officer living in Switzerland, who was at the time A.D.C. to the Czar.
He went on to produce the usual story about large deposits in the Bank of England for the benefit of the Grand Duchess, which were deposited there by that remarkable figure Sir Peter Bark.
KV 2/958, page 9
We have had occasion here to deal with earlier cases of this nature, and I personally am convinced that this is yet another imposter (fraud). I told the young man so, and I said that I doubted very much whether my firm could help him. He asked for general information as to what type of action could be instituted in this country to establish this woman's identity. He is coming to see me on Monday next the 6th instant.
It occurred to me. however, (a) that the story I have given you in broad line might be of interest to one of your sections, and (b) to enquire whether you can permissibly tell me anything about this young man. Nicholas has gone back to his post, and I cannot ask him, but coming with that introduction and that back-ground, I would like to help the young man as far as I reasonably can, if by doing so I am helping you or other friends.
Could you get Miss Findlater to let me know whether the young man is reliable, and whether it is desirable for me to help him as far as I can, even if I may have to pass him on to another foirm of Solicitors if proceedings have to be commenced.
Please don't take too much trouble about this, but I thought that I ought to let you know.
KV 2/958, page 11
Your ref. V.7302 (Vermehren's H.O. file number)
With reference to your letter PF 66208/B.2.c. (M.I.5)/JRK (Miss J. Russel-King) of the 2nd December, 1949, we (M.I.5) have now completed enquiries and our conclusion is that we have nothing recorded against Erich Vermehren.
Sgd. R.A.A. Badham (M.I.5)
Please compare the just forgoing with the link: (Y710) (Y710return)
We may see that there is a discrepancy which, most likely, being trigged by a dark power within the British administration; driven by a sever form of hatred.
KV 2/958, (minute 133a)
Your ref. 350/49/4006
Thank you for your report of the 14th January on the application for naturalisation of Erich Maria Barward Julius Vermehren and his connection with Welch Hosiery Ltd. Our letter PF 66208/B.2.c. (M.I.5)/JRK (Mrs. J. Russel-King) of 2nd December, 1949, 1949 referrers.
In the light of your very full report we no not think that any great importance should be attached to the report (denunciation) from Mrs. Rogers that Piccadilly Parcels Ltd. is cover for an intelligence collecting agency. We feel that the information on atomic energy which she saw under a pile of wool was probably some article prepared by Vermehren for European Digest Ltd.
For: D.M. Quin Sgd R.T. Reed
KV 2/958, page 14 (minute 131a)
14th day of January, 1950
Vermehren Erich M.B.J.
Home Office V.7302
With reference to the application for a certificate of naturalisation by Erich Maria Barward Julius Vermehren, of 16, Thurloe Place, S.W. 7, who is correctly with police as a German under serial No. CX39520:-
The application form appears to have been truthfully and correctly completed apart from:-
Para 1 Applicant's correct full name at birth was Erich Barward Julius Vermehren, but on becoming a Roman Catholic in 1939 he assumed the additional Christian name of Maria; he has since been commonly known as Erich Maria Vermehren.
Paras 5 & 14(g) Applicant was German at birth and has retained that nationality. Home Office refused to recognise the documentary evidence submitted by him in May, 1947, in support of his claim to be "stateless", and he is still registered with police as German.
Para 7. mother's maiden name should read Schwabroch.
Para 11. Words in brackets should have been deleted and initialled.
Para 12 should read:-
13.4.44 to 15 9.45 First at 7, Grove Court, Drayton Gardens, S.W.10., and then at 4/25, De Vere Gardens, W.8.
15.9.45 to 13.11.45 8 Edge Street, W.8.
13.11.45 to 25.1.46 77 upper Richmond Road, S.W.15
KV 2/958, page 15
5.1.46 to 2.4.46 Christ's Hospital, Bluecoat School, Horsham Sussex
2.4.26 to 16.5.46 12, Drayton Gardens. S.W.10
16.5.46 to 31.7.47 Worth Priory, Worth, Sussex
31.7.47 to 17.10.47 24, Lansdowne Road, W.11
17.10.47 to date 16, Thurloe Place, S.W.7/
Para 14(1) The date and place of the civil ceremony of marriage should read, 14.10.1941 Freiburg. The details shown by applicant refer to the religious ceremony.
