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Showing posts from July, 2019

Frau Lily Knips avoided the Black Market Passport business

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We are going to take a bit of a break from the schemers behind the black market passport business in 1930s Berlin and focus on a few of the desperate Jewish clients who sought to escape Nazi Germany..

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Before I begin this blog, I need to acknowledge Lily's granddaughter, Sylvia, who has welcomed me into her home and helped me untangle the life of Lily Knips.

When Josef Jakobs landed in England, he had one person with whom he planned to make contact, Frau Lily Knips living at 19 Compayne Gardens in London. The MI5 officers were naturally interested in anyone with whom a German spy planned to make contact and questioned Frau Knips at her flat in London. In this instance we have not only the testimony of Josef Jakobs but also that of Frau Lily Knips. Their stories about Ziebell and the passport business jived fairly well.

Hannover
Lily was born on 20 July, 1891, in the city of Hannover to German Jewish parents Jacob Katz and Jenny Goldschmidt. Lily’s parents already had a young …

Christian Friedrich Jürgen Ziebell - Mastermind of the Black Market Passport Business

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Normally I can bang out these blog posts in about eight hours - about 6 hours of research and a couple of hours of writing and editing. In the case of Jürgen Ziebell, however, I have been sucked into an overwhelming web of information, most of it in German. It has taken me quite a while to sift through all of the information and try to make sense of it... without writing another book! This blog has been an absolute beast!

Let's just start by saying that Jürgen Ziebell, the man at the black heart of the passport business in 1930s Berlin, was an unscrupulous criminal, whose crooked career continued well into the 1960s. The more I delved into this story, the more amazed I was at the sheer audacity of the man. His ambition for fame, fortune, and above all, power, knew no bounds. Josef's association with this criminal adds another layer of darkness to Josef's own career, although I gather that Ziebell was a consummate master at projecting an image of respectability. He sucked…

Kenneth Clifford Howard - Birth & Death

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We interrupt the regularly scheduled blog posts on the wartime Jewish emigration business in Berlin to bring you an update on the search for Kenneth Clifford Howard... This gentleman's notebook and diary from the mid-1930s ended up in the National Archives at Kew. The two notebooks probably started off in Karl Theodore Drücke's file and then somehow got erroneously placed in Josef Jakobs' file. I've written a number of blog posts about Kenneth and his notebooks, two key ones are...
2019 06 05 - On the Trail of Kenneth - reviewing the 1939 Nat Reg for possible records based on his parents' names2017 02 17 - Solved - Kenneth Clifford Howard & his Diaries - reviews the history of the notebooks and how they came to be in Josef's file when they really belong in Drücke's file - also has links to my earlier blogs on Kenneth Kenneth has proved to be inordinately hard to track through the genealogy sites. Part of the problem lies in the fact that "Howard&quo…