Paul Georg Fidrmuc
Page initiated 29 July 2023
Current status: 22 August 2023
Chapter 18 (since 6 August 2023)
Chapter 19 ! (since 8 August 2023)
Chapter 20 ! (since 11 August 2023)
Chapter 21 ! (since 14 August 2023)
Chapter 22 ! (since 19 August 2023)
Chapter 23 ! (since 22 August 2023)
AOB: It is quite evident, that his folder has been frequented quite often between 1966 and 1987
In the background we notice Paul Georg Fidrmuc
and in front we see Dr. Beck (photo likely taken in 1941)
Photo of Paul Georg Fidrmuc at a Portuguese beach, with his canoe
KV 2/199-1, page 2
(AOB: we might consider that Paul Georg Fidrmuc had been released from Camp 76, by the Americans)
31.7.47 To H.Q. Int.Div. B.A.O.R. (British Army over the Rhine) re whereabouts of Von Carnap (once the officer connected wit HIOB and Skapura) 267a
18.8.47 From HQ. Intelligence Division, B.A.O.R. re von Carnap. 268z
Review of W.R.H. Files.
This file should remain restricted. It contains top secret information including information re Fidrmuc's banking account.
2.9.47 From Int. Div. B.A.O.R. re Wilhelm von Carnap 269a
9.9.47 To A.L.S. re search for von Carnap. 270a
6.10.47 From Int. Div. B.A.O.R. (2.10.47) confirming Fidrmuc's signature on messages sent to Haenle (I G, in Berlin) 271a
D.B. (Dick G. White?)
I have read these papers with the greatest interest and agree with the findings of Miss Chenhalls and Mr. Johnson at 254a. We shall probably never know the real truth, but I don't think we are far off it.
It is possible that Ostro's failure to confess that his organisation here was notional may be due to the fact that he had built up a very considerable reputation for himself with his own people as a Master Spy, and that he is to continue to make his life in Germany in the future (AOB: actually not too long after Fidrmuc's release we left for Barcelona again until he passed away there, in 1957) it might be awkward for him to be branded as a charlatan, who, for financial reasons of for reasons of vanity, had misled his superiors in time of war. →
KV 2/199-1, page 3
Another point that strikes me is that there appears to be no evidence that Ostro employed any assistants in his work. This, coupled with the fact that he had an understanding from Abwehr that he would never be called upon to disclose the names of his agents, clearly places him in a very strong position if, as we believe, it was his intention to build up his reports from information received largely from notional sources. (AOB: Fidrmuc's agreement of 1935 with Piekenbrock or others, was among many other matters, that he wasn't obliged to disclose his sources)
I should like to congratulate Miss Chenhalls and Mr. Johnson on the splendid piece of work that they had done.
31.10.47 To A.L.S. requesting replies given by Haehnle to question regarding Fidrmuc 273z
11.11.47 From S.I.S. tracing Max Gruber. (FUR) 273a
14.11.47 To S.I.S. requesting look-up on Uruguayan, friend of Jung, in connection with Fidrmuc case 274a
14.11.47 Request for traces of Goriwalla and Kubisch to S.I.S. 275a
KV 2/199-1, page 4
20.5.47 Copy of note on interview with sub-editor of the "Ironmonger"
22.5.47 Original statement by Fidrmuc, signed dated 249x
27.5.47 Internal minute to B.4.e (M.I.5) re money paid by Fidrmuc to Ratschinsky trough Hambro's bank 249a
28.5.47 Minute to C.1 re particulars on Ratschitsky's passport 250a
. . .
2.6.45 To A.L.S. re Mr. Johnson's and Miss Chenhall's visit to the American Zone for interrogation of Fidrmuc 253a
. . .
10.6.47 Minute re check up of banking account of German Embassy in London 256a
. . .
KV 2/199-1, page 5
12.6.47 From A.L.S. enclosing advance copy of CIR/154 of 22.5.47 re Fidrmuc 258x
14.6.47 To A.L.S. enclosing reports and latest information on Fidrmuc/Ratschitsky case 258a
. . .
18.6.47 To Washington re closure of Fidrmuc case 261a
18.6.47 From A.L.S. re Oblt. von Carnap 262a
24.6.47 To S.I.S. enclosing copies of Ostro Intelligence Source in near East and Ostro Intelligence Source in France 263a
25.6.47 Telegram to Int. Div. Germany re whereabouts of von Carnap 264a
10.7.47 From S.I.S. containing suggestion re Fidrmuc's Middle East agent 265a
. . .
5.12.47 From SIME in reply to 277a re Abdullabhoz Faizullabhoy Goriwalla 279a
B.1.d. Miss Chenhalls.
Reference your request at 276a, here is S.I.M.E.'s immediate reply at 279a. 280a
B.3.a. 11.12.47 Sgd. Kennett A.F. Hornby
2.1.48 B.1.d. Miss Chenhalls Please see 281a
I regret the delay in passing it to you which was due to D.S.O. Iraq failing to quote our reference. Is it worth carding Goriwalla now, and may I give S.M.I.E. some further information on him to enable them to watch for him in the future.
B.3.a. 2.1.48 K.A.F. Hornby (AOB: towards the end of 1949 the New German Bundesrepublik Germany will be established)
29.1.48 From A.L.S. attaching photographs of Günther von Carnap 283a
14.2.48 From S.I.S. attaching copy letter from Madrid re Dr. Jung 284a
KV 2/199-1, page 6
AOB: please digest its content yourself
KV 2/199-1, page 7
19.2.48 Copy of traffic index card re departure from U.K. of Erica Fischova 285a
22.3.48 To A.L.S. returning photograph as at 283a and giving data for interrogation of von Carnap at Ludwigsberg (east of Regensburg towards the Czech border) 286a
. . .
22.1048 From Int. Div, re von Carnap, attached to which is a copy of the interrogation with him and a photograph of von Carnap and a copy of Fidrmuc's handwriting 294a
. . .
KV 2/199-1, page 11
Photograph of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor
KV 2/199-1, page 12
Photo of Paul Georg Fidrmuc at a Portuguese beach, with his canoe
KV 2/199-1, page 22
Passport photo, or at US Zone Camp 76?
KV 2/199-1, page 25
G.P.O. (General Post Office)
8th March 1947
I would have liked to have been able to analyse these reports more carefully but I hope that these comments will be helpful to you.
First I should say that the papers have been seen under pledge of secrecy by:-
Lt.Col. Binney ) late of Permit Branch
Mr. F.V. Harry )
Miss McCainsh ) late of Special Examiners
Dr. S. Collins late of Posting Department.
Miss Morris )
Colonel Allan P.O. Investigation Branch.
Colonel Todd has also discussed that matter with Mr. Acton, late of the Finance Branch.
2. The reports were discussed in some detail at a meeting at 271 High Holborn on the 26th February last (1947) at which Colonel Todd, Lt.Col. Binney, Mr. Harry, Miss Morris, Dr. Collins, Colonel Allan and myself were present. Subsequently Colonel Todd was to have informed Sir Edwin Herbert of the position, and to have further discussion with Mr. Acton, but, owing to illness, he has been prevented from doing this. I propose to let Sir Edwin Herbert see the papers en route to you.
3. In broad outline the salient features of Fidrmuc's case are:-
(i) He planned his arrangements for the evasion of censorship before the war;
(ii) Although known to M.I.5., apparently his planned arrangements were not suspected.
(iii) He used as a contact in the U.K. an allied diplomatic embassy employee;
(iv) He used second class mail matter as a channel for secret writing.
Given these features evasion of censorship is not impracticable and some credence must be given to Fidrmuc's story, though in detail there are features which make it seem that his claims may be exaggerated.
Incoming. (a) Possible method in the early stages of the war. secret writing in ordinary first class mail from a neutral country would almost certainly have been found later in the war. Presumably a diplomatic address was not being used.
Outward (a) Possible in the early stages of the war when examination → arrangements
KV 2/199-1, paged 26
arrangements for second class mail, not under permit, had not been perfected.
(b) Possible in the early stages of war. Secret writing in ordinary business letters to a neutral country would almost certainly have been detected later in the war.
Incoming (b). A letter addressed to someone c/o Czech Legation would not not receive diplomatic privilege in normal course. In the early stages of the war the letter with secret writing might have been slipped through.
Incoming (c)(i) Printed matter addressed simply to the "Czechoslovak Legation" London, would almost certainly have been treated as harmless.
(c)(ii) Printed matter to a private address would almost certainly have been released without any special examination for secret writing.
Outward. (a) & (b) Propaganda. This material ought not to have been passed through censorship except under permit. In early 1940 censorship was not fully organised. The letters with propaganda may have got through.
(c) Prosectuses. No permit was required and it is probable that the letters whether sent first class or second class matter, would be released without being sent specially for for secret writing.
Incoming (a) Letters addressed to the Secretary of the Czech Legation in London would be privileged and released unopened. Letters addressed to provincial addressed would probably be opened and referred to the Finance Section. They would be released by this section without and special reference to Testing Department, for secret writing test.
Although incoming letters from Portugal was subject to special censorship examination with special reference to testing for secret writing, the semi-diplomatic/finance aspect may have been sufficient to outweigh normal suspicion of Portuguese mail in the mind of examiners.
I have not been able to talk with Mr. Acton about the arrangements for disposing of shares.
Incoming (b) Stamp catalogues. A registered letter addressed to the Secretary, Czechoslovak Legation, London, would have been regarded as privileged and released unopened.
(c) Cosmetic Wrapping paper: The packages addressed to the Secretary, Czechoslovak legation, London, would probably have been released unopened. If addressed to someone, c/o the Legation, they would almost certainly have been opened and the packing removed in accordance with censorship instruction. Addressed to a private individual at Windsor the package would almost certainly have been opened and the advertising packing removed before the release of the package for delivery.
(d) Reviews: It is likely these would have been released as harmless if sent by second class mail without any reference to testing for secret writing.
(e) Leaflets & pamphlets: It is not clear if these were sent by first class or second class mail. It is doubtful if they would receive more than a cursory examination if addressed to anyone c/o the Czechoslovak legation. If more than a cursory examination had been given the arrangements for underlining certain words would probably have been noticed and suspicion aroused. The Legation address would probably disarm suspicion and account for only cursory examination.
KV 2/199-1, page 27c
The Windsor addressed packet would be due to be scrutinised as a printed paper before release.
Incoming (f). I have not been able to discuss this arrangement with Mr. Acton, and I don't know enough to comment myself on banking arrangements.
(e) Invasion plan from page 6.
The air mail from Great Britain to Lisbon was suspected from the end of March to June 1944. Surface mail was delayed for one week before despatch and the transit time for surface mail was probably not less than three weeks in all.
Diplomatic privilege was withdrawn on the 17th April (1944; as to maintain the secrecy about the Invasion to be commenced on 6th June 1944) after which date all correspondence from the Czechoslovak Embassy was due for ordinary censorship examination. In spite of this the booklet might not have been subject to special examination and testing for secret writing.
Although, therefore, the booklet might have been forward after passing through censorship there seems to be no possibility of despatch other than by surface route, with about 3/4 weeks' transmit overall time.
It is stated that these communications were sent by unregistered air mail. It is important to know whether they were enclosed in envelopes franked by the Czechoslovak Legation or in ordinary private envelopes.
(a) British propaganda material was due to the despatched only under permit. Was the Czech Economic Advisory Association also used for the despatch of this material ?
If the propaganda material was enclosed in an ordinary letter, the letter should have been returned to sender.
(b) (c) Hotel Leaflets. No permit was required, If these had been used for secret writing messages late in 1943 and 1944 in ordinary first class letters to Lisbon they would almost certainly have been sent for testing. Up to 1942 this is not so certain and perhaps unlikely.
(d) It seems likely that these were sent under diplomatic cover.
(f) Czechoslovak Legation material. This would probably be released with not more than cursory examination.
Again it is not stated if this correspondence or the packages were enclosed in Czechoslovak Legation official envelopes or wrapping.
Parcels to Spain could only be sent under permit. This doesn't seem to be practicable as a method of communicating by secret writing unless posted by the Czech Economic Advisory Association which apparently had a permit.
(Note. D. (e) relates to incoming mail, not outgoing)
KV 2/199-1, page 28d
10. TOR. ... Speed.
All mail to Portugal was censored whether first class or second class, unless it was due to receive diplomatic privilege. Much turns on the treatment given to printed papers despatched by the Czech Economic Advisory Association. They may have been released in London without reference to Aintree as posted by the Czechoslovak Legation, and this may account for the alleged speed in transit. I have not been able to check up on this point.
11. MOS. ...
Incoming and outgoing the arrangement appears possible especially so early in the war.
12. MOS ...
Incoming. The information given under each of the headings is rather sketchy. There was an efficient Anglo/Egyptian censorship operating in Cairo and it seems surprising that ordinary letters, as distinct from diplomatic or quasi-diplomatic letters, with secret writing did not arouse suspicion, at least during the later war years, coming from Portugal to the Middle East. It must be assumed that the secret writing was well done, and that the covering letter was accepted at the face value in each case.
14. MOS. ..
Outward (b) Business documents of the kind mentioned may well not have been suspected and not have been subjected to special examination for secret writing.
(c) This seems possible.
15. Details of scret inks etc. Dr. Collins has said in conversation that all the methods mentioned except Chinasol were known to him, and if material with secret writing as detailed had been submitted to the Testing Department he is of the opinion it would have been detected without difficulty. Although Chinasol is not name to Dr. Collins, its use would not have presented any special difficulties in detection in the laboratory.
16. There is no more I feel can add usefully. There is obviously a case for the most thorough investigation of TOR.
It seems odd that none in Lisbon suspected Fidrmuc during the war years as he was known to be an enemy agent before the war. The papers are interesting in emphasising the complexity of censorship and the difficulty in covering adequately the huge volume of mail matter with what must always be a comparatively small censorship staff.
17. I shall be obliged if you will let me have a copy of this note after typing so that I can give it to Colonel Todd to keep with one copy of your report which I have kept for him. And if you will return your letter to me of the 20th February.
Signed R.H. Locke
(18) (since 6 August 2023)
KV 2/199-1, page 30 (minute 301a)
Ref: HQ Int Div/S3(b)/EGB/PF2490.
Tel: Herford 2544.
HQ Intelligence Division,
70 HQ C.C.G.(BE)
17 January 1949
To: Box No. 500,
Parliament Street, B.O.
Whitehall, London S.W.1.
Subject: Wilhelm von Carnap.
Reference your PF 64447/B.1.D/JL1 dated 14th December 1948.
1. Attached please find report received from No.7 R/B Intelligence Office (reference 7/S3/P/181) dated 11th January 1949.
2. On the information available here, this Headquarters sees no reason for raising objections to subject's continued employment in his present position.
for Major general,
Chief, Intelligence Division.
KV 2/199, page 31
Subject:- Wilhelm von Carnap (once Fidrmuc's contact officer at HIOB / Skarupa, in Berlin)
To:- Director of Production,
HQ Int. Div.
70 HQ CCG (BE)
Herford, B.A.O.R. 15.
Reference your HQ Int Div/S3/EGB/PF2490 of the 31 dec 48.
1. Enquiries have now been completed regarding para 1 of your letter.
(a) Subject is employed as Stellvertretender in the Wirtschaftsministerium which is a minor post. He has been in charge of investigations in the recent "Steel smuggling" case here in Düsseldorf.
(b) His position in the Abwehr was disclosed in the original Fragebogen submitted in Münster. A "No Objection" certificate was issued to the Wirtschaftsministerium by the Denazification Panel reference 4493/SK/Mun/AD/1111 of the 20 Jan 1947.
(c) Subjects reputation at the Ministry, according to various officials there is, that he has proved a very efficient and energetic worker ha has in fact his heart and soul in his work.
2. from C.C.G. controlling authority this much can be said in his favour, that he works wholeheartedly for North Westphalia only, and not for the rest of Germany.
Tel: 27764 Sgd. for R.B.I.O/
11th Jan 1949 7R/B Intelligence Office
AGJ/DW (Mr. I.W. Houston)
KV 2/199-1, page 32 (minute 300a)
Ref: HQ. Int.Div/S3/EGB (=E.G. Bruderer)/PF.2490.
Tel. Herford 2544.
HQ. Intelligence Division,
70 HQ CCG. (BE)
3/ December, 1948
To: 11 N.R.W. I.S. (North Rhineland Westphalia Intel Service ?)
714 HQ CCG (BE)
Düsseldorf. BAOR. 4.
Subject: Wilhelm von Carnap.
Reference attached copy of letter from Box 500, London and reports from 7 R/BIO reference 7/S3/P.1381 dated 8 Oct. and 13 Nob. 48.
1. May we please have your report on:
(a) Subject's position at the EWirtschaftsministerium in Düsseldorf. On his application for a Temporary Travel Document dated 10 Aug. 48 he described himself as "Stellvertretender
Gruppenleiter im Wirtschaftsministerium".
(b) Did he disclose his position in the Abwehr when taking up this post?
(c) Subject's reputation at the ministry and the CCG controlling authority.
Sgd. (E.G. Bruderer)
for Director of Security.
Copy to: Box 500, Parliament St. London. S.W.1.
(your PF 64447.B.1.D?JLI of 14 Dec. 48 refers)
7 R/B.I.O. 318 HQ CCG (BE) BAOR. 4.
KV 2/199-1, page 33 (minute 299a)
Ref: PF 64447/B.1.D. /JLI
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
70, H.Q., C.C.G. (B.E.),
Please refer to your H.Q. Int Div/S3(b)/EGB/ PF 2490 of 20th November concerning Wilhelm von Carnap.