Para 14(m) According to her marriage certificate the wife full name should read Minita Elisabeth Sofia Ida Maria Josepha, Gräfin von Plettenberg-Lenhausen.
Para 14(r) should have been deleted and initialled.
Applicant's place of business is now at 152, Walton Street, S.W.3.
Regarding the 'visits abroad' as shown in Paragraph 14 (h). According to Certificates of Identity attached to Home Office files applicant visited Switzerland from 16.8.1946 to 22.9.1946, and from 30.12.1946 to 19.1.1947. We have no record of subsequent visits abroad as his Police Registration certificate of Identity are at Home office in connection with an application he made for an extension of the latter, but he states that he made 3 visits, each of 2 weeks duration to Switzerland during 1948, and from 11.3.1949 to 10.5.1949 he visited Switzerland and Germany for business and private reasons.
Applicant produced his marriage certificate, and his "Ahnenpass". He has no British certificate but states that he was born on 23.12.1919 at Lübeck, Germany. He appears to be 30 years old of age.
Vermehren attended school until the age of 17 and then worked in a bank for 6 month. Following this he studied law at the Universities at Hamburg, →(page 16)→Berlin, Leipzig and Freiburg, until April, 1941, when he states he was called up for military service and found to be medically unfit.
KV 2/958, page 16
→Berlin, Leipzig and Freiburg, until April, 1941, when he states he was called up for military service and found to be medically unfit. He thereupon served in a Home Defence Unit of the German Army and meantime continued his studies. He claims that he obtained his degree as a Doctor of Law in September, 1941, and from then until April, 1943, was engaged as a Welfare Officer at various prisoner-of-war camps in Germany. During the latter period, he states, he managed to his transfer to the German Embassy at Ankara and was later appointed legal adviser to to the Assistant (Dr. Paul Leverkuehn) German Military Attaché at Istambul. In January, 1944, he made contact with the British authorities there, and he and his wife were later brought to this country.
They arrived at Lyneham from Gibraltar on 13.3.1944 and, acting on instructions, they were landed on "War Refugee" conditions. Time conditions were later imposed but on 15.8.1947 Home Office varied the condition to require that they did not engage in any kind of employment without the consent of the Ministry of Labour and National Service, and to leave the United Kingdom not later than such date as may be expected by the Secretary of State. There has been no variation since.
Following their arrival here applicant and his wife were maintained by the British Government until January, 1946, when, as shown by correspondence contained in Home Office -/2, the department concerned was at its own request (S.I.S.) relieved of any further responsibility for them. (AOB, the real fact was that hatred driven set-ups to get the Vermehren couple instantly expelled, which was countered by an appeal on behalf of Archbishop Griffin of Westminster; curious that this isn't noticed here)
During May, 1945, applicant was responsible of an organisation known as the "Agency for Intellectual Relief in Germany", the object being to send to libraries in Germany books published in the country in an endeavour to inform the German people of the general European outlook and to instruct them as to the Western European democratic way of living. The patrons of the scheme were, and still are, the Bishop of Chichester, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and Lord Linsday of Birker. It was hoped that the project would be financed to a certain extent by the Foreign Office (German Section), but although all facilities such as advice, transport, and accommodation were later provided by the Department no financial assistance was given, and →(page 17)→funds and gifts of books were obtained mainly by means of appeals to the public.
KV 2/958, page 17
→ funds and gifts of books were obtained mainly by means of appeals to the public. Applicant holds the position of General Secretary and from January, 1946, until August, 1948 received a salary of £5 per week. Since then he has received no income from this source as the activities of the organisation have been more or less defunct obsolete although accommodation is still provided at the offices of the Control Commission, 48 Princes Gardens, S.W.7. Applicant states that it is now in the hand to interested bodies in Western Germany. Vermehren states that no certified accounts are yet available as to the present position of the organisation. The "Agency" has not come under the adverse notice of Metropolitan Police.
From the end of January, 1946, to the end of March, 1946, applicant was employed as a master at Christ's Hospital, (Bluecoat School), Horsham, Sussex, and from May, 1946m to July, 1947, was similarly engaged at the Worth Preparatory School, Worth Priory, Worth, Sussex.
