Page initiated 1 February 2022
Current status: 2 March 2022
Chapter 2 (10 February 2022)
Chapter 3 (14 February 2022)
Chapter 4 (18 February 2022)
Chapter 5 (21 February 2022)
Chapter 6 (24 February 2022)
Chapter 7 (26 February 2022)
Chapter 8 since 26 February continued at: Absthagen-karl-heinz-2.htm
Please notice: That this document is meant for studying purposes only; therefore - do not multiply it, as some is due to Crown copyright
Photograph of Karl Heinz Abshagen, derived from his Registration Card of 30th May 1931
He wore a "monocle" (quite aristocratic, and very descent)
This is photo has been "Photo-shopped" by my wife Karin; of course, derived from KV 2/390-2, page 4
(Dr.) (Law) Karl Heinz Abshagen
Born 14.6.1895 in Stralsund
Passed away: on 18.2.1976 in Schweinfurt
Please digest first what Wikipedia tells us about him:
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Heinz_Abshagen (German language)
https://second.wiki/wiki/karl_heinz_abshagen (brief English language version, due to the lack of a sufficient, British, contribution)
KV 2/388-1, page 3
13/7/31 From G.P.O. - photostat copy of intercepted letter to Abshagen from Guaranty Trust Co. Paris dated 8/7/31 (Writer believed to be Chapman, see (minute) 137a)
(AOB: As usually - with all Germans staying in England, all their mails (in- and outgoing) being intercepted, and G.P.O. (General Post Office) was executing an order on behalf of the Home Office) (Photostats were made and directed to M.I.5)
AOB: We also learn - that this file series had been reshuffled in the 1950s, as the genuine PF 39611 certainly should have started with minute 1, whereas we here encounter a minute series of (216a).
We also learn that quite some had, likely, been deleted after the war.
Luckily, we still have access to some which survived, albeit that it should have been destroyed, which apparently did not happen.
Photostat was a means of copying letters and other kind of documents. Photographic paper, keeps the negative; thus white becomes black and black becomes white. I often try to reproduce such pages in a negative fashion, so that we get about as it once had been. Albeit, that the once employed photo technique was not entirely black but a bit blue like coloured.
One aspect feared in Britain, were the German connections with Communists.
AOB: we must, however, bear in mind: that when the Great War (WW I) ended Germany and Russia were on friendly terms; as the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litowsk of 1918 had ceased the war between Russia and Germany.
KV 2/388-1, page 3 (minute 219a) a good example of British concern:
Mr. (A.O.) Harker. (M.I.5.)
As there appears to be some ground for believing that Madame Shishmareff may be carrying on an anti-Bolshevik, or pseudo ant-Bolshevik organisation at 13 Stratton Street, possibly connected with Widemann's (Wiedemann's?) organisation, the Ost-Dienst, and as B.W. knows a great deal about this kind of activity, do you consider that he might be approached to see whether he knows of any anti-Bolshevik or other organisation carried on at this address, and if so, whether he knows of Madame Shishmareff who seems in some way to be connected with Abshagen?
KV 2/388-1, page 6 (minute 240a) partially
4/8/31 From G.P.O. - photostat copy of intercepted letter to Abshagen from his brother Wolfgang (von Abshagen, KV 2/526, PF 600724), dated 28/7/31 (240a)
Note. It is interesting to see that Abshagen is apparently writing reports for the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116) : https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Überseedienst (German language)
KV 2/388-1, page 7 (minute 246) partially
B. (Mr. Harker) through Major Alexander.
G.P.O. informed us - see 245a - that Madame Shishmareff has left her present address, 13 Stratton Street for 17 Limerston Street Chelsea.
As the check was an "Any Name" a new H.O.W. will have to be instituted if we wish to continue to see the Shishmareff letters. In view of the fact, however, that none of those already seen appears to have any bearing on the Abshagen case, I suggest that there is no need, at present, to take out a new check, and that the old on of 13 Stratton Street should now be cancelled. Madame Shishmareff appears to belong to some anti-Semitic organisation.
B.1. 11.8.31 Sgd. NWatson
KV 2/388-1, page 18 partially
7/1/32 From Special Branch (situated in the Scotland Yard building at White Hall) - Abshagen left the U.K. 4/1/32
Abshagen has now been removed from the Arrival List owing to the fact that he is now living in London, and is only under occasional observation. Green-card is therefore sufficient to show his foreign movements. (AOB, how different is their approached compared with the Erich von Salzmann case! https://www.cdvandt.org/erich-von-salzmann.htm)
S/7 13/1/32 Sgd. NWatson
KV 2/388-1, page 20 partially
Minute 368. Note. This seems a very curious kind of letter for Abshagen to get, and indicates that he is engaging in some form of political activity in this country.
KV 2/388-1, page 20 (b) partially
9/2/32 From G.P.O/ - photostat - copy of intercepts of letter to Abshagen from Dischler (Ludwig Carl Joseph Paul, KV 2/391), dated 4/2/32.
With reference to (363a), Major Vivian (S.I.S.) telephoned to say that the writer of the letter was definitely the von Bülow whom Squadron-Leader Winterbotham knows. (The latter is the one whom about 1974 disclosed for the first time the existence of Ultra (Most Secret Source) the systematic decrypting of merely all German communications (M.S.S.; MSS) during World War II)
KV 2/388-1, page 25
...21/3/32 From S/11 - Observation report on Abshagen (AOB: apparently was Karl Heinz Abshagen also being watched upon. This case is becoming like was the Erich von Salzmann case: https://www.cdvandt.org/erich-von-salzmann.htm; both were journalists)
KV 2/388-1, page 26 (minute 405a)
22 Gledhow Gardens,
Date of letter 19/3/32
Date of Postmark illegible
Summary of contents
Is glad that Abshagen has altered the nature of the News Service from London and no longer sends translations from English newspapers, but a summery of the whole situation in his won words.
KV 2/388-1, page 29 (minute 399a)
From Wolfgang Abshagen, (KV 2/526, PF 600724)
22 Gledhow Gardens,
Date of Letter 7/3/32
Date of Postmark 8/3/32
Summary of Contents
Personal. Has been a month in Berlin working for the Deutschen Lichtspiel Syndikat, but does not know whether the job will be permanent.
Does not think the President Election will be decided the first time.
Does not approve of the Hitler letter.
Asks for family news.
KV 2/388-1, pages 30 + 31 Let us learn the difference between the British Abstract and what Karl Heinz's brother Wolfgang actually wrote his brother. Photostat returned into a positive version
Photostat returned into a positive version again
Wolfgang Abshagen (his brother) Berlin-Lankwitz, den 7. III. 1932
Fernsprecher: G 3, Lichterfelde 6025
Herrn Dr. Karl Heinz Abshagen
London SW 5
22 Gledhow Gardens
Lieber Karl Heinz,
Jetzt bin ich schon wieder über einen Monat in Berlin und habe in der zwischenzeit mich schon in meine neue Tätigkeit beim Deutschen Lichtspiel-Syndikat eingearbbeitet. (Please remember; that the "Great Depression" was still taking a huge burden on the peoples daily lives) Ob dies eine Sache von längerer Dauer für mich ist, kann man zwar gegenwärtig noch nicht bestimmt übersehen, in diesen erscheinen mir die Aussichten nicht ungünstig.
Irmgard (Wolfgang's wife) und die kinder sind wohl und munter und wir hoffen von Euch das gleiche. Wie hat sich Gert Günter Schulangeledenheit enwickelt? Hat er sich in die Landessprache (English language) schon völlig eingelebt?
Wenn Du Muse hast, schreibbe mit doch, wie sich die dortige Wirtschatverhältnisse jetzt entwickeln und wie Du die politische Lage in England beurteilst. Hier steht naturgemäss alles unter dem Eindruck des Kampfes um die Reichspräsidentschaft. Ich persönlich bedauere die Entscheidungen der rechtsopposition, die meines Erachtes ihrer Sache wesentlich mehr hätte nützen können, wenn sie die Kandidatur Hindenburgs nicht zu einer Linkskandidatur gestempelt hätten. Die Ebtscheidung dürfte heute recht ungewiss sein. Ich nehme noch immer an, dass Hindenburg die grössere Stimmenzahl auch sich vereinigen wird. Halte aber für ausgeschlossen, dass er etwa im ersten Wahlgang durchkommt. Auch einen Sieg im zweiten Wahlgang halte ich nach dem heutigen Stand nur dann för aussichtreich, wenn Brüning (Reichskanzler; Reichs-Chancellor). Ob Brüning hierzu die enschlusskraft aufbringt - der er von einer fast religiösen Überzeugung seiner eigenen Sendung durchdringen ist - bleibt mir zweifelhaft. Noch bedauerlicher als die Tatsache der Agitation gegen Hindenburg, ist mir die häufug denkbar unglückliche Form. Obwohl durchaus kein Feind Groeners (Reichsminister des Innern (German Secretary of State of their Home Office), bin ich völlig mit ihm einig in seiner sachlich scharfen Zurückweisung des Hitler-Briefes.
Wie steht man in politischen Kreisen Londons zur Reichspräsidentenfrage? Oder löst diese ein nenenwertes Interesse überhaupt aus?
Mit herzlichen Grüssen von Haus zu Haus
Dein Wolfgang (Karl Heinz's brother)
KV 2/388-1, page 34
From ? 's Gravenhage (The Hague in the Nederlands)
To Abshagen 22 Gledhow Gardens, London
Date of Letter 6/2/32
Date of Postmark illegible Registered (in Dutch: Aangetekend)
"Dear Herr Abshagen,
1) The French are said to have recently called in Reservists of a certain year; could you find out from your friends whether that is so. If it is the case I should be most grateful for your original (?proofs of -?papers which prove) this fact. It is only a matter of calling in which is shortly to take place. The French and Belgian deny this news. It is however said to be true. Such proofs could be obtained through the reservists themselves, or through Military papers etc.
2) Are coloured races, particularly black men, being trained in France as aeroplane personnel (pilots, observers, bombers), where and in what numbers?
I should be very grateful if you could give me the information soon.
With kind regard to your family,
KV 2/388-1, page 37 (minute 376a)
Lieber Herr Abshagen!
1) Die Franzosen sollen vor kurzem gewisse Jahrgaengen (AOB, the writer does not possess a German type-writer, likely a version commonly used in the Netherlands) an Reservisten eingezogen haben; koennten Sie einmal bei ihren bekannten feststellen ob das stimmt, wenn ja, so waere ich fuer irgendwelche Original Unterlagen, aus denen diese Tatsache ersichtlich ist, aeusserest dankbar. Es handelt sich nur um Einziehungen, die jetzt vor kurzem erfolgt sein sollen. Die franzoesische und belgische Presse dementiert diese nachricht. Sie soll aber wahr sein.
Solche Unterlagen waeren durch die Reservisten selbst, durch Militaerpapiere u. dergl. zu bekommen.
2.) Werden Farbige, insbes. Schwarze, als Flugzeugpersonal in Frankreich ausgebildet (Flugzeugfuehrer, Beobachter, Bombenschuetze), wo und wieviel?
Ich waere Ihnen sehr dankbar, wenn Sie mir bald Nachricht geben koennten.
Mit den besten Gruessen und Empfehlungen zu Hause bin ich
Ihr sehr ergebener
KV 2/388-1, page 41
From Hermann Hartmeyer
22 Gledhow Gardens,
Date of letter 4/2/32
Date of Postmark 4/2/32
Summary of contents
Reports that the Dienstag conference on 1 Feb. expressed themselves pleased with Abshagen's work, though there was considerable criticism of certain news items missed. Director Robens is going to re-organise the night service.
The reporting of mere items of news is in the future to be left to the Telegraph Bureau (see also Erich von Salzmann's file (https://www.cdvandt.org/erich-von-salzmann.htm) and the Dienstag correspondents will concentrate on original opinions and criticisms.
The object is to be: original work and not mechanical telegraphing.
In the special circumstances Abshagen's salary will not be reduced.
KV 2/388-1, page 48..47..46 (minute 370a)
Hamburger Nachrichten Hamburg, den 4. Februar 1932
Dr. Karl - Heinz Abshagen
22 Gledhow Gardens
Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Abshagen,
Für Ihr Schreiben vom 28. Januar sage ich Ihnen meinen Dank. Ich freuhe mich Ihnen mitteilen zu können, dass die Dienstag-Konferenz am 1. Februar in Berlin, sich durchaus anerkennend mit Ihrer Tätigkeit in London ausgesprochen hat. selbstverständlich wurde Kritik geübtm und eine solche Kritik hat ja auch den Zweck, be fruchtend für die Berichterstatter zu wirken. Es wurde bemängelt, dass bei einzeln Ereichnissen in England eine unmittelbare sofortige Stellungsnahme unseres Korrespondenten in london vermisst wurde. So z.B. zur Senkung des Pfunds, ferner zu der Kabinettssitzung am 22. Januar über die Zollvorlagen, in der den nichtzustimmenden Ministern die Abstimmungfreigegeben wurde; ferner eine sofortige Stellungsnahme zu dem nein Dr. Brünings gegenüber dem englischen Botschafter in Berlin. Auf eine kurze Formal gebracht: Die Mitglieder des Dienstag-Konzerns erwarten, dass Sie in Zukunft zu den aktuellen Ereignissem unmittelbar und sofortige Stellung nehmen in einem Zwischenartikel oder, wenn die Sache von grösserer Bedeutung ist, in einem grossangeleten Artikel.
Ich konnte mich zwar dieser kritik im ganzen nicht entziehen, ich habe aber diese Bemängelung zurückgeführt auf die Arbeitsweise, die Sie bisher beobachten mussten, und die von mehreren Dienstag-Mitglieder
KV 2/388-1, page 46 (Blatt 2) + page 44
2.Blatt an Herrn Dr. Karl-Heinz Abshagen in London. vom 4.Februar 1932.
nicht mit Unrecht als "unmenschlich" bezeichnet wurde. Wie Sie von Direktor Robens gehört haben, soll vom 1. März ab der ganze technische Dienst umgruppiert werden, vor allen dingen soll der Nachtdienst. der eine freie und grosszügige Tätigkeit für Sie unmöglich macht, vollständig eingestellt werden, das Nähere darüber werden Sie Heern Robens hören.
Aber nicht nur technisch, auch sachlich soll der Londoner Dienst umgeformt werden, und zwar im Grossen und Ganzen gemäss dem von Ihnen gemachten Vorschläge: die nackte Tatsachenmeldung soll in Grossen und Ganzen überhaupt fortfallen, und nur dann von unseren Londener Berichtstatter gebraucht werden, wenn zu besorgen ist, dass die Art und Aufmachung der Übermittlung durch ein Telegraphenbüro der Tatsache einen falschen Sinn beizulegen ist. Unsere Korrespondenteh sollen sich in Grossen und Ganzen darauf beschränken. Informationen und eigener Verarbeitung der Tatsachen gemäss der politischen Linie des Dienstag-Konzerne herüberzugeben.
Pressestimmen nur dann, wenn sie von ganz besondere Interesse sind, da sie ja auch meistens von den Telegraphenbüros herübergegeben werden. Das Ziel ist also eigene Arbeit und nicht mechanisches Telefonieren. Ich glaube, sehr geehrter Herr Doktor Absahgen, dass ich mir weitere Ausführungen zu diesem Punkte ersparen kann, da ich ja aus Ihren verschiedene mündlichen und schriftlichen Äusserungen weiss, dass Sie sich gradezu sehnen. Ihre bisher aber noch irgendwelche Rückfragen haben sollten, so bitte ich Sie, diese in aller Offenheit zur Sprache zu bringen.
Ich freue mich, Ihnen mitteilen zu können, dass in Anbetracht der besonderen Verhältnisse der Konzern von einer Kürzung Ihres Gehalts abzusehen beschlossen hat. Meine Ende Dezember ausgesprochene vorsorgliche Kündigung wird damit gegenstandslos.
Mit vorzüglicher Hochachtung
(Dr. Hermann) Hartmeyer
KV 2/388-1, page 51 (minute 365a)
PF 39611/DS/7 Oliver House,
5th February, 1932
Dear Vivian (S.I.S.; = M.I.1.c),
It may interest you to know that Abshagen recently received a letter from a Dr. Sanne, Hermann's Erben, Publishers, of Hamburg, who is apparently connected with the Dienstag. This contained notes on an interview in the offices of the "Hamburger Nachrichten" last month when Abshagen appealed against a reduction of pay, to come into effect effect next April. J228 J228return. In the course of the interview he said that he used to work for the Überseedienst but had nearly given it up, as it was impossible for him to travel on the Continent as frequently as he used to do. In consequence, his income from that source had nearly stopped. I think (but this person, does not know all the parameters involved) this is the first definite proof that we have that Abshagen is a paid contributor of the Deutscher Überseedienst. (AOB, we are confronted again with British Secret Services' ill understanding of the German Press organisation structure)
I wonder if you have been able to obtain any information about Batsell. mentioned in my PF 39611/M.I.5.B.1. of 23/7/31? Abshagen continues to receive reports from Paris on the political situation from an individual who signs himself "B" (probably Batsell), but no address is given.
Early in January, Otto Kayser of Hamburg, whose office address is: Neuerwall 41 IV, and home address: Langenhorn, Dobenstück 4, wrote to Abshagen, telling him that Dr. Dishler (whom in the war, for some time, headed Abwehrstelle Brussels) whom Abshagen might remember from the N.D.O. was coming to London for a week on the 25th January. As he wished to meet Press representatives Kayser and had given him Abshagen's address It would be interesting to know whether Kayser is in any way connected with the Hamburg branch of the German Intelligence, as if so, the fact that he was lately been in this country would be of considerable interest.
As the result of enquiries made, it had been found that a Dr. Ludwig Carl Joseph Paul Dischler (KV 2/391; PF 39623), aged 38, who described himself as a 'Doctor", arrived from Germany of the 24th January, and gave his address as the Strand Palace Hotel. he left of the 28th when he gave his address as: Hamburg 20, Rehhagen 9. he has an artificial leg, and in addition to having the same address as Hptm. A.D. Dischler subject of (S.I.S.) CX/27600 a.V. of 12/12/31, also answers to the description of him which you sent us in your pervious letter under the same reference number, dated 31/1/31, also answers to the description of him which you sent us in your previous letter under the same reference number, dated 31/1/31. I think the fact that he has been to see Abshagen, together with the information provided by you he is Chief of the German Intelligence post in Hamburg, makes Abshagen's position in this country of considerable interest, as connecting him definitely with the German Intelligence. We are making arrangements to be informed when Dischler next comes to this country in order that we can see whom he meets. If, by an chance, you are able to obtain a photograph of him, we should be very glad to have it.
Yours sincerely, NWatson.
AOB: similarly as within the Erich von Salzmann case, the British Secret Service is hunting every German engaged in Press journalism.
(2) (10 February 2022)
KV 2/388-1, page 78 (minute 343a)
Speech by Abshagen at a luncheon of the Tunbridge Wells Rotary Club, on the astonishing rise of the Hitler Party. States the movement is entirely intent on building up some kind of cooperative state that would certainly draw some ideas from what is happening in Russia and Italy. Advocates a National Government under the leadership of Hitler and Dr. Brüning (whom was by then Reich's Chancellor). Says Germany's future depends on the success of the negotiations for the revision or reparations (repression due to the Versailles Treaty of 1919). If these fail, Germany will probably swing right over to Communism and become the threshold of the world revolution for which Bolshevism had been waiting.
KV 2/388-1, page 83 (minute 310a)
Darmstädter und Nationalbank
Please digest this registered express letter
What is of interest is that it contains a check on behalf:
"Dienstag" Nachrichtendienst G.m.b.H Berlin
(this entity have been dealt with in the course of this document; it was worth £50, in those days a considerable sum of money)
KV 2/388-1, page 85 (minute 303a)
From Hans Danckwerts
22, Gledhow Gardens, London
Date of Letter 21/10/31
Date of Postmark 21/10/31
Thanks Abshagen for his latest reports on prices which he hopes will have met the requirements of their most important friends. Has written to ask Dr. H (Dr. Hermann Hartmeyer), if he is pleased.
If Abshagen is at Düsseldorf on the 4th or 6th November, they might meet.
KV 2/388-1, page 86 (minute 303a)
Berlin, den 21. Oktober 1931.
vielen Dank für deine letzten Berichte. Ich glaube, daß mamit die Wünsche unsere wichtigsten Freunde getroffen worden sind. Es ist ja ausgerechnet, daß ed Dir gelungen ist, diese wertvollen Beziehungen anzuknüpfen. Besonders der Artikel über die Preisbildung dürfte gerade für unsere Freunde ein umfangreiches Bild geben. Ich schreibe heute an Dr. H (= Dr. Hermann Hartmeyer) mit der Bitte, mir zu sagen, ob diese letzten Meldungen von Dir ihn nun wieder befriedigen. Solltest Du über neuere Daten der innere verschuldung Englands verfügen, so würden diese im Anschluß an deinen Bericht über die Preisbildung natürlich interessieren. -Im übrigen bin ich Anfang November im Ruhrgebiet. Solltest Du ein Zusammentreffen in Düsselldorf für erwünscht und möglich halten, so käme hierfür der 4.11. nachmittags oder der 6. vormittags in Frage. Am 5. und am 6. abends bin ich in Essen bzw. Gelsenkirchen durch Vorträge besetzt.