We have just heard from our American contacts that this man now holds the position of Chief of Zonenabteilung, in the ministry of Economics of German Land Government in Nord
Rhein Westphalen in Düsseldorf.
In order to complete our records we would be grateful to know if it is correct, and whether this means that he is considered reliable inspite of his Abwehr background.
(AOB: typically Joan Chenhalls like) (like: may one trust someone of an enemy Secret Service, as is their's?)
for J. Chenhalls.
14th December, 1948.
KV 2/199-1, page 36
Subject: Wilhelm von Carnap.
To: Directorate of Security,
HQ Intelligence Division,
70 HQ CCG (BE)
Reference your HQ Int Div/S3(b)EGB/PF 2490 of 3 November 1948.
1. Von Carnap states that Fidrmuc did receive messages from his sources written in invisible ink, on hotel advertisements, etc. These pamphlets were printed in the countries in which the hotels were located.
2. The messages were always written in block letters, and although printed in "clear", abbreviations were used. When developed, these messages showed in a "dirty blue" coloured ink.
3. Von Carnap insist that he knows none of Fidrmuc's sources, although "F" mentioned a merchant (MOS) in Alexandria and an official in Paris (NUR). Other sources were in Iran and Iraq, Egypt, France and Ireland.
Düsseldorf 7 Regierungsbezirk Intelligence Office (Mr. D. Isard)
13 Nov 1948
KV 2/199-1, page 38 (minute 295a)
26th October. 1948
??? Int. Div/S.3(b)/EGB/PF2490
64447/B.1.d./JC (= Joan Chenhalls)
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
70 HQ CCG (BE),
Wilhelm von Carnap.
Tank you for your detailed reply to our enquiry.
I am sorry to come back once again for more information, but if he is still available, I should be grateful if he could be requisitioned on his answer given in paragraph 1(c). I am anxious to discover whether the messages in block letters came from his sources. It is very probable that Fidrmuc wrote his instructions to his notional or real agents in block, but what we are anxious to determine is whether of not he ever received messages - not written by him which Carnap saw him developing.
KV 2/199-1, page 40
Subject: Von Carnap Wilhelm.
To: HQ Int. Div.
70 HQ CCG (BE)
Reference your HQ. Int.Div/S.3(b)/EGB/PF2490 of the 1st October 1948.
1. The a/n has been interrogated regarding the questions referred to in para 3 of your letter:-
(A) Von Carnap states that he does not know Fidrmuc's sources or their names, they were never referred to by their names, only by code letter such XYZ.
(B) Subject was shown at the time the materials. used by Fidrmuc and was also present on more than one occasion during the developing process of such materials.
(C) All reports and briefs which Fidrmuc sent to his sources were printed in "Block Letters" and were never written in Fidrmuc's handwriting which is shown on photostat.
2. Personal particulars of von Carnap Wilhelm:
Present Address: Düsseldorf-Oberkassel Kaiser Wilhelm Ring 25.
Born: Berlin, 19.3.1911
1917/21 Attended Vorschule Oberrealschule, Berlin
1921/27 Attended Staatlichebildungsanstalt, Berlin.
1927/31 Attended Realgymnasium, Berlin.
1931/38 Employee of I.G. (Farben?) Berlin in Auslandsverwaltung.
1939/40 Employee of Siemens Berlin, in Auslandsverwaltung
1940/42 Joined the Wehrmacht as a Lt. with Infantry Regt. 178 and later joined 743 Inf. Regt.
In 1941 posted to Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Abwehr I) Berlin.
1942/43 Was temporarily released by the Army, returned to Siemens Berlin, to take up his former position of representative of Siemens with the Portuguese Konsortium der deutschen Industrie in Lisbon in August 1942, returned to Germany in November 1942.
1943/44 Returned to Lisbon and continued to work with P.K.D.I.
1944 Returned to the Army until April 1944, He was then told to report to the Wehrmacht Kommando, Hamburg for his discharge papers which he received. Hhe left Hamburg for Bielefeld and until Jan 1946, going to Warendorf until November 1946, from the onwards he has been resident at the a/m address.
3. During his visits to Portugal he continued to work for the Abwehr and to send reports of commercial Intelligence through Berlin via a certain Oblt. Kamler Otto of the Abwehr (AOB: inconsistency, as Kamler left about 1943 Portugal (due to incompetence) His successor was Dr. Aloys Schreiber - as the latter did not speak Portuguese and was also highly unfit for this job too, but there was no-one else to succeed him) Remaining: that the latter information by von Carnap being at least incorrect.
Von Carnap states that Fidrmuc never used this contact for onward transmission of his reports. As far as subject if the German Consulate.
p41: He is certain that Kamler (@ Heribert) (KV 2/1962 PF 305470) never used by Fidrmuc.
KV 2/199-1, page 42
(U2037 ↓↓ U2037return)
Photograph of Wilhelm von Carnap
KV 2/199-1, page 43 (minute 293a)
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
In answer to your HQ Int. Div/S3(b)/PF2490 of 16th September, it would seem possible that von Carnap who was applied for a temporary travel document may be identical with the man for hom we have been searching for some years.
We thought he had been found in the American zone of Germany, but discovered that their man is only a cousin. I attach a photograph (please notice foregoing photograph) of the von Carnap we are interested in and wish to question.
To this end we set out some data for the use of the interrogator:-
Fidrmuc, an important agent of the Abwehr in Spain (mainly
who worked direct to Berlin, handling in his material to one chosen member of
the German Embassy (actually KO Portugal), has been closely examined. He
claims to have had agents in the U.K., France and the Middle East, has been
unable to substantiate these claims. He alleges that his reports were
received by him from his sources written in secret ink and these messages
forwarded to Berlin. Fidrmuc said under interrogation that von Carnap was the
only person who knew the name(s)
of his sources though retracted this statement at a later interrogation. He
further claimed that von Carnap (or
as he was always known to Fidrmuc) was shown the original source reports that
Fidrmuc received from his agents in the U.K. and elsewhere, and he stated that
he sometimes developed these secret writing messages in von Carnap's presence.
The original messages were said to be on the back of leaflets (travel brochures
and hotel advertisements) and were written in block capitals which differed
considerably from Fidrmuc's own handwriting or the block capitals he used when
writing himself with secret ink. May we know whether von Carnap (a) knows
the name of of Fidrmuc's sources, (b) was ever shown such material as Fidrmuc
claims, and (c) if so whether he could confirm that it differed from Fidrmuc's
won handwriting, a copy of which is attached".
KV 2/199-1, page 44 (minute 292a)
Ref: HQ Int Div/S3(b)/EGB/PF2490
Tel: Herford 2544.
HQ Intelligence Division,
70 HQ C.C.G.(BE)
16th September 1948
To: Box 500,
Subject: Oblt. Von Carnap, Wilhelm.
Your reference PF.64447/B.2.b.?JC, letters dated 1st May 1947 and 31st July 1947.
1. A Von Carnap, Ernst Wilhelm, born 19.3.1911 in Berlin has applied for a temporary Travel Document for a one day visit to the Utrecht Fair (Jaarbeurs). he visited Portugal in 1942/43 on behalf of the firm of Siemens for economic negotiations with firms and authorities. His description is:- height: 1.78, hair: fair, eyes: blue. His address is: Düsseldorf-Oberkassel, Kaiser Wilhelm Ring 25.
2. He may be identical with subject of your enquiry.
3. His application to visit the Netherlands has not been held up.
4. We await your instructions before taking further steps in this matter.
Sgd. (E.G. Bruderer)
Chief Intelligence Division.
KV 2/199-1, page 48 (minute 288a)
Original in file for Madame Fischova
Copy for PF 64447 - Fidrmuc
" in PF 693516 Ratschitzky (KV 2/240 - KV 2/241)
Report of Interview with Madame Erica Fischova at Room 055, on 23rd April 1948.
On Friday, 23.4.48, Mr. Breit and Miss Chenhalls was Madame Erica Fischova ar Room 055 about the part she alleged to have played in the Fidrmuc/Ratschitsky case.
This woman, born 4.10.1908, was able to confirm from documents the details we had in our possession as to her identity. She was then asked what she had done during the war, and stated that she had come to Great Britain with her small daughter and had taken a position as domestic servant with a Mrs. Geddes, Old Park Warninglid, Sussex, where she was regarded as one of the family. In 1944 she accepted a position under the British Council with U.N.R.R.A. and served in many concentration camps including Belsen (Bergen-Belsen). She had tried to get a position with the Control Commission and had been seen by General Lethbridge, but had no opening owing to her nationality, and she returned to London. In October 1947 she accepted work on behalf of U.N.O., and has done relief work with starving children in Rumania. She left there in March/April of this year as she could no longer stand the atmosphere "behind the iron curtain".
Madame Fischova (known as Mrs. Fish in England) stated that she had no connections with the Czech Embassy during the war years. When questioned as to whether she had ever received any letter sent to her c/o the Czechoslovak Legation, she was quite certain that this never happened. She had visited Windsor only once in her life by invitation to a house of friends at Christmas time and had never stayed in a hotel there. She categorically denied ever having received any communication during the war from Lisbon or Spain and was obviously non-plussed by the fact that her name had been given as a recipient of parcels from the Iberian Peninsula. When questioned about persons known to her she acknowledged that she knew of Jan Masaryk and had obtained a gift of D.D.T. (https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/ddt-brief-history-and-status) for the children's camp in Rumania from them but said she did know him personally; we believe that she is speaking the truth when she disclaimed any knowledge of Air Marshal Janousek, Dr. Rudolf Ratschitzky or Paul Fidrmuc.
It is B.1.d's view that this interview proved one more example of Fidrmuc's imagination. It is possible and probable that whilst reading newspapers in prison he picked this woman's name as a Czechoslovak welfare worker on behalf of the U.N.R.R.A. and gave her as Tor's contact to this country. We failed to find another possible link between this woman and the story invented around her.
The Czech Ambassador is known personally by Madame Fischova and had been of service to her in the past. For this reason she wnet to see him on her return from Rumania, and when she asked how she had fared, she said: "If you had changed you will not like what I have to say, but if you are still the same as I remember you you will be interested in my views." She then gave him her impression of Rumania, but said he made no comment whatever. She has taken her passport into the Embassy for it to be renewed as a temporary visa only had been issued to her in Budapest and she may travel to France. (Her passport expires in early May). Although she had called at the Legation for it twice, Dr. Zeman's office had informed her that up to present it was lost and had required her to fill up fresh forms.
Madame Fischova bears no love for the present (Communist) regime in Czechoslovakia or its representatives here, with the exception of the Ambassador to whom she owes some gratitude.
Sgd. Joan Chenhalls
(19) (since 8 August 2023)
KV 2/199-1, page 58 (minute 281b)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name: Fidrmuc Paul.
Original in File No. : PF 603116
Original from: American Embassy letter
Extracted on 9.1.48
Extract from letter from American Embassy re Dr. Hans Otto Haehnle mentioning Paul Fidrmuc.
We have received from Haehnle answer to the questions you posed as follows:
1. Haehnle claims he personally did not develop messages received from Fidrmuc.
However, as these were developed in his laboratory by assistance he did see many of the developed messages.
2. Messages arrived as typewritten business letters (sent mainly by means of 'diplomatic bags'). The secret writing was interspersed between the lines of these letters by means of a small wax pellets filled with ammonium salt. Occasionally a single letter arrived. At other times several letters from Fidrmuc were brought into the laboratory at once.
3. Haehnle states that the secret messages were always in Fidrmuc's hand writing and claims that he would be able recognise that handwriting if he were to see it again.
4. It is Haehnle's belief that Fidrmuc composed the messages himself from material which was supplied by his various sources. To the best of Haehnle's knowledge, Fidrmuc never forwarded the original messages received from his alleged sources. In addition, according to Haehnle's believe, some letters were sent through normal postal channels and others by diplomatic courier or other means. Haehnle makes this last statement because very often a large group of letters were delivered to the laboratory at the same time.
We hope these answers will prove useful. Haehnle will of course be available for further questioning if it appears necessary.
KV 2/199-1, page 59 (minute 281a)
c/o A.H.Q. Detachement
British Forces in Iraq
From J.P. Morton Esq. O.B.E.
To : S.M.I.E.
Copy to: Director General
Parliament Street B.O.
Subject: Abullabroz Faizullabhoy Goriwalla.
Neither the Iraq C.I.D. nor ourselves have any information about the above named, but further enquiries are being made.
It should be noted that there is no street in Baghdad known as Kirkuk Street. (AOB: did they realise that it concerned a phonetic matter?)
2. We would be interested to know in what connection Abdullabhoz Faizullahoy Goriwalla has now come to London notice.
Sgd. J.P. Morton
KV 2/199-1, page 60 (minute 279a)
Middle East Land Forces
SIME/S.F.4005/IR/B.3.a (= M.I.5) 28th November 1947
Parliament Street, B.O.
Please refer to your PF 64447/B.3.a/KH of 17.11.47.
No trace is held by this office of Abdullabhoz Faizullabhoy Goriwalla. We are, however, referring the matter to C.R.P.O. and will let you know the result when we receive their reply.
Sgd. G.H. Worsley. Lieut.
for the Head of S.I.M.E.
KV 2/199-1, page 62 (minute 277a)
Ref: PF. 64447/B.3.a./KH (M.I.5)
S.I.M.E., G.H.Q. M.E.L.F.
Copy to: J.P Morton, Esq., O.B.E.
AHQ. Detachment, R.A.F.
British Forces in Iraq, Baghdad.
Abdullabhoz Faizullabhoy Goriwalla.
A Moslem from Turkestan (Turkmenistan?) , living in 1941 in Baghdad. reported to have travelled to Russia as a German agent early in 1942, and to have stayed in Tiflis or Baku after having first arranged communications with Turkey. In Autumn 1943 Goriwalla returned to Iraq. he was in the hardware business and was probably supplying the Russian Army with merchandise from Iraq. Address said to be Kirkuk Street, Baghdad. (the problem might have arose from the 'spelling' of the word Kirkuk)
Have you any information?
It would be appreciated if an early interim reply could be given on this individual.
Sir Percy Sillitoe.
17th November, 1947.
KV 2/199-1, page 98a partially CI-FIR/154 (FIR = Final Investigation? Report)
2. Abwehr Career.
e. Initial Collaboration With the Abwehr.
(1) Meeting with Dr. Stolze (Scholtze?)
By 1924 the task of importing goods into Germany had become a highly complicated procedure, demanding an infinitive number of official papers justifying the necessity of such goods for the German economy. Fidrmuc, who had acted as agent for the Portuguese firm of Serrano Irmaos, exporters of canned sardines, since 1928, was having difficulty in obtaining a share in the import allotment of sardines. In May 1934 he received a letter a letter from the Berlin Industrie und Gewerbekammer asking him to come to Berlin to discuss the allotment. There he spoke with a representative of the Eifuhrdezernat, and was told that a decision would soon be reached on his petition for a share in the allotment., and that there was a gentleman present who would be interested in discussing a business proposition with him. Fidrmuc was shown into an adjacent room, where he was introduced to a Dr. Stolze (Scholtze? likely an alias as was usually), a person about six feet tall, very slim and military looking, and with a dark grey hair clipped short in the Hindenburg style.
Dr. Stolze (Scholtze?) began by referring to Fidrmuc's excellent contributions to various technical journals as well as to the World Trade Institute in Hamburg (Weltwirtschaftsindtitut), and after numerous compliments on his grasp of international trade and finance, proposed that Fidrmuc furnish him with all the material be might be able to obtain on the following subjects: existing stocks of strategic raw materials in world trade, any purchases of such material in bulk or in small quantities, what agreements exist whereby foreign powers attempt to get hold of such materials, where shortages of these materials exist or threaten to become serious, →
KV 2/199-1, page 99b
Dr. Stolze (Scholze, Scholtze?) further requested Fidrmuc to keep a careful watch on international trading in arms and ammunition, reporting what European countries were exporting arms, stating prices and final destination, and, if, possible, including catalogues of manufacturers.
In return, Fidrmuc would be granted his allotment share and if his reports proved satisfactory, his share would be increase. Fidrmuc had requested permission to import 6,500 cases which would net him a profit of 7000 RM. In the previous year he had imported 5,300 cases without intervention of any government agency, but he accepted Dr. Stolze's (Scholze's /Scholtze's?) proposition because he knew that the large importing firms with their good connections in Berlin, were gradually excluding the small traders, and he saw the chance to maintain his position in the importing trade.
He was not told at the time, although he suspected it, that the Abwehr was behind this scheme. It was hinted that Germany was planning some sort of Economic War Office and was interested in keeping posted on the international economic developments.
(2) Fidrmuc's Initial Reports.
Fidrmuc, who, as stated above, had connections with Spiro and Hammerschlag of the international armament trade, began to report in May 1934, submitting twice monthly a letter through ordinary mail channels to Dr. Richard Stolze (Scholze / Scholtze?), 15 Schlesische Strasse, Berlin. The material contained in these reports had been gathered by Fidrmuc not only from friends in the armament trade but from a great number of other connections he had built up over the years in international trade. he had friends in India, in Africa, and in numerous European countries. Every year he went to Portugal, Denmark (where his wife Ragmor came from) Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, France, England etc., and since he was known to be a correspondent for numerous trade journals, his interest in international trade aroused no suspicion.
in 1935 I still a
whereas his career ended-up being a General in the Army in Russia
and the according PoWship)
In October 1934, Fidrmuc was invited to Berlin. where Dr. Stolze (Scholze/Schotze)
introduced him to a Dr. Schmidt, who, as Fidrmuc later found out, Was
by then still a Major).
