27 December 2017

Books I'll be Reading to Ring in 2018

As 2017 wraps up, there are a few books that I've ordered/pre-ordered and hope to read in the next month or so. While they are all only tangentially related to the Josef Jakobs story, I've long since discovered that tangential stories are often a great source of information!

Cargo of Lies - Dean Beeby - 1996
Cargo of Lies - Dean Beeby - 1996
Cargo of Lies - Dean Beeby - 1996
I came across this book and, while the cover looks a bit hokey, the book would seem to touch on a great topic. Did Germany send any spies over to Canada during World War 2? Who trained them? Was it our friends at the Hamburg Abwehr Stelle? How did the spies make out? Were they captured shortly after landing, as was the case in England? The write-up on Amazon indicates that there was at least one German agent who made it onto the shores of Canada, but who was captured shortly after landing. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police convinced the agent to become a double agent but... it would seem that the agent may have played them and become a triple agent! Intriguing!!

An Amazon reviewer noted that the book is:
"A classic espionage story that is well-told and interesting. It's a story set in Canada but it's interesting to anyone who enjoys reading about spies or the Second World War. Beeby has found the mystery in this previously poorly-told story and leaves readers wondering if the spy completed his mission after all."
Sound interesting and I've ordered it through the local library which actually has a copy! Helps that it's a Canadian story told by a Canadian author.

The M Room - Helen Fry - 2015
The M Room - Helen Fry - 2015
The M Room - Helen Fry - 2015
This book looks intriguing. It tells the story of German-speaking refugees who were recruited as translators to secretly monitor the conversations of German prisoners-of-wars.... and captive spies.

Camp 020, MI5's secret interrogation centre at Ham Common used microphones extensively when they placed people like Josef Jakobs and Karel Richter together in a room.

The book has fairly good reviews on Amazon and while it looks like it focuses on the Trent Park Interrogation Centre (North London), I'm thinking it might have links to Camp 020. It is also interesting to learn that thousands of transcripts from Trent Park were declassified in 2004. Makes me wonder if the Camp 020 transcripts are still hiding in a classified archive somewhere in England.


The London Cage - Helen Fry - 2017
The London Cage - Helen Fry - 2017
The London Cage - Helen Fry - 2017
This is not the book of the same basic title that was written by Col. A.P. Scotland, former commandant of The London Cage, a secret interrogation centre during World War 2. This is a brand new book written by author and historian Helen Fry. While it's quite clear that "physical" interrogation techniques were used at the London Cage, the British government has tried to downplay the severity of those techniques (i.e. not torture). According to Amazon...
"Helen Fry's extraordinary original research uncovers the grim picture of prisoners' daily lives and of systemic Soviet-style mistreatment. The author also provides sensational evidence to counter official denials concerning the use of "truth drugs" and "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Bringing dark secrets to light, this groundbreaking book at last provides an objective and complete history of the London Cage."
It has good reviews on Amazon and I've ordered a copy which I hope will arrive before the end of the year.


Double Agent CELERY - Carolinda Witt - 2017
Double Agent Celery - Carolinda Witt - 2017
Double Agent Celery - Carolinda Witt - 2017
While this book has been released in Australia, the UK and the USA... it's release date in Canada is only January 19. I've pre-ordered a copy and will have to be patient.

The author is Walter Dickett's (Double Agent CELERY) granddaughter which makes this book different from so many others written by researchers unrelated to their subject matter. CELERY was involved with Double Agent SNOW and while several books have been written about SNOW, none have touched on the CELERY story. So it's nice that some of these lesser-known characters of history are being brought into the spotlight.

It's received several good reviews on Amazon:
"This is a truly extraordinary tale. A fascinating insight into the world of double agents and the crucial role Agent Celery played in altering the course of World War II. At the same time it records a deeply personal quest by the author to unravel a complex family mystery that had haunted her family for generations."
 And so... we wait... I'll be posting book reviews in the new year.

22 December 2017

Clara Bauerle Declassified

It would seem that Clara Bauerle will forever be linked with the mysterious Bella in the Wych Elm story. There is a lot if interest in the Bella story, and Clara's name always seems to swirl into the space as a viable identity for the woman found stuffed in a Wych Elm in Worcestershire in 1943. For those who are coming late to the story, I have a blog page on this site that outlines the story of Clara and lists all of the blog posts that I have written which touch upon her story and Bella in the Wych Elm.

Given that Clara Bauerle was rather closely connected with Josef Jakobs, I have written several blog posts in which I seek to present the facts around Clara Bauerle. At least as much as can be discovered from fragmentary historical sources. I have, for a while now, been meaning to do a blog post that outlines the references to Clara contained within the MI5 interrogation records of Josef Jakobs and his fellow spy, Karel Richter.

Richter was a Czech citizen (an ethnic German born and raised in the Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia) who, upon the assimilation of the Sudetenland by the Germans in 1938 became an unwilling "citizen" of Germany. Richter and Josef had several encounters in Hamburg and The Hague in late 1940 and early 1941 while they were being trained as espionage agents. It was during these encounters that Karel met Josef's mistress, the German cabaret singer, Clara Bauerle. Karel was dismissive of Josef and his lady friend. He rather thought that Josef was more interested in affairs with women than in becoming a spy. His assessment of Clara was that she was a rather large, not-good-looking woman.