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
his name unreadable (Hans Danckwerts)
* Using the phrase: 'Lieber Karl-Heinz', implies that they were quite good, personal, friends.
KV 2/388-1, page 90
From Hans Danckwerts
To Abshagen 17 St. Stephens Sq.
Date of Letter 31.8.31
Summary of Contents
Asks how Abshagen's relations with the German Embassy in London are getting on. Advises Abshagen to make these as strong as possible so that he and Danckwerts can later on get into touch with the Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin, and help their various business friends.
KV 2/388-1, page 93 (minute 275a)
Berlin, den 31. August 1931.
Lieber Karl-Heinz !
Ich komme eben von einem unserer Berliner Bezieher, den es mir gelungen ist, nochmalsm allerdings zu einem wiederum gesenkten Preise, zu gewinnen. Dieser Bezieher hat vornehmlich wirtschaftliche Interessen, konnte daher durch meinen Hinweis auf deine besondere Telefonate im Juli nicht gewonnen werden Ich habe ihm zugesagt, dass wir gerade die wirtschaflichen Dinge ( zu bestimmten Fragen wollen sich die Leuten wie immer, nicht verstehen) mehr berücksichtigt werden. Ich bitte dich, in diesem sinne auch das deinige einzusetzen.
Daneben dürfte im Augenblick die Frage interessieren, wie Frankreich plötzlich zu den Kredit an England gewonnen konnte.
Ferner scheint mir zweckmässigm noch andere Möglichkeiten vorzubereiten: hierzu ist es mir von Wichtigkeit, zu wissen, wie im Augenblick Deine Beziehungen zur dortigen Deutschen Botschaft stehen und ob Du Dir denken kannst, dass, selbstverständlich erst in absehbarer Zeit und nach eingehender mündlicher Durchberatung mit Dir sowie mit unseren anderen Freunden diese Beziehungen hier in Berlin irgendwie nutzbringend verwertet werden können. Du kannst dDir denken, dass wir im Augenblicknach allen Möglichkeiten einer Unterstützung bzw. Entlastung unserer Freunde suchen müssen, da alle Indutriegruppen an eine schärfste Kürzung ihrer verschiedenen Subventionenherangehen.
Das Wirtschaftsprogramm des reichsverbandes werde ich versuchen, in seinen Grunzügen zu bekommen. Es ist noch nicht einmal den Mitgliedern, auch nicht im vertraulichen Rundschreiben gekanntgegeben worden. Sollte alles fehlgeschlagen, schicke ichDie einen Auszug zu. Den Artikel von Herle inder Kölnischen Zeitung, der meines Erachtens in der Wiederholung alter, aber jetzt unangebrachter Forderungen sehr töricht ist, wist Du kennen. Schlieslich sollten unsere Industriestellen andere Auswege als nur die den Abbaus der Steuern und Soziallasten kennen. Wichtig für deine ausländischen Freunde aber scheint mir, daß vorerst jedenfalls der Gedanke einer Zollerh148hung zurückgewiesen wird, obwohl er als Antwort auf verschiedenen Massnahmen des Auslandes möglich wäre.
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
KV 2/388-2, page 12 (minute 261a)
Dr. K.H. AbshagenLondon
17 St. Stephen's Square,
August 20th, 1931
The Under secretary of State,
I take the liberty of applying, herewith, for a permit to stay permanently in Great Britain, for myself, and my wife Lucie Abshagen and my son Gert Gunther (Günther?) Abshagen. Enclosed I beg to hand you my passport and my wife's. My son has not yet got a passport being only 10 years of age. My wife is now staying with me at the address stated above. The boy is living, for the time being, with Mr. Holmyard, Welkin. Falmer Road, Rottingdean.
I came to London on May 29th after having been appointed permanent London correspondent of the Dienstag Nachrichtendienst G.m.b.H. Berlin W.9., a syndicate of German newspapers comprising the following papers: (T501 ↓↓↓ T501return) (U505 ↓↓ U505return) (V514 ↓↓ V514return) (W515 ↓↓ W515return)
Hamburger Nachrichten, Hamburg
Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung, Essen
Fränkische Kurier, Nürnberg
Schlesische Zeitung, Breslau
Allgemeine zeitung, Chemnitz
Immediately after my arrival in London, I reported to the Aliens Registration Office, Bow Street, W.C. and to the Press department of the Foreign Office.
Neither my wife nor I are earning any money from British sources, nor are we applying for employment of any kind by British employers.
London is intended to be our permanent residence.
Sgd. Dr. Karl Heinz Abshagen.
The next reference is a private letter from Abshagen's brother Wolfgang, dealing mainly with family matters, but also these matters is it worth to be confronted with; as it is showing aspects of which one hardly will become informed.
KV 2/388-2, page 15 (minute 240a)
Wolfgang Abshagen (Karl-Heinz Abshagen's brother)
München 28. Juli 1931
Dr. Karl Heinz Abshagen
Strand WC 2
Lieber Karl Heinz !
Mit besten Dank erhielt is deine freundlichen Zeilen vom 25.7.. Die Notiz über die neue heuschupfen-Verhandlung werde ich gelegentlich einmal mit meinen Berliner Arzt, der ja selbst das gleiche Leiden hat, besprechen. Die Schilderung der Zeitungsnotiz macht ja einen ziemlich verblüffenden Eindruck. Ich bin übrigens in diesen Jahre ganz gut über die Heuschnupfenzeit hinweg gekommen, wobei ich dahingestellt lasse, ob mir die fast völlige Abschliessung von frischer Luft oder mein homöopathisches Mittelchen geholfen hat.
Du hast gewiss während der Londoner Konferenz eine recht anstrengende aber wahrscheinlich auch hochinteressante Zeit verlebt. Wenn Du gelegentlich die Möglichkeit hast, mir von deinen Berichten an die D.Ü.D (Deutscher Übersee Dienst) (KV 2/1116) eine Kopie zu übersenden, so würde ich hierfür sehr dankbar sein.
Steht übrigens nicht auch eine süddeutsche Zeitung mit Deinen Hamburger Nachrichten im Kartell?
Hoffentlich kannst Du nun bald auch eine eigene Wohnung finden, damit die Familie wieder vereint wird, dann das Hotelleben wird Dir sicher ebenso wie mir gleicher Lage schnell über werden.
Dr. Klöres hat sich neulich über Dich beklagt. Er hat auf Grund Deiner Einladung nach Brüssel Dir im März ausführlich geschrieben und sich für September angemeldet. Natürlich hat er in der Zwischenzeit, da keinerlei Antwort eintraf, anders über seine Zeit verfügt. Seine Adresse ist München, Arcisstrasse Ecke Adalbertstrasse. Vielleicht schreibst du ihm selbst ein paar Zeilen.
Ich möchte nun heute noch eine andere Angelegenheit mit dDir besprechen, die ich bisher immer hinaus geschoben habe, über die ich aber im beiderseitigen Interesse gerne klar sehen würde.
Otto wird Dir geschrieben haben. dass es auf Grund der bisher in vollem Umfange eingegangenen Zahlungen von Alfred Schröder möglich sein wird, einen teil des Unterhalts der Eltern nunmehr aus den Zinsen des angelegten Kapitals zu decken, sodass die leistungen von uns 4 Brüdern sich ab 1.September um 30% ermäßigen werden. Da ich nun weiter annehme, dass im Laufe der letzten beiden Jahre es Dir möglich gewesen sein wird, Deine Schuld bei Otto (eine der 4 Brüdern?) ganz oder bis auf einen bescheidenen Restbetrag→(page 17)→abzudecken, möchte ich einmal an dich herantreten und Dich bitten,
KV 2/388-2, page 17
abzudecken, möchte ich einmal an dich herantreten und Dich bitten, nun doch auch einer Verzisung oder Abtragung desjenigen Betrages näherzutreten, den Du mir noch schuldest. Es sind dies - worüber Dir ein Auszug Deines Kontos mit allen Einzelbeträgen gern zur Verfügung steht, und selbstverständlich ohne dass bisher irgendwelche Zinsen in Anrechnuung gekommen sind.
Wenn ich diese Angelegenheit einmal aufrolle, so bitte ich Dich daran zu denken, dass erstens die steuerlichen Belastungen hier in Deutschland immer höher werden, dass ich zweitens ausser der laufenden Unterstützung der Eltern auch noch meine Schwiegermutter und Tante Anna mit zu unterhalten habe und dass ich drittens natürlich daran denken muss, die wenigen Ersparnisse, die man unter heutigen Umständen noch machen konnte. für meine Familie zu sichern.
Sollte Dir eine Abtragung gegenwärtig nicht möglich sein, so würde ich vorschlagen, dass Du mir das geld zu den gleichen Satz, den ich Zur dir gegenüber in Anrechung bringem nämlich mit 6% pro Jahr verzinsest. Ist dir der gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt insofern unerwänscht, als Du durch deinen Umzug grössere Aufwendungen hast, so würde ich anregen, dass die Zinsen zunächst zum Kapital geschlagen werden, bis ein Betrag von 3.000,- erreicht ist und dass die Zinszahlung erst dann auf Grund dieses betrages beginnt.
Lass Dir die Sache mal durch den kopf gehen und schreibe mir bitte gelegentlich.
Irmgard und die kinder sind jetzt schon 14 Tage in Fischhausen-Neuhaus bei Schliersee. Das Wetter ist zwar nicht gleichmäsßig schön, aber besonders die Kinder geniessen die Natur und die frische Luft und haben sich schon gut erholt. Ich habe die Sommerwohnung für Irmgard (Wolfgan's wife), die Kinder und das Mädchen bis Ende August gemietet und fahre selbst nach Möglichkeit immer übers Wochenende hinaus.
Viele herzliche Grüsse von Haus zu Haus
KV 2/388-2, page 21 (minute sheet 1a ..) (Q309 ↓↓↓ Q309return) This page should actually have been at the beginning of the KV 2/388 file series.
4/6/28 Extract from B.3 report re Abshagen (they were already looking for him in 1928) (1a)
25/6/28 Copy of envelop relating to intercepted letter (already practised in 1928) from Widenmann to Danckwert re Abshagen (2a)
1/11/30 Major Vivia (S.I.S.) rang up on 31/10/30 and asked ???? anything about Karl Abshagen (the red coloured stamp might indicate that in the 1950th he was decarded. Was this due because he no longer possessed a threat to England, mid 1950th?) M.I.1.c (later S.I.S.) have heard from their representative in Brussels that this man is living there and that he is believed to be an agent of the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116), in which connection he visits this country from time to time. he is stated to belong to the English section of the Nachrichtendienst of the Reichswehrministerium.
12/11/30 Report from M.I.1.c (later S.I.S.) activities of Abshagen, and enclosing photograph of Abshagen, and original questionnaire. (6a)
N.B. Typed copy of translation filed at (6a) (R310 R310return)
KV 2/388-2, page 25
A.2 (H.O.) 10.12.30
Note. the following address, from source BW. added to the check on Abshagen, by telephone 464, Avenue Georges Henri, Brussels (AOB: thus also communications in Brussels had been intercepted by the British)
11/12/30 To G.P.O. (AOB: this implies that the Home Office had ordered the legal interception of letters addressed onto Abshagen, when he was not settled definitely in Britain)
18/12/30 From G.P.O. - photostat copy of intercepted letter to Abshagen from "Archie", dated 16/12/30
Note. This letter is apparently from Mr. Archie Crawford, whom we know to be on friendly terms with Abshagen.
B.1 (= M.I.5) 18/12/30
AOB: now an episode which very much equals the tragic Erich von Salzmann case; hunting Germans abroad! https://www.cdvandt.org/erich-von-salzmann.htm.
KV 2/388-2, page 26 (partially)
2/1/31 (AOB, almost five months before Karl-Heinz Abshagen will arrive in England) From M.I.1.c (S.I.S) - re Abshagen
(Minute 43) Note.
With reference to (38a) from a further intercept (unfiled) from (Fürbinger) (Fiebinger) to Abshagen, it appears that he is providing the latter (Fierbinger) with press reports on the political and financial situation in this country.
B.1. (M.I.5.) 5/1/31. (this case is herewith quite similar, as the ill route followed in the Erich von Salzmann case)
KV 2/388-2, page 28 (minute 51)
I discussed this case with C.D.S. yesterday, explaining to him the possibility of Abshagen's organisation replacing, or cooperating with:-
a). The German 'Secret Press Service' in London,
b). The other two Secret Service organisations recently reported by M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) to be working against this country from Holland - see my letter to Vivian (S.I.S.) at (39a).
With regard to the suggestion which had been made, that Abshagen might perhaps be searched on some pretext by the Customs people on the occasion of one of his visits here, I put forward my view that any action of that kind at the present time would, in all probability, be very prejudicial to the conduct of the case, and also, that I thought it extremely unlikely that we should get any useful information from it.
I explained also that I was anxious to gain some knowledge of Abshagen's contacts, associates and doings when visiting this country, at the first opportunity, for which purpose he had been placed on the Arrival List.
C.D.S. agreed with me that for the present, at any rate, the idea of any search should be dropped.
B.1. (M.I.5.) 24/1/31.
KV 2/388-2, page 29 (minute 57)
Major Phillips rang me up about 3 p.m. yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and informed me that he had been rung up from Dover, by the Immigration Officer, who told him that a German, named Karl Heinz Abshagen, had arrived at Dover, and was proceeding to the Whitehall Hotel, 4 Montague Street, W.C. Abshagen described himself as a journalist; said that he had come here on business with the Economic League, 2 Millbank House, S.W.1, and expected to be here for about five days.
I rang up Mr. Ottaway (M.I.5.), giving him the foregoing information and suggesting that they should try to meet the train in order to see whether Abshagen went to the address given; if not, that they should verify the address by very discreet enquiries first thing on Monday morning.
Mr. Ottaway informed me this morning that they had not succeeded in picking up Abshagen on his arrival in London, but were verifying the address this morning.
I arranged that the check should be put on at the Whitehall Hotel, as soon as we knew that he was there, and that Abshagen should be kept under discreet observation during this week with a view to ascertain what he is doing and with whom he associates, apart from his visiting the Economic League.
Mr. Ottaway confirmed the fact that Abshagen is staying at the Whitehall Hotels, 4 Montague Street, W.C.1, and had given his address abroad as: 444 Avenue Georges-Henri, Brussels, Spoke G.P.O., adding White Halls Hotel address to the check.
B.1. (M.I.5.) 2.2.31 Sgd. NWatson.
KV 2/388-2, page 30 (minute 60)
Note. (Learning about the hampering effects of screening off anybody else even among between services)
With regard to the telephone message from Dover, I have ascertained that the Immigration Officer (Mr. Mugliston) rang up this office (M.I.5 Section B.1), and requested to be put through to Major Phillips. When he learned that the latter was not in the office, he would not give his message in the usual way but asked for Major Phillips' private telephone number, so that he could telephone to him direct.
This procedure appears to me to be a mistake and liable to cause serious delay. If Major Philips had been away, apparently the Immigration (Section of the Home Office) would have kept the information to himself until he could get through to him later on. Moreover, he did not furnish any information as to the time of the train's departure or the part of the train Abshagen was in, which is usually given to assist us in picking up the suspect on arrival in London. In the case of a man giving a wrong address, which happens not infrequently, this would mean that we should lose him in London. I think, therefore, that the proper procedure in Arrival List cases wants a little overhauling with the Home Office.
AOB, please digest the rest yourself.
KV 2/388-2, page 36 (minute 110)
3.3.31 From M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) report re Baumeister (this is actually a ridiculous case, going after it - for about 16 years, and all in vain; as they considered later that Obst. Rudolf the Leiter of Abwehr France was actually equal to Baumeister! Which was purely nonsense. The Germans have a very well fitting expression: Außer Spesen nichts gewesen!) (KV 2/265 ..KV 2/266 Baumeister Rudolf, PF 41211)
A.2 (an Office at H.O.)
With reference to (110a) will you please see if there is any trace of Baumeister having visited this country under any of the aliases given.
KV 2/388-2, page 46 (minute 182a)
29/5/31 From I.O. (Immigration Officer?) Harwich (AOB, thus arriving via Hoek of Holland) - wire announcing Abshagen's arrival. (He would remain since for some years in England) (182a)
Telephone message received from Mr. Ottaway at 10.45 a.m. 29/5/31, Abshagen staying at the Strand Palace Hotel, the address which he gave on his arrival at Harwich.
B.1. 29/5/31 Sgd. NWatson.
30/5/31 From B.W. (an M.I.5 informant) - re Abshagen. (AOB, somewhere I get the strong feeling that their informant Ustinov (U 35) might also be equal to B.W.; but I might be wrong) (184a)
KV 2/388-2, pages 48 + 49
A.2 (Section at H.O.)
With reference to the letter to Sir Arthur Willert at (197a) he rang me up on the phone 13.6.31 and informed me that he had not met Abshagen himself, having been away, but that Abshagen had called once or twice at the Foreign Office. The only impression which he had made on those who saw him was that he was very well dressed and altogether smarter in appearance than the average German press correspondent.
Now that he (Abshagen) that we are interested in him Willert will pay some attention to him on the occasion of any future calls and let us (M.I.5.) have the result of his observation.
18.6.31 Copy of an intercepted letter from von Salzmann (KV 2/910 .. KV 2/914) (https://www.cdvandt.org/Erich-von-Salzmann-all-Chapters-combined-pdf.pdf) to Glimpf. dated 7.6.31, mentioning Abshagen.
(AOB: not yet subject of this stage of affairs - Erich von Salzmann had a penchant to China, where he had lived and on 1st December 1941 will die on Typhoid in Shanghai; not grasped by the British Secret Services, that by then also Karl Heinz Abshagen will stay in China in wartime years as well)
This intercept is interesting. Von Salzmann and Glimpf cooperated in their work as representatives of the Scherl and the Telegraphen Union respectively and they and Abshagen are working for news agencies controlled by Hugenberg*, Their associations can, therefore, be accounted for by journalistic interests in common. On the other hand, however, we must remember that Hugenberg is the real head of the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116) and once one of the controlling members in the German Intelligence. Also von Salzmann (nonsense!) and Glimpf are known secret agents whilst Abshagen is suspected to be one. to find these three meeting in this way to discuss matters suggests hidden activities rather than ordinary journalism. (servant too long engaged in the Services apparently becoming paranoia)
With regard to the fourth member of the party we know very little about Dr. Thost (KV 2/952 ..KV 2/954; PF 39789) except that he represents the the principal National Socialist paper in this country where he arrived in January of this year. In March he applied to the War Office for facilities for visiting Aldershot and Sandhurst. His request was granted after his name had been referred to us. In view of the present society which he appears to be keeping a few further enquiries about him appear to be desirable.
B.1. 15.6.31. Sgd. NWatson.
L300 L300return (L304 L304return) * https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hugenberg (German language version) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Hugenberg (English language version)
KV 2/388-2, page 81:
Sir Arthur Willert, K.B.E. Foreign Office
KV 2/388-2, page 83 (minute 191a)
re Karl Heinz Abshagen - Observation by S.G.L and E.H.
Friday, 29th May 1931.
Abshagen arrived Liverpool Street Station by 8 a.m. train and was there met by Fiebiger who accompanied him to Strand Palace Hotel, where the former deposited his luggage and the two men went to the Strand Corner House for refreshments, and there they showed each other typed written letters. They then visited Woolworth's shop and afterwards parted; Fiebiger went towards City and Abshagen returned to the Hotel.
At 10.40 a.m. latter visited Aliens Office, Bow Str. afterwards called at Jerome Ltd. Photographers, Strand, and at 11.15 a.m. to No. 2 Wood Street, where he remained until 1.5 p.m. when he left with man, age 30 5'7", both entering a passing cab and were missed. The described man returned to wood Street at 3.25.
Abshagen entered Hotel at 2.45 and left at 3.30 with Fiebiger, who went with him to Jerome Ltd. On leaving the latter firm Abshagen had with him what appeared to be photographs. The two then parted and Abshagen was followed to Bank buildings, 16 James Street (a block of offices) where the National Political League was situated. he remained there from 3.50 to 4.30; then visited German Embassy, 8 Carlton House Terrace, and stayed twenty-five minutes. Afterwards went to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, St. James Street, and went to the Strand Hotel (walking distance) at 6.40 p.m. He did not leave up to 8 p.m. when watch was discontinued.
Note. The described man is known to Capt. Boddington.
Saturday. 30th May.
At 9.10 a.m. Abshagen visited Aliens Office, Bow Str.→(page 84)→then returned to the hotel.
KV 2/388-2, page 84
then returned to the hotel.
At 11.20 he left with Fiebiger, and they parted outside the hotel, when Abshagen entered the Foreign Office, Whitehall, where he remained from 11.35 ti 12.10, and after making purchase of stationery, etc., at Woolworths, went to the hotel and was not seen to leave up to 7.30.
Note. Whilst watch was being kept on said hotel, and during the time Abshagen was there, the man, supposed Dreyer (in red: decarded thus: removed from card-index 17 Sept. 1955 or 1956)(dead or after all not constituting a threat to British interests) mentioned in my report of 18th September (1930?) an associate of Johannes C.G. Riecke, was seen to enter, but remained a few minutes only.
Sunday, 31st May.
Observation kept on Strand Palace Hotel from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Abshagen was not seen. Fiebiger entered at 1.35 p.m. and did not leave during the afternoon.
Monday, 1st June.