Both Stolze and Piekenbrock expressed great satisfaction with his reports, and
asked him if he would care to intensify them and to report more in detail. In
the future he was not to mail his reports to Berlin, but was to hand them
personally to Herrn Burghardt living at 10 Chateauneuf Weg in Hamburg.
Fidrmuc later found that Burghardt was a Fregatten-Kaptitän assigned at Ast
In response to a telephone call Burghardt would send a messenger to pick up the
reports, and otherwise would be at Fidrmuc's disposition in case he needed any
kind of support with local authorities.
Fidrmuc was to report whatever he heard on the construction of new factories, roads, railways, shipyards, etc. abroad. He was also to find our from whom Hammerschlag and Spiro bought weapons and where the factories were located. Furthermore he was to purchase through Hammerschlag and Spiro foreign weapons, inventions, patents, ammunition, and to assure their delivery to German agencies for the purpose of testing and comparing them with German weapons. In this connection, a Dr. Schueler (or Schlueter) would come to Hamburg, and Fidrmuc was to introduce him to the two armament merchants as Herr Thomsen.
KV 2/199-1, page 100c
Fidrmuc worked on this program for a number of months, until another meeting was called in February 1935. In this period he succeeded in purchasing for Germany the following weapons:
Trench mortars from Belgium
20 mm cannon from Jenecek Ake Spol, Prague (Prag)
23 mm aircraft canon from Madsen, Copenhagen
25 mm AA (anti aircraft) cannon from Bofors, Sweden
40 mm AA from Bofors, Sweden
7.9 mm automatic gun from Zbrojovka, Brno (Brunn Czechoslovakia)
20 mm gun from Zbrojovka, Brno (Brunn)
7.8 mm light MG from Sepewe, Warsaw (Warschau)
81 mm mortar shells from a French company
Through his connections with Spriro, Fidrmuc also obtained numerous catalogues of weapons for the Abwehr describing for example ten-ton tanks of the Karlsverk A/B, Karlskrona, Sweden, which Spiro exported to Lithuania, tanks being produced by the Skoda Works (Pilsen Czechoslovakia), and others being produced by Cammel-Laird in England. he also obtained catalogues of the Colt Mfg Co USA, of Breda in Italy, of Hotchkiss, Madsen, F&N (Belgium), etc. with descriptions of light machine guns. Catalogues on 75 and 105 mm AA weapons came from the American Armament Co, New York, and from the Atelier de Bourges in France.
Neither Spiro nor Hammerschlag had any trouble in obtaining these catalogues, since they had done business with all these manufacturers, and it was only necessary to state in their request for catalogues that some buyer was interested. When purchasing weapons or ammunition, they would explain that they were ordered for tests in China, in Ethiopia, etc.. Once the crates arrived in a port, it was an easy matter to change the shipping destination and re-route them to a German addressee. The actual delivery was arranged by Dr. Schueler (Schüler), who re-routed the shipments to Jueterbog (Jüterbog), the the testing ground of the Wehrmacht near Berlin.
Fidrmuc claims that he successfully exploited the strong animosity existing between Hammerschlag and Spiro, and played one against the other to obtain the information desired.*
(4) The Second Meeting With Piekenbrock.
In February 1935, Fidrmuc was again called to Berlin for a meeting with Piekenbrock, who, after discussing his reports, asked if he knew of anyone willing to go abroad as an agent for the Abwehr. Fidrmuc suggested his lawyer Dr. Beit (see IIR/59). The necessary arrangements were made, and Beit (Jewish) left for England to report on matters of interest to the Abwehr, beit was never very successful, although Fidrmuc had a high regard for the economic intelligence he received from him. He died of a weak heart in Bournemouth in 1938.
- - - -
* According to Fidrmuc, Spiro dies in prison in 1938. He had been sentenced to five years for defrauding another merchant and dies shortly after his trial. Hammerschlag emigrated with his family to Belgium in 1939 and Fidrmuc lost contact with him. He later found out that he had been arrested by the Gestapo in 1941, but through the intervention of Dr. Schueler (Schüler) was transferred to the "preferred treatment" section of Theresienstadt (AOB: though quite many end in fatal Auschwitz KZ anyway). His fortune was left untouched (?). Hammerschlag is probably now in Hamburg and, according to Fidrmuc, was still alive the beginning of 1945.
KV 2/199-1, page 101d
In April 1935, shortly after Beit left for England, Fidrmuc and his wife were arrested by the Gestapo and held in custody at the Gestapo headquarters in Prinz Albrecht Strasse in Berlin, accused of having aided the Jewish lawyer Dr. Beit Beit to escape from Germany.. It was six days the Abwehr managed to have him released. Fidrmuc was less annoyed by the detention, than by the fact that his cooperation with the Abwehr became known to disinterested parties, and that a written explanation of his role in the escape of Dr. Beit was available in the Gestapo files.
(5) Fidrmuc Recruits Mos.
In the summer of 1935, Fidrmuc recruited his first successful agent. At the home of Hammerschlag he had made the acquaintance of Ahmed Insauri, the official buyer and economic advisor to the Court of Yemen, who travelled each year on business to Germany and other European countries. Isauri, who was a fanatic Anglophobe agreed to furnish Fidrmuc with intelligence reports from the Near East, and their arrangement remained in effect until the final stages of war in 1944 (see IIR/60).
(6) Agreement of Full Cooperation With the Abwehr.
Early in 1936 the pretext of economic intelligence for a German Economic War Office was finally dropped. Fidrmuc, who had of course, realized that he had been working for the (military/Ausland) Abwehr, was given a monthly expense allowance of three hundred RM, was further permitted the sardine import contingent, and was also allowed to import an allotment of canned tune fish from Portugal, which netted him an additional profit of four thousand RM a year. In the summer of 1936 he was presented (vorgestellt) to Adm. Canaris. (AOB: This was only a brief of what finally had been arranged upon)
(7) Fidrmuc's Sources of Information (1936-1938).
Prior to 1938, Fidrmuc had on;ly one successful successful agent as a source of intelligence for his reports to Berlin, Ahmed Isauri in the Near East. In Hamburg, however, he had numerous contacts capable of supplying him with information of value to the Abwehr. Hammerschlag and Spiro continued to remain his most valuable sources on armament production. Among other informants of this period, he names the Greek Admiral Xaldaris (?), a refugee monarchist residing in Hamburg, who was extremely well informed on Mediterranean affairs; an American shipping agent, who, together with Fidrmuc, frequented the Cosmopolitan Club in Hamburg; as a White Russian industrialist with excellent connections in Paris; a Belgian count (Comte Le Grand?), whom Fidrmuc met while skiing in Austria, and from whom he obtained a great many details on Western European politics and on the armament status of various countries; an English banker, who rowed in the same club as him; and a Dutch banker from the Nederlandsche Bank voor Zuid Afrika. The Englishman was Mr. T. Fletcher, employed in the Hamburg branch of Barclays Bank Ltd.
KV 2/199-1, page 102e
From Fletcher, Fidrmuc learned much about British finance, particularly about Britain's increasingly adverse trade balance, resulting from her liquidation of foreign assets beginning in 1937, and about British loans to Poland for the establishment of armament factories, such as PZL aircraft factory. he also learned of British Government subsidies to shipping lines to the effect production of vessels easily convertible to auxiliary warships. Fidrmuc recalls mention of subsidies to strengthen joists in the quarterdeck and stern of certain vessels for mounting guns. The Dutch banker was a certain Groothest (?), formerly of Lübeck, whose brother resided in Argentine (son-in-law of the governor of Cordoba). Fidrmuc also met the brother when he visited Germany, and learned that he was to become the director of an aircraft assembly plant in Cordoba producing reconnaissance planes. From Groothest(?), Fidrmuc obtained information on the distribution of gold from South Africa, on the wheat stocks in Dutch ports, on the production facilities of Ymuiden (IJmuiden) blast furnaces, on the expansion of tin-smelting plants in Billiton, Dutch Indies, and on the discrepancies in the world tin pool between England and Holland. He also learned such detail as bids for machine tools made by the Dutch Fokker aircraft factory etc. Just prior to the outbreak of war in 1939, Fidrmuc also succeeded in obtaining information from his Dutch source on the stock of India rubber stored in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), in Holland, and in England.
Fidrmuc's Hamburg sources also furnished him with information of the number of English trawlers destined to be mine-sweepers in case of war, with details on size, etc., on dislocation in the French and Czech armament industries, on conditions of the Greek Navy and Britain's delivery of TB aircraft to Greece, on the existing and planned manganese stockpiles in the United States, and on Britain's counter reaction of the Spanish-Italian mercury pool.
During the period to 1938, Fidrmuc unsuccessfully tried to recruit agents abroad. In October 1936 he went to Paris on business negotiate the purchase of Deauville light rails from the firm of Les Petit-fils de Wendel for the Portuguese colony in Angola, and to confer with the editors of the French technical publication "L'Usine", for which he wrote. Benny Spiro had given him the name of a French armament merchant at 15 Rue Naples, A Lemoine, an Alsatian about fifty years of agent tall stout, and very amiable. Fidrmuc looked him up and carefully tried to approach him. To Fidrmuc's consternation, he turned out to be an agent of the Deuxieme Bureau (French Secret Service) organizing an intelligence network in the Rhineland. He tried to win over Fidrmuc promised to think it over. Once back in Hamburg, Fidrmuc reported the incident to the Abwehr and was told to accept Lemoine's proposition, so that the Abwehr could feed the French deception material through the arrangement. Fidrmuc refused because he knew that such a scheme would sooner or later be found out and he would be branded with the mark of suspicion and, as he claims, because he is not particularly fond of such dealings. Someone else was sent instead and allowed himself to be recruited by Lemoine. In 1937, Fidrmuc heard that through this ruse a number of Lemoine's French agents in Germany had been apprehended.
Fidrmuc experienced another failure in his attempt to recruit a Dutchman living in London, who Fidrmuc had known in Hamburg. In 1937, he approached Mr. Heerzog (Herzog?) of 23 Battersea street and although he preceded very cautiously, found that he had overplayed his hand and had gone too far. Heerzog, who had drawn him out, suddenly turned on him, and Fidrmuc was unpleasantly surprised to discover that he had completely misjudged the man. He felt at the time that through this mistake he had dangerously exposed him →self to British counterintelligence.*
KV 2/199-2, page 1f
self to British counter intelligence.*
(8) Fidrmuc's Success in recruiting Agents. (AOB: concerning TOR I have my own strong doubts)
↓ !! ↓
- - -
* As an example of his methods of approaching a prospective agent, Fidrmuc recounts the following: he once obtained blank stationery of the publishers of H. Bernstoff, a well-known author of spy stories (Mlle Docteur, etc.). On this paper he wrote a letter to himself, stating that many readers had inquired about the true identity of H. Bernstoff, etc., etc., the type of letter a publisher would write to an author wishing to keep his name secret. With such a letter Fidrmuc could create the impression that he and H. Bernstoff were one and the same person. During the initial conversation with a prospective agent he would start talking about spy novels and would causually show the letter, complaining at the same time how difficult it was to find good back ground material for his books and asking whether or not the person in question could help him with some interesting information for a new novel, etc. He would proceed cautiously until he saw that the prospective agent realized what he was driving at. If there was no response, he could always retreat to the basis of his "literary work". Fidrmuc claims to have approached Lemoine in this mannerm and also to have won over his agent Sir Nejedly (see IIR/62) by posing as an author of spy stories. In 1939, Fidrmuc's Bernstoff letter became useless when the real Bernstoff revealed his true identity in the German magazine "Literatur-Rundschau".
** Fidrmuc claims to have been in good standing with the Czechs even though he joined the Sudetendeutsche Partei (DE) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Henlein) (EN)
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Henlein) in 1936. At various times he acted in an advisory capacity for the Czech Commercial Attaché and the Czech Consul-General in Hamburg, once in connection with a Dutch claim on the Czech steamer Legie. Fidrmuc's expose on the subject proved of value and von him the gratitude of the Consul. Although openly opposed to the treaty of St. Germain for making Lündenburg Czech annexation in 1938 (AOB: all originated from secret wartime (1914-1918) promises from the Western Allies, that when they chose the side of the Entente parties, they would gain independence; without consulting the populations concerned), but protested the formation of the Protectorate in 1939, which he termed a degradation and a disastrous policy in a letter to Piekenbrock at the time. (AOB: When the US President Wilson joined the negotiations at Versailles in January 1919, he was highly embarrassed about promises given without US knowledge! He therefore left Paris, and the US isolation policy was initiated thereafter) (AOB: factually engendering the nucleus of World War Two; but these "children" then weren't aware of.)
KV 2/199-2, page 2g
Major Pruck was appointed Fidrmuc's case officer, and Fidrmuc was to be responsible solely to him.*
In his conference with Piekenbrock, Scholtz and Pruck, Fidrmuc outlined his plan for recruiting new agents from among his acquaintance in Czechoslovakia, where the New order (Nazi era?) had caused numerous dismissals and changed many a career. The plan was approved, and in the following months Fidrmuc undertook a number of trips to Czechoslovakia for the sole purpose of recruiting agents. Starting from a carefully chosen list of ten names, Fidrmuc finally established contact with the following Czechs in the hope of winning them over as agents.
(a) Hans Hollaender was a former school friend (of the days Sudentenland belonged to Austria-Hungary (Donau-Monarchy) of Fidrmuc and of the same age. His father, who owned a distillery in Lündenburg, was Jewish, his mother German. Hollaender was blond, blue-eyed, and fat, a professional pianist and unsuccessful composer. Fidrmuc recruited him for Pruck, who obtained a position for him with the Luxembourg Ministry of Education and Employment through one of the directors of the Dillingen-Huette. Fidrmuc heard that Hollaender achieved nothing of great value, and assumes that after the invasion of Luxemburg in 1940 he was sent to some Balkan country.
(b) Frantisek Nejedly (Sir see IIR/62) was also recruited at this time, and became Fidrmuc's agent in Russia for a short period.
(c) Max Gruber (Ruf see IIR/61) agreed to Fidrmuc's proposition and went to France as his agent.
(d) Ernst Hajek was a Czech from Brno, and Fidrmuc is reluctant to discuss him because he was for his purpose a complete failure. Fidrmuc succeeded in winning him over and financed his trip to Goeteborg, Sweden, where he was soon well installed, Fidrmuc's first report from him was mocking letter thanking him for the money and telling him otherwise to go to hell and take his (Hajek's) brother with him. Fidrmuc had been staying in Brno with the brother, a young medical student, Fidrmuc dismissed the whole project and nothing was done against the brother.
(e) Dr. Rudolf Ratschitzky (AOB: I myself don't trust the whole story) (Tor-see IIR/60) was also recruited at this period, and became Fidrmuc's most successful agent. He went to England shortly after his agreement with Fidrmuc and remained there until September 1944, when he migrated to the United States. In May 1945 he cabled friends in Lündenburg, Czechoslovakia, that he and his wife were very homesick for Europe.
b. Intelligence Activities in Denmark.
(1) Plans for the Outbreak of War.
In case of war, Fidrmuc had already planned to shift his base of operations from Hamburg to a neutral country and had decided on Denmark, firstly because it was not a centre of espionage against Western Powers, and secondly because of the excellent air connection with France and England. he could also justify residence in Denmark because his wife (Rigmor) was Danish, and it would be relatively easy for him to establish the necessary business cover.
- - - -
* Despite his insignificant appearance (short, bald, paunchy, with a crippled left arm), Pruck was in Fidrmuc's opinion the best intelligence officer he ever met. He describes him as being clever, quick-witted, original, sober, well-mannered, fair in all dealings, and possessed of an astounding memory, particularly of foreign armies. He met him regularly twice a month, and they came very good friends. Early in 1940m Fidrmuc learned that Pruck had been summarily discharged from his post. Piekenbrock refused to reveal the reason, and others only hinted that Pruck had been responsible for important leaks originating in his office.
KV 2/199-2, page 3h
Fidrmuc was convinced that neither France nor England could go to rescue of Poland in case of a German attack, and had written a lengthy well-documented report to this effect for the Abwehr in May 1939. This he considers to be one of his worst misjudgements, though he was supported in this opinion by Canaris himself, who expressed agreement at the last meeting in the Spring of 1939. Piekenbrock was also sure that the Western Powers would not attack Germany, but? Pruck insisted that an attack on Poland would mean war with France and England.
Fidrmuc was thus surprised by British and French reaction to the German attack on Poland, which found him on vacation at Arhus? in Jutland in Denmark.
(2) Fidrmuc's Fiasco in Copenhagen.
In September 1939, Fidrmuc established himself with his wife in the Pension Askensen, Bredgade, and proceeded immediately ?? organise his intelligence activities. he had already arranged communications with his agents in England (TOR) (AOB: just what I strongly have my doubts upon), In France Ruf, and in the Near east (Mos), and intended to supplement their reports with whatever intelligence he might gather in Denmark. Despite numerous connections, however, Fidrmuc failed to obtain important intelligence on his own, and the bulk of his reports to Berlin consisted of information gathered by his agents abroad. He recalls having learned through the ?? of Burmester & Wain of a construction program of mine sweepers and ?? guard vessels for the British, and through the armament manufacture Madsen A/B of the number of 40 mm Bofors Britain had ordered from Sweden. He also reported British purchases of foodstuffs in Denmark, ?? claims that all the information was received by Berlin in much greater detail from other sources.