During the summer of 1947 Vermehren, together with Colin Peter Kininmonth, of Chapel Row, Wheeler End, High Wycombe, Bucks., and a British born journalist named Lewis Malcolm Way, of "Spilfeathers", Ingatestone, Essex, decided to issue a publication to be known as "European Digest" which would deal with current European political and economic affairs with the object of bringing about the unity of the European peoples. Kininmonth, who is British born and a referee in this case, is said to be an elderly retired business man in comfortable financial circumstances, and there would appear to be no doubt that he has a great regard for applicant.
On 22/10/1947 they registered the private limited company known as "European Digest Ltd", registered office Singleton, Fabian & Co., accounts, 8 Staple Inn, W.C.2., with a nominal capital of £10,000 divided into £1 shares, of which 2,200 were issued. The directors and their respective shareholders are as follows:-
Kininmonth, with 1,200 shares, and Way, with 100 shares.
Of the 2,200 shares issued Kininmonth paid £1,000 → (page 18) →in cash, and the remainder were issued for a consideration other than cash.
KV 2/958, page 18
→in cash, and the remainder were issued for a consideration other than cash.
The only person actively engaged in the business was applicant who, working from his home address, spent some months on the project. However, no publications have been issued owing to failure to obtain a paper allocation, and for over a year now the company has not been operating.
Applicant received a salary of £50 a month from 1.8.47 to 25.7.1948, and from then until November. 1948, a salary of £25 a month. Since then he has received nothing. No certified accounts have been prepared in respect of the company affairs, but a draft account drawn up by applicant from the time of formation up to November, 1948, shows a deficit of £1,728, made up for the most part of the loan of £1,000 from Kininmonth and rent payable to applicant for use of part of his flat as an office. It will be seen from this that Kininmonth put all the cash into the business - £2,000 - and that about £700 of this went to applicant by way of salary. There are no creditors apart from Kininmonth; the company still has £85 standing to its credit at Hambro's Bank Ltd., Pall Mall, S.W.1. Negotiations are now taking place with Lord Layton and Mr. McKay, M.P. for the company to be taken over and the publication issued on behalf of the council of the Europe, and for Kininmonth to be compensated by means of a shareholding in the new concern.
On 2.6.1948m in company with Kininmonth, applicant formed the private limited company of Piccadilly Parcels Ltd. registered office and business address 152, Walton Street, S.W. 3., to act as importers, exporters and dealers in merchandise, foodstuffs, provisions, etc, with a nominal capital of £5,000 divided into £1 shares, of which 2,001 have been issued for cash and 1,000 for a consideration other than cash.
The original directors were Kininmonth with 2,001 (cash) shares, and Ivor Anthony David, Lt.Col. Indian Army (retired), of 24 Halsey Street, S.W.3, with one share (cash). The latter resigned on 29.5.1949 and Ernest de Radowitz, British born, of 56, Carlton hill, N.W.8, was appointed a director in this place, with no shareholding, on 1.7.1949.
On the formation of the company applicant was →(page 19)→appointed secretary and allotted 1,000 shares in consideration of the services he had rendered in forming the company, obtaining licenses, etc.
KV 2/958, page 19
→appointed secretary and allotted 1,000 shares in consideration of the services he had rendered in forming the company, obtaining licenses, etc. On 30.10.1948 haven been given Home Office permission, he was additionally appointed director, and held the two positions until 12.10.49. On the latter date he resigned his directorship and is now officially only the secretary of the company. There is no doubt that in actual fact he is complete charge of the working of the concern.
During the early part of 1949 it came to the notice of the Board of Trade, Insurance and Companies Department, Hillbank, S.W.1, that in his position as a director applicant's nationality was not shown on the company's letter paper. The company's solicitors thereupon applied to the Board of Trade for exemption from the provision of Section 201(1) of the Companies Act, 1949, which requires such particulars to be shown, but this was refused on 22.9.49. On the advice of his solicitors Vermehren resigned his directorship on 12.10.1949, thereby avoiding the necessity of showing his nationality on the company's stationary.
According to records the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies has not been notified of the resignation of Lt. Col. David as a director and the appointment of de Radowitz as a director. A report dealing with these omissions has been submitted for the information of the Board of Trade.
Through its agents abroad in 'hard currency' areas the company receives orders to deliver unsolicited gift food parcels to residents in the United Kingdom, the cash being remitted to the company's bankers by the agents and dollars being automatically converted into sterling and credited to its account. The company buys foodstuffs normally reserved for export from this country under authority of Ministry of Food Licence No. EPB/92/2/59 dated 8.6.48, and auxiliary licences. Quarterly accounts of all foodstuffs purchased and issued, and currency received, are submitted to the Ministry of Food.
