29 April 2020

The Avant Espionage Career of Gösta Caroli

With a bit of viral lockdown time on my hands, I transcribed and translated the first two chapters of the Swedish book on Gösta Caroli. These chapters were most interesting to me for the information it had on Caroli's time in Canada during the 1920s. In late 2018, I had written a blog about Caroli's silver fox farming adventures in the Nicola Valley (British Columbia). I wanted to see what authors Olsson and Jonason had to add to what I had already discovered...

N.B. - See my blog on The Après Espionage Career of Gosta Caroli for the last chapter of this book

Once again, I have relied on Google Translate and the translation is a bit rough in areas, but I think the overall gist is accurate. I am not including the Swedish transcript in the interests of brevity. I've also added some comments in italicized square brackets. I have also added a few extra paragraph breaks as the originals were a bit long. Have also added source notes for the book's footnotes.

The Priest’s Son from Norra Vram
Norra Vram location
Norra Vram location
The crofter Carl Johan Carlsson in Fellingsbro was probably a very proud father when his son Claes, as a 24-year-old in 1886, began his university studies in Uppsala. Claes came from a poor home and the studies were far from a matter of course, rather it was a big exception. But he had a reading head, the priest in Fellingsbro even noted in the house interviews that his reading from the catechesis was "very good" and it was probably with his help that he got the support he needed to start his studies. The chance he was given would give Claes a life that was far from the crofters life in Fellingsbro, after studying and working as a teacher for a couple of years, in 1894 he was given the position of preacher at the Michael’s Chapel in Uppsala. As was normal, the surname Carlsson was also replaced by the more Latin Caroli, which has since been carried by the family [This is fascinating. I had always wondered why Gösta had such an Italian sounding last name.]. His career continued in the church, first as assistant pastor in 1896 and then as cathedral coordinator in 1899, both positions in Uppsala. He moved to the small Scanian [Scania is a province in southern Sweden] agricultural community Norra Vram in 1901 when he was appointed pastor of the parish. He brought his family with him to the parish, wife Anna Berg, daughter of curate Johan August Berg in Tärby [north of Norra Vram], and the children Ingrid, Gunnar and Gerda, all born in Uppsala [1896, 1898, 1900].

Vicarage building in Norra Vram (From Bjuvs Commun site)
Vicarage building in Norra Vram
(From Bjuvs Commun site)
The vicarage in Norra Vram is still today a magnificent stone building on two floors, when it was built in 1816 it was described as the parish's "second finest house". The finest house belonged to the person who financed the construction of the parsonage, the castle master at Vrams Gunnarstorp Castle, court marshal Georg Filip Berch. By the time Claes Caroli and his family moved into the parsonage, it had already been inhabited by a number of church pastors, among them was Gustav Henrik Mellin (1803-1876), who had moved from Finland when it was conquered by Russia in 1809, and who had read to the pastor and became a well-known author before he, in 1852, was appointed pastor of the church in Norra Vram. As church pastor, Claes Caroli was a respected and esteemed man in the parish, he spent time with the castle master and the parliamentarian Gustaf Tornérhjelm at Vrams Gunnarstorp's castle and with all the big farmers of the area. Now and then he was visited by "fine gentlemen" from the parish; politicians, churchgoers and old acquaintances from the Uppsala era.

Vram Gunnarstorp Castle (from Wikipedia)
Vram Gunnarstorp Castle
(from Wikipedia)
In this environment, on November 6, 1902, Claes and Anna's fourth child, the son Gösta Caroli, was born. Unlike his father, in Norra Vram Gösta would have a favorable childhood. The father could afford to ensure that his children received the best education and that they met and socialized with "the right people". The daughter Ingrid would later marry the pastor Axel Abring, the son Gunnar would take over the father's service as church pastor in Norra Vram and the daughter Gerda would, like Ingrid, marry a pastor, Rudolf Hoffman of Rickling between Kiel and Hamburg. The youngest son, Tryggve born in 1906, would go off the church path and instead become a successful architect. [Claes Tryggve Caroli married Anna Josefina Margarete Greta Cedarblom a pharmacist. Tryggve passed away in 1968.]

Son Gösta's education began after a few years of home schooling at Åstorp's mixed school and then continued for two years at Lund's private elementary school, a schooling granted to few in Norra Vram. Just like his father, Gösta was a good student, which was also evident in the grades, not least regarding the language subjects. Gösta was even allowed to travel to British Essex to study for a year at college, which was very unusual at this time. The childhood friend Runo Löwenmo [a botanist and author], who had the surname Andersson at the time, later wrote that “the school's language teaching at that time was a perpetual chewing of grammar. Natural spoken language was never heard. Gösta, on the other hand, was a language genius with a big A in German, English and French”. [1 - Skånska Akademien] According to Löwenmo, Gösta wanted to become a diplomat, "my father had an acquaintance who was an ambassador and that was something very nice." [2 - Skånska Akademien]

Gösta's future prospects would have been very good if it had not been for a tragic handicap that got in the way his studies. At a young age he had contracted scarlet fever, which in itself was not unusual nor a serious illness. [3 - PRO Kew KV 2/60] More serious was that during his recovery, he suffered acute rheumatic fever as a result of the streptococcal infection moving from his throat and causing inflammation of the heart muscle and swelling of the joints, which would affect him his entire life. Due to his rheumatism, Gösta had to finish his studies [4 - Obituary/In Memoriam] at Lund's private elementary school and according to the doctor's prescription the remedy was "hard work". [5 - pers comm. Caroli's nephew] Instead, the studies continued in agriculture and for two years, 1922-1924 [6 - Letter from Caroli to Müntzing 1950], he was an agricultural student on two different farms in northwestern Scania, partly at the family Tornérhjelm Vrams Gunnarstorp and partly at the Kinch Bälteberga farm. Runo Löwenmo describes Gösta during this time as a role model, a person he looked up to. Together with Gustaf Tornérhjelm, grandson of the previously mentioned Gustaf Tonérhjelm and the intended heir to Vrams Gunnarstorp, Gösta was invited to Runo's home in Höör [about 30 km southeast of Norra Vram]. There the three young men, who were all interested in nature, roamed the forests at Jularp. Gösta was well-liked in Runo's family and he describes him as “relatively neatly built, dark-haired and wearing glasses. The friendliness radiated perfectly from him. " [7 - Skånska Akademien]

In the same way, Gustaf Tornérhjelm invited both Gösta and Runo home to Vrams Gunnarstorp's castle, including the many hunts that happened annually. On these hunts were hares, cocks, foxes and deer, but Gösta himself did not participate in the hunt, instead he entertained the many foreign guests who came to participate. The fact that several of these guests came from Germany is not surprising, the traditional relations between Sweden and Germany were deeply rooted and went far back in time. It is therefore no wonder that Caroli was influenced by this German friendliness, especially when he himself had a sister in Germany. However, Caroli and Tornérhjelm did not only meet during the annual hunts, the distance between Norra Vram's vicarage and Vrams Gunnarstorp castle was only about 1.7 kilometers and Caroli was especially pleased with Tornérhjelm's motorcycle which he was more than happy to borrow. [8 - pers comm. with Caroli's nephew]

Silver Fox - from Wikipedia
Silver Fox - from Wikipedia
Among Silver Foxes in Canada and the Great Lakes

[Given that Caroli spent no time on the Great Lakes, other than passing through on a train, this chapter title is a bit misleading.]

In the mid-1920s, the young Caroli came to emigrate to Canada and enter a successful industry - breeding silver foxes. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the silver fox fur was a status symbol that demanded a high price, something that would be broken only in the late 1940s when overproduction made the fur an everyday product with falling prices as a result. However, the silver fox does not appear in the wild, it is instead a bred variant of Vulpes vulpes, the red fox, but with a black furry pelt with silvery spiky hair and a white tail tip. The wild red fox is widespread throughout Europe, North America, Asia and to some extent also in northern Africa and Australia.

RMS Ausonia - from Wikipedia
RMS Ausonia - from Wikipedia
However, Gösta Caroli was not the only one in Sweden who invested his money in breeding silver foxes in the 1920s. The largest Swedish farm was founded in the 1920s by the three brothers Welander in Danstorp's village in Blekinge [southern province east of Scania] and farms arose simultaneously in, among others, Loka in Ålvdalen, Bonäs at Enköping, Vikingstad in Östergötland and Långsjöby near Storuman to name a few places. The Welander brothers in Danstorp village had acquired their knowledge of the silver foxes in North America, and Caroli would follow the same path.