Abshagen left hotel at 10.15 a.m. and after making purchases at Woolworths and Heffels, Chemist, returned to hotel. Leaving again at 12.35 in the company of Fiebiger they parted outside, and Abshagen went to 2. Wood Street, and left fifteen minutes later with man described in report of 29th May. They visited Northumberland Rooms Restaurant from 1.15 to 2.25, then to Rube's Restaurant, 35 Maiden Lane for 15 minutes, and parted in Strand, when Abshagen went back to his hotel.
By direction observation was then withdrawn.
Note. See attached report by H.H. hereon.
KV 2/388-3, page 2
30th May, 1931
re Karl Heinz Abshagen.
This man registered at Bow Street this morning as follows:-
German, born 14/6/1895 in Stralsund. Journalist.
Arrived in the U.K. 29/5/31 from 444 Av. Georges Henri, Brussels. Served German Army 2/8/14 to April 1919 (Lieutenant). Holds German passport 91/31 issued Brussels 26/5/31, and registration certificate 468112 issued 30/5/31 by Bow Street. Serial E.Z. 196735. Wife, (decarded 16 June 1965) in Brussels.
Represents the following German newspapers:-
Rheininsch Westfälische Zeitung, Essen.
Schlesische Zeitung, Breslau.
Fränkische Kurier, Nürnberg.
Hamburger Nachrichten, Hamburg (principal)
Allgemeine Zeitung, Chemnitz.
30/5/31 Permitted to land Harwich 29/5/31 to register at once and not to remain in the U.K. longer than 3 months.
Strand Palace Hotel.
KV 2/388-3, page 3
Abshagen has arrived in London, and says he is going to remain in England permanently.
He is representing about four Hamburg (incorrect) newspapers at a salary of over £1,000 a year. (AOB: a rather good salary compared to what the Director General of the Secret Service earned annually)
He proposes to collect news concerning commercial activities in the North of England.
He is going to stay at the Strand Palace Hotel until he finds permanent quarters.
KV 2/388-3, page 6 (minute 169a)
B.W. (= M.I.5's cheater, whom quite likely was Mr. Ustinov, also in this case) (the tone of this reports highly equals the ones used in Erich von Salzmann's case)
Abshagen appears to be quite frank with regard to his present occupation as an employee of the "Berliner Börsen Zeitung", saying that he is out to obtain all the political and economic information possible. The information provided by his source in Paris on these subjects is very good. Abshagen started off as a freelance journalist when a business which he and his father started after the war failed (1914-1918). He thinks he will be coming to London in July for two years, for his newspaper, and on the advice of Informant, is asking for a minimum salary of £1,000 a year.
He recently accompanied a tour to Germany which the Economic League arranged for successful essay writers, and took very great trouble to ensure that their visit was a success. He appeared to be on excellent terms with Authorities at Krupps (Essen) and other Schwerindustrie firms in Germany which the party visited, and the visit was such a success that they all came back with distinctly pro-German sentiments.
Abshagen says he is disappointed in Crawford (late Director of the Economic League) as he now finds that the information which the latter gave him as coming from his own knowledge was really provided by his assistants.
(3) (14 February 2022)
KV 2/388-3, page 13 (minute 101a)
Note on Karl Heinz Abshagen.
I have gone very carefully through this case from the start and find that careful examination confirms my view that it forms much the most important development in German C.E. work at the present time.
On the whole I am inclined to think that Abshagen may be regarded either as an agent of the Deutscher Überseedienst in which case we have, in finding him, found what we have so long been looking form the working of the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116) in this country, or else that, beginning as an agent of the Deutscher Überseedienst he (nonsense/quatsch!) has developed into something more important from the C.E. point of view, independent of and perhaps superseding the Deutscher Überseedienst as an espionage organisation. This is a matter which perhaps M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) may be able to clear up later when making the postponed enquiries asked for in my letter at (39a), answered by Major Vivian (S.I.S.) at (42a).
With regard to the very important questionnaire we have (xx), I find that this was shown to Captain Bacon for the Q. (question?) Summaries, that C.D.S. took it personally to D.M.O.&.). who was greatly interested and still has it and that it was decided by C.D.S. and D.M.O.&.I. that it would sufficient for it to be circulated in the Q. Summaries without copies of the questionnaire itself being shown to the section in the War Office interested (reference Minute 26).
With regard to the later developments arising out of intercepts (catching by means of G.P.O. first mails) from the Abshagen check and the recent visit to London seems to me that all clues have been properly followed but that it is very important that Abshagen should be shadowed by B.4 again on the occasion of his next visit or visits to this country.
With regard to these clued I suggest that the German journalist Fiebiger on whom a H.O.W (Home Office watch-index) has just been taken out →(page 14)→is likely to be an agent of Abshagen (AOB, they seemingly have no realistic picture of where they are dealing with).
KV 2/388-3, page 14
is likely to be an agent of Abshagen. The tone of his long letter seems to indicate a man seeking for personal employment rather than of a journalist hoping for advancement. I am inclined to think that perhaps his representation of the Berliner Börsen Zeitung is more a camouflage than anything else. However the check on him should throw some light upon this. It will also be interesting to see whether he is in touch with any of the known members of the German 'Secret Press service'.
Miss moment again appears to be true to type as a possible Secret Service agent though, of course, it is equally possible that her connection with Abshagen may be an entirely different character.
With regard to Bastell and the unknown Gerber it is to be hoped that M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) may be able to get something on these people (reference 85a). Lastly with regard to 13 Stratton St. I understand there is an intercept on its way to us now which indicated that there is some kind of anti-Bolshevik organisation there. This, of course, may turn out to be perfectly genuine affair. On the other hand it may be an English branch of Widenmann's ??Ost-Dienst in which case it must be regarded as suspect, remembering that the Ost-Dienst is suspected by the Entente against the 3rd Internationale as being merely camouflage for other activities, - possibly German Intelligence. Lastly it may turn out to be something entirely independent carrying on Secret Service work under an anti-Bolshevik camouflage. I think that we must follow all these clues up for some time before we can hope to get a clear view of the whole subject and further that it is specially important that Abshagen should be followed on the occasion of his next visits.
Please bear always in mind, that all KV 2/xxx files are - with increasing PDF page numbers, you are going backwards in time.
KV 2/388-3, page 26 (minute 37b) AOB, sometimes one get the strong impression to view inside a lunatic hospital, as they see connections like usually by paranoia patients.
Relating to Abshagen
Extracted from SF 52/4/4 (point at a wide range of 20 serials, all now stored in the KV 3/xxx serials) No. (234a)
Author of original M.I.5. Place of date of origin 30.12.30
Extracted made by A.V.P.
Dear Vivian (S.I.S.),
It is interesting to note that each of these three organisations is reported either to have, or to be organising agencies in Holland. Koerner is stated to be the resident agent at Amsterdam of the Abshagen organisation. You will, of course, remember that in 1929 and 1930 we had evidence that he was trying to open an agency in this country (England), and that the latter year he offered the position to a member of the 'S.P.S' in London. In you next report Eskin (Erskin?) is stated to be the Rotterdam agent of Major a.D. Voss (außer Dienst), who was reported in your CX/2760/V (shouldn't it be CX/27600/V) of 27.10.30 to be chief of that section of the German Intelligence Service which deals with active espionage. Lastly, although the name of the resident agent of the League for the Protection of European Culture at the Hague is not yet known, you recently stated that this Association was about to open a branch there.
The question then arises as to whether these three organisations are locally connected, or whether their agents in Holland operate entirely independently, though under the same central administration in Germany, or whether the three organisations work entirely independent throughout.
The only indication we have at present that there may be some cooperation between Abshagen and the League for the Protection of European Culture is the fact that in your CX/number made invisible/V of 12.11.30 Koerner is said to meet his agent at The Hague (Den Haag), where a branch of the League for the Protection of European Culture is about to be opened.
You may possibly be able to obtain (M.I.5 applying at S.I.S.) further information on these points from abroad, and I should be very glad if you would then consider the points which I have raised above, and let me have your opinion.
erased name/signature of a M.I.5 servant
KV 2/388-3, page 27 (minute 35a)
Summary of contents of letter to Abshagen from Fiebiger.
Acknowledges receipt of £11. sends report on Electoral Reform. The Aufwärts article brought in 12/6. Perhaps Abshagen will be able to set his provincial Service on its feet and writer will gladly undertake Leader writing for it as likes journalistic work. Apparently the Kesseler people have refused his article although they have not returned it. If they have accepted it Fiebiger would like to be paid before Christmas.
If there is no money coming from the Kessel or from Baehrens articles, writer would like an advance (Vorschuss), as the £11 did not go very far. Writer hopes next year to make a good thing out of the Film work at Elstree although film work does not appeal to him. And he is also going to begin lessons with Mr. Crawford.
But a political-journalistic career appeals to Fiebiger. Asks Abshagen if he can get him permanent employment on fixed pay somewhere. he would have done better if his clothes had been smarter in getting interviews. Would like to take in Reviews and periodicals, such as Spectator, Nation, Athabaeum (Athanaeum?), but cannot afford them. And his own education would be improved.
Would like to remain in England. But does not mind moving. Would go to France or Poland. Is adaptable. What he can do in London he can do in Stockholm, Budapest or Buenos Aires. Speaks French, Spanish, Dutch, and knows some Swedish and Danish. and has studied the countries of Poland and the Carpathians.
Is now beginning to feel that all this travelling had not definite aim and at 26 years old wants a definite profession. Is also an amateur photographer. Took an examination Diploma at Erlangen, but the degree of Dr. (PhD) was a finance question. In every country it is forbidden to employ foreigners and he will soon sink here. Is an optimist, but if Abshagen does not agree with his optimism writer wishes he would tell him so at once. If Abshagen cannot employ him as an article writer himself, perhaps he can recommend him elsewhere.
KV 2/388-3, page 28 + 29 (minute 30a) on behalf of M.I.5. B.1
9th December, 1930
Dear Vivian (S.I.S), (formerly: M.I.1.c.)
With reference to your CX/ number made invisible in S.I.S. practice/V dated 12/11/30, which I have read with very great interest, I am, as I mentioned when we discussed this case recently, most anxious that you should follow it up in any way possible, without imperilling (endangering) the position of the original Informant.
As you are now aware, Abshagen has been known to us since June 1928, when he and Dr. Danckwerts were stated to be assistant of Captain Widenmann, the head of the Ost-Dienst, an anti-Communist organisation. As Widenmann and Danckwerts are both in the Deutscher Überseedienst as well as the Ost-Dienst, it seems very probable that Abshagen, as stated in your report, is also connected with the Überseedienst (KV 2/1116).
Abshagen has been to this country five times within the space of ten months. His last visit was 8/8/30, when he arrived from Antwerp. Once he came from Dunkirk, and three times from Ostend. Arrangements have been made for his movements to be kept under observation on the occasion of his next visit.
Major V. Vivian, C.B.E.,
M.I.1.c (later S.I.S.)
KV 2/388-3, page 30 (minute 24a)
Note on Abshagen case. November, 1930.
Abshagen first came to our notice in June 1928, when he was reported as one of the chief assistants of Captain Kapitän Widenmann (as a Naval Attaché he must have possessed an according Naval ranking) of the Ost-Dienst, a German anti-Communist organisation. Widenmann* was formerly Naval Attaché in London, and has been of interest since 1922 owing to reports from M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) that he was head of the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116), an organisation which was, at that time, strongly suspected of military espionage. Prolonged and careful enquiries into the activities of the Deutscher Überseedienst, however, produced no definite evidence that it was operating in this country.
Widenmann has been in this country on several occasions in connection with his ant-Bolshevik organisation. During one of these visits he was, practically speaking, the guest of an English association of a similar kind. Through an arrangement with a representative it was possible to account for such of his time which was not covered by B.4 (the section handling observations) observation. Although he paid several visits to the German Embassy, no definite conclusions could be drawn as to whether his visit to this country had any ulterior (consealed) motive. We have, however, definite information that he has in the past engaged in political espionage.
In June 1929 Abshagen was in London, and visited the anti-Communist organisation referred to above. This he probably also did on the occasion of his future visits, of which mention is made below.
As the beginning of this month, M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) asked us for any information available about Abshagen, who had been reported to them to belong to the English section of the Intelligence Department of the Reichswehrministerium, and to visit England in this connection in this connection. Enquiries made produced the information that Abshagen had been to this country five times during the last ten months (is this proving what/or anything?).
On 12/11/30 M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) sent a report connecting three Germans, Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Baumeister (whom they never will caught, and on which they hunted, in post war days, Obst Rudolf; once Leiter Abwehr Leitstelle in Paris) Dr. Karl Heinz Abshagen and Peter Heinrich Koerner with a German Secret Service organisation working against Great Britain.
Dr. Baumeister, of whom we have no likely record, is stated to work at Cologne as an agent to the chief of the German section of the English Intelligence, and to be in direct touch with the chief of the Berlin Polizei-Präsidium regarding the work of scret agents. he is said to travel frequently to Amsterdam to see the resident of his section - Koerner. (AOB, once linked to Dierks?)
In order that this report may be viewed in all it aspects, it is desirable to give a very short account of Koerner and his recent espionage activities.
He is, of course, well known to us as an important member of the German secret Service in Holland, both during the war, when he was a member of Kuhlmann's espionage organisation, and since the war (>1918), when he has used a Press agency, known as the International Press Union of Amsterdam, as a cover for his Secret Service work. We have been making enquiries about him over a period of years with the result that, →(page 31)→although we are satisfied that he is still engaging in espionage, it has not been possible to establish that he actually has a resident agent in this country.
M301 ↓↓ M301return
* https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Widenmann (German Language) Wilhelm Karl 20 June 1871 - 20 Sept. 1955. But more intriguing why did Mr. Harker mention that - and Mr. N.Watson neglect to notice that Widenman was German Naval Attaché before the Great War (1914-1918) He actually served 1907 - 1912! https://second.wiki/wiki/wilhelm_widenmann (in English language, far less comprehensive)
KV 2/388-3, page 31
although we are satisfied that he is still engaging in espionage, it has not been possible to establish that he actually has a resident agent in this country.
In 1924 M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) reported Koerner to be in regular communication, by courier, with a man known to us as a prominent member of the German 'Secret Press Service' in London.
In 1929 Koerner wrote to one of his war time collaborators, also a member of the 'S.P.S.' asking him for reports (not for publication) as to the opinion of the English Foreign Office on the most burning question, the Reparation Conference in Paris. He was asked to use plain envelopes and to give no indication of the sender. This letter was the prelude to Schweringer, the correspondent in question, being sent a series of envelopes containing blank sheets of paper, together with a request to post one daily. Some of these envelopes, containing blank sheets of paper, were traced in the post on their way back to Koerner. It may be that the latter wished his employer to think that he had important sources of information in England by producing rapports of his own manufacture from envelopes with English postmarks on them; on the other hand, it may be that invisible ink was used.
With regard to the report itself, we are not at present in a position to Baumeister (the very person searched for > 16 years, and whom was considered equal to https://www.cdvandt.org/KV-2-266-Alst-Paris-Leiter-Obst-Rudolph.pdf). Search of the Traffic Index (at H.O.W.) has produced an arrival and departure card for a German named Wilhelm Baumeister, who arrived at Southampton from Bremen on 7/6/29, when he gave his age as 43, and his occupation as "Geschäftsführer" (Manager). he stated that he had come here on an official tour. He is the holder of passport No. 1522 issued at Gladbach on 23/7/27. He left Dover for Calais on 12/6/27. Both on arrival and departure he gave as his address in London, the Royal Hotel, but in view of the time which has elapsed since his visit, it does not seem that any useful purpose could be served now by enquiries at the hotel, shown in the Telephone Directory as at Woburn Place. It is suggested, therefore, that M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) should be asked for further particulars regarding the Baumeister of their report, such as his official occupation, age and initials, and the address at which he lives.
The situation with regard to Abshagen is, however, very much clearer. We know definitely that there is such an organisation as the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116), of which Dr. Widenmann is Director, and with which Hugenberg (L300 L300return) is associated. Further, that Abshagen is an assistant of Widenmann (M301 M301return), also head of the Ost-Dienst, an anti-Communist organisation. reference to Traffic Index (at H.O.) has shown that Abshagen does, in fact, visit England fairly often, when he gives his occupation as that of a journalist (which the actually was indeed).
It appears quite possible, therefore, as stated in M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) report, that Abshagen comes to this country as the travelling agent of a German Secret Service organisation. (AOB in my perception: these Crown servants actually were mentally ill, maybe an aberration caused by their job; ill hallucinations; but lasting for decades to come; and most even were in vain!) Thus, any resident agent here would not need to risk sending letters through the post, but could hand any information which he had procured, to Abshagen on the occasion of one of his visits. The report definitely presumes that there is a resident agent in this country. →
KV 2/388-3, page 32
M.I.1.c.'s representative in Holland should be able (did they actually were enthusiastic as, the Dutch people had still quite some resentment against Britain, in particular there apparent aggressions against the "Boer State" before and about the turn of their century?) to produce information as to the existence of the Café (in The Hague/Den Haag) of which a sketch is given in the report, and might possibly ascertain whether, or not, Koerner visits it.
Although the translator, on first looking at the questionnaire, thought it was of a general character, it will be seen that it actually goes very thoroughly into the subjects upon which information is required.
H.O.W's (Home Office Watch-Index) have been imposed on Baumeister (lunatic still!) and Abshagen (quite neurotic after all), and the check on Koerner has been re-imposed, but, as yet. no letters have been intercepted.
The main interest in this report lies in the fact that it is the first one we have had from M.I.1.c. (later S.I.S.) for some years which gives us the name of a German reported to visit this country (England) in connection with (German) Secret Service. Their reports hitherto have been confined to the personnel of the German Secret Service Organisation abroad with a noticeable lack of any definite information regarding their contacts in this country (England).
It is of interest to note that the Ost-Dienst with which Abshagen is connected (may we designate someone connected as he receives a paper copy of something?), although it calls itself an anti-Communist association, was expelled from the Entente against the Third Internationale at Geneva, the head anti-Communist organisation in Europe, in February 1929. The head of the Entente gave as the reason for this expulsion that it had been discovered that the Ost-Dienst belonged to a German official information organisation and had approached the Soviet, in view of which it was considered to be acting in direct contravention to the aims of the anti-Communists. (AOB, thinking in clichés, isn't to difficult when a broader background education fails)
On present information it appears possible that the (a ledged) Abshagen organisation is either an entirely new one, or that it is that section of the Deutscher Überseedienst (KV 2/1116) which deals with espionage in Great Britain (all only ill minded considerations - lacking sound proves).
B.1. (M.I.5.) Sgd. N Watson.
KV 2/388-3, page 34 (minute 12a)
PF 39611/M.I.5.B.1. It concerns an Order on behalf of the Home Office to G.P.O. to retain letters addressed onto Abshagen; but it even claimed letters addressed to Abshagen's legal permanent address in Brussels at 444 Avenue Georges Henri Brussels. Hotels in England felt, of course, under the jurisdiction of the Home Office.
30 November, 1930
Please digest the text yourself.
KV 2/388-3, page 35 a curiosity. (P308 ↓↓↓ P308return)
Le nommé Abshagen, Karl Heinz, né à Stralsund (Prusse) le 14.6.1895, de nationalité allemande fils de Heinrich, né à Wieck (Prusse) le 23.1.1853, et de Fischer, Marie, né a Strahlsund le 27.6.1860, se disant marié à Hambourg le 18.2.20 à Kagenow, Lucie Elise Johanna Betty, née à Stralsund (Prusse) le 15.6.96, venant de Berlin, Yorkstrasse No. 18, est arrivé/ une première fois en Belgique, à Schaerbeek, rue Gallait No. 80, muni d'un passport allemand délivré à Berlin le 15.1.27, visé a la Legation de Belgique à Berlin pour voyager en Belgique ppendant une durée de 6 mois, à dater du 18.1.27.
Abshagen se disait attaché à la Commission pour revalorisation des fonds et emprunts dé'tat allemands, dont le siège se trouvait à Brussels, rue de la Banque, no. 15.
Milicien de la classe de 1914, Abshagen a été licencié en 1918 à Brandenbourg en qualité de Lieutenant au 35e Regiment d'Infanterie.
Le 15 mars 1927 cet étranger a quitté la commune de Schaerbeek et semble etre rerourné en Allemagne.
Arrivé une seconde fois en Belgique le 27 mai 1929, Abshagen s'est fixé le 7.6.1929 à Woluwe-St-Lambert, Avenue Georges Henri, No. 464, où il s'ent fait inscire comme rédacteur-correspondent délivré à Bruxelles le 27.5.1929.
Son épouse, Kagenow, Lucie, est arrivée eb Belgique le 6.6.29, pour te joindre son mari à Woluwe St. Lambert, muni d'un passeport allemand. Elle donnait comme réf130rence Mr. Dermont, habituant à Bruxelles, 2. rue du Grand Hospice. A remarquer que Mr. Dermont est proprietaire de l'immeuble situé 464 Avenue Georges Henri, à Woluwe St. Lambert.
Le 29.8.29, le Commissaire de Police de cette nous a fait savoir que les époux Abshagen n'ont pas encore fait l'objet de la moindre remarque défavorable 1uant à leut conduite et qu'il ne leur connait aucune fréquentation douteuse ou mauvaise.