It has taken a while to pull the various Clara-related pieces together from the different MI5 folios on Josef Jakobs and Karel Richter. They are presented below as cropped images (with document references as captions) followed by a transcription of the image. I've presented them in chronological order as much as possible. One of the Special Branch reports may appear out of place as it was written in mid-April but it only landed in MI5s hands on May 1. I've tried to preserve the sequence as it would have appeared to the officers of MI5.

Readers of this blog will know my take on the theory that Clara Bauerle ended up as Bella in the Wych Elm (extremely unlikely). There is a lot of inaccurate material swirling around on the Web and this particular blog post seeks to provide some factual material and original source documentation by making it accessible for those who aren't familiar with the MI5 files.

On a closing note, I am still awaiting the arrival of the HD Paranormal dvd (ordered in August 2017 and resent in November 2017) which tells the story of Bella. The film apparently accessed declassified MI5 files but no mention is made of which files. It would appear that artists (writers, filmmakers, etc.) like to keep their cards/sources close to their chest. I tend to land more in the scientist camp... share the facts that support your theory and let others come to their own conclusions and/or contribute to the conversation. Enjoy.

                                                                                                                          

February 1, 1941
Postcard found in the possession of Josef Jakobs

February 1, 2017 - KV 2/24 - Postcard of Clara Bauerle - front
February 1, 2017 - KV 2/24 - Postcard of Clara Bauerle - front

February 1, 2017 - KV 2/24 - Postcard of Clara Bauerle -back
February 1, 2017 - KV 2/24 - Postcard of Clara Bauerle -back
My dear -
I love you
for ever
Your
Clara
Landau, July
1940
                                                                                                                          

February 2, 1941
Initial Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs regarding "Clara"
February 2, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 9a - Initial Interrogation of Josef Jakobs regarding "Clara" conducted by Major Stephens, Lt. Sampson & Lt. Meurig-Evans.
February 2, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 9a - Initial Interrogation of Josef Jakobs regarding "Clara"
conducted by Major Stephens, Lt. Sampson & Lt. Meurig-Evans.
c) The identity of the woman whose photograph was found in his belongings with a love message on the back, signed CLARA, Landau, July 1940. The woman's name was BAUERLE of Ulm, Austria [sic], attached to Bernard Itay's [sic] dance band. She is a singer by profession of German nationality and JAKOBS' mistress. She had never been in England.
                                                                                                                           

February 2, 1941
Verbatim transcript of Josef Jakobs regarding Clara Bauerle
This is a 1.5 page verbatim report during which Josef admits her name, that she studied English with him, that she was a member of the Bernard Ette Orchestra and that she lived in Berlin. I have not included the images as they are rather long and do not add much that is not already included in the Interrogation Summary above. One and a half pages of interrogation transcript is essentially distilled into one paragraph!
(February 2, 1941 - KV 2/25 -21a - Verbatim transcript of Josef Jakobs being interrogated by Major Stephens)
                                                                                                                           

February 12, 1941
SIS report to MI5 re: postcard of Clara Bauerle
February 12, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 25a - S.I.S. report to MI5 re: postcard of Clara Bauerle.
February 12, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 25a - S.I.S. report to MI5 re: postcard of Clara Bauerle.
My dear White,

Reference your PF 55039/B.2. [Josef Jakobs] of 10.2.41. I return herewith the photograph of Clara BAUERLE. We have no trace of this woman, although there is a record of a certain C. BAUERLE who has been reported as a Nazi in Denya [sp? Kenya?]. But there appears to be no other connection.

There can be little doubt that the photograph was taken and printed in Germany. It is typical of hundreds one can buy in any shop in Germany. The space for the address on the back shows a thicker underlining, under the penultimate line, a usual thing in continental countries. The writing is is [sic] obviously that of a German. I have consulted our expert on Germany, who considers the address to be Landau. He also informs me that the Bernhard ETTE Orchestra is a very big and well-known one. Bernhard ETTE lives at Aschaffenberger Strasse 9, Berlin.

No one in this office recognizes this photograph. It is suggested, however, that you may care to make enquiries of the following persons connected with theatrical ventures:
1. Henry SHEREK, who controls a large number of foreign artists.
2. Harry FOSTER, a theatrical agent, Piccadilly House.
3. PAULSEN, Manager of the Cafe de Paris.
4. Herbert de LEON, 91 Shaftesbury Avenue.

You will be in a better position than I to judge how trustworthy some of these people are, and it is quite possible that some of them will have PF's in your office.

Yours sincerely,
(blank)
For J.F.C. (Felix Cowgill)
                                                                                                                           

February 12, 1941
MI5 Request for Home Office look-up on Clara Bauerle
February 12, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 26k - MI5 request for Home Office lookup of Clara Bauerle.
February 12, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 26k - MI5 request for Home Office lookup of Clara Bauerle.
Request for Information from Home Office Records
BAUERLE or BAUERLEIN, Clara
German
Age - between 20 and 30
Other particulars: May now be in this country.
                                                                                                                           

February 14, 1941
Result of Home Office Lookup on Clara Bauerle
February 14, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 26k - MI5 request for Home Office lookup of Clara Bauerle.
February 14, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 26k - MI5 request for Home Office lookup of Clara Bauerle.
Results of Home Office look-up
No trace in Traffic Index, Central Aliens Register card or Home Office file.
                                                                                                                           

February 26, 1941
MI5 request to Special Branch re: Clara Bauerle
February 26, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 40a - MI5 to Special Branch re: Clara Bauerle
February 26, 1941 - KV 2/24 - 40a - MI5 to Special Branch re: Clara Bauerle
I attach a photograph of a German cabaret singer whose name has been given to us as Clara BAEURLE or BAEURLEIN. There is no trace in the Traffic Index of a visit to this country by this woman, but we have reason to believe that she may, in fact, have been here.