In Southampton, Caroli boarded Cunard Lines RMS Ausonia on March 4, 1926, and with him he had a new passport which he had ten days earlier received in Kristianstad. [9 - Immigration record] The voyage went west and after nine days the ship arrived in Halifax on Canada's east coast. Caroli was 23 when he landed and at the border check he stated that his destination was Edmonton in Alberta on the west coast. [Mmm... Alberta is not on the west coast... it is in the west of Canada, but not on the coast.] The train journey was long, nearly 4500 kilometres [The Swedish reads "450 mil". Google Translate variously translates "mil" as "10 kilometres" and/or "miles". Given the actual distance is in the range of 4800 kilometres, I'll take "mil" to mean "10 kilometers". So 450 mil = 450 x 10 kilometres = 4500 km.] and through three time zones. The first stage from Halifax to Montreal took 27 hours and on arrival they had passengers who were going west to change trains. After a break of just over two hours, the new train began to roll, the journey went all night and 25 hours later the passengers arrived in Winnipeg where there was a longer stop. While the carriages were being cleaned and both the locomotives and restaurant cars were filled, passengers were allowed to leave the train and stretch their legs for one hour and five minutes. It would then take another 22 hours for the train to reach its destination in Edmonton. The total travel time would then have been 82 hours and 30 minutes, at least if the timetable had been kept; bad weather, oncoming trains and even derailment were not all too common causes of delays. [10 - Alberta Railway Museum]

The journey from Edmonton went further west, more than 600 miles [We again have "60 mil" but in this instance it is likely 60 x 10 miles, as the actual distance from Edmonton to Merritt is around 900 km, about 600 miles.] to Lake View Fox Farm on Nicola Lake off Quilchena in British Columbia, a community of 60 residents mainly engaged in mining and livestock management. The farm was run by William Crompton and his partner Joseph Guichon, two experienced fur traders and mass dealers with several different businesses in the area. Every year, Crompton and Guichon hired a few seasonal workers, of whom Caroli would be one this year. [11 - BC Historical Federation] The work suited Gösta well and in addition to the breeding of silver foxes, he also experimented with irrigation devices for alfalfa (luzern) and silo corn. [Thanks to Traugott Vitz for pointing out that luzern/luzerne/lucerne is alfalfa.] [12 - Letter from Caroli to Müntzing 1950] However, he did not return home until after twenty months in Canada, instead of returning home after the end of the season, he traveled on a motorcycle around the area and crossed the Canadian Rockies, the Canadian part of the Rocky Mountains, among others. [13 - Obituary/In Memoriam] It was not until November 26, 1927, that he took out a new Swedish passport in Montreal and shortly thereafter he went home to Sweden. [This makes a bit more sense, as to why he would have received a passport in Montreal. Although Olsson and Jonason do not cover many other trips that Caroli took to North America and the United States in subsequent years. See my earlier blog.] Over Christmas and New Year he stayed at his mother's house before in March 1928 he once again traveled to Canada, this time from Hamburg with the ship SS Thurinjia belonging to the Hamburg America Line. This time, too, his destination was Crompton's farm in Quilchena, but the visit would be shorter, as early as June he returned to Sweden to prepare the establishment of his own farm in the upland of Storvreta.

Map of Storvreta, Sweden
Map of Storvreta, Sweden
In Sweden, he was given the opportunity to attend a wedding in Norra Vram, when father Claes performed the marriage of his sister Gerda and the priest Rudolf Hoffman from Rickling, Germany, on October 9. Here, Gösta also met Rudolf's sister, Friedel, and their acquaintance eventually developed into a love affair and eventually an engagement. The love from Gösta to Friedel was great and came to fruition even though they were occasionally on different continents; Rudolf Hoffman would remember that at this time, Gösta had sent an elegant silver fox boa to his sister. [14 - Speech by Rudolf Hoffman at Caroli's funeral]

When Gösta returned to Crompton in Quilchena in November of that year, it was to buy silver foxes for his own farm, twenty pairs, of which he would keep five for breeding and sell the remaining fifteen to customers in Sweden. The deal was expensive, 20,000 Canadian dollars for the foxes and a further 2000 for the trip, hotel, health inspections and permits. In British Columbia, the deal was noted by the regional magazine The Merritt Herald which on November 30 wrote that “The largest shipment of foxes ever exported from British Columbia left Merritt at 10:30am on Wednesday morning with the Canadian Pacific Train to Halifax en route to Gothenburg, Sweden. " [15 - The Merritt Herald]

Caroli would make further trips to Canada, but the success of the silver fox farm would fail, the economy was deteriorating and according to Gösta's family he was tricked out of money by a company. [16 - pers. comm. with Caroli's son] In 1930, his business finally went bankrupt and according to the family, Gösta disappeared for a long time after that. When he later showed up with his parents in Norra Vram, he told him that he had snuck on board a ship as a stowaway because he didn't have any money and when the crew found him he was half starved in the coal supply. The ship took him all the way to Africa but since he was a stowaway, he was given no opportunity to land - instead he was put to work in the kitchen and released only after returning to Sweden. [17 - Speech by Rudolf Hoffman at Caroli's funeral]

In 1930s Europe
With his failed business as a breeder of silver foxes behind him, Caroli returned to Norra Vram. He would not, however, stay in the area for long, for many of the following years he lived a wanderlust life where he held various jobs for short periods while traveling, or rather wandering, around Europe. The bankruptcy had, beyond reasonable doubt, been a severe blow to him and this should have been decisive for his decision to leave Sweden.

The information about Caroli's travels in Europe in the 1930s is vague and poorly documented, but Gösta himself told stories about trips to Germany, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Turkey and Africa; trips that can to some extent be confirmed by preserved passport documents. According to childhood friend Runo Löwenmo, Caroli, together with Löwenmo, applied to the University of Vienna after Caroli's father passed away in June 1933. They would study there to be lawyers, but for Caroli, despite his sharp reading head, the studies did not go well and no degree would be given, perhaps Caroli had something else in mind. However, the details of studies in Vienna are uncertain and in the university archive Caroli is not listed among enrolled students from 1930-1939. Caroli and Löwenmo came regardless of each other down in Europe and while Löwenmo continued his studies in Vienna and later in Berlin, Caroli made his way through the increasingly Nazi central Europe. For a while, in 1935, he was employed as an insurance agent for Brand- and Lifförsäkrings-AB Skåne and was then resident at Fersens väg 10a in Malmö. [18 - Swedish Royal Archives] However, working as an insurance agent was not for the restless Caroli, it was not long before he was again down in Europe. [19 - Swedish Royal Archives]

Cover of Gösta Berling's Saga (from GoodReads site)
Cover of Gösta Berling's Saga
(from GoodReads site)
According to a story, he once, probably in 1936 [20 - PRO Kew KV 2/60], traveled from the Netherlands, through Germany, across the Brenner Pass and into Italy where he briefly worked as a gardener. [21 - Nigel West - British Sec. Serv. Operations 1909-1945] This story is supported by Gösta's passport which shows that in November 1936 he crossed the border to Italy via Brenner and that in April the following year he left the country the same way. Gösta himself would later recall that during this time he worked at Stern's gardens in San Remo where he was responsible for the cactus crops, a job he enjoyed well but had to leave when he lacked a work permit. [22 - Caroli's passport and a letter from Caroli to Müntzing in 1950] According to another story, he was once arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage and must have been released only after it was proven that he was a journalist . [23 - Northamptonshire Police] During the years he also came to some extent to provide himself as a correspondent for various Swedish newspapers, including for Sydsvenska Dagbladdet. He mainly wrote travel notes and these were signed with the pseudonym Gösta Berling [24 - Pers comm with Caroli's son] but he never succeeded in fully supporting himself as a journalist. [Interestingly, there is an 1891 Swedish novel called "Gösta Berlings Saga" which was very well known at the time. "The hero, Gösta Berling, is a defrocked Lutheran priest who has been saved by the Mistress of Ekeby from freezing to death and thereupon becomes one of her pensioners in the manor at Ekeby. As the pensioners finally get power in their own hands, they manage the property as they themselves see fit and their lives are filled with many wild adventures. Gösta Berling is their leading spirit, the poet, the charming personality among a band of revelers. Before the story ends, Gösta Berling is redeemed, and even the old Mistress of Ekeby is permitted to come to her old home to die." Intersting choice of pseudonym.]

The life he lived was tiring and troubled, in Prague he suffered from jaundice and therefore went to Karlsbad (today Karlovy Vary) spa town where, according to his own statement, he cured himself with the health-giving water of the village. A British report a few years later found that Caroli considered it impossible during this time to find a regular job and settle down. He sought a job that gave him the opportunity to study further at university, his background as a farmer would not give him any opportunity for the career he was pursuing and the situation worsened for each passing year. [25 - PRO Kew KV 2/60] With a background in a priestly family and an environment where a title was necessary for acceptance, this endeavor is not unreasonable. He would later recall that he constantly wanted to return to Canada and create a new life there, but lack of money, an unhappy love story and then a war would put a stop to these plans.

