Paul Georg Fidrmuc
Page initiated 6 June 2023
Current status: 8 July 2023
Chapter 2 (since 12 June 2023)
Chapter 3 (since 14 June 2023)
Chapter 4 (since 17 June 2023)
Chapter 5! (since 19 June 2023)
Chapter 6 (since 21 June 2023)
Chapter 7 (since 24 June 2023)
Chapter 8 (since 27 June 2023)
Chapter 9 (since 29 June 2023)
Chapter 10 (since 8 July 2023)
Fidrmuc, Paul (Georg)
PF 64447 (Volume 1)
What we at instance may conclude: is, that in the days of Mss. McCallum some PF files existed, which, likely, had been disposed off after these file series had been made public in this millennium.
(D2018 (the man in front is Dr. Beck ↓↓) D2018return)
In the background we notice Paul Georg Fidrmuc
and in front we see Dr. Beck
KV 2/196-1, page 2
3.1.37. Photostat from A.2. (Foreign Office)(?) re interview with Mr. Lassell Philip and orders for maps by Paul Fidrmuc. 1a.
8.1.37. Photostat of letter re enclosed cheque from "The Chase National Bank" to J. Vulhopp on instructions from Paul Fidrmuc 2a.
28.6.37. Photostats of Extracts from F.O. File C.4636; C.4468 and C.3639 re orders by Paul Fidrmuc. 3a.
14.8.37. From S.I.S. CX/12416 -V. re P. Fidrmuc in reply to 5a. 6a.
18.12.37 Photostats from George Philips & Son Ltd. re order for maps by Paul Fidrmuc. 7a.
12.3.38. Photostats of Extract from Air Ministry File No. S.41793 re orders by P. Fidrmuc. 10a.
KV 2/196-1, page 3-part.
Now jumping in the Portugal era
24.9.41 Copy of (intercepted) letter from S.I.S. CX/12650/8617/VD re Germain Brücker-Traus - Fidrmuc mentioned 17a (AOB: Germain Brücker-Traus was Fidrmuc's Belgian commercial/business partner in Lisbon (they dealt in canned sea food). (This letter had most likely been intercepted illegally and opposed Portuguese legislation)
KV 2/196-1, page 5
27.3.42 To S.I.S. (Secret Intelligence Service operating abroad, part of MI6) enclosing copy of int. of Brown at 31b. 33x.
28.3.42 Envelope containing photographs of Fidrmuc with Dr. Beck. (HIOB ?) 36a.
7.4.42 Placing Paul Fidrmuc with six (mail ?) addresses on the Security List. 34a.
13.4.42 Copy of letter from E.1 Ato S.I.S. enclosing 35a and suggesting concierge of Park Hotel may be useful. 36a. (AOB: this might have to do with the fact that Fidrmuc stayed, in the beginning, in the Park Hotel in Estoril)
24.5.42 Extracts From M.E.W. (Ministry of Economic Warfare) file re Brücker-Traus and Fidrmuc. 39a.
KV 2/196-1, page 6part
7.8.42 Extract from S.I.S. letter re Kuhne (Kühne / Kuehne) & Mme de Cerda (De Lacerda) 52b. (AOB: Later a conflict arose about her daughter - whom was taking care of legally by Fidrmuc and his wife. Since; this might have been exploited by British Services, as to set her up against Fidrmuc and his wife, after all in vain. Her daughter passed away on pneumonia, due to the lack of penicillin, in Barcelona, in 1945)
KV 2/196-1, page 7part
fist part being deliberately deleted
If the activities of G. Brücker are indeed the key to the Ostro mystery then I think a great deal more investigation ought to be done into this matter than has already been done. Actually I can find no evidence on the file that I have been through in this connection to indicate that Brücker himself is of any more importance from the point of view of the Abwehr than the other two partners in his firm, Paul Fidrmuc and Camillo Franc. It does seem to me significant that the firm Brücker-Traus Ltda. was not started until May 1941 and that it is not known in ordinary trading circles or indeed listed in any ordinary trading registers.
The status report at 39a seems to me to indicate an enterprise which might well have been started by the Abwehr (Isn't true) with no other motive than to cover espionage activities conducted from Lisbon. I have this strong impression because I have myself considered a project for setting up commercial ramifications to cover espionage. You will note that it is an agency as distinct from a firm and that its genuine transactions are in fact done through the firm Les Fils D'Alfred Traus (Brücker and Traus were both of Belgian origin) of Brussels. The three partners manage the firm so that they are not answerable to anyone else for what they do and they have no independent directors sharing their confidence. The fact that they have created a good impression by meeting all their liabilities may be significant if behind the enterprise lie the funds of the Abwehr itself (not the case). I think it might well be a useful thing to get instructed opinion on the status report. I suggest Sir Edward's opinion. The very variety of the commodities dealt with by Brücker-Traus offers facilities for picking up contacts where required. I have the impression, but I should like Reid's opinion on this, that Brücker Traus Ltda. is something rather abnormal in the commercial world.
Paul Fidrmuc has every appearance of a professional Abwehr agent. This being so, I feel doubtful whether it is he who is extracting the (W/T intercepted) Ostro information out of the Middle East. If it were he, surely he would use Abwehr communications, i.e. W/T → out of Turkey.
KV 2/196-1, page 8b
W/T out of Turkey. It seems possible that he may be responsible however, for the English and and your attention us drawn to the new association between him and Paul Falus, whose file should definitely be studied in connection with this one. There is however no direct evidence that Falus is engaging in espionage.
With regard to Germain Brücker, I am not very impressed by the Paula Widmann connection here in England. In fact I think that ways ought to be found interviewing Widmann, though I understand that this has been covertly done by Ramsbotham (R.2.Z.a.?) already under some TWE arrangement. About Camillo Franc nothing nothing seems to have been done. Within the orbit of this same enquiry further attention should be paid to Lestrade Brown who has been twice interviewed by Ramsbotham, and possibly the girl Perkins, employed at the British Embassy in Lisbon. I am myself looking into ways and means of investigating Falus through a Czech sug agent in the wine trade and possibly, if enquiries indicate that this is the best line, using Falus to provoke Fidrmuc into showing his hand more clearly. (they all remained, more or less, children)
The various elements in all these enquired must, I think, be pursued by B.1.b. for, at any rate with Fidrmuc, the Abwehr connection is close. (AOB: entire nonsense: Fidrmuc operated at will independently of any German Secret Service Branch) On the other hand Section V. must have much the richest material on the subject and I think(?) an early opportunity should be taken for us to compare notes fully with Section V. For this purpose it would be well if B.1.b., Mr. Hart or Mrs. Spring. were to prepare an analysis of all our records and establish all those connections which appear to be important.
A.D.B.1. D.G. White
KV 2/196-1, page 9
24.8.42 From S.I.S. reports from Lisbon re Falus and Fidrmuc. 58a. (Falus: Hungarian Jew, whom had lived for some time in England, Paul Falus, 8 Rua Do Commercio Lisboa, (wine merchant))
KV 2/196-1, page 16 (minute 74b)
From S.L.A. (Mr. J.L.S. Hale) To B.1.b. (Mrs. Spring)
I see that on the look up (Minute) (64a, 66a) (concerning matters on Fidrmuc's banking accounts) for the name of Krumholz you were not shown the trace of Krum(or it is Krom) (AOB: the latter is unlikely) which appears in the P.F. for Mrs. Paula Widmann. I said I would let you have this note in case you could care to get this trace up and consider it.
I also enclose a list of the addresses for Paul Fidrmuc (=Ostro) and Germain Brücker which I gave to B.3.a. when I had their names put on the Security List. They are shortly due to come off the Security List and I believe you have agreed to take over the job of seeing that they are kept on.
Date 1.1.43 Signature
KV 2/196-1, page 18 (minute 74a)
P.F.64447 (Fidrmuc's personal file reference number)/S.L.A. (= it might have concerned like a kind of prosecution) 1st January, 1942
Your ref.: R.300/4380/Z.
Thank you very much for your letter of the 21st December (1941) about the Lisbon firm of Brücker-Traus Ltda. We entirely agree with your view that this Company has been engaging in bonafide trade, though not of course trade of a character which commends itself to you.
I will certainly come and have a talk with you about the developments at our end at some time convenient to us both, but I am afraid that there is little to report.
M.F. Cullis, Esq.
Ministry of Economic Warfare, (M.E.W.)
Berkely Square House,
Berkely Square, W.1.
KV 2/196-1, page 19 (minute 73a) (AOB: Please bear in mind - that the minutes are running backwards in time; whereas the PDF page-numbers are increasing)
No. R./4380/Z.300 Ministry of Economic Warfare.
21st December, 1942.
Your Reference PF 64447 /S.L. (A) 2 PF 62193
You will remember that we had some talk and correspondence in the early summer about the Lisbon firm of Brücker-Traus Ltda. In view of your particular interest in certain connections of this firm, I have kept an eye open for such evidence on their activities as has subsequently come to our notice.
My letter of 16th June reported my impression of half a dozen intercepts. (AOB: likely mail letters, maybe telephone illegal taps). The file has now come up to me in another connection, and I thought it would be interesting to see whether the evidence of the past six months is such as to confirm that impression.
Looking through fair numbers of intercepts which have accumulated over this period, I am reasonably satisfied that so far as our knowledge goes Brücker-Traus have been handling no more than the ordinary business of forwarding agents. They specialise in the shipment of tinned fish and fish oil, all of which is, of course, destinated for the enemy. There is certainly no suggestion in our records of the firm or its partners engaging in any activities outside this field. Indeed, that fact that one of the partners, Camillo Frank (Franc?), has since been discovered to hold in his own name the agency of the well-known Wuppertal transport firm, Carl Hagemann, rather tends to support this conclusion.
If you are ever round here - I realise that it is rather too delicate a matter for correspondence - I should be interested to know whether there have been any developments at your end in the case.
J.L.S. Hale, Esq., (M.I.6 ?)
Box No. 500,
Parliament Street B.O. S.W.1
KV 2/196-1, page 20 (minute 70a)
PF. 64447 (= Fidrmuc/Osto)/B.1.b. (=M.I.5)/ES 14th November 1942
I send you herewith a copy of a letter from Canada containing a report on Fidrmuc's account with the Dominion Bank of Canada. You will see that the account was very small, and nothing of interest emerges from it. (AOB: Fidrmuc's foreign bank accounts do originate from his 1930s international technical contributions on the "Iron Industry" and that like. He published also in U.S. technical periodicals)*
You will note, however, that as in the case of his account here with the London Branch of the Chase National Bank, on the outbreak of war Fidrmuc had his account with the Toronto Branch of the Dominion Bank of Canada transferred to the Chase Bank of New York.
I should be very grateful if you could arrange to have this account at New York examined.
H.L.A. Hart (M.I.5.)
H.A.R. Philby, Esq., (AOB: he was, after the war, found being "one of the Cambridge Five communist traitors" of Britain) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Five)
S.I.S. (later M.I.6.)
KV 2/196-1, page 28 (minute 66a)
Empty page, an apparent example of deleting information and keeping it hidden
But, we know, at least, the minute reference:
KV 2/196-1, page 10 (minute 66a)
13.10.42 To S.I.S. re Fidrmuc's bank account, enclosing list of names and addresses.
AOB: noticing that a list of names being dealt with, we can now understand why they considered it intolerable to publish innocent names.
KV 2/196-1, page 29a (minute 65)
Ostro in England.
Since January 1942, the German I.S. (Intelligence Service) in Lisbon has received from Ostro at least thirty-seven reports (AOB: British Services had only notice of the messages transmitted from Lisbon to Berlin by means of W/T. Though, there existed quite more espionage material which were conveyed within diplomatic mail bags or by courier - on regular airline flights from Lisbon to Berlin, think also of Lufthansa; which maintained regular services up to ca. March 1945) covering Egypt, South Africa, India, America and the U.K. Of these thirty-seven, fourteen have been either wholly or in part concerned with information from the U.K. and all of them have been totally(?) incorrect. They have not been merely inaccurate, but are elaborate inventions packed with circumstantial details and carefully planned to give the impression of a well placed body of agents sending information from the U.K. We know that Ostro (alias of Paul Georg Fidrmuc) really an agent of first class calibre working for him in Egypt, and there seems no doubt that in order to enhance his value in the eyes of the Germans he has built on this solid foundation an entirely imaginary organisation in the U.K. which he would have the Germans believe is providing information of equal value to that of his Egypt agent. That he had succeeded in this deception is clear from the fact that the Germans are willing to go to the trouble of transmitting his reports from England at as great a length as to those from Egypt, and also that on 29.6.42 Ostro was asked urgently to obtain detailed information concerning the total strength of American troops in the U.K. The particulars required were number of divisions being drawn up with provisional numbers, names of Commanders, individual units, troop movements to England, and names and size of the troop transports. We do not know how Ostro dealt with this request as the only reference to American troops in England which we have seen is contained in a brief extract from a report which was in the hands of the German I.S. (Intelligence Service) in Lisbon on 7.7.42. This appears to deal in a general way with the distribution of small units of American troops for training purpose.
A study of the Ostro messages from the U.K. gives some idea of the notional organisation which he has planted on the Germans and the means he adopts to lend a verisimilitude to it. An analysis of the messages on these lines is given below and a chart is attributed for reference.
1. It is not possible to guess exactly how large an organisation Ostro claims to have in the U.K. but twice references is made to two "reliable" agents in England, one of those agents being definitely stated to be on an aircraft travelling between the U.K. and Portugal, and by implication it is this agent who brings the reports. From the dates of the reports and the dates of their onward transmission from Lisbon or Berlin, it is clear that they are notionally brought by air as on only three occasions is there an interval of as much as eight days between the date of the report and its onward transmission, and in the majority of cases only three or four days elapse. On one occasion the report is dated 30th August and is transmitted to Berlin on the 1st September.
2. The reports cover naval, military and air force matters and are divided into three categories referred to as Reports P., and Reports I.
(a) Reports T.
These deal with naval and military matters. The first T. report on 16.1.42 describes the ships in Liverpool and Carliale on that day. Eleven ships are named, one being Georgic (the loss of which had of course been published some time previously). The report goes on to give the route of the information the Embarkation Officer's statement, the implication being, of course, that the information was obtained locally by personal contact. Apart from the Georgic, the other eleven vessels named had either been sunk by this date or were in the Far East. The troops of this convoy, according to the report, were concentrated in Wales, Lancashire, and Lanchester and the details were, therefore, unobtainable - a further hint as to the agent's locality. Fleetwood and Preston are quoted as ports of embarkation and details of the escort are also given, together with an estimated date of departure. This report with all its wealth of detail is a complete fabrication and is typical of Ostro's style, except the it contains a rather higher proportion of elementary mistakes than usual. The information, however, was considered sufficiently valuable by the Germans onward transmission to the length of 293 words.
(2) (since 12 June 2023)
KV 2/196-1, page 30b
The second T. report dated 14.5.42 claims as the source of its information positive knowledge emanating from Vice Admiral L.S. King, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. This states that orders have been given for North Atlantic convoys to be escorted by capital ships and the next convoy so escorted would leave northern entrance to St. Georges Channel on 18th May; again the information is false.
The third T. report dated 15.5.42 is concerned with a fictional account of preparations for a Commando raid said to be taking place in Scotland. To lend weight to this report a further report of 22.5.42 stated that the Commando concerned had disembarked in the Shetlands and claimed that this had been confirmed by Mountbatten household in London.
The last T, report is dated 4th July and deals chiefly with the training of American forces in the U.K. A touch of local colour is then added by the statement that H.M. Stationary Offices had ordered a large quantity of maps of Corsica (1:80,000 from Philips & Sons, London. This is an interesting use by Fidrmuc of knowledge acquired during his pre-war activities when he was buying large quantities of maps from Philips on behalf of the Germans.
(b) Report P.
These are concerned with civil and Service aviation information which is supplied by an agent who is notionally a member of the crew of an aircraft travelling between the U.K. and Portugal. In this connection it should be remembered that Fidrmuc is known to be friendly term with Van der Vliet, Manager of K.L.M. in Portugal. It may be assumed that his acquaintance with Van der Vliet is well known to the Germans in Lisbon and that he trades on this acquaintance to lend an air of reality to the claim that he has an agent on one of the K.L.M. planes who is in a position to obtain information about the movements of aircraft to and from the U.K. with particulars of the passengers carried. It is hardly necessary to add that the information contained in the P. Reports is as untrue as the rest. It is amusing, however, to note the touch of the artist when in the report of 29.4.42 after describing the fictitious flight of various of various named personalities from the U.K. for a conference in Gibraltar, Ostro adds a note pointing out that the last similar meeting in Gibraltar was connected with the start of the Cyronaica (western Libyan desert east of Bengasi) offensive.