I imagine that there may be some of your officers who have reliable contacts in the theatrical world through whom some enquiries could be made. If so, I should be grateful for your assistance in the matter.
                                                                                                                           

April 25, 1941
Interrogation of Josef Jakobs regarding Clara Bauerle
April 25, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 68a - MI5 Interrogation summary of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
April 25, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 68a - MI5 Interrogation summary of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
JAKOBS began to take lessons in English at the Berlitz School in Hamburg in November/December. He had taken the lessons together with CLARA BAUERLE. She was in Hamburg for the whole of October and then went on tour for a short time and returned to Hamburg at the end of November. When JAKOBS left Hamburg, she was still there. Just before leaving Holland on the 21st January by aeroplane, he received a letter stating that she was very ill and had been sent to hospital. As far as he knew, she might be dead now. She was 33 years of age. When she came to Hamburg for the first time in October, she had had a private apartment in the Hansaplatz. He could not remember the number, but inadvertently mentioned the number 10, although he corrected himself afterwards. he believed that a lot of artists lived in this house in Hansaplatz. When she returned at the end of November, she lived with him at the Hotel Sorgenfrei. JAKOBS met her for the first time in October in the Cafe Dreyer where the "Ette" Band was playing. He was asked why she should write on a postcard to him, "Landau, July, 1940", if he only met her in October. He could not understand this, but she had been a very capricious woman and had given him picture postcards of herself with various dates. She knew JAKOBS' wife and knew about his work for the German Intelligence Service. She was anti-Nazi, but did not belong to his society. She did not travel with him when he went to Berlin for the weekend.
                                                                                                                           

April 29, 1941
Interrogation of Josef Jakobs regarding Clara
April 29, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 69b - MI5 Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
April 29, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 69b - MI5 Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
April 29, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 69b - MI5 Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
April 29, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 69b - MI5 Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson.
Regarding Clara BAUERLE, JAKOBS said that this woman had been the mistress of the Medical Officer of a U-Boat flotilla at Kiel. JAKOBS had introduced her to Dr. BEYER, who had arranged for her to get an engagement entertaining the troops; for her work with the Ette Orchestra at the Cafe Dreyer, BAUERLE received about 400 R.M. and she naturally preferred the engagement with Dr. BEYER, as she earned more and was independent.

JAKOBS did not know what had happened to her, and although he knew that the Orchestra was in Hamburg in March, 1941, he did not know whether she was appearing with the Orchestra. He did know that in December she had left Hamburg.

As BAUERLE knew many Officers and was not a Nazi, she had unwittingly given him information useful to his anti-Nazi organisation. She knew of his connection with the German Intelligence Service.
                                                                                                                           

April 17, 1941
Special Branch to MI5 re: Clara Bauerle & Klara Sophie Bauerle
April 17, 1941 (received by MI5 on May 1, 1941) - KV 2/25 - 75a - Special Branch report on Clara Bauerle and Klara Sophie Bauerle by Sgt. W. Allchin.
April 17, 1941 (received by MI5 on May 1, 1941) - KV 2/25 - 75a - Special Branch report on Clara Bauerle and Klara Sophie Bauerle by Sgt. W. Allchin.
With reference to M.I.5. letter PF 55039/B.2. dated 26.2.41, requesting the enquiries be made to trace the whereabouts of Clara Baeurle or Baeurlein, (copy photograph enclosed), a German cabaret singer, believed to have visited this country, but of whom there was no trace in Traffic Index:--

The spelling of the German names given above is rather unusual, and is more likely to be Bauerle or Bauerlein. However, I have made exhaustive enquiries to ascertain whether she has ever visited this country, but without result. A further search in Home Office records revealed that one Klara Sofie Bauerle, a German, born 29.6.06, registration certificate No. 453027, arrived in the U.K. on 20.10.30, and left Warwickshire for Germany, date unknown; (Central Register of Aliens notified of departure on 21.6.32). The Central Register slip is attached herewith. No request for enquiries to identify this woman has been made to the Warwickshire Constabulary.

I communicated with the secretary of D.G. White Esq., and learned that the original of the photograph was taken from a German parachutist captured in this country. When subsequently interrogated and asked who the woman in the photograph was he gave a name which was taken down phonetically as Baeurle or Baeurlein.

My suggestion that the matter be referred back to M.I.5. pending a further interrogation of the prisoner - he is at present in hospital - was agreed to, and should an alternative spelling be obtained further enquiries will be made by me.
                                                                                                                           

May 2, 1941
Special Branch report on Clara Bauerle & Klara Sophie Bauerle sent to Camp 020
May 2, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 75a - MI5 to Camp 020 re: Special Branch report.
May 2, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 75a - MI5 to Camp 020 re: Special Branch report.
I have now received a reply from Special Branch in connection with our enquiry about CLARA BAEURLE [sic].

The material part of the Police Report is as follows: -

"A further search in Home Office records revealed that one KLARA SOPHIE BAUERLE,  German, born on 29.6.06, registration certificate No. 453027, arrived in the U.K. on 20.10.30, and left Warwickshire for Germany, date unknown; (Central Register of Aliens was notified of departure on 21.6.32). The Central Register slip is attached herewith. No request for enquiries to identify this woman has been made to the Warwickshire Constabulary."