These two chapters have filled in a little bit of information about Gösta Caroli and his early life. I have been flipping through the other chapters of Olsson and Jonason's book, looking at the footnote sources to decide if they are worthy of transcription and translation. Most of the remainder of the book relies on the PRO files at Kew and/or published English books. Exceptions are noted below...

Värvad till Abwehr - Referred to Abwehr -this section has some Swedish references
Abwehr - Abwehr - relies mostly on published sources or Kew
     Nicolaus Ritter - Nicolaus Ritter
     Snows - SNOW
     Snows fall - SNOWs Fall
    My Eriksson - My Eriksson
Agent i ett Fredstida Storbritannien - Agent in Peacetime Great Britain - this chapter looks interesting - relies on Northamptonshire Police archives and Swedish Royal Archives
     Den andra resan - The Second Trip
     Nya uppdrag - New Missions
S/S Mertainen - SS Mertainen - Swedish sources but seems to focus on the wreck of the SS Mertainen with very little mention of Caroli
     Malmtrafiken - Ore Traffic
     Från Narvik - From Narvik
     Tyskt flyg angriper - German Air Strikes
     Fartygets forsatta öde - The Fate of the Ship
     Kristiansund bombas - Bombing of Kristiansund [Norway]
Operation Sjölejon - Operation Sealion - published sources
     Operation förbereds - Preparation of Operation
     Slaget om Storbritannien - Battle of Britain
     Invasionsplanerna avbryts - Invasion Plans Cancelled
     Hade invasionen varit mölig? - Had the Invasion been Fun?
Operation Lena - Operation Lena - published sources
     Agenter - Agents
     Konklusioner - Conclusions
Vardagsliv i Storbritannien - Everyday Life in Great Britain - published sources
     Blitzen - The Blitz

Förberedelser i Tyskland - Preparations in Germany - mostly published sources - the first section has some Swedish sources
     Gösta Utbildas - Gösta's Training
     Ritters medarbetare samlas - Ritter's Employees Gather
     I ett ockuperat Paris - In Occupied Paris
     Det första försöket - The First Attempt
     Operationen genomförs - Operation Carried Out
Landning i Storbritannien - Landing in Great Britain - British archives or published sources
     Arresterad - Arrested
Camp 020 - Camp 020 - published sources
     Camp 020, Latchmere House - Camp 020, Latchmere House
     "Tin-Eye" Stephens - "Tin-Eye" Stephens
     Förhör - Interrogation
     London Reception Centre - London Reception Centre
     London Cage - London Cage
Dubbelagenten Gösta - Double Agent Gösta - published sources and British archives
     Camp 020 - Camp 020
     Tyskarnas bild av Caroli - German Image of Caroli
     Flyktförsök - Attempted Escape
     Efterspel - Epilogue
Tate - TATE - published sources
     "Tate" i arbete - "TATE" at Work
Double-Cross organisationen - Double Agent organization - published sources
     Målsättning - Aims
     Viktiga principer - Important Principles
     Resultat - Results
Åter i Sverige - Back in Sweden - see my earlier blog on this chapter

24 April 2020

Free downloads from The National Archives

A few weeks ago, I had posted a blog about The National Archives having free downloads of their digitized files. This was exciting news although... as the weeks went by, and there was no hint of this news on their website I began to think that it had been a cruel April Fool's Day joke (since their original notice had come out on April 1).

But... I am happy to report that... it is legitimate!!!
And the service is open as of today (April 24). Thanks to Traugott Vitz for bringing this to my attention...

Now... there are some caveats... only 10 files can be downloaded per user per day... and only 50 files every 30 days. In order to prevent the system from being overwhelmed. Still... I can work with that!

22 April 2020

The Secretaries of Camp 020

Latchmere House
Latchmere House
Still chipping away at various avenues for tracking down Robin W.G. Stephens. I thought I'd take a look at Christopher Murphy's article on the Spy! episode again. I remembered him mentioning the names of several former Camp 020 secretaries who defended Stephens vociferously.

While these ladies were alive in 1980 when the Spy! episode came out... that was 40 years ago... and it is unlikely that any of them are still with us today. However, I thought that perhaps their children or grandchildren may have some tidbit of information which might help in the hunt for Stephen's death.

Christopher Andrew article
Before we get to Murphy's article, however, I want to touch on an article written by Christopher Andrew in 2014 as an introduction to a volume entitled Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis. Andrew quoted the 1980 letter written by the Camp 020 secretaries as well, but only mentions the name of one of them, Kathleen Williams.

However, Andrew does reference the last survivor of the Camp 020 staff whom, it would appear, he may have interviewed for his article. More on that below.

Murphy's Article
On page 4 of his article, Murphy cites the letter written by a group of 10 former Camp 020 secretaries. He helpfully gives their names and, in some instances, their maiden names. I'm going to do a bit of digging here and see if I can trace these women.

Kathleen Williams
Kathleen seems to have been the chief letter writer, as her name is quoted most often by Murphy and also by Christopher Andrew. With a surname like Williams, however, there isn't much hope of finding anything concrete about her. I did a Google search for "Kathleen Williams" and "Camp 020" and came up with nothing.

William Sidney Allen
(from The British Academy)
Aenea Allen (née McCallum)
N.B. Much of the information in this section comes from an article on Aenea's husband, William Sidney Allen, published in the Proceedings of the British Academy in 2006. This link opens the article as a pdf.

We have much more luck with Aenea. She was born Aenea Janet McCallum on 15 June 1919 in Rosskeen, Rosshire, Scotland. Her parents were the Reverend Dugald McCallum (1875-1942) and Mary Gillies Baxter (1881-1943). Both of Aenea's parents came from the West and spoke Gaelic as their first language. Aenea learned English growing up and studied English and Modern Languages at the University of Aberdeen. During the Second World War, as we know, she served at Camp 020 and her Modern Languages degree makes this quite understandable. After the war, Aenea served with the Control Commission in Vienna.

After her post-war service, Aenea worked in publishing and also on the subtitling of foreign films. In the early 1950s, she found at job at the SOAS - School of Oriental Studies in London. She became the editorial secretary of the School's journal, the Bulletin (BSOAS). It was in this capacity that she met her future husband, William Sidney Allen (1918-2004). William was a Linguist and Philologist whose undergraduate education had been disrupted by the war. Initially assigned as an officer to the Royal Tank Regiment, William was later sent to Iceland as an intelligence officer. In 1942, he returned to the UK and was assigned command of a photographic intelligence unit involved in planning the Normandy landing. After the war, William resumed his career and received his doctorate in linguistics. He then took up a position as a lecturer at the SOAS where he had several papers published in the school's journal, edited by Aenea.

Aenea and William were married in Cambridge in the third quarter of 1955 just as he was about to take up the Chair of Comparative Philology. They apparently had many interests in common including hill-walking and alpine skiing. Starting in the 1960s, they spent many summers traveling around Greece and exploring the smaller Aegean islands. Aenea apparently acquired a greater fluency in Modern Greek than William himself.

The couple lived in Trumpington for many years, on the outskirts of Cambridge. It doesn't appear that they had any children. In 1995, William had a hip replacement and was cared for by Aenea at home. Despite being an avid cycler and seemingly in perfect health, in January 1996 she suddenly collapsed and died a few hours later. She was 76 years old. William remarried in 2002 (Diana Stroud) and passed away in 2004. William has an obituary in The Times, which I can't access as I am not a subscriber... In case someone else is... here's the link.

Eileen Ball
Alas, too common a name, and no other identifying information make Eileen too hard to trace with certainty.

Miss/Mrs Helen Clegg
Anyone who has looked at the MI5 files of agents who passed through Camp 020 will know the name Clegg. It shows up frequently on Latchmere House reports. I had always assumed that Clegg was a man but... now I wonder. Murphy's article refers to Helen Clegg as Miss in one instance and Mrs in another instance which makes it difficult to trace her.

Nancy Farquarson
No luck with Nancy either. There isn't even a Nancy Farquarson in Ancestry although a Phyllis Helen N. Farquarson could be a match...

Joyce Hall (née Bisset)
No luck with Joyce - there isn't enough information to track her down.

Brenda Mitchell
Again, far too common a name to track down.

Margaret Randall (née Davidson)
There is a possible match with a Carol M. Davidson who married a James G. Randall in the first quarter of 1964 in Middlesex. Beyond that, however, there is nothing solid enough to hang a hat on...

Margaret Reynolds
Alas, too common a name.

Mrs. Frances Shanks (née Lepper)
This is a bit more promising as Murphy'as article names two brothers, Alan and William Shanks, who had worked as interrogators at Camp 020. In one place, Murphy notes that Alan and Frances were interviewed together in 1980, suggesting that perhaps they were married. And.... we have success. Frances M.H. Lepper married Alan D.F. Shanks in the first quarter of 1944 in Pancras registration district (Middlesex).

