28 December 2016

The Dangers of Drifting

Apologies to anyone who has been trying to find my Josef Jakobs website (www.josefjakobs.com)! I have drifted away from blogging about Josef for the last 6 months and wasn't updating the website at all. With the domain up for renewal in January, I had a look at it and was shocked to discover that the site-provider, Moonfruit, moved all free subscriptions to paid subscriptions on September 1.

Apparently the site has been unavailable since then. Oh dear.

Josef Jakobs website unavailable
Screen capture of Josef Jakobs website being unavailable on Moonfruit site-host.

So, again, 1000 apologies. In many ways this is a good thing as it will force me to make the switch to the new Josef Jakobs site on Weebly that I set up in the spring. I was just procrastinating on transferring the domain as I tend to do that when I think something will be either (a) hard or (b) complicated.

Stay-tuned and I plan to get the blog back on a regular schedule as well.

27 September 2016

Clara Bauerle is Finally Laid to Rest

Clara Bauerle
Clara Bauerle
It has taken me a few years, pursuing many leads, but I can finally say that Clara Bauerle has been laid to rest.

Clara did not die stuffed into a Wych Elm in England. She was not Bella in the Wych Elm. She was a German actress and singer who passed away in a Berlin hospital on December 16, 1942.

A while ago, I ordered the birth registration for Clara, from the Standesamt in Ulm. That record gave her death registration number in Berlin.

With that in hand, I wrote to the relevant Standesamt in Berlin and, after a lengthy wait, received her death registration in the mail last week. Translation follows below...

Death Registration of Clara Bauerle
Death Registration of Clara Bauerle

The actress Hedwig Klara Bauerle, Protestant, living in Berlin, Bleibtreustrasse 32, did, on 16 December 1942 at 12:15 in Berlin-Oberschoneweide, Konigin-Elisabeth-Hospital, die.
The deceased was born on 27 August 1905 in Ulm (Standesamt Ulm/Donau Nr.../...).
Father - Fruitseller Adolf Bauerle, deceased, last living in Ulm.
Mother - Dorothea Barbara Bauerle, born Schaufele, deceased, last living in Ulm.
The deceased was not married.
Registered upon written notification of the Amtsgericts Berlin on 19 December 1942.
...
Cause of Death - lung infection (pneumonia?), Veronal poisoning.

A few things are of note. The first obviously being that Clara Bauerle, actress and singer, did not die in England, a sad casualty of Abwehr incompetence. Clara passed away in a Berlin hospital, a victim of Veronal poisoning.

Veronal was a barbital known for its hypnotic properties. In the early half of the 20th Century, Veronal was a popular sleeping aid as it could be acquired without a doctor's prescription. Unfortunately, prolonged use of the drug could cause the user to develop a tolerance for it, requiring larger and larger doses in order to achieve the same effects. This could be dangerous. There were many reports in German and British medical literature of severe poisoning and fatalities associated with Veronal. One could, naturally, wonder if perhaps Clara passed away through suicide, consuming a large dose of Veronal. The truth will likely never be known. Her death would not, however, have been a pretty one. An account from an American doctor in 1914 outlines the progression of Veronal poisoning:
A CASE OF VERONAL POISONING. By EDWARD SWIFT, M. D., Los Angeles.
The patient was a woman of 42 years. She had always been in good health, but was of a highly neurotic temperament. At 11 a.m. I was called to see her, though I had seen her the night before when she was apparently in perfect health but somewhat worried over some domestic troubles. I received the telephone call from her brother, who informed me that though his sister had gone to bed the previous night at 10 o’clock, she had as yet shown no evidence of awakening. On examination I found the patient in coma from which it was impossible to awaken her; no response from pressure over supraorbital nerve. There was no cyanosis; pulse 60 and of good quality; temperature normal; respirations 22. I immediately washed out her stomach with warm water, after which six ounces of black coffee and one egg was administered through the tube. Normal salt was given per rectum by the drop method (two quarts at this time). When I saw her a few hours later she was in the same condition, though her respirations were slightly deeper. About 4 a. m. the following morning she became cyanotic, her breathing, which had gradually been getting deeper, became stertorous, her pulse weak and irregular, being intermittent at times. Her temperature still remained normal. Caffeine sodium benzoate in doses of gr. i and camphor and ether in doses of m. x were given for cardiac stimulation. This treatment only improved the pulse temporarily. Her respirations gradually became more and more stertorous, and by three in the afternoon she developed signs of pulmonary congestion. This gradually increased until there were signs of well marked edema of the lungs. Her cyanosis gradually increased in spite of oxygen inhalations and hypodermic injections of atropine. Adrenalin was given without benefit. At 4 p.m. her stomach was washed out and the return consisted of brown fluid with a decided fecal odor, and containing some particles of fecal matter. There seemed to be a loss of tone of the intestinal tract, for enemas given were not expelled. The patient died at 5 p.m. Just before death her temperature gradually increased to 105°, respirations developed into the Cheyne-Stokes type. Her pulse became weaker and weaker until it was imperceptible at the wrist. The function of the kidneys was lessened and in the last twenty-four hours of her life only two ounces of urine were to be obtained by catheter. Altogether she received one gallon of normal salt by the drop method, but this seemed to have no effect upon the secretion of urine. Hot packs and dry cups over the lungs were used, but nothing seemed to be of any avail. On investigation it was found that she had taken one hundred (100) grains of Veronal just prior to retiring for the night.
    Read before the Los Angeles County Medical Society. January 15, 1914.
While her death registration notes that Clara's place of residence was Bleibtreustrasse 32, a few blocks from the home of Josef Jakobs' parents, she actually passed away in the southeast corner of Berlin (see my Google Maps). Why did she die so far from home? That mystery that will likely remain unsolved. The Königin Elisabeth Hospital was moved to another location after the war and the former site on Treskowallee only has a few sad ruins as a memorial to all those who passed through its doors in search of hope and healing.

I have written many blogs on Clara Bauerle, links below. A summary of her life is also available on this blog page.

Blogs arranged in order of oldest to most recent.
  1. Josef Jakobs & Clara Bauerle
  2. Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
  3. The Truth about Clara Bauerle
  4. BBC Radio 4 - Punt PI - Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
  5. Express & Star Newspaper - Punt PI Investigates Midlands Riddle
  6. Follow-up to Clara Bauerle & Bella in the Wych Elm
  7. BBC - Unsolved English Murder Mysteries
  8. Update on the Elusive Clara Bauerle and Bella in the Wych Elm
  9. Clara Bauerle's Music
  10. Another Clue in Tracing the Enigmatic Clara Bauerle
  11. False Alarm with Clara Bauerle
  12. Errors Abound around Josef Jakobs
  13. Clara Bauerle - How Speculation can quickly turn to Fact
  14. Break in the Hunt for Clara Bauerle
  15. Clara Bauerle is Finally Laid to Rest (this blog post)

01 August 2016

Break in the Hunt for Clara Bauerle

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been trying to follow the trail of German cabaret singer, Clara Bauerle. Former mistress of German spy, Josef Jakobs, in recent years, Clara has been put forward as a candidate for Bella in the Wych Elm. It's an intriguing theory... mistress of a German spy parachutes into England in the summer of 1941 and ends up stuffed into a hollow elm tree for her troubles.