I am calling for the Home Office Records relating to this woman and will let you know in due course whether anything further emerges about her.
                                                                                                                           

May 2, 1941
MI5 to SIS re: Clara Bauerle & Klara Sofie Bauerle
May 2, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 74a - MI5 to SIS re: Clara Bauerle & Klara Sofie Bauerle
May 2, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 74a - MI5 to SIS re: Clara Bauerle & Klara Sofie Bauerle
Herewith a B.L. Report [Camp 020] dated 30th April relating to JAKOBS. You will no doubt let us know whether you have any light to throw on the identity of RICHTER.

With regard to CLARA BAUERLE, Home Office Records show that one KLARA SOPHIE BAUERLE, a German born on the 29.6.06, arrived in the United Kingdom on the 20th October 1930 and apparently left Warwickshire for Germany at some date which is unknown, though Central Register of Aliens appear to have been notified of her departure on the 21.6.32.
                                                                                                                           

May 4, 1941
MI5 to Special Branch re: correct spelling of Bauerle
May 4, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 76a - MI5 to Special Branch re: correct spelling of Bauerle.
May 4, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 76a - MI5 to Special Branch re: correct spelling of Bauerle.
I thank you for your minute 405/41/960 of the 1st May, and regret that you should have been put to the trouble of sending an extra copy owing to a delay at this office which resulted in our correspondence over-lapping.

I have now ascertained that the correct spelling of the woman's name is BAUERLE, and in the circumstances I would be most grateful if you would pursue your enquiries as suggested in the final paragraph of your report.
                                                                                                                           

May 15, 1941
Special Branch to MI5 re: no hits on Bauerle
May 15, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 81a - Special Branch Report to MI5 re: no hits on Clara Bauerle.
May 15, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 81a - Special Branch Report to MI5 re: no hits on Clara Bauerle.
With reference to M.I.5 letter PF. 55039/B.2.c. of 4.5.41, regarding Clara BAUERLE, a German cabaret singer, who may have visited this country:-

Exhaustive enquiries have been made among contacts in the theatrical world and elsewhere, but nothing has come to light to suggest that this woman has visited London.
                                                                                                                           

May 15, 1941
Various Interrogation Reports of Karel Richter
re: Clara Bauerle
May 15, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Interrogation of Karel Richter by Major Stephens, Lt. Sampson & Lt. Short.
May 15, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Interrogation of Karel Richter by Major Stephens, Lt. Sampson & Lt. Short.
Richter said he had met JAKOBS afterwards in the Cafe Dreyer and had on this occasion seen CLARA who was in the company of JAKOBS.

He had seen CLARA later in the street, but had not spoken to her on either occasion. He had also seen JAKOBS again in the cafe.

May 16, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Summary of Karel Richter statement.
May 16, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Summary of Karel Richter statement.
4. I saw JAKOBS twice in Hamburg. Once with Dr. SCHOLZ. Once he was alone or with a lady, with whom I did not speak. It was at the beginning of November.

Then I saw JAKOBS twice in The Hague, Holland. Once in Cafe Picadilly [sic], once in Cafe Central, end of January.

I saw CLARA twice, once in Cafe Dreyer with JACOBS [sic]. I did not speak to her.

JAKOBS told me that she was a singer with the Kapelle Ette. She was noticeable on account of her height; a second time I saw her with JAKOBS passing in the street.

May 16, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Summary of Karel Richter statement.
May 16, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 4a - Summary of Karel Richter statement.
In the meantime I had again met JAKOBS twice, once in the Cafe Dreyer where he had a lady with him. He told me that she was a singer with the Ette Orchestra. I have never spoken to her, but when I saw her a second time in the street with JAKOBS I recognized her on account of her tallness.

JAKOBS told me that if I wanted to hear the Ette Orchestra I would have to come to Berlin. He also mentioned the name of a Cafe in, I think Schoneberg. He intended going here on the following Saturday, and said that if I liked we could meet in Berlin in this Cafe.
                                                                                                                           

May 19, 1941
Interrogation report of Karel Richter re: Clara Bauerle
May 19, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 15a - Interrogation of Karel Richter by Lt. Short re: Clara Bauerle.
May 19, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 15a - Interrogation of Karel Richter by Lt. Short re: Clara Bauerle.
He [Karel Richter] went on several trips to places such as SCHEVINGEN and THE HAGUE on amusement, and it was while in THE HAGUE that he met JAKOBS. The latter never mentioned to him his illegal smuggling activities on behalf of Jewish refugees, and in fact appeared to be mainly interested in his affairs with women. KLARA BEURLE is described as a large, not very good-looking woman by RICHTER, who still insists that it was in November and not in October that he met JAKOBS.
                                                                                                                           

May 20, 1941
Interrogation Report of Josef Jakobs re: Clara Bauerle

May 20, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 19b - Interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Short & Lt. Winn. A copy of this report is NOT found in Josef's KV files, but only in Karel Richter's file.
May 20, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 19b - Interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Short & Lt. Winn.
A copy of this report is NOT found in Josef's KV files, but only in Karel Richter's file.
At this time JAKOBS was still living at the Reichshof Hotel where he remained until October 26th, when he removed to the Sorgenfrei at the request of Clara BAUERLE. Clara BAUERLE was not, at the time, living at the Sorgenfrei but at another boarding house. Several of her friends from the ETTE orchestra lived at the Sorgenfrei, so that this place was suitable for the meetings between JAKOBS and his mistress. On October 31st in the evening Clara BAUERLE left Hamburg with the ETTE orchestra for a tour which included Leipzig, Dresden, Forst, East Prussia and Berlin. JAKOBS telephoned to Clara at Forst on November 7th to arrange a meeting in Berlin. She was with the Orchestra at Schöneberg, Berlin on the 18th, 19th and 20th November, and at the Neue Welt, Hasenheide, Berlin, on November 23rd and 24th. She returned to Hamburg on November 25th and lived with JAKOBS at the Sorgenfrei.

