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.