Frances Mary Heron Shanks was born 2 April 1911 in Carrickfergus, Country Antrim, Ireland and died 26 July 2007 in Stone, Stafforshire. Her parents were John Heron Lepper and Winifred Emmeline Watts.

Alan David Ferrier Shanks was born 1910 in Hampstead London to Andrew Ferrier Shanks (1883-1967) and Astrid Brun (1887-1985 - born in Norway). During the war, Alan served with the Intelligence Corps. I did find an engagement announcement in the 6 March 1943 edition of The Scotsman... but not for Alan and Frances. This announcement was for Lt. Alan David Ferrier Shanks and Freda Elizabeth Underhill of Edinburgh. Not exactly sure what happened to that nuptial... Alan passed away in 4 June 2011 in Stafford, Staffordshire.

The Last Survivor of Camp 020 Secretarial Staff
For his 2014 article, Andrew apparently interviewed one of the former Camp 020 secretaries:
Cobain's conclusions are disputed by the only known surviving member of staff of Camp 020 in Britain today: a retired magistrate, who worked there as a secretary from 1942-1945. She insists, like her late colleagues after the BBC programme broadcast over 30 years before, that: 'Colonel Stephens was a brilliant if intimidating interrogator and certainly there was some shouting and night interrogations, but absolutely no torture.'
We - the secretarial staff - were for the most proficient linguists. One of our jobs was to listen in and record the conversations in the cells (all were bugged) and at interrogations. I can vouch with complete certainty that there was no torture, sleep deprivation or starvation.
The diet of prisoners she recalls, was similar to that of the staff. Had prisoners been beaten or tortured, at least some would certainly have mentioned the fact during their overheard conversations. (p. 6) [FN 4]

[FN 4] Recollections of a retired magistrate who is believed to be the last survivor in Britain of the staff of Camp 020.
This is definitely interesting information but Andrew does not mention her name.

I do have a vague recollection of having seen a documentary in the last few years which included a few brief clips of an interview with a woman who worked at Camp 020. Drat if I can remember where/when I saw that...

Introduction: the modern history of interrogation. Christopher Andrew, Interrogation in War and Conflict: A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Analysis, Christopher Andrew and Simona Tobia (eds), Routledge, Abingdon, 2014, p. 1-17.

Dramatising intelligence history on the BBC: the Camp 020 affair. Christopher J. Murphy. Intelligence and National Security, Volume 34,  Issue 5, p. 688-702, 2019. 

15 April 2020

A few Bella Blips on the Internet Radar

The waters of the Bella mystery seemed to have calmed quite a bit in the last few months. Obviously, with Covid19 ravaging the world, many things have taken a back seat to the virus. Still... the most recent news on the Bella case was Alex Merrill's second book on the Bella case, which came out last October/November. But it didn't seem to make as big a splash as the first book and... we are left with a dearth of Bella material.

I did a bit of snooping online and came up with a few things... most not worth the paper they are not written on. Sigh.

British News Paper Archives
I did come across a link to the British Newspaper Archives which published a blog about the Bella case on 4 April 2019. The blog article is based primarily on newspaper reports from the archives, so is a bit limited.

Spoiler Country Podcast
There was also a post about a month ago (25 February 2020) on the Spoiler Country Podcast site. There doesn't actually seem to be a podcast on the Bella episode, just a blog. The blog gives the usual summary, very brief, and does mention the book written by Andrew Sparke, but fails to mention Alex Merrill's first book with the facial reconstruction. This article is by no means a thorough review of the Bella case.

Saturday Morning Serial
Then we have the Saturday Morning Serial (SMS 105.1 Mix Morning Fix) podcast which published a Halloween-inspired episode about Bella on 5 October 2019. This is an American program (Utah) and while the podcast is 35 minutes long, one has to sit through several interminable prelude minutes (8 of them) where the three hosts engage in banter. This banter is perhaps hilarious for them but supremely boring for the listener...

Google Earth - Wychbury Hill - no town there...
Google Earth - Wychbury Hill - no town on the hill...
So if you want to get to the heart of the podcast, skip ahead to the 8 minute mark... maybe even the 9 minute mark...

Right off the bat we have this glaring error - "Wychbury Hill is the local town" where the boys lived. Sigh... I don't know that there is a town on Wychbury Hill unless it's Lilliputian.

Apparently the hand had "been sawed off at the wrist". That's news to me...

Oh, and there clothing was buried next to the tree... again, news to me.

Then we have this doozie - During the war, "there were... sleeper cell Nazis all over the UK... the police... were... overrun with missing persons cases because the Nazis were just abducting people." Wow. Surprising that not a single book has been written about the Nazi abductions of Britons during the war... [note sarcasm]

Mossop was confined to a "Stanford mental hospital"... I think they mean Stafford...

There are also numerous other errors... too many to list. While touching on the PI Punt episode, the hosts focus on the Margaret Murray connection and the idea of the Hand of Glory. Because the show is a preamble to Halloween after all they end with the witch connection.

I also came across this post from the Ranker website, published in December 2019. It gives the usual summary with the usual errors and even adds some new material to muddy the waters. The article includes a dental image which is from the US War Office and has absolutely nothing to do with the Bella case. The unobservant might ,however, miss the photo caption.

As well, one of the subheadings reads:
Gestapo Agent Josef Jakobs Claimed Bella Was Really Cabaret Singer Clara Bauerle 
Good grief.

First up, Josef Jakobs was NOT a Gestapo officer or agent. He had zero affiliation with the Gestapo.

Second - Josef never, ever, claimed that Bella was Clara Bauerle. Josef was captured in 1941. Bella was discovered in 1943. Do the math.

Clara Bauerle pic from the Ranker site
Clara Bauerle pic from the Ranker site
Third - Josef never claimed that Clara Bauerle was sent to England. He said it was a possibility but that he didn't think it would happen as the Abwehr had not heard from him.

On top of that, the Ranker site published this photograph of Clara Bauerle. The caption attributes the photo to the HD Paranormal site which is rubbish. It is from the National Archives at Kew.

At least the article did give a link to my blog in which I showed that Clara Bauerle had died in 1942. Small consolation given the other problems with the article.

This is what happens when you have sites that publish stories based on secondary, tertiary and even quaternary sources. Things get every muddy...

According to his website, the American author of the Ranker article provides "professional writing and editing" services which is great. The author is also into Marketing and SEO Content, etc. which basically translates as writing articles that grab clicks and visits. Wonderful. Except... good writing depends upon good research.

I could probably use help with marketing and SEO content but... for now, I'll focus on research first.

08 April 2020

Free Digital Files on National Archives

I follow The National Archives (Kew) on Facebook and this post popped up last week. It made my heart skip a beat and then do a happy dance pitter patter!

Due to Covid19, the archives are closed, of course. Many of their digitized files are available for download via their website. But... they cost money. It's not a lot of money but still... £3.50 adds up after a while.

Hence my excitement to read that they are going to be making their digital files FREE! I am going to be working on my wish list while they get the details sorted out... and make sure that I have enough hard drive storage space for this treasure trove.

It does make me wish, however, that more of their files were digitized but... one can't have everything...

Although... I am wondering if this may have been an April Fool's Day joke... although scrolling through the hundreds of FB comments, there was no hint of that... Hmmm...

01 April 2020

The Après Espionage Career of Gösta Caroli

A year and a half ago, I took a research detour into the career of Gösta Caroli. I had come across a reference which suggested that Caroli had been tried, condemned and executed by the British. This was news to me since there is no evidence of a trial, nor an execution. In fact, according to the records, Caroli was repatriated back to Sweden in August 1945. A year later, he married Gerta Bergmann and two years later, the couple had a son. According to Swedish records, Caroli died in 1975 in Asmundtorp. It would seem to be a slam-dunk case but... there are always rumours of cover-ups, etc.

Cover of Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer - Simon Olsson and Tommy Jonason (2015 via Vulkan
Cover of Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent
Summer - Simon Olsson and
Tommy Jonason (2015 via Vulkan)
I wrote a couple of blogs about Caroli, one on his ill-fated escape attempt and one on his life and career. Readers are encouraged to take a look at those two blogs before continuing with this one...

Gösta Caroli - Dubbelagent SUMMER
Whilst researching the two previous blogs, I had come across another book by Simon Olsson and Tommy Jonason. I was familiarwith the first book these two Swedish authors had published in English: Double Agent TATE (Caroli's friend and espionage colleague). As it turns out, they had also self-published their book on Caroli in Swedish in 2015 via Vulkan.