Except for the tiny detail that German music resources indicate Clara Bauerle passed away in Berlin on 16 December 1942. I've been digging away at that date, trying to find something more substantial than online resources. The Bavarian Music Lexicon Online was the original source I found that mentioned Clara's death date, but what was the primary source for that information?

A few weeks ago I wrote to the editor of the BMLO and... lo and behold... I got a response. He directed me to the German Theatre Museum in Munich and their annual almanac from 1944. An email to the museum only confirmed that Clara Bauerle was born 27 August 1905 in Ulm and died on 16 December 1942 in Berlin. Nice... but not helpful.

I keep hoping that genealogy resources will catch up with my research timeline (births from 1905) but... that hasn't happened. So... a couple of weeks ago, I seized the bull by the horns and requested Clara's birth registration from the Standesamt in Ulm. I figured it was a long shot, given that I didn't know the district in which she was born. Imagine my surprise last week when I received a letter from the Standesamt. Inside was... the birth registration for Hedwig Clara Bauerle, born 27 August, 1905!

Clara's parents were Obsthandler (fruit handler) Adolf Bäuerle and Dorothea Barbara Schäufele. This might come in handy if I ever track down her death registration. It might also put me on the track of siblings. Both of Clara's parents were Protestant. The handwriting on the form was a bit sketchy for me so I scanned a high-resolution image to email to my mother, to confirm my translation of the handwriting. As I looked at the scanned image, I noticed a marginal note at the bottom of the form.

The gist of the note was that Clara died on 16 December 1942 in a district of Berlin. The note gave the registration and district number for her death registration. It really is amazing to me how blind I can be to things that are right in front of my nose! A quick email to the relevant Standesamt in Berlin yielded the response that death registrations older than 30 years are the purview of the Landesarchiv Berlin. Righto then... a request to the Landesarchiv is in order.

Keeping my fingers crossed that in a couple of weeks, I'll finally be able to finally lay Clara Bauerle to rest.

18 July 2016

Clara Bauerle - How Speculation can quickly turn to Fact

So, we're back to Clara Bauerle again. The irrepressible German cabaret singer whose name will be forevermore linked with that of Josef Jakobs it seems.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I've been trying to track down more information on Clara. I've done a fair bit and the most solid lead points to her passing away in Berlin on December 16, 1942.

A few years ago... some enterprising journalist suggested that Clara Bauerle may have been the mysterious Bella in the Wych Elm. The identity of the unfortunate woman, stuffed into a Wych Elm in rural Britain in late 1941, has piqued the curiosity of many amateur sleuths, writers, journalists and conspiracy theorists.

That speculative piece of journalism is, however, taking on a life of its own. I was searching the internet for new leads on Clara and came across a reference to here on the Ancestry genealogy website.

Lo and behold... there's a Clara Bauerle listed... born 1906 in Germany and died 1941 in Worcestershire. The source was Find a Grave.
What do I discover on Find a Grave... our very dear Clara Bauerle. Except this memorial takes speculation and turns it into fact.
Rife with Errors - Find a Grave memorial for Clara Bauerle.
"German Cabaret artist/singer in Germany before becoming a spy and parachuting into England and being killed by a British officer who then hid her body inside a hazel wood tree in Hagleywoods in Worcestershire where the stories of who put Bella in the Wytch Elm originated. She was in love with Gestapo Agent Josef Jakobs who was the last spy put to death at the tower in 1941."

Burial: Non-cemetery Burial."
Specifically: Body was kept as evidence but later lost."
Speculation becomes fact... and the errors grow and compound. The memorial is a rather clumsy amalgamation of the various legends around Bella in the Wych Elm.

I did, naturally, suggest an edit/correction to the creators of this memorial. We'll see if anything comes of it... I must admit to a tiny tinge of irritation when I see such poorly researched material.

Here are some links to my blogs on Clara Bauerle
Update on the Elusive Clara Bauerle - July 2015
Another Clue in Tracing the Enigmatic Clara Bauerle - September 2015

15 June 2016

The Lost Files of Abwehr Ast X

Digging up information on the activities of World War II secret services is challenging because... well... a lot of the documents were/are secret!

The British MI5 files have been slowly released to the public domain over the last 15 years, which has been extremely helpful in researching the German spies, including Josef Jakobs.

But what about the files of MI5's German counterpart - the German Intelligence Service a.k.a. Nachrichtendienst a.k.a The Abwehr?

Good question. The answers range from: files were destroyed by Abwehr staff as the Allies invaded; files were destroyed through Allies bombing; files have gone missing; files are buried in the German Military Archives; files are buried in the National Archives in Washington DC. It's enough to give researchers pounding headaches.
Game of the Foxes (cover) (Ladislas Farago)
Game of the Foxes (cover)
(Ladislas Farago)

Let's start near the beginning... or at least... a beginning. Back in 1971/72, three books were published about World War II espionage activities: one by one by a German, one by a Briton and one by an Hungarian-American.

Nikolaus Ritter, former spymaster at the Abwehr Ast X offices in Hamburg, wrote his memoirs in German under the title "Deckname Dr. Rantzau".

J.C. Masterman, Oxford don and former chairman of MI5's Twenty Committee (XX or Double-Cross), published the Double-Cross System exposing, for the first time, Britain's triumph over German espionage during World War 2.