JAKOBS was asked whether it was not possible that RICHTER had seen Clara for the first time after November 25th when she came back to Hamburg. JAKOBS was quite positive that he had seen RICHTER twice at the Cafe Dreier [sic] after their first meeting on October 22nd, before the end of the month, and that RICHTER had on these occasions heard Clara sing in the ETTE Orchestra.

May 20, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 19b - Interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Short & Lt. Winn. A copy of this report is NOT found in Josef's KV files, but only in Karel Richter's file.
May 20, 1941 - KV 2/30 - 19b - Interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Short & Lt. Winn.
A copy of this report is NOT found in Josef's KV files, but only in Karel Richter's file.
Finally, JAKOBS was questioned about the Klara Sofie BAUERLE who is recorded as having arrived in the United Kingdom on October 20th, 1930. He said the name of the woman he knew was always spelt with a "C" and that as far as he knew she had no second name. He was not certain when her birthday was, but that it might be July. It might, however, have been in June. The woman he knew was 35 years old last summer, and would, therefore, have been born in the year 1905. He was quite certain she had never been in England.
                                                                                                                           

May 20, 1941
MI5 request for Home Office lookup of Klara Sofie Bauerle
May 20, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - MI5 request for Home Office Records lookup of Klara Sofie Bauerle.
May 20, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - MI5 request for Home Office Records lookup of Klara Sofie Bauerle.
Request for Information from Home Office Records
BAUERLE, Klara Sofie - German - born 29.6.06
Home Office records have already revealed that Klara Sofie BAUERLE registration certificate No. 453027, arrived in the U.K. on 20.10.30 and left Warwickshire for Germany, date unknown; (Central Register of Aliens was notified of departure on 21.6.32) but we are anxious to have any further details that may be procurable.
                                                                                                                           

May 22, 1941
Home Office results for lookup of Klara Sofie Bauerle

May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
There has been no further movement by this woman since this C.A.R. [indecipherable] and as she had no File I'm afraid we cannot give you any more information. I have copied the C.A.R. again and given the date she left U.K.
May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
Copy of Card in Traffic Index (blank)

May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
May 22, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 83b - Home Office result of lookup on Klara Sofie Bauerle.
Copy of Alien's Registration Card
BAUERLE, Klara Sophie
German
Born 29.6.06 in Stuttgart
Arrived U.K. 20/10/20 Left U.K. 22/1/32 Re-entered U.K. 22/2/32
Last Registration District - Warwickshire
R.C. No. 453027
Remarks: To Germany 21/6/32
                                                                                                                           

June 25, 1941
Summary Report on Josef Jakobs re: Clara Bauerle
June 25, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 96a - Summary Report on Josef Jakobs written by Lt. Sampson.
June 25, 1941 - KV 2/25 - 96a - Summary Report on Josef Jakobs written by Lt. Sampson.
While in Hamburg in October, 1940, JAKOBS met Clara BAUERLE, a singer in the Ette Orchestra, which was performing at the time in the Cafe Dreyer. During November the orchestra was touring other parts of Germany, but returned to Hamburg at the end of that month and Clara BAUERLE then went to live with JAKOBS at the Hotel Sorgenfrei. JAKOBS states that she had previously been the mistress of the medical officer of a U-Boat flotilla at Kiel. She knew many officers and was not a Nazi, and had unwittingly given him information useful to his anti-Nazi organization.

She knew of JAKOBS' connection with the Intelligence Service, and he had in fact introduced her to Dr. BEYER who had arranged for her to get an engagement entertaining the troops. Among JAKOBS' possessions was a picture postcard of Clara BAUERLE with an affectionate message in English, dated Landau, July, 1940 and signed Clara. He said the message was in English because they had taken English lessons together at the Berlitz School in Hamburg. he could not explain why the card was dated July, 1940 while he first met her in October, 1940, except that she was a very capricious woman who distributed photographs of herself generously. JAKOBS was introduced in October by a girl-friend of Clara to a man called von ROEDERN, who organized Fifth Column activity outside Germany. JAKOBS was on this occasion introduced as a member of the Intelligence Service. If JAKOBS' statements are true, it is curious that he was known to belong to the Intelligence Service not only to Clara Bauerle, but also to her girl-friends and presumably therefore to a large number of other people.
                                                                                                                           

July 1, 1941
Verbatim Transcript between Richter & Josef re: Clara
July 1, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101x - Taped conversation between Richter & Jakobs re: Clara Bauerle.
July 1, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101x - Taped conversation between Richter & Jakobs re: Clara Bauerle.
J. Now I will tell you something. They told me all they could during January. That means I didn't swallow it whole, but can you understand how they send these people over - under what pretext? So they would be here by June.... in the middle of July, what they now....... the journalists. A message was received in The Hague from Hamburg that KLARCHEN was coming, was coming too, KLARA KLARA, who -