Fidrmuc's choice of cover was indeed an unfortunate. He posed as a correspondent for the deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung Berlin, not realizing that two years before the outbreak of war a Captain Hartung (or Hartpflug)*, as correspondent for the deutsche ??marsenzeitung of Berlin, which was affiliated with the DAZ, had been ??arrested and convicted of espionage against Denmark in Copenhagen. As DAZ correspondent, Fidrmuc immediately became of interest to the Danish police and was under constant surveillance.
Additionally cover as a businessman failed to allay the suspicion against him. He had entered into negotiations with the ?rdisk Kabel A/B to supply insulation varnish from Germany, and with ? Karlsberg Breweries Ltd to exports beer to Portuguese Shipping Lines. ?Whether, as an agent for Eduard Till of Brno, he intended to import Czech re products, hardware, enamelware into Denmark.
As a guest member of the Copenhagen Rowing Club, Fidrmuc made the acquaintance of another guest member, Pierre Markwort, ?Alsatian, who was assistant to the French Military Attaché in Denmark. Markwort?, who was from Strasburg and was a cousin of the second Mayor of that City (sentenced to death by the French toward the end of 1939), ? infected with pan-Germanism. Despite his pro-German leanings, he was? in French intelligence. Fidrmuc succeeded in winning him over as agent in November 1939, and learned from him names of some French agents in Stettin. Fidrmuc, however, was more interested in using him ? he had returned to France, and so worked out a system of communication with him for such eventuality. Fidrmuc's sudden arrest by the Danish police in November 1939 quashed the plan completely, and Fidrmuc never attempted to establish contact with Markwort again.
Fidrmuc is probably referring to Pflugk-Hartung.
KV 2/199-2, 4i
(3) Fidrmuc's Arrest.
Fidrmuc was aware that he was under surveillance of the Danish Police, but considered his cover so watertight (Wasserdicht) that they would fail to detect any evidence of espionage in his activities. In the knowledge that all his mail as well as that of his wife was being censored, he continued to carry on a heavy correspondence with his secretary Irmgard Tiedke, whom he had left in charge of his affairs in Hamburg, with the DAZ (= Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung) and with various other publishing firms. All this correspondence revealed nothing of his intelligence activities. The reports from his agents were arriving in secret ink letters addressed to cover addresses. Only the sample packages from the Near East containing secret messages on the inner wrapping were addressed to Paul Fidrmuc, c/o Main Custom House, Copenhagen. The other messages from England and France were written in secret ink on pamphlets or catalogues addressed to Arne Hvalsøe, (a cousin of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor), to Edwin Hansen, (a Danish businessman in pay of the Abwehr), or to Axel Soenderstroem, (a fictitious name), c/o Cook's Tourist Agency (see IIR/59, IIR/60, and IIR/61).
In the latter part of November, however, Fidrmuc committed a careless blunder. he had just received and developed a secret ink report from Mos (Middle east), had typed up his notes on the contents, and just torn the original into bits with the intention to burning it, when his landlady caled him to the telephone located in the hall of his boardinghouse. During his absence she slipped into the room and removed from the table some of the torn scraps of paper of the original Mos reportm which she immediately took to the Police. Although unable to determine the origin of the secret ink report, which was written on the heavy white paper used in rapping coffee samples, the suspicions were confirmed. They instituted a search of Fidrmuc's room and arrested both Fidrmuc and his wife. Arne Hvalsøe was also arrested because of his close connection with Fidrmuc. Hansen had gone to Holand and, as Fidrmuc later found out, had been arrested by the Gestapo. (AOB: what happened with this "land-lady" during the German occupation of Denmark?)
Under preliminary interrogation Fidrmuc denied everthing. but when shown bits of paper with the familiar reddish letteri? describing British troop movements in Palestine and the arrival of Australian infantry in the near east, he knew that the Police had got ten hold of scraps from the Mos report, and so confessed. They had also found in his room the microscope which Fidrmuc intended to give to Ruf for reading microdots messages (see S2035 S2035return), when he arrived from France (IIR/61).
- - -
* Hansen was the son of one of the owners of the well-known Danish of Broedrene Hansen, dealers in cattle, eggs, cheese, etc. he was a representative of the firm and also had his own meat packing plant on Laaland Island in Denmark. He exported to England and was in England in October 1939 for a short visit. Hansen worked for the GIS (German Secret Service) and was an agent of Major Pruck. He had been married to the daughter of a Bavarian officer, but obtained a divorce in 1941. The Abwehr planned to him in Tangier (Tanger), where he hoped to set up a poultry packing plant Later on? he was to go to the United States, where his firm had maintained by ??ness connection since 1937. Fidrmuc states that Hansen had two fatal? weakness, a loose tongue and women. Just prior to Fidrmuc's arrest he had flown to Amsterdam to visit a Dutch lady friend, and from there had gone to Germany, where he was arrested by the Gestapo (after 15 May 1940) As a matter of fact, as Fidrmuc later found out in Berlin, she was often in Bavaria and was acquainted with one of the men who planted the bomb (Bürgerbräukeller in Munich (München) Autumn 1939) Eventually Hansen was released by the Gestapo on the intervention of Abwehr, but his career as an agent was finished. Fidrmuc gas only he? Hansen refer to the woman in question as "Malanie". He suspects that Major Pruck tried to use her as an agent and was double-crossed. This may be the reason, he states, for Pruck's sudden discharge in 1940.
KV 2/199-2, page 5j
Fidrmuc had committed the gross mistake of keeping the key to the lots in the catalogue along with the catalogue, so that the (Danish) Police had no trouble finding the dots containing messages, once they had been enlightened on this novel method (T2036 T2036return) of communication by a Danish Captain from the Danish General staff, who had been called on the case. Fidrmuc was shocked to find that the Danes knew about this method, because Berlin had assured that no other power knew about it. He shuddered to think what would have happened to Ruf, had he given him the microscope to return with it to France. French would have arrested him immediately as a spy.
Fidrmuc admitted to the Police that he had been in communication with countries at war with Germany, but denied being the head of an espionage ring or of having conducted espionage against Denmark. He refused to divulge the names of his agents or his means of communicating with them.
When Ruf arrived from France and was unable to locate Fidrmuc, he left town immediately when he heard of his arrest. Arne Hvalsøe was released after a few days of interrogation after convincing the Police of his complete innocence. He had failed to mention in his interrogation that Fidrmuc had requested him to hand over leaflets and pamphlets arriving from France. It probably seemed of no importance to him since he did not know that messages in secret ink had been written on these pamphlets and was ignorant of the fact that he was being used as a letter-box. Fidrmuc's wife (Ragmor) was released at the same time. being Danish and having all her family and friends in Copenhagen, she was profoundly shocked by the whole affair.
After numerous interrogations, the Police were finally convinced that Fidrmuc had no intricate spy network in Denmark and had not active against Denmark. The German Legation was informed of the affair and Fidrmuc was granted a lawyer (Jensen) for his defence Early in January (1940), Fidrmuc was sentenced to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to the espionage charge. The $4,500 found in his possession was confiscated. (This was to have been Ruf's bonus for his reports from Paris in the early weeks of the war). He was allowed to keep the $2,000 he had received from the Abwehr, since he convinced the Court that this was his working capital for his business. he also retained some 5,000 Danish Kroner. Immediately after the trial he was told that negotiations were pending to return to Germany in a prisoner exchange, he was held in the Vestrefaengsel, the investigation prison, and was not sent to the penitentiary.
The exchange agreement was finally signed and Fidrmuc was returned to Berlin by air early in February 1940.
(4) Fidrmuc's Communication With Berlin During Arrest.
When Fidrmuc realized his plight, he knew that he must somehow inform Berlin and at the same time inform his agents to stop reporting and await further development. In his cell he concocted an invisible ink by mixing milk and water (five spoonfuls of water and one of milk) for his fountain pen. (AOB: whom nowadays is acquainted to such an utility?) With this mixture he wrote a lengthy report to Berlin on the inside of the jacket of books brought to him by his lawyer to read. He then asked the Lawyer to give the books to his wife (Ragmor). When allowed to see his wife, he instructed her to take the books to the German Legation and have them send the jackets to Berlin for thorough examination. Thus Major Pruck was able to read a detailed report on Fidrmuc's difficulties, and could be certain his agents had not been found out.
KV 2/199-2, 6k
It was impossible for Fidrmuc to establish contact with his agents while under arrest, but for much emergencies he had edition of the Daily Mail, which would warn his agents to stop reporting until further notice. In his note to Major Pruck he instructed him to insert the advertisement. It was to in the "animals" section, was to mention a dog, and carry the fictitious address "Daniel J Twister, Nottingham, 22 Victoria Street". Berlin was in shortwave communication with London, but, somehow, the advertisement never appeared. Ruf, who had come to Copenhagen knew, of course, what had happened. Mos (Middle East) and Tor (England) no doubt continued to sent reports, but soon stopped when they received no reply. The arrangement was that they should cease reporting, if they failed to receive word from Fidrmuc over a period of more than six or seven weeks. The sample packages sent by Mos (originating from the Middle East) from Eritrea were no doubt sold at public auctions at the Danish Customs House, and the Tor reports (Apparently originating from England; AOB: however, I doubt these Tor aspects) at Cook's Agency or at Hansen's simply thrown away.
(5) Fidrmuc's Collaboration With the Danish Police.
During this period of incarceration, Fidrmuc claims to have established friendly relations with the Danish authorities and to have received excellent treatment. He was permitted to see his wife almost daily, was given a special cell, and two or three times a week was taken for a ride and a walk in the custody of two Police officers. This number was later reduced to one, when he promised not to attempt an escape during the outing. He became particularly friendly with two Police Commissars, with whom his wife (Ragmor), still corresponds frequently. Every afternoon they had tea together. Commissar Andersen frequently sought Fidrmuc's advice on various questions, an a feeling of mutual confidence resulted from their exchange of ideas. Andersen was interested in the extent of foreign espionage being carried on in Denmark. and Fidrmuc told him about Markwort of the office of the French Military Attaché, from whom he had learned the name of one agent operating in Stettin (now in Poland). Andersen then showed Fidrmuc a case in which a shipbroker was working for England against Germany. Other letters were shown to Fidrmuc, and the final result, according to Fidrmuc, was that when he was released a group of five Danes and foreign agents were arrested and the French Military Attaché was compromised. The Police uncovered conclusive proofs that he had been behind the entire anti-German intelligence organization. He left Copenhagen in February 1940. Fidrmuc also helped in the investigation of a Persian drug dealer, formerly of Hamburg, who was working for the Russians in Denmark, and in the investigation of an Italian subject working for Italy.
On the eve of his departure for Berlin prior to his release, Fidrmuc and his wife dined with the Danish commissars and the Danish General Staff captain in the private dining room of a Copenhagen restaurant. The next morning he and his (Danish) wife (Ragmor) were to the airport and placed on the plane for Berlin (February 1940).
(6) General Observations.
The Danish Police commissars were, according to Fidrmuc, extremely anti-Communistic and condemned the German-Russian accord (AOB: 24th August 1939 the so-called : Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement). They placed the blame for the Russian-Finish War on Germany (AOB: partially true), but were otherwise neutral. They held no brief for National Socialism and preferred the English to any other nation, but thought England was doomed.
Through the Danish Police, Fidrmuc learned that the Russians were not very active in Copenhagen, in contrast to Stockholm, nor did the Danish Communists have much contact with Russia at the time (?). France was also carried on little intelligence in Denmark. Fidrmuc knew of two cases pointing to the French Military Attaché. before he left, one had been cleared and the other was under investigation. The Danish Police wondered why the Deuxieme Bureau (French Secret Service) had burdened the military Attaché with such a task, for they were quite sure that no parallel organization of French agents existed.
(21) (since 14 August 2023)
KV 2/199-2, page 7L
British Intelligence, on the other hand, was very active in Denmark. The Danish Police estimated that in the latter part of 1939, some twelve British agents, some with widespread organizations, were active in Denmark. Out of partiality for the British, the Danes seemed to show little enthusiasm for investigating these networks. The British had two or three Danish operated shortwave transmitters in the south, at Fuenen and Laaland, and one at Bornholm. A British W/T transmitter was uncovered at Middelfaart in January (1940?). In the office of the Baltic Exchange in Copenhagen, the British set up an interrogation unit to exploit sailors of German and neutral ships returning from German ports. For their oral reports, entailing no sketches and nothing in writing, the sailors received small cash payments. British intelligence directed against Kiel was being run at the time from Korsøer. The Danish Police investigated a ship chandler Todsen, who had connections with Kiel. A Danish sailor found with detailed reports on the Dornier aircraft plant at Wismar on this person was sentenced to two years in prison.
In contrast to Goeteborg and Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhagen was not a centre of German Intelligence. The Legation harboured no KO (AOB: Kriegsorganisation, an Abwehr branch operating from friendly, mostly neutral states; such as in Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Madrid and Portugal ...) and Fidrmuc believes that only the representative of the Nachrichtenbüro Graf Reichenau, Herr Meissner, was under orders of the Abwehr to dispatch agents from Denmark to other countries. Minister Renthe-Fink resented the fact that he had been instructed to assist Fidrmuc in dispatching his reports (via German diplomatic channels) and predicted to Fidrmuc that he would be caught. Germany chief interest was in ship movements and freight movements from Danish ports to France and England, and it was a simple matter for the Seekriegsleitung (Skl.) to determine the extent of traffic through agents in Helsingoer, etc. Beginning 1940, Germany was also interested in preparing the ground for the forthcoming invasion of Denmark, but Fidrmuc insists that he had nothing to do with this phase of German espionage, nor did the Danish Police ever connected with it.
Danish Intelligence, Fidrmuc believes, was loosely organized, leaning on information supplied by the private firm of Kampmann & Sax, a construction company working on projects for a number of foreign governments interested in avoiding the construction companies of the larger nations, whose domination they feared. This firm had built railroads in Iran (Persia), ports of Esthonia, waterworks in Equador and Nicaragua, roads in Ethiopia, Albania, and Greece, etc. The director of this firm is Georg Kampmann, a cousin of Fidrmuc's wife, who frequently conferred with the Danish General staff. Fidrmuc had planned to approach Kampmann as a source of intelligence, particularly against Russia, for the firm maintained offices in Bandar Shapur Teheran, and in a town on the Caspian Sea. His arrest, however, put an end to these plans.
c. Intelligence Activities in Italy.
(1) Italy as a Base of Operations.
On his return to Berlin in February 1940, Fidrmuc was convinced that his days as an Abwehr agent were over, for he admitted having been caught in Denmark through his own stupidity and negligence. Piekenbrock, however, assured him that he should lose no time in reaching a decision. While in prison, Fidrmuc had already worked out detailed plan how he might operate from Italy and this plan was immediately accepted.
Accompanied by his wife, Fidrmuc went to Rome the latter part of February, first staying at the Hotel Rome (Hotel Roma) and later at the Pension Milton and the Pension Foggiari. In the Spring of 1940, Italy offered fertile ground for intelligence gathering. The Allies were feverishly trying to keep Italy from declaring war, and both Germany and the Allies were intensifying their intelligence activity to further their ends. Germany still mistrusted Italy and was using that country as a centre of espionage against France and the Balkans.
KV 2/199-2, page 8m
(2) Fidrmuc's Tasks in Rome. (S2080 ↓↓↓↓↓ S2080return)
Fidrmuc's chief concern upon reaching Rome was to re-establish contact with his agents in England (Tor)(AOB: I myself have strong doubts about this aspect), France (Ruf) and the near East (Mos), and in this he succeeded (see IIR/59, II/R60, IIR/61). Once their reports began reaching him, he was to coordinate the material with the intelligence he might gather in Rome. Officially he was in Rome as a German correspondent for various newspapers and reviews, just as in Denmark, and in addition was acting as buying agent for the Reichsstelle für Waren Verschiedener Art in the purchase of Marsala wines. A further task was to establish business relations with Portugal to negotiate the purchase of canned fish for the above-named office.
Berlin had planned to furnish Fidrmuc and his wife with either Luxembourg (Luxemburg) pr Liechetnstein passports under a fictitious name, but Fidrmuc refused to accept this plan and insisted on retaining his right name, since he was known in Italy among the aristocracy and the industrialists, and also because his disdain for cover names would make him uncertain in his work and have an adverse effect on the results.
(3) The Fidrmuc Reports From Italy.
Fidrmuc soon found that he was able to send infinitely better reports from Italy than from Denmark. Through his social activities he renewed old acquaintances and established new ones among Army officers, high-ranking Fascists, and industrialists. As a guest member of an exclusive rowing club, he came in contact with many influential Italians, who knew him from the Olympic games and from other international meets in which Fidrmuc had participated, Fidrmuc spoke Italian and arrived in Rome with excellent recommendations, for example to the brother of Fürst Dietrichstein.