Ladislas Farago, former US Naval Intelligence officer, beat the others to the punch by publishing his Game of Foxes in 1971. It was hugely popular but... serious questions were raised about its scholarship. Farago claimed to have uncovered a treasure trove of original Abwehr documents on microfilm... Let's look at what Farago has to say about his stunning find (from the introduction to his book):
For over ten years I had been gathering material for a book about the Abwehr, the German secret service under Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. But the problem of unraveling the super-secret activities of this organization, whose records presumably had been destroyed at the end of the war and were forever lost to history, seemed well-night insurmountable. Then in 1967, in a dark loft of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., I stumbled over a metal footlocker, the kind American naval officers used in World War II. It held hundreds of little yellow boxes containing rolls of microfilm, and it turned out to be part of the litter of recent German history the Allies had captured in 1945.
It was obvious from the dust on the boxes and the seals on the old metal rolls that they had never been opened for inspection, not even by the remarkable team of researchers of the American Historical Association who had catalogued literally millions of other captured enemy papers. The collection was as raw as it must have been when originally found in Bremen by American intelligence officers headed, as the name on the footlocker indicated, by Captain L.S. Vickers, USN.
Guided by Dr. Robert Wolfe and Richard Bauer, the dedicated custodians of the captured German records, I made a sampling of the films and realized immediately that I had come upon an extraordinary find. Dozens of the rolls, with about a thousand frames in each, contained the papers of the Hamburg and Bremen outposts of the Abwehr, the two branches of the German senior military intelligence agency that specialized in the clandestine coverage of Britain and the United States.
For years I had tried to uncover primary documentation of the Abwehr’s personnel and activities, but was told categorically and honestly by the authorities in Washington and London that the vast bulk of the Abwehr papers had been destroyed by their original custodians to save them from captured by the Allies. Yet now I had before me a very substantial part of those very records.
For the first time the Abwehr was bared as it really was, not as its apologists and detractors offered it for public view. From these films emerged the accounts of some operations already known, but in an entirely new light. Innumerable secret transactions that might have been buried forever were now revealed involving well-known American and British personalities.
The profiles of Germany’s espionage executives now suddenly appeared in sharp focus, together with detailed biographies and photographs of long-forgotten agents. There were the voluminous fiscal records with all the painstaking bookkeeping insisted upon by Herr Toepken, the Abwehr’s meticulous and tight-fisted paymaster.
In all the vast literature of espionage never before was the secret service of a major power presented as comprehensively and authoritatively, certainly not from the firsthand evidence of its own records.

Over a thousand of these rolls of microfilm with more than a million pages of documents have been examined and used in the preparation of this book. In addition, thirty-four “uncatalogued” films have also been inspected, yielding vast source material never before used in research.
Oooh... "detailed biographies and photographs of long-forgotten agents". There must be something on Josef Jakobs in there! Sounds pretty impressive! He drops the names of Robert Wolfe and Richard Bauer who were indeed involved in curating the captured German documents collection. Sounds legit, yes? Except... Game of the Foxes had minimal footnotes, none of which cited original sources. Zero. Nada. Zippo. Extremely poor scholarship which leaves us wondering... what is fact and what is fiction?

You see, many, many researchers have tried to track down the "mother lode" of original Abwehr documents that Farago claimed to have "discovered". So far, the treasure trove has eluded researchers which begs the question, where are the files? Do they even exist?

In his bibliography, Farago lists the following as a source:
Abwehr: Ast X (Hamburg) and Nest Bremen, ML-Series, microfilm rolls in the author’s collection.
Perplexing to say the least. Abwehr microfilm in Farago's collection? I thought these microfilm were from the National Archives? Did he have them copied for his own use? Very mysterious.

I did a bit of digging and here's what I've found.

National Archives - Washington DC
The obvious starting point. The National Archives has a massive collection of captured German documents on microfilm. Everything from documents of the German Foreign Office to the Navy to the SS. A cursory glance doesn't seem to have anything Abwehr-related. The microfilms all seem to belong to the M-series or T-series. None of them are "ML-series" as referenced by Farago above.

Library of Congress - Washington DC
The Library of Congress also a German Captured Documents Collection (opens as a pdf). This collection consists of material captured by American military forces in Germany after World War II. In 1992 the Library agreed to return all captured German material in the Manuscript Division that the Bundesarchiv of the Federal Republic of Germany wanted for its holdings or for transfer to other German archives. German archivists identified the material to be returned and underwrote the cost of filming by the Library's Photoduplication Service.

Search through the catalogue for this collection and you'll find one reference for the Abwehr:
Box 151 (Formerly 328) Reel 70
Ausland-Abwehr, Abteilung Ausland III - Regulations re: strength of units and lists of Abwehrstellen in Germany by Wehrkreis and in all of Europe, 1942-1944
That's it. One box with Abwehr records. Not promising.

A more promising lead takes us to to the city of Boston. Apparently, after Farago passed away in the 1980s, all of his research material was passed along to Boston University.

Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Centre - Boston MA
The Ladislas Farago collection consists of manuscripts, research files, audio, printed material, correspondence, photographs, and other items. The collection description (see link above) even notes that there are audio files (reel-to-reel) of interviews with Nikolaus Ritter. That sounds rather interesting. But what about the Abwehr files? Well... the collection description has this to say:
Please note that Farago’s large collection of microfilmed documents, 239 rolls total taken from the U.S. National Archives series “World War II Collection of Sealed Enemy Records” and 5 rolls relating to the Japanese military in World War II, is accessible in the microforms area of the Mugar Memorial Library. Please refer to the catalog.
Right... off to another library...

Mugar Memorial Library - Boston MA
When I came across this information (back in 2012), I wrote an email to the library and asked about the microfilms... The archivist who replied had this to say:
The 239 microfilm rolls were part of Ladislas Farago's personal library and are microfilms of original documents from the National Archives. If you wish to see the microfilms that are part of the Ladislas Farago Collection here at Boston University, they are available for viewing at the Microfilms section of Mugar Memorial Library under the call number D735 F581 listed in the online catalogue system as "National Archives Microfilm Publications".
Well now, that sounds rather promising. Follow the trail to Mugar and that call number and you'll find a list of the following microfilm holdings:
M35, M38, M39, M77, M18, M247, M679, M975
T77, T78, T81, T84, T120, T149, T175, T322, T608
Each series has multiple rolls of microfilm, presumably adding up to 239 rolls of film. Alas, none of them have Farago's ML-series prefix. But... they would definitely be worth a look, if one had the time and the resources. One thousand pages on 239 films = 239,000 images to review. Mind you, the notes to the collection state:
Contains microfilm editions of records of Federal agencies held in the National Archives.
Mugar Library's set is composed primarily of German documents seized during World War II. A guide to the entire collection is provided by: Catalog of National Archives microfilm publications. The majority of Mugar Library's set is also described in detail in: Guides to German records microfilmed at Alexandria, Va.
So... perhaps nothing new here after all... Although, I haven't found any M-series microfilms listed in the National Archives listing of captured German documents.

Bundesarchiv Military Archives (BA-MA)  - Freiburg GER
Well then, what about the German Archives? Over the last few years, I've heard about the Military Archives in Freiburg. The archives sounded rather promising so I put out some feelers with my intelligence contacts. I learned that researching at Freiburg requires a lot of time and money and ideally, you would need to hire a local specialist researcher.

Abwehr Files Still Lost
Sooo... back to Square One. Best bet at this point would seem to be Boston University and the Farago Collection. Even just the audio tape interviews with Ritter would be well worth a visit. Whether the microfilm collection is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is another matter.