R. They know that already, they know all about that.

J. And then the Major said to me: "Now you work hard, because KLARA is coming soon and I have heard that you will have an important job of work to do together" and he said that I knew that the war would never be finished by June or August, for if they are now depending upon my working with.... [the following is completely inaudible, due to extraneous noises, and the suggestion concluding the previous report can only be endorsed.]
                                                                                                                           

July 9, 1941
Camp 020 Report re: Clara Bauerle as possible Abwehr spy
July 9, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101x - Camp 020 to MI5 re: Clara as a possible Abwehr Spy.
July 9, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101x - Camp 020 to MI5 re: Clara as a possible Abwehr Spy.
I am writing to you personally as the subject is a secret intercept between JAKOBS and RICHTER of 1.7.41.

The relevant extract in German, together with a translation, is attached and I think you will agree it justifies the inclusion of KLARCHEN in our list of prospective enemy agents to this country. I asked Captain Sampson to proceed further with the case and the summary of his interrogation of 8.7.41. is, I submit, decidedly informative.
                                                                                                                           

July 8, 1941
Camp 020 Report on Clara Bauerle as potential Spy
July 8, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101 - Summary Report on Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson on Clara Bauerle.
July 8, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101 - Summary Report on Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson on Clara Bauerle.
If JAKOBS had worked for the Nachrichtendienst [Abwehr or German Intelligence Service] after arriving in England, CLARA would have come over to help him in his work. She was being trained in Hamburg in wireless. He thought that the instructor was BIERMANN, but was not certain. On two occasions when the instructors had been ill, he had been replaced by PETERSEN, who gave KLARA two lessons in the Hotel Sorgenfrei. He said that CLARA got on very well with the German officers and had obtained information from them which they were not entitled to give. On one occasion, she had been admitted to a Stuke plane and as she had considerable technical knowledge, she was able to describe the apparatus in detail several months later. In the last letter which JAKOBS received from her before she left, she had said that she would come over if she got news of him. He was sure that as no news of him had been received,CLARA would not come to this country.

Description of CLARA BAUERLE
Age: 36 in June (1941)
Height: About the same as JAKOBS, i.e. 6'
Hair: Dark blond.
Eyes: Brown
Complexion: Fair
Nose: Wide
Voice: Deep. She is a contralto singer.
                                                                                                                           

July 10, 1941
Interrogation report of Josef Jakobs re: Clara Bauerle
July 10, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101a - MI5 interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson re: Clara.
July 10, 1941 - KV 2/26 - 101a - MI5 interrogation report of Josef Jakobs by Lt. Sampson re: Clara.
When CLARA went with SINCLAIR to the Air Defense Base in Hamburg, he thought that he had been with them.

CLARA was one of the main witnesses in his defence when he had been denounced by van HEES. She had said that although JAKOBS was not a Nazi, he was quite reliable and she was quite prepared to work with him in England.

References
National Archives - MI5 files on Josef Jakobs - KV 2/24, 2/25, 2/26 and 2/27
National Archives - one of the MI5 file on Karel Richter - KV 2/30

11 December 2017

Egon Rammrath through the eyes of Josef Jakobs

During his interrogations at Camp 020, MI5's secret wartime interrogation centre southwest of London, Josef Jakobs shared information about the black market passport business in which he was involved. One of the other characters in Josef's account was Egon Rammrath, son of Franz Rammrath. While not of great interest to MI5's interrogators, Rammrath's existence was confirmed by Frau Lily Knips, a Jewish woman who had briefly considered procuring a passport through the services of Josef Jakobs. She eventually managed to make it to England through her own means. She was questioned by MI5 and confirmed that an Egon Rammrath existed, although she rather thought he might be a member of the Gestapo and did not warm to him at all!

We've taken a look at what we could glean from Egon's background in the previous blog post. Here, I want to add some "colour" to Egon as seen through the lens of Josef Jakobs. It's most helpful to read the first post and then take a look at this one.

Egon Rammrath
Franz Rammrath and his family before 1896.  Egon is the young boy in front, between his grandmother(?) and mother. He would have been about 4-5 years old when this photograph was taken.  (From Wilmersdorf by Udo Christoffel - Sutton Verlag, 1998 - p. 96)  (from Google Books - hope link works)
Franz Rammrath and his family before 1896.
Egon is the young boy in front, between his grandmother(?) and mother.
He would have been about 4-5 years old when this photograph was taken.
(From Wilmersdorf by Udo Christoffel - Sutton Verlag, 1998 - p. 96)
(from Google Books - hope link works)
Egon's father, Franz Rammrath was a builder and a multi-millionaire. He had donated the land upon which St. Ludwig's Church sat in Wilmersdorf, as well as the land now known as Preussen Park. Egon had 6 brothers and sisters (surviving ones?) and his brothers hold important positions in the government.


Egon studied economics at Berlin University but with the outbreak of war joined the army and became an officer. During World War I, he was chief of the Spionageabwehrdienst (espionage service?) in the Berlin District. Josef thought he was an Oberleutnant (First Lieutenant).