Le 21.6.29m la nommée Grühnholz (decarded 9 December 1955), Frieda, née à Lipia-Gova, le 9.3.1905, de nationalité polonaise, fille de Gustave, né à Walldorf? le 21.5.74 et de Mathilde Burow?, née à Flemingsort, le 12.3.74, servante, venant également de Berlin, Yorkstrasse, No. 18 est venue rejoindre les époux Abshagen. Cette étrangère, sans etre appointée, s'' occupe du ménage de cette famille qui pourvait à son etretien et lui procure de l'argent de poche. Elle n'a encore donné lieu à aucune remarque défavorable.
KV 2/388-3, page 36 What is true and wishful thinking remains, in my perception an open question
S.I.S. CX/number made invisible dated 12.11.30.
German Secret Service against Great Britain.
One of our Representatives in France has stumbled upon what appears to be a German Secret Service organisation working against Great Britain about the authenticity of which we find it very difficult to form an opinion.
The original agent's report, which was dated 25th September, 1930, ran as follows:
"The following information regarding the work of the Reichswehr (the designation of the German Military Service between, say 1920 - 1933) against Britain (AOB, query: did their reporter not act against Germany's interest) has been received from my informants, who get into touch with the English Section of the Nachrichtendienst of the Reichswehr. He established contact with rather important people in this Section, viz Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Baumeister, Inspector, who works at Cologne (Köln) and is subordinate to the Chief of the English section of the Nachrichtendienst and is in direct touch with the Chief of the Berlin Polizie-Präsidium for coordinating activities and facilitating the work of secret agent of the Section. As Inspector he frequently travels, for instance he recently visited Amsterdam and Luxembourg. My informant does not know if Baumeister has ever visited London.
"Baumeister's office is situated at the branch of the Polizei-Präsidium in Cologne (Köln) and he has a flat somewhere in the suburbs, the address of which has not yet been ascertained. his office has direct telephone communication with the Nachrichtendienst and the Polizei-Präsidium of Berlin. Secret meetings with agents take place at the Hotel Belgischer Hof, near the station, and occasionally at his flat for persons who are in closer touch with him. The Post Box where some of the secret reports of agents are received is as follows:-
Rosenstein und Massart.
Rostand 7. Postlagerend,
Koeln (Köln) am Rhein.
Abshagen calls himself a journalist and works for several newspapers of Nationalist tendencies. He is attached to the Überseedienst (KV 2/1116) (Dr. Hugenberg's organisation) (L304 L304return) and works on questions of the economic espionage. Unofficially, he is an important agent of the Nachrichtendienst of the Reichswehr and its English Section. he is an ex-officer and is reported to visit London fairly often where he is said to have good connections. He travels to the U.K. under the cover of investigating economic questions for his newspapers. Through him Dr. Baumeister (Not identical to Obst. Rudolf the later ALST Abwehr Leiter in Paris) is connected with important German agents working in England. Abshagen is a clever and well educated → (page 37)→man with an excellent memory and considerably experience of his type of work.
KV 2/388-3, page 37
man with an excellent memory and considerably experience of his type of work. It is possible that the same time he is the resident agent of the English Section in Belgium; this, however is not confirmed.
"The resident agent of the section at Amsterdam, which Dr. Baumeister frequently visits, is a certain Koerner the owner of the "International Presse Union", address: Singel 305, Amsterdam. Dr, Baumeister is closely connected with Koerner on numerous occasions rendered great service to the Germans by his work against England, and he amassed a fairly considerable fortune.
"Koerner very often has secret meetings with agents at a Café opposite the station at The Hague (our agent cannot remember the name, but the following sketch will explain its position):-
"Our agent does not know who is the Resident Agent in England, nor the names of any persons working in England for the Nachrichtendienst, but is confident he can ascertain all details in the course of his future work.
"During the meeting between our informant and Dr. Baumeister (AOB, this implied that their informant must have been trusted and of German nationality. Over viewing the circumstances, I would not really wonder, that their "The Hague" agent might have been also Mr. Ustinov (BW, B.W. Mr. Sharmer, U35 and whatever fake names he got); whom was an apparent German cheater, who's success relied upon (only) constituting being trustworthy as a German individual; but was supporting British interests since, somewhere, in the 1920) the latter handed him a number of questionnaires sent out to agents working in England. These ate attached hereto and may serve as samples of the paper and type employed by the English section of the Nachrichtendienst. Dr. Baumeister receives them at Cologne (Köln) by a special courier from Berlin, together with numerous copies for despatch to trusted agents.
"I request the utmost precautions be taken before further enquiries are made so as not to endanger the agent in his future work of discovering the names of those persons working in England. If I can be supplied with material to pass on to the Germans, it should be borne in mind that the English Section has a fairly good organisation in England, and therefore false or badly compiled reports may only harm the agent. Apart from this will be necessary to point out to my informant some persons residing in London entirely loyal to your Intelligent Service (German?), preferably a retired officer, who could serve a the "source" of the information obtained".
(2) In forwarding the above our Representative suggested that he should be supplied with faked information for the agent to put forward to enable him to get into still closer touch with the organisation in question. We did not, however, consider this, for →(page 38)→several reasons,
KV 2/388-3, page 38
several reasons, a sound course, and, while respecting the agent's request that no enquiries should be made about the facts reported which would in any way imperil (risk) his connection with the group, we thought it advisable at least to check the existence and reputation of Abshagen, as being a matter which presented no difficulties and might at the same time assist us in a general consideration of the information.
The result of our enquiries re Abshagen are attached in the shape of a report in French from the Belgium authorities (see: P308 P308return), together with the man's photograph.
You will see that no suspicions concerning him are entertained by the Belgian authorities.
(3) We should be grateful for your considered opinion of the whole matter, including your comments on the questionnaires which are enclosed in original, and your views, if any, on whether and how the matter should be taken further.
KV 2/388-3, page 39 (minute 6a) Notice also the content of Minute (6a) at: Q309 Q309return) (R310 ↓↓↓ R310return)
Please read and digest its contents yourself.
KV 2/388-3, page 40
Please read and digest its contents yourself.
KV 2/388-3, page 41
Please read and digest its contents yourself.
KV 2/388-3, page 42
Please read and digest its contents yourself.
KV 2/388-3, page 43 (minute ref. not provided)
20th August, 1931
Dear Vivian (S.I.S.),
With reference to your correspondence relating to Karl Heinz Abshagen, terminating with my PF 39611/M.I.5.B.1 of 23/7/31, you may be interested to know that this individual is now resident in London as representative of the following German newspapers:-
Rheinisch Westfälische Zeitung, Essen.
Schlesische Zeitung, Breslau.
Fränkischer Kurier, Nürnberg.
Hamburger Nahrichten, Hamburg.
Allgemeine Zeiitung, Chemitz.
He is known to us to be meeting von Salzmann (https://www.cdvandt.org/erich-von-salzmann.htm), Glimpf and Thost (KV 2/952 ..954, PF 39789), the latter being subject of our correspondence under No. L.169/84?/M.I.5. B.1.
This association appears to me to be distinctly interesting in view of von Salzmann's and Glimpf's known connections with German Intelligence (all only wishful thinking, thus nonsense) and Abshagen's suspected activities as reported in your CX/ /V of 12/11/30, and suggests a community of interests not necessarily confined to journalism. (all bull-shit, and nonsense)
You will remember that you decided when you
r received the
report to above that it was inadvisable for your representative in France to
follow it up owing to the fact that it might prejudice his relations with the
French. Do you think it would be possible, however, for him to find out whether
the agent (a British,
more likely a German,
person) who submitted
the original report ever came across the actual address of Baumeister's flat,
or, alternatively, if he did not discover this, if he can say whether the
Baumeister who is living at Weidengasse 37I Köln, and upon whose
address we came by chance, is identical with the individual mentioned in his
report? If, however, you do not consider it advisable to pursue the
enquiry in that direction possibly something might be obtained from Brussels,
reference your CX/ ?V of 11/8/31.
In view of the fact that Koerner is now reported by you to have been dismissed from the German Intelligence it would appear that the venue of the organisation, of which he was apparently one of the principal members, has shifted from Belgium or Holland else, and Baumeister has resumes the visits which he is reported to have paid in the past, to Belgium and Holland?
I am sorry to have gone into this at such length, but think you will agree as to the desirability of clearing up the present somewhat obscure position, with a view to taking any further concerted action which may be possible.
KV 2/388-3, page 45 (minute??)
Fiebiger, Heinz Karl Bruno.
German. Born 7/5/1905 in Berlin. Married: wife, Therese. Journalist. London representative of Berliner Börsenzeitung. Address: 72, Elms Road, Clapham Common, London S.W. 4.
First came to our notice on 22/12/30 in consequence of a letter he wrote to Abshagen in Brussels, in which he acknowledged the receipt of £11 and forwarded four newspaper articles. Mentioned that he was "going to begin lessons with Mr. Crawford".
Enquiries made showed that Fiebiger originally came here in February 1929, when he stated he had come to learn English, and would probably attend classes at the London School of Economics before returning to Heidelberg university. He subsequently applied from Cardiff for an extension of his landing conditions, stating that he was a "student of Economics in general and coal-mining in particular". He actually left U.K. in May 1929, and returned on 15/6/30, when he again stated that he had come to study at the London School of Economics.
B/4 (M.I.5 section for shadowing suspects) observation report on Abshagen when he came again on 29/5/31, showed that he was met at the station by Fiebiger. They were seen together on the three following days, but nothing suspicious was observed.
B/4 observation was kept on Fiebiger for three days in April, but nothing suspicious was seen.
From intercepted letter it would appear that Fiebiger is not satisfied with his position here, a letter from the American Consul, Cardiff, showing that he applied to go to the U.S.A., and one to Abshagen, in which he states that he is tired of learning Welsh, and would like to go to Spain.
Two interested letters from Fiebiger to Abshagen show the former to be in touch with Coates - probably identical with W.P Coates, known to us to have been engaged in "under-ground" work for the C.P.G.S. In the second letter, Fiebiger says: "Coates (to whom I am giving lessons) will use his influence with Ewer. But the latter will hardly let himself be stopped in the German-enmity (hate) by this".
H.O.W. (Home Office Watch-Index) was taken out on Fiebiger on 24/2/31 after his association with Abshagen had been reported by B/4. The following extracts from a Note by Major Alexander, dated 2/3/31, indicates the nature of our suspicions regarding this man.:-
"I suggest that the German journalist Fiebiger, on whom a H.O.W. has just been taken out is likely to be an agent of Abshagen. The tone of his long letter to the latter, seems to indicate a man seeking for personal employment rather than of a journalist hoping for advancement. I am inclined to think that perhaps his representation of the Berliner Börsenzeitung is more camouflage than anything else".
N.B. Top copy given to Mr. A.O. Harker, 17/7/31. B.1.Sec.
KV 2/388-3, page 55 (Minute 2a)
Hyde Park Hotel,
To Hans Danckwerts,
Deutscher Überseedienst, G.m.b.H., (KV 2/1116)
Date of letter 25/6/28
Date of Postmark 26.6.28.
Summary of contents
The opinion on the standing of the Skagerrak Convoy, Berlin, of the 21/6/28 only reached here today. I thereupon declined to consider the claims of Herr ?Bilser, my responsibility in the matter now ceases. This for your personal information. so that you may have freedom of action. I would, however, further beg you to be discreetly silent towards Baron v.Z. and the Organisation. I will take action on my return.
Many thanks for the further material which I have not quite gone through yet, also to Dr. Abshagen. KV2/389
Abshagen Karl Heinz
KV 2/389, page 3 (minute 554a +)
30.9.33 From G.P.O. - copy of intercepted letter to Abshagen from dr. Theodore Seibert, dated 27.9.33 (we are jumping now for over more than 1 year) (554a)
Please digest the rest yourself.
This is rightly points at the very fact, that the reproduced Abshagen file series, have been weeded and afterwards being reconstructed, in some way.
And even what have been saved, isn't complete at all.
Considering all this, we still should be grateful that at least some have escaped complete elimination.
KV 2/389, page 6 (starting with minute 590)
12.1.34 from G.P.O. - copy of intercepted (outgoing) letter to Danckwerts (AOB, I am not entirely sure that this was legal, and in accordance with the licence once provided on behalf of the Home Office) from
Abshagen, dated 11.1.34 (591a)
KV 2/389, page 13 (minute sheet)
16.11.34 from G.P.O. - copy of intercepted letter to Dankwertz from Abshagen, dated 15.11.34. (665a)
AOB: please digest this minute sheets yourself.
KV 2/389, page 15
31.12.34 New H.O.W. on Abshagen - half yearly revision. (676a)
18.1.35 From G.P.O. - copy of intercepted letter to Danckwerts (684a)
21.1.35 Copy of letter from Mr. Norton F.O. (Foreign Office) re Abshagen & Thost (KV 2/952..954; PF 39789) (684b)
24.1.35 From G.P.O - copy of intercepted letter to Abshagen from (Rudolf) Gosekuhl, dated 21.1.35 (686a)
Ref. intercept at (686a), further information may come to hand before the arrival of this individual, but B.F. end March for consideration as to action to be taken.
Dr. Gosekuhl might possibly be identical with Guhl mentioned in intercepts at (862a) and (863a? in Salzmann file No. PF 38812.
S.7 (?) 28.1.35 Sgd TAR (T.A. Robertson the later chief of M.I.5. B.1.a.)
KV 2/389, page 16
28.1.35 From S.3(a) - result of Traffic Index enquiry for Portz (679a refers) (688a)
Spoke S.3a. re Minute: 695. Miss Homan said she would arrange for a note to be made of all Germans coming into this country whose names began with "K" and whose ages were round about 50.
S.7. 5.2.35. Sgd. TAR (M.I.5.) T.A. Robertson.
KV 2/389, page 20 (minute 706a)
Berlin, den 28.2.35
Lieber Karl-Heinz (he must be intimate) !
In den nächsten Tagen wird dich ein Herr Rosenhahn von der Firma eines bestimmten Beziehers von uns aufsuchen, der sich insbesondere auch mit einem von mir handgeschriebenen Zettel "Herzlichen Gruß Deines Hans Danckwerts" einführen wird. Er hat eine ganze Reihe von Fragen, um deren Beantwortung sofort oder in der Form von Berichten er Dich bitten wird.
Ich Bitte Dich, Herr Rosenhahn, soweit, soweit es Dir möglich ist, zu helfen. Es kommt darauf an, daß er einen vollständigen und sehr guten Begriff von deinen Fähigkeiten und Leistungsmöglichkeiten hat. Andreseits wäre es mir sehr erwünscht, wenn Du grade diesen Herrn, dessen firma uns gegenüber, was die Devisenfrage anbelangt, schwer im Verzug ist, gerade auf die Notwendigkeit schnellster Regelung dieser Frage in deinem und des Dienstes Interesse hinweisen würdest. Die Beantwortung der von ihm gestellten Fragen von der vorherigen Zurverfügungstellung regelmässiger Devisenzahlung abhänig zu machen, scheint mir in dieser krassen Form nicht zweckmässig, denn es könnte der Erfolg seiner Reise, sofern er von Dir abhängt, grade diese Frage günstig beeinflussen (obwohl ich weiß, daß daß wir grade dieser Stelle gegenüber Vorleistungen genug gemacht haben). Vielleicht aber findest Du nach diesen kurzen Andeutungen selbst einen Weg, um sowohl Deine leistungsmöglichkeiten und Leistungen zu zeigen, wie auch auf den Erfolg der Devisenlösung hinzuarbeiten.
Im übrigen handelt es sich um die Firma, deren Leiter Du im August 1934 zu langer Besprechung aufgesuchtest, wobei ich um etwa eine Viertelstunde zu spät kam. Es waren also nicht die Herren, mit denen wir zusammen gefrühstückt haben.
KV 2/389, page 22 (minute 697a)
From Danckwerts, Berlin.
To Abshagen, 22 Gledhow Gardens, London
Date of Letter 1.2.35
Date of Postmark 1.2.35
Summary of contents
re accounts for 1934
5 times 1150 RM (including Fiebiger) = 5,750.
Fees from V. Kemp passed direct to Abshagen Reichsmarks present value 309 plus 510 which is for Abshagen. = 410.
Remainder fee of v. Kemp from 25 July 224.
From 1st February will be able to send Abshagen 1,000 Reichsmarks regularly but may to take 800 of it.
Has Abshagen found out whether the statement in the "Temps" regarding military alliance between Poland and Japan, is correct.
Has he received letters of 16th and 29th? If not he is to let Danckwerts know immediately.
KV 2/389, page 23 (minute 697a)
Berlin, den 1. Februar 1935
Lieber Karl-Heinz ! (the writer must be quite intimate)
AOB, have previously noticed the abridged translation of this letter, for those reading German language, please read its content yourself.
KV 2/389, page 25 (minute 693a) (Y517 ↓↓↓↓ Y517return scroll also down to page 26)
From Danckwerts Berlin.
To Abshagen, London.
Date of Letter 29.1.35.
Date of Postmark 29.1.35. (Berlin)
Summary of Contents
Writer says he is arranging a final discussion with Behren with regard to the shares.
Herr von Kemp (N. Kemp) has informed writer that some time after the 5th February, a gentleman with a German passport in the name of W.K. will visit Abshagen. He is absolutely trustworthy, wears eyeglasses, age about 50, speaks broken German.
Will request Abshagen to forward the stuff to the Embassy for the purpose of sending it to Berlin by way of courier. Asks Abshagen to pay attention to what he will be asked to do.
KV 2/389, page 26 (minute 693a)
Berlin, den 29.1.35
Lieber Karl-Heinz ! (the writer must be a close friend)
In der Devisensache habe ich für Donnerstag eine ultimative Besprechung beim Herrn Behren angesagt. Ich bitte Dich, Dich also noch ein paar Tage zu gedulden.
Herr von kemp war heute bei mir im Büro, um mir mitzuteilen, daß nach dem 5.2. ein ihm bekannter, unbedingt zuverlässiger Herr mit einem deuschen Pass auf den Namen W.K. Dich aufsuchen würde, mit der Bittem Schriftstücke, die er Dir gibt, an die Botschaft zwecks Weiterleitung nach Berlin auf dem Kurierwege zu geben. Der Herr W.K. trägt einen Kneifer, sei bartlos, ungefähr 50 Jahre alt und spreche etwas gebrochen deutsch. Man bittet Dich, die Bitte dieses Herrn entsprechend zu erledigen.
Schlie schreibt, daß er von dort nicht prüfen könne, ob die Enthüllungen der Morning-Post über Fragen, die MacDonald den französischen Ministerium vorlegen wollte, auf eigene Kombinationen der Morgenpost zurückgehen oder ihr von französischer Seite zugeleitet seien. Außerdem teilter mit, daß nach seinen Erkundigungen Laval sich niemals mit Deutschland direkt ohne hinzuziehung Englands verständigen werde. Auch die Volksmeinung sei in dieser Hinsicht absolut für Verständigung mit England eingestellt.
Im übrigen habe ich zu meinem Bedauern vergessen, um welche Meldung aus früheren Jahren von Dir es sich handelte, die Du aus den alten Akten, die beim Seefahrer liegen, herausgesucht haben möchtest. Vielleicht kannst Du es mir gelegentlich nochmal mitteilen.
Hoffentlich hast Du beruhigende Nachrichten von Deinem Vater aus Stralsund.
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
KV 2/389, page 31 (minute 690b)
Copy, original filed in OF 22/1. v.7. @ 325a
S.7 Re attached
The case against Thost (KV 2/952 ...954; PF 39789) is already proven, but does the same apply to Abshagen?
In any case, it would seem undesirable to touch these people unless they were doing anything very flagrant. "Better the devil you know than the one you don't".
X Seen, thank you. I really do think that it would be better to leave Thost and Abshagen alone for the time being.
I will, however, draw up a precis of the Abshagen case as soon as I can and let you have a copy.
(Sgd.) T.A. Robertson. (later head M.I.5 B.1.a)
S.7. Spoke D.S.S. who entirely agrees with X.
(Sgd.) T.A.Robertson. 29.1.35 (Sgd.) G.M.Liddell 29.1.35
KV 2/389, page 33 (minute 668a)
Berlin, den 24.11.34
Lieber Karl-Heinz ! (must be a quite close friend)
Endlich habe ich den dreh gefunden, nachdem ich immer noch bei günstigeren und reichhaltigere gelegenheiten gewartet hatte.
Am Montag habe ich die Ausfuhr-Genehmigung für die mir legal übergebenen 24½ Pfund in der Hand. Du kannst also bis Mittwoch mit dem eingang dieses rechnen.
Im übrigen finden in der kommenden Woche auch offenbar abschliessende Besprechungen zwischen Herrn Behren und der Devisenstelle über den geeigneten modus procedendi statt. Hierbei sind unsere Forderungen ausreichend mit beräcksichtigt. Ich habe die wichtigsten, die Mißstände und ihre Folgen aufgezeigenden Stellen aus deinen Briefen für diese Besprechung zur Verfügung gestellt, um den nötigen Druck dahinter zu setzten.
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
KV 2/388, page 35 (minute 665a)
From Abshagen, London.
To Danckwerts, Berlin.