10 June 2016

Abwehr Locales in Hamburg

Hamburg has proved to be a stubborn nut to crack. Very stubborn. During the last few years of writing this blog, I've been tackling various locales, people and objects, trying to deepen my own understanding of the role they played in the story of German spy, Josef Jakobs. Most of my blogs have focused on the English side of things, mostly because it has been easier to dig up information on those places and/or people.

I've tried several times to dig up info on some of the Hamburg hotels/restaurants/meeting places that the 1940/41 spies and Abwehr officers would have frequented. On the whole, the internet rebuffed my efforts. Given that Hamburg was bombed to smithereens in the latter stages of the war, this might not be altogether unsurprising. Maybe some of those locations ceased to exist?

But... last week, whilst researching the Beautiful Vera, I redoubled my efforts to crack the Hamburg nut... and met with some success. Here, then, are the results of my research:

Abwehr Headquarters - General Kommando X
General Kommando X - former headquarters of the
10th Army Corps and the Abwehr.
Sophienterrasse 14, 20149 Hamburg
(during war, this was called General-Knochenhauer-Straße)

The General Kommando building was designed by the architects Distel and Grubitz and completed in 1936. It's a typical Wehrmacht style, massive and imposing, with a couple of eagles looming above the entrance. It housed the General Command of the 10th Army Corps. Since the Abwehr was a intelligence arm of the Wehrmacht (German Army), it too was housed in this building, apparently in the west wing. After the war, it was used by the British Security Service. At least it all ran in the intelligence family! Later, the building returned to the Wehrmacht but in 2014, they too vacated the building. Perhaps it will be turned into apartments.

Klopstock Pension
Klopstock Pension postcard (from eBay)
Klopstockstrasse 2 (later renamed Walburgstrasse)

This building no longer exists. It was located at the corner of what is now Walburgstrasse and the Alsterglacis. Apparently the Abwehr housed several spies in this Pension (essentially a Bed & Breakfast or Boarding House). I haven't found anything that would indicate Josef spent any time here. As mentioned in the previous blog on Vera, this was the address listed as the residence of Vera von Wedel on her 1946 Hamburg death registration.

Hotel Phoenix (Phönix)
Kirchenallee 36

Hotel Phoenix, Hamburg (from eBay)
Ah, the infamous Phoenix Hotel! This was apparently a hotbed of Abwehr agents. Double-agent TATE, during one of his controlled radio transmissions to the Abwehr from England, asked the Abwehr officers to pass on his greetings to his friends at the Phoenix. When Karel Richter arrived in England, he claimed that the Abwehr officers suspected TATE was under control. The mention of the Phoenix in a radio transmission deeply disturbed them. There is no evidence that Josef spent any time at the Phoenix but apparently Karel Richter did. Today, there is still a Phoenix Hotel at the same address. While the building has changed a little (particularly the top floors), one can still see the same window shapes, a nice sense of continuity with the past.
Hotel Phoenix today (from Google Streetview)
Hotel Reichshof
Hotel Reichshof (from eBay)
Kirchenallee 34-36

Can we say impressive? This was the hotel where Josef Jakobs first stayed when he came to Hamburg. It was rather posh, I have to say, which is in keeping with Josef's character of "keeping up appearances". Nothing but the best for our man.

It was from this hotel that Josef ventured forth to begin his training as a spy in late September 1940. He stayed here for only one month however and, in late October 1940, moved into the more humble Hotel Sorgenfrei, just around the corner. Perhaps Josef discovered that his pockets were not as deep as he thought!

I managed to dig up a few interior postcards of the Hotel Reichshof. Posh was right.
Hotel Reichshof (restaurant interior) - (from www.akpool.de)
It would appear that the hotel escaped the worst of the war damage for the interior today is still glamorous and posh.
Hotel Reichshof - restaurant interior - same room as above, slightly different angle
(from www.sleepandmeet.com)
Today the Reichshof is run by Hilton and you can stay here for about 200E/night... and up.
Hotel Reichshof (from Google Streetview)
Hotel Sorgenfrei
Hotel City - 22 Ellmenreichstrasse
(from Google Streetview)
Kapellenstrasse 22 (now Ellmenreichstrasse)

This hotel has proved to be a b*** to find. I eventually discovered Hamburg City directories on Ancestry.co.uk and dug around in them. I found a Hotel Sorgenfrei on Kapellenstrasse 22 (Hamburg 1 district- which meant the core of the city) but the only Kapellenstrasse in existence today was in the far eastern suburbs of Hamburg. Skipping forward to the 1950 directory, I found the same hotel, but this time at Ellmenreichstrasse 22 (also Hamburg 1). Most likely another case of name changes after/during the war. Despite all my research, I haven't found any postcards of the Hotel Sorgenfrei, probably because it was a tiny place. Today, there is still a hotel at that address, albeit a small one. The location is just a block off Kirchenallee, basically around the corner from the Reichshof.

This was the hotel to which Josef moved in late October 1940. It was probably a fair bit cheaper than the Hotel Reichshof. After Clara returned to Hamburg from an orchestra tour in late November 1940, she moved into Josef's rooms at the Sorgenfrei and presumably stayed here until he departed for The Hague in early January 1941.

Cafe Dreyer
Bieberhaus

Bieberhaus (from www.akpool.de)
Ah yes, the infamous Cafe Dreyer. This was the locale where Josef and Karel watched Clara perform with the Bernhard Ette Orchestra. It too proved difficult to pin down. Some references had indicated it was located in the main train station, which was heavily damaged during the war. Luckily, the Hamburg city directories proved useful here as well. Cafe Dreyer was listed and its address was simply... Bieberhaus.

Turns out the Bieberhaus is a massive building just north of the main train station. It was built in 1910 on the site of a former school. One of the school headmasters had been named Dr. Theodor August Bieber and the new building was named in his honour. It housed the Bieber Cafe, one of the best coffee houses in Hamburg.

Bieber Cafe circa 1913 - eventually became Cafe Dreyer
In 1933, the Bieber Cafe gave way to the Cafe Dreyer, also known as Dreyer Ahoi. The locale became well known as a coffee house and dance salon. No wonder that Josef spent many an evening here. It was across the street from the Hotel Reichshof and a short block from the Hotel Sorgenfrei.

Today, the Bieberhaus (no relation to Justin Bieber) still stands and houses a variety of shops, the Department of Finance and, the recently moved Ohnsorg Theater. The building underwent fairly significant renovations to accommodate the theater which apparently occupies the former location of the Cafe Dreyer. For those with a bit of German... one of the Hamburg radio stations presented a 30 minute history of the Bieberhaus which was quite fascinating. During the episode, a couple of the older Ohnsorg theater patrons talk about the Cafe Dreyer and the big dance hall in the Bieberhaus.

