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Showing posts from October, 2019

Book Review - Bella: An Unsolved Murdery - Joyce M. Coley (2007)

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Cover - Bella: An Unsolved Murder by Joyce M. Coley (2007) The Book Bella: An Unsolved Murder. Joyce M. Coley. History in Print. 2007. Summary This book was written over 12 years ago by Joyce M. Coley, and is often quoted in Bella lore. I ordered a copy from Amazon and read it in less than an hour. The book is more pamphlet than "book" comprising only 26 pages. It provides an overview of the case but has absolutely no references or footnotes, which makes its value rather limited. How much of what Coley writes is hearsay? How much is first-hand research from primary sources? Hard to say. In many respects then, this book is a compilation of anecdotes, facts, stories and rumours, all woven together into a rather disjointed whole. Having said that, there are some accounts which are new in their thoroughness - for example the story of Warwick Aston Plant and his mother and the girl who played the piano in their pub (p. 10-12). I've come across bits and pieces o

Conclusion - Black Market Passport Business

I started this series of blog posts several months ago and had no idea it would lead me on such an epic journey. The stories of those who sought to escape the clutches of the Nazis span the gamut of tragedy to triumph. I have found it exceedingly difficult and emotionally draining to dig into the archives trying to discover who lived and who died. As for the stories of those who orchestrated this scheme... Christian Friedrich Jürgen Ziebell and Algoth Niska... words fail me. Perhaps Niska thought he was doing a "good" thing in selling passports to rich Jews desperate to leave Nazi Germany/Austria. I have read his own story of his adventures and he comes across as a schemer looking for his next adventure, preferably one where he could get paid handsomely. Selling fake Finnish passports to Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe ticked both of those boxes. As for Jürgen Ziebell, he was simply in it for the money, of that I have no doubt. His career after the war is just more of the sa

Johann Hans Wolpe & the Aleister Crowley Connection

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Aleister Crowley in America (2017) by Tobias Churton (book cover from Amazon)  A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Josef Jakobs' information on Ziebell's attempt to secure Irish naturalisations for the Jews. The scheme involved two other men: Johann (Hans) Wolpe and Josef Emil Roos. During my research for that post, I came across some references to Wolpe in Google Books - specifically a book by Tobias Churton entitled: Aleister Crowley in America - Art, Espionage and Sex Magick in the New World (2017). Given that Google Books only provides snippets of information, I ordered a copy of Churton's book which arrived in the mail last week. Here's what I discovered... The information on Wolpe is contained within Appendix I of the book and is a summary of the history of Simeon Leon Engers (Kennedy), the brother of Beatrice (Engers) Wolpe (wife of Johann Hans Wolpe). As it turns out, Leon Engers was a painter who moved between Holland, Germany, the USA and Paris. He

Herr & Frau Reiwald - Berlin - Black Market Passport Business

Preamble There are two final key individuals involved in Ziebell's black market passport business in Berlin: Herr & Frau Reiwald. Both individuals were mentioned by Josef Jakobs and Lily Knips, but the details we have on them are very sketchy. Information from Josef Jakobs & Lily Knips Josef said that he introduced many rich Jews to Ziebell, one of them being Herr Reiwald who had been a client of Josef's dental practice in the early 1930s. According to Josef, his wife's step-father had told him that Reiwald was interested in leaving Germany and wanted to become Dutch. Elsewhere, Josef said that Reiwald wanted to become French, but that this was found to be impossible and that he then wished to become Cuban. This could have been arranged by Ziebell except for the fact that the whole group was arrested in October 1938. Josef noted that Reiwald only wanted to get Cuban naturalisation and did not need any assistance getting money out of Germany as he had already mad

Irish Naturalisation - Johann Hans Wolpe, Josef Emil Roos and Lincoln Allan Smith - Black Market Passport Business

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Jürgen Ziebell from Der Spiegel (1955) N.B. In May 2020 I downloaded some National Archives files on Arthur Albert Tester which, at first glance, have information that will require the below sections on Roos and Tester to be updated. Stay tuned... Preamble Josef Jakobs was a client recruiter for lawyer Jürgen Ziebell in Berlin in 1937 and 1938. Josef would find rich Jews, desperate to escape Nazi Germany, who could then acquire passports, naturalisations or visas from Ziebell, for a fee. One aspect of the business for which Josef had a fair bit of information was Irish naturalisations. These were apparently a failed initiative in which Ziebell partnered with two German expats: Wolpe and Roos. Josef's account allowed MI5 to identify both men, courtesy of MI6. According to Josef, Wolpe and Roos had worked with an Englishman named Lincoln Allan Smith, and this too was confirmed by MI6. This is the story of Wolpe, Roos and Smith. What Josef told MI5 At the end of April 1941

Martin Goldstein & Emil Dochnal - Black Market Passport Business

Preamble to Dochnal, Rosenberg & Goldstein Another blog in my series focused on the black market passport business run by Jürgen Ziebell in Berlin during the Second World War. I highly recommended that you read my earlier blog for an overview of the sale of black market passports to Berlin Jews, as related by Josef Jakobs and Frau Lily Knips. Another key blog reviews the characters involved in the business which had several strands including Finnish and Irish passports. I am currently writing a blog series about the Jews who purchased forged Finnish passports via the Finnish smuggler, Algoth Niska. It was only in late September 1938 that Niska apparently made a deal whereby Ziebell purchased a batch of forged Finnish passports for his Jewish clients. As it turns out, Niska was selling forged passports to unsuspecting Jews all through July and August 1938 telling them that he was an official of the Finnish government or a Finnish policeman or... He was none of those things and y

Ernst and Clara David - Clients of Ziebell's Black Market Passport Business

Some additions made 2020 08 04 regarding children of Ernst & Clara Preamble to Ernst and Clara David Another blog in my series focused on the black market passport business run by Jürgen Ziebell in Berlin during the Second World War. I highly recommended that you read my earlier blog for an overview of the sale of black market passports to Berlin Jews, as related by Josef Jakobs and Frau Lily Knips. Another key blog reviews the characters involved in the business which had several strands including Finnish and Irish passports. I am currently writing a blog series about the Jews who purchased forged Finnish passports via the Finnish smuggler, Algoth Niska. It was only in late September 1938 that Niska apparently made a deal whereby Ziebell purchased a batch of forged Finnish passports for his Jewish clients. As it turns out, Niska was selling forged passports to unsuspecting Jews all through July and August 1938 telling them that he was an official of the Finnish government or a