Date of Letter 15.11.34
Date of Postmark 15.11.34
Summary of Contents
Asks Danckwerts whether their friends at Essen, particularly the one who was recently in America, are in touch with German concerns who have branches in England. And if so, whether these branches in England could give Abshagen unofficial employment for a few months so that he could at least receive a little money (please consider my foregoing cadre - explaining briefly the implications of money-transfer between countries; and Germany apparently had great difficulties in this respect. As Hitler's expansion plans demanded great amounts of imports and thus foreign currencies; then was the payment of salaries of German foreign correspondents a nuisance). Asks if Herr von Kemp has not yet got permission to send the 300 RM (Reichsmark).
Encloses political notes on Eden's (British Foreign Affairs Minister) nordix journey. England and Mandschukuo. No War Danger in the Far East.
Encloses article on the speech of General Smuts (South-Africa) in the Royal Institute of International Affairs on 12th November (1934). The "Times" reported the speech in full and cordially agreed with it. Abshagen's informant learns from his friend in the Cabinet that the Cabinet is furious with the "Times". A well informed Conservative told informant that a German "peace offensive" would not be welcome in England. As long as uncertainty reigns, the Foreign Office and the three War Ministries can exaggerate Germany's re-armament and keep up England's own armament. The War Office has only one wish, to make up the peace strength of the Army to seven divisions. This is hindered in the War Office by the internal quarrel between the mechanising branch and the opponents. With regard to the recent visit of von Ribbentrop, informant learnt from his friend in the Cabinet that Simon described von Ribbentrop as a "real nuisance".
KV 2/389, page 36
London, 15 November 1934
Lieber Hans (Danckwerts),
Ich möchte heute noch eine Anregung machen, die mindestens der Ueberlegung würdig erscheint. Haben nicht unsere Freunde in Essen (Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung), ich denke dabei auch an den Herrn, der kürzlich längere Zeit in Amerika war, Beziehungen zu deutschen Unternehmungen, die freundschaftliche Beziehungen zu Unternehmungen hierzulande, bezw. emglische Tochtergesellschaften haben? Sollte esnicht denkbar sein, dass man auf diesem Wege erreichen erreichen koennte, dass ich wenigstens für einige Monate, die als Uebergandgszeit besonders schwierig sein müssen, bei einer dieser englischen Unternehmungen, wenn nicht eines förmliche Anstellung, die gegen die Aufenthaltsbestimmungen fuer Ausländer in Deutschland verstössen würde, aber irgende einen bezahlten Sonderauftrag oder etwas deratiges erhalte? Dadurch würde mir das Durchhalten hier ungeheuer erleichtert werden, ohne dass eine Belastung der deutschen Devisenwirtschaft eintreten würde. In welcher Form die Sache zu machen wäre, muss ich natürlich ganz Euch da drüben (in Germany), aber mir schien die Anregung doch erwägungswert. (AOB, Abshagen is clearly suffering from shortage of English currency due to: T338 T338return)
Hat Herr von Kemp noch immer nicht die Genehmigung zur Ueberweisung der 300 RM. erhalten? Jede auch die kleinste Gabe wird dankend angenommen!
Wir müssen auch , daran denken, was mit dem Torero geschehen soll. Er schrieb mir heute wieder und fragte, ob er bald auf grössere Ueberweisungen rechnen könnte. Ich glaube, wir müssen uns bald klar werden, ob wir ihm raten sollten, seinen Kram zu packen und nach Deutschland zurückkehren, oder nicht. Es waere natürlich ein Jammer, eine aufgebaute Aussenposition aufzugeben, zumal sie u.U. einmal sehr erhebliche Bedeutung gewinnen koennte. Aber schliesslich können wir den Mann und seine Frau doch dort nich einfach verhungern lassen, denn die reserven sind doch in seinem Falle sehr gering.
Viele herzliche Gruesse
KV 2/389, page 38 (minute 665a)
Die Rede von General Smuts. (once Minister President of South Africa) hand-written und anderes
Wie Gewaehrsmann aus der Schriftleitung der Times erfaert, ist die grosser Rede, die General Smuts am 10. des Monats, im Royal Institute of International Affairs hielt, in engster Zusammenarbeit mit dem Times zustandegekommen. Daraus erklaert sich auch, dass die Times nicht nur die Rede in vollem Wortlaute wiedergaben, was amtierenden englischen Ministern bei ausserhalb des des Parlament gehaltenen Reden nur sehr selten zuteil wird, sondern auch in ihre Leitartikel vom 13.11 sich auch die die Anschauungen, die in der Rede ausgesprochen wurden,vollinnal? ?? zu eigen machten. In Kabinettskreisen ist man, wie Gewaehrsmann aus der Umgebung eines Mitgliedes des Kabinettts erfaehrt , wuetend auf die Times, nicht nur weil die Politik von Smuts (a "Boer politician")nicht mit den Intentionen der Regierung in Einklang zu bringen ist, sondern weil man empfindlich ist wegen der von den Time and die Rede von Smuts geknuepften scharfen Kritik des Kabinetts. (Please, don't forget: The Union of South Africa was constituted in 1910, and the "Boers" weren't very pro-Britain; after two aggressive wars against the Boers, quite understandable; albeit that Britain considered it being a Dominion. In the wartime days, their mutual contacts, were still a bit delicate)
Wenn Smuts eine Politik vorschlaegt, die auf der Grundlage voller Gleichberechtigung fuer Deutschland den Krieg endlich liquidieren sollte, so widerstrebt das der amtlichen Politik des Augenblickes, die als Hauptziel die Verstaerkung der englischen Ruestungen hat. Ein gut unterrichteter konservativer Politiker erklaerte Gewaerhsmann, dass eine deutsche "Friedensoffensive", die man vielfach hinter dem Besuche von Ribbentrops vermutete, der englischen Regierung sehr ungelegen kommen wuerde. Dem Foreign Office ebenso wie den drei Wehrministerien sei es ganz gelegen, wenn der Schleier, der vor der Oefentlichkeit ueber dem Umfang der deutschen Aufruestung liege, noch laengere Zeit nicht gelueftet wuerde. So lange dieser Zustand der Ungewissheit fortdauere, sei es moeglich durch die Presse der oefentlichen Meinung eine stark vergroesserte deutschen Aufruestung vorzuspiegeln und dadurch die Stimmung fuer eine entsprechende Verstaerkung der englische Wehrmacht zu gewinnen. Im War Office wuerde man jede ernsthafte Wiederaufnahme der Abruestungsverhandlungen vor dem naechsten Sommer hoechst peinlich empfinden, dann man habe der einen Wunsch, die Vorbereitung fuer die Ausschaltung des englischen Expiditionsheeres in Staerke von 7 Divisionen "in Frieden" ungestoert durch Abruestungsgerede"durchzufueren. Allerdings sei innerhalb das War Office die Durchfuehrung dieser Aufgabe noch schwer behindert durch den Streit zwischen den Vor???fern der Motorisierung wird daran gegern.? Dies sei nicht nur ein sachlicher Kampf, sondern auch ein Kampf zwischen zwei Offizierskategorien von verschiendener gesellschaftlicher Herkunft.
Vielleicht erklaeren die im vorshenenden englischen Persoenlichkeit auch wenigstens zum teil die unfreundliche Aufnahme die Herr von Ribbentrop unter dem duennen Finsternis offizieller Oeffentlichkeit in London bei seinem diesmaligen Besuche wieder gefunden hat. In der Umgebung Edens kann man ausgesprochen abfaelliges Urteil ueber den deutschen Beauftragten hoeren und die Aesserungen in der Pressabteilung des Foreign Office gegenueber nicht deutschen Journalisten strotzen? geradezu von ironsichen Anspielungen. Eine Kabinetskreisen nahestehende Persoenlichkeit gab Gewaersmannn allerdings einen anderen Grund fuer die ablehnende einstellung im F.O. (Foreign Office). Simon habe im Kabinett gesagt, solche Emissaere wie von Ribbentrop seien laestig ("a real nuisance"soll der woertlche Ausdruck gewesen sein). Wenn er Simon oder Eden in diesen Besprechung etwas sagten, dann sei das verbindlich fuer die englsche Regierung, und sie koennten jeden Tag darauf "genagelt?" werden. Dagegen habe man gar keine klare Abgrenzung der Kompetenzen solcher halbamtlichen Unterhaendler, zumal wenn diesselben anscheinend keine scharf unrissenen Instruktionen mitbraechten. Im parlementarischen und journalistischen kreisen kritisiert man besonders verschienden der englischen Freunde des Herrn von Ribbentrop, die nicht ernst zu nehmen seien. Man wird aber gut tun, alle diese Kriterien unter dem gesichtswinkel des vorher Berichteten zu betrachten.
Please bear always in mind - that in the KV 2/xxxx series with increasing page number you are going backward in time.
KV 2/389, page 62 (633a)
From Danckwerts, Berlin.
To Karl Heinz Abshagen, 22 Gledhow Gardens, S.W.5.
Date of Letter 16.6.34
Date of Postmark Illegible.
Summary of Contents
Writer explains that in the present circumstances it is more difficult than ever before to send payments abroad to the amount they have done previously. Added to which the "Union for Free Trade" as such is wound up and it would be suspicious if funds were still administered in its name. It has been decided, as from the 1st July, to make a formal transfer of the staff of the old Union who work abroad to the publication "Volk und Reich" (Goebbels sponsored), so that no objection can be made (Goebbels was politically very influential, and could not simply be ignored) to a future increase in the service of correspondence. It must be taken into consideration that the Propaganda Ministry which knows the "Volk und Reich" well (of course they damm did!), might easily be won over to support the scheme of export.
Writer asks Abshagen to write to "Volk und Reich" agreeing to transfer his old contract under "Union fro Free Trade".
Asks Abshagen for a short history of and a few hints about his Paris colleague, Dr. Erich Schlie. (Decarded 3 Jan 1955)
(5) (21 February 2022)
KV 2/389, page 63 (minute 633a)
Berlin, den 16.6.34
Lieber Karl-Heinz !
Es ist, wie Du Dir denken kannst, unter den augenblicklichen Verhältnissen mit größeren als den bisherigen Schwierigkeiten verknüpft, Zahlungen ins Ausland in der bisherigen Höhe zu leisten. Außerdem ist die Vereinigung für freie Wirtschaft als solche liquidiert, weshalb es bedenklich sein könnte (Finanzamt), noch Konten auf ihren Namen zu führen. Wir sind uns daher übereingekommen, ab 1. Juli die Auslandsmitarbeiter der alten Vereinigung formal and den Verlag Volk und reich anzuschließen, womit der (nach wie vor aussichtsreichen) Reglung über ein späteres, auch selbständiges Wiederaufleben unseres Korrespondentendienstes nicht irgendwie vorgegriffen wird. Sehr wesentlich war dabei die Erwägung, daß in diesem Falle für eine Unterstützung unseres Auftrages betreffend Devisenausfuhr das Propagandaministerium, welches Volk und Reich genau kennt, leicht gewonnen werden kann.
Ich bitte Dich also, möglichst bald an den Verlag Volk und reich (zweiten unterschrieben Durchschlag beifügen für Vereinigung für freie Wirtschaft einen Brief zu schreiben, in dem Du Dich damit einverstanden erklärst, daß Dein mit der Vereinigung für freie Wirtschaft bestehender Personalvertarg auf Volk und reich mit allen rechten und Pflichten übergeht. Du wirst dabei auch die richtige juristische Form finden (Abshagen war ja Jurist), um dem Verlag Volk und reich denselben Kündigungsschutz für Dich aufzulegen, wie er Dir auf grund Deines langjährigen Vertrages mit der ("Dienstag") Vereinigung bzw. ihrer Rechtsnachfolgerin zusteht.
Bei dieser Gelegenheit bitte ich Dich auch, zu überlegen ob Du weiter für unser Madrider Freund als Mittelstelle tätig sein willst. Ich überlasse die Entscheidung ganz Dir, da ich kaum glauben daß die geforderte Summe um RM 150,- höher liegt, als wenn Du für den Madrider Freund nicht mehr Vermittler bist. Solltest du dich dahin entscheiden, diese Vermittlung aufzugeben, bitte ich postwendend den entsprechenden Brief nach Madrid zu schreiben, damit wir auch von dort her in den Besitz der Einverständniserklärung zur Vertragsumleitung kommen.
Wenn Du einmal Zeist hast, wäre ich Dir für kurze Angaben dankbar, ob Du persönlich und sachlich ein stichwortartiges Urteil über deinen Pariser Kollegen, Herrn Dr. Erich Schlie abgeben kannst.
Mit herzlichen Grüßen dein
KV 2/389, page 65 (minute 632a)
To Herrn Hans Danckwerts, Verlag "Volk und Reich" Motzstrasse, 22, Berlin
Date of Letter 15.6.34
Date of Postmark 15.6.34
Summary of Contents
Abshagen has had a long interview with Sir Arthur Willert, Press Chief at the Foreign Office. Sir Arthur spoke unofficially and confidentially. He gave it as his opinion that Germany must return to the League with sincerity (honesty) and goodwill and remain isolated (isn't that a bit too much?). France, having concluded agreement with U.S.S.R. feels less afraid of Germany than ever before, and will view Germany's return to the League with equanimity (calmness). (AOB, after Hitler came to power, Germany stepped out of the League of Nations)
KV 2/389, page 66 a + b (minute 632a)
Herrn Schriftleiter Hans Danckerts
Verlag "Volk und Reich",
Eine längere Unterredung mit dem Chef der Presseabteilung im Foreign Office, Sir Arthur Willert, bestätigte und ergänzte die aus Unterredungen mit anderen Persoenlichkeiten in der letzten Zeit gewonnenen Eindrücke; Sir Arthur sprach nicht im amtlicher Eigenschaft sondern vertraulich. Hervorzuheben ist, dass auch er die Lage für Deutschland so darzustellen berüht war, dass es für das reich nur die Wahl zwischen zwei Möglichkeiten gebe, entweder sich völlig isoliert zu sehen, oder aber nach Genf zurückzukehren und wieder mitzuspielen ("play the game"). Er gab zu, dass neben Prestigerücksichten für die Reichsregierung auch die Erwägung mitsprechen müsse, dass eine Rückkehr nach Genf nur Sinn hätte, wenn vorher die Gewissheit geschaffen sei, dass eine Einigung erzielt werden könne, denn schliesslich könne Deutschland nicht ad infinitum abwechselnd von Genf fortgehen und wieder dorthin zurückkehren. Die englische Regierung beabsichtigt einzweilen nicht, von sich aus weitere Schritte zu tun, um eine solche Einigung herbei zuführen, vielmehr liege nach ihrer Auffassung die Angelegenheit nunmehr zwischen Paris und Berlin. England stehe einstweilen abseits; sachlich halte es den deutschen Standpunkt, wie in der Note vom 16. April ausgedruckt, nicht für unvernünftig, aber damit, dass es durchgesetzt habe, dass die deutsche Note in die Resolution in Genf aufgenommen sei, habe es seiner Auffassung nach sein Teil getan.
Sir Arthur Willert füge hinzu, dass nach seiner Unterrichtung Frankreich derzeit seht r viel entgegenkommender sein werde, denn je zuvor, wenn Deutschland sich die Mühe machen wollte, in Paris anzufragen (AOB, Unsinn, Frankreich war seit Louis XIV ein Feind Deutschlands). Bezeichnend ist die Begründung, die Sir Arthur hierfür gab: Frankreich fülle sich heute angesichts der Entwicklung in Ost- und Südosteuropa und gestützt auf seine Beziehungen zur Sowjetunion, die ihm bis zu gewissen Grade das gegeben hätten, was es in London nicht habe erhalten können, sicher als je seit Versailles. (AOB, Frankreich war schon ende des 19. Jahr Hunderts, nur bestrebt Russland in einen Krieg gegen Deutschland zu verwickeln, koste was es wolle!) (Christopher Clark's: The Sleepwalkers; How Europe went to War in 1914 ) Damit habe die ständige Nervosität und furcht vor Deutschland- (hier endet leider das Dokument)
KV 2/389, page 91 (minute 603a)
From Danckwerts, Berlin.
To Abshagen, 22 Gledhow Gardens, London, S.W.
Date of letter 15.3.34
Date of Postmark 16.3.34
Summary of Contents.
So much has accumulated that can only be discussed by word of mouth.
Danckwerts begs Abshagen to come to Berlin for 2-3 days as soon as possible can. Two most important clients have demanded to see Abshagen.
KV 2/389, page 93 (minute 603a)
Berlin, den 15.3.1934
Lieber Karl-Heinz !
Es hat sich bei uns inzwischen derart viel angesammelt, was nur mündlicher Besprechung erledigt werden kann, daß ich Dich bitten muß, nach Berlin zu kommen und für Deinen Berliner Aufenthalt wenigstens 2-3 Tage freizumachen. die Kosten der reise werden wir selbstverständlich tragen.
Grade zwei unsere wichtigsten Bezieher haben den dringlichen Wunsch der persönlichen Aussprache mit ?? geäussert.
ich bitte Dich, uns mitzuteilen, wann du ehestens in Berlin sein kannst.
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
KV 2/389, page 95 (minute 601a)
From Danckwerts, Berlin
To Abshagen, 22 Gledhow Gardens, London
Date of letter 8.3.34
Date of Postmark 8.3.34
Summary of Contents
Is of the opinion that there is nothing against the use of a pseudonym for Abshagen's articles. Writer has to do it often although the paper prefers the correct signature in the interest of both parties, There need be no difficulty here, as Abshagen's first article was accepted.
Kempinski asks you to send him those reports which are intended for him on plain paper as to sender is not to be known. A number as signature will suffice. As Danckwerts always forwards the reports, there should be no danger.
KV 2/389, page 97 a + b
Dr. jur. Karl Abshagen,
22, Gledhow Gardens
London SW 5.
Volk und Reich Verlag
Berlin W 30
Berlin, den 8.3.34
Lieber Karl-Heinz !
Ich danke Dir für deinen Brief vom 5. Ich freue mich sehr, daß Du uns die Buchbesprechung wie den Artikel zu dem bestellten Termin liefern kannst. Ich habe grade auch in den letzten Tagen wieder sehr anerkennende Urteile über deinen ersten Artikel bekommen.
Wenn Du uns die Karten angeben kannst, bedenke bitte, daß ich nicht über genügenden Kenntnisse vom Empire verfüge, um die verschiedenen Rasterungen für Irland, Indien, Kanada, Südafrika usw. richtig einzusetzen zu können.
Gegen ein Pseudonym als Zeichen Deiner Artikel bestehen keine Bedenken. Wir müssen das öfters tun, wenngleich die Zeitschrift natürlich Namenszeichnung im beiderseitigen Interesse vorzieht. Hier jedoch dürften sich, da Dein erster Artikel zusagte, keinerlei Schwierigkeiten ergeben.
Kempinski bittet Dich, die für ihn bestimmten Berichte in Zukunft auf neutralem Bogen zu schreiben, der den Absender nicht erkennen lässt. Es würde die Angabe einer Korrespondentennummer am Schluß des Aufsatzes vollauf genügen. Da wir jedes mal Deinen Bericht übermitteln, sind Schäden, die sich aus Nichtfeststellbarkeit des Berichtenden ergeben könnten, nicht zu erwarten.
Schließlich noch eine Bitte : die Rede von de Broqueville vom gestrigen Tag ist natürlich uns außerordentlich interessant. Trotzdem darf sie in unser Zeitschrift nicht gebracht oder gewürdigt werden, wenn man nicht über die Stellung von Broqueville in der Politik seines Landes Näheres weis und danach ihre praktische Bedeutung erst abschätzen kann. Kannst Du uns einige diesbezügliche Stichworte geben, die wir dann in der redaktionellen Einleitung verwenden werden?
Mit herzlichem Gruß,
KV 2/389, page 99 (minute 599a)
From Hans Danckwerts, Berlin.
To Abshagen, 22, Geldhow Gardens, London.
Date of letter 20.2.34
Dear Karl Heinz,
from the 14th - 20th I was in Austria (Vienna and one day at Innsbruck) and have never been able to bring so many experiences home with me. I will send a copy of my report in the next few days. Today I make the request that you will send the enclosed two blank signed sheets of paper to Dr. Egon Scheffer (Schäffer?) , Vienna 18, Türkenschanzgasse 1 without writing the sender's name on the envelope or on the enclosure. Conditions in which our informants in Vienna are working are difficult, therefore I promised to send Scheffer (Schäffer?) an agreement dated 1928 making him a reporter on communism so that he should have a cover. The post from Germany is scrutinised (inspected/censored) so closely at the frontier by Austria that my sending him now an agreement dated 1928 will be just the thing to bring him to Wöllersdorf. So I have taken the safe way via London.
Comment. Spoke to Major Vivian (S.I.S.)
KV 2/389, page 100 (minute 595a)
From Abshagen, 22 Gledhow Gardens, London
To Danckwerts, Schellingstrasse 1, Berlin.
Date of Letter 24.1.34
Date of Postmark illegible
My article went off to you yesterday by registered post, and will have reached you before you get this letter.
Unfortunately it was not possible for me to find very detailed examples in the reference books at ny disposal for your maps of the Far East, and from which comprehensive idea can be formed of the chief points in the defence System in South East Asia.
The English position in East Asia rests upon Singapore in the southern section, with the neighbouring place Penang and the Island of Labuan; and upon Hong Kong in the China section, with Wei-Hai-Wei further north.
A Major General is stationed at Singpore, who is Commandant of the Fort. According to the newest edition of "Whiteaker", two squadrons of British Air Force are stationed there. Press reports of the last few weeks tell of feverish defence activities, particularly of the building of a large number of new batteries, amongst which there are apparently anti-aircraft batteries. There is a floating dock for big battleships.