Alstereck - building along left side of photograph (from www.akpool.de)
Alstereck
Jungfernstieg 51

The Alstereck is a large building located across the Inner Alster Lake (Binnenalster) from the main train station. Today, the building houses several businesses, including Nivea. Back in 1940, it housed several coffee houses and restaurants.

Josef and Clara apparently came here quite often to eat. It would have been a nice stroll from their hotels in the vicinity of the train station.

The Alstereck was quite posh and had several restaurants to entice prospective patrons. According to Josef, he and Clara came here so frequently that any of the waiters/stewards would recognize Herr Jakobs and his lady friend.
Alstereck (from www.oldething.de)
Google Maps - The Abwehr in Hamburg
In the interests of clarity, I've added all of the above locales to an interactive Google Map. They are indicated by the red markers. I've also added a few residential addresses for Nikolaus Ritter and Julius Jacob Boeckel (green squares), the two Abwehr officers with whom Josef and Karel seemed to have the most contact.

The blue circles mark several of the cover addresses for Abwehr correspondence. There are many others, but these were the ones that had some connection to Josef.



References
Architecture Tour of the NS Time in Hamburg - has a piece on the General Kommando building.
History of the Bieberhaus (in German)
Another history of the Bieberhaus (in German)

Bieberhaus History (radio programme - in German)

06 June 2016

Tales of the Spies - The Mysterious and Beautiful Vera

Vera Eriksen/Erikson
Vera Eriksen/Erikson
In late September, 1940, three spies landed on the Banffshire coast in a rubber dinghy. Dropped off by a flying boat from Norway, the two men and one woman would not remain undiscovered for very long.

François de Deeker (real name Karl Theodore Drücke) and Vera Eriksen (a.k.a. Vera von Schalburg, Vera von Stein, Vera de Cottani de Chalbur, Vera von Wedel, Vera Staritzky) were apprehended in a local train station. Werner Walti (real name Robert Petter) made it as far as Edinburgh before he too was arrested.

Drücke and Petter were virtually unbreakable, even by MI5's expert interrogator Tin-Eye Stephens. They were hanged in early August 1941 at Wandsworth Prison.

The story of their accomplice, Vera, is more convoluted. She was never prosecuted, a mystery which has baffled historians for decades. Was it because she was a woman? Because she had given birth to the illegitimate child of a member of upper crust English society? Because she had cooperated with MI5 and become an informer? Because she was working for MI5 from the very beginning?

What became of Vera after the war? Did she really disappear into post-war Germany without a trace? Or did she live out the rest of her life on the Isle of Man or the Isle of Wight under another name?

Although the declassified MI5 files of Drücke, Petter and Vera were released to the National Archives in 1999, they are heavily redacted and much material is missing.

There is a note in KV 2/15 which has a list of Vera's passports (legal and illegal) and many of her aliases. She was apparently a complicated woman with a complicated life!

Vera Ignatieff (Nansen passport), Vera de Schalbourg (Danish passport), Vera von Wedel (German passport), Vera Staritzky (Nansen passport - illegal), Vera de Cottani (Austrian or Hungarian passport - illegal),  Vera Erikson (Danish Passport - illegal - provided by Abwehr) (National Archives - KV 2/15)
Vera Ignatieff (Nansen passport), Vera de Schalbourg (Danish passport), Vera von Wedel (German passport),
Vera Staritzky (Nansen passport - illegal), Vera de Cottani (Austrian or Hungarian passport - illegal),
Vera Erikson (Danish Passport - illegal - provided by Abwehr)
(National Archives - KV 2/15)

And if that's not enough to confuse matters, Vera was issued with a Ration book by MI5 in the name of Veronica Edwards. At least they kept the initials V.E.
Vera's Emergency Ration Card issued to Veronica Edwards, presumably while Vera was on MI5 "duty". (National Archives - KV 2/16)
Vera's Emergency Ration Card issued to Veronica Edwards,
presumably while Vera was on MI5 "duty".
(National Archives - KV 2/16)

It should also be noted that in 2005, several other Security Service files pertaining to Vera, Drücke and Petter were released to the National Archives: KV 2/1701 to KV 2/1706. It would be interesting to know what is in those files... apparently they pertain to the trial of Drücke and Petter. Might have nothing on Vera.


In snooping through the lives of these World War 2 spies, I've come across a few sites that provide helpful information. Vera's story is still very much alive and speculation runs rampant.

Online Resources

Port Gordon - a local history site that gives a fairly accurate history of the three spies.

Wikipedia - Vera's article with very thin references.

Alchetron - interesting site that has a clip of the interview with Helle von Bülow (in Danish), Vera's sister-in-law. Rumour has it that the interviewer has turned out to be "unreliable" so the information should be taken with a grain of salt. Most of the information is simply from Wikipedia.

Cilips - the musings of Peter Reid who resides in the old Port Gordon Police Station.

Phil Coldham - some fairly comprehensive information on Vera's life from a keen researcher.

Kirstine Kloster Andersen - a Danish writer who is also pursuing the story of Vera. Her theory is that Vera passed away shortly after her return to Germany.

Hilmar Dierks - finally, the site (in German) of one of the grandsons of Hilmar Dierks, head of the Hamburg Abwehr office. Rumour has it that Hilmar and Vera had been lovers or even married. The site hasn't been updated since 2005 but has an interesting handwritten letter (in English) to Michael Dierks (the grandson) from Ragna Schalburg, apparently an in-law of Vera. Dierks' theory is that Vera did return to Germany and a death certificate for the Vera von Wedel was issued so that she could then return to England to begin her new life. Nifty theory in that it covers all the bases.

Print Resources

After the Battle, Volume 11 - In the early-mid 1970s, Winston Ramsey did a fair bit of research into the mysterious Vera and referenced a quote from General Erwin von Lahousen, a high-ranking Abwehr officer. Lahousen was interrogated after the war by MI5 at Bad Nenndorf (where Tin-Eye Stephens had also been stationed). A British Colonel (Hinchley-Cooke? or Stephens?) in response to a question from Lahousen said:
"You're wondering what happened to Vera, "the Beautiful Spy" as we called her. Well, you're absolutely right. She came over to us. If you ever want to see her again, well, I should have a look around the Isle of Wight. I think you might find her there--with another name, of course, and nobody there has the slightest idea of her background."

The Spy by the Sea - Adrian Searle speculated that perhaps Dorothy O'Grady, the eccentric housewife from the Isle of Wight who narrowly escaped being hanged as a spy, had encountered Vera during her imprisonment. In February 1942, in Aylesbury Prison, Dorothy made reference to a mysterious "haughty-taughty Russian countess". Vera? Possibly. According to MI5 documents, Vera was in Aylesbury in early 1942...