During the hyper-inflation period in Germany (circa 1923), Egon lost most of his father's money. He dabbled in a number of business ventures: dealer in motor cards, financier, mortgage & house agent, dealer in pictures, manager of a "fashionable" Sportsclub. At some point, he was adopted by a Baron von Buchwald.

In the late 1920s or early 1930s, Egon went to the Bank für Deutsche Beamte and got a 2.5 million goldmark credit. Unfortunately, he speculated with this money and lost all of it thereby contributing to the bankruptcy of the Bank (the bank actually did go bankrupt in the late 1920s/early 1930s). Egon was tried, found guilty and sentenced to 9 months in prison but fled to Switzerland in 1933 or 1934 to escape his prison sentence. He was arrested by the Swiss authorities for suspicious financial dealings, spent 3 weeks in prison and was then deported to Germany where he served his 9 month prison sentence.

Josef met Egon in the early 1930s through Rudolf Hoch in connection with motor-corporations. Josef bought some Mexican bonds through Egon (this would have been 1932/1933) but then lost touch, likely because Egon decamped for Switzerland.

According to Josef, Egon was very well traveled and lived with his wife and children despite having been divorced for many years. Apparently, the divorce was for taxation reasons. Josef thought that Egon had one son who was in the Army and a daughter.

Josef found Egon to be, by nature, very egotistical, suspicious and insincere. He was anti-Semitic but Josef did not think he was a member of the Nazi Party.

Given the facts that we know from the genealogical information, Josef's account isn't too far off. Naturally, this is a picture of Egon filtered through Josef's own preconceptions and experiences. Still, it does give us a bit more information about a man who seems to have been a bit of a scoundrel, not unlike Josef himself!

Reference
National Archives - KV 2/27 file on Josef Jakobs.
Dealers in Black Market Passports - Josef Jakobs and Egon Rammrath - this blog site.

06 December 2017

Dealers in Black Market Passports - Josef Jakobs and Egon Rammrath

It's safe to say that Nazi Germany was not a stable place for thousands of Jews. The Nuremberg Laws progressively stripped away the civil rights of those who were classified as Jews (either 3 or 4 grandparents who had been born into the Jewish religion). Jewish doctors and lawyers could only have Jewish clients. Jews couldn't attend the cinema. Jews were stripped of their German citizenship and banned from public office. Jews couldn't own businesses or be employed at Aryan businesses. In such an atmosphere, it is little wonder that many Jews sought to escape Nazi Germany. The first wave of Jews fled to France, Belgium The Netherlands and Denmark in the mid-1930s. Others went to Austria and Czechoslovakia. None of those locations would provide safety once the Germans invaded those countries. By the late 1930s, erstwhile Jewish emigrants were becoming desperate, easy targets for the unscrupulous. "We can help you get out of Germany... for a price, of course."

Josef Jakobs got involved with a group of unscrupulous opportunists who saw the plight of the Jews as a grand way to make money. During his interrogations by MI5 in 1941, Josef shared many details of the black market passport scheme of which he was a part, along with the names and personalities of his accomplices. A lawyer named Dr. Jürgen Ziebell was the mover and the shaker of the group. It was he who paid the bribes for Uruguayan, French or Cuban passports. But he needed clients, preferably rich clients and he relied on people like Josef to bring prosperous Jews to his offices at 202 Kurfürstendamm in Wilmersdorf, Berlin. The passports were apparently quite legal, just expensive.

Ziebell could get a passport for a client for around 22,000 Reich Marks (RM). People like Josef went out and advertised their services at a mark-up. They might say that a passport cost 30,000 RM, allowing them to pocket 8000 RM. It was apparently a lucrative business in 1938 and Ziebell had both Josef and a man named Egon Rammrath bringing him clients. While I haven't found much on Ziebell, there is a fair bit on Rammrath.

Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath
Let's start with the facts that we can glean from the genealogy websites. Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath was born on 11 July 1891 in Wilmersdorf to engineer and "Oekonomierat" Franz Josef Norbert Rammrath and his wife Henriette Clara Hedwig von der Heÿden.


Wilmersdorf as farms gave way to apartment blocks, circa 1900? (Berlin.de website)
Wilmersdorf as farms gave way to apartment blocks,
circa 1900? (Berlin.de website)
From what I can gather, "Oekonomierat" was "an honorary title conferred upon a deserving agriculturist". Franz and Hedwig lived at Brandenburgische Strasse #84 and were quite well off, owning a fair bit of land around Wilmersdorf. At that time, the village of Wilmersdorf was being absorbed into the city of Berlin. Farm fields gave way to large apartment blocks and landowners like Franz made a tidy penny.


Franz was a district-councillor for Wilmersdorf (as of 1907) and a member of the building commission that constructed the Tetlow Canal. He was apparently influential enough that one of the bridges over the Tetlow Canal was named after him - the Rammrath Brücke.