I had tried to order a copy of the book but the Vulkan site only shipped within Sweden. I had also tried to contact one of the authors via Facebook and recieved no reply. Finally, I had tracked down Caroli's grandson and his wildnerness camp in Sweden and reached out via email but... received no reply.

A couple of months ago, I cobbled together a message in Swedish (using Google Translate) and emailed the Vulkan book publishers asking if I could purchase the Caroli book and have it shipped to Canada. After much back and forth... I was successful and the book arrived in my mail box in late March. Success!!!!

The Book
Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer  Very tight spine
Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer
Very tight spine
The book is a soft-cover paperback and while published via Vulkan, it is clearly a self-published book in line with Lulu or Blurb here in North Amercia. There are a few issues with the physical book itself. The glue binding is extremely tight and the inside gutter of the pages is very narrow making it very hard to open the book and read it comfortably. I have to work hard to keep the book open to the point where I can read the words along the inner margins. It then comes as no surprise that, within an hour of reading the book, pages were already starting to come loose from the binding. Sigh.

The cover is also obviously home-made and, I have to say, looks like something a child might draw. I had a look at the moon phases calendar for 6 September 1940 (the night Caroli parachuted into England) and it was a waxing crescent, which is the opposite of what the book cover depicts (a waning crescent).

As for the contents of the book, there are a few things lacking:
  • no author bios - this is always helpful for assessing author expertise, although in this instance, we can just look at the TATE book
  • no acknowledgements - helpful for sleuthing out new contacts
  • no index
  • no photo credits - we have no idea of the source of the photographs. It is clear that some must come from Caroli's family while others are from the National Archives. I'm going to guess that the authors didn't pay the fee for using photos from Kew.
  • no folios for the footnotes - they simply list the KV file number, but no attempt to direct the reader/researcher to the relevant folio, or even the context of the document referenced (date, source, etc.)
Pages falling out after one hour  Olsson & Jonason -  Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer
Pages falling out after one hour
Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer
 Now, I know how much effort goes into researching and writing a book. I also know how hard it is to get a book accepted for publication and then get the manuscript ready for publication. Still, I wished that the authors had devoted a bit more time to addressing some of the issues noted above.

Table of Contents
Before we begin, I should say that I don't know a word of Swedish. The language obviously shares some roots with German as I can pick out a few words here and there and, rather surprisingly, get the gist of some paragraphs. I am, however, relying heavily on Google Translate to translate Swedish into English.

First, let's take a look at the book's Table of Contents which give us an overview of the book and where it will take us.

Inledning - Introduction
Prästsonen från Norra Vram - Priest's Son from Norra Vram
Bland silverrävar i Kanada och Storvreta - Among Silver Foxes in Canada and Storvreta
     I 1930-talets Europa - In 1930s Europe
Värvad till Abwehr - Referred to Abwehr
Abwehr - Abwehr
     Nicolaus Ritter - Nicolaus Ritter
     Snows - SNOW
     Snows fall - SNOWs Fall
    My Eriksson - My Eriksson
Agent i ett Fredstida Storbritannien - Agent in Peacetime Great Britain
     Den andra resan - The Second Trip
     Nya uppdrag - New Missions
S/S Mertainen - SS Mertainen
     Malmtrafiken - Ore Traffic
     Från Narvik - From Narvik
     Tyskt flyg angriper - German Air Strikes
     Fartygets forsatta öde - The Fate of the Ship
     Kristiansund bombas - Bombing of Kristiansund [Norway]
Operation Sjölejon - Operation Sealion
     Operation förbereds - Preparation of Operation
     Slaget om Storbritannien - Battle of Britain
     Invasionsplanerna avbryts - Invasion Plans Cancelled
     Hade invasionen varit mölig? - Had the Invasion been Fun?
Operation Lena - Operation Lena
     Agenter - Agents
     Konklusioner - Conclusions
Vardagsliv i Storbritannien - Everyday Life in Great Britain
     Blitzen - The Blitz

Förberedelser i Tyskland - Preparations in Germany
     Gösta Utbildas - Gösta's Training
     Ritters medarbetare samlas - Ritter's Employees Gather
     I ett ockuperat Paris - In Occupied Paris
     Det första försöket - The First Attempt
     Operationen genomförs - Operation Carried Out
Landning i Storbritannien - Landing in Great Britain
     Arresterad - Arrested
Camp 020 - Camp 020
     Camp 020, Latchmere House - Camp 020, Latchmere House
     "Tin-Eye" Stephens - "Tin-Eye" Stephens
     Förhör - Interrogation
     London Reception Centre - London Reception Centre
     London Cage - London Cage
Dubbelagenten Gösta - Double Agent Gösta
     Camp 020 - Camp 020
     Tyskarnas bild av Caroli - German Image of Caroli
     Flyktförsök - Attempted Escape
     Efterspel - Epilogue
Tate - TATE
     "Tate" i arbete - "TATE" at Work
Double-Cross organisationen - Double Agent organization
     Målsättning - Aims
     Viktiga principer - Important Principles
     Resultat - Results
Åter i Sverige - Back in Sweden

Appendix I - Förhör med Caroli - Appendix I - Interrogation of Caroli
[Appendix II - Angående Chiffrering - Appendix II - Regarding Encryption] (not in TOC)
Appendix III - Agenter och dubbelagenter - Appendix III - Agents and Double Agents
Källförteckning - Bibliography
     Otryckta källor - Unpublished Sources
     Tryckta källor - Published Sources

Back in Sweden
My primary interest in ordering this book was to find out what happened to Caroli after the war and put to rest the rumours that he was secretly executed by the British during the war. As such, I focused on the last chapter - Back in Sweden.

I transcribed the Swedish text of this chapter into a Word document and then ran it piece by piece through Google Translate, then smoothed over some of the grammatical hiccups. I'll include the Swedish here, just in case some Swedish speaking person reads this blog and wants to offer some corrections on the translation!

I am providing some key photographs as well. I had hoped to scan them on my scanner but... the tight spine makes it almost impossible so I just took pictures of them. In the translations below, I am also providing abbreviated footnote references so the interested reader has a sense of the sources.
“Härmed får jag vördsamt meddela, att generalkonsulatet genom härvarande inrikesministerium nyligen erfarit, att en svensk medborgare Gösta Caroli, född i Norra Vram, Malmöhus län den 6 Nov 1902, sedan September 1940 på grund av olovlig underättelseverksamhet hällits i fängsligt förvar i Storbritannien. En tjänsteman i ministeriet har vid samtal med en representant för generalkonsulatet uppgivit, att Caroli den 5 September 1940 landsattes i Storbritannien från ett tyskt flygplan, samt att det av hans utrustning framginge, att han härstädes avsåge att bedriva spioneri för tysk räkning.”[1]
I hereby respectfully announce that the Consulate General through the present Ministry of the Interior has recently learned that a Swedish citizen Gösta Caroli, born in Norra Vram, Malmöhus County on 6 Nov 1902, since September 1940 has been detained in prison in the United Kingdom for illegal activities. An official in the ministry stated during a conversation with a representative of the Consulate General that on 5 September 1940 Caroli landed in the United Kingdom from a German aircraft and that his equipment indicated that he was hereby intending to carry out espionage on behalf of the Germans. [1 - Swedish Royal Archives]
The chapter starts with a quote from the Swedish Consulate General in London dated 18 August 1945 and contained within the Royal Archives in Sweden. It seems pretty straightforward and it is interesting to note that this is a Swedish sourced document.
Ovanstående meddelande skickades från af Petersen vid det svenska generalkonsulatet i London till utrikesdepartementet i Stockholm den 18 augusti 1945. Kopior på meddelandet skickades därifrån till Gösta Engzell, chef för UD:s rättsavdelning, E. Hallgren vid Överståthållarämbetet och till kriminalavdelningen vid Stockholms polis som i sin tur underrättade landsfogde Otto Rosengren i Malmö. Stockholmspolisen konstaterade att ingen kriminell aktivitet var känd om Caroli i Sverige men uppmanade polisen i Helsingborg att göra en utredning om honom.