The P. Report of 24.6.42 states that on a flight from England to Portugal (often leaving from Bristol) the conversation turned mainly on supplies for the Middle East and that on 15.6.42 one of the passengers was a Colonel of the R.A.S.C. who was going to Africa with special powers (as he said) to mobilise what supplies and materials he could. No R.A.S.C. Colonel in fact travelled by plane from the U.K. to Portugal on the 15th June.
Two reports dealt with information concerning the aerodrome at Exter. Both imply that Exter has been personally visited by the agent, the first stating that test flight from Exter at that time were very few and that there were only a few machines on the aerodrome. The second report starts with a claim by Ostro that the agent had returned to England on the previous day. It is dated 14.7.42 and states that on 11.7.42 about forty-five aircraft earmarked for the Ferry service were noticed at Exter aerodrome, mostly Beaufighters and Wellingtons. Exter aerodrome is not in fact for the ferry service and neither the number nor the type of aircraft were on it at the date stated.
The last of the P. Reports dated 1.9.42 states that Air Marshal Tedder recently flew from Aboukir to London and points out that the per cent reservation of B.O.A. and K.L.M. planes reported a short time previously had been for Navy and Army officers, including among others Admiral Sir Tom Phillips. It would have been thought that even the reader of German newspapers would have known of the death of Admiral Phillips when the Prince of Wales was lost in December 1941. However, the report continues undaunted that General Paget was seen off in a special plane from St. Eval aerodrome on the 28th August by various named personalities and claims that these names were confirmed by nembers of? the aerodrome staff two or three times, independently of each other - stewards, ???? there is no truth in this statement. The report finishes ...
KV 2/196-1, page 31c
with a statement that it had become known from B.O.A. staff that many military personalities had flown to Gibraltar from West Africa, apparently for conferences. As it happens there is some truth in this last statement, but fortunately Ostro drawn the wrong conclusion from it as he adds a note that similar air traffic and conferences took place shortly before the last Mediterranean convoy.
(c) The third category of report, the I. Reports, presents Ostro at his most picturesque. The first dated 1.4.42 states that a banquet was to take place on the 12th April at 4 o'clock at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, in conjunction with a great celebration in Birkenhead, Cammel Laird. Queen Mary was to attend together with other members of the Royal Family, the Fist, Second and Third Lords of the Admiralty, Churchill and high officers of all the three Services. The second report is dated 23.9.42 and stated that on the 28th September the battleships Howe and Anson were to be ceremoniously commissioned in the Firth of Forth in the presence of the Admiralty, the Government and special representatives of the U.S. Navy, and probably of the King (George VI) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_VI). These ships were to be employed in January 1943 for coastal defence.
Comment on these reports is hardly necessary, but it should perhaps be mentioned that the Howe and Anson have been in commission for some time and in the words of the Admiralty "it is not intended that they should be used for defence".
KV 2/196-1, page 44a + 45b (minute 58)
PF 64447/ Fidrmuc, Paul Georg
Extract from a letter from S.I.S. CX/12416/836/(?)
I think therefore, that you will be interested in the following two reports which we have just received from our Lisbon representative, I would be grateful if you would pass them to Pitt after you have read them.
1. "Fidrmuc makes no secret to our informant (= Mme Dela Cerda (De la Cerda) (she a bar pianist; lived with the Fidrmuc in his rented cottage "Igloo"; Fidrmuc and his wife legally took care of her child; a girl) that he does consider business with Paul Falus (Hungarian Jew). Falus is perturbed (agitated) about this as he states that he also does much business with the U.K."
This report does not seem to be worth very much on its face value. But the source (Mme De La Cerda) is intimately connected with Fidrmuc (as she lives in by Fidrmuc rented house) and has recently given information about his visitors which squares with our special sources: and she (De La Cerda) is also acquainted with Falus. We are therefore inclined to accept this (her) statement/
2. "It is reported that Paul Falusch? recently agreed to provide the firm of G. Brücker-Traus of which Paul Fidrmuc. the notorious German agent. is a partner, with a forged landcert (country of origin certificate?) covering a shipment of 39 tons of whale oil.
"The cost to Brücker-Traus was 39,000 escudos, i.e. 1000 escudos a ton, which was duly paid over.
"However, the forged documents were not forthcoming, but Brücker-Traus were unable to obtain repayment owing to Falusch (Falus) absence of assets.
"Recent transactions between Falusch (Falus?) and Brücker-Traus covered:-
a) 30,000 litres of brandy;
b) 26 tons of fish oil (from Lisbon to Budapest.
Both being indigenous (home-grown), no landcert was required."
The source report is (name deleted) (Warble case 447) not one of our regular sources - who claims to have got the information personally from Falus. We are therefore unable to assess its value. I think you will agree, however, that the business transactions described look highly plausible.
At the end of his conversation with our representative (name deleted) that Falus had desought him not to pass this information about his commercial deaalings to either the Hungarians or the British. This remark, which ties up with our other informants comment on Falus's perturbation, lends the report added plausibly.
(Philby) (AOB: after all the well known Russian spy being also one of the "Cambridge Five" members)
KV 2/196-1, page 47a (minute 56a)
L.298/816/ADB1. (= Dick G. White at M.I.5)
5th September, 1942.
I was very much interested in your CX/12416?/836/? of 24.8.42 and 4.9.42 which stimulated me into a little research into the case of Paul Falus, The results are not ?interesting and, although I have not nearly completed them, thought you might like to know the following connections of Falus in the U.K. (where he lived for a while)
As regards business connections, it appears that the partnership between Falus and the Spaniard, L. Jladro, has been dissolved. LL?adro is still in this country. The finance of Paul Falus was, at any rate in May 1942m a Mrs. Alice Sabelfelt of Artillergatan 20, Stockholm. She is a secretary by occupation and was in this country previous to the outbreak of war. Sabelfelt's sister is Miss Kerstin Foresmann, 42 Queen's Way, London, W.2. to whom, in April of the year (1942), Sabelfelt was writing for assistance from 'Max" if he is still in London and to ask him to use all possible and impossible connections to help me." Sabelfelt also refers to "Paul's friends at the Air Line Company". At the time this letter was sent Forssmann was questioned as to its meaning. He explained that 'Max" was her fiancé, Max Paggi, a British subject in the Royal Air Force Ferry Service, while "Paul's friends in the Air Line Company" meant certain officials known to |Paul Falus from Messrs. Thomas. Cook & Son, Ltd, Berkeley Street. She did not know their names. In this letter connection, could you ask (name deleted) whether he could make some enquiries with Messrs Cooks and find, if possible, who Falus' contacts there may be.
The latest reference to Falus is in a Censorship intercept from Paul Back. dated Lisbon 18.6.42 and addressed to Mrs. Marianna Gold-Eva?, 127 Hatherly Court, Hatherley Grove, London, W.2. From this it appears that the writer has been acting as an intermediary between addressee and a Col. → Denes, presumably in enemy territory.
KV 2/196-1, page 48b
Denes, presumably in enemy territory. Mrs. Gold-Eva? (Ova?) is advised to contact Mr. Paul Falus in Lisbon if she has other news to communicate to the Colonel. An extract from this letter runs as follows:
"I received your letter from 15th May and I send it on the first occasion to your mutual friend Col. Denes ... I had news that he is quite well ... In Abbazia I do noot remember being introduced to you. I was there several times in the summer 1938 sometimes also with the colonel, but the gentlemen who has left for New York, was Mr. Georges Binet, he is still there. If you have other news for the colonel, plaease write to Mr. Paul Falush, 8 Rua Do Commercio, Lisboa, because this gentlemen is always here, and I do not know howlong I shall be remaining here. (sgd. Paul Black)"
I shall be interested to know whether you can throw any light on this intercept, the original of which I am having tested for secret writing or Duff. (microdots) (J1098 J1098return)
There is perhaps nothing in all the above which is not susceptible to an innocent explanation but when your letter establishes the connection between Fidrmuc and Falus and the latter is found to have excellent connections in England and with air route people, the possibility that he may be playing some part in the Ostro organisation has to be be considered.
Actually, I think our best chance of investigating the case of experienced investigator having worked for many years with the Czech I.S. (Intelligent Service) (Paul Georg Fidrmuc possessed a German passport) He is moreover, in the same business field as Falus formerly was, a keen business man and, from the point of view of S.S. (Secret Service) work, extremely guileless (frank) looking in appearance. If further enquiries or developments establish a case for enticing (appealing) him to this country for a business deal, I have ascertained that Telts her could easily, without attracting attention, travel to Lisbon for the purpose. Perhaps you would be thinking this over, but there is no need to come to an immediate decision at the moment.
(Name deleted) (Dick G. White)
H.A.R. Philby Esq.
DGW (AOB: = Dick G. White = ADB1)
KV 2/196-1, page 49 (minute 53b) ( K1099 ↓↓↓↓↓↓ K1099return ) (L2000 ↓↓↓↓↓↓ L2000return) (M2001 ↓↓↓↓↓↓ M2001return)
From the Press Section
German tours coast
of Portugal in (rubber) boat
(AOB: Paul Fidrmuc was a rather sportive man, whom went swimming in the sea every day of the year!)
German tours coast of Portugal in boat.
Lisbon, Tuesday:- A German resident in Portugal is making a tour of the Portuguese coastline in a rubber boat.
The German Paul Siederrut (= Paul Georg Fidrmuc), aged 44, was seen landing from his rubber boat at Praia do Sol. he said he was "a businessman" from Estoril (where Fidrmuc really lived, in chalet "Igloo") and would make the next stop further down the coast.- Express News Service.
KV 2/196-1, page 54 (minute 51b)
Original in PF 409911 v.2. 176a (PF file no longer existing)
PF 409911/E.1.a (USA) (likely a Foreign Office section)
Dear (name made invisible, a typical S.I.S. attitude),
I am writing in confirmation of our telephone conversation yesterday, in which I gave you briefly the substance of my lunch with Brown, when the latter was sufficiently inebriated to be expansive.
. . . .
He did tell me rather incoherently a story which may go some way to clearing up the Fidrmuc incident. He said that Captain Kuhne of the U.S. Export Line, Captain of one of their boats, had in 1941 been friendly with "the German's woman" (this I took to mean Fidrmuc and the woman to be [Mme de la Cerda] (AOB: I doubt that Mme de la Cerda being meant as she was once a bar-pianist) (why did they neglect the possibility (option) that the woman was Fidrmuc's Danish wife?). All three persons had on one or two occasions had drinks with Brown. Brown had told Solange Metivier (S.I.S. at the British Legation in Lisbon?) to keep a watch on this liaison between Kuhne and de la Cerda (the latter was cheating Fidrmuc albeit that she lived in the house "Igloo" which Fidrmuc had rented), as he did not want any scandal in the Export Line (in this part of 1941, Germany and the U.S. weren't yet at war) He said also that at first interrogation by us (the British S.I.S.) refused to mention this incident, as he saw no reason why the British should know of the follies of a U.S. Export Captain. If anyone was to be told it was the American authorities. If this story is true it might go some way to explaining why Brown had been in the company of Fidrmuc, and also why his companionship with Fidrmuc had been, 'clandistine', since he had been anxious to avoid publicity. In this comnnection it is noted that Captain William S. Kuhne was on the American Seamen's suspect list on 18.6.41 as a Nazi courier suspect. This might make the case even blacker ahainst Brown, but in fairness to him it should be said that he might genuinely be trying to protect the U.S. Export Line from scandal.
I would be grateful if you would let us know what information you have on Captain Kuhne, and if you would give this information to your Lisbon representative asking for his comments as to its probability.
(Lt.-Col. Hon.) P.E. Ramsbotham.
PER (P.E. Ramsbotham)
KV 2/196-1, page 57a (minute 50a)
Extract from report of Interrogation of Mme. Solange Metivier page 2 of 16.7.42 forwarded by E.1.a/USA (F.O.?) to R.V.P.S./BID & recd (received) on 17.7.42.
- - - - -
III. Paul Fidrmuc.
(a) Metivier was shown a photograph (will be dealt with later) of this man in company with Dr. Beck and she was asked whether she recognises either of the men. She immediately pointed to Fidrmuc and said with some surprise that - that was the only man in Lisbon whom she would have singled out as thoroughly suspicious (she had previously been asked if she could give us the names of any individuals who she regarded with suspicion), but first she said that he was a Dutchman, who lived with a woman (not his wife) (AOB: Fidrmuc's wife lived in the same house. De la Cerda, for what ever reason lived also in the house. I might remember from my fist approach about 2016 that in someway or another Mme De la Cerda stayed in the house as the Fidrmuc family rented the house; whether from her or someone else, we will learn in due course.) in Avenue (Rua Don Henriques), Estoril. (T2082 ↕↕↕↕ T2082return) (C2094 ↓ bordering the Golf course at the south tip↓ C2094return)
Up the hill is the Golf Course
The house was quite moderate but particular and named "Igloo", but it was situated quite nicely and Rustique
... This Villa was right on the Golfcourse, and was a distictive house, very small, and shaped like a "chaumiere". It was situated of the first fairway, she had never heard it called Villa Igloo, but seeing that it was small, round with an thatched roof, the name "Igloo" had in all probability been given it. The villa was between the Villa Golfino and that of Sir Walter Selby. Metivier was asked what had aroused suspicions with regard to this man, and whether she knew his name. She had never heard his name, but regarded him with suspicion because, though apparently with plenty of money, he never mingled with the rest of te Colony in Estoril, but was always snooping around. He apparently considered himself' a fine physical specimen, and displayed his limbs liberally on the Plage where she used to run across him/ He had a habit of bathing in all weathers. She also used to meat him at the Station or in the Post Office, of which there was only one in Estoril/ He had, she thought, stayed at the Parque Hotel (Park Hotel) in 1941, before moving to the Villa. Metivier declared that she had never been presented to him and had in no occasion been in his company. She had amused herself by watching him since she was was certain that he was acting under orders from Germany. (what he just was not!) This she said, was the opinion of persons much cleverer than herself (implying Lestrade Brown) When the name Paul Fidrmuc was mentioned to her she looked blank and declared she had never heard it.
KV 2/196-1, page 58b
This description of Fidrmuc and his house is fairly accurate, and bears out the description given by Brown. So far as Metivier is concerned I think her statement that she had never been in the man's company was correct, and unless evidence to the contrary is overwhelming I think it should be accepted. She seemed perfectly frank and easy when talking about Fidrmuc.
She declared emphatically that she had never seen van der Vliet or any other of her friends in his company. (AOB: Fidrmuc's house had a hidden rear garden door; by which means special friends could approach unnoticed the premises)
Villa Golferino was situated further down the first fairway and was a hideous edifice, built by a Portuguese Jew; not, she thought Espirito Santo, who had a house in Rua Angleterra. She declared she had never been inside Villa Golfino, but had only been into the grounds to hunt for a ball. She had lunched with Espirito Santo at his house in the Rua Angleteria. She had never heard of the Villa Marie Clothilde and was unable to say where it was situated.
The two points at issue (a) the association of Metivier and Brown with Fidrmuc and (b) the party she is said to have attended with Monahan and Fidrmuc at the Villa Golfino ?? remain unclarified, but it should be noted that both Brown and herself tell the same story, and as far as is known they have not communicated with each other on the subject.
On the whole I am inclined to accept their statement unless S.I.S. is able to produce conclusive proof that they are lying.
(3) (since 14 June 2023)
KV 2/196-1, page 59 (minute 49a)
PF 64447 Fidrmuc
Original in PF 409911 (??)
16th July, 1942.
Please refer to your CX/??/1136/VD4 of 15.7.42 and to my PF 409911 of 8.7.42. We have now had an opportunity of interrogating Solange Metivier, and I enclose herewith two documents, one a copy of copy of suggested questionnaire and the other my report on the interrogation which was conducted on the points in the questionnaire. I would draw you attention to her remarks considering Fidrmuc and to the mythical party at the Villa Golfino. You will see from the last paragraph that in my opinion the consistency with which Brown and Metivier have told their story makes at all the more necessary for us to obtain conclusive proof either that they are lying or that the original evidence was not well-founded.
As it is improbable we will ever get such proof, I am inclined to accept their statements, unless you can produce evidence to the contrary.
Lestrade Brown called me up the other day, and told me he is going out shortly to Lisbon in connection with the U.S. Export Air Line service, for which it is intended to inaugurate a New York-Lisbon service, via Bermuda. brown asked me whether there is any assistance he can give us, and whether there are and characters in Lisbon whose activities he could usefully report. He will of course be getting in touch with highly placed Portuguese officials both in the Government and in aeronautical circles.
sgd. P.E. Ramsbotham.
H.A.R. Philby, Esq.
R4 (P.E. Ramsbotham?)
KV 2/196-1, page 74a + 75b (minute 43a)
B.1.h. Mr. Liddell (M.I.5)
E.1A/USA Mr. Ramsbotham (M.I.6?)
It seems to me that there is very little doubt that the Fidrmuc who is at present in Lisbon is the Fidrmuc who used to buy maps of military importance before the war and also that Lestrade Brown's recognition of Fidrmuc's photograph is genuine.
In August 1941, S.I.S. heard that Fidrmuc was living as a paying guest
with Mme de
Cerda at the Villa Igloo with
supposed to be his wife. The map buying Fidrmuc set up his business in
Copenhagen on 21.9.38 and, since he was on the Suspect List at the Danish
Foreign Office in 1940 probably lived in Denmark (before
the German invasion of 9th April 1940 of Denmark Fidrmuc was even imprisoned
charged for espionage)
up to the time, met his Danish woman in Denmark and took her to Lisbon (AOB:
S.I.S. apparently wasn't soundly informed, as Paul Fidrmuc first went to Genoa
in Italy. After Italy had entered the Second World War, Italy a profitable
playground for Fidrmuc) when he moved. Lestrade Brown without being
prompted, said that the photograph was that of the man who lived in the villa
between the Villa Golfino and Sir Walford Selby's villa with a Danish girl (she
was his wife),
though he said he was not married to her. (untrue)
If, as seems the case, the Villa Igloo is the one next door to the Villa Golfino the second woman mentioned by Lestrade Brown is presumably Mme. de Cerda. The Status report procured by the (British) Consulate says that the Villa Igloo is in the Rua Alfonso Henriques, Estoril, and if there is any doubt that the villa on the first fairway is the Villa Igloo perhaps this fact would clear the doubt up.
It may be worth drawing attention to the fact that whereas the 2ieme Bureau say that Paul Fidrmuc of 9 Marienterasse, Hamburg, was born in Austria on 28.8.1898 the Consulate Status Report says that he was born in 1903. It also says that he had a business in Genoa (AOB: July .. September 1940?) which is not perhaps very easy to reconcile with his having been in business in Hamburg until September 1938 having then transferred his business to Copenhagen, having taken part in the Polish Campaign (first three weeks of September 1939) (AOB: I consider the latter fact as unlikely - considering Fidrmuc's agreement, of not being a member of the Wehrmacht) as a German officer and having got to Portugal by the middle of 1940 (these are all guesses; must have been later).
I would also draw attention to the letter, presumably from Monahan (?) of 12.3.42 (37a) (AOB: not corresponding with the minute sheet in this document) where he asks Lestrade Brown to send to Georges' brother in law the sum Lestrade Brown had received some months ago, less the matter of 250,000 francs which he was asked to pay to Mle. Meunier at Vichy. According to Mrs. Widmann her brother Germain Brucker married a Miss Traus who seems to have a brother Georges, and the M.E.W. (Ministry of Economic Warfare) material filed at 39a→
in Fidrmuc emphasizes, what indeed we knew already, the commercial connection between Brucker and the firm of Les Fils D'Alfred Traus of which I think Georges Traus is now principal. The identification of George's brother in law with Brucker is of course a long shot but when Lestrade Brown was asked (39b page 4) (AOB: there does not exist a minute 39b even never did!) about the name Brucker or Brucker Traus he said that he thought it might be a man who had played around with the Vichy French (Up to late 1942, meant the unoccupied part of France) in Lisbon. As he knew that Monahan's letter to him had attract, or might attract, attention, it is conceivable that he gave this answer as a compromise between an incriminating denial and an incriminating statement of the whole truth. (AOB: I know that at least Brucker originates from Belgium)
As against this possibility that the brother in law iis Brucker one must bear in mind that in Solange Metivier's letter of 5.4.42 she says that Vera has told her that Georges is soon due to come on one of Lestrade Brown's aeroplane. We have had no indication that Traus was thinking of crossing or would be allowed to cross the Atlantic.
I am not personally quite satisfied that Lestrade Brown has deliberately lied about his knowledge of Fidrmuc. It is after all possible that he met the man at parties or in a bar or at a Casino and found out from servants and the like a good deal about him without actually ascertaining his name. The former would account for the report of their being in contact with one another' and the letter would explain the unusual circumstances that Lestrade Brown professed complete ignorance of the name but opened up a great deal about the photograph. (If after all he had wanted to lie about Fidrmuc it would have been wiser not to recognise the photograph or at least not to tell so much about it.)
On the other hand, there is no doubt as Hart (M.I.5.) will confirm that Fidrmuc is doing a bonafide and by no means negligible import and export business and it may well be that in the interests of this company and his own career Lestrade Brown was not above trading with a man who he thought a very suspicious character.
Another long shot. Lestrade Brown went to Paris via Hendaye (Spanish-French
border town at the west-end
of the Pyrenees) in the autumn
of 1941 (9a) (AOB:
the US wasn't yet at war with Germany, thus his trip was entirely legal) (AOB:
minute (9a) concerned Fidrmuc but being dated 11.1.1938!)
On 26.11.41 Brucker went with von von
Wilhelm von Carnap actually Fidrmuc's
HIOB Skapura guiding officer;
but they did not grasp this background or context)
to Paris by car (32a Fidrmuc file) (AOB:
there does not exist a minute reference number 32a).
Lestrade Brown does not give me the feeling that he is a German agent and, in particular, I share Mr. Ramsbotham's doubts as to the possible existence of motives which would induce him to act as one. If a motive must be found however, I would suggest the possibility that Lestrade Brown, who from his photograph seems to be a full blooded and slightly brutal ruffian (gangster), may conceivably have put himself in a position in which the Germans are able to blackmail him.
If. when you discuss this case you think I could be of any assistance, I should be very glad to be present.
KV 2/196-1, page 76a + 77b (minute 42a)
At least we have received from Lisbon S.I.S. representative a reply, which reopens the whole question of Brown's reliability. This reply, at (109a) (the latter minute reference has not been reproduced in this file series) should be read in the light of Brown's own statement at 39b and 58a. →
KV 2/196-1, 76-9part
(minute reference 58a does not fit to where they are currently dealing with; as the content fits to:
24.8.42 From S.I.S. reports from Lisbon re Falus and Fidrmuc. 58a
A. Paul Fidrmuc (see PF 64447) = our current file series.
I understand that Hart's (M.I.5) material indicates that Fidrmuc is now active in Lisbon as an important German agent. (AOB: Whatever your thoughts are concerned with: he was operating independently, and no-one could order him anything - but applying instead!). S.I.S.'s Lisbon report at 109a (is not reproduced within the KV 2/196 series) states that Brown definitely knew Fidrmuc, and had been seen talking to him on at least two occasions at the Casino and the Parque Hotel (Fidrmuc, after arriving in Portugal, lived there for a while first. Even already in the Parque Hotel, British Secret Service (S.I.S.?) bribed room-maids as to search Fidrmuc's hotel room regularly!) They knew each other at this Hotel as far as back as the beginning of 1941 (AOB: their meeting was not illegal at all, as the U.S. only entered a state of War with Germany on the 11/12th December 1941!), but it was noted that they avoided recognising each other in public.
(a) At his first interrogation Brown denied ever having heard of Fidrmuc (AOB: please bear in mind - K1099 K1099return Where Fidrmuc was noticed under the name of: Paul Siedrrut; not known to me, but maybe also completely unknown to those producing report whether Fidrmuc used instead his real name already a cover-name Paul Siedrrut) or of Brucker-Traus (39a page 4, para 4)
(b) Later (58a in our context a faulty minute reference) when shown a photograph of Fidrmuc, he recognised him at at once as the German who had owned a Villa on the Estoril golf course, and whom Brown (those interviewing dealt with the latter as if he is a British subject, though, he wasn't even bound- and not obliged to answer any questions of a none US official) had mentioned at his first interview had mentioned at first interview (39b, para 7) as a German who had taken a villa near Villa Golfino, and who had living there with him two German women and a girl of about fourteen.
had a friend who tried who tried to rent the Villa, but the German hat once put
up the price. (AOB:
he rented and not owned the Villa)
Brown had been suspicious of the man as he had seen him mailing bulky registered
packages to official addresses in Berlin; unfortunately he did not know
the man's name. When shown Fidrmuc's photograph Brown added that the man
had lived at the Parque (Park) Hotel fore some time, and had living at his Villa a
Danish girl (Fidrmuc's
to whom he was
married. (This is clearly Fidrmuc who at 32a para 7 of PF64447 (=
was reported in August 1941 as having a Danish wife staying with him at a Villa
Igloo, Estoril, when he and his wife were working for the German Intelligence
the latter is
as nowhere is being proved that she actually did, considering all of the six
file numbers KV 2/196 ... KV 2/201)
Brown claimed to have been intrigued by this man, since though he was a German, hhe never seemed to associate of the Concierge at the Park Hotel, and had learned that this man was in the habit of collecting vast amount of mail from South America and posting it to Berlin. Brown's curiosity was such that he even knew that Fidrmuc went bathing every day in all the weathers in the sea. In spite of this Brown denied that he ever learned the man's name, that he he had come across him socially, and did not remember ever having been in his company. It seems clear, in face of the categorical statements from S.I.S.; that, whatever the motive, Brown is lying about his association with Fidrmuc (Paul Siedrrut?)
KV 2/196-1, page 88a (minute 35a)
Original in PF 409911 Lestrade Brown (American Citizen)
Copies to: PF 64447 Paul Fidrmuc
Mr. Bristow, S.I.S.
Mr. Milmo, B.1.b (M.I.5)
I went to see Lestrade Brown at the Dorchester Hotel on Friday, 10th April. He had just returned from Eire. I had a number of photographs of persons in Lisbon in whom we are interested, and would be glad to have the benefit of his knowledge to help us to identify some of them. When I showed him the photograph of Dr. Beck and Fidrmuc (not telling him the names either) (AOB: this very photograph will be dealt with in due course as soon as it appeared in one of the KV 2/.. serials) he immediately pointed to Fidrmuc, and said he was the man who owned (rents/hires) the villa near Brown's own villa, and south of the Villa Golfino. This man's villa, according to Brown, was situated along the first fairway. Between it and Brown's villa there was one another villa belonging to the Ex-British Ambassador. The subject of this photograph Brown said was a German; unfortunately he did not know his name (AOB: stays open whether he used his real name Paul Georg Fidrmuc in the Hotel Parque or the name used in the news paper article: L2000 L2000return being Paul Siedrrut) He lived at the Park (Parque) Hotel for some time, and had staying with him at his villa a Danish girl (actually Fidrmuc's Danish now German wife), to whom he was not married. Brown had often been intrigued by this man, since, although he was German, he never seen him associating with any of the Germans in Estoril (AOB: clever and just right as not be associated with Germany), whereas, as a rule Germans kept very together. brown had made enquiries of the concierge of the Park (Parque) Hotel (this man is now with Pan American Airways in Lisbon, is very reliable, and would be an extremely good contact) brown learned from him, that the Germans would collect at the Post Office a vast amount of mail from South America and would post it to Berlin. In brown's words "He was clearly a south American post box for Berlin".
The other photograph of Fidrmuc, in bathing drawers (will, in due course, also been dealt with), was shown to Brown and he said that this photograph was taken at Arriba on the other side of the river, and that the German used to go bathing every day, and in all weather. Brown stated that he had never come across the man socially, and did not remember ever having been in his company. (It is curious that Brown should have learned from the Concierge particulars of the German's correspondence and had never bothered to find out from the Park Hotel that the man's name was Fidrmuc!)(Or was he registered there as: Paul Siedrrut?)
I than showed Brown some of the other photographs of Germans in Portugal, and though he was willing to look through them and make comments, he showed no disposition to expand on any of the individuals, although many were well-known to him. His comments were:-
1. Dr. A. Pina, Jr. This man is very pro-German
2. José de Sousa. A technician and industrialist and importer of German machinery - extremely pro-German.
3. Joachin de Vasconcelos. He is a cousin of the managing director of →
KV 2/196-1, page 89b
the Portuguese Air Line which operates between Tangier and Cintra. The cousin's name is also Vasconcelos and although he is pro-British, Joachin is violently pro-German and has been on a number of visits to Berlin at the invitation of the Germans, to visit German factories. etc.
4. Dr. Rudolf Rahn (a professional diplomat whom operated frequently in the Middle East) The first of the three counsellors at the German Legation. He gave a number of dinners, to some of which Brown had been invited.
5. Johanne (Johanna or Johann?) Clausen. Known personally to Brown. A propagandist.
6. Kon Weltzien (Kuno) (Business man; KV 2/1930 PF65284) The cleverest of all Germans in Portugal. Welzien makes a habit of calling on all Portuguese industrialists and business men. He finds out the details of production in factories and is instrumental in getting invitations sent to Portuguese engineers to go to Germany.
7. Dr. Fernando de Brito. Used to be connected with the Bank. (there are apparently two branches of the Brito family, one pro-Allied and the other thoroughly pro-German) Fernando de Brito has undoubtedly been working for Germany. brown has had many arguments with him and has found that he speaks German like at native, better even than he speaks portuguese. brown found that he argues very cleverly in favour of the Nazis, and is altogether a very dangerous man.
8. Fritz W. Mayer. Has been in Portugal for many years and speaks Portuguese very well. 100% Nazi.
9. Wilhelm Berner. Director of D.N.B. (Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro) (Germany's Official Press Agency) in Portugal. Berner also represents the illustrated "Signal". (AOB: Signal was an exceptionally well made magazine partly even in colour and in the centre always a full size (ca. A3 landscape picture) it was published in the language of most European continent, but not in German language!) German language ( https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_(Zeitschrift) ) English language: ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_(magazine) ) He always seems to be snooping ?? picking up information.
10. Hermann Zum Hingstee. Has been in Portugal for years and has had commercial contacts with England. He is extremely pro-German and has been organising a Portuguese Bund.
Brown assured me that on his return to the U.S.A. via Lisbon, we would be in a position to make valuable enquiries, if I let him know what we wanted to find out. He promised to ring me up before he left this country (England) He also told me that on Friday, 10th April, the Air Ministry Intelligence and operational people had been in his flat poring over maps of French factories, etc., as he had unique information obtained from French engineers. The A.M. had promised to make some reconnaissance flights for him and to submit the results to him for identification and advice.
12.4.42 Sgd. P. Ramsbotham
(R2006 Oblt. Beck is the one in front R2006return)
KV 2/196-2, page 5
In the background we notice Paul Georg Fidrmuc
and in front we see Dr. Beck
Photo taken on the beach of Estoril Portugal.
KV 2/196-2, page 7 (minute 33a)
PF 409911/E.2.b. 27th March, 1942
As promised, I am sending you herewith a copy of my version of our interview with Francis Lestrade brown, and also returning the photographs you sent me of Fidrmuc with the roll of films of Germans in Lisbon. Brown has now left London for Eire, but I think I will take the opportunity on his return to London of asking him iif he knows any of these people.
With reference to my report of our interview, I would be grateful if you could let me have your version of it, together with the full particulars which you took down regarding particulars which you took down regarding personalities in Lisbon whom Brown regarded as suspicious. I should be interested to hear the answers from Lisbon to the questions which you agreed to send out regarding the allegations that had been made against Brown.
For the moment, therefore, there does not seem to be much we can do except keep a watch on Brown's correspondence (AOB: most likely illegally, as far as it concerned Portugal) (I am also checking his telephone calls from Eire) and passing his name to Mrs, Archer for any enquiries she may make in Eire. (Legally???)
D.A. Bristow Esq., S.I.S.
(4) (since 17 June 2023)
KV 2/196-2, page 8a + 9b (minute 31b)
Subject: Paul Georg Fidrmuc
E.2.b. (S.I.S.?) - 22.3.42. Notes on Interrogation of Francis Lestrade Brown, chief representative in U.K. of U.S. Export Air Lines.
The main point which it was necessary to clear up was the reason for Brown's secret association with the German agent Fidrmuc. (AOB: Please bear in mind; that when this occurred - Germany and the U.S. weren't at war yet! Therefore, meeting and according chatting was actually a legal matter!)
Brown was asked if he had known personally or associated with and Germans in Lisbon or Estoril and he answered emphatically no ... It was put to Brown that one of the things which had been troubling us somewhat was a story which had found its way to us to the effect that Brown had been friendly with a German named Paul Fidrmuc. (AOB*: in a newspaper cut is noticed (M2001 M2001return) a person named Paul Siedrrut whereas it apparently was pointing at Paul Georg Fidrmuc. Now two option being open:- the newspaper gathered the noticed name phonetically in stead of Fidrmuc; or, Fidrmuc much used, logically a cover-name. In the first case, Brown might remember a Mr. Siedrrut as Fidrmuc used only the alias name Paul Siedrrut. Proving the circumstance from more than 80 years ago is most likely impossible, nowadays. What remains, is, that they (British Secret Services) simplified (imagined) the facts without sound proof. But, when someone is operating as a spy, albeit on his own initiative, he might logically have used an alias. As Fidrmuc offered his intelligence voluntarily to the Germans in "H-I-Ost-Berlin" (Heer - Abwehr I - Ost - Berlin) = (HIOB), it would be rather simple for him to obtain any sort of documents necessary. My forgoing deliberation is only to draw options instead of 'one liner opinions'!) Unless he was a very good actor, Brown's emphatic denial of any such association and of ever having heard of the name was truthful. It was then suggested to Brown that Fidrmuc might have been a man who associated with Van der Vliet (by the way: a Dutchman employed at Dutch KLM airline), and the latter had been going around with a German (name unknown). Brown thought possibly this man might have been Fidrmuc, as he was the only German he could think of whom Van der Vliet has associated with. However, he was nearly certain that Vliet had not associated with Fidrmuc before Brown left Lisbon in December (1941) (Germany and the US were at war since 11/12 December 1941), and also that he himself had never in his life spoken to the man or had been in his company (AOB: please notice my forgoing comments, marked AOB* up). Brown was told that the Fidrmuc in whom we were interested had in 1938 been German correspondent to the French publication 'L'Usine. Brown who had known persons connected with this technical paper very well, said that he would almost certainly have known an ex-correspondent of it, if such had been in Lisbon.
KV 2/196-2, page 10 (minute 31b)
Extract from interrogation of Francis Lestrade Brown, PF 409911
KV 2/196-1, page 5
It is quite evident, that minute 39b does not exist in the minute sheet index attached to our current file KV 2/196.
4. Brown was asked if he had known personally or associated with any Germans in Lisbon or Estoril, and he answered emphatically no. He was asked if he heard of a Spaniard named Germain Brucker Traus or Herman Brucker. Brown though he had heard the name vaguely, and that it might be a man who played around the Vichy French (= designating the capital of the un-occupied Zone of France; which lasted between late June 1940 and November 1942; after the Allied landing in Algeria (among it Oran). Since the Germans occupied the entire French territory on the European Continent) in Lisbon, more he could not say. It was then put to Brown that one of the things which had been troubling us somewhat was a story which had found its way to us to the effect that Brown had been friendly with a German name Paul Fidrmuc. Unless he was a very good actor, Brown's emphatic denial of any such association and of ever having heard of this name was truthful. It was then suggested to Brown that Fidrmuc might have been a man who associated with Van der Vliet; and Brown had perhaps on some occasion had been seen in company with the two of them. Brown admitted that he was friendly with Van der Vliet, who had a house next door to his in Estoril. He had known Van der Vliet, as well, as well as other K.L.M. pilots in Holland long before the war. He also knew that Vliet had been a member of the N.S.B. many years ago. He had never had any evidence that Vliet gambled heavily, on the contrary, it was who was definitely not interested in money. Vliet, who discussed most of his problems with Brown, told the latter once that he had been approached by the Germans (in the form of Rheinhaben) who asked Vliet if he would "help them out". Vliet knew this meant some form of espionage work, and he flatly refused, The German reward was apparently to be a secure job after the war, when K.L.M. might be in shaky position. Brown said that Vliet was pro-British in sympathy, and after this he had refused to speak or associate with any German in Lisbon. In this he acted on Brown's advice, as it was clear that the Germans (who were now angry with Vliet) would have brought pressure to bear on the Lisbon police and Vliet would probably not have been allowed to return to Lisbon, but the latter was unable to give any guarantee that Vliet would be able to return. In view of Vliet's known dislike of Germans and now? not to associate with them Brown had been surprised, on his return from the U.S.A. to Lisbon in March of this year, when he heard that Vliet had been going around with a German German (name unknown), and also with a girl named Perkins, who worked in the British Embassy, and was shortly going to the U.K. These three had been seen on occasion to drive around together in a car. Brown thought that possibly this might have been Fidrmuc, as he is the only German he could think of whom Vliet had associated with. However, he was nearly certain that Vliet had not associated with Fidrmuc before Brown left Lisbon in September, and also that he himself had never in his life spoken to the man or been in his company. brown was told that the Fidrmuc in whom we were interested had in 1938 been German correspondent to the French publication 'L'Usine'. Brown, who had known persons connected with his technical paper very well, said that he would almost certainly have known an ex-correspondent of it, if such had been in Lisbon (reverting to K.L.M. pilots, Brown said when he left Lisbon for the U.K. on the 15th his friend Parmentier had been taking out another plane, and that they had foregathered afterwards in Bristol. (airport where regularly flight U.K. Portugal were maintained) Brown was not questioned about Parmentier, as he was clearly very friendly with him). brown also mentioned another K.L.M. pilot, Van Bakom who had been very sore with British, when they had refused him a visa to come to the U.K. Brown had since heard that Van Bakom had been flying in the Netherlands East Indies, and had done wonderful work for the Allies.
E.2.b. 22.3.42. P. Ramsbotham
KV 2/196-2, page 11a (minute 31a)
Your (S.I.S.) Ref CX/ ???/8617/V.D. 16th March, 1942
I think you may care to have the following information about Germain Brucker (AOB: in German language it most likely had been spelled: Brücker) or Brucker-Traus about whom I wrote to you on 11.3.42. It comes from his sister Mrs. Paula Widmann and was given by her to a person in whom I think she has confidence and who I hope may help us a good deal in handling this case.
Germain Brucker is a man of about 50 and well-to-do. During the course of his education he spent a year in Paris and he speaks German, French, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch and a little English. His wife, nee Traus, is a Frenchwoman by birth and they have a daughter Marguita, aged about 14.
Brucker served in the German army during the last war (1914-1918).
He is an electrical engineer by profession and has lived in Spain for many years past and has acquired Spanish nationality by naturalisation. He used to be the representative in Spain for a large German electrical concern until he set up on his won account, manufacturing electrical cables. He had a very fine factory in Spain and did very well until the time of the Spanish war, when he left the country. He then tried to set up an equally splendid factory in Brussels but was not so successful. It is said that he did however make money supplying materials. I do not know what sort of materials, to one or other of the Spanish factions.
At the end of the of the Spanish war Brucker succeeded in realising his not inconsiderable assets in Spain.
His business address in Portugal is: G. Brucker-Traus Limitada, Rua de Prata 80 3°, Lisbon - Tel: 29938); this is the address of a company which deals among other things in "Vins Spririteux", particularly Sherry. There is another branch of his concern in Brussels.
Brucker is said to travel extensively between Spain, France Portugal and Belgium. When he goes to attend to his business in Brussels, he travels by a private car all the way. It turns out that he is not, as I suggested in my last letter, in Switzerland. He is expected to be in Madrid all this month.
J.L.S. Hale (M.I.5?)
H.A.R. Philby Esq.,
KV 2/196-2, page 28 (minute 7a)
H.E.P.E. Ramsbotham Esq.
T/CX ???/V.D. dated 1.2.42
Reference your telephone enquiry about Lestrade Brown.
1. We have no definite evidence of espionage against Brown since 1.10.41. However, we have received a series of reports about him. All of which show that his contacts are most of dubious nature.
2. Brown's mistress is Mrs. Metivier who is on terms of friendship with Hans Ruser and/or Gerschow both German agents. (AOB: deliberately incorrect. Hans Ruser, got a British alias Junior, and was very much respected. His actual file reference is being blocked (aka) (Gesperrt) up to 2039, in the British National Archives!)
3. Brown himself is in contact with Fidrmuc a German agent who specialises in espionage against the R.A.F. and with van der Vliet, a highly suspect K.L.M. pilot.
4. Towards end of last year Brown was reported by Mrs. Metivier to have assisted actively the mission to U.S.A. of a certain Monahan. Latter was an emissary of Laval (Vichy France) and Chambrun. Brown intervened on behalf of Monahan with U.S. Consul-General Mylie and also seems to have assisted him in the matter of certain documents which were detained in Bermuda.
5. Finally our Liaison representative reports that Brown was regarded in Paris as being pro-German, and it is alleged that he played there the part of the fifth Columnist.
6. Thus, while there is scarcely enough against him for us to take action. It seems that it is undesirable that Brown should be afforded any special privileges.
Sgd. H.A.R. Philby (he himself being an active spy on behalf of the Soviet Union!)
Sent at 11.20
KV 2/196-2, page 31 (minute 29a)
E.1a.HH/298 11th November, 1941.
Your ref CX/12650/8617
Withy reference to our telephone conversation of this afternoon concerning information which was found in the possession of Fidrmuc the German agent, referring to the battle order' of ourto the 'battle order' of our Air Force, I repeat that it would be? of very great importance if we could have the opinion of the Air Ministry experts in regard of the possibility of this information originating from any particular part of the United Kingdom, or from any particular R.A.F. Station.
As I have already told you we have indication that Dutchmen serving with the Fleet Air Arm are maintaining contact with members of the Royal Dutch Air Line (K.L.M.), who are flying on the Lisbon service. Only today I have received information that Dirk van Os who is the technical manager of the Royal Dutch Air Line, had requested permission to visit Leuchars Air Port for the purpose of exchanging information on technical matters with the technical engineer there, who I was given to understand is also a Dutchman. The possibility of Fidrmuc's information originating from Dutchmen in the R.A.F. or Fleet Air Arm cannot therefore be overlooked.
If it is possible therefore, for the Air Ministry experts to narrow down our field of investigation, it would be of great assistance to us.
Captain H.A.R. Philby,
HH (H. Hooper)/MPK
KV 2/196-2, page 35 (minute 18a)
Original in PF 106994. 13a
CX/12650/8617/V.D. dated 9.10.41
Dear White (M.I.5),
Please refer to my CX/53/V.D. of 6.10.41 ;-
The promised photostats have arrived from Lisbon and they are now in experts hands. A cursory and very amateur examination on my part suggests that the material is voluminous and details enough to be one of considerable value to the enemy.
The agent among whose papers this material was found was a certain Paul Fidrmuc. Associated with him, in some form of secret contact, was Francis van der Vliet,, K.L.M. Manager in Portugal, subject of P.C.O. application 1194. Van der Vliet's wants to come here for a week "on holiday". His references are the Netherlands Legation. Lisbon: mr. Nieuwenhuis and Captain Spry-Leverton of K.L.M. Stratton House, Piccadilly. In spite of the semi-official nature of K.L.M. we have no doubt that there is something very wrong with the K.L.M. show in Portugal. Wilson of Curtiss-Wright, had his papers rifled (searched, by the support of a bribed room-maid?) at a hotel frequented by K.L.M. pilots in Monte Estoril. There as secret contacts between : K.L.M. employees and Fidrmuc. there is a wealth of aeronautical information found in papers. (AOB: how could they know this, but by searching Fidrmuc's hotel room, or at his Villa by Mme. De la Cerda?)
Finally our representative in Liisbon has reiterated several times the strongest suspicion of Van der Vliet personally, admittedly with little to go on.
3. My own feeling is that we shall find things easier, if we allow Van der Vliet enough rope to hang himself with. Would you agree to supporting his application for a visa and to making arrangements for having him watched over here? As his application was made as long ago as 11?.9.41, I would be grateful for an early reply.
H.A.R. Philby. AOB: Kim Philby himself was a dedicated Russian spy!
D.G. White. Esq. (M.I.5)
(5) (since 19 June 2023)
KV 2/197-1, page 2part (minutes 83a ..85a)
2.4.43 B.1.L (M.I.5) report re Koestler and Ostro (= Fidrmuc) 83a.
8.4.43 Extract from Fanto's interrogation 84x
13.4.43 Extract from report from Camp 020 84a
13.4.43 Extract from Camp 020 report re Frau Fidrmuc 84b
KV 2/197-1, page 3part
29.8.45 Extract from Popov (British cover-name Tricycle, a Yugoslav friend of Johan Jebsen alias Artist), re Fidrmuc. 90a
KV 2/197-1, page 3b
17.9.43 To L.C.S. (?), re Ostro (= Fidrmuc) 92a
20.9.43 Extract from PF Popov (Tricycle) (KV 2/845... KV 2/866; PF 55032) 92b
21.9.43 Copy of B.1.a. (M.I.5) note comparing Ostro (German) and Garbo/Span.-British traffic. 93?
22.9.43 B.1.a. (M.I.5) note meeting Tricycle (Popov) showing photograph of Fidrmuc. 93a
24.9.43 To S.I.S. (M.I.6) forwarding note on comparison of Garbo (Putjol Garcia Juan PF 64226; double-cross) and Ostro traffic 94a
KV 2/197-1, page 5
2.2.44 Text made invisible.
3.2.44 Copy of letter from S.I.S. information on Pigeon (= Ender; double-crossing Austrian S.D. agent) and Ostro 103
7.2.44 To B.1.g. (M.I.5) in reply to 102a
8.2.44 From B.1. (M.I.5) Information to ADB (= Dick G. White at M.I.5) forwarding comments on Fidrmuc and Brandes Organisations (Hans Joachim Friedrich; he lived in Lisbon, half-Jewish with a Christian mother; German alias Ballhorn and later Feder; KV 2/3295, PF 307718; he cooperated with the German Abwehr up to the final end) 104a
14.2.44 Extract from source Artist (https://www.cdvandt.org/kv-2-560-wrede-artist.htm) report re Tricycle dated 31.1.44 mentioning Ostro.
15.2.44 Extract from report by S.I.S. representative in Lisbon of a meeting with Artist (Johan Jebsen) on 31.1.44 mentioning Ostro. 104?
23.2.44 Copy of letter from S.I.S. re Ruser (Dr. Hans Ruser, British cover-name Junior) and mentioning Fidrmuc 104b
23.2.44 To S.I.S. in reply to letter re Ostro and Brandes 105
3.3.44 From B.1.a. (M.I.5) to B.1.b. re photograph being shown to Snow (= Arthur Owens; https://www.cdvandt.org/arthur-owens-snow.htm ; https://www.cdvandt.org/arthur-owens-page-3.htm ; https://www.cdvandt.org/arthur-owens-page-4.htm). 106
7.3.44 Extract from report by B.1.a. (M.I.5) mentioning Ostro 107
9.3.44 Extract from report on Tricycle (Popov) and Artist (Johann Jebsen) sent by S.I.S. mentioning Ostro 108
5.4.44 Extract from S.I.S. amendments for Who's who ment Fidrmuc. 10?
16.4.44 Extract from report by Artist, brought by Tricycle ment Fidrmuc. 108
20.4.44 Copy B.1.a report on Tricycle mentioning Ostro 108
21.44.44 Extract from notes on Brandes (Ballhorn), Artist (Johan Jebsen) & Tricycles ment. Fidrmuc. 108
23.4.44 From S.I.S. re Ostro 109
8.5. 44 Extract from B.1.a. report re Fidrmuc (Johann Jebsen was abducted on 30 April 44 and might have reached Berlin already) 110
7.6.44 Report by Mr. Hart, B.1.b. (M.I.5) setting out reasons for supposing that Ostro reports are invented, with schedule attached 111
KV 2/197-1, page 6 (minute 113)
B.1.b. (Mr. Hart). (M.I.5)
DDB (= most likely "C" is Sir Stewart Menzies)
I am much obliged to you for this close analysis and I think we can now say that the course of events has proved your appreciation to be correct (AOB: Oh? really?), though one part of the message (Firdmuc's Isk 100331!) if 1st June could fairly be regarded as disturbing (Oh no?) Will you please consider in consultation with D.D.B. (Sir Stewart Menzies) whether we ought still to press for Ostro's liquidation? AOB: They are responding quite lunatic, in respect foregoing commenting the irrelevance of information passed on behalf of Fidrmuc, and then shortly thereafter considering murdering Fidrmuc instead?
D.G. White. 8.6.44.
KV 2/197-1, page 7a (minute 115 +) (J2061 J2061return)
D.G. White through A.D.B. (TAR), (minute 115 ... 117) Ref 113
The proposition for the liquidation of Ostro in Lisbon has been considered several times at the XX Committee (double-cross Committee), on the bases of what appears to me to be a sound plan put up by Captain Gwyer (M.I.6); both this office and the XX-Committee have always been in favour of carrying out the plan.
We because of the reasons mentioned in the last paragraph of Mr. Hart's note and the XX-Committee because, although Ostro's information is universally bad, there is evidence (Isk 100131) that he is believed in by the Abwehr and in consequence competes against the flow of information from our controlled sources (Fortitude, for all what it ultimately was worth it).
So far no action has been taken (AOB: for striking sound reasons!) because of objections raised by C. (= Sir Steward Menzies) on the grounds of the risks which might be created by such a course of action for the security of the Isk (= Most Secret Source; material think of the entire Bletchley Park endeavour!).
I think, if this proposition is to be raised again (and that will be about February 1945), it would be probably be required to be raised at a higher level than the XX-Committee, (whom they think they are?) either by direct approach to C (Sir Steward Menzies) by yourself or by raising it on the J.I.C. (Joined Intelligence Committee?) or W. Board. (These men being severely hampered by the opinion about their own intellect; culminating in an ill blocking name it a 'tunnel-vision') (But, don't worry, they will fail also next time!)
The reason which caused us to propose the liquidation of Ostro previously are still valid, though the strategic circumstances in which we now find ourselves do not appear to me to make so imperative a demand that it should be carried out. A.D.B.'s views on the extent to which it would assist Garbo and the other controlled sources will be important in this connection.
D.D.B. D.G. White 10.6.44.
AOB: How true next:
KV 2/197-2, minute 117 →
D.G. through D.D.B. (Sir Steward Menzies)
With reference enclosure at 111a, and minute 115, I should be glad if you would look at the observations of both Mr. Marriott and Mr. Masterman at 116a.
The general feeling of these two-which I agree - that this is not the best moment for advocating the liquidation by whatever means of Ostro. I am inclined to agree rather more with Masterman than with Marriott in the view that if it comes to a conflict between Garbo and Ostro, greater credence might possibly be given to the patter's information than to the former's. I know it is true to say that Garbo's stock is at the moment very high, but we have no regarded by the Germans as equally good, if not better than, Garbo's.
Finally. with the situation as it is at present, I think that Ostro has probably shot his bolt insofar as doing any damage to forthcoming operations is concerned. There is, however, no knowing that future operational plans may be being thought out at the moment, and if by any chance it is decided to launch another attack on the lines of → Overlord against the Continent from this country,
KV 2/197-2, page 8b part minute 117
Overlord against the continent from this country, which will require the same amount of security precaution as Overloard, then I think serious consideration should again be given to the question of liquidating Ostro.
To sum up, I recommend that no steps should be taken to disturb Ostro, but that the position should be reviewed in the light of future operational plans at a later date.
A.D.B. (Dick G. White) (M.I.5.) T.A. Robertson a Chief, Col. officer in M.I.5
KV 2/197-2, page 8cpart (minute 118)
With reference to your Minute 113, would you please see Minutes 115, 117, and the note at 116a by Mr. Marriott. I think we shall have to accept the view of the deception experts that the position since D-Day is not such a favourable one for the liquidating Ostro as it might have been before. (AOB: the Allied situation was indeed far from favourable. Due to ill training in England in combating in the Normandy Bocage (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bocage) this caused enormous troubles for quite a while, as it provided for the Germans nearly optimal camouflage covers and tactical advantages). I can quite see the he does not constitute so grave a danger as he did when the two simple facts. time and place, were at stake and, in these weigh against C's (Sir Stewart Menzie's) natural objection to endangerment of his special sources. (Oh, poor children)
D.D.B. D.G. White 19.6.44
KV 2/197-1, page 11part (minute 145..)
12.10.44 Extract frpm S.I.S. report Lacerda de Matos ment Fidrmuc 145a
9.11.44 Extract from Minutes of the 88th Meeting of the R.S.I.O. (Radio Security Intelligence Organisation/ Committee?) 145aab
23.11.44 Extract from Minutes of the 89th Meeting of the R.S.I.O. 145ab
24.11.44 From S.I.S. forwarding plan for discrediting Ostro 145b
25.11.44 To S.I.S. requesting plans for dealing with Ostro. 146a
26.11.44 To S.I.S. in reply in 145b re copy of plan for discrediting Ostro. 146b
28.11.44 Censor's Comment on intercept letter from D.A. Robertson (T.A.R.) to the Editor of the Evening Standard with ? reference to Fidrmuc. 146c
29.11.44 From S.I.S. with further details re Ostro plan (discrediting) Ostro 146e
1.12.44 Note from B.1.a to B.1.b. (both M.I.5) referring to letter from S.I.S. (see 146d) 146f
manually: B.1.a. Mr? Marriott
Nothing was likely to succeed than? S.I.S plan from discrediting Ostro could be considered? ...(please read the text yourself)..
(6) (since 21 June 2023)
KV 2/197-1, page 12
B.1.b. (Mr. Hart) (M.I.5)
Montagu suggested at the last meeting of the Twenty (XX) Committee that the opportunity afforded by Ostro's absence from Lisbon might be exploited by urging the Portuguese to refuse him re-entry into Portugal, but S.I.S. argued that that course would jeopardise the development of their plans. It was strenuously argued both by Montagu and ourselves that S.I.S. were wrong in so thinking, but we were unable to budge (dislodge) them.
With regard to the first half of your suggestion, namely that an account of Ostro's activities should be published in the Press (AOB: still an ill idea, as Ostro/Paul Georg Fidrmuc, actually was entirely de-coupled from the Abwehr Service - and might therefore jeopardise British MSS Most Secret Sources (think also of Bletchley Park); as to how could they know this as most inside Milamt (Amt Mil) weren't aware of Fidrmuc's existence?), I will bring this up at the next meeting of the Twenty (XX) Committee, but before doing so I should like to have some idea of the sort of material which could be included in a public denunciation. I am bound to say that I have always been under the impression that practically all our knowledge of Ostro's espionage activities derived from Most Secret Sources.
B.1.a. (Mr. Hart) 8.12.44
AOB: please digest the hand-writing text yourself.
KV 2/197-1, page 13 (minutes 150 - 151)
Please read the hand-written information by Mr. Marriott yourself
A.D.B. (D.G. White) (M.I.5)
S.I.S. stated at the last meeting of the Twenty Committee (XX) that, owing to the fact that Ecclesiastic considered that the Germans were suspicious of her activities and might even have discovered that she was also working for the British, it had been decided not to proceed further with the plan already under way for discrediting Ostro.
You will remember that the plan envisaged the handing over to the Germans through Ecclesiastic of a second letter purporting to come from Air Commodore Boyle to Air Commodore Fullard.
Sgd. for J.H. Marriott
B.1.a. (M.I.5) 3.2.45 (AOB: quite soon hereafter a second problem arose, and the XX-Committee would consider killing Ostro again; but all in van, against protests, of course)
KV 2/197-1, page 14 + 15part (K2109 K2109return)
A.D.B. (Dick G. White) (M.I.5)
The position of Ostro was again considered today at the Twenty (XX) Committee, and in addition before the meeting I had a discussion with Colonel Bevan arising out of Ostro's recent report to the effect that Canadian troops were being moved from Italy to France.
It was agreed, particularly in view of the latter report, that the case for eliminating Ostro was operationally urgent on straight security grounds, and that this could only be achieved as the result of direct action, whether physical coercion or on the lines of Gwyer's (M.I.6) plan at (minute) 104a. It was also agreed that, having regard to the fact that direct action in the past has been opposed by "C" (Sir Stewart Menzies) in order to protect his Most Secret Sources, any fresh approach to "C" should, to have any hope of success, be made by the highest authority, and that in this case the appropriate person was General Eisenhower supported by Field Marshal Alexander. (AOB: these agitated children still, naively, taking a great risk. However, concerning them: all will remain - in vain, as the history learns us)
Colonel Bevan is suggesting this course to the two Supreme Commanders, and we must therefore await the result of his efforts.
B.1.a. (M.I.5) 15.2.45.
19.2.45 Note by Major Masterman, B.1.a. on plans for discrediting or removing Ostro. 155a (AOB: children remain children)
1.3.45 Draft of letter from S.I.S. to be delivered to Ostro 156a
It was not in fact been necessary for an approach to be made to "C" (Sir Steward Menzies) by two Supreme Commanders on the lines suggested in minute 153, for when "C" was approached by Colonel Bevan he at once agreed to consider proposals for eliminating Ostro. He did not, however, agree to an S.O.E. (M.I.6) operation, and insisted that an attempt should be made first to recruit him as a Special Agent (AOB: all in vain).
You may therefore be interested to see at 156a the draft letter which S.I.S. propose to have delivered to Ostro in Lisbon. (AOB: Fidrmuc didn't live any longer in Lisbon, but in Barcelona, instead) This letter has been approved at the Twenty (XX), who considered that it was a good one. (AOB: Nevertheless a stupid idea, at it endangered MSS instead of its lifting in 1974, by Winterbotham's book "The Ultra Secret".
Sgd. J.H. Marriott
B.1.a. (M.I.5) 1.3.45
Mr Marriott B.1.b.
...................... as will as an incompetent ...
ADB. 3/3/45 Sgd.?? (AOB: the writer was damn right)
KV 2/197, page 16
I think that the loose and obscure phraseology of this letter conveys an inescapable (unavoidable) impression that the author is an inefficient and vague character who is not likely to conduct negotiations with skill sufficient to avoid jeopardizing Ostro. I should have thought that Ostro would rapidly come to this conclusion. He might even suspect that the letter is an concealed attempt to blackmail him and does not really emanate from the British official quarters.
If I am asked to make any detailed criticisms I should say the omission to give the recipient any assurance that due care will be taken during the negotiations to see that he is not exposed to danger from the Germans side is itself a grave defect.
Undated. Second draft of letter to be sent to Ostro by S.I.S. 159a
The letter has been redrafted. The new draft, which is filed at 159a, has been seen and accepted by D.A. Bristow (@ S.I.S.)
B.1.a. 6.3.45 Sgd. by Mr. J.C. Masterman for J.H. Marriott.
10.3.45 From S.I.S. with information re Ostro from Lisbon. (AOB: likely about the very fact that Fidrmuc left Portugal for Barcelona, Spain)
KV 2/197-1, page 21
(AOB: Fidrmuc left Barcelona about January 1946, for the American controlled zone of Germany. They interrogated him, and the British towards his repatriation got a sort of "slot" wherein they were allowed to interrogate Fidrmuc, for a quite linited while)
5 June 1946
To : Warrec, attn: Miss Joan Chenhalls (M.I.5)
Section V. Attn:
From : SSU, Warrec
Subject: Paul Fidrmuc.
1. The attached report is forwarded for your information.
2. Fidrmuc has been transferred to Military Intelligence Service Centre for further interrogation since the material included in the report is not satisfactory.
3. Any additional information obtained will be forwarded as soon as by this office.
KV 2/197-1, page 22a
United States Forces European Theater
Military Intelligence Service Center
17 May 1946
Special Counter-Intelligence Report.
The following information is based upon interrogation of (Dr.) Aloys Schreiber (Leiter I KO Portugal) (KV 2/3568 PF 97331) and Paul Fidrmuc, German repatriates from Portugal (actually Fidrmuc arrived from Barcelona, Spain). Both prisoners appear cooperative and are apparently sincere in their efforts to furnish information, but the information is so limited that its reliability is dubious.
1. Fidrmuc collected data concerning raw materials and industrial production in Portugal and sent his information to Berlin for use by governmental agencies (Mil. Amt, Wirtschaftsministerium, etc.) and for publication in German newspapers. These reports were delivered at the German Embassy in Lisbon, either to the Commercial Attaché, Eckhardt, or to Schreiber, who was an employee of the Embassy. (AOB: this is too simple and partially incorrect. Schreiber might have possessed as a cover a diplomatic function; but his actual function was: Leiter I, at KOP!) These reports were (delivered in a double sealed envelope) were never opened by Schreiber (incorrect, they were opened by Schreiber, and then it was decided whether it is being urgent and consequently their contents were transmitted by means of W/T. These were the messages which are being referred onto in all the foregoing references), but (the rest) were sent directly to Berlin by means of diplomatic courier. (These sealed envelopes were handed-in, by someone but "NOT" by Paul Fidrmuc alias Ostro!)
(AOB: That is the reason why this Secret Services were so ill guided in England, by denunciating Fidrmuc - whereas hardly one actually knew about Fidrmuc's real function)
2. Since Fidrmuc was not a member of the German Intelligence Service, he received no remuneration for the reports which he sent to the German government. He did receive money from various German newspapers and periodicals for articles and reports concerning Portugal which appeared in these publications. The money for these articles was deposited in his bank in Hamburg. In addition, Fidrmuc received money from Germany to carry out his business transactions in Portugal, but this money was not related to these reports.
KV 2/197-1, page 23b
3. According to both Fidrmuc and Schreiber, Fidrmuc had no network, at least in the usual sense. Fidrmuc was engaged in the export-import business (partner in Brucker-Traus), and during the course of his commercial transactions, had many contacts with Portuguese businessmen. These contacts freely gave him information of a commercial nature, and this was the information which he forwarded to Berlin (AOB: it may have been more complex then is stated here). Fidrmuc maintains that he had no contacts in the United Kingdom, the United States, or South Africa, and Schreiber concurs in this. Both prisoners insist that the information collected by Fidrmuc was entirely related to business, and that no intelligence concerning the Allied invasion of North Africa (November 1942) or any other military aspect was transmitted to Berlin. (AOB: not true, but the danger of lifting the secret of MSS might have had higher priority) The above-mentioned commercial reports of Fidrmuc were sent to Berlin by diplomatic courier, and both men deny all knowledge of W/T and/or microdot (N2002 N2002return) transmissions.
4. Neither Fidrmuc nor Schreiber has heard of Ino, or "The Baron".
5. Fidrmuc has no knowledge of the term "Ostro" (untrue). According to Schreiber, this was the designation given to Fidrmuc's reports by the Embassy (KOP) during a certain period, and Fidrmuc had no knowledge of this name. Other names used were "Max", "Ernst", etc, Schreiber has no knowledge of the divisions of Ostro called Ostro I, Ostro II, Ostro III and Ostro 8.
6. According to both Schreiber and Fidrmuc, Erich Ortelbach was an employee of Siemens. He was an expert radio technician and may have been an agent in W/T intelligence, but this is only speculation.
KV 2/197-1, page 24c
7. Fidrmuc's statement that he has never heard of Hans Brandes (alias Ballhorn) (KV 2/3295; PF 307718) is supported by Schreiber who states that the two men had no knowledge of each other. Schreiber's association with Brandes was purely social. (AOB: untrue, as Brandes, alias Ballhorn and towards the end of the war - Feder; cooperated with KOP and the Abwehr and Mil Amt; though, he also kept his own business in Portugal and travelled quite frequently between Lisbon and Berlin. He was half Jewish - his father was Jewish whom was murdered during the war and his mother was Christian; she survived)
8. Fidrmuc's journey to Spain in March 1945 was connected with his commercial transactions and had no association with intelligence or diplomatic activities.
Since the above information indicates a serious disparity from the apparent anticipations of the brief submitted, either Fidrmuc and Schreiber are lying of Fidrmuc has been mistaken for a German national of like or similar name. It is known that Fidrmuc has a brother, and it is possible that the brother did intelligence work for the Germans in Portugal. It is recommended that Paul Fidrmuc be transferred from the internment camp to this Centre for further detailed and extensive questioning.
For the Commanding Officer:
1st Lt., AUS
Chief, CI (Counter Intelligence) Section.
KV 2/197-1, page 25 (minute 182b)
Extract for File No: PF 64447 Name Ostro
Original in File No. PF 603116 serial 7z Receipt Date May 1946
Original from: Major Basley's report Under Ref. None Dated 12-15th May '46
Extracted on: 9.9.46 by F.W.L. Section R.5.
Extract from report of interrogation of Haehnle, Dr. Hans Otto, of Abwehr I.G. (I G (= I section Geheim) was the branch concerned with secret documents of all sorts, identity cards but also rather high quality passports and that like)
by Major D.M. Besley, R.E., at Badsalzuflen 12-15 May 1946.
IX Abwehr Secret ink correspondence.
63. One correspondence remembered by Haehnle was from an Austrian with the cover-name "Ostro" and "C.H.B." (CHB). (AOB: I hardly suppose - that even 'AI' will solve this query: C.H.B. were the initials of Fidrmuc's Danish wife's grandfather: C. H. Bierstedt! This affair was of great importance; letters went from Lisbon straight to Berlin. The (secret) ink used were "Philipp" and "Albert". The correspondence started in '41 and continued until '43. (Z2015 ↑↑↑↑↑ Z2015return) (F2020 ↑↑↑↑↑ F2020return) (M2029 ↑↑↑↑↑ M2029return)
- - - -
Note. In view of the fact that part of the technical information contained in this report is of such a nature that it might "put ideas" into the heads of ill-intended persons of any nationality, it is thought eminently desirable that it should be graded "Top Secret" and the purely technical sections restricted to the narrowest possible circle.
Sgd. Professor H.V.A. Briscoe.
KV 2/197-1, page 26
24 May 1946
To : A.C. of S. G-2 (military Intelligence), USFET (United States Forces European Theater)
Attn: Lt. Burke.
From : SSU, Warr5C
Subject: Paul Fidrmuc.
1. Attached are two copies of an interrogation brief for Paul Fidrmuc, No. B-112 in the three-star category of our List 600(3) German Repatriation from Spain.
2. We understand that Subject is at present in the hands of the War Crimes Commission and is not available for interrogation.
3. We should be grateful, however, if you will have these questions put to him when he is available at some later date. We would also appreciate being informed by you when he is free for interrogation as British Special Services have still further questions which they would like to have put to Subject.
KV 2/197-1, page 29a (minute 180a)
Fidrmuc, Paul Georg.
1. Decription: German of Czech origin: born Jägersdorf (Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia) 28.6.98: partner in the firm Brucker-Straus in Lisbon. also director and shareholder in Tresmafil, S.A. in Bilbao, which latter firm deals in copper wire first coming to notice in 1935 when he (Paul Fidrmuc) began to order books, maps and documents of military interest, at the same time allegedly engaged in espionage: visited the U.K. several times prior to 1939;
officer of I H Berlin since 1940, →
(AOB: actually he was not employed by I H (H=Heer) Berlin. He was, what we may designate as: a freelance spy; but he was not on the payroll of the Wehrmacht. We will deal with how it had been organised, in due course; he could not be ordered by anyone, but only being asked (applied) for this or that. This all went back to a settlement of late 1934 or early 1935!)
→ collecting reports from a network of agents in the British Empire, the U.S.A. Egypt etc. though his claim to importance as the head of an espionage organisation in these areas was much exaggerated, not least by himself; frequently used the microdot method for secret correspondence (S2008 S2008return) abroad. (AOB: nonsense, it is known that mails were sometimes being managed in microdot technology, but this demanded some advanced equipment and techniques) in |Lisbon his contacts with Allied airline pilots aroused suspicion, and air information was found among his papers: (AOB: how did they access his belongings private environments?) also engaged in extensive and often ill-considered business deals designed to defeat the Allied blockade; said to have obtained exceptionally accurate information concerning of Allied leaders held at Yalta in February 1945 and was last reported in June 1945 in Barcelona: said to have embezzled Pesetas 15,000,000: militant Nazi: wife's Christian name is Rigmor (Danish born girl they married in 1923), born 2.11.04, passport No. 401: his brother and four nephews are reported to have been killed on the Russian front.
2. It is suggested that the interrogation of this remarkable character will repay special consideration. He is susceptible to flattery and he may prove most forthcoming if he is tackled on the basis of frank admiration of his ability in business, journalism and sport, as well as espionage. (AOB: ill wishful thinking; accomplished by "infantile minds") He possesses a good knowledge of international trade, particularly in metals, metal products and heavy machinery, and he wrote articles regularly for trade journals, such as the British "Ironmonger, the American "Iron Age" and the French "Usines". He has devoted his recent period in Barcelona to deals in a wide range of products - coffee, grain, etc. The particular interest in him centres in that he ran a network of agents from Lisbon from 1941 to the end of 1944 when he was obliged to leave Portugal (AOB: actually March 1945) and went to Spain. He kept the details of his network very much to himself (AOB: in the arrangement of late 1934 early 1935 was one of the points of the settlements, that he should not disclose the sources of his information) and it was strongly suspected by KOP that his reports were invented. His reports were sent direct to his case officer (@ HIOB and Skapura - Lt.) Wilhelm von Carnap in Berlin, and may be worth giving Fidrmuc the impression that most of his of the interrogator's information came from Carnap since 1944 (AOB: the Allies only meat later with, von Carnap), who is notionally quite willing to talk. The possibility should be borne in mind, however, that as nothing appears to have been Carnap since 1944 (still handled by HIOB) it is conceivable that Fidrmuc may have heard log ago that, for instance, he is dead. (no - after the war he was engaged in an elected function in Niedersachsen?) While it is possible true that Fidrmuc invented most of his reports, it is likely that there was basis for truth in some of them and that he had links of some sort, as yet undisclosed, providing information → from England and U.S.A.
KV 2/197-1, page 30b
Fidrmuc is reported to have had close contact with Van der Vliet, the K.L.M. manager in Lisbon and with pilots of this line coming to Lisbon, one at least of whom was suspected of being a regular courier, though here again it is possible that the couriers were entirely notional.
Fidrmuc, whose German cover name was "Ostro" (AOB: in my perception, it is not entirely clear whether Fidrmuc knew his cover-name "Ostro" maintained in W/T messages between KOP Lisbon and Berlin) reported continuously on convoy movements, mine-laying operations, V.1., V.2. effects (on London), proposed invasion landings, etc., etc., in some important cases coming near to the truth with striking success. (Think of his famous on of early June 1944, known as Isk 100131; which will be dealt with extensively, in due course; it caused the row within the XX-Committee meeting, as well as inside M.I.5; where it was considered to kill Paul Georg Fidrmuc in Portugal!) He might well be told that we had much higher respect for his ability than his German masters apparently had, and be given the impression that we wish to hear from the mouth of the master just how it was all done. Fidrmuc is essentially and egoist, (judging someone without sound knowledge; just like children are used to) and if he is allowed to believe that we may wish to employ his services ourselves he may try to give a fuller account of his achievements. He might even be encouraged to think that the material would form a useful basis for writing a book of memoirs. Particular minor points which can be taken up are: (continuously dreaming away)
(a) AOB: please read this baby-talk yourself:
(d) He can be told that we have full information about his personal relations with Mrs. LaCerda (AOB: de la Cerda, the bar pianist) and her daughter (of ca. 14 à 16 year's age, now dead) (she sadly passed away in Barcelona, as she suffered from pneumonia and lacked penicillin; which knowledge had been blocked by the British). Fidrmuc married his Danish wife Rigmor in 1923, and they apparently did not got children. Now they came in contact with Mme. de la Cerda and she had a child. By whatever means, Paul Georg Fidrmuc obtained legal custody?? of her girl. But this Mme. de la Cerda - or went herself - or had been approached by the British Secret Service, she started spying upon Fidrmuc's possessions, and she provided (informed) the British Service what she found in Fidrmuc personal possession (maybe Mme de la Cerda kept cleaning the entire house hold). I don't know why, but both Mme. de la Cerda as well as Fidrmuc and his wife lived since ca. late 1941 at the Villa Igloo. Whether the conditions were settled that Fidrmuc rented it from Mme. de la Cerda, or that Fidrmuc was morally obliged to invite Mme. de la Cerda in the Villa Igloo - I don't know. But she betrayed (cheated) Paul Fidrmuc - by searching Fidrmuc's private possessions quite regularly)
(e) Why did he get Schreiber's secretary (Fräulein Lily Craas and/or Fräulein von Gronau?) (Q2005 Q2005return) in Lisbon to help him to see reports coming in to the K.O.? Was it to check on his own ( or to help invent?! (AOB: most unlikely - as Fräulein Lily Craas(s?) was a friend of the Fidrmuc family especially with Fidrmuc's wife Rigmor) (Fidrmuc himself never entered the KOP building; contacts were maintained on personal level - but all at level of the Leiter I - Dr. Aloys Schreiber or even higher with KO Portugal Leiter Ludovico von Karshof; real name Major Wilhelm Kremer von Auenrode) (AOB: even Obst. Hansen, Leiter I Berlin and thereafter Leiter Mil Amt, up to, say, 19 July 1944)
Please read the rest on this page yourself.
KV 2/197-2, page 40a (minute 174b)
Extract for File No.: PF 64447 name Fidrmuc, Paul
Original in File No: PF 602143 Serial 15a Receipt date 31.8.45 (Fidrmuc was still at liberty in Barcelona Spain)
Original from CSDIC (UK) Report Under ref. S.I.R 1716 Dated: 9.8.45
Extracted on 21.2.46 (now Fidrmuc was flown from Spain to the American Zone in Germany) ...
Portugal 86. Ostro (or Fidrmutz).
Ostro was not run by KO Portugal, but by I H Ost Berlin (HIOB), Oblt. Dr. Beck (R2006 R2006return), Lt. von Carnap (Skapura). Ostro only made use of KO Portugal occasionally as a courier. Ostro's real name was Fidrmutz this is exactly how you pronounce it, but correctly written it remains Fidrmuc) He was a former Oblt. of the Austrian Imperial Royal Army (World War I ; 1914-1918). He had been used used by Abwehr on a previous occasion when he was sent from Czechoslovakia to Denmark (AOB: again - Fidrmuc selected operational areas himself as this was part of the arrangement made in late 1934 early 1935) Ostro provided very extensive and detailed reports about England, with special references to British Aircraft production and allied subjects. He was said to have had agents in London who had access to documents about The British aircraft production; one of his most important channels for passing information from England to Lisbon was said to be the Dutch pilots of British Overseas Airways. Information was also sent by letters written with secret inks. (AOB: the latter was fact is on the line found in one of these KV 2/serials) Ostro also obtained reports from the USA about American Air Force and Naval building programmes. These reports were less detailed than the ones about England.
87. Ostro was considered the most important source of information of the Amt Ausland (AOB: officially Abwehr was designated: OKW Amt Ausland/Abwehr) His reports about English aircraft production for the period Mar 41 to Jan 43 were believed to be correct. without reservation, by Ic (Obstlt. von Dewitz) of the Luftwaffe Führungsstab. The Ostro reports were considered very reliable because the information in them nearly always tallied with that obtained from prisoners of war and from evaluation of the press.
88. PW explained the reason for Ostro being run by I H Ost Berlin (HIOB) as follows: Gruppenleiter I H Ost Obst. Scholtz, had previously been in contact with Ostro. It was therefore considered desirable that Scholtz should retain control when Ostro was sent to Portugal (AOB: similarly happened with Stockholm: albeit designated to Ost (= East) Wenzlau did Ost and Kraemer was designated to West) Scholtz himself was keen on retaining control over Ostro.
89. Under Scholtz's supervision, ... Oblt. Dr. beck ran Ostro. Oblt Dr. Beck was owner of a chemical factory in Berlin which made synthetic resins and varnishes. He left the Abwehr in Summer or Autumn 1942, and at the same time was discharged from the Wehrmacht and placed on the list of as being in a reserved occupation. He was then given work to do in the field of economics. His place in I H (= Heer = Army) Ost (= East) was then taken by Lt. von Carnap.
(7) (since 24 June 2023)
KV 2/197-1, page 42a
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name: Fidrmuc
Original in File No : PF 602119 Stiege Serial: 17a Dated: 24.8.45
Original from 21st A.G.Report Under Ref: 21/DIC/D/CI/26
Extracted on : 12.10.45 by: I.P. Section WRH (War Room section H)
Information given by Korvetten Kapt. Stiege who was formerly S. American specialist in Abw. I. M. (Marine) in Berlin.
(5) Note on the Ostrow (Ostro) Organisation:- (all derived from "hear say")
This, according to Stiege, was the code name for a network of V-men which worked right up to the end of the war and was considered, especially by the Luftwaffenführungsstab, to be most reliable and well-informed. Ostro himself which were so accurate and well-written that he must, in Stiege's opinion, have been a man of unusual ability. Ostro had about a dozen V-men working for him, one of whom, whose cover-name was Josephine (AOB: nonsense. This was pointing at Karl Heinz Kraemer's commitments in Stockholm. Which we have dealt with before we started with our current Fidrmuc - Ostro complex), reported on shipping in English ports, Ostro himself was repoted to live in Portugal. Stiege does not, however, know his identity, neither does he know how contact was maintained between Ostro's organisation and the Abwehr Headquarters (before Spring 1943 Tirpitz Ufer, thereafter Zeppelin, Belinde and Mil Amt) (W/T was maintained by Stahnsdorf, Belzig (HIOB), Havel-Institut and likely since late 1944 by the 'Bekaerstrasse' in Berlin). Details of the Ostro organisation were, indeed, only known to a few of the highest ranking officers. (AOB: this is confirming that Fidrmuc was not employed in the military hierarchy)
KV 2/197-1, page 43a (minute 173a)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name:
Original in File No. PF 601833 (KV 2/410 Kuebart) Serial: 50a Dated: 4.8.45
Original from: Camp 020
Extracted on: 11.9.45 by: DJH Section H.4.D.
Fidrmucz. (phonetically correct)
Throughout the whole of this period reports were continually coming in from Fidrmucz on convoy matters, aircraft production and troop locations, insignia, etc. These were passed to Obstlt. (= Lt.-Col.) (but von Carnap was only an Oblt.) of Eins Heer (I-H), who was running Fidrmuc from Berlin.
Kuebart further recalls Fidrmuc reporting that he had his own special agent (name unknown) who was in a position to furnish information concerning Allied air offensives twenty-four hours before they took place.
Kuebart (Obstlt. the successor of Obst. Hansen) turned this report over to Obstlt. Kleyenstueber (Leiter Eins Luft at Amt Berlin), and does not know what further steps were taken or whether the matter was properly followed up. (between August 1943 - August 1944 Chef I-L)
At about this period, or possibly a little earlier, Carnap was instructed to arrange for Fidrmuc to make preparations to leave Lisbon (commenced ca. March 1945) for Barcelona in the event of an Allied landing there (Portugal). This was considered the most convenient place for him to be report details of such a landing.
KV 2/197-1, page 44b
Visit of Fidrmuc to Berlin:
Some time in
April1944, either before Kuebart's trip to Spain, Fidrmuc came on leave to Berlin. (AOB: to my understanding this occurred about May 1944, as Fidrmuc was regarded K.v.K. Klasse II (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) (AOB: Fidrmuc went, for the first time since ca. 1940, to Berlin, and did meat up with Obst. Hansen in a private setting) Kuebart insists that this was the sole reason for his coming there. His leave had previously been put off and had been approved for that time. (AOB: no one else then Fidrmuc himself could have decided going to Berlin.)
Kuebart met Fidrmuc twice:
a) in Potsdam for lunch. Present were also Fidrmuc's wife (Ragmor), Carnap (the Abwehr officer running Fidrmuc) and Kuebart. This meeting was a social one and no service matters were discussed.
b) At a social evening at Hansen's home (Grenzweg i (1?), in Rangsdorf??) (To what I know from late Hansen's son Karsten personally, they left Rangsdorf much earlier, for Michelau (direction of Coburg Bavaria) due to the danger of bombing raids on Berlin) at Rangsdorf: present were Kuebart, and Hansen and Fidrmuc, with their respective wifes.
Again only social matters were discussed, but it may have been on this occasion that Hansen gave
him the Iron Cross(Class 2) Pure nonsense, and Kuebart must have been aware of it: An Iron Cross was only given to active soldiers in combat. Fidrmuc just was not like this! But, like many others, like my late best friend Rudolf Staritz - he received the so-called: K.v.K. class 2 (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) This was given to individuals serving half-way military but in the interest of the German Reich) However, Kuebart is uncertain as to this and also points out that it is quite possible that during Fidrmuc's stay in Berlin he had service discussions with von Carnap. He is also aware that in the course of his leave, Fidrmuc conducted his own private affairs in Hamburg (where Rigmor's parents still lived) and Vienna (Fidrmuc was born and grew-up as an Austrian)
KV 2/197-1, page 45a (minute 173)
` Crown Copyright
Extract File No. : PF 64447 Name: Fidrmuc
Original in file No. : PF 601833 Kuebart (KV 2/410) Serial: 50a Receipt Date: 4.8.45
Original from : Camp 020
Extracted on : 10.9.45
Extracted from Camp 020 report on Kuebart,
captured(in the surrounding of Michelau - Coburg, Kuebart handed himself in to the Americans) official (At that moment he was discharged from the Wehrmacht; with the loss of all his rights)
Hptm. d. R.(WW I) Fidrmuc @ Ostro @ C.H.B.
Kuebart mentioned that this man (Fidrmuc) had previously been a journalist and as such he travelled in the U.S.A. and England. He was an old V-Mann and was at present engaged in some business in Lisbon (Brucker-Traus), the nature of which is unknown to Kuebart.
Although Fidrmuc had originally done very good work as a V-Mann, his interest now appeared to be cooling-off somewhat, possibly owing to the success of the Allies, and at this particular period he was working for
Obstlt. Oblt. von Carnap of I Heer, Berlin, having previously worked for either Obst. Scholtz or Obrst. Maurer of Abwehr I.H (I - Heer). He was attached to K.O. K.O. Lisbon only for certain administrational and pay purposes.
Fidrmuc intelligence transmitted to Berlin was on the following matters:-
(a) Aircraft production in England and the U.S.A. (this was considered reliable information by I Luft since it was greatly appreciated by the evaluation section of the Luftwaffeführungsstab) This at that time was Fidrmuc's main activity.
(b) Allied convoys, shipping movements and tonnage. (Although this was sent to I M (M = Marine) Kuebart does not know whether it was regarded as reliable.)
(b) Reports on troop identification, divisions signs and/or numbers in England. (These were judged inaccurate by I-H on checking with Fremde Heere (West).
Channels of Fidrmuc's information. (One of the points of Fidrmuc's arrangement of 1934/35 was: that he was not obliged to lift his sources of information) Kuebart claims that he was unaware of the precise channels of information. When it was put to him he, as Fidrmuc's chief (which no-one actually was) should surely know this, he replied that he purposely did not burden himself with such details as he, in this capacity as head of Abwehr I-H, had little time for complete knowledge of these. (His interest in Ivan (= Popov's German V-Mann name; whereas his British code-name was Tricycle; the latter actually was a double crosser) and Jebsen (British code-name was Artist) (Please consider: https://www.cdvandt.org/kv-2-560-wrede-artist.htm) was occasioned mainly by their attempt to swindle the Abwehr as described below.)
Kuebart's Opinion of Fidrmuc. Kuebart was not prepared to say whether he considered Fidrmuc's work good or bad. In some ways, much as as the I-H information from England, it was unreliable, but, in others it was than balanced the information sent to I-H (HIOB Skapura). On the whole, he was inclined to feel that the balance stood in Fidrmuc's favour.
Before Kuebart's arrival in Lisbon, there was some talk of → Fidrmuc being awarded the
Iron CrossK.v.K. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) Klasse 2.
KV 2/197-2, 46b
Fidrmuc being awarded the
Iron CrossK.v.K. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz) Klasse 2. Kuebart's decision to do this was also slightly by stories he had heard of an attempt, by poisoning, on Fidrmuc's liftlife. (He knew few details of this, however, except that somebody unknown was said to have slipped poison into his tea (Mme. De la Cerda?) and made him very ill. Kuebart was not entirely convinced of the genuineness of this poisoning attempt)
Kuebart impressed upon Fidrmuc that he required more reports about troops and in particular divisional numbers, locations, insigna and invasion preparations. Fidrmuc replied that he would do his best but he could promise nothing.
Kubart and Wolf (Erbprinz Wolf von Amerongen?)
KV 2/197-1, page 51 (minute 110a) (G2024 G2024return) (V2038 ↓↓↓ V2038return) (Q2074 ↓↓↓ Q2074return)
?Builders' Merchant & Metal Trades Advertiser To H.L. Hart (M.I.5)
War Office, (War Room) Whitehall
Your ref: 64447/ADB July 10th, 1945
Dear Mr. Hart,
Very many thanks for your letter of the 9th July, and for returning the letter and manuscript that I received from Theresa de la Cerda (AOB: I suppose that Fidrmuc used the name of the girl of whom he has custody?? of; or was it actually the name of her mother - whom betrayed Fidrmuc when she joined living in Villa Igloo in Estoril?), of Barcelona.
What you now tell me confirms my suspicions about Fidrmuc. In the circumstances I am sending the stuff back with the usual formal note: "The Editor regrets etc."
AOB: Fidrmuc had been a regular journalist contributing to most "state of the Art" periodicals in the world; among it the Ironmonger.
KV 2/197-1, page 52 (minute 169a)
9th July 1945
Dear Mr. Garrett,
Thank you very much for your letter of 4th July 1945 and enclosures. I have made enquiries with what are I am afraid disappointing results. Fidrmuc in on the Statutory List and at present it would be an offence to have an commercial dealings with him such as paying him for a newspaper article. I do not think the position is affected by the fact that he has not submitted the article under his own name but used a disguise. I am afraid the reference in Teresa de la Cerda's letter to your former Central European correspondent's assistance really makes the point quite clear.
I am most grateful for your allowing me to see Fidrmuc's letter and article which I am returning herewith.
H.L.A. Hart (M.I.5)
KV 2/197-1, page 53 (minute 167c)
July 4th 1945
H.L.A. Hart, Esq. (M.I.5)
Room 055 (Cover address of M.I.5)
War Office (War Room)
Dear Mr. Hart,
As promised on the telephone this afternoon I am sending you the letter dated 10th May (1945), and a report on trade conditions in Spain and Portugal which has reached me from Teresa de la Cerda, of Barcelona, behind which name I have no difficulty whatever in identity our friend Paul Fidrmuc.
Frankly, on its merits, I should like to use this contribution but I shall be glad to have an official opinion on the desirability of so doing; particularly from the point of view of the payment that its publication would involve.
On another point also I should welcome soe guidance. In reply to the letter, would it be better for me to take the ingenious line; or let it be known that I look upon Fidrmuc as the real correspondent? In short, to bring this farce to an end, I should like to reply to Fidrmuc c/o Teresa de la Cerda.
KV 2/197-2, page 54
Teresa de la Cerda
Spain May 10th 1945
London WC 2
Another war has come to an end. The British Industry will soon shift over from war production to peace time requirements.
Although conditions on the Continent will most probably remain for a long time chaotic, it will be nevertheless of very great importance to your readers to get exact and detailed informations about conditions not only of the iron, steel and allied industries, but also on the markets.
Through my acquaintance with the wife of your former Central European correspondent I have secured his assistance for some technical reviews here on the Iberian Peninsula. He will continue to stay here, because the part of Austria, where he wanted to return after the war is now under the rule of the Moskow (Moscow) Austrian Committee.
I beg to include a specimen contribution and would be glad, if you could let me know whether I can continue sending more. I trust, that the restrictions, which had been imposed upon size and circulation of the Ironmonger will now soon disappear.
I am, dear Sir,
(sgd.) Teresa de la Cerda.
KV 2/197-1, page 64 (minute 163b)Air Ministry (G2050 ↓↓↓↓ G2050return)
AIS4/Q.7973 20th March, 1945
Dear J.C.M. (Masterman),
I should like to raise the perennial question of our friend O (Ostro = Fidrmuc) and what should be done with him. I cannot help feeling that though our (XX) Committee has expended a great deal of time and thought over this man we still have obtained but little satisfaction from the various schemes that have been mooted for his elimination or emasculation (castration).
Has not the time come when the (XX) -- feeling, as I am sure it does, that Ostro is a real and increasing menace to security by virtue of his remarkable prescience -- (XX Committee?) should take a firm line and again represent to M.I.6, in the strongest terms. our desire for his neutralisation?
I have always understood that up to now "C" (Sir Stewart Menzies) (He, at least, keeps using his intellectual capabilities) has set his face against any removal (in the drastic sense) of Ostro, and that consequently all these alternative methods have been discussed; but meanwhile our friend continues to function. It may be, of course, that his reduction to impotence will eventually be accomplished by one or other of the plans; but at any moment until then we may find that he has dealt us a shrewd and telling blow. If that should happen, I am sure we do not want to be accused of having let this matter drift until it was too late, although aware throughout of the possible danger involved.
Major J.C. Masterman O.B.E.,
KV 2/197-1, page 67 (minute 163a)
B.1.a. - Major Masterman (M.I.5)
I should have thought that it would have been a mistake to put Fidrmuc's name now to the Portuguese (AOB: had already been tried in vain, before), since we may well succeed un upsetting the present plan for recruiting him. Furthermore, I see no particular object in getting him expelled from Portugal (he had, or was due to move, from Estoril to Barcelona), since presumably all that will happen will be that he will set himself up in Spain from which place he has already demonstrated that he is perfectly capable of carrying on his activities without difficulty.
My view therefore is that at least until we know how, if at all, he reacts to our approach, we should do nothing.
KV 2/197-1, page 68 (minute 162a)
CX/12416/836/V ? dated 10.3.45
My dear Marriott,
You may be interested in the following information which we have received from our Lisbon representative. I send it to you as it represents a possibility of playing up Fidrmuc.
Our contact in the International Police (Also the Germans maintained throughout the war good contact with the latter body) has asked our representative to supply him with a list of undesirable Germans. He states that Dr. Salazar (the Portuguese Leader) has instructed the I.P. (International Police) to get rid of any Germans who likely to be considered as War Criminals.
It was quite probable that P.F. (Paul Fidrmuc) will learn of this and may therefore be more tempted to meet us when he receives our letter. If, however, this fails we have two courses left open to us. We can give the I.P. a list containing P.F.'s name. If the I.P. then find reasons for not expelling him we can later ask them to cancel his name as we find not as bad as we thought or words to that effect. The I.P. are almost certain to inform the Germans about this.
If, however, we put P.F.'s name on the Black List in the first instance we are likely to strengthen P.F.'s hand with the German masters. I therefore believe that we should bring this matter to the notice of the Twenty Committee at the next meeting. I should welcome and comments you may care to make beforehand.
Sgd. Desmond Bristow
J.H. Marriott, Esq.,
KV 2/197-1, page 69 (minute 161a)
CX//12416/836/V ? dated 7/3/45
Would you please refer to the reference in Hart's material to the recent interrogation of Paul Fidrmuc by the Portuguese Criminal Police. (initiated by the British)
Lisbon reports that Fidrmuc was quetioned by the Police in the presence of the U.K.C.C. Lawyer, Pacheco.
The lawyer was representing Mrs. Lacerda (de la Cerda) (the woman of which Fidrmuc and his wife apparently obtained custody?? which Mme. de la Cerda would like to reverse, I suppose. She was cheating, and spying upon, Fidrmuc for quite some years; and cooperated heavily with the British Service) the mother of Fidrmuc's young girl friend (NO, Fidrmuc and his wife Rigmor obtained legally the custody?? of de la Cerda's daughter). This woman states that Fidrmuc has now transferred all his money to the girl, who is in Barcelona and refuses to return to her mother (the bar pianist) until she is of age (18 years old?).. Mrs. de la Cerda has, in fact, legal right to the money whilst he daughter is a minor.
According to Mrs. Lacerda the case has not yet been settled.
J.H. Marriott, Esq.,
KV 2/197-1, page 71a + 72b (minute 156a) (T2009 ↓↓↓ T2009return)
This drafted letter being meant as to pull Fidrmuc over to the British side.
Dear Sir (meant is Fidrmuc),
You may remember that in 1939 you wrote to the editor of a British periodical suggesting that you were in a position to supply this paper with details of the Iron and Steel Industry within certain countries, including Germany.
Your case has recently come under review by certain British and U.S. authorities, as notice was drawn to you on account of enquiries which have recently been made by the editor of the "Ironmonger" (the periodical referred to above).
The British and American authorities, as you are well aware, have kept an unceasing and close watch on your activities since your arrival in Portugal in (late) 1940, and there is no doubt that you have been actively engaged in all kinds of commercial activities on behalf of Germany in accordance with what you believed to be your duty.
It is nevertheless known that you have been, and probably still are, equally actively engaged in what you consider to be "espionage" against Great Britain and no doubt the U.S.A.
There was a time in the past when it was thought to be highly advisable to make diplomatic representation to the Portuguese Government to have you expelled from Portugal, but reports which came to us from individuals (Mme. de la Cerda) whom we consider to be reliable informants, suggested it would pay us to allow you to carry on with your work.
One source reported to us in the past that you claimed to have sources and agents in the U.S.A., Britain and elsewhere. This undoubtedly worried the British and U.S. security authorities for a time until both these authorities came to the conclusion that this was most unlikely. The reason which support this theory are numerous.
This believe of ours was one of the deciding factors in our considerations for or against our diplomatic approach to the Portuguese Government.
With the above mentioned theory as a basis we analysed the possibilities that you might have of picking up information in Portugal. After studying all kinds of possibilities it was decided that whatever information you were reporting to the German Government was probably of a negative character and this was later confirmed when we received a report which stated that you were engaged principally in extracting information from journals and technical periodicals.
For these reasons we cannot help but feel that you will be recetive to this approach which we are making to you. We have no doubt that if you agree to a meeting with a friend of ours you will appreciate that the position which we will make on that occasion will be to our mutual advantage. We will undoubtedly be able to help you in certain difficulties which are bound to arise shortly in connection with your future, incidentally not forgetting your legal troubles over the daughter of an Irish lady with whom you were recently seen at the Ritz Hotel, Barcelona.
We ask you, therefore, to consider carefully the contents of this letter and to weigh up the personal advantages which you would gain by agreeing to a meeting. We would also remind you that your family, if still living in the Sudetenland, will soon be in the hands of our Allies the Russians. Your own position in the (Iberian) Peninsula will undoubtedly deteriorate very rapidly during the next few weeks as you certainly know.
AOB: whether this letter ultimately had been forwarded to Fidrmuc in Barcelona - I don't know.
KV 2/197-1, page 73a (minute 155a) (W2039 ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ W2039return) (F2100 ↓↓↓↓↓↓ 2 x successive pages ↓↓↓↓↓↓ F2100return)
The question whether Fidrmuc and his largely invented reports were of more advantage or disadvantage to us was long in dispute. The majority opinion, supported by the invasion messages (Isk 100131), was that he was more harmful then helpful and ought therefore, if possible, to be removed. The objection to attempting to remove him was based largely on the danger to the security of Most Secret Sources. His last performance with regard to Canadian troops in Italy has reinforced the argument for his removal, and he is now regarded was a direct menace to the security of military operations. In consequence, efforts to devise a plan for his removal have had to be revised.
Fidrmuc could be removed or rendered harmless in one of the following ways:-
a) By discrediting him with the Germans;
b) By having him removed from the (Iberian) Peninsula by representations to the Spanish and Portuguese governments;
c) By notifying the Germans, in the press or otherwise, of his falsity;
d) By direct personal action;
e) By making an offer to him to come over to our side.
These proposals can be considered in turn.
a) The S.I.S. (S.O.E.?) plan for discrediting him seems to have broken down, owing perhaps to Ecclestastic's unwillingness to cary out the later part of the plan. In any case a plan to discredit Fidrmuc is unlikely to succeed. If, for example, Garbo made a serious attempt to discredit him, it is only an even chance at best that he would succeed, and at least likely that Fidrmuc would maintain his position and Garbo be discredited. In fact, Fidrmuc is so well established that any plan to discredit him indirectly or by comparison with other agencies is an unsatisfactory and dubious policy to persue.
b) This plan also seems unwise. It could cause political difficulties, and might not be successful, since it would be difficult to make a convincing case against Fidrmuc without bringing the information acquired only through Most Secret Sources. Furthermore, expulsion from the (Iberian) Peninsula would not necessarily mean the end of the work of a man of Fidrmuc's ingenuity. He might transfer his operations elsewhere or bequeath (give) the goodwill of his firm (Mil Amt) the goodwill of his firm to someone left behind by him.
c) Plan (c) is also open to criticism. A publication in the press concerning his activities can only deal with matters unconnected with Most secret Sources. Without going into detail, I do not think that the incidents enumerated by Mr. Hart (M.I.5) at (minute) 149 make up a sufficient convincing indictment (accusation). It might, however, be possible to notify the Germans through a double agent of the deception practised on them by Fidrmuc. If, for example, it is decided that Brutus (Johan Gruen?) is to be removed from our team of double agents, he might finish his career by denouncing Fidrmuc to his German masters. he could, for instance report that he had come across a man who had been in close touch a man who had been in close touch for a long time with Fidrmuc and that this man had told → him that Fidrmuc's
KV 2/197-1, page 74b (O2070 ↕↕↕↕↕↕↕ O2070return)
him that Fidrmuc's reports were now all based on his own invention and that he had no agents or sub-agents in England at all. The Germans might or might not believe this story of Brutus's, but they would almost certainly explore the situation, and would then discover (as we suppose) that Fidrmuc was indeed a fraud. This plan would only be used if it were decided that the security of Brutus could be risked, as it might lead to his own collapse.
d) The advisability of employing this method depends upon the answers to certain practical questions. Would it or would it not be comparatively easy for S.O.E. or some kindred organisation to get rid of Fidrmuc, either by killing him or by kidnapping him? (AOB: please bear in mind that Fidrmuc was a well trained sportsman of long standing) The application of such methods is very seldom justified; but in this case, when the safety of large bodies of troops is at issue, there is a clear case for at least taking this method into consideration. If S.O.E. could undertake the job and could be confident of success, it would no doubt provide a satisfactory solution in the national interest.
e) A note was put on 8.2.44 (1945?) by Gwyer (M.I.6), suggesting a method of taking Fidrmuc over (T2009 T2009return)and running the organisation for him (children). The basis of this proposal was that a direct approach should be made by a representative of S.I.S., who should inform Fidrmuc that he had been watched for some time; that it was known that his network of agents did not exist, (AOB: have they realised what the implications of telling him this were?) although the Germans believed in it; that the position was dangerous for him, but also unsatisfactory for us; and that it was proposed that we should take over his organisation, supply him with sub-agents, control his traffic and perhaps pay him a salary for his work (They British Services personnel were most greedy)
The advantages of taking this course are considerable:-
1. Fidrmuc has been deceiving the Germans for a long time, must be nervous about his own position (all wishful thinking) (the Germans call this Wunschdenken) and would probably welcome the opportunity of changing his master.
2. It is unlikely that he would inform the Germans, since an enquiry into his method would probably divulge the nature of the frauds which he has perpetrated.
(AOB: it is awful for me to deal with so much dilettantism; thus read these sections yourself)
KV 2/197-1, page 75c
(AOB: please digest this Service - baby-talk yourself)
KV 2/197-1, page 81 (minute 148a?)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name: Ostro @ Fidrmuc
Original in File No. : SF: 66/UK/24(26)suppl. v.7. Serial: 121a Dated 7.12.44
Original from Minutes of 90th Meeting of the R.S.I.C.
Extracted 31.12.44 By. G.D. Section R.B.
"Ostro: Lieut. Cmdr. Montagu reported that Major Foley's (= representative in Lisbon on behalf of M.I.6) plan for stopping Ostro's mouth had now been put into operation. Nothing could yet be said about its chances of success".
KV 2/197-1, page 82 (minute 146f)
B.1.b. (Mr. Hart)
You will be interested to see the attached letter from S.I.S. giving details of their present plan for "embarrassing" Ostro. You will see on Ostro's file a previous letter from Foley (M.I.6 representative in Lisbon) giving details of what was there represented to be the plan which was in operation, but which I was unable to understand. The explanation is that there are two quite distict plans, of which only the one referred to in the attached letter is in operation. The other plan will only be carried out if the present one fails.
My own view is that Foley's present plan has no possible chance of success either because Ostro's letter to the "Ironmonger" (British periodical) was originally sponsored by the Germans, or because the letter is not particularly compromising and is the sort of thing which Ostro can take in his stride with ridiculous ease. A minor defect of the plan is that fact that Archie Boyle himself did not sign the letter to Fullard, and that his signature was forged by Fullard who is said to know him well. If the Germans have a record of Boyle's signature, which they may well have, the will easily discover the letter to be a forgery.
Sgd. J.H. Marriott
KV 2/197-2, page 1 (minute 146e)
1st December, 1944
PF 64447/B.1.a./JHMarriott (M.I.5)
My dear Foley,
Many thanks for your CX/24651/164 of 29.11.44 giving me the details of the plan which is actually in operation for dealing with Ostro. I am communicating this to Hart who is of course interested.
There is one point which occurs to me, and which you have no doubt considered, and that is this. If the plan is to appear part of a genuine operation presumably in due course Air Commodore Fullard will be making some enquiries in Lisbon about Ostro in accordance with Air Commodore Boyle's request, and when these particulars have been sent back to London no doubt the editor of the "Ironmonger" will himself communicate direct with Ostro on the lines of the penultimate (foregoing) paragraph of Air Commodore Boyle's letter. There is obviously no particular urgency about the matter, but you may like to be considering the point.
Major F. Foley, C.M.G.,
KV 2/197-2, page 7
King Charles St.
5th October 1944
My dear Peter (in Archie Boyle's handwriting)
The Editor of the "The Ironmonger" a paper which, as you know, we have always maintained the best relations, has asked the Ministry to find out if it is true that that one Paul Fidrmuc is living in Portugal. Should the answer be in the affirmative, it would be very much appreciated if you could give us P.F. (Paul Fidrmuc)'s present address, telephone number and any particulars you might find out about him.
"The Ironmonger" seems to think that Paul Fidrmuc is living in Portugal as some sort of refuge from some sort of oppression. They base their opinion mainly on a letter (copy attached) which P.F. sent them from Copenhagen (Fidrmuc was then likely in a Danish jail as he was sentenced for espionage; after the German invasion of 9th April 1940 Scandinavia (leaving Sweden aside) he was, of course, set free by the Germans) at the beginning of the war, and which - to say the least - does not show exaggerated enthusiasm for the Nazi cause.
Now the "Ironmonger" wants to re-install, if possible, P.F. as one of their correspondents abroad.
Sorry to bother you with this rather trivial matter.
All the best,
(Note in Fullard's hand:
Spoke Economic dept.
Ring again 22.10 when
KV 2/197-2, page 8 Transcribed letter (V2011 ↓↓ V2011return) (O2031 ↓↓ O2031return)
Kopenhagen, Sept. 3rd 1939
I have been your German correspondent since nearly 14 years. Unfortunately the war brought our relations to an end. I am now at Kopenhagen acting as correspondent for a number of German, American and Overseas papers and managing a commercial agency (steel warehouses). Having been shot through the stomach during the Great Warm I was found unfit for active service in Germany.
Of course I would very well understand that you should have no desire to continue correspondence with a German at the moment, and I certainly would appreciate your feelings, however I think that your Journal would be interested in reports on the Swedish iron, steel, hardware etc. industry, which I happen to know very well, and which I am visiting often. Further the trade and last but not least also iron, steel, machinery, hardware etc. conditions in Germany and central Europe, which particularly now at present would be of considerable interest for you. I am of course in constant touch with Germany and may enter Germany (as I do) any time so you could get firsthand informations from me, although, of course - you will understand - I had to exercise certain caution in making up my reports, as I could not use for contributions all my information.
If you think it impossible or undesirable to have connection with a German during the war, please do not reply, I will fully understand your feeling, although I myself continue to be on best of the terms with many Englishmen, also here in Copenhagen.
I am, dear Sir,
Yours faithfully. sgd. P.F. (= Paul Fidrmuc)
(8) (since 27 June 2023)
KV 2/197-2, page 12a (W2012 ↓↓↓↓↓ W2012return)
Letter from Flt.Lt. Cholmondeley A.I.S.4. (Air Ministry) dated 28.8.44
Re tentative plans for discerditing Fidrmuc.
1. Attached is the following:-
a) Folder containing photostat copies of diagrams of a 12-land Radar post captured in Sicily in 1943 (AOB: what is the sense between Fidrmuc and the latter subject?)
b) "plan" with suggestions for use of (a).
c) Letter Air Min. to Earl with spare Min. paper.
d) Copy of letter from Fidrmuc to editor of the "Ironmonger" (3rd September 1939: V2011 V2011return) (AOB: do they really consider this a ground for Fidrmuc's denunciation?)
e) Folder with tracing of
(i) Beaufort fighter
(ii) Italian engine ("Griffon")
2. Ref. (a) As you see the notes on the diagrams have been translated into English and the whole folders is likely o lead an enemy agent who is not conversant with 12-land Radar into believing it to be a British apparatus.
3. As you are the best judge as to whether or not Fidrmuc is likely or not to fall for these diagrams, we are merely sending the folder to you with a suggested plan (b). If you do not like the plan as a whole or in part, you are at liberty to treat it how you will, provided that in the event of your not using the folder you return it to us in the near future.
AOB: are we considering it being a Services "Kindergarten" or a patient - in a lunatic clinic, for derailed Services personnel?
I will copy the remaining part of it, but I strongly hesitate to transcribe this lunatic no-nonsense! What have they told their close relatives, since?
4. As to the covering letter (c), we have purposely left out the name of the addressee at the beginning of the letter, as you may like to use the name of an American who is passing through xxx when you have the folder delivered to Fidrmuc. In order to avoid different writing, we have also left out the name of the sender, whose name should be "Paul Beamish-Scott". As the correspondence are obviously on friendly terms, the Christian name should appear in the signature and the signature as near as possible to being illegible without actually being so.
5. The copy of the letter from Fidrmuc to the editor of the "Ironmonger" may be useful to you.
AOB: do we really have entered the vocabulary used in a lunatic surrounding?
Is this the actual "lunatic clinic world" we face, after ca. 79 years, British recollections?
Please down-load the next Service scraps yourself.
I always wonder the judgement encountered - as to delete file series and to save, in contrary, other series. These criteria, are, always astonishing me. The Servants themselves might have, long afterwards, wondered themselves, why matters have been destroyed deliberately.
Is saving space - an excuse?
KV 2/197-2, page 20
Extract Extract for File No : PF 64447, Name Fidrmuc, Paul
Original in File No: PF 600466 (no longer existing) La Cerda de Matos Serial: 1a Dated: 12.10.44
Original from S.I.S. Under CX/
Extracted on: 22.10.44 ...
Extract from letter from S.I.S. (R.S. Comyns Carr) to Mrs. Spring (B.1.b.) about Mrs. Denise Anne de Lacerda de Matos (the bar pianist, and once living in Fidrmuc rented house) and her daughter Esmeralda, who are coming to U.K. (actually not occurring) with help of S.I.S. (due to the espionage she commenced on Fidrmuc's possessions on demand of S.I.S. for quite many years)
Mrs. Lacerda worked for us for some time in Portugal and gave some valuable information on German agents there - her information was largely responsible for identifying Fidrmuc as an important German agent. Early this year we ceased playing her as her information had fallen off. Since then she has got into various difficulties. She has run up debts and is ostracised (hated) by the British colony as a result of fraternising with Germans on our behalf. On top of this, there has now been a scandal over Fidrmuc and her 16 years old daughter, Esmeralda. Fidrmuc has enticed the girl away after a quarrel with her mother and the girl is threatening her mother with an action for cruelty through Fidrmuc's lawyer. The Eire* Minister in Lisbon is interesting himself in the case and has been in touch with our Embassy.
* AOB: might Mme. de la Cerda (LaCerda) have been engaged or married to an Irish person; or was she Irish and married to a Portuguese person: de la Cerda (de Laceda)?
KV 2/197-2, page 43 (minute 127a)
B.1.b. Mr. Hart.
The proposal contained in the attached in the attached letter was discussed at yesterday's meeting of the Twenty (XX) Committee, and it was decided that the Service Departments should consider whether they could produce suitable document and that at the same time S.I.S. should consider the method by which such a document could be conveyed to Ostro.
With regard to the document itself, one suggestion which was put forward was that Ostro should be supplied with full details of say, a Radar device which the Germans would discover would lead them to be in fact their own Radar device.
(AOB: Only laymen-brains can come up with such a ridiculous plan - secondly: the way Allied electronics being drawn is entirely different from that of the Germans. Valves, resistors the component designations such as for a resistor the Allies used the R as symbol such as R 14 (Resistor) whereas - the Germans designated them as W 14 (= Widerstand); also the way the component had been drawn. Valves being drawn totally different, as well as well as their indication: The Germans designated it Rö whilst in England V had been used. Cable wirings too (such as wire crossings). The subject had been dealt with also as 12-Land Radar - at: (W2012 W2012return).
→ Whether or not this discovery would lead them to regard Ostro with any suspicion is, I think, questionable, but as you know A.D.B. is very keen on encouraging S.I.S. to go forward with this, the first proposal they have ever made for doing anything about Ostro at all. (AOB: They might even not have been aware, that Fidrmuc's cover-name used operationally was Ostro, and that Fidrmuc might never have heard the word/designation before)
Sgd. J.H. Marriott
B.1.a. (AOB: this time the office designation B.1a. is of Mr Marriott; whereas Mr. Hart was addressed at office B.1.b - though, both situated at M.I.5)
KV 2/197-2, page 48 (minute 116a)
A.D.B., Major Masterman.
I observe that D.D.B. (Mr. Stewart Menzies?) refers to the "liquidation" of Ostro. By this expression I assume that the means any or all of the various proposals which have been put forward for dealing with Ostro, including in particular Gwyer's proposal for virtually taking him over as a Special Agent. Of course if, by "liquidation", D.D.B. means the literal abolition of Ostro by doing away with him altogether in circumstances which neither discredit the Abwehr nor compromise Secret Sources (M.S.S.), then naturally I should consider that the best solution of the whole affair. (all thoughts ultimately in vain)
So far as dealing with him in other ways is concerned, however, it seems to me that the situation is now somewhat different from the prevailing before Overlord. In the first place I assume that the danger of Ostro happening to make a lucky guess about our operational intentions is now very much less than it was, and even if he does make an accurate guess that the consequences will be much less serious. In the second place the assumption by Himmler of control of the Abwehr (Mil Amt /Amt Mil) would presumably result in a searching examination of some of the Abwehr's better -known sources, and one cannot helping thinking that Ostro will be unlikely to survive any very searching examination into the case. (they remain always in dreaming - and wishful-thinking, poor children) (Not a single bit - like their amateur-like assessments - ever matured!) (AOB: when the war nearly ended, about 1st May 1945, a message was addressed to Fidrmuc (to KOP Lisbon) wishing him all the best and he got a half-year salary paid; which, for practical reasons, never was handed out to him as he lived in Barcelona.) As against this, of course, it is true that the policy of giving Ostro enough rope to hang himself may result in discrediting the Abwehr, which from our point of view would not be entirely satisfactory. In the third place the credit of Garbo is, we know, very high, and I should have thought that the probability was that in any case where a Garbo report and an Ostro report conflicted greater credence would be attached to the former. In the fourth place, whereas before Overlord and before any operation had in fact taken place it was quite possible for an agent to make the wildest statements about about our intentions without ever being proved categorically wrong, the position now is that, with an operation in progress, it becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, for Ostro to commit himself without finding that he is proved wrong almost within a matter of hours.
It thus seems to me likely that Ostro for his own protection will tend to make his reports fairly vague, or to report about matter as far removed from actual operations as possible. If this is so we find the B.1.a and Ostro will work in two quite separate fields. (AOB: are they still dreaming about the fact - that Fidrmuc will become an M.I.5 double-cross agent?)
KV 2/197-2, page 50 (minute 118b)
Extract for File No: Name: Fidrmuc
Original in file PF 55032 (KV 2/845 ..866) Tricycle Serial 935a Dated 19.6.44
In a letter dated 19th June, 1944 to S.I.S. re the kidnapping of Artist (Johannes Jebsen) mention is made of Ostro. Fidrmuc was not implicated within this exceptional case:
AOB: Before the kidnapping took place (Hans) Brandes (Ballhorn) (KV 2/3295) had been reporting, apparently to Schreiber (Leiter I KOP) who had passed it most secretly to Berlin, that Artist was showing noticeable curiosity about the affair of Ostro.
(AOB: I am not certain whether Jebsen had been fully aware of Fidrmuc or another cover-name. Jebsen had a very close relation to one of the secretaries of the KOP Fräulein von Gronau. Both Craas and von Gronau were closes friends. Frl. Lily Craas was a very good friend of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor. The day after Jebsen's kidnapping, in the morning Frl. von Gronau contacted, in great panic Mrs. Craas. She (von Gronau) possessed a key to Jebsen's luxury apartment, and found matters turned upside down, apparently after a serious search; and no trace of Jebsen, whom by then already had reached France in a car organised by Dr. Aloys Schreiber the one responsible for Jebsen's disappearing. Therefore Fidrmuc was, in this case, well informed privately. But the latter systematically avoided contacts with the German local circles. Whether Jebsen was informed by his girl friend von Gronau on Fidrmuc's existence?
KV 2/197-2, page 53 (minute 111a) (X2013 ↓↓↓↓ X2013return)
Paul Fidrmuc @ Ostro.
1. In view of the report (Isk 100131) produced by source Ostro on June 1st, 1944, which conveyed amongst much erroneous details the information that the plan of attack favoured by the Allies was an assault on the Manche Peninsula, it seems desirable to place on record the reason why we regard the reports produced by this source (Fidrmuc) as invented by Fidrmuc or his organisation, if any, in Lisbon, and not as the work of any agent or organisation of agents in this country or moving between this country and the continent.
2. It is to be observed that we do not know precisely what Ostro claims to be the organization in the U.K. which works for him but references in the reports show that some of these agents are resident while others are definitely stated to be on aircraft travelling between the U.K. and Portugal. From the dates of the reports and the dates of their onward transmission from (KOP by means of W/T) to Berlin it is clear that they are notionally brought by air and are not sent either by ordinary mail or transmitted by W/T.
(AOB: Britain detached itself from the outside world for some weeks. No mails being forwarded outside, no airline traffic outside - no newspapers were sent abroad etc. All to keep off information leaking to outside; with the realistic danger that the Germans, in someway-or-another, could grasp that an invasion was eminent)
Of course the channel by which these reports are alleged by Ostro to come from the U.K. to Lisbon is by no means an improbable once, since smugglers have been identified amongst the crews of K.L.M. aircraft and it is known from good sources that Ostro is on intimate terms with Van der Vliet, the former K.L.M. manager in Lisbon. Accordingly, there is no reason why Ostro should not enjoy indirect access to the K.L.M. or B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Airline) offices in Lisbon.
AOB: not noticed - but a likely source could have been - British citizen living in Portugal, as they possessed often close contacts with British entities and relatives in England. There existed a British community in Portugal and beyond. Lisbon have been maintained as a travel hub, to the East and West. Night Bars and alcohol are always dangerous places to be.
3. The grounds on which it is considered that Ostro reports are inventions in Lisbon, notwithstanding the fact that the channel for their conveyance from the U.K. is a plausible one, are as follows:-
(a) the intrinsic nature of the reports;
(b) the statements of Artist (Johan Jebsen) made in Lisbon in conversation with members of