KV 2/389, page 102 a + b (minute 595a) (X516 ↓↓ X516return)
Vereinigung für freie Wirtschaft e.V.
Mein Artikel ging gestern unter Einschreiben an Dich ab und wird dich bei Eingehen dieser Zeilen wohl bereits erreicht haben. leider ist es mir nicht möglich gewesen, in den mir zur Verfügung stehenden Referenzbüchern fuer Eure fernoestliche Kartenskizze sehr erschoepfende Angaben zu finden, aus denen sich ein Ueberblcik ueber das Stuetzpunklsystem in Suedostasien ergibt.
Die englische Stellung in Ostasien ruht im suedlichen Abschnitt auf Singapur mit den Nebenstuetzpunkten Penang und der Insel Labuan im chinesischen Abschnitt auf.
Hongkong wozu weiter noerdlich noch Wei-hai-wei tritt.
Singapur ist Sitzt eines Generalmajors, der Kommandant des festen Platzes ist. Nach "Withaker" neuester Jahrgang sind dort zei "Squadrons" der englischen Luftstreitkraefte stationiert. Pressemeldungen der letzten Woche berichten von fieberhaften Befestigungsarbeiten, besonders Luftabwehrbatterien. Ein Schwimmdock fuer Grosskampfschiffe.
Ueber die Befestigungen und Besatzung Hongkongs sind in den Referenzbuechern keine sachlichen Angaben zu finden. Es ist Sitzdes militaerischen Oberkommandos der in China stehende Landtruppen, Oberkommandierender ein Generalmajor mit umfangreichen Stab, 3 Generalstabsoffiziere und mehrere technische Offiziere. Ferner ist Honkong der Chinastation der flotte. (a.u.) Ein Kommando Fliegertruppe scheint in Hongkong nicht zu bestehen, doch ist hier ist hier der Flugzeugtraeger Eagle stationiert. Man haelt die Befestigung in England fuer unzureichend.
Die Chinastation der englische Flotte, die sich auf Hongkong und Singapur stuetzt, umfasst ausser Kanonenbooten und sonstigen Hilfsschiffen (u.a. ein alter Monitor aus der Kriegszeit als Stationsschiff in Singapur) 6 kreuzer, den genannten Flugzeugtraeger, ein Zerstoererflottille und 14 Unterseeboote. Grosskampfschiffe hat England im Fernen Osten nicht.
Singapur wird zugleich als Stuetzpunkt der ostindischen Station der englischen Flotte betrachtet, die aus 3 Kreuzern und einer Anzahl Kanonenboote besteht. Ferner befinden sich in fernoestlichen Gewaessern noch die australischen und neuseelaendischen Seestreitkraefte von je 2 Kreuzern und kleineren Schiffen. Beachtung verdienen Presseberichte, nach denen die australische Regierung im Begriff steht, Port Darwin in Nordaustralien zu einem Flotten- und Luftschutzpukt ersten Ranges auszubauen.
Hoffentlich genuegen diese Angaben, ich kann, wie gesagt, in der kurzen mir zur Verfuegung stehende Zeit nichts weiteres feststellen.
KV 2/390-1, page 2
Abshagen, Karl Heinz
KV 2/390-1, page 3
?.5.38 Int. letter from Devisenstababrechnungsstelle (German foreign exchange (currency) dealings office) to Abshagen (AOB: about the year 1934 his institution made payments to Abshagen impossible) Abshagen (1062a)
?.7.38 Cross ref. to U.35 (M.I.5's Mr. Ustinov; whom was explored as to obtain information upon Abshagen and others, as he might then still have been considered from German descent) (1070a)
6.8.38 International letter from Gert Abshagen (K-H Abshagen brother, or meant Gert Günther Abshagen's son) to Abshagen (1074x)
?.9.38 To F.O. (Foreign Office) re Abshagen's son (Gert Günther) (1075a)
KV 2/390-1, page 5
?.2.39 To F.O. (Foreign Office) enclosing copies of reports sent by Abshagen to (Hans) Danckwerts (German Press, his superior) sent by Abshagen to Danckwerts (1111a)
?.2.39 To S.I.S. enclosing copies of reports sent by Abshagen to Danckwerts (1112a)
?2.39 S.B. (Special Branch, a secret section of Scotland Yard) report re Abshagen (1114k)
KV 2/390-1, page 7
?4/39 International letter to German Embassy, Rome, from German Embassy, London (1137a)
KV 2/390-1, page 8
AOB: in those days the tension of a new World War was feasible already.
1.6.39 S.B. (Special Branch a secret section of Scotland Yard) report of Abshagen (1155a)
15.6.39 To F.O. (Foreign Office) forwarding international letter to Danckwerts re attitude of British Government to Germany.
KV 2/390-1, page 13
26.3.42 Wireless Telephony Int: Berlin to Madrid for Mr. Fischel, ment: Abshagen (AOB, = Wolfgang Abshagen, then also known as "Duett". He was engaged in Abwehr II (sabotage) matters. As Major Wolfgang Abshagen he was, in 1943/44, Leiter II at ALST Paris, situated in Hotel Lutetia) (1210a)
KV 2/390-1, page 15
As a result of a Foreign Office enquiry at 1218a and my reply at 1219a, Mr. Ridsdale, head of their Press Section, asked me to go and discuss Abshagen's case. It appears that Ridsdale knew Abshagen well before the war and has lately had a fair considerable correspondence with him. Abshagen has written him a number of letters commenting on the present political situation in the Western Zone of Germany which Ridsdale considers fair minded and well balanced. Abshagen wants to come to this country as a correspondent for a (West) German newspaper and the Foreign Office have been resisting, but Ridsdale thinks he would be a useful man to have here. He therefore asked me how positive our information was that Abshagen had been engaged in espionage in this country before the war, in view of my statement that we had not been able to take any action against him. I said that although we believed that Abshagen's political reports had been quite fair and accurate, it was still clear that he was not submitting these reports as a normal journalist for to the papers he represented only (T501 T501return), but was also submitting reports regularly from 1930 to 1939 to intelligence agencies in Germany. He may have obtained the materials for these reports quite overtly (openly) but never-the-less a man who was working for an intelligence service must be regarded as having engaged in espionage activities.
I said also that we had no evidence that Abshagen was ever pro-Nazi and in fact it seemed likely that as a Free Mason he was not eligible to join the Nazi Party. On the other hand he seemed to be a patriotic German and with the revival of nationalism in Germany at the present time, it was open to question whether by being herem he would be more useful to the British than he would to any organisation fostering Pan-Germanism. I said, however, that provided the Foreign Office were aware of the information which we had against Abshagen, it was for them to weigh the merits of the case.
Summaries of the Abshagen case are at flags A and B. (1193a and 1212b)
KV 2/390-1, page 16
The information at 1222a effectually summarises most of the information in PAIR.
S.I.S. promised to check the claim that Karl Heinz Abshagen had been involved in the 20th July plot as their office file only went up to 1943 and information from most secret sources did not reveal any connection with the plot. (but his late brother Wolfgang essentially delivered the British explosive which had been used by von Stauffenberg against Hitler)
B.1.d. 14.3.49 Joan Chenhalls
KV 2/390-1, page 17 (minute 1233)
I recently had occasion to call for this file and, on looking through the summaries of the case at 1193a and 1212b I noticed two references to the fact that Abshagen was in touch with the Russians while in this country from 1929 - 1939.
The first is the intercept at 519c from the Soviet Embassy to Abshagen confirming an invitation to lunch with the Soviet Ambassador (February 1933). The second is the report from a source of doubtful reliability, at 578x that Abshagen had been appointed as a secret agent in London by the Soviet Government (December 1933). Apart from these two references all our pre-war information tends to show that he was anti-Communist.
So far as our information on his wartime activities goes it is rather confused and it appears from Abshagen's letter to Mr. Ridsdale, of which there is a copy at 1231a, that some of it may in fact refer to his brother, We have had no report from Intelligence Division on his post-war activities.
As Abshagen is likely to come to this country again, and in view of the fact that we spent a great deal of time covering him while he was in this country (England) before the war without coming to a really satisfactory conclusion about him, I think it might be as well to ask Intelligence Division for a report on him. In the light of their report we can consider whether it might be advisable to take an interest in him if and when he comes here again. Perhaps B.2.c. could look into this?
D.B. = Dick G. White 22.2.50
KV 2/390-1, page 18
D.B. (Dick White)
With reference to your minute 1233, you will see at 1237a, 1230a, 1241a and 1242a the results of enquiries of int. Div. about Abshagen. These do not really throw any more light on the man, except to the extent that they provide slight confirmation that he is ant-Communist. I do not think that at the present stage he merits special investigation.
B.2. (M.I.5) 20.7.50 J.H. Marriott.
I agree with your that, on the present appreciation of Abshagen, should he come to this country he does not merit special investigation. I do, however, aggregate that he might himself be a useful source of information and if he does come, I suggest asking U.35 (Mr. Ustinov once born German - whom cheated Abshagen before the war; as being born German he got his confidence, which he wasn't worth it, as a British agent. Should Abshagen trust him now again?) to see whether he could establish contact with him and decide the extent of his knowledge covering Russian affairs, including intelligence matters.
D.B. for (Dick G. White)
KV 2/390-1, page 20
Int. Div/S3/GWC/PF 45555
Capt. C.W. Cain,
Parliament Street B.O.
Subject: Abshagen, Karl Heinz,
Born 14.6.1895 At Stralsund.
Reference your letter PF 39611/B2c/d of 9.3.50 and PF 39611/B2c/ND of the 17.5.50.
1. On the 6.6.50 Combined Travel Board instructed its branch office at Frankfurt to issue an Exit Permit to subject for him to visit England. He wishes to spend from four to six weeks there as a guest of Ian Colvin, Sewell's Orchard, Tewin, Mr. Welwyn, Herts. He states that the purpose of his visit is to prepare an English edition of his book "Canaris, Patriot und Weltbürger, in collaboration with Ian Colvin, and to do research for a book entitled "Ideologie und Commonsense on the sociological and political changes which have taken place in Great Britain in recent years: and "to see a number of old British friends of mine", among others Mr. W. Ridsdale, Head of Foreign Office News Department, Whitehall, and Professor George Catlin of 2 Cheyne Walk, S.W.3.
2. As subject had originally applied to travel on 1.5.50, he may be expected to leave immediately on receipt of the Exit Permit.
3. In his application for the permit, subject states that he was a press correspondent in Brussels 1929-1931, in London 1931-1939, in America September 1939-May 1940, in Portugal, whither he travelled via Italy and Spain, in the second half of 1940, in Sweden in 1941, in Japan 1941-1943, and 1943-1945 in China, whence he was voluntary repatriated in the summer of 1946. It therefore appears that paragraph 4 of the report submitted to you under cover of Int. Div/S4/WH/PF4555 of 8.5.40 is inaccurate. Subject further states that he was not called up for military service.
4. (a) Three SHAEF Cards on Karl Heinz Abshagen, alias Oberregierungsrat Dr. Werner Andergast, alias Wolfgang von Abshagen (frequently used also "Duett" in wireless communications), constituting our initial information on subject contain in fact more information on subject's brother, Wolfgang Abshagen, than on subject himself. This confusion is probably ultimately responsible for allegations which have been published in the press that subject was a spy etc., and which subject denies. Any suspicion that the disappearance of Wolfgang Abshagen into Russian hands is subjects manner of dispensing with an inconvenient alias is dispelled by the location of Wolfgang Abshagen's wife (c.f. our report mentioned in paragraph 3).
(b) Of the information on the SHAEF Cards one detail may apply to subject viz. "lived in London as a business man before the war", and a further detail almost certainly refers to subject and not to Wolfgang Abshagen viz. "special Transocean (Deutscher Überseedienst) (KV 2/1116) correspondent touring China with a view to ascertain the extent of Chiang Kai Shek's staying power (May 1943)".
5. While therefore it is safe to conclude that not subject but his brother was Major, i.c. Abwehr II/Ia, there is no doubt that subject was persona grata with the German authorities, and he would be a rare exception if his war-time travels abroad did not in some way serve the purpose of Abwehr and the S.D.
6. We have not yet received any information on subject from the Americans.
for (E.V. Wiggens)
Chief, Intelligence Division.
KV 2/390-1, page 21
12 (Berlin) Intelligence Staff
Berlin, BAOR 2 (British Army over the Rhine)
2 May, 1950
To: Directorate of Security,
Herford, BAOR 15.
Subject: Abshagen, Karl Heinz.
Please refer to your letter Int. Div.?S4/PF4555 of 12th April, 1950.
1. The only trace we hold on Karl Heinz Abshagen are two pink SHAEF cards Nos. 20312 and 20313 with whom Subject would appear to be identical.
2. The following information has been given by Subject's sister-in-law, Frau Irmgard Abshagen, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Badenallee 27.
- 1939 Subject, who was a professional journalist, lived in London where he was
working as correspondent for a South German newspaper (U505
5 newspapers see foregoing link),
the name of which Informant has forgotten. During this period, Subject
wrote a book which appeared in England under the title "Kings, Lords and
4. In 1939, after a brief stay in Germany, Subject went to Shanghai at the outbreak of war, and thence to Tokyo. Later on during the war he returned to Europe (year unknown) spent a time in Portugal and Czechoslovakia, and finally came back to Germany after the end of hostilities (1946). He is at present living in Murnau/Bavaria.
5. Subject is not only the author of the recently published book on Admiral Canaris (Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart, Immenhofstr. 23), but also of a book entitled "Japan" which appeared during the war.
6. According to Informant, whose statements are considered to be reliable, Subject is a convinced anti-Communist. Her knowledge of his career, however, was very scanty as she had never been in close touch with him.
7. Private address given on SHAEF Card No. 20312 is not quite correct and should read:- Berlin-Charlottenburg, Eschenallee 18. In fact Subject never did reside there except during a brief occasional visit to his brother (Wolfgang) in 1939. We have not been able to find any trace of Subject's alleged residence in Berlin between 1926 and 1930.
8. Subject's brother Wolfgang (the husband of Frau Irmgard Abshagen), born 17th November 1897 in Stralsund, was head of the Abwehrstelle at the OKH in Berlin and was arrested by the Russians in 1945. He was reported to have been sentenced to death by a Russian Military Tribunal, but, according to a statement made by a returned P.W. he is still believed to be interned in Russia. (actually he had been executed in August 1945)(M.A. Jaffe)< IO III.
for Principal Intelligence Officer.
(6) (24 February 2022)
KV 2/390-1, page 22 (minute 1240a)
H.Q. Intelligence Division,
70, H.Q. C,C,G. (B.E.),
Thank you for your report of 12th April on Karl Heinz Abshagen, your reference Int. Div/S4/WH/PF 4555.
I would have since discovered that Abshagen's address in December 1949 was Dr. Jur. Karl Heinz Abshagen, Murnau-Seehausen, Oberbayern, which I believe is in the American Zone.
I would be most grateful if the Americans could be asked for any information they can give us on Abshagen's activities since the war and also anything they may know about his political sympathies in recent years.
KV 2/390-1, page 25
16 Hamburg Intelligence Staff,
4th April, 1950
Herford, B.A.O.R. 15.
Subject: Karl-Heinz Abshagen.
With reference to your letter Int. Div?S4/WH/PF 4555, dated 16th March, 1950.
1. The only information we have been able to get on Abshagen will not be very helpful with regard to the questions you put in your letter, except that it indicates something of Abshagen's whereabouts during the war. It is as follows:-
"Abshagen lived in Hamburg from 7th April, 1913, until 23rd November, 1914, as a merchant. On the 23rd November, 1914, he was called up for military service and returned to Hamburg on the 2nd September, 1920. On the 20th January, 1926, he moved to Berlin, together with his family (wife, Lucie, Betty Else Johanna, and child Gerd Günther), and has never lived in Hamburg since that date.
During the time he was living in Hamburg, Abshagen lived for one period with his father-in-law, Theodor Kagenow, at Hellkamp 16/II. The present occupant of Hellkamp 16/II remembers Abshagen from the time when he was living there, but she did not know him well and anything she now knows about him comes mostly from remarks made by his father-in -law, such as that Abshagen was in England before the war and during the war in Holland, Lisbon, also, she thinks, in Prague and after the outbreak of hostilities with Russia, in Tokyo - in all of which places he was employed as a journalist. She can give no precise details concerning his sojourns in these places or on the work that he was doing because she only heard them at second hand. At present he is supposed to be working for a Munich (München) newspaper and to be living in Murnau am Staffelsee (Upper Bavaria).
Enquiries were made at various places in Hamburg, including the Press Office of the Senate and the Association of Professional Journalists and Authors, but nowhere could any further information be got about Abshagen and his activities in recent years. Abshagen is really unknown and his name has not come to notice through publications of articles in newspapers or periodicals, nor does his name appear in the records of the Police or de-nazification authorities".
2. From this, it would appear that any further enquiries regarding Abshagen's activities in recent years would have to conducted in Berlin.
V. Andersen IOII
for Regional Intelligence Office.
KV 2/390-1, page 26 (minute 1236a)
News Chronicle, March 14, 1950
Why they don't like us
A German sums it all up
from Karl Robson
News Chronicle Correspondent
Britain's popularity on the Continent "is lower than at any time since the Boer War", claims Dr. K.H. Abshagen in Germany's leading monthly review, "Frankfurter Hefte".
Germany is disappointed because Britain, "whose history shows she can handle defeated people wisely", has not sent to Germany a man of the stature of Lord Milner. "Who knew how to make yesterday's foe tomorrows friend and partner.
France has not forgiven Sir Stafford Cripps for devaluation and is disturbed by British policies concerning Syria and mutual defence.
Italy is annoyed by Britain's attitude towards the former Italian colonies.
Spain sees in Britain's Labour Government the principal obstacle to Spanish participation in (the future) European Union.
"Even in the Scandinavian countries, which traditionally keep specially close to Britain" says Dr. Abshagen, "there is a certain coolness towards London.
"In Denmark this is because Britain is exploiting her position as chief customer for Danish agricultural produce.
"The conclusion is being drawn that, politically, Britain has given up the continent altogether and intends to fall back wholly upon the Commonwealth and her special relationships with the United States".
And European Union will be "only a torso without British membership", complains Dr. Abshagen.
KV 2/390-1, page 29 (minute 1231a)
Extract from Foreign Office file, PC. 605/118/188.
Would you be good enough to read the attached letter and, if you feel able, to take up the question posed in its second paragraph with the appropriate authorties?
You may be familiar with this case. Dr. Abshagen was a German correspondent stationed for many years in London before the war. He came to call upon us in the News Department very frequently at that time, and I formed a firm impression that he was out of of sympathy with Hitler and the Nazi party. One could perhaps describe him as a "good German" who felt that the Nazis would be be the ruination (ruin) of his homeland and would involve it in a world war with disastrous consequences to everyone, including his own countrymen. he had influential contacts, and I was able to extract from him information which was considered of considerable use at the time. If, as alleged, he was "a trusted member of the Abwehr", I believe that trust to have been misplaced.
He was debarred from coming to this country as replacement for the D.P.D. (Deutscher Presse-Dienst?)correspondent after M.I.5 had consulted some of our authorities in Berlin. I thought then, and still think, that this was a mistaken decision. Apart from that, however, I consider that in the light of our changed relationships with Germany (AOB, the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, was founded, early in 1949) since that time, and in view of the specific reason for which Dr. Abshagen would now wish to visit this country, the embargo upon him should be removed, and he should be allowed to visit London. I have spoken to Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick on this matter, and he takes the view that Dr. Abshagen should be allowed to come, and that only harm is done by refusing him to do so.
As you probably know, Dr. Abshagen is the author of the recent book on Canaris which attracted a fair amount of attention.
Signed W. Ridsdale.
Mr. Bicknell. 29th December, 1949.
Dr. Jur. (law) Karl Heinz Abshagen
19 December, 1949
My dear Ridsdale,
I want to thank you very cordially for sending me the report by Karl Robson about my book and, of course, for your letter accompanied it. I did realise, when I sent you the book, that you would probably not be able to read it without the help of dictionaries, and I did not want to impose on you so much trouble, but I thought you might be interested to know what I had been doing. As I believe to remember that you are quite conversant with French, I →(page 30)→ have asked the Editions Chavane of Paris to send you a copy of the French edition which has just come out.
KV 2/390-1, page 30
have asked the Editions Chavane of Paris to send you a copy of the French edition which has just come out. Perhaps you will find the time to have a look at it. I just want to draw your attention to one error which the otherwise very able translator, Jean-Luc Bellanger, has committed in his "Avant-propos". He has got mixed up about myself and my brother (Wolfgang) and calls me a collaborator of Canaris and former adjutant of General Lahousen (Leiter II of the Abwehr in Berlin, before he left to become a General) and says that I was arrested after the 20th of July 1944 (the failed assassination attempt on Hitler). The person in question was not my humble self - who was as you know was out in China and Japan during most of the war - but my brother Major Wolfgang Abshagen. By the way, it may be of interest that it was my brother who mentioned on page 207 of the French edition as the "officer particulièrement habile et sûr de son propre état-major" whom Canaris sent to Stockholm, ostensibly in order to arrange for bombs to be put into the British courier planes plying between Sweden and the United Kingdom, but in fact in order to see to it that such sabotage plans - ordered by Hitler himself - would be prevented by all possible means.