In composing his reports, Fidrmuc divided them into factual intelligence and personal survey of the situation. These surveys were started in Italy and came to the attention of Canaris, who urged Fidrmuc to write at least two a month and to see that they reach him first. Fidrmuc would thus mark each survey with the notation "für den Herrn Admiral persönlich". Such a survey described Fidrmuc personal opinion on the military and political situation, what could be expected of the enemy and what the enemy expected Germany to do. Although only passing on his own private opinion, Fidrmuc felt that he had developed a certain flair in judging situations and in making predictions. he ascribes this ability for analyzing situations to his training in writing for industrial magazines, for there he frequently had to untangle complex marked factors in predicting future trends. Various editors, for example, tom Campbell of Iron Age, often congratulated him on the correctness of his predictions. An intelligence survey, of course, was more difficult, but Fidrmuc insists that Berlin often verified the accuracy of his analysis and asked for more.
In these surveys he discussed such subjects as why the Italian fleet would remain inactive despite prospects of numerical superiority in the Mediterranean, the consequences of the mistake of massing too many troops in Cyrenaica (think of the area of and around Benghazi up to Tobruk), why Italy was abandoning the Gen Douhet air strategy(??), and how to use Italy's forces to the best advantage in the war. These reports ran from two to five typewritten pages and went beyond Fidrmuc's actual assignment of intelligence gathering. He felt that there were any number of trained officers in Berlin who were far better experts on evaluation, and he knew that they often laughed at his commercial and lay interpretation of military events, but he continued the surveys because he enjoyed writing them and because Canaris encouraged him to continue.
KV 2/199-2, page 9n
Fidrmuc's reports soon began to reflect the extreme weakness of Italy's position and were in contradiction to reports from official German sources/ He felt that neither the Embassy the Military Attachés, nor the German Military Mission were correctly informed Lulled into optimism by their natural German affinity to all things Italian and by the Italians' ability to convince others of their own wishful thinking, these Germans tended to bolster the gross misconception of Italian strength doggedly maintained by Hitler and Ribbentrop. Fidrmuc, who had discounted ranking Fascists and militarists when he found out how little they knew, concentrated on the aristocracy and the industrialists as sources of intelligence, for they maintained connections abroad and were in general well-informed. They were far more outspoken in their opposition to the ruling Party in Italy than were their counterparts in Germany when speaking against Hitler.
Thus, in that part of his reports dealing with factual intelligence, Fidrmuc was able to report among other things to Berlin:
Lack of equipment (particularly shoes, coats, etc.) for the Army reserves.
Anti-war sentiment of the vast majority of the population.
Dissension among high-ranking officials and Fascists.
Obstructionist policy of Italian Staff officers against war.
Lack of pro-German sentiment among high-ranking officers, industrialists, aristocrats, clergy, and land-owners.
Failure of propaganda for war among the population.
Utter incapacity of war industries, and both open and clandestine opposition by the industrialists against industrial armament expansion.
Absence of stockpiles of iron-ore, non-ferrous metals, mica (Glimmer), cotton, chemicals, fertilizers, etc.
The feeling of "satiation" among high-ranking Fascists, who feared to lose their previous gains through new risks.
Overwhelming antagonism of the avverage Italian toward bearing arms.
Complete neglect of air-raid precaution measures.
Obsolescence of Italian artillery.
The deceptive statistics on air strength.
Fidrmuc listed in one report the "de facto" and the "on paper" strength of the Italian Air Force. Berlin immediately requested urgent verification of these figures, including, if possible, figures on second class reserve aircraft, engines in stock, etc., Fidrmuc recalls that in April 1940, Italy had as "front-line" aircraft only 515 bombers and 316 fighters. he fails to recall the number of reconnaissance planes available at the time, but states that the official figures given on the number of transport planes and naval aircraft hardly differed from the actual number available. At the same time, Fidrmuc reported the complete collapse of Italy's air personnel training program, given figures for Braciano, Como, Foggia etc.
KV 2/199-2, page 10o
Fascism, says Fidrmuc, had lost its drive and bogged down after the Ethiopian campaign. Italy wanted to hold its gains and left in peace. Berlin confused Fascism with Nazism and expected Italy to display the drive of violent conquest not yet played out in Nazism.
(4) Fidrmuc's Agents While in Italy.
While in Italy (AOB: Italy was not yet at war with England and France because Mussolini invaded Southern France; and war was declared on 10th June 1940) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_invasion_of_France) Fidrmuc continued to receive reports from his agents in England (Tor) (AOB: I don't trust Fidrmuc's story in this particular aspect), France (Ruf) and the Near East (Mos). The contents of these reports he incorporated into his regular reports to Berlin, and in turn informed them of questions of interest to Berlin on which they were to report, if possible. During this period he also succeeded in winning over another agent, a certain Bartouch, from Alexandria and Beirut. Bartouch was a cotton exporter, who imported Italian rayon and other textiles, and Fidrmuc knew that he also dealt in heroin, cocaine, and morphine. Aware that dope peddlers enjoy the best relations throughout the Near East and frequently supply high-ranking Egyptian and Syrian personalities as well as Europeans, Fidrmuc made every effort to win the man. He finally succeeded and all arrangement were made. Bartouch was to stay in Alexandria and Fidrmuc intended to use him exclusively for naval intelligence and Fleet Air Arm intelligence. He was thoroughly familiar with the city of Alexandria, was acquainted with high-ranking officials in the Customs House, Port Administration, etc., and knew many English officers. His remuneration was to be in accordance with the value of intelligence forwarded to Fidrmuc, and the manner of payment was arranged. Unfortunately for Fidrmuc, Bartouch was arrested in May 1940 on his return to Egypt for smuggling heroin, and was sentenced to five or six year imprisonment. Fidrmuc had received only one short report from him dealing with the arrival of naval reinforcement in Alexandria, containing a list of the ships. He had advanced advanced him the sum of fifty Egyptian pounds.
Another agent, who did not work for Fidrmuc directly but was recruited by him for Piekenbrock, was Josef Wessely, a school friend of Fidrmuc from Lündenburg (Sudetenland; since the end of WW I belonged to Czechoslovakia), who was known to everyone as Fred. Wessely had served as a captain in the Czech Army until 1938, and when discharged (AOB: as a consequence of the September 1938 agreement - Sudentland became part of German Reich as Austria already voted for unification with Germany) , took a job with the German Tourist Office in Rome (Officio Tedesco di Turismo). He had an amazing gift for languages and spoke at least fourteen fluently. Among his acquaintances in Rome was Guiseppe Mascaldini, the agent of the Amtorg Trading Company, Russia's official trade organisation in New York.
Fidrmuc worked out the following plan, to which Wessely agreed. Mascaldini was to introduce Wessely to the Russian Embassy in Rome, where he should offer to work as an agent in the United States. He should pose as a Russian in the Amtorg Trading Company, and while in the United States should gather intelligence from Czechs, Croats, Syrians, Italians, etc. and report the results to Russia, via the diplomatic pouch available to Amtorg. (Germany and the US weren't yet at war before 11/12th December 1941) The Russians accepted the proposition and sent Wessely to New York (Summer 1940). Fidrmuc, however, had arranged secretly with Wessely to send copies of all reports and any other intelligence he might gather to Germany via Eire. The director of the Irish Beet Sugar Co in Dublin was a Czech, an ex Austrian officer, who had served in 1917 as lieutenant colonel on the Austrian General staff. His name was either Kubisch or Kublik, and was in the pay of the German Abwehr as an agent of Major Pruck. Wessely's first reports, which were in secret ink addressed to the Irish Beet Sugar Co., began to arrive in Ireland the beginning of 1941. From there they were transmitted through the German Legation by W/T to Berlin. Fidrmuc heard later the rumour that Wessely had died of a heart attack the end of 1941. While in Rome, he had often complained to Fidrmuc of a weak heart.
KV 2/199-2, page 11p
(5) Commercial Activities in Italy.
During his stay in Italy, Fidrmuc supplied the German Reichsstelle für Waren Verschiedener Art with approximately two thousand barrels of Marsala wine. His main business interest, however, was to establish commercial relations with Portugal, so that he could shift his base of operations to that country, if and when Italy declared war. he already had business relations with Germain Brucker, a naturalized Spaniard of German origin (Stuttgart), who was exporting canned fish from Portugal via France and Belgium to Germany by devious means. Fidrmuc tried to work out a similar plan through Italy, but before he could complete all preparations for the transactions, Italy had declared war; it was too late. Negotiations with Brucker, however, had progressed satisfactorily and both had agreed to establish their own business in Portugal in the near future.
(6) The end of Fidrmuc's Stay in Italy.
Early in June 1940, Fidrmuc found it expedient to shift his base of operations from Rome to Northern Italy. He had worked out new means of communication with Tor (Rudolf Ratschitsky KV 2/240..KV 2/241; but I don't trust this Tor story) and Mos (Middle East) via Milan and Turin and had prospects of winning over a new agent in Milan to operate from Yugoslavia. Arrangements had also been made to have the (German) Consul general in Milan forward Fidrmuc's reports to Berlin, and to deliver to him any messages from Berlin.
Fidrmuc and his wife took a room in the Hotel Regina in Como near the Villa d'Este. Shortly after their arrival, Italy launched het attack on France (10th June 1940) and all preparations for continuing intelligence activity from Northern Italy came to naught.
Fidrmuc ceased operations completely and settled down to a long vacation in Como. He was sure that the war would soon be over and was tired of working for the Abwehr. Berlin became impatient, but Fidrmuc remained adamant, In answer to a letter recalling him to Berlin for further duty, Fidrmuc wrote directly to Canaris telling him that he was unable to continue the work at the moment, and that the Abwehr, if it cared to, could call him up for active duty with his regiment.
Three weeks after his arrival in Como, Fidrmuc received an urgent cable from his brother advising him that their mother was dying of cancer. Fidrmuc left immediately with his wife for Lündenburg, and after two days at the bedside of his mother (who died two months later after a series of operations), he continued on to Berlin. Nothing was said about his former reluctance to continue, so Fidrmuc outlined his plan to work from Portugal. The plan was accepted Fidrmuc was introduced to Jodl (OKW) and reported to him on his intelligence activities and on the political and military situation in Italy. Jodl showed great interest in Fidrmuc's exposition of the Italian situation and asked many questions.
Fidrmuc also reported in great detail to Canaris, Piekenbrock, Scholtz, and Dr. Skarupa (AOB: unlikely as Skarupa was an Office). Skarupa was a major, approximately 5'10" tall, of heavy build, round face, dark brown eyes and hair, and a harelip. He impressed Fidrmuc as being very clever. he thinks he left the Abwehr in 1941.
After three days in Hamburg, Fidrmuc and his wife (Ragmor) travelled by air to Barcelona via Rome, in the first days of July 1940. He had no difficulty in obtaining a visa for Spain, but hesitated to enlist the aid of official German offices in obtaining a visa for Portugal, since this would mark him as a German agent with the Portuguese Police. Instead, he arranged to meet Germain Brucker (AOB: I strongly believe, that when Germain Brucker lived in Stuttgart his name was spelled: Brücker) in Spain and after obtaining the Portuguese visa there, continue on with him to Portugal.
KV 2/199-2, page 12q
(7) Fidrmuc's Suspicion of Allied Counterintelligence.
Fidrmuc claims to have noticed little Allied intelligence activity while in Italy. For a time, he thought he was being watched by US Intelligence, but now considers it doubtful. Hus suspicion rests on his acquaintance with an American staying at his boarding house in Rome (Milton Boarding House), who for no reason at all followed Fidrmuc and his wife to Como. This American, whose name was F. Oushley, was tall, about 6'2", with reddish hair, fair complexion, and watery-blue eyes. He came from Connecticut, where his family maintained a large estate, They were in the brokerage and banking business, in New York. Oushley had connections with the Bank of Manhattan, and had at one time worked for that bank. Oushley became very inquisitive and tried to ply Fidrmuc with numerous questions. Somehow he knew that Fidrmuc had connections with the German Consul General in Milan (Milano / Mailand). In his conversations he professed to be a violent Roosevelt hater, boasted of his connections with very leading American families, and stated that he was related to Cordell Hull.
Oushley was a confirmed drunkard and was in a state of complete inebriation every second day. He was invariably in debt and had bowwowed money from a host of other Americans in Milan. After a violent argument with the American Consul in Milan, he succeeded in borrowing five hundred lire from Fidrmuc. One day he became so drunk that he couldn't climb the stairs to his room. Fidrmuc carried him up and put him to bed. Made curious vy his numerous questions, Fidrmuc made a thorough search of the room, while Oushley slept, To his surprise he found that his passport whowed a sojourn of many months in Bavaria. He also found letters in German and the photograph of a German girl, who claimed in her letters to be engaged to him. Oushley had numerous photographs in his possession. One showed him somewhere in the mountains standing in a group of SS officers, many of them Sepp Dietrich and Standartenführer Gille. he had many addresses of German SA, SS, and Wehrmacht officers, many of them bearing special notes. he had a press card of the German Propaganda Ministry marked for free entry to an exposition near the Funkturm https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berliner_Funkturm) EN → (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Radio_Tower), Berlin, but no mention of what paper he wrote for. Nor was there anything among his papers to indicate that he was a newspaper correspondent. Among his pictures there were many taken in the United States including a picture of a young naval officers at Annapolis. Fidrmuc concluded that Oushley had been a naval cadet many years back. He had no time to study carefully other papers he came across in his search, such as pawnbroker receipts, etc. He did find his name and his wife's name on one slip of paper. Fidrmuc counted his money and found he only had a few hundred lire, a few English pound notes, but no dollars.
Since he had once seen him conversing with an English employee of the British Embassy in Rome, Fidrmuc speculated that Oushley right have been working for British Intelligence.
d. Intelligence Activities in Portugal.
(10) Portugal as a Base of Operations.
Fidrmuc considered Portugal a fortunate choice as a base of intelligence operations, and never understood why the Abwehr concentrated its forces in Spain, Portugal had no foreign exchange restrictions. It maintained shipping connections with almost every country in the world, and was in air communications with England, America, Africa, and numerous other countries. It was the gateway to England for travellers coming from East Africa, from South America, and even from North America.
KV 2/199-2, page 13r
When Fidrmuc arrived in Portugal, the country was crowded with emigrants from France and central Europe. A feeling of? panic had speed throughout the country, for everyone feared that Hitler? would invade Portugal. A heart the Portuguese are extremely pro-French, with France crushed a growing chorus of admires of Germany sprang? Not all of these were opportunists. Although politically attached to?? England, many Portuguese affirmed certain tenets (doctrines) National Socialists ?? The Portuguese Youth Movement, the Mocidade Portuguesa, for example, is a copy of the Hilter Youth (Hitler Jugend or HJ). Fidrmuc estimates that eighty to ninety percent of the members of the Legiao Portuguesa, which is anti-Communist to the extreme, were at the time pro-German.
In choosing his collaborators, Salazar (then Head of State) favoured ne?? one faction nor the other, with pro-Allied and pro-German workers under him he could play one against the other and thus keep posted ?? what was actually going on within the Government. The pro-Allied faction? included the Minister of Economics, the Minister of Finance, and? the Minister of the Navy, as well as a large majority of the intellectuals, particularly those of the business world. The Church, because of Germany's pact with Russia (Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement of 24 August 1939) and the anti-Catholic drive in Germany was also pro-Allied, just as were the Portuguese nobility and the Monarchists??. The Portuguese Navy, the Air Force, and Maritime Police were? all pro-Allied.
The pro-German faction included a large portion of the Portuguese middle classes, The Army, the Legiao Portuguese, the Mocidade? Portuguesa, the Portuguese Police, the Ministry of Public Works, the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, and the Secretary of State for Army. Surprisingly enough, a large part of the non-Communist labor element was also pro-German.
The Portuguese banking groups, the peasants, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry were neutral.
(2) Establishing Cover in Portugal.
Early in July 1940, Fidrmuc and his wife (Ragmor) went first to San Sebastian in Northern Spain where they were to meet Germain Brucker, who was driving from France through Spain to Portugal. Brucker was a personal friend of the Portuguese Consul in San Sebastian, and would have no difficulty in helping Fidrmuc get a Portuguese visa.? was also a major stockholder in the firm of Tresmafil (electrical cable manufacturer) S.A. (think of Ltd.) in Bilbao/San Sebastian region as a possible base for operations, should the English ever invade Portugal or if, for some other reason, he could not operate from Portugal. Fidrmuc had a further reason for going for going to Bilbao. He wanted to get a touch with a Spanish chemical manufacturer in Bilbao, whom he had met in Hamburg before the war. A Guzman of the Union Qui-?mica. Guzman had connections with England and Fidrmuc hoped to win him over as an agent.
Brucker had already arrived in San Sebastian by the time the Fidrmucs reached the town, and everything went according to schedule. In eight days Fidrmuc had his visa and the party proceeded by car to Oporto, Portugal. Fidrmuc had found Guzman in Bilbao, but failed to win him as an agent.
They took rooms in a small resort town of Granja outside Oporto. The reason Fidrmuc chose to go first to Oporto was that all business connections with fish canneries and with wine merchants were at that time in Matozinhos, near Oporto.