Hamburg Death Certificate
What happened to Vera? Who knows. It's a mystery and we humans tend to love mysteries. So people will keep digging. Did she die in Germany? Did she die in England?

The Hilmar Dierks website noted that some English hobbyist researchers had speculated that the death of Hilmar Dierks in a car accident shortly before Vera and crew left for England was faked so that Dierks and Vera could live happily ever after in England. Apparently there was a C.H. Dierks who moved to England 1903 and lived in Wales. He married a woman named Mary Elizabeth who passed away in 1993. Is this where the 1993 death date for Vera came from? Michael Dierks is pretty certain that this C.H. Dierks was not the same person as his grandfather. Beyond that... things are a mystery.

As for Vera passing away in Hamburg. Everyone mentions a death certificate with her name on it... and lo and behold, it is available on Ancestry.co.uk. Here it is. I'm also including a link to a version via Dropbox since the resolution isn't great here.

Death Certificate - Vera von Wedel born Stagizky (Ancestry - Hamburg Death Records)
Death Certificate - Vera von Wedel born Stagizky
(Ancestry - Hamburg Death Records)
[Rough Translation]

Hamburg, 9 February, 1946.

Vera von Wedel, born Stagizky, no occupation, Greek-Catholic, living in Hamburg at Klopstockstrasse 2

died on 8 February 1946 at 4:00 (a.m.) in Hamburg at Marien(hospital).

The deceased was born on 10 December 1912 in Siberia/Russia.

Father - unknown
Mother - unknown.

The deceased was married. Husband deceased and unknown.

[Seems like the staff at the hospital were the death informants.]






Cause of Death - Pneumonia and weak heart (insufficient heart).
 

Marriage of the deceased - unknown.
Was it Vera? Hard to say. Kind of convenient that the address where she was living was the place where the Abwehr trained their spies during 1940 and 1941 - the Klopstock Pension at Klopstockstrasse 2.

According to the Dierks website, the street is now called Walburgstrasse and is near the old city. The current location of "Klopstockstrasse" in Hamburg is quite a ways from the old city. Given that Hamburg sustained heavy bomb damage during the war, it makes sense that the old locations do not quite match up with current street names. The postcard for the Klopstock Pension notes that it is on the corner of Alsterglacis and 2 minutes from the Dammtorbahnhof. This jives with the Dierks website.

Postcard of the Klopstock Pension - Klopstockstrasse 2 - former Abwehr training site for spies destined for England in 1940/41.
Postcard of the Klopstock Pension - Klopstockstrasse 2 - former Abwehr training site for spies
destined for England in 1940/41.
And... before I go too far down this road... I'll stop here. Clearly. this is leading to another post about Abwehr sites in Hamburg!!

01 June 2016

Tales of the Spies - Double Agents

Cover - Double Agent Snow by James Hayward.
Cover - Double Agent Snow
by James Hayward.
If there's one thing I've learned in researching the story of Josef Jakobs, it's that sometimes you have to go sideways in order to go forwards. I've hit a lot of brick walls in my years of research, and oftentimes have experienced a breakthrough by focusing my research elsewhere.

One of the obvious sideways alternatives is the stories of the other World War 2 spies, both those who became double agents, and those who paid the ultimate price.

Cover - SNOW - Nigel West & Madoc Roberts.
Cover - SNOW - Nigel West
& Madoc Roberts.
In the first group, the double agents, there are several who stand out. SNOW, TATE, SUMMER, MUTT, JEFF. Their stories were contemporaneous with that of Josef's and, in some cases, touched on his case directly.


The story of SNOW has been written many times. One of the primary books is that by Madoc Roberts & Nigel West and the other is a very readable version by James Hayward.

The saga of TATE has been written by a couple of Swedish writers, Tommy Jonason and Simon Olsson. There is some controversy surrounding this book from what I can gather. Rumblings of discontent from the family of TATE (see the Amazon.co.uk reviews) (Wulf Schmidt/Harry Williamson) and photos used without permission.

Agent Tate - Tommy Jonason & Simon Olsson.
Agent Tate - Tommy Jonason
& Simon Olsson.
SUMMER's story hasn't really been told. What became of Gosta Caroli after he was repatriated back to Sweden? His story is often mentioned in passing with that of his friend TATE. Beyond that... not much is known about his life after 1945.

In sifting through the internet the other day, I came across a couple of most intriguing resources about double-agents MUTT and JEFF. Their real names were John Moe and Tor Glad, and they landed on the Aberdeenshire coast in April 1941.

John Moe was a Brit/Norwegian while Tor Glad was Norwegian. They contacted the police after landing and were quickly turned into double-agents by MI5.

Cover - John Moe: Double Agent
Cover - John Moe: Double Agent
John Moe was an exemplary agent but Tor Glad chafed at the restrictions imposed on him. He was eventually interned for the duration of the war and repatriated to Norway in 1945.

I came across a series of eight interviews with John Moe on the Imperial War Museum site. The interviews were conducted in 1992 when Moe was about 73 years old. I must admit, it is quite fascinating to listen to the story of an actual real-life double-agent. Of particular interest is Reel 6, in which Moe talks about his reception at Latchmere House, MI5's wartime interrogation centre and his first interview with Lt. Col. R.W.G. Stephens, whom he "fondly" recalls as a "bastard, a real bastard". Quite fascinating.

Moe mentioned his "book" and a bit of digging led me to an online bookstore which has copies of his out-of-print book.

27 May 2016

New Josef Jakobs Website in the Works

It's time for a change.

For the last few years, I've had the Josef Jakobs website hosted on Moonfruit. It was easy. It was cheap. But a few weeks ago, I got a new laptop with Windows 10 and McAfee Anti-Virus. I tried to update the website and McAfee had a snit-fit and told me it was not a safe site. Come again? I overrode McAfee eventually but... the experience made me pause.


Moonfruit has been urging me to update my site to HTML5, but I've heard that it muddles up your website quite badly and... I didn't really want to deal with that. Plus, I've been meaning to rejig the site for a while. The News section is getting ridiculously long and confusing (even to me)!
 Josef Jakobs website - screen shot (Moonfruit)
A bit of research revealed that the old version of Moonfruit uses Flash which is apparently quite susceptible to attacks, hence the McAfee alarms. Well then, if I'm going to have to upgrade Moonfruit and go through the hassle, why not move elsewhere?

Sooo... I have been researching other website builders: WordPress (.org and .com), Wix, Weebly, etc. After much to-ing and fro-ing and dither-ing, I've settled on one. At the moment, I am busy moving content from the Moonfruit site to the new one. Once that is done, the final step will be to get the domain address transferred. Keeping my fingers crossed that will go smoothly.