I do appreciate and thank you for the trouble you went to in trying to remove the obstacles out of my back to London, although it did not earn success. Naturally, this refusal has done me considerable damage in my journalistic career, (the true nucleus of this - is to be found (acknowledged) in the general anti-German attitude of British Secret Service servants; in pre-war days). If a person who in this country for at least two decades has had the reputation of an Anglophile, gets the bird in such an open way, people naturally must assume that there is something very wrong with that person, and I am afraid that there is not much prospect of me taking up the very job which I can do best, i.e. that of foreign correspondent, for a long time to come, if ever. For this very reason I should like to put one more question to you and I should be grateful if you would let me know your opinion in the matter. As I shall probably not find it easy to find a suitable journalistic assignment under the circumstances, I shall for the near future try to concentrate on writing books. Now, I have for some time a contract to write a book dealing with ideology and Common Sense as elements of British politics. Such a book, if written not in a theoretical vein (disposition), but based on practical examples in modern and particularly the most recent political history, would certainly find lively interest in wide circles in Germany and could be of some use in shaping our own democratic system which is in latent danger by an overload of Ideology and the absence of sufficient Common Sense. I could not write such a book, however, without doing some research work on the spot, looking up political literature in the British Museum, talking to politicians etc. etc. The question, therefore, is as follows:- Does the embargo against me apply only to my coming over there as a newspaper correspondent, or is Great Britain for me a forbidden country under all circumstances. I should be very grateful, if you could see your way to clear this question up for me, because of the friends which I still have over there to extend to me the formal invitation which still is the basis on which to apply for an exit permit to the U.S. occupation authorities.
I take the opportunity to send you my best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Very sincerely yours
Sgd. K.H. Abshagen.
KV 2/390-2, page 1 (minute 1242a)
30 June, 1950
To: Box No. 500
Parliament Street B.O.
Subject: Abshagen Karl Heinz.
Reference PF 39611/B2c/ND dated 17 May 50.
1. The only information the U.S., Authorities can add to that already in our possession is as follows:
"Subject was apprehended by the Municipal Bureau of Police, Peiping (Peking or Beijing?), China, on 26 May 1946 for repatriation. At that time he was travelling correspondent for Transocean-Europapress (Deutscher Überseedienst?), a news agency in the Far East. Subject arrived at Bremerhaven on 4 August 1946 and was released on 23 August 46".
Chief, Intelligence Division.
KV 2/390-2, page 2
Abshagen Karl Heinz
At least we have a brief photograph of Karl-Heinz Abshagen
(please notice, that it this file reproduced it in a "negative" way, which we had to convert into a positive version again.
KV 2/390-2, page 4
This is photo has been "Photo-shopped" by my wife Karin
KV 2/390-2, page 5 (minute 1196a) (E530 ↓↓↓↓ E530return)
15th March 1941
In reply to your letter, I am enclosing herewith a somewhat lengthy note on the activities of Carl Heinz Abshagen, about whom we have considerable amount of information. He is a member of the Reichsverband der deutschen Presse, but his activities here were more of a political agent than of a journalist. In fairness to him it should perhaps be said that during the pre-war period he told his employers (in Germany) fairly truthfully and accurately about the position here. What he told them was more likely to make them pause than a rush blindly into war. I do not think that he was an ardent supporter of the Nazi regime and I doubt very much he was even a member, but he must accepted as an ardent patriot who has almost unquestionably thrown in his lot with the Party since the outbreak of the war. (AOB, this must be considered a guess, as they in England didn't know exactly what he actually was doing. That he was stationed in Japan and China wasn't known, and they, after the war wrote Transocean actually the service they didn't understand the "Deutscher Überseedienst") (KV 2/1116) We allowed him to remain here because we thought that his reports might do more good than harm and that if he were deported he might be replaced by an ardent Nazi who would, like other here, send back to his own country the usual distortions of truth.
If Abshagen is allowed to enter the United States, however good his cover as a journalist (AOB, Abshagen actually was a journalist, whom specialised upon political matters), there seems little doubt that it will be found that his real mission will be connected with political espionage and the spreading of propaganda (again guessing).
KV 2/390-2, page 6 A quite comprehensive wartime recollection about Karl-Heinz Abshagen's journalistic commitments during his time he lived in England (30 May 1931 - 26 August 1939)
Why should we deal with this again?
The main reason is: - that it contains information lacking in the foregoing survived Archives papers; which are, after all, quite suffering from severe "weeding".
The British Secret Services maintained a rather rigid interception of almost every in- and outgoing correspondence on behalf of Abshagen; by means of G.P.O. and was sanctioned by H.O.
Therefore this summary is rather fortunate to us.
Karl Heinz Abshagen was born at Stralsund on 14th June 1895. He served in the last war (1914 - 1918) and in 1918 held the rank of Lieutenant in the German Army. He came to notice in 1929, when he was living in Belgium as a correspondent of the Berliner Boersenzeitung (Börsenzeitung), but was reliably reported to be working at that time for the Intelligence Service of the Reichswehr.
He visited the U.K. on many occasions under cover of investigating economic questions for the newspapers which he represented (V514 V514return). He was reported to be a well-educated (he possessed a PhD in law) and clever man with an excellent memory and considerable experience of this type of work.
In 1930 he was collaborating with dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Baumeister of the English Section of the German Intelligence and his visits to this country were regarded as those of a travelling agent of the German Secret Service (factually never proven). During his visits to the U.K. in 1931 and 1931 he established very friendly relations with Archibald Crawford, K.C., who was a director of the Economic League, and maintained in this country (England) as a correspondent on political and economic matters a certain Heinz Carl Bruno Fiebiger, born in Berlin on 7th May 1905. He later supplied Abshagen with similar information from France and from Spain.
May Abshagen took up permanent residence in London, representing
Hamburg newspapers (W515
W515return) at a salary of over
Director of the Secret Service did earned less)
In July 1931 he was elected a foundation member of the Anglo-German Club.
KV 2/390-2, page 7
In July 1931 it was found that Abshagen was forwarding to a Dr. Hans Danckwerts (his superior) a letter which Abshagen had received from Frederick R. Marvin, who was Secretary of the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies, 598 Madison Avenue, New York City. Mr. Marvin wrote that he was willing to serve Dr. Abshagen in any way in the United States. (constituted this an offence?)
In August 1931 Dr. Danckwerts of Berlin wrote to Abshagen saying that he had heard that a Mr. R.A. Burr had been made Secretary of the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. Danckwerts knew Burr, but did not think him trustworthy, and did not know how to approach the Americans to warn them. He asked Abshagen if he could do so.
In August 1931 Abshagen received a letter from Dr. L. Saale of Hermann & Co. of Hamburg, remarking that they were much pleased with Abshagen's political reports from London.
In August 1931 Abshagen was advised by Hans Danckwerts (his friend superior) to make his relations with the German Embassy in London as close as possible. (Hitler was not yet at power)
In August 1931 Abshagen received from Germany an article on the political situation in England which he was asked to send to English (news)papers and magazines.
In November 1931 Abshagen received a communication from Fiebiger who had moved to Paris, and mentioned that he had seen a resumé of the Russe-German military agreements arranged between May 1930 and February 1931. (AOB: there existed already the partly secret: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertrag_von_Rapallo (German language) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Rapallo_(1922) (English language) Thus they might mutually have specified some matters) Fiebiger gave a few details but said that he →(page 8)→ was only allowed to keep the resumé in his hand for about a minute.
KV 2/390-2, page 8
was only allowed to keep the resumé in his hand for about a minute. Fiebiger also referred to a certain Hans von Radowitz of the German Espionage Service in France.
In 1931 it was found that Abshagen had already succeeded in getting an entrèe to various branches of the Rotary Club, at which he had mage (gave) speeches. This in December 1931, speaking to the Tunbridge Wells Rotary Club, he said that Germany's future depended on the success of the negotiations for revision of the reparations (meant: the obligatory payments as a result of the Treaty of Versailles / Versailler Vertrag; which was meant to strangle the future Germany economically). If those failed, Germany would probably swing right over to Communism, and become the threshold of the world revolution for which Bolshevism had been waiting.
In 1932 Abshagen was instrumental in arranging the preliminaries for an exchange of visits between ex-service men in Germany, the British Legion in the U.K., and the F.I.D.A.C. in Paris.
In February 1932 Abshagen received a letter from the Hague (Den Haag) asking him to find out whether French reservists of a certain year had been called up (Hitler was not yet elected). It was suggested that Abshagen should find out from the Reservists themselves or through military papers. He was also asked to find out whether any coloured personnel were being trained in France as pilots, observers, bombers, etc., where the training was taken place, and in what numbers.
When he arrived in this country it was found that Dr. Abshagen was in close touch →(page 9)→with a Mr. W.R. Batsell, believed to be a United States citizen living in Paris.
KV 2/390-2, page 9
with a Mr. W.R. Batsell, believed to be a United States citizen living in Paris.
In March 1932 Abshagen received from a certain Von Buelow (Bülow) a letter saying that "Der Neue Polenspiegel" had just been published giving details of Poland's desire for expansion. he asked Abshagen for a list of people in England to whom he could send copies, and suggested including the leaders of the British Legion.
In April 1932, acting on the instructions of von Buelow (von Bülow), Abshagen made arrangements for the former to attend a meeting of the British Legion at Plymouth in his private capacity. Von Buelow (von Bülow), hoped to be able to introduce himself in his official position as a representative of the Stahlhelmbund. This hoped would enable him to lay the foundation of a mutual understanding which would kill the war guilt lie (AOB, the French in particular consisted at this: that the Germans were solely responsible for World War I (The Great War as it was then known); However, Christopher Clark proved that actually it was far more France that was responsible, in this respect) (Christopher Clark's: The Sleepwalkers; How Europe went to War in 1914 ) As the result however of press publicity, the invitation to von Buelow (Bülow) was hurriedly cancelled.
In May 1932 Abshagen received a letter from a certain Dischler (KV 2/391, PF 39623) (they must once have considered it being a related subject as we deal now with KV 2/390 and Dischler's file got KV 2/391; also Abshagen's PF 39611 and Dischler's is PF 39623) in Hamburg, saying that a Swedish cruiser would be at Falmouth, at Liverpool, and off the Isle of Man on certain dates, and asking Abshagen to get good photographs of the cruiser. Dischler also asked for copies of reports which Abshagen did not consider suitable for publication, saying that everything interested him, politics, finance, economics, etc.; Dischler asked for as many reports as possible →(page 10)→ to be sent in as early as possible.
KV 2/390-2, page 10
to be sent in as early as possible.
In October 1932 Abshagen received a letter from Bastell in France with details about the French disarmament plan, Franco-Japanese relations, and Franco-Spanish relations.
In October 1932 special arrangements were made for the Manager of the Deutsche Lufthansa Air Service at Croydon (main airport south of London) to forward to Germany special reports by Dr. Abshagen.
In October 1932 Abshagen was asked to make enquiries about the alleged estrangement of Paul Boncourt and General Weygand. Danckwerts (Abshagen's superior) suggested that the whole thing might be merely a diplomatic trick for the benefit of American spectators. This enquiry was to be regarded as urgent.
In October 1932 Abshagen was instructed by Dr. Ernst Bloch of Berlin that Abshagen would be asked for military and politico-military reports covering information which Abshagen would be able to gather gradually. Abshagen was instructed that any information specially important should be sent over as quickly as possible. (Hitler was still not in power)
In November 1932 Abshagen, still living in London, was asked to get from informants information about agreements made in Madrid by Monsieur Herriot.
From the end of 1932 numerous reports by Abshagen passed our hands. These were mostly of the nature of political →(page 11)→ intelligence reports and were not for publication.
KV 2/390-2, page 11
intelligence reports and were not for publication. Abshagen appeared to be exceedingly well-informed, and some of the communications to him were found to reach him through the German Embassy in London. It appeared probable, although we had no direct evidence, that, in addition to the political intelligence reports which he was sending through the post, he was also making use of the German diplomatic bag (these communications as all diplomatic, couldn't be intercepted) for reports of a more secret nature. (AOB, this fact might indicate, that Abshagen, and likely also von Salzmann, that their mail was expectedly intercepted)
In February 1933 (Hitler came to Power recently) he was found to be in touch with the Soviet Ambassador.
In May 1933 Abshagen was asked to wake up his friend Bastell in Paris, and his other friend in Madrid (Fiebiger), and tell them to send live and important reports which would interest the German Government (the political environment in Germany was changing).
In September 1933 Abshagen was informed by Dr. Hans Danckwerts that the Reichsverband of German industry wanted enquiries made about Burns Allen Inc., 19 Rector Street, New York City, which was connected with the Chase National Bank at 45th Street, Madison Avenue, about Universal Wile Imp. Comp., New York City, and about Mr. John Wexlev of 344 Henderson Street, New Jersey. It was stated that Wexlev had been connected for several years with the Universal Hotels Comp. in New Jersey, and with the Statlev Hotels Organisation.
In December 1933 we received a report unknown reliability that Dr,. Abshagen had been appointed by the Soviet Government as→(page 12)→one of their secret agents in London.
KV 2/390-2, page 12 Over 1934 this summary skips the financial problems suffered by Abshagen, due to the new currency exchange regulations in Germany, causing him even existential difficulties!
one of their secret agents in London.
In January 1934 Abshagen wrote to Danckwerts that he would enquire about maps showing British defences in the Far East. (X516 X516return) He imagined that what what was wanted was a map indicating on broad lines the military and political (Abshagen's particular knowledge) significance of Singapore, Hong-Kong, etc., for a detailed map would be difficult to obtain. He could ascertain, however, details of the strength and composition of garrisons from official publications. Abshagen continued that he was about to undertake a car-tour in Ireland, and would write an article on the Northern Ireland frontier question. He would also consider the best method of dealing with the Welsh and Scottish National problems. This was followed by a letter from Abshagen in January 1934 containing his report on the defence system in South East Asia, with details of the strength of the garrisons and naval forces at Hong-Kong and Singapore, and mentioning the feverish defence activities, particularly the building of a number of new batteries. he also gave information about the strength of the Australian and New Zealand fleets in Far Eastern waters. Abshagen's information appeared to have been culled (get rid off) from reference books and press reports.
In October 1934 Dr. Abshagen was instructed from Berlin that he would be interviewed by Fritz Randolph, who was the German press Attaché at the Embassy in London. The writer had spoken at length with the Ministry on the matters in question and hoped that Randolph →(page 13)→so numerous were these that our file on him numbers twenty-eight volumes, but from June 1938 onwards fewer such reports were seen.
KV 2/390-2, page 14 mistakenly mixed-up:
and Abshagen would be able to co-operate.
In November 1934 Abshagen wrote to Berlin giving a report on Mr. Roosevelt's interview with certain American bankers. He also forwarded a report on the conversation which he had about Mr. R. Pell, and Mr. Douman. He said that the former was an American diplomat associated with Mr. Norman Davis, and the latter was a former member of the American Embassy in Tokyo, who in 1934 was the Japanese section of the State department. Mr. Douman was regarded as an expert on Japanese questions. he referred to the question of naval parity between the United States, Japan, and Great Britain. It appeared that Abshagen's information had been obtained through someone with a contact in the United States Embassy in Paris.
In January 1935 Abshagen received a communication from Dr. Kurt Johansen who was in charge of the propaganda office in Hamburg, in which Johannsen said that he was sending articles on German political and economic matters to Abshagen for publication in the Provincial Press.
In January 1935 Dr. Abshagen was informed that a gentleman with the initials "W.K." (10th May - 15th May, 1940) (Y517 Y517return)(notice page 25 and 26) and bearing a German passport would visit Abshagen. He was absolutely trustworthy wore eye-glasses, etc. He would arrange for Abshagen to forward the stuff to the Embassy so that it could be sent to Berlin by courier. Abshagen was to pay special attention to what he was asked to do.
KV 2.390-2, page 15
In February 1935 Abshagen was asked by Dr. Kurt Johannsen's articles from Germany, would alter them suitably, and get them published in British Provincial Press. Johannsen was prepared to pay RM 100 a month for this. He further offered Abshagen a special salary for his advice as to what material would be best suited for the British Provincial Press.
In April 1935 in one of his reports to Germany, Abshagen referred to a secret document concerning German armaments which had been seen by two journalists. Abshagen went on to say that this document had been compiled from material picked up at Stresa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stresa), from French and Italian sources, and from the latest secret Intelligence reports in London. It was to form the subject of a discussion at a meeting of the British Cabinet.
In May 1935 Abshagen received a communication from a man in Essen referring to certain talks which Abshagen was to give on the British radio. The question of his pay was being arranged by the German Propaganda Ministry. Abshagen was also told that he would be approached by a certain Dr. Keller in London who was thought to be very useful.
In January 1935 Dr. Kurt Johannsen of Hamburg informed Abshagen that his last report had made great impression in official circles (Kreisen). Johannsen had reason to believe that →(page 16)→the report was seen by men who composed the subsequent speech of the Fuehrer (Führer).
KV 2/390-2, page 16
the report was seen by men who composed the subsequent speech of the Fuehrer (Führer). It was not only seen by them, but carefully considered.
In July 1935 Dr. Abshagen was instructed from Essen to get in touch with a former British officer who served in Upper Silesia at the time of the plebiscite (Especially supported by France, there was a plebiscite held (Volksbefragung) as to separate the Polish language territories from the Germany speaking "Gebiete") (The Second World War was triggered just about these territories!), and who had a German-born wife. Abshagen was told that this officer was supposed to possess excellent information, but stress was laid on the point that all dealings should be honourable!
In November 1935 Abshagen submitted to Berlin a report on the approaching naval conference, stating that American Naval Circles were much interested in the construction of Britain's new ship fitted with mobile anti-aircraft batteries. The smaller cruiser "Cairo" was said to be fitted with these. Abshagen stated in this report that the Americans expected that much time at the conference would be devoted to a discussion of the construction of the German fleet, and on the situation in the Mediterranean.
In November 1935 Abshagen gave a lecture at the International Club at Richmond.
In December 1935 Abshagen wrote to Dr. Danckwerts (his superior) in Berlin, reporting that an American diplomat had said that the "Paris Plan" was a severe blow to Mr. Roosevelt→(page 17)→ and his foreign policy.
KV 2/390-1, page 17
and his foreign policy. He added that there were rumours in circulation in diplomatic circles that the discipline of the British fleet off Alexandria and Haifa was bad. Referring to the Naval Conference, Abshagen stated that a member of the American delegation had said that the Japanese had spent a long time discussing whether the Conference was a Five Power (European) Conference or an Eleven Power (World) Conference. Abshagen reported that the Japanese had eventually desired to change the Conference into a two Power discussion with the object of breeding distrust between the United States and England.
In January 1936 Abshagen received a letter from Berlin on the subject of the Soviet-Russian Intelligence Service. The writer said that an official Intelligence Service had always been paid by the Soviet for work in Spain and Italy, and that the leader of the soviet Intelligence Service in Germany was a certain GMelin? the head of the Wood Section of the Berlin Trade Delegation.
In January 1936 Dr. Johannsen of the Propaganda Office in Hamburg wrote to Abshagen asking whether there was noticeable in England any propaganda to the effect that Germany was preparing for war which would break out suddenly without nay previous declaration, and which would be conducted with great frightfulness amongst women and children. Johannsen asked where this propaganda was being spread, and where it was dogmatic and psychological, what→(page 18)→fears were worked upon amongst different classes in England,
KV 2/390-2, page 18
fears were worked upon amongst different classes in England, i.e. fear of the unemployed, fear of the monied class etc? What means were used for spreading this propaganda, i.e. press, wireless, firms, pictures, books, rhymes, or theatres?
In January 1936 a letter to Abshagen was seen (by G.P.O. intercept) in which it was mentioned that his friend Batsell of Paris had died in New York, and suggesting that he had been poisoned.
In January 1936 Dr. Johannsen of Hamburg asked Abshagen to make a discreet enquiry about a lady who had been recommended to Dr. Johannsen by a third party as a colleague. The enquiry was to be made as unobtrusively as possible. We found that this lady was acquainted with Dr. Bruning (Brüning) the late German Chancellor.
In February 1936 Abshagen mentioned to Danckwerts (his superior) in Berlin, in the course of a report on the Naval Conference, that the American delegation was uneasy, and that Norman Davis had told Eden (Minister of Foreign Affairs / Foreign Office) that if the Naval Conference was to mixed up in European problems he would walk out.
In February 1936 Abshagen was asked by Dr. Hans Danckwerts to ascertain what decision was reached in London when King Carol (King of Rumania) and M. Titulescu were there.
In March 1936 Dr. Johannsen of Hamburg wrote to Abshagen asking for the date and→(page 19)→place of his birth.
KV 2/390-2, page 19
place of his birth. Johannsen had not named Abshagen to the competent authorities as the author of the confidential reports, but he required the information for quite another object, one which was in Abshagen's interest.
In March 1936 Abshagen wrote to Dr. Danckwerts (his superior) asking for arrangements to be made to introduce suitable people to Professor H.S. Catlin an American Professor of Political Economy.