The above message was sent from af[?] Petersen at the Swedish Consulate General in London to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm on August 18, 1945. Copies of the message were sent from there to Gösta Engzell, Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, E. Hallgren at the Supreme Court Office and to the Criminal Division at Stockholm Police, and in turn, Counsel Otto Rosengren informed Malmö. Stockholm police found that no criminal activity was known about Caroli in Sweden but called on the Helsingborg police to investigate him.
The Consulate General's letter obviously generated a flurry of activy in Sweden about the soon-to-be repatriated Caroli. The police conducted some background checks and were set to interview him.
Motorcycles would follow Gösta  throughout life and in Canada he was  probably one of the first to cross  the Canadian Rockies with this vehicle  (Olsson & Jonason -  Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Motorcycles would follow Gösta
throughout life and in Canada he was
probably one of the first to cross
the Canadian Rockies with this vehicle
(Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Någon information om Caroli hade sedan 1940 inte meddelats svenska myndigheter eller hans mor som nu bodde i Billesholm, han kunde lika gärna ha varit död. Ett brev som den brittiska postcensuren snappade upp i mars 1941 vittnar om detta, systern Ingrid skrev då till en väninnan i Storbritannien att “Gösta is gone a year ago in Germany, we don’t know how”[2], det är inte konstigt att meddelandet från konsulatet väckte känslor inom familjen. Caroli skulle nu deporteras från Storbritannien och det brittiska inrikesministeriet överlämnade ansvaret över honom till generalkonsulatet för att ordna de praktiska detaljerna. Dagen innan hade ett provisoriskt svenskt pass utfärdats och det hade bestämts att deportationen skulle genomföras med båt från London den 23 augusti. Själv hade Caroli via de brittiska myndigheterna framfört önskemålet om att hans bror, kyrkoherden Gunnar Caroli i Norra Vram, skulle underrättas om hans hemkomst.[3] Vi kan bara spekulera i vad Gösta Caroli tänkte inför hemfärden, hans över fem år långa frånvaro utan några som helst underrättelser till sin mor hade med all sannolikhet satt sina spår. Skulle saknaden göra återseendet med familjen till en känslosam och glädjande återförening, eller skulle det vara helt andra känslor som han skulle bli bemött av? Han var väl medveten om att hans bror Gunnar inte delade hans sympatier för den tyska regimen och hur skulle han nu bli bemött när det var känt att han arbetat som agent för Tyskland? Svaret på frågan skulle snart få sitt svar.

Gösta's silver fox farm in Storvreta was an  extensive project, but the successes failed.  (Olsson & Jonason -  Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Gösta's silver fox farm in Storvreta was an
extensive project, but the successes failed.
(Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
No information about Caroli had been communicated since 1940 to the Swedish authorities nor his mother who now lives in Billesholm, he could just as well have been dead. A letter that the British Postal Censor intercepted in March 1941 testifies to this, his sister Ingrid then wrote to a friend in the UK that "Gösta is gone a year ago in Germany, we do not know how" [2 - Archive of Northamptonshire Police], it is not strange that the message from the consulate aroused feelings within the family. Caroli was now deported from the United Kingdom and the British Ministry of the Interior handed over the responsibility to him to the Consulate General to arrange the practical details. The day before, a provisional Swedish passport had been issued and it was decided that the deportation would be carried out by boat from London on 23 August. Caroli himself, through the British authorities, had expressed the wish that his brother, the church pastor Gunnar Caroli in Norra Vram, be informed of his return. [3 - Swedish Royal Archives] We can only speculate on what Gösta Caroli was thinking before leaving home, his absence of more than five years without any informations to his mother had in all likelihood left its mark. Would the lack make the reunion with the family an emotional and joyous reunion, or would it be completely different feelings that he would be faced with? He was well aware that his brother Gunnar did not share his sympathies for the German regime, and how would he now be treated when it was known that he worked as an agent for Germany? The answer to the question would soon have its answer.
Clearly, Caroli's family knew nothing about his espionage adventures, only that he had gone to Germany and vanished, with no communication to them. Caroli requested that his brother, Gunnar, be notified of his return. He embarked on the SS Ring on 23 August 1945 from England with a provisional Swedish passport.
Gösta Caroli 1935 (Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Gösta Caroli 1935
(Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Den 1 september 1945 anlade fartyget s/s Ring i Helsingborgs hamn och bland passagerarna fanns Caroli som efter många år i fångenskap åntligen steg iland i Sverige som en fri man. Före dess att han fick träffa familjen fördes han emellertid till Säkerhetspolisens kontor i Helsingborg. Där konstaterades att han hade med sig ett “för honom den 17.8.45 av Kungl. Svenksa Generalkonsulatet i London utfärdat med fotografi försett provisoriskt svenskt pass nr 7/45, giltigt för en enkel resa till Sverige” samt tolv svenska kronor. Kriminalöverkonstapel Carl Palm höll därefter ett längre förhör dar Caroli fick redogöra för sin bakgrund och om vad han varit med om i Tyskland och Storbritannien. Palm noterade senare, den 5 September i en rapport som sändes till utrikesdepartementet och försvarsstaben, att Caroli “nekade bestamt, att han vid något tillfälle lämnat några uppgifter angående Sverige eller svenska förhållanden vid förhör hos engelsmännen eller under sin anställning hos tyskarna”. På frågan om sina framtida planer svarade Caroli att han skulle söka anställning inom jordbruket och at than tills vidare skulle bo hos modern I Billesholm. För den svenska polisen var Caroli ointressant, inget tydde på att han skulle ha gjort sig skyldig till något kriminellt i Sverige och klockan 20.00 samma dag släpptes han. Först vid ankomsten denna dag hade brodern Gunnar underrättats och han mötte nu Gösta hemma hos modern i Billesholm. Mottagandet blev allt annat än varmt, det var inledningsvis inga trevliga ord som mötte Gösta, han blev rent ut sagt regelrätt utskälld av Gunnar. For Gunnars son, då endast fem år gammal, var detta hans första möte med sin farbror och han minns än idag att han blev oerhört rädd för Gösta.[4] Formodligen var återseendet för modern Anna mer positivt, kärleken till sonen kunde inte rubbas oavsett vad han gjort sig skyldig till. Med tiden skulle även förhållandet mellan familjen och Gösta lugna sig och återgå till det normala, men Gösta skulle torts detta aldrig komma att fä en riktigt lätt tillvaro.

Gösta Caroli 1938  (Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Gösta Caroli 1938
(Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
On September 1, 1945, the ship SS Ring sailed into the port of Helsingborg and among the passengers was Caroli who, after many years in captivity, finally ascended ashore in Sweden as a free man. However, before he got to meet the family, he was taken to the Security Police's office in Helsingborg. It was stated that he had on him “for him on 17.8.45 by the Royal Swedish Consulate General in London issued with photograph provisionally provided Swedish passport no. 7/45, valid for a single trip to Sweden” and twelve Swedish kronor. Carl Palm then held a further hearing where Caroli had to explain his background and what he had been doing in Germany and the UK. Palm later noted, on September 5 in a report sent to the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Staff, that Caroli "firmly denied that he had at any time provided any information regarding Sweden or Swedish conditions during interrogations with the English or during his employment with the Germans". When asked about his future plans, Caroli replied that he would seek employment in agriculture and at that time stay with his mother in Billesholm. To the Swedish police Caroli was uninteresting, there was no indication that he was guilty of anything criminal in Sweden and at 8 pm the same day he was released. It was only on arrival that day that brother Gunnar had been informed and he was now meeting with Gösta at his mother's house in Billesholm. The reception was anything but warm, there were initially no nice words that met Gösta, he was, in fact, outright cursed by Gunnar. For Gunnar's son, then only five years old, this was his first meeting with his uncle and he still remembers today that he became extremely afraid of Gösta. [4 - interview with Caroli's nephew] Probably the return for mother Anna was more positive, the love for her son could not be upset no matter what he owed her. In time, even the relationship between the family and Gösta would calm down and return to normal, but Gösta would never get a really easy life.
Caroli arrived in Helsingborg on 1 September 1945 and was questioned by the police. The police has obviously found no criminal activities in Caroli's past and relesed him after a few hours. It would appear that the Caroli family was quite upset with the return of the prodigal son, although his mother likely gave him a warmer welcome. Interesting to note that Caroli planed to seek a job in agriculture.
Left - Gösta married Greta Bergmann in 1946   Right - Gösta Caroli, likely one year later [1947]  (Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Left - Gösta married Greta Bergmann in 1946

Right - Gösta Caroli, likely one year later [1947]
(Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
För den svenska polisen var ärendet Caroli emellertid inte helt avslutat. På begäran av statspolisintendent Georg Thulin och kriminalkonstapel Einar Netz vid kriminalpolisens 6:e rotel i Stockholm genomförde kriminalöverkonstapel Carl Palm och kriminalkonstapel Olle Olsson ytterliggare ett förhör den 4 oktober. Palm och Olsson besökte då Caroli i hans bostad i Billesholm och frägade särskilt om den Petersen som utbildat Caroli i telegrafi och om hans danska kollege Wolfgang Schmidt. Polisen misstänkte att Petersen var identisk med den tyska medborgaren Herbert Petersen som 1942 och 1944 rest mellan Berlin och de tyska legationerna i Stockholm och Helsingfors. Flera saker tydde på att Herbert Petersen arbetade för Abwehr men detta hittades aldrig några säkra bevis för, inte heller att han skulle vara identisk med Carolis lärare i telegrafi.[5] Trots misstankarna fick Herbert Petersen senare svenskt medborgarskap och han avled i Malmö 1981.[6]