Franz Rammrath and his family before 1896. F = Franz Rammrath, J = Henriette Clara Hedwig von der Heÿden E = mother of Franz or Henriette?, C = governess? K = Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath (From Wilmersdorf by Udo Christoffel - Sutton Verlag, 1998 - p. 96) (from Google Books - hope link works)
Franz Rammrath and his family before 1896.
F = Franz Rammrath, J = Henriette Clara Hedwig von der Heÿden
E = mother of Franz or Henriette?, C = governess?
K = Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath
(From Wilmersdorf by Udo Christoffel - Sutton Verlag, 1998 - p. 96)
(from Google Books - hope link works)
Egon was their tenth child and they would have at least one more after him, for an even dozen. Of the twelve, at least two died as young children and there may have been others who perished as children or during World War I. Egon's siblings were:
  1. Franz Josef August Rammrath b1878 - no marriage or death found in records (not in photograph - would have been 17-18 at the time)
  2. Norbert Franz Wilhelm Rammrath b1880 d1882 (deceased before photograph taken)
  3. Hedwig Clara Elisabeth (G in photograph) - b1881 - no marriage or death found in records
  4. Ernst Lucas ? Rammrath (H in photograph) - b1882 - no marriage or death found in records
  5. Eleonora Clara Franziska (D in photograph) - b1884 m1906 Josef Otto Hermann Maria Kerlë
  6. Elisabetha Josepha Margaretha Rammrath (A in photograph) - b1885 m1907 Bernhard August Steffen
  7. Klara Gertrud Franziska Rammrath (B in photograph) - b1886 m1915 Gustav Walter Fischer
  8. Auguste Martha Maria Rammrath  (I in photograph) - b1888 m1913 Franz Joseph Leonhard Scheffels
  9. Catharina Carolina Hildegard Rammrath b1890 d1891 (deceased before photograph taken)
  10. Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath (K in photograph) - b1891 m1914
  11. Lothar Hubertus Heinrich Rammrath b1896 - no marriage or death (not born at time photograph was taken)
On 1 August 1914, Egon married Käthe Martha Olga Klinckmüller. Both of Egon's parents were deceased by this point (his mother passed away in 1913 and his father between 1907-1914). Egon was living at Brandenburgische Strasse #53 and listed his occupation as "businessman". A year later, the couple had apparently moved into Käthe's home for Egon is listed in the telephone directory as living at Zähringerstrasse 25, Wilberforce. Given that Käthe's father was deceased prior to their wedding, perhaps the young couple moved in with her mother.

1. Garde-Feld-Artillerie-Reg (from YouTube)
1. Garde-Feld-Artillerie-Reg (from YouTube)
Egon was 24 years old in 1915 and one could wonder why he had not already joined the German Army. He obviously did, for in 1920, he is once again listed in the Berlin phone books but this time as a businessman and a Lieutenant (Reserve) of the 1. Gard-Feld-Artillerie-Reg (1st Guard Field Artillery Regiment). His address is given as Kurfürstendamm 253, which is rather odd as that is right across from the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche. This could be explained by the fact that on 14 July 1922, Egon and his wife filed for divorce. Perhaps Egon's return from war had not been such a success on the domestic front. A year later, in 1923, he was listed at the same address with the same occupation even though, by this point, the German Army had been demobilized as part of the armistice.

There is a gap in the phone directories available online and by 1940/1941, Egon was living at Meinekestrasse 8 and working as a "Werbefachm." likely "Werbefachmann" - essentially an advertising/publicity man. Perhaps he saw his role in procuring wealthy clients for Ziebell as "publicity"?

Egon's Loose Ends
There are also some loose ends around Egon. His birth registration form has three marginal notes. On March 20, 1930, a notary made a petition to the court in Charlottenburg stating that engineer Hugo Freiherr von Buchwald (a very aristocratic lineage), living in Charlottenburg, adopted Egon Rammrath and that henceforth Egon could use the family name, Freiherr von Buchwald, without needing to use his own family name (Rammrath). A rather odd note. Was Egon the child of Buchwald? Or had Buchwald sold his name to Rammrath? Perhaps a gambling debt? It didn't last long in any event...

On 2 October, 1930, there is another marginal note that states the court in Charlottenburg determined on May 3, 1930, that the adoption was null and void and that the marginal note (granting use of the family name) had no power.

Four years later, on 27 August 1934, there is another marginal note which is convoluted in its legalese, to the point that I will need to consult a German cousin who is a notary/lawyer. It references some events in 1922 and 1933 and the use of a name (possibly Buchwald?). I'll have to get back to you on this.

Egon's marriage registration from 1914 also has a marginal note that states the couple received a divorce decree on 14 July 1922 and were divorced on 25 August 1922.

Reference list from a book (p.1093) - Käuferverhalten und
Marketing-Entscheidung - Volume 1 - André Bebié - 1978.
(as viewed on Google Books)
What became of Egon? Did he survive the war? I have found two references to articles written by an Egon Rammrath, one in 1946 and one in 1972. Is it him? Hard to say, although if it is, he would have been 81 years old at the time the second article was published in 1972. It does mention "werbung" which links to his career as a publicity/advertising guy in 1940/41.

The first article was published in Volume 2 No. 9 of Das Lichtblick, a cultural and entertainment magazine published out of Graz, Austria from 1945-1947. Hard to say if it was the same Egon Rammrath or not.


This then is what we can glean from genealogy files and other sources online. It's not a lot but it does give us a framework for Egon's life. Josef told MI5 quite a bit about Egon and I'll expand on that in the next post. One could say that Josef's tale about Egon adds some colour to this otherwise rather bland history.

References
Ancestry - genealogy website - births, marriages, deaths, address books. I've created a Rammrath Tree in Ancestry, for my own ease in untangling all of the children. Contact me if you're interested in seeing it.

YouTube - march of the 1. Gard-Feld-Artillerie-Reg (1st Guard Field Artillery Regiment)
Wikimedia - Rammrath Bridge over the Teltow Canal
Teltow Canal - Rammrath Bridge