In April 1936 Abshagen reported to Berlin that the British were demanding that the Maginot Line should be strengthened by the building of fortifications along Belgium's eastern frontier, and adding that France and England were reported to have made loans to the Belgians for this purpose. (AOB, it were just these very gaps, especially opposite the "Ardennes" with which von Manstein's strategy brought Hitler's victory, in Springtime of 1940) Abshagen said that he had heard from well informed American press circles that there had been Anglo-French-Belgian conversations, and that the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) would disembark at Boulogne, and that Zeebrugge and Dunkirk would be used by British as naval bases, that various aerodromes were to be allocated in France and Belgium for the British, and that roads in Northern France were to be improved for the passage of British troops into Belgium.
In April 1936 Abshagen addressed a crowded meeting at the Manchester Reform Club on the Nazi point of view about current political problems. This was followed by a request from Dr. Johannsen for a copy of→(page 20)→Abshagen's speech for filling amongst his confidential records.
KV 2/390-2, page 20
Abshagen's speech for filling amongst his confidential records.
In May 1936 Abshagen reported to Dr. Danckwerts in Berlin and gave the gist of his conversation with Mr. Atherton, a Counsellor at the United States Embassy who had taken part in the naval discussions for the previous six years (shouldn't it have been last year?), and was of the opinion that the Soviet Government had placed the British Government in a very awkward position. It was stated that Mr. Atherton had said that England would try to come to an agreement with Germany before replying to the Soviet Note.
In November 1936 Dr. Johannsen wrote inviting Abshagen to give a speech later in the month at Hamburg. He would arrange to invite some officers from the General Headquarters, various other High officials and some business men.
In February 1937 Abshagen was informed by the Wehrbezirkskommando Ausland in Berlin that he was excused his military training as a reserve officer for that year. (N.B. Earlier correspondence had shown that the authorities thought that the work was of such importance that it would be unwise for him to return for military servoce)
In April 1937 Abshagen sent to Berlin a long report saying, inter alia, that he had heard from well informed American source that the far-reaching expectations which were linked with the mission of Norman →(page 21)→Davis to Europe had not been fulfilled,
KV 2/390-2, page 21
Davis to Europe had not been fulfilled, and that Mr. Roosevelt did not consider the internal position in the United States ripe for an American gesture in connection with the pacification of Europe and the world, either in the economic or political sphere. Norman Davis had been sent to London not to conduct negotiations but to probe the European situation as thoroughly as possible, for which the Sugar Conference had offered a welcome opportunity.
In April 1937 Abshagen was informed by the German Embassy that two places been reserved for him on the terrace for the Coronation procession.
In April 1937 Dr. Johannsen of the Propaganda Office at Hamburg wrote to Abshagen asking him the sum of £15. (NE. von der Goltz had made herself conspicuous by the spreading of the Nazi propaganda in this country.)
In August 1937 Abshagen received from the German Embassy in London information that he had been appointed an Oberleutnant a.D. (außer Dienst), and posted to Infantry Regiment No. 66.
In December 1937 we received a report from very reliable source that Abshagen was sending reports to Berlin through the Embassy bag.
In March 1938 Dr. Danckwerts (his superior) wrote to →(page 22)→ Abshagen saying that at a reception of the United African Company in London,
KV 2/390-2, page 22
Abshagen saying that at a reception of the United African Company in London, held in honour of some Turkish bankers who were in London, reference was made to the industrialisation of Turkey and expression was given to the hope that Britain export trade would benefit there from. Danckwerts went on to say that Herr von K. (Kemp) had asked whether Abshagen could obtain closer details about this reception and whether he could find out who the Turkish bankers were.
In May 1938 Abshagen was especially requested to try to find out what the attitude of the British Government would be if the Czechoslovakian State were to proclaim a military dictatorship. This question was regarded at the time as being of special importance.
In April 1938 Dr. Johannsen wrote to Abshagen stressing the great importance which even the Herr Reichsminister (probably dr. Goebbels) attached to receive further reports from Abshagen.
In November 1938 we received information from a most reliable source (probably intercepted W/T traffic) that a splendid information service was being issued in Berlin to the extent of two hundred copies of material which was transmitted from England by Abshagen and others.
Up till June 1938 a very large number of political reports written by Abshagen were picked up (through G.P.O. intercepted) in the post on their way to Germany;→
KV 2/390-2, page 13 but apparently it should be considered at the end of this summary as page 7 and 17 had been incorrectly read
so numerous were these that our file on him numbers twenty-eight volumes, but from June 1938 onwards fewer such reports were seen. It is probable that they were going to a considerable extent through the Embassy bag, but those which did not pass through our hands tended to show that even for an intelligent journalist he was exceedingly well informed. Although he came to this country originally as a journalist, there can be little doubt that his activities were more in the nature of those of a political agent collecting information on behalf of his government. He finally left the U.K. on 26th August, 1939. He was reported to have been stationed in Holland as a "journalist" up to the time of the invasion of that country. Since then he is believed to have been on some unnamed special duty in Portugal. (guessing, as actually Abshagen lived in Asia Japan and later China!
Up to the outbreak of the present war we had no evidence to show that he had been enrolled as a member of the Nazi Party. This was probably due to the fact that he was a Free Mason. (forbidden in the Nazi era)
KV 2/390-2, page 23 (minute 1195a)
The Foreign Service
United States Of America
London, March 12, 1941
Dear Liddell (M.I.5.):
The Embassy has been informed that Carl Gertanton Abshagen, who was correspondent in London of several German newspapers from 1931 to 1939, has applied for a visa to enter the United States as a journalist.
In view of the fact that this alien may have been head of German operatives in Great Britain I should be glad to have any available information concerning his activities in London.
Sgd. Hers??? Johnson
Captain G.M. Liddell,
Box No. 500
Parliament Street B.O.
KV 2/390-2, page 24 (minute 1192b)
CX/12799? : of 9.3.41
Reference our CX/12799? : of 1.2.41
we have now heard from our Representative in Stockholm that Karl Abshagen left there 24.2.41 for Berlin.
He is reported to be going to Tokio (Not yet war between Germany and Russia, therefore the Trans-Siberian express train could be used as to reach Tokyo and/or China) to take over the Europa Press Trans-Ocean Service in that city for a period of six months. Afterwards he may go to the U.S.A. (actually he did not, but moved instead to China for the rest of the war).
As usually - by S.I.S. papers, that the signature's name being made invisible.
D.G. White, Esq. M.I.5.
KV 2/390-2, page 42 (minute 1145a)
Report on Abshagen.
After having read the documents in connection with Abshagen I have come to the conclusion that the reports sent by him to Germany on English affairs are not only extremely well informed and accurate but likely to convince the German Government of England's resolve to resist German attempts at world domination. He emphasises the good state of English morale and the readiness of the English public to support the Government. (AOB: Churchill's stand, already in World War One, was - that such a war could only be won with the engagement of the United States.
In a letter to the magazine "Wille und Macht" 20.10.38 he describes the state of English public opinion after the Munch agreements. He points out that English morale during the September crisis (30th September held at Munich (München) 1938 was good. There was practically no hatred of Germans, but a firm resolution to resist the supposes attempts of the authoritarian states to dominate the world. There was, he says, a general impression in England that the military precautions taken by the Government were insufficient to prevent heavy losses of life and material in the early stages of war. But there was no doubt that England would in the end be victorious. (what they didn't spoke out: only valid with sufficient support of the United States The public is therefore solidly behind the Government in their policy of rearmament.
On reactions in England to Hitler's speech, Abshagen states that the speech "has done little away anxiety over here (in England) about the alleged German plans for expansion towards the west". The view is growing in Conservative circles that Germany should be resisted even if the result were war. Abshagen says that the opposition the Foreign →(page 43)→Office to Chamberlain's control of foreign affairs has practically caused,
KV 2/390-2, page 43
Office to Chamberlain's control of foreign affairs has practically caused, although the opinion is held in the Foreign Office that in his recent speech he has not been sharp enough. Abshagen points out the considerable advance made in England in preparing for a European war and the great success of the Government's appeal for voluntary cooperation on the part of employers of labour.
Reports the resolve of the British Government to bring about a settle met of the Palestine question.
Report on visit of the Dutch Foreign Minister Patijn. Abshagen says that Halifax assured Patijn that the protection of the Dutch East Indies was a vital British interest.
As regards the imminent visit of Colonel Beck to London, Halifax before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Conservative Party, stressed the importance of relations between Great Britain, Poland and Russia. He stated that he had reason to believe that the internal position in Russia had been consolidated. Russia must therefore again play an important par in the political affairs of Europe.
Reports British Government's preparations to resist aggression in the Mediterranean.
SGD. Aiken Swall??
KV 2/390-2, page 44 (minute 1093x)
Source U.35 (the latter was the not too smart Mr. Ustinov) A splendid "Information Service" issued in Berlin in 200 copies is transmitted fro England by Abshagen and five others; as it seems to me (not too smart Mr. Ustinov) the other five persons are distributed all over England. This service is highly confidential. England.
KV 2/390-2, page 46 (minute 1072a)
Royal Bank of Scotland
49 Charing Cross - London S.W.1
25th July. 1938
We beg leave to inform you that we make at present an overdraft of £33:14:11d on your account, and we shall be glad to hear from you on the subject.
Your most obedient Servants.
Dr. Karl H Abshagen
50 Smith Street,
KV 2/390-2, page 49 (minute 1072a)
Dr.G Kurt Johannsen
Börse, Zimmer 217
Hamburg, den 20. Juli 1938
Lieber Herr Dr. Abshagen !
Nachdem wir uns in London gesehen haben, habe ich schone wenige Tage später in Berlin mit wirklich massgebenden Persönlichkeiten über die Angelegenheit gesprochen, die den Gegenstand unserer Unterhaltung bildete.
Ich kann Ihnen die bestimmte Versicherung geben, dass an keiner Stelle irgendwelche Bedenken oder Animositäten vorliegen. Zwar war ein Satz, der kurz vor Weihnachten (1937) zu Papier gebracht war, dem Herrn aufgefallen, dessen Namen Sie mir nannten, und es ist darüber auch ein Bericht nach Berlin gegeben worden. Ich konnte den Herren leider nicht persönlich sprechen, da er sch im Urlaub befindet und erst Mitte oder Ende August (1938) zurück kommt. Den Chef selber konnte ich auch nicht persönlich sprechen. Mir hat aber den neu ernannten Chef seines persönlichen Stabes verantwortlich mitgeteilt, dass der Herr Reichsminister (Goebbels) keinerlei Bedenken gegen die Fortsetzung der Briefe habe. Weder Inhalt noch Methode nötigen ihn, dagegen Stellung zu nehmen. Im Gegenteil, diese Möglichkeiten der Orientierung (neben den sonnst vorhandenen amtlichen Möglichkeiten) würden begrüsst. Unter diesen Umständen glaube ich, dass Sie mir Ihre Mitarbeit nicht mehr zu versagen brauchen. Ich würde mich also freuen, von Ihnen wieder ein Lebenszeichen zu hören.
Mit freundlichen Grüssen
Ihr sehr ergebener
KV 2/390-2, page 50 (minute 1067a)
Box No. 500
Parliament Street, B.O.
PF 39611/B2b (M.I.5.)
31st May, 1938.
We hear from an unimpeachable (U.35 /U35?) source that Dr. Karl Heinz Abshagen has been specially requested to ascertain what the attitude of the British Government would be if the Czechoslovakian General Staff were to proclaim a military dictatorship. Would the attitude of the British Government towards the Czechoslovakian question remain the same as hitherto of not? This question is looked upon as being of special importance.
It would be interesting to know if any question on this matter are asked at the Press Department by Abshagen or any other visitors there.
H.M.G. Jebb Esq.
(Please bear all the time in mind, that with increasing PDF page numbers (with an exception for the minute sheets), you are going backwards in time)
KV 2/390-2, page 66 (minute 1001a)
From Wehrbezirkskommando Ausland
To Dr. K.H. Abshagen,
50 Smith Street
Date of Letter 10.9.37
Date of Postmark 10.9.37
Summary of Contents
Abshagen's brother has left 21 documents at the above office proving that Abshagen is an Arian.
KV 2/390-2, page 67
Bezirkskommando Ausland. Berlin W.35, den 10.Sept. 1937
in Berlin. Herkulesufer 11
Br.B.Nr. 3436 /37H.IIa.
Dr. Karl-Heinz Abshagen
Ihr Bruder (Wolfgang) hat dem Wehrkreiskommando 21 Urkunden überlassen, durch die der Nachweis der arischen Abstammung für Sie und Ihre Gattin erbracht ist.
Unter Bezugnahme auf das Schr. des W.Bez.Kdos. Br.B.Nr. 3194/37 H IIa v. 23.8.37 wird nochmals um 154bersendung eines Belegs für die Verleihung des Characters als Oblt. gebeten.
I.A. (Im Auftrag)
Major (E) u.Stabsoffizier.
KV 2/390-3, page 2 (minute 978x)
Foreign Office, S.W.1
7th April 1937.
My dear Harker (M.I.5.)
In your letter No. PF. 39611/DS.7.c. of the 13th March, and your two letters bearing the same number on the 19th March, you sent me translations of reports submitted by Abshagen to Berlin and Hamburg. Two of them referred to Cabinet discussions on Belgium, and you will remember asking me whether these suggested a leakage. We have now compared these two reports with the minutes of the only Cabinet meeting on Belgium which has taken place recently, and we have been led by this comparison to conclude that Abshagen is unlikely to have based these reports on a source of information - either conscious or unconscious - of a potentially dangerous character.
He refers in his report to two Cabinet discussions on Belgium as having taken place on →(page 3)→dates on which there were, in fact none.
KV 2/390-3, page 3
dates on which there were, in fact none. The discussion which actually took place on a different date from either of the two attributed to it by Abshagen was of a totally different character from either of the two attributed to it by Abshagen was of a totally different character from either of Abshagen's descriptions.
For the rest, there is nothing in any of these three reports which we need to attribute to any other source than plain speculation or common knowledge. However, although he gets many details wrong, the general picture presented by all his reports, and I refer not only to the three, is usually a very good one and very near the truth. But any intelligent man in London with numerous and well-chosen contacts, with a good knowledge of English ways, and a good nose for reliable stories - and Abshagen is an intelligent man with all these - could make for himself a pretty accurate picture of what goes on. Abshagen's task is, moreover, made easier by the vast amount of irresponsible chatter that goes on by people "in the know" or almost "in the know", and by the necessary activities of our News Department →(page 4)→and other similar organisations in other Government offices,
KV 2/390-3, page 4
and other similar organisations in other Government offices, and the relations of confidence which they rightly establish with selected journalists may sometimes inadvertently reveal in conversation something about which they should not have spoken, and we have the impression that when Abshagen mentions the Foreign Office it is the result of exchanging news with such journalists as may have visited the News Department.
As things are, it will be sufficient for a close watch to be kept on Abshagen in order that, if he should acquire any dangerous sources, we may find out about them. (AOB, all in vain - as long as Abshagen staid in London till 26th August 1939)
KV 2/390-3, page 5 (minute 972d)
PF. 45081 Seibert 123a (Theodor Seibert KV 2/3269 minute 123a; PF 45081)
From O. Karlowa, 5 Cleveland Terrace, W.2
To Theodor Seibert, 90 Twyford Avenue, W.3.
Date of letter 28.4.37
Summary of Contents
The Presseamt of the A.O. (Ausland Organisation; a strange entity, which was part of O.K.W. and in some way linked to the Abwehr, but their aim was to coordinate civil Germans abroad, and steer their efforts to benefit German interests. Head of the Amtsgruppe (AG) was Admiral Buerkner) have written to thank them for the note re the political beliefs of Heinz Abshagen and Felix Banse. They cannot forward the information re Christoph Harry Bauer to the Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse, as it is not what they want. They must have a clear view of his personal behaviours which must be more detailed and definite than their letter of 1st April.
Has forwarded Seibert's request for a decision as to whether V.g.? Dr. Abshagen can become a member of the Party (Nazi Partei?), to the Rechtsamt?.
KV 2/390-3, page 9 (minute 972c)
Source. U.35 (Mr. Ustinov; whom was cheating the Germans is London, being of descent German born, but lived in London and was an occasional agent of M.I.5 (in particular of Mr. D.G. White). (AOB: expressing myself mildly, he was not a too smart person)
"Seibert (KV 2/3269), Abshagen and I (Mr. Ustinov) had a talk on the on the camouflage of German press correspondents. Seibert said: "It would be the greatest stupidity on the part of Berlin if they really camouflaged correspondents. I (Seibert?) knew of not a single one whom I would suspect". Then Litauer butted (bumped) in and said to Seibert: "But you knew we both have our doubts about Baumann (Bauer?), who applied for membership of the Foreign Press Association". Seibert admitted it. Abshagen is London correspondent of the "Schlesische Zeitung", (and three more German Newspapers) the Berlin Editorial of which was mentioned in Ludwig's notes for camouflaging the reports of "I" 's office. You will remember that Ludwig (KV 2/350 ... KV 2/352) noted: "Reischach (Decke) Seibert, Reichsverband (also Seibert) bleiben mir draussen".
PF 45707 Ludwig .... dated 28.4.37
KV 2/390-3, page 7 (minute 965xb)
I discussed with Mr. Rex Leeper (Leaper?), Press Department, Mr. Strang and Mr. Norton at the Foreign Office the question of German journalists.
I said that we were rather worried about the large number of correspondents that the Nazis had over here, some of whom we regarded as being strongly suspect. I pointed out that any Nazi journalist over here was to some extent suspect until be proved otherwise, and that this involved us (Britain's) in a great deal of work which could be avoided if they were given less free access to the U.K.
Leeper agreed that the number was excessive, but he said that at this moment the Foreign Office would not be anxious to make any representations, because the German press had adopted a more friendly attitude towards this country (England). An occasion might arise later when in retaliation for action against some British correspondent we might usefully get rid of a German suspect. he was however all in favour of the action suggested by which the Home Office should land any new journalist coming to this country (England) on a time condition and in certain cases where their bona fides were in question, refuse them leave to land. He said that in the old days the Home office always refused cases of journalists, but that now, presumably because they no longer required visas, this practice had been dropped (an action against German journalists would in return hamper British journalists operating in Germany).
We discussed in some detail the question of Abshagen Leeper said that he had been worried by the reports by this man which made references to Cabinet meetings, that since accounts of two Cabinet meetings had subsequently been found to be in-accurate he was easier in his mind. I pointed out that agents of this sort occasionally get information which they knew to be accurate, but that in rendering a weekly or fortnightly report they always had in mind their own reputation and that, failing→(page 8)→ positive evidence,
KV 2/390-3, page 8
positive evidence, they were inclined to resort to speculations. This however did not necessarily mean that they never got facts from the fountain-head. I also pointed out that information was often extracted by obtaining negative answers, and checking these up in other quarters. He said that he did not think that Abshagen was getting anything of importance from the New department, but that he had given instructions that in future a note should always be made of any interviews. I asked that we might have a copy of these notes and this is being arranged. Leeper said that he thought that Abshagen, who was generally popular in the journalistic world, got information from other correspondents in Fleet Street (The London street where most British News Papers had been made and published) and then drew his own deductions. He had personally warned one or two highly placed journalists in whom he has absolute confidence not to talk too freely to Abshagen in future. He thinks that to some extent Abshagen and other journalists use the penches in the corridor outside the New Department as a kind of club where they are able to swop news while waiting to go in.
I showed Leeper the list of doubtful journalists which interested him/ He knew Popoff (The one involve in the "The offence against the Reichstag" in 1933?) and had always rather suspected him. Strang and Norton also knew him, but have regarded him fairly favourably. He apparently goes to the Foreign Office mainly to discuss questions of ???. Both Strang and Leeper thought that in cases of that sort it might be useful for the people concerned to be warned. (Smart, I really doubt) I said that we (whom?) had no objection and I left with Strang the list of doubtful journalist for such action as he thought desirable. Leeper thought that if Popoff was in fact in touch with Sir Samuel Hoare a word in that quarter might not be misplaced. He→(page 9)→himself had warned the Fist Lord about Vladimir Poliakoff's pro-Italian leanings.
KV 2/390-3, page 9
himself had warned the Fist Lord about Vladimir Poliakoff's pro-Italian leanings.
I asked Leeper how he regarded Poliakov's position from a purely moral standpoint. He said that he did not think it was immoral for him as a journalist to take money from the Italians but that he thought he was making a great mistake and that he was beginning to realise it. He thought Poliakov was extremely vain and that his personal friendship with Mussolini had turned his head. He still thought that the basis of his outlook was his fanatical hatred of the Germans. He did not think that Poliakov would intentionally sell his own country but he took it for granted that anything he said to him might reach the Italians in some form or another.
Norton on the other hand thought it was grossly immoral for a journalist to accept money from a foreign Government. He had always regarded Poliakov with suspicion, particularly since a document which was given to him in confidence by Sir Arthur Willett some years ago subsequently appeared in the American Press. He knew that Lord Tyrell, with whom Poliakov had been very friendly when he was in Paris, took the view that Poliakov never got any money from the Quai d'Orsay (then French Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Norton doubted this very much. I gather that Lord Tyrell had been warned about Poliakov's pro-Italian leanings, and had been astonished and distressed.
The Foreign Office would consider letting us have details of the visits of other journalists if we really felt that any particular case this was vital to our enquiries. They are however anxious not to extend the practice more than is absolutely necessary. It was agreed that for the moment we should confine ourselves to Abshagen.
I am forced, due to some over-loading of this current web page, to create next an: "abshagen-karl-heinz-2.htm"
By Arthur O. Bauer