Up to September, 1949, all foodstuffs purchased were stored, packed and sent to recipients in this country, by Powell's Packing Co. Ltd., Pottery Street, S.E.16, but this is now carried out for Piccadilly Parcels Ltd, →(page 20)→ by Schenkers Ltd., shipping and forwarding agents, Chancery Lane, W.C.2. at their Corney Road, Chiswick, depot.
KV 2/958, page 20
→ by Schenkers Ltd., shipping and forwarding agents, Chancery Lane, W.C.2. at their Corney Road, Chiswick, depot. During December 1948 and January, 1949 enquiries were made by metropolitan Police and local Food Enforcements Officers into allegations of irregularity on the part of Messrs. Powell's Packing Co. Ltd. in the supply of parcels and the receipt of money, but no evidence was obtained to confirm the information received.
The business premises at 152, Walton Street, S.W.3 consists of a small office on the first floor, and a storeroom and a shop on the ground floor - the shop being used as an enquiry office and a self collection depot by recipients of parcels living locally. The rent of the premises is £320 per annum, plus rates totalling £65 per annum. In addition to applicant and his wife, who are employed full time daily, there are 11 employees of whom 3 are aliens and the remainder British (including the director de Radowitz). At the time of enquiry there were 3 additional British born shorthand typists employed on a temporary basis to deal with the Christmas rush of business.
Debentures were registered in favour of Strand Nominees Ltd., 6, Adelaid Street, Strand, W.C.2. on 30.10.1948 and 15.3.1949, for £1,000 and £2,000 respectively, secured on all undertakings of the company, etc.
From the time the company was registered in June 1948, up to December, 1948, applicant received a salary of £40 a month; from then until June 1949, a salary of £100 a month and since then a salary of £70 a month. He states his salary will shortly be increased to it former figure of £100 a month. His wife, who is in charge of the clerical side of the business, receives £10 a week. Income tax on their earnings is deduced under P.A.Y.E.
As no audited accounts have yet been prepared in respect of the company's business it is not possible to form an estimate of the extent of its undertakings but figures prepared by applicant and his colleagues covering the period from 17.6.1948 to 31.1.1949 show a turnover of £33,306 and a net profit of £2,329. Vermehren claims that the turnover since the beginning of November 1949 totals over £30,000 and that after payment of the debentures in Spring 1950, the company will a few →(page 21)→ thousand pounds in credit".
KV 2/958, page 21
→ thousand pounds in credit". Enquiries at Coutts & Co., bankers, 440, Strand, W.C.2., show that the company's account there is conducted in a satisfactory manner and maintains an average credit of between £500 and £700. As shown later, the company has expended about £2,800 as an investment in the development of a hosiery business.
Submitted herewith is a letter from Arthur C. Heywood & Co., chartered accountants, 14/15. Coleman Street, E.C.2, dated 14.12.1949, stating that the company appears to be solvent and in a position to meet its obligations in the ordinary course of business, and that the company's records are quite satisfactory.
Nothing has been traced to the detriment of the concern in trade circles, and apart from its former connection with Powells Packing. Ltd. (already mentioned), it has not come under the adverse notice of the ministry of food or Police.
It should be mentioned here that from June to November, 1948, applicant was employed in a secretarial capacity at a salary of £50 a month by the Albatross Publishing Co. Ltd., 13, New Square Lincolns Inn, W.C. having an agreement with his employers whereby he was permitted to devote certain of his time to the affairs of Piccadilly Parcels Ltd.
On 10.9.1949 the private company of Kinver & Radov Ltd. registered office 152, Walton Street, S.W.3, was registered at the instigation of applicant to carry on business as dealers in foodstuffs, novelties, etc., with a nominal capital of £100 divided into £?? ordinary shares of which only 2 subscribers shares have been issued, one each to applicant and de Radowitz. The company has not yet functioned, but applicant states that hem de Radowitz and probably Kininmonth, will be appointed directors, and that when sufficient capital is forthcoming they intend to manufacture and market a plastic novelty toy of which they already have the prototype.
during the early part of June, 1949 applicant was introduced by the Radowitz to a Mrs. Eva Welch, British by marriage of Hungarian birth (marriage now dissolved, resident at 23, Beaumont Mews, W.1., who was in business on her own account as a manufacturer of man's "Argylle" hosiery at 84, Silchester Street, W.10. The business had been running on a very small scale and at a loss since it had commenced about 18 months previous, this →(page 22)→being due to shortage of capital and Mrs. Welch's lack of business experience.