KV 2/199-2, page 14s
Fidrmuc came to terms with Brucker on the conduct of their newly-founded firm, Brucker-Traus Ltda., in which Fidrmuc had a thirty percent share interest. Brucker was to return to Brusselsm and Fidrmuc would stay in Portugal. Efforts would be made to start a Portuguese-Belgian compensation agreement (Clearing?). Brucker had excellent contacts with the Belgian Service d'Approvisionnnements. Fidrmuc was to establish contact with the Portuguese authorities. Through the Abwehr (AOB: the KO Portugal factually was attached to the German Legation at Rua Buenos Aires), Fidrmuc was assured of a certain import quota of canned tuna and chinchard from the Reichsstelle. he was also to act as buying agent for the Vereinigte Korkindustrie A.G. and for the Reichsstelle für Waren Verschiedener Art. For the latter he was to purchase Portuguese brandy.
In 1 August 1940, Fidrmuc and his wife left Granja for Lisbon, where they took rooms in the Hotel du Parque in Estoril. Fidrmuc's plan of operations was to get in touch as quickly as possible with Mos (Middle East) and Tor (England), to establish contacts in Portuguese and other circles in Lisbon as sources of intelligence, to write purely economic reports for the German Economics Office, to continue his contributions to technical journals, to compose surveys of the military situation, the course? of the war, etc., and to start business with Belgium and Germany.
(3) Relations With KO Portugal.
Prior to his departure from Berlin, Fidrmuc had been given strict orders to be seen as little as possible with members of KO Portugal. Only one member of the KO was to act as his letter-box. He was to give his reports only to this one person, who would in turn hand him messages or funds from Berlin. In cases of emergency, this person could be called upon to help him, but under no circumstances would the KO meddle in this affairs, nor he theirs. There was to be no exchange of intelligence and Fidrmuc was not to consider himself subordinated to the KO (Kriegsorganisation), but entirely independent, answerable only to Abwehr HQ Berlin. During was personally connected with Obst/Lt von Karshoff (alias: Ludovico arrived in 1942 in Portugal) (real name Obstlt. Wilhelm Kremer von Auenrode), Oblt. Kurrer (Otto Kamler @ Heribert), and Since about Spring 1944 Dr. Alois Schreiber. In time he learned at least the names of other members of the KO, but had little to do with them.
In September 1940, Karsthoff received letters and funds from Berlin for Fidrmuc and established contact with him. Fidrmuc made a practice of visiting Karsthoff (= alias) at his home in Estoril. To avoid attention, he always went after dusk and entered the house through the rear door screened by a small wood in the back of the house (Chalet Igloo). Fidrmuc got on well with Karsthoff. Both were Austrian, had similar tastes and agreed on many things. They found out in their conversations that Fidmuc's uncle had been Karsthoff's professor at the Gymnasium in Trieste. Months later when Fidrmuc rented the Chalet Igloo in the Rua Alfonso Henriques in Estoril, visited Karsthoff with his wife. (AOB: actually his mistress Mausi = Frl. Sauermann married Craemer (Kremer?) von Auenrode end of 1944 or begin of 1945; he left Portugal some months after April 1944)
In Fidrmuc's opinion, Karsthoff was extremely able and clever, but too lenient (merciful) with his subordinates. He himself kept his secretary as his mistress, a very clever and efficient girl, whom he later married. He condoned similar practices among his subordinates and was on the whole too soft. He spent a great deal of deal of money and let the KO expand too much.
His knowledge of military affairs was extraordinary, but he knew less about the air forces. He had an excellent memory and could evaluate reports. One of his greatest assets was his ability to win friendship of the Portuguese. On the whole he was not very communicative on intelligence matter, nor was he inquisitive concerning Fidrmuc's work. Fidrmuc is quite certain that Karsthoff took his reports, which were seal in double envelopes, and forwarded them to Berlin without reading them, Now and then he took Fidrmuc into his confidence, telling him bits about his connections Fidrmuc into his confidence, telling him bits about his connections with the Portuguese Police and Consuls, and about his connections with the United States. In this way Fidrmuc learned about the agent Kaul → (SR/27) and about another agent in Washington DC,
KV 2/199-2, page 15t (V2086 ↓↓↓↓↓ V2086return)
(SR/27) and about another agent in Washington DC, who was in W/T communication with Karsthoff (Karsthof?). The latter was a Yugoslav, who Fidrmuc suspected was in some way connected with the Yugoslav Legation. His reports were unsatisfactory and the relation broke off the end of 1941 or early 1942. Fidrmuc is quite certain that Karsthoff also had agents in the West Indies, for he had been in contact with some Dutch refugees in Caldas da Rainha, before they sailed for Curacao (Dutch colony), Jamaica, and Barbados in the Summer of 1941, He had had frequent clandestine meetings with these Dutchmen in a tavern in Obidos, and Fidrmuc believes that he came to terms with at least a few of them. (AOB: Ludovico von Karsthoff (Wilhelm Kremer/Craemer von Auenrode), apparently passed away in a fire at a Prisoner Camp after the war in central Europe)
Fidrmuc considers Karsthoff's contacts with the Police and Consuls his best sources of information. He is sure that he had access to the most confidential Portuguese consular reports from the United States, England and other countries.
On one occasion Fidrmuc advised Karsthoff on a method of getting funds to the United States without arousing suspicion. The money was given to a Portuguese cambista, who ordered one pound of gold from Capetown, South Africa, gold-dealer with instructions to send the gold to one of the large New York banks for the account of Mr. X (Fidrmuc was not told the name of the recipient). A fictitious American name was used as remitter.
Karsthoff was recalled to Berlin early in 1944 (think of April 1944, but due to transport by airline of his belongings did not leave Portugal before August 1944), and left Lisbon in a violent rage. It was rumoured that he was captured by the Russians and recently perished in a prison-camp fire.
In Autumn 1942, when Karsthoff moved to Lisbon (thus was arriving there) Fidrmuc was instructed to hand his reports to Kurrer @ Kammler (Oblt. Otto Kamler @ Heribert), who was to be his liaison with the KO. Fidrmuc liked Kurrer personally, but found him to be extremely unreliable. He was never punctual for appointments, was too talkative, and carried on numerous affairs with women. He was known to be very anglophile, was for a time the lover of Mme Lacerda, a British agent, and was interested in the pianist in the Wonder Bar in Estoril a Canadian woman. (AOB: Mme Lacerda lived in Fidrmuc's rented Chalet Igloo; she provided to S.I.S., on daily bases, what occurred in Fidrmuc's rooms; including searching through Fidrmuc documents!) Fidrmuc is certain that Kurrer opened and read his reports before forwarding them to Berlin. He failed to get along with Karsthoff, and eventually recalled to Berlin despite his excellent relations with the Canaris family.
For a short time Kurrer's ex-secretary, Frl. Kraas (Craas), acted as Fidrmuc's liaison with the KO. (she became a very close friend of Ragmor Fidrmuc's wife) She never asked asked any questions and Fidrmuc never discussed anything with her, He believes however, that she discussed him with her close colleague/friend Frl. von Gronau, a Secretary at the German Legation, who was the mistress of Johann Jebsen, the agent who mysteriously disappeared from Estoril in the Spring of 1944 (29/30 April kidnapped at the KO office and instantly brought to Biarritz in France by car. (https://www.cdvandt.org/kv-2-560-wrede-artist.htm) Fidrmuc heard of the disappearance when Frl Kraas rushed over to his house in great excitement, saying that here friend Frl. von Gronau had gone to Jebsen's apartment (she possessed the key to it as being Jebsen's mistress) and had found it in terrible disorder and no one around (see CI-RIR/7) Fidrmuc is certain that Jebsen had been able to find out all Frl. von Gronau knew about Fidrmuc. On the day following Jebsen's disappearance, Frl. Kraas was recalled to Berlin. (AOB: it took at least one or two weeks before they actually left Lisbon) Fidrmuc never saw her again, but she wrote to Mrs. Fidrmuc a number of times, saying that she was getting on well and had become engaged. Fidrmuc claims to have since learned that her father is now a high-ranking German Official with the Russian Military Government in Berlin.
Dr. Alois (Aloys) Schreiber was Fidrmuc's last liaison officer with the K.O. Although Fidrmuc felt that Schreiber was not up to the job (he did not speak Portuguese nor Spanish and, I believe, English), he got along with him well. He found him very correct, very punctual, and extremely reliable. He claims never to have discussed intelligence matters with Schreiber. He handed him his reports and received messages from Berlin through him.
(22) (since 19 August 2023)
KV 2/199-2, page 16u
(4) Intelligence Sources in Portugal.
Once established in Estoril, Fidrmuc began to court the favour of numerous influential Portuguese in order to exploit them for his reports to Berlin. In time he came to know a number of people prominent in banking and industrial circles, and among what he terms the "jeunesse doree" (young people of wealth and fashion) of Estoril. None of his friends and acquaintances in Portuguese circles, he states, knew that he was working for the Abwehr, although he was known of course as a German with sufficient connections to report everything back to the Reich. Among the Portuguese residents he exploited for intelligence purposes were:
Dr. Franzisco Gentil, a well-known lawyer and brother-in-law of the secretary of the Portuguese Legation in London.
J. Borges of Borges Irmaos Bank.
Jao Santa Maria de Moraes, first secretary of the Portuguese Embassy in Madrid.
Dr. D. Pacheco, the pro-German Portuguese Minister of Public Works.
Vizconde Marco, member of the Roual British Club and prominent in the English set of Estoril.
Marques de Saldanha, friend of the Countess Hoyos.
F. Amado, brother-in-law of the Portuguese Ambassador in London, Duque de Palmela.
Ricardo Espirito Santo, director of the Espirito Santo Bank.
Nuno de Vasco, industrialist in non-ferrous metal industry.
Nuno Almeda, cousin of the Portuguese Ambassador in London.
H. Rogeiro, director of the Espirito Santo Bank.
Fernando de Castro, member of the Royal British Club.
Viscoonde de Fizcalho, member of the Royal British Club.
Baron Franz von Dirstay.
Dr. Gonzalvez of the Uniao Fabril.
Paul Falusch, wine merchant. (Hungarian, whom had lived before the war also in England)
In seeking Portuguese contacts, Fidrmuc exploited the Allied blacklist, for these merchants were forced into doing business with Germany and were more than willing to denounce the nations responsible for their blacklisting. One of Fidrmuc's business agents was a Hungarian, Bartolomco de Nagy, who was his buyer for canned fish and for cork. De Nagy, who was very familiar with the Portuguese business world, was also on the Allied blacklist, and Fidrmuc used him to recruit other merchants banned from trading → with the Allies.
KV 2/199-2, page 17v
with the Allies. Fidrmuc maintained a scheduled two hours each Tuesday and Thursday to receive these merchants in his office, and would listen to their tales of woe (grief). Sometimes he bought from them, but on the whole he was more interested in hearing their complaints against the Allies. If a merchant appeared who had had important commercial relations with England, the United States, or Africa, Fidrmuc would invite him a number of times to his office. (at Brucker-Traus' Office?) Most of the information gleaned from conversations with blacklisted merchants was insignificant, but often important intelligence came to light, and through these conversations Fidrmuc was able to keep posted on many phases of Allied economic policies.
Fidrmuc claims that while in Portugal he was not interested in expanding his agent network, firstly because it was difficult to find anyone capable of delivering highgrade intelligence whom he could trust to send abroad during wartime, and secondly his Portuguese sources supplied him with sufficient general information to keep him busy most of the time. Furthermore, the acquisition of additional agents would increase the risk of detection not only of himself but also of his agents in England (Tor) and the Near East (Mos). He has listed the following persons as agents he might have recruited but failed to do so for the reasons just mentioned:
L. Toussaint was a French emigrant whom Fidrmuc brought in contact with Kurrer (Oblt. Otto Kamler @ Heribert). He was sent to Belgian Congo where he was to enter into intelligence relations with a German national Roubaud of the German Sardines Commission. The entire affair was handled so clumsily that Roubaud was arrested and sentenced to five or six months in prison.
Dr. Ender (= Oelmann), the son of the ex-Austrian premier, had been sent to Portugal by Abwehr HQ Berlin and was intended for work in London, where he was to pose as a refugee. He was offered to Fidrmuc as an agent, but Fidrmuc refused to use him because he was too well-known to the KO and to Berlin, and because his addiction to alcohol loosened the tongue too frequently. Furthermore, he was too well-known in Lisbon, and the fact that he worked for the |German firm of Otto Wolf (von Amerongen) in Portugal spoiled him for any intelligence assignment in England. Ender was a protegé of Sonderführer (Sdf.) (Dr.) Weiss, who, it seems, was bent on getting him to London. The plan never worked out, although Kurrer (Kamler) asked Fidrmuc what types of funds he should give Ender when he left for England. Fidrmuc advised against the use of cash and offered to buy jewellery for him to take along. He purchased some Austrian jewellery valued at forty thousand escudos from Berlin Distray and gave it to Kurrer (Kamler) (KV 2/1962, PF 305470) Some time later, Berlin asked Fidrmuc if he could re-sell the jewellery since Ender was going to England. Ender was very friendly with the American Naval Attaché Rousseau in Lisbon and with the American journalist Karl von Wiegand, but failed to exploit them for intelligence purposes. In 1944 he was approached by the English, who asked him to supply them with information on his trip to Germany and France in 1944.
Baron Franz von Dirstay was Hungarian, married to an Englishwoman. By profession he was an art dealer and had worked for some years in America, German and French museums. During World War I he was a captain in Austrian Intelligence and had been active in Holland and Sweden. Dirstay was exceptionally well-informed and would have made an excellent agent. In 1942 his remittances from the United States stopped, and he came into dire financial straits. Fidrmuc lent him money or bought valuables for him, but never tried to win him as an agent, considering him just another of his intelligence sources in Portugal. For a while he toyed with the idea of sending him to the United States as an agent, and even worked out a method of how to go about it, but finally decided against the plan because Dirstay was getting on in years (in his sixties) and had begun to talk too much. It was doubtful whether → he would be willing to undertake the risk at his age.
KV 2/199-2, page 18w
he would be willing to undertake the risk at his age.
Paul Falusch was a Jewish refugee from Hungary, who had lived for many years in England and left at the end of 1940. He was connected in a small way with British Intelligence, but Fidrmuc is certain he could have won him over because he was badly paid and was not well treated. He was in the wine and spirits export business, which was not flourishing at the time, and Fidrmuc did him a favour of purchasing cognac from him for Germany. In 1942, Falusch began to supply Gibraltar with Koppke brandy and in 1943 began to ship brandy to the Anglo-Americans in North Africa. Fidrmuc is certain that Falusch would have worked for him as an agent, fir he gave him valuable intelligence on North Africa at the time. One of the reasons he did not recruit him was that he never fully trusted him. He is quite certain that Falusch reported to British Intelligence on person of Fidrmuc in Autumn 1944.
The French Count H. de Thibaut was in the Vichy Legation in Lisbon and enjoyed excellent relations with Admiral Leahy and many other Americans, whom he had known before the war from Paris and the Riviera. Fidrmuc managed to established very guarded relations with the Count, and found that he wanted to join the French Embassy in Washington. Fidrmuc worked out a careful plan to use him as an agent, but the Count did not go. Instead, he was called to Vichy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vichy_France)and Fidrmuc let the matter drop. He asked Karsthoff (Leiter KO Portugal) whether he could use him. Karsthoff passed the information to Ast Paris, but Fidrmuc does not know whether the Count worked for the Abwehr while in Vichy.
In 1941, Fidrmuc made an unsuccessful attempt to approach the American author Proposch, who lived in Estoril from 1940 to 1941. Prokosch was well-known in society, was a goof friend of the Baron von Friesen and the Russian Count Shuvalov, who was an agent of Karsthoff. When Fidrmuc learned that that prokosch was returning to the United States, he tried to win him as an agent, but did not proceed very far before realizing that the attempt would not succeed. In 1943, Prokosch passed through Estoril on his way to London. Fidrmuc advised Kurrer (Oblt. Otto Kamler @ Heribert) to try to contact Prokosch. Kurrer only smiled and remarked that this time he had been quicker than Fidrmuc. Fidrmuc, however, placed no dredence in his answer, for he was discounted at least fifty percent of Kurrer's remarks.
(5) Intelligence from Portuguese Sources.
The information Fidrmuc was able to glean from his numerous contacts in Portugal consisted of rumours, bits of conversations, exaggerations, speculations, and actual intelligence. His task was to sort the wheat from the chaff, to evaluate, and to present the material in his reports to Berlin. As examples of the type of information forwarded by him to Berlin from Portuguese sources he was giving the following:
Through an indiscretion of the British Air Attaché Air Commodore Ch...? in the Royal British Club, Fidrmuc first learned of the impending Casablanca conference (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casablanca_Conference). Mention was made of a special "air cover screen" to be provided as far as Casablanca.
From the editor of the magazine "Revista Aeronautica" he learned a great many details on British aircraft production. The editor has excellent connections and amazingly well informed both on British and American aircraft production. Fidrmuc often used his figures to check the information received from Tor (KV 2/240 ..KV 2/241 Rudolf Ratschitsky) (I doubt the trueness of what Fidrmuc is telling) on the same subject.
Through his banking connections, he learned much about British financing, particularly the shifting of accounts, and where purchases in bulk were being made.
KV 2/199, page 19x
From a director of the Compagnie dÁfrique Occidentale, a fierce anti-Gaullist, he received intelligence on ship movements in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where convoys were organized, and intelligence from West Africa (Dakar, Accra, Duala, Lagos, etc.).
The Portuguese agreement with the United States and Great Britain concerning the Azores was known to him through Jao Santa Maria de Moraes three weeks before it was signed. Berlin informed the German Minister (head of the Legation, Baron Huehne, but it was to counteract the move (as the Allies had occupied the Azores anyway!).