The new host is expandable, so I might eventually get around to hosting a store-front (when the book gets published).

In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of the new look... home page (trying to keep a similar look to the current site).
New and improved home page for Josef Jakobs website - coming soon



And a sub-page of the News section

Up and coming new look for the Josef Jakobs website



23 May 2016

The Ruins of RAF Upwood

A view of the derelict RAF Upwood base from the water tower.  (From Behind Closed Doors website).
A view of the derelict RAF Upwood base from the water tower.
(From Behind Closed Doors website).
I came across a few interesting sites that document the abandoned RAF Upwood base near Ramsey, Huntingdonshire. German spy, Josef Jakobs, landed near Ramsey on January 31, 1941 and MI5 speculated at the time that he might have been sent to snoop around the airbase. While Josef had a Shell Touring Map of England in his possession, he most definitely did not have a map of RAF Upwood.

A couple of penciled marks on the map seemed to coincide with RAF Upwood and RAF Warboys, but are not perfect matches to either location. As mentioned in the previous blog post, the circle on Josef's map likely marks the place where the German aircrew of his plane hoped to cross into the general drop zone. The "x" on the map marks the likely location of where the aircrew hoped to drop Josef.

The site, Behind Closed Doors, has a nice series of photographs of the old RAF Upwood base. A short write-up on the site notes that:
"In February 1941 a German spy named Josef Jakobs was discovered by a farmer, after he parachuted into the area resulting in a broken leg. He was found to have maps of RAF Upwood, a code device and £500 in his possession. He was interrogated by MI5 and spent several months at Dulwich hospital before being put on trial. He was found guilty of treachery and was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London"

The Urban Ghosts site also has some amazing photographs and a similar write-up:
"However, one of the most notable wartime stories concerning RAF Upwood was that of German spy Josef Jakobs, who was captured by local farmers after parachuting into the area and breaking his leg. Found in possession of a code device, £500 in cash and maps of the RAF base, Jakobs was interrogated by the security services and executed for treachery at the Tower of London in August 1941.
Both sites are mostly accurate, except Josef did not have maps of RAF Upwood.

A third site, Derelict and Dangerous,  has a few photographs and a short write-up:
"Interesting tid bit of history: When captured, German spy Joseph Jakobs was found to have RAF Upwood maps in his possessions amongst other things. He was court-martialled and sentenced to death by Firing Squad in 1941."

18 May 2016

A Theory for the Marks on Josef Jakobs' Shell Touring Map

When German spy Josef Jakobs parachuted into a potato filed on Dovehouse Farm the night of January 31, 1941, he had a Shell Touring Map in his possession. The map was a fold-out variety and relatively small-scale. Not the best map for a would-be spy!

Shell Touring Map (National Archives - KV 2/27)
Shell Touring Map
(National Archives - KV 2/27)

When MI5 examined the map, they noticed that a triangle had been drawn on one of the sheets connecting Peterborough, Bedford and Cambridge. According to Josef, this was the area in which the German aircrew said they would drop him.
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - showing triangle (National Archives - KV 2/27)
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - showing triangle
(National Archives - KV 2/27)

Within that triangle were two other marks, a penciled "x" and a small circle. The penciled line under the word Ramsey was added by the President of Josef's General Court Martial and is noted in the court martial transcripts. Ramsey actually lies outside the boundaries of the triangle and given that Josef was dropped southeast of Ramsey, this suggests that the aircrew did not have exceptionally precise navigation.
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - close-up of Ramsey area (National Archives - KV 2/27)
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - close-up of Ramsey area
(National Archives - KV 2/27)
There was much speculation in 1941 as to what the penciled "x" and circle could mean. Some suggested that they indicated the locations of RAF Upwood and RAF Warboys. If we look more closely however, RAF Upwood is actually located just west of Ramsey (marked with the red star) while the penciled "x" is quite a ways further west. The circle is a bit closer to RAF Warboys.
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - close-up of Ramsey area (National Archives - KV 2/27)
Shell Touring Map found in Josef Jakobs' possession - close-up of Ramsey area
(National Archives - KV 2/27)

It is intersting to note that the circle is actually on the border of the triangle and that the "x" is on the railway heading down to London (former Great Northern Railway). An alternate theory as to the meaning of the two marks might run as follows: as one of the members of the aircrew reviewed the map with Josef, he drew the triangle between Bedfordshire, Peterborough and Cambridge. This was the general area in which they hoped to drop Josef. The airman then drew a circle along the edge of the triangle. This was the point at which the aircrew hoped to intersect the drop zone. Finally, the airman drew an "x" where they hoped to actually drop Josef. It would certainly make sense that they would try to drop him close to a major rail line in order to facilitate his journey to London. This is, naturally, speculation but an intriguing one.

One does not, of course, know the route that the plane took as it flew from Schipol Aerodrome (near Amsterdam) to England, but presumably it was not a straight line. Their proposed route according to the present theory would have them crossing the English coast somewhere just north of Ipswich.

04 May 2016

Long Shot on discovering the death date of Lt. Col. Robin William George Stephens

For the last few years, I've been scratching away at the personal history of Tin-Eye (Robin W.G.) Stephens, former commandant of MI5s secret interrogation centre, Camp 020.

I've discovered quite a bit about Tin-Eye - his parents, his brother who died in WWI, the death of his second wife. But the death of Stephens continues to elude me. I even ordered his military records from the British Army Personnel department - they were sketchy to say the least.

There is one long shot that I haven't tried yet - the informant at the death of his second wife. But it's a seriously long shot. Let me walk you through it and maybe someone can suggest a way forward.

In the late 1920s, Stephens married Phyllis Gwendolyn Fletcher (nee Townshand) in India. They divorced in 1933 in London.

After that, there is no record of Stephens ever getting married again except... in Oliver Hoare's introduction to the book Camp 020, there is a photograph of Stephens with his second wife - Joan Geraldine Pearson Dowling.
Joan Geraldine Pearson Dowling & Robin William George Stephens
Joan Geraldine Pearson Dowling & Robin William George Stephens

That's it... there is no marriage registration for Joan and Stephens - at least not one that I've been able to find.

So... what do we know about Joan? Well, her birth was registered in December 1919  in Lincoln, Lincolnshire and her mother was a Pearson. Birth registrations were recorded in three month intervals, so a December registration would mean her birth took place in Oct-Nov-Dec of 1919.

Joan G.P. Dowling birth index - from Ancestry.co.uk
Joan G.P. Dowling birth index - from Ancestry.co.uk

Do enough searching on Ancestry.co.uk and you will find other references to her with the surname Stephens, primarily from passenger lists. She is sometimes listed as traveling alone and at other times she is in the company of our friend Stephens.