KV 2/958, page 22
→being due to shortage of capital and Mrs. Welch's lack of business experience. Applicant states that after investigating the possibilities of the business he consulted Kininmonth and as a result Piccadilly Parcels Ltd. has financed the concern ot the extent of - up to the present - about £2,800. No written agreements have yet been made, but the interested parties have given instructions for a private limited company to be formed, known as Welch Hosier Ltd., in which Mrs. Welch will have 30% interest and Piccadilly Parcel Ltd. 70%.
Welch Hosiery has never been registered with the Registrar of names, and Mrs. Welch and applicant have been instructed to attend to this.
The business was practically bankrupt and was being conducted from 2 or 2 rooms when it was taken over in August, 1949. During that month the business moved into the present - quite spacious - premises it now occupies at 30, Chilchester Ferrance, W.10 Applicant is negotiating to by these in his own name for £3,300m with the assistance of a mortgage, and will then let them to the newly formed company. The business now has 24 knitting machines, and there are at present 26 employees all of whom are British with the exception of 3. Applicant takes care of all the financial; side of the business and leaves the technical part to Mrs. Welch.
From a personal inspection I have seen that the making of each sock is a comparatively lengthy affair, even by a trained operator and it will be some time before sufficient trained operatives are available for the output to be increased to the extent to bring in a appreciable profit. However, production has gradually increased during the past 3 month from between 5 and 10 dozen pairs a week to its present figure of 50 dozen pairs a week. During the past month goods to the value of £211 have been sent out and at present there are approximately 120 dozen pairs of socks in stock.
In a general discussion on his business affairs applicant said that from the outset he had realised that Piccadilly Parcels Ltd. could not be permanent business as it depends solely on the present economic difficulties of this country, and he now considers that it will last another 9 or 12 months. In order to safeguard his future he had therefore become associated with Welch Hosiery and assisted in forming Kinver & Radov Ltd., but it is probable that the former concern will be disposed of the Messrs, → (page 23)→ Jaegers Co. Ltd., and he will concentrate on establishing and developing Kinver & Radov.
KV 2/958, page 23
→ Jaegers Co. Ltd., and he will concentrate on establishing and developing Kinver & Radov.
His total income at present is £70 a month, and his wife £121 in a satisfactorily conducted joint current account with his wife at Bambres Bank Ltd., 67, Pall Mall, S.W.1, and his remaining assets consist of £222 owing him by Piccadilly Parcels Ltd., this representing undrawn, salary. His fixed commitments consist of £375 per annum inclusive rent for the 5 room self contained flat in which he lives with his wife at 19, Thurloe Place, S.W.7 and £63 per annum premium on a whole life insurance policy with the Eagle Star Insurance Co. Ltd. He also contributes to the maintenance of his wife's brother Sixtus. Graf von Plettenberg, a German age 15, who is being educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Tonbridge Wells, Kent.
Applicant's tax liability in respect of his income from the Agency for Intellectual Relief in Germany, and the European Digest Ltd., is at present the subject of discussion by him with the Inland Revenue authorities. Enquiries at the District Office, 125, Cld Brompton Road. S.W.7. (reference No. 359/25093/9/EVEH/B) show that this is regard as a quite normal case and that the sum involved is probably about £20.
As far as can be ascertained Vermehren lives within his means and is free from debt.
AOB: let use still be aware that the minute number of the extensive document is: 131a; and noticing that this report had been submitted earlier than the one dated; 16.3.50 in which the: Certificate of naturalisation postponed re Vermehren at minute number 137. The hatred against the Vermehren couple sustained as an endemic illness:
KV 2/956-2, p. 29 (minute 16a)
KV 956-2, page 30
The genuine files has been weeded such - that, apparently, essential materials has been rejected (skipped) or destroyed.
For practical reasons, I have chosen the German version of Wikipedia; as it reflects more than the quite dull English web-version:
Arthur O. Bauer