From the bartender Felix in the Palacio Hotel in Estoril, Fidrmuc learned of the arrival of the American aircraft carrier Wasp in European waters. Felix was anti-Communist and a Germanophile, and Fidrmuc had gained his confidence. His bar was frequented by many Allied fliers, and he passed on whatever he heard to Fidrmuc. Thus Fidrmuc learned of the arrival in Gibraltar of the Canadian steamer Andania with troops bound for Italy, of important personalities arriving by plane, and even corroboration of the Casablanca meeting (January 1943).
Fidrmuc received further corroboration of the Casablanca meeting from Luiz, whose true name was Carlos Coelho de Silva e Costa. Luiz was in the pay of the British and had many English and American friends, among the American Commercial Attaché, Mr. Fisher.
From Armando he learned of the effects of air raids on London, bath, and Plymouth following the return of the Duque de Palmela from a visit to England.
Fidrmuc also received details on the OPA organisation in Washington from Borges, who had good connections with the United States..
The Azores Agreement was also confirmed to Fidrmuc by Dr. Pacheco, whom Fidrmuc considered to be one of his best sources in Portugal.
Dr. Gentil confirmed numerous Tor reports (KV 2/240 ..KV 2/241 Rudolf Ratschitsky), for example, a report on shipments to Murmansk, which he found out through the Portuguese Foreign Office.
The Marques de Saldanha told Fidrmuc about de Gaulle's organisation and its underground activity in Lisbon.
Ricardo Espirito Santo kept him posted on American and British banking transactions of importance.
Numerous stories of the happenings in the Royal British Club were told to him by Vizconde Marco, for example, who had a brother with what regiment in Egypt, and what squadron leader he had been transferred from Cairo to Malta. from the names, Fidrmuc was frequently able to find out the unit designations.
Dr. Lecanstre of the Portuguese Ministry of Industry and Commerce informed him of the American purchases of manganese ores in Brazil, chrome ores in Turkey, etc. and it was possible to determine urgency of the orders from the prices paid and from the shipping priority.
During the entire war, F. Manzos of the tin meting cartel in Portugal supplied Fidrmuc with exact reports on the tin stockpiles in many countries, with statistics showing how long such stockpiles would last.
KV 2/199-2, page 20y
Conde de Peniche was very well informed on de Gaulle affairs, on the North African situation, and through a cousin in Goa, India, knew a great deal about India and east Africa, which reached Fidrmuc's ears.
In 1940, shortly after his arrival from London, Falusch supplied Fidrmuc with many details on the bombings and on living conditions in England. The best intelligence Fidrmuc received from him dealt with the dispatching and arrival of convoys in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He also told him about conditions in Dakar, and about large RAF installations at Bathurst.
Fernando da Castro and the Viconde de Fizcalho often repeated to Fidrmuc conversations hear in the Royal British Club dealing with the most varied topics, such as the Casablanca conference and transfer of troops from Egypt to England.
(6) The Ostro Reports.
What came to be known as the Ostro reports were Fidrmuc's compilation of al intelligence material reaching him from his agent Tor (which's story I still have my strong doubts) in England and his agent Mos in the Near East, plus the intelligence he was able to gather from his numerous and varied sources in Portugal. Fidrmuc insists that he was unaware of the code name Ostro, which must be assigned to his reports by Berlin. (AOB: or it was managed at KOP before the bulk of messages had been conveyed by means of W/T to HIOB) (HIOB = Heer I Ost Berlin) (H = Army; Intelligence Section I; Section area East (originated from his starting days) Berlin) He knows that his early reports often carried the designation C.H. Bierstedt, which were the initials of his wife's grandfather, under which he had published a few articles, and he further states that at least as early 1943 he signed some special reports with the code name Camoes (revealed as code name by Kurrer (= Oblt. Otto Kamler @ Heribert). (AOB: we will, indeed acknowledge the signature Camoes several times in the decrypted RSS intercepts in the KV 2/201 serials) Prior to the war he sometimes used the name Gothe, and he assumes that some one assigned to him the first part of the name Ostrogothe (?). He never was addressed by the name Ostro.
At least twice a month Fidrmuc composed a report for Berlin, which might contain only information from Portugal or also might include material from Tor (AOB: the latter I don't trust) and Mos, if available. The report was placed in a double envelope and given to the designated member of the KO, whose duty it was to forward the report to berlin, either through the courier service of the Embassy or W/T.
In Portugal, Fidrmuc adopted the following system in writing his reports. prior to 1942 each report was given a code name, either the name of the town or a personal name, to identify it. Thus this might be a Josefine report (as were equally maintained by Dr. Karl Heinz Kraemer in Stockholm (KV 2/144 ... KV 2/156; available on our website too) or on Anna report, but these names were purely for designation and did not refer to intelligence sources (as were the case in Kraemer's context). Beginning of 1942, Fidrmuc began to dispense with the names and to substitute numbers. The year was expressed in Roman numbers and the number of the report in Arabic numbers (1,2,3,4,...); thus Report III/14 would be the fourteenth report submitted in 1943. Each country was assigned a letter, and material dealing with this country was marked with the letter. Fidrmuc changed these letters each year. In 1944 and 1945 he used the following letters:
E United States
S Palestine, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Arabia
L Iran (Persia)
U Northern Ireland (Ulster)
W North Africa (Algiers, Morocco, etc.)
KV 2/199-2, page 21z
If occasionally some other country was mentioned in the report, Fidrmuc would refer to the specifically by name. He also assigned a number to each item under the various countries. A report written in Spring 1944 containing an item sent by Tor on the American airborne divisions would be marked in the following manner:
15 April IV/8
E/58 1) Report received from Tor that American Airborne Divisions 82s and 101st are stationed in such and such camps. HQ is located at such and such place. Commanding officers are so on so. Equipment such and such. Morale etc.
2) There is no corroboration of this report in Lisbon.
3) My personal opinion is that report is reliable, since former reports showed arrival and probable location which coincides with above information, etc. etc.
Fidrmuc observed this pattern of source, confirmation,, and personal observation, for each intelligence item. As a result the reports were split up in such a way that Berlin did not always know exactly where the intelligence originated, but in Fidrmuc's opinion this method improved the appearance of the reports and made more correct analysis of the intelligence. Berlin encouraged him to continue this method. Berlin did not know the names of his agents nor the means of communication employed by Fidrmuc in keeping in touch with them.
Fidrmuc designated his reports originating in Portugal as the Wei reports (Wei = Weinberg = Portugal). He claims that Berlin evaluated the reports approximately as follows:
Tor. 5-10% particularly valuable.
20-25% - valuable
10-15% - Incorrect or doubtful
remainder - nondescript
Mos. 10 - 15% particularly valuable
15 - 20% valuable
15 - 20% incorrect or doubtful
remainder nondescript (AOB: these existed but then considered MSS = Most Secret Source)
Wei. 2-5% particularly valuable
25-30% - valuable
5-10% - incorrect or doubtful
Fidrmuc estimates that the Tor and Mos reports dealt 40-50% with air force matters, 25-35% with army affairs, 10-15% with naval affairs and shipping, and, and the remainder with general economic topics, whereas the Wei reports dealt 5-10% with air force matters, 10-15% with army affairs, 5-10% with naval matters, 15-20% with raw materials and production of strategic was material, and the rest with items of general interest to the Abwehr.
(AOB: Wei = Weinberg = cover name for Portugal)
To guard the secrecy of his reports and to insure the steady flow of intelligence to Berlin, Fidrmuc claims to have adhered strictly to the following principles. he included as few people as possible in the entire operation, restricting himself to a few agents whom he could trust and who trusted him. he never submitted a report or a questionnaire to Berlin written in secret ink. He avoided any type of payment to his agents which might have to pass official scrutiny. he mistrusted all superiors and equals in → the Abwehr and never disclosed to them the actual sources of his intelligence nor his method of communication.
KV 2/199-2, page 199-2, page 22aa
the Abwehr and never disclosed to them the actual sources of his intelligence nor his method of communication. By following this intelligence nor his methods of communications. By following these principles he felt certain that no report abroad would ever be traced to him, and he would always be able to maintain his cover.
(7) Ostro Reports of Special Significance.
Occasionally Fidrmuc uncovered information which had to be relayed to Berlin quickly, or was of such nature that it had to be dealt with in separate report. Such an occasion arose in August 1943 when Fidrmuc succeeded in rifling the pockets of the British Ambassador to Portugal, Sir Ronald Campbell. On 24 August 1943, Fidrmuc was spending a few hours alone on a beach (with his canoe) near the village of Arrabide, known as the Praia da Coelho, when a boat bearing three persons put in at the beach. Fidrmuc recognised the British Ambassador Sir Ronald Campbell, but could not identify the other man and the woman. While the party went swimming, the tide receded, leaving the boat stranded. Fidrmuc offered to help them launch the boat again and they gladly accepted, as they were having difficulty in getting the boat through the heavy sand to the water. Once the boat was in the water, they asked him if he wouldn't keep an eye on their belongings on the beach while they explored the nest cove in the boat. Fidrmuc assured them he would be glad to look after their things during their absence. Once the boat was around the point, he knew that he would be at least thirty minutes before they could return since the current was against them, so he did not hesitate to go through the pockets of the clothes they had left behind. He soon discovered from the papers that the other gentleman was Britain's special ambassador Charles Morgan and that the lady was Mrs. Morgan. Among Morgan's papers he found a notebook with two entries of significance, one reading: "July - 9,000 esc. to Prince Sergei", and the other, "7,000 esc. to Luiz". Fidrmuc was familiar with both names and knew the entries that they were both in the pay of the British.
In going through Sir Ronald's papers, Fidrmuc found a pocket diary, from which he memorized the following entries:
(Approximate Reconstruction of Sir Ronald's Pocket Diary for August 1943)
17 Montanari Sacavem
Castellano 11 A.M. S. informed two cars
- - -
18 Lunch 12n air com. c. present
Strong, Smith number of passports?
- - -
19 S.S.M.C., 7.30 P.M. dinner O.M.C.F.Z. present
- - -
20 Terms agreed E.h. bafflrd(?) Maestro offended Lui as Orlog
- - -
21 N.B. W/T Placet
- - -
Sir Ronald's party retuned from their excursion and after exchanging the usual greetings, Fidrmuc left in his boat to return to Arribida.
Since he was on a holiday, Fidrmuc did not return to Lisbon before 27 August, when he visited Karsthoff and showed him the results of his findings. In studying the notes they reached the following conclusions:
Monaneri meant consul, Castellano, a general in the Italian GHQ.
Strong and Smith were American generals, Sacavem was the Lisbon airport. S.S.M.C. referred to Smith, Strong, Montanari and the Castellano, O.M.C .F.Z. were others present but unknown. Air com. C. referred to the British Air Attaché. E,h. referred to Eisenhower, → Maestro was the nickname for Badoglio, and Lui the nickname for Mussolini.
KV 2/199-2, page 23ab
Maestro was the nickname for Badoglio, and Lui the nickname for Mussolini. Fidrmuc and Karsthoff could not decipher the meaning of "baffled" or "offended". Orlog, which means old battleships, might be a reference to Mussolini. They supposed that N.B. referred to Noel Baker, Churchill's secretary. Fidrmuc and Karsthoff could only conclude that something was in the air, that an important meeting had taken place, and that Badoglio and Castellano were conspiring with the Allies. Fidrmuc wrote a special report and forwarded it to Berlin. Berlin's only reaction was a reprimand to Fidrmuc for not having stolen the diary.
In the Summer of 1941 Fidrmuc sent a special report to Berlin suggesting the establishment of a German submarine base on the coast of Arabia. from Mos he had learned that the Emir of Oman would be willing to supply German submarines with rations and fuel in return for an annual subsidy of thirty thousand British pounds, and the promise that the entire southern coast of Arabia from Aden to Oman would come under the rule of the Emir of Oman in case of a German victory. A point of the eastern coast of Arabia was mentioned as the fuelling point for German submarines operating in the Indian Ocean. The Seekriegsleitung (Skl.) approved the plan, and in the latter part of 1941 or early 1942 dispatched a submarine to the designated point on the coast, and the captain of this submitted a very favourable report on the plan. Mos then reported that a Yemen diplomat, Dr. Adan Tarzici, was on his way to London and would discuss the entire plan with Fidrmuc in Lisbon. Fidrmuc met Tarzici in the home of Dr. R. Faria, an Indian living in Estoril, and agreement was reached on all points concerning the submarine base, its organisation, extent of supplies, payment in Maria Theresia Thaler and in gold be put into operation, but three weeks later received that reply that Hitler (der Führer) had disapproved of the plan and the whole matter had been dropped. Fidrmuc believes that the British finally learned of the plan (AOB: not unlikely through RSS intercepts), and that as a consequence, the entire Arabian coast up to Oman was formally occupied in 1945.
Another special report concerning Mos suggested the use of one of his agents in Russia, In Autumn 1941, Mos told Fidrmuc that his agent in Baghdad who had sent in excellent reports since 1939, was going to Russia. Berlin was interested and asked Fidrmuc if the man could not report first to Ankara before entering Russia. Mos agreed to the plan and gave Fidrmuc the name of his agent, which was Abdullabhoz Faizullabhoy Goriwalla, a Moslem from Turkestan (Turkmenistan?). Fidrmuc forwarded to Mos the address in Ankara where the man was to report, and Ankara was given the man's name. Apparently the plan worked, for in March 1944, Obst. Hansen (AOB: Obst. i.G. Georg Alexander Hansen) informed Fidrmuc Fidrmuc that the man had proved of excellent value. He had gone to Russia early 1942 and had stayed in Tiflis or Baku, after having first arranged communications with Turkey. Although he did not inform him of the contents of the reports, Hansen told Fidrmuc that they had been of great importance. In Autumn 1943,Goriwalla returned to Iraq. He was in the hardware business and was probably supplying the Russian Army with merchandise from Iraq, and for this reason returned to Baghdad, H's address there was Kirkuk Street. In 1944 he continued to supply Mos with intelligence, but in a lesser than before his trip to Russia.
A special Ostro report which created considerable comment in Berlin was the Moritz Plan report. (AOB: Moritz messages were regularly related to Richard Kauder @ Klatt) Fidrmuc had gradually increased his output of special reports on the military and political situation, which he had begun to write in Italy. He had written on such subjects as "Revision of Mediterranean Warfare", "Plan to Counteract the Activity of the UK Commercial Corporation in Africa", "Organisation of Intelligence Against Russia Through Iraq and Iran", etc. His Moritz Plan called for the sweeping changes in Germany's commitment of her air, ground, and naval forces in the West in order to bring Great Britain to her knees in the shortest possible time.
KV 2/199-2, page 24ac partially
(8) Personal Contacts With Abwehr Hq Berlin.
Fidrmuc believes that he first came to the attention of the Abwehr through personal relationship with Herbert Wichmann* of Ast Hamburg, who was in the same rowing club with Fidrmuc in Hamburg, although Wichmann never approached him on the matter himself. Another personal friend was Maj. Hans Pirner, a cousin of Fidrmuc's wife (Ragmor), who was close to Canaris. Pirner went to China in 1943 with the German Military Mission aiding Chiang Kai-shek, and returned in 1938 to retire from active service. In 1939, Fidrmuc learned that Pirner had recommended him to the Abwehr.
While active for the Abwehr, Fidrmuc came into contact with a number of Abwehr officers, and during his stay in Portugal Berlin sent eighteen to twenty officers on various occasions to seek him out personally. Fidrmuc recalls visits from Canaris, Piekenbrock, Scholtz, Kleyenstüber, Kuebart, Obst. Hansen, Obstlt. von Engelbrecht, Bayer, von Carnap, Obst. Maurer, Obstlt. Dewitz and others, whose names he fails to recall. The meetings with these officers usually took place in the Legation in Lisbon (Rua Buenos Aires) Fidrmuc would be called ostensibly to see the Commercial Attaché on business, but actually to report to one or more of the Abwehr officers. In these meetings he would be asked his opinion of the current situation or asked to explain why he requested release from his duties, as he had done in some reports in Berlin. At times he had to speak for hours on some given subjects. He recalls a long dis→cussion he conducted for Obst Hansen in the latter part of 1943 on the necessity of
KV 2/199-2, page 25ad
discussion he conducted for Obst. Hansen in the latter part of 1943 on the necessity of withdrawing German troops from North Africa as soon as possible, and not to send any more to the front. (AOB: By far outside the competence of Hansen, as it was the OKW, in casu, Hitler, who actually decided) With Bayer who was an aircraft expert, Fidrmuc discussed the RAF for hours. During his visit Dewitz brought huge charts showing everything the OKW knew about the RAF and the American air forces in Great Britain, so that Fidrmuc would see what information was lacking. Obst. Maurer was more interested in the political situation, whereas Admiral let Fidrmuc speak without interruption.
Toward the end of June 1944, Fidrmuc was asked to attend a meeting at the inn of
the Spanish bordertown of Elvas. He was to take room there and await the arrival
of some gentlemen from Berlin and Madrid, who turned out be Obstlt. von
Engelbrecht (Karl Heinz Engelhorn) the aide-de-camp of Obst. Hansen,
Obstlt. Kieckenbursch (Chef
I KO Spain)
Obstlt. von Deewitz Dewitz of the Luftwaffenstab (Milamt)
The purpose of the conference was to discuss the general situation and to
express Hansen's congratulations for Fidrmuc's report on the invasion of France
ca. 1st June British decrypt
to be dealt with extensively in the KV 2/201 file series;
decrypt was kept hidden in their RSS retrospectives!).