On 9 April, 1992, a Joan Geraldine Stephens passed away in Lincoln at a nursing home. According to the death certificate (which I ordered from the General Record Office), this Joan was born on 4 September 1919 in Lincoln and her maiden surname was Dowling. So far, so good. She could have been born in September 1919 and perhaps her birth wasn't registered until the following month.
Joan Geraldine Stephens death index - from Ancestry.co.uk
Joan Geraldine Stephens death index - from Ancestry.co.uk

On Joan's death certificate, her deceased spouse is listed as "Caesar Stephens, Army". Now, Joan and Stephens had spent time in Madeira, the Portuguese islands off the coast of northwestern Africa. Their last visit that I was able to track was in 1960, the year that Stephens retired from the Army at the age of 60. Still... it's a bit odd. Perhaps Stephens picked up a nickname during his time abroad? At least we know that Stephens must have passed away sometime between 1960 and 1992.

The informant for Joan's death certificate was Audrey Violet Richardson (sister) of 154 Nettleham Road, Lincoln. A bit of searching and The Gazette revealed the following:
Audrey Violet Richardson death notice - The Gazette
Audrey Violet Richardson death notice - The Gazette
Audrey passed away on 22 October 2005 and her address was 154 Nettleham Road, Lincoln. Sooo... pretty sure this is the same Audrey who was the informant for Joan's death. According to the death index, Audrey was born on 5 December 1922, so a few years younger than Joan. The birth index notes that Audrey V. Dowling's birth was registered in March 1923 (within the right ballpark) in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire (strange location - not Lincoln). Her mother was a Pearson.

In June 1948, a marriage was registered in Lincoln between Audrey V. Dowling and Keith R. Richardson. A search of births in Lincoln between 1948 and 1978 yielded no children whose father was Richardson and whose mother was Dowling. Either Keith and Audrey were childless, or they got divorced before having any children, or they moved (seems unlikely) It would appear that Audrey did not remarry.

All of this is rather disappointing. Joan apparently died with no children and Audrey as well. Sooo... any papers or photographs from our friend Stephens would appear to have been lost or... perhaps there were nieces and nephews.

Audrey's death notice in the Gazette gives the name and address of her solicitors in Lincoln. Which finally brings me to the long shot... to write to them and enquire if they have a family contact for her.

A second long shot would be to dig into the newspaper archives in Lincoln and find an obituary for Joan Stephens. Hard to do from the west coast of Canada.

Any other long shots I'm missing?

29 April 2016

Photos from the Field Trip with Karel Richter

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote two posts which I hope brought some clarity to the location of Karel Richter's landing site.

The first looked at the possibility that Karel had sheltered at the Cherry Green Leaves camp northeast of London Colney.

The second delved more deeply into determining, with some certainty, the landing site of Karel Richter and the location of his equipment stashes.

A series of photographs taken by Camp 020 psychologist Dr. Harold Dearden during the field trip in mid-May 1941 were of great help. Whilst writing the second post above, it became clear, in looking at Dearden's photographs, that they were taken at two separate locations. One set was taken where Richter stashed his parachute. The second set was taken where Richter stashed his radio gear.

I thought I would try to assign each photograph to the relevant location.

Location 1 - Parachute Stash - just off White Horse Lane
According to a report by Capt. Stimson (May 18, 1941), the first stash included: camouflaged parachute, parachute holder and harness, steel helmet, flying overalls, empty knife sheath, a parcel of food (large salami sausage cut into halves, brown bread, sausage meat and paste sandwiches) and a hand trowel. The knife wasn't found and Richter figured he must have lost it between his landing point and the hedge.

Richter, Lt. Short and a Camp 020 guard walk along the edge of the hedge in the field off of White Horse Lane. One of the isolated trees is visible in the background.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

The group begins to extract Richter's equipment from the hedge. Note that the field furrows go almost up to the hedge.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
National Archives KV 2/32)
Camp 020 guard, Lt. Short and Lt. Goodacre listen to Richter.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Camp 020 guard watches as Richter and Lt. Sampson examine the hedge (note field furrows).
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Richter points out into the field, possibly indicating his landing site. Left to Right are Major Stephens, Lt. Sampson, Lt. Short, Richter, Capt. Stimson and Lt. Goodacre.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Lt. Goodacre and Superintendent Reeves of the Hertfordshire Constabulary spread out Richter's parachute on the field (note the furrows).
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Richter and Stephens after the parachute has been spread on the ground. Object along lower left side of photograph could be Richter's parachute helmet held by one of the party.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)
The group examines Richter's parachute on the ground. The other man dressed as a civilian is Superintendent Reeves. Richter's trench coat appears to be made of a coarse fabric, perhaps wool and his pants are dark. Reeves' trench coat is made of a smoother fabric and his pants are lighter. Richter's coat is belted closed whereas Reeves' coat is open.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

The group looks at Richter's parachute. Slightly different angle from previous photograph.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Party returns to the cars. Furrows may be parallel to camera at this point as there is a hedge just behind Stephens (right side of photo). Pictured are Short, guard, Richter and Stephens.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Group has almost reached the gap in the hedge along White Horse Lane. Camp 020 guard accompanies Richter, while Stephens leads the way.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

At the gap in the hedge along White Horse Lane. Superintendent Reeves and Lt. Sampson hold up Richter's parachute.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Second location - Field off North Orbital Road 

According to Stimson's report, the second stash included: a torch, black leather camera case containing wireless parts and a loaded automatic pistol.

The three poplar trees in the background clearly mark this photograph as coming from the second location (see this blog post). From left to right, Stimson, Reeves, Stephens, guard and Richter. The North Orbital Road would be in the background, beyond the fence and down an embankment.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

The hedge at this location is more irregular with overhanging branches. The field is not furrowed. Left to right - guard, Stephens, Reeves, Sampson.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Harold Dearden, Reeves (note the light-coloured pants) and Lt. Sampson examine the hedge.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Reeves looks deeper in the hedge, beneath the overhanging branches.According to Stimson's report, there was a ditch in the brambles and some of Richter's equipment was covered with a soil and leaves.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)
Stephens and Sampson look on while Reeves crouches in the hedge.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

Reeves exits the hedge while the guard looks on.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)

The party returns to their vehicles from the second site - notice the three poplar trees in the background.
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941 (National Archives KV 2/32)
Karel Richter field trip photos taken by Harold Dearden - May 18, 1941
(National Archives KV 2/32)
Stimson's report also notes that one of the cars belonged to him, while the other belonged to Dearden. One is left to wonder which of the two men had the sporty convertible!