For the Swedish police, however, the case Caroli was not completely closed. At the request of State Police Superintendent Georg Thulin and Criminal Appellant Einar Netz at the Stockholm Police's 6th Division in Stockholm, Criminal Superintendent Carl Palm and Criminal Appellant Olle Olsson conducted a further hearing on October 4. Palm and Olsson then visited Caroli at his residence in Billesholm and in particular asked about the Petersen who trained Caroli in telegraphy and about his Danish colleague Wolfgang Schmidt. The police suspected that Petersen was identical to German citizen Herbert Petersen who had traveled between Berlin and the German legations in Stockholm and Helsinki in 1942 and 1944. Several things indicated that Herbert Petersen worked for the Abwehr, but this was never found to be any reliable evidence, nor that he would be identical to Caroli's teacher in telegraphy. [5 - Swedish Royal Archives] Despite the suspicions, Herbert Petersen later gained Swedish citizenship and he died in Malmö in 1981. [6 - Swedish Death Book]
After some reflection, the Swedish police wanted to question Caroli about one Herbert Petersen, a German who had apparently worked for the Abwehr and served on the German Legation in Sweden. Was this man the same as Caroli's instructor in radio telegraph skills? Apparently not.
Gösta and Stig Blixt at the fair in Kristianstad  (Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Gösta and Stig Blixt at the fair in Kristianstad
(Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Efter detta lämnades Caroli av den svenska polisen och han kunde snart återgå till ett någorlunda normalt liv. I mitten av mars 1946[7] fick han arbete på Weibullsholms växtförädlingsinstitut i Landskrona, detta som trädgårdsarbetare och ciceron på grund av sina goda språkkunskaper.[8] På Weibullsholms träffade han även sin blivande maka, den elva år yngre Greta Bergman från Bro i Stockholm som tidigare studerat i Båstad, och i november 1946 gifte de sig och fick två år senare en son. Att Gösta hade andra kvalitéer än språk skulle snart uppmärksammas på Weibullsholm och efter en tid, den 1 September 1947, fick han anställning som assistent vid kromosomlaboratoriet där han började genforska med ärtplantor som grundmaterial. Forskningen var nära knuten till Lunds universitet och resulterade i ett flertal artiklar mellan 1952 och 1955. Caroli var försteförfattare på tre vetenskapliga uppsatser i facktidskriften Agri Hort Genetica tillsammans med Stig Blixt och i en var han ensam författare. I den första beskrev han en metod att ta fram de fjorton kromosomerna hos ärtplantan med oxykinolin, i den andra att det gick att klassa dem morfologiskt och identifiera kromosomerna. I de två sista påvisar han med olika metoder ett utbyte av delar mellan kromosom nr III och V. [9, 10, 11, 12] Rätt avancerat således och uppenbart tillräckligt avancerat för en akademisk examen, något som framkommer i hans korrenspondans med professor Arne Müntzing vid Lunds universitets institution för ärftlighetsforskning. Gösta sökte hösten 1950 en tjänst som assistent vid Institutionen samtidigt som han ville avlägga kandidatexamen i botanik, statistik och genetik vid universitetet.[13] Hans chanser var mer än goda, men då lönen var låg och Gösta ville satsa på ett eget trädgårdsmasteri drog han tillbaka sin ansökan i sista stund, något professor Müntzing beklagade. I ett brev bad han Gösta att tänka över sitt beslut och ville att han vid tillfälle skulle söka upp honom i Lund för att diskutera saken[14], något som dock inte ändrade Göstas beslut. Blixt, född 1930, började som laboratorieassistent på Weibullsholm redan som 15-äring och skulle samtidgt till stor del grunda sin karriär på just den ärtgenetiska forskning han utförde tillsammans med Caroli. Utan någon som helst grundutbildning, men med särskilt tillstånd från kungen, disputerade Blixt vid Lunds universitet 1972 där han sedermera blev professor i genetik, han pensionerade sig först 1995 och avled sommaren 2009 i Landskrona. Då hade Weibulls köpts upp av företaget Cardo 1976.

Top: Gösta together with Stig Blixt and his  family in maize field.   Bottom: Gösta together with Gunnar Weibull  who loaned him money for his own nursery.  (Olsson & Jonason -  Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Top: Gösta together with Stig Blixt and his
family in maize field.

Bottom: Gösta together with Gunnar Weibull
who loaned him money for his own nursery.
(Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
After this Caroli was left alone by the Swedish police and he could soon return to a reasonably normal life. In mid-March 1946 [7 - letter from Caroli to Müntzing] he got a job at Weibullsholm's plant breeding institute in Landskrona, this as a gardener and guide because of his good language skills. [8 - interview with Caroli's son] At Weibullsholms he also met his future wife, eleven years his junior, Greta Bergman from Bro in Stockholm who had previously studied in Båstad, and in November 1946 they married and had a son two years later. That Gösta had qualities other than language would soon be noticed at Weibullsholm and after a time, on September 1, 1947, he was hired as an assistant at the chromosome laboratory where he began researching pea plants as a base material. The research was closely linked to Lund University and resulted in several articles between 1952 and 1955. Caroli was the first author on three scientific papers in the professional journal Agri Hort Genetica together with Stig Blixt and in one he was the sole author. In the first, he described a method for obtaining the fourteen chromosomes of the pea plant with oxyquinoline, in the second that it was possible to classify them morphologically and identify the chromosomes. In the last two, he demonstrates, by various methods, an exchange of parts between chromosome No. III and V. [9, 10, 11, 12 - all references to Caroli's published papers] Thus quite advanced and obviously sufficiently advanced for an academic degree, which is evident in his correspondence with Professor Arne Müntzing at Lund University's Institute for Hereditary Research. In the autumn of 1950, Gösta applied for a position as an assistant at the Department, at the same time as he wanted to complete his bachelor's degree in botany, statistics and genetics at the university. [13 - letter of recommendation from Herbert Lamprecht] His chances were more than good, but when his salary was low and Gösta wanted to invest in his own nursery, he withdrew his application at the last moment, something Professor Müntzing lamented. In a letter he asked Gösta to think about his decision and wanted him to seek him out in Lund to discuss the matter [14 - letter from Müntzing to Caroli], which however did not change Gösta's decision. Blixt, born in 1930, started as a laboratory assistant at Weibullsholm as a 15-year-old and would at the same time largely base his career on the exact pea genetic research he did with Caroli. Without any basic education, but with special permission from the King, Blixt did his dissertation at Lund University in 1972, where he subsequently became professor of genetics, he retired in 1995 and died in the summer of 2009 in Landskrona. By then Weibulls had been acquired by the company Cardo in 1976.
A reference to a paper by Gösta Caroli
A reference to a paper by Gösta Caroli
We now get to the juicy bits. After his return from England, Caroli got a job at an agricultural firm where he made quite a name for himself conducting genetic research on pea plants. He even published some scientific papers which are still being cited in scientific journals today. He also married Greta Bergmann in 1946 and the couple had a son in 1948. Caroli eventually left the agricultural firm and started his own plant nursery.
The interest in motorcycles followed Gösta throughout life  (Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
The interest in motorcycles followed Gösta throughout life
(Olsson & Jonason - Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
För Caroli gick det sämre, strax innan dess att han tackade nej till tjänsten vid Lunds universitet hade han drabbats av dubbelseende och yrsel[15] vilket härledes till en tidigare blödning på lilla hjärnan, med all sannolikhet uppkommen då han vid landningen i Storbritannien den 6 september 1940 slogs härt i huvudet av sin radio. När skadan blev allt allvarligare och han inte längre kunde se i mikroskopen slutade han på Weibullsholm och köpte istället ett mindre trädgårdsmästeri. Direktör Gunnar Weibull ställde själv upp med lånet till köpet och trädgårdsmästeriet växte med åren till en relativt stor verksamhet. I början importerade Gösta olika sorters jordgubbsplantor från Tyskland varifrån även en stor del av arbetskraften kom. Under sina tidigare resor i Sydeuropa hade han fått erfarenhet av mer excotiska växter vilket inspirerade honom att även börja med odling av paprika och majs, något vid tiden nästan helt okänt i Sverige.[16] Skadorna på hjärnan skulle emelltertid med åren bara bli värre och varre, de påverkade balanssinnet och de sista tio åren av sitt liv var han nästan helt rullstolsbunden. Under lång tid försökte han få pension och ersättning för sin skada från de västtyska myndigheterna, detta med hjälp av en av de tidigare medfångarna i Huntercombe som kommit honom nära och som verkligen brydde sig om hans öde. Mannen i fråga, Graf Ulrick Finck von Finckenstein, hade i november 1940 landstigit på ön Jan Mayen vid Grönland som ledare för Sonderkommando Finkenstein vilken tillhörde Abwehrstelle Stettin.[17] Gruppen skulle sända väderleksrapporter till Abwehr, men verksamheten blev kort och redan efter ett par dagar tillfängatogs gruppen av brittiska Royal Navy. Efter kriget blev Finckenstein advokat på den nordvästtyska orten Norden och kom under lång tid att föra Göstas talan mot de västtyska myndigheterna. Alla försök kom emellertid att bli förgäves och någon pension eller ersättning betalades aldrig ut, istället överräckte Finckenstein ett gammalt järnkors från första världskriget till Gösta, han var värd mer men inget fanns att göra. Även den tidigare Abwehrchefen i Hamburg, Herbert Wichmann, som sett till att alla agenter fått status som tyska soldater, var förargad över att det enda Caroli fick blev ett järnkors.[18] Bättre gick det med de brittiska myndigheterna som gav honom en mindre pension för de tjänster han utfört för dem. Den pension han fick var långtifrån stor, de sista åren av hans liv levde han knapert och flera gånger fick hans släktingar hjälpa honom. Nikolaus Ritter sammanfattade 1972 i sina memoarer att “Caroli överlevde sin fångenskap i Storbritannien men återhämtade sig aldrig från de skador han fick vid fallskärmshoppet. Han bor idag i Sverige, är svårt sjuk och har helt tappat sitt minne. Sin medfånge, en före detta Abwehrofficer, som han delade cell med och som återgivit Carolis historia för mig, berättade att han senare flera gånger besökte honom och försökte hjälpa honom så gott han kunde.”[19] Gösta Caroli avled i Asmundtorp torsdagen den 8 Maj 1975 och begravdes i en enkel grav.