Fidrmuc was briefed on what Berlin wished to find out from England, so that he
might direct his agent there, and then the plan was worked out whereby Fidrmuc
could inform Berlin as to which city would be the next target of the RAF (see
IIR/59). It was further suggested in the conference that Fidrmuc
established contact with Countess Hoyos for frequently Abwehr Hq. Berlin
had received highly important intelligence from her, which she had obtained from
personnel of the Americam Embassy in Lisbon. Fidrmuc refused the
assignment, but later heard the rumour that through her Berlin Berlin had
learned details of the Yalta Conference (4-11
During his entire stay in Portugal, Fidrmuc made only one trip to Berlin, when his wife spent two weeks in Germany March 1944. In Berlin, Fidrmuc reported to Oblt. von Carnap (U2037 U2037return), who has been his case officer since 1942 and through whom all Ostro reports had been channelled for distribution to the evaluators. He also saw Dewitz and was invited in to the Home of Hansen in Rangsdorf (Grenzweg 1). There Hansen presented him with the Iron Cross I and II Class (curious as the Iron Cross was generally given for military action in combat). In this context strange: In Lisbon in 1943, Karsthoff (Leiter KO Portugal) had already presented with cluster in recognition of his services. (AOB: curious on other occasions, during Fidrmuc US interrogations, was declared: that he obtained, correctly, a so-called: Kriegsverdienstkreuz II class with clusters in recognition of his services to the Abwehr. (AOB: My best friend Rudolf Staritz, during the war W/T operator in the Abwehr; Rudolf also obtained a K.v.K. II. As he did not directly was concerned in combat lively; but indirectly he certainly was).
(9) Contacts With Other intelligence Agencies.
Fidrmuc was aware that other intelligence agencies in Portugal in 1940 as a "businessman", alone was enough to arouse suspicion. he considered it wise, however, not to increase these suspicions by acting the spy, and refused Berlin's suggestion that he work under an alias. Instead, he appeared only under under his right name and let the normal suspicions run their course. He was certain that no one would detect his methods of communication with his agents nor would they find out the names of these agents.
KV 2/100-2, page 26ae !! (AOB: not all British endeavours accomplished ultimately gloriously, but how to tell this to their ancestors? This, quite likely, might take, at least, a century. Considering that - sometime being smart - might ultimately prove to be at the end a "fata morgana".)
Fidrmuc is convinced that British Intelligence attempted to established contact with him in the Summer of 1944. At that time he was visited by an "Englishman", Mr. Carter, who stated that he had come to see him in the name of Air Commodore Fuller of the British Embassy in Lisbon. He showed Fidrmuc a letter which Fidrmuc had written on 3 September 1939 to the "Ironmonger" protesting the outbreak of the war and assuring them of his sympathies for Britain (see V2038 V2038return). Carter then asked him if he would not be willing to work for the British. They had a friendly chat, but Fidrmuc assured him that he was not interested in the proposition. Carter left with the words "think it over". Fidrmuc describes Carter as short, about 5'3" or 5'4", dark haired, dark complexion, clean shaven, excellent teeth, thin lips and dark eyes. He judged him to be Welsh. He spoke a English of the lower classes, not that of an English officer educated in an English public school.*
While in Portugal, Fidrmuc had no contact whatsoever with the PVDE, the Portuguese Secret Police, and he is quite sure that they did not suspect him of intelligence activity. (AOB: It may, however, be certainly that, in some way or another, the British Services have tried, various times, to get Fidrmuc expelled from Portugal; albeit, in vain, 99%. Without contact to the Portuguese Police such an endeavour would have been senseless.) He claims that this assurance was given to him by the Portuguese Police Captain Amado, with whom he had a long conversation in February 1945 when extending his residence card.
On the day before his repatriation to Germany in February 1946, while still in Barcelona, a German Jew, originally from Berlin, whose name Fidrmuc fails to recall, came to him with a introduction from A. Jung, a German, who managed SD finances in Spain during the war. The gentleman, from Berlin had become a subject of Uruguay in 1940 and was attached to the Uruguayan Legation in Spain. He showed Fidrmuc a photograph of a group of German and Russian officers taken in Russia, and pointing to one of the german officers said that this officer had given him Fidrmuc's name. Fidrmuc immediately recognised the Luftwaffe officer Bayer, who had visited him on numerous occasions in Lisbon in connection with his reports on the RAF, and whom Fidrmuc assumed to be the predecessor of von Dewitz. The person next to Bayer in the photograph was General-Oberst Schoerner DE (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Schörner) EN(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Schörner). Fidrmuc pretended to recognize no one in the picture, and his visitor went on to explain that Bayer was aide-de-camp of Schoerner (Schörner), who was establishing an ex-prisoner army somewhere in the Ukraine, Bayer had authorized the Uruguayan to get in touch with Fidrmuc and try to win him for the Schoerner cause. Fidrmuc told him that he recognised no one in the picture, and that in any case he was definitely not interested in the matter.
Before leaving Barcelona, Fidrmuc had a long talk with a police officer at the Jefatura de Police and asked him about the Uruguayan. The police officer told him that they suspected he was working for the Russians, that he was not a German Jew but originally from Odessa, and that he was related to the Chief of Russian Intelligence, Lavrebty Beria DE (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrenti_Beria) EN (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavrentiy_Beria), who is also from Odessa.
Fidrmuc has stated under oth that during his stay in Portugal he received approximately 2,800,000 escudos paid to him in cash through the KO Portugal against written receipts. He gives the following figures:
- - -
KV 2/199-2, page 27af
Received 1941 approximately 550,000 escudos
In 1945 he was to receive an additional payment of 300,000 escudos, but he claims that he never received it because he did not return to Portugal from Spain. He tried to have his part-payment in April 1945, but Camillo Frank (Brücker Straus?) refused to be involved in a transaction with the German Embassy. (AOB: The R.S.H.A. (Reichs Security) did notice KOP, as they lost direct contact (touch) with Fidrmuc in Barcelona; that he was granted 6 month salary for the days after Germany's surrender!; this is probably the money Fidrmuc is noticing of. This aspect will be dealt with; a proof is incorporated among the final messages intercepted by RSS at the end of April 1945; in KV 2/201 ...)
In 1941 he secured a loan from the Abwehr for the firm of Brucker-Traus Ltd. to the amount of 420,000 escudos. (AOB: probably used to pay for Fidrmuc's share in the Brucker-Traus company) This sum was paid back in December 1943 without interest. (AOB: this might be considered - in accordance to Fidrmuc's terms of the agreement with the Abwehr in Berlin: that he should be supported financially as to settle somewhere he decided for)
With the aid of Oblt. von Carnap of the Abwehr the firm Brucker-Straus Ltd. secured the following orders from the Reichsfischstelle:
1941 canned fish to the value of 2,000,000 escudos
The gross profit for Brucker-Traus Ltd. on canned fish was between seven to eight percent, or approximately three million escudos for the four years.
Fidrmuc claims that the Abwehr gave no further assistance to the firm Brucker-Traus Ltd.
He fails to recall and ill-considered business deal undertaken in the interest of the Abwehr. He remembers only one case where Brucker-Traus was accused of overpaying for an order of tuna fish for the Germans. The firm had bought at forty-three escudos per kilo and it was claimed that the price should have been only forty-one. After much correspondence they were able to prove that they had delivered a superior quality of tuna fish, not the "bonito" but the "ventresca" quality.
(11) Secret Inks.
Fidrmuc received only general instructions on the use of secret inks when he was then in Berlin. He was told, for instance, to rub the paper slightly with cotton before writing and to avoid the use of any hard or sharp object for writing in order not to disturb the pattern of the fibres. The best instrument for writing was a toothpick wrapped in a thin layer of cotton. This preserved the fibre pattern and also absorbed enough of the ink to act as a pen. Berlin warned him strictly not to dry the finish writing by the application of heat, such as with an iron or by placing the paper on a radiator. All messages were to printed in regular Latin letters and were not to be too small.
Fidrmuc chose to write always on completely blank pages of pamphlets and advertising material, or on such pages as were only half covered with printed matter. He never wrote between lines. He soon developed sufficient proficiency to be able to read back some fifteen or twenty words before they dried.
The ink he used most frequently was made by dissolving small, greyish-white, hard pellets of cotton, three or four millimetres in diameter, in a cup of water no less than one fifth but no more than one quarter of a litre. The pellets was left standing in the water for fifty or sixty minutes. After this period, the pellet, which floated in the water, was removed and thrown away. The resulting was colourless and almost without order.
KV 2/199-2, page 28ag
It smelled faintly of geranium. The liquid was harmless and tasted less and could be drunk with no ill effects. It was possible to mix eau de cologne without effecting the legibility of the writing. This was done only for camouflage purposes. In this case it was necessary to dilute the eau de cologne with fifty percent water.
A few such pallets were enough for years of writing and were easily disguised. They might be taken for "oropax", which are patented ear-stopper to permit sound sleeping.
Fidrmuc fails to recall the name of ink, but seems to remember that it was called by some masculine of feminine Christian name.
The developer of this ink is ordinary hydrochloric acid (Salzsäure), the type sold in the pharmacies and drugstores for cleaning enamel, pots, etc., not the concentrated variety used by chemical laboratories. It was easily obtainable. Since it is a household cleanser, it is entirely inconspicuous. To produce the developer, thirty-eight to forty-two drops of hydrochloric acid were dissolved in a large cup of water not exceeding half a litre but not less than two-fifths of a litre, In such a thin solution the repugnant order of the acid disappeared entirely. It retained its strength for approximately one month.
The developing was done by dipping a piece of cotton in the developer and then rubbing the paper with it. The invisible writing became legible immediately and remained so. At first the writing came out bluish-green, but when the paper dried it took a reddish tint, particularly around the edges of the of the letters.
Another ink used by Fidrmuc was also made by dissolving small cotton pallets, somewhat larger than the others )four to five millimetres), in a quarter litre of water. The resulting solution was practically colourless, but by looking closely one could discern a faint of yellowish tinge in the water. It was non-poisonous and could be swallowed with no ill effects. It lost its effectiveness after two or three weeks and had to be renewed constantly.
The developer of this ink was a patent depilatory on sale in all drugstores and pharmacies under the name of "Tarr", a product produced in Germany and in France. It came in a lead tube, was greenish in colour and smelled strongly of sulphur. About five to seven centimetres of this cream was spread over the paper and the writing appeared through the green paste as reddish lettering. The ink took its name from the developer and was known as "Tarrtinte".
The third type of secret ink used by Fidrmuc was Chinosol, a Swiss patent medicine made in Basel and sold abroad. It was available both in Portugal and in England. It is sold in a glass tube containing about twenty tablets, about five or seven millimetres in diameter. The yellowish tablets have a very faint odour of quinine, and are taken by those suffering from influenza and angina.
To prepare the ink, one Chinosol tablet was dissolved in 1.5. litres of water. Fidrmuc always made fractions of this amount by dividing the tablet and adding proportionately less water, since the mixture had to be used within twenty-four hour period following its preparation. The tables dissolved in four or five minuets.
(23) ! (since 22 August 2023)
KV 2/199-2, page 29ah-part
e. Intelligence Activities in Spain.
With the liberation of France by the Allies in the Summer of 1944, Fidrmuc began to formulate plans on how to continue intelligence from that area despite its occupation by Allied troops. He hoped to be able to get in touch with his former agent Ruf (France), who, he believed, was still working for Ugine in Annecy. When Fidrmuc was introduced by the former French Naval Attaché, Villeneuve of Estoril;, to a French Colonel Hartmann, who was supposed to be attached to SHAEF, in the summer of 1944, he asked him to bring back from France a list of employees of various French steel firms. Hartmann was to return to Portugal the end of 1944 and Fidrmuc hoped that among the names he would bring back with him would be that of Ruf. Hartmann, however, never got in touch with Fidrmuc again.
At this time Fidrmuc also considered the possibility of operating from Spain. There is evidence (Schellenberg's interrogation) (his British file number: KV2/94 .. KV 2/99; PF 600561) that this move was prompted by Berlin on the grounds that Fidrmuc may have come too exposed in Lisbon. Fidrmuc disclaims this theory, stating that the decision to go to Barcelona was strictly his own. (Schellenberg, de iure, had no jurisdiction upon Fidrmuc). He still had plans to continue intelligence gathering in France and had sent Berlin a number of plans, but none worked out. In December 1944, Fidrmuc and his wife (Ragmor) went to Barcelona to visit Esmeralda Lacerda (Mme. Lacerda's about 16 year old daughter). Fidrmuc and his wife remained there until Christmas, while Fidrmuc worked out plans to continue operations from Barcelona. They returned to Portugal after Christmas →, and on 16 March 1945 left definitely for Spain.
KV 2/199-2, page 30ai
and on 16 March 1945 left definitely for Spain.
In Barcelona, Fidrmuc was able to send a few reports to Berlin dealing with intelligence from France, mostly information gathered from businessmen and and travellers coming from France. He also received a few Tor reports (AOB: I don't trust the Tor stories), but no Mos reports from the near East. At the request of Schellenberg he had changed over from military information to military-political intelligence (AOB: Schellenberg was the Head (Leiter) of Amt VI and this subject was just in line with Schellenberg's suggestion) (https://www.cdvandt.org/schellenberg-survey.htm), and for his work he had been promised a quarterly payment of 300,000 Portuguese escudos. His project along these lines hardly got started before the military situation in Germany had deteriorated to such an extent that further reporting seemed useless. (AOB: W/T stations only could operate by means of mobile stations standing somewhere on meadows or in forests. Fidrmuc ceased writing to Berlin March 1945.
While in Barcelona, Fidrmuc forwarded his material to Berlin through Obstlt. Kieckenbusch (Leiter I KO Spain in Madrid; their station 'Sabine' operated until the final days of April 1945) of KO Spain by first giving them to Konsul Rueggeberg (Rüggeberg) (@ Frederico) of the German Consulate (in Barcelona) who had been appointed Fidrmuc's mailbox. (AOB: both Rueggeberg and Fidrmuc were privately on quite friendly terms; maybe in the days after Germany's surrender on 8th May 1945) Fidrmuc had little contact with him, and states that he received letters through him.
With Germany's final collapse Fidrmuc found it impossible to return to Portugal, as all neutral countries had ceased issuing visas to German citizens. His (business) partner Germain Brucker was at the time in Switzerland and could not come to Spain, as he had been sentenced twelve years imprisonment in absentia, when the Spanish authorities found out in 1944 that he was a freemason.
Fidrmuc continued to do business with his other partner in Lisbon, Camillo Frank, who bought grain from Angola for Fidrmuc to sell to the Alto Mando Economico, the Spanish Army Purchasing Commission in the Canary Islands. The transaction was to be carried out through the firm of Courbellos & Co, Barcelona-Las Palmas and involved some the thousand tons of maize. The ship were chartered, the credit was arranged with Banco Credito Espanol in Barcelona, everything was in order, when the British Consulate stepped in and declared that Germans were behind the transaction. London then cancelled the navicert and had the transaction was cancelled.
Fidrmuc then entered into negotiations with the Infrafim, and American-Swiss Finance and Trading Corporation, to supply Omgus with canned fish for German mineworkers, but before the transaction could be consumed Fidrmuc was repatriated to Germany (Febr. 1946).
Fidrmuc also resumed writing for the English reviews and for the American magazine "Iron Age".
In December 1945, Fidrmuc was approached by the son of the former British Ambassador to Egypt, Ramsay. He knew that Ramsay had been connected with British Intelligence during the war and had established a business in Barcelona together with a former Spanish officer Martinez. Ramsey asked Fidrmuc to join him as a business expert, hinting that it would be good protection for him. He later intimated that the work would be intelligence but Fidrmuc refused.
Fidrmuc was repatriated for Madrid to Camp 076 on 10 February 1946.
On the whole, the Ostro reports could be no better than the material submitted by Fidrmuc's agents abroad, and thus any outstanding success he may have achieved rested in the final analysis on the ability to those agents to produce valuable intelligence. His evaluations and the technical problem of relaying the material to Berlin were secondary factors contributing to the success of his operations. In judging the Ostro complex, one must therefore weigh the bulk of intelligence submitted to Fidrmuc by his → agents in the light of events.
KV 2/199-2, page 31aj
agents in the light of events. British Intelligence has undertaken such a comparison, and the results are less favourable to Fidrmuc than his interrogation would indicate. The British were aware of the importance of Ostro's reports at an early date in the war, but at the same time were confident that a large portion of the intelligence forwarded to Berlin from his source was erroneous.
Comments and Recommendations.
Fidrmuc was not active in the Nazi Party (albeit a member of the NSDAP; though always living outside Germany) and is not in the automatic arrest category; it is therefore recommended that he be released.
For the Commanding Officer:
Erwing P. Loeffler
Chief, CI Section
KV 2/199-3, page 1axpart + 1a (22 May 1947)
AOB: I consider his steady hand-writing so sound - that a smart individual could grasp his statement easily.(?)
Please digest his writings yourself
KV 2/199-3, page 2b
c) It is possible ...
I have decided to quit the rest of this file, as quite many is repeating what have been dealt with before.
Please continue with
KV 2/200 series
By Arthur O. Bauer