Showing posts from January, 2021

Physician to Rudolf Hess and Josef Jakobs

Every once in a while, I go back to old cases where I've hit a brick wall and try a different tack. Perhaps some new records have been released? Perhaps I just have a fresh perspective and can see things differently? I never know what I might find. This latest revist is that of Lt. R.W. Taylor, the physician who wrote prescriptions for both Rudolf Hess and Josef Jakobs when they passed through the gates of the Tower of London. My earlier blog looked at the prescriptions themselves and while I had found a Lt. R.W. Taylor M.B. ( Medicinae Baccalaureus ) who had received an Emergency Commission on 21 October 1940... that was about it. I had found a Ronald Wentworth Taylor who went on to become an obstetrician in the 1950s and 1960s, but I wasn't confident that this was the same as our Lt. R.W. Taylor. Here are the results of my latest excavations. Not Ronald Wentworth Taylor Well, we can at least lay this possibility to rest. Ronald Wentworth Taylor was born 28 October 1932 in Li

New Release of Berlin BMD Records

While searching Ancestry a few months ago, I noticed that the array of Births, Marriages and Deaths from Berlin had been expanded. Births were now available up to 1906, Marriages up to 1936 (formerly 1920) and Deaths up to 1955 (formerly 1935 I think). Quite a bonanza! I had high hopes of tracking down the death of Josef's sister, Maria Jakobs who, we think, passed away sometime between 1943 and 1952, but... no luck. It is always possible that she married during that interval or... that the family simply lost touch with her and that she lived far longer, but in isolation from the rest of the Jakobs family. While I struck out in tracking down Maria Jakobs, I did take the opportunity to try and track down the fates of some other Berlin characters. Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath Several years ago I wrote a couple of blog posts on one of Josef's colleagues in the black market passport scam: Egon Clemens Pius Rammrath. Egon Rammrath and Josef Jakobs Egon Rammrath through the Eyes of Jos

From the Mailbox

Last May/June, I received a series of emails from Anat F. who had found my blog on Fritz Lasch , one of the desperate individuals who purchased forged Finnish passports from Algoth Niska. Anat was able to share a bit more information about Fritz's wife, Basia, and their two sons. Fritz Lasch & Family In August 1938, Fritz purchased three supposedly legitimate Finnish passports from Algoth Niska. That fall, Fritz, his wife Basia Beila (née Sudarsky), and their two sons, Heinrich Isaac and Ernst-Jakob, escaped to Amsterdam and onwards to Paris. Their relieve was short-lived. In April 1939, after learning of false Finnish passports circulating throughout Europe, the Finnish authorities called Fritz to the Finnish embassy. What transpired there, we don't know. Only that in November 1942, Fritz was deported to Auschwitz and then onwards to Riga where he likely perished. The mystery in the story was how Basia and her two sons had survived. I was able to track Heinrich Isaac Lasch

Spy Radios - Teasing apart a Decades Long Puzzle

 A few years ago, I reached out to the Military Wireless Museum's Ben Nock for assistance with deciphering the schematics of Josef Jakobs' wireless radio transmitter. After examining the electrical circuit diagram, Ben concluded that the set was an SE 88/5. A few months ago, I received an email from Thomas Hoeppe , a Bavarian amateur radio enthusiast. His passion is rebuilding wartime espionage radios and he was particularly fascinated by the radios used the Operation LENA spies on their missions to England. Thomas has quite a network of contacts in the amateur radio field, including the Cryptomuseum site (run by Dutchmen Paul Reuvers and Marc Simons), Arthur O. Bauer (a Dutchman who runs a website platform upon which he presents his decades-long research into German wartime technology) and... Rudi Staritz, a nonagenarian (soon to be a centenarian) who actually worked for the Abwehr in Stahnsdorf and later on the Eastern Front. Thanks to the research presented on Arthur O. Bau