Top: Gösta and his family [likely wife and son]   Bottom: One of the last photographs, here at Gösta's  70th birthday  (Olsson & Jonason -  Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
Top: Gösta and his family [likely wife and son]

Bottom: One of the last photographs, here at Gösta's
70th birthday
(Olsson & Jonason -
Gösta Caroli: Dubbelagent Summer)
For Caroli, things took a turn for the worse, just before he refused the position at Lund University, he had suffered from double vision and dizziness [15 - interview with Caroli's son], which was attributed to a previous bleed on the cerebellum, most likely when he landed in the UK on 6 September 1940 and was hit in the head by his radio. When the damage became more serious and he could no longer see through the microscope, he quit his job at Weibullsholm and bought a smaller nursery instead. Director Gunnar Weibull made the loan for the purchase himself and over the years the nursery grew into a relatively large business. Initially, Gösta imported different types of strawberry plants from Germany, from which a large part of the labor force also came. During his previous travels in Southern Europe, he had gained experience with more exotic plants, which inspired him to also start growing peppers and corn, something at that time almost entirely unknown in Sweden. [16 - interview with Caroli's son] However, the damage to the brain over the years would only get worse and worse, affecting his sense of balance and the last ten years of his life he was almost completely wheelchair-bound. For a long time, he tried to get a pension and compensation for his injury from the West German authorities, with the help of one of the former prisoners in Huntercombe who became close to him and who really cared about his fate. The man in question, Graf Ulrick Finck von Finckenstein, had in November 1940 landed on the island of Jan Mayen in Greenland as leader of the Sonderkommando Finkenstein, which belonged to Abwehrstelle Stettin. [17 - Pryser, Tore: Hitlers hemmelige agenter (Hitler's Secret Agents), page 79 - Norwegian book (2001) not in the Bibliography] The group was to send weather reports to the Abwehr, but the expedition was a failure and after a few days, the group was captured by the British Royal Navy. After the war, Finckenstein became a lawyer in the northwestern German city of Norden and for a long time brought the lawsuit of Gösta against the West German authorities. However, all attempts were in vain and no pension or compensation was ever paid, instead Finckenstein handed over an old Iron Cross from the First World War to Gösta, he was worth more but there was nothing to be done. Also the former Abwehr commander in Hamburg, Herbert Wichmann, who ensured that all agents received the status of German soldiers, was annoyed that the only thing Caroli received was an Iron Cross. [18 - Swedish newspaper 1976] It went better with the British authorities who gave him a smaller pension for the services he performed for them. The pension he received was far from great, the last years of his life he barely eked out a living and his relatives had to help him several times. In 1972, Nikolaus Ritter summarized in his memoirs that “Caroli survived his captivity in the UK but never recovered from the injuries he suffered at the parachute. He lives in Sweden today, is seriously ill and has completely lost his memory. His colleague, a former Abwehr officer with whom he shared a cell and who told Caroli's story to me, told me that he later visited him several times and tried to help him as best he could. "[19 - Ritter's book, page 315] Gösta Caroli died in Asmundtorp on Thursday 8 May 1975 and is buried in a simple grave.
I had come across sources which indicated that the injuries Caroli suffered from his parachute descent into England, lingered for decades. And this section seems to confirm that. The story goes that when Caroli landed, the radio case that was strapped to his chest struck him on the chin, which would have smashed his head backwards. This is consistent with a bleed in the cerebellum which can, indeed, worsen over time. It is interesting to note the connection between Ritter, von Finckenstein and Caroli. This explains how Ritter acquired his story about the landing of Caroli, which was highly inaccurate. Clearly, Caroli had developed some sense of loyalty to the British or, perhaps, a hatred for the Germans, who had sent him on such an ill-fated mission. It would appear that he told a cover story to Finckenstein. And, again, we have the note that Caroli died 8 May 1975, buried in a simple grave, presumably in Asmundtorp.
Hans betydelse i det tysk-brittiska spionspelet kan inte överskattas; han var den första tyska agenten att landa med fallskärm i Storbritannien, omständigheterna med fiktiva hjälpinsatser av de agenter som tyskarna trodde var i deras tjänst stärkte förtroendet för deras, som de trodde, agentverksamhet i Storbritannien; han gav övardelig hjälp och erfarenhet när det gällde hur Double-Cross-systemet skulle byggas upp - britterna erhöll stor lärdom av hans fall - och den information han avslöjade i förhör, ledde till att andra agenter kunde gripas och värvas som viktiga dubbelagenter. Framför allt gäller detta hans vän Wulf Schmidt/Tate, som blev den dubbelagent som hade längst karriär under kriget. Hur tyskarna värderat Carolis insats framkom i en intervju med Herbert Wichmann 1976, hans omdöme om honom var: “en av de bästa agenter vär underrättelseavdelning i Hamburg någonsin haft.”[20] Någon hängiven nazist var han emellertid knappast och han var aldrig organiserad i något parti. Istället följde han den kultur med tysk influens som gällde i Sverige vid den tiden, han drogs med och blev alltmer involverad i Tyskland och ett projekt som han till sist inte kunde dra sig ur, eftersom han i såfall skulle riskerat sitt eget liv.

His significance in the German-British spy game cannot be overstated; he was the first German agent to parachute into Britain, the fact of fictitious relief efforts by the agents who the Germans believed to be in their service strengthened confidence in their, as they believed, agent activities in the UK; he provided immense help and experience when it came to how the Double-Cross system was to be built - the British learned a great deal from his case - and the information he revealed in interrogation led to other agents being apprehended and recruited as important double agents. This is especially true of his friend Wulf Schmidt/TATE, who became the double agent who had the longest career during the war. How the Germans valued Caroli's efforts was revealed in an interview with Herbert Wichmann in 1976, his opinion on him was: "one of the best agents our intelligence department in Hamburg has ever had." [20 - Swedish newspaper 1976] However, he was hardly a dedicated Nazi and he was never organized in any party. Instead, he followed the culture of German influence that prevailed in Sweden at the time, he was drawn in and became increasingly involved in Germany and a project he eventually could not pull out of, as he would in any case risk his own life.
I'm a bit intrigued by the comment that information from Caroli "led to other agents being apprehended and recruit as important double agents". I'm aware of TATE, obviously, and possibly GOOSE/GANDER although I wouldn't necessarily call him important. Not aware of others... but I might have to transcribe and translate other sections to get clear on that.

I hope that this blog has helped to clear up the ultimate fate of Gösta Caroli. He was indeed deported back to Sweden in 1945, married and had one son. He embarked on a relatively successful career in agriculture, first studying pea genetics and then opening his own nursery where he grew corn and peppers. The head injury he sustained during his parachute descent into England in 1940 would worsen over time. Caroli passed away in Asmundtorp in 1975.

I am now eyeing some other key sections in this book. If any readers have a burning interest in any particular section, let me know. I don't now that I can scan any pages of this book, it strongly resists being forced to open flat and I'm afraid the whole thing might burst asunder. On secon thought, that might not be a bad thing... at least then I could run it through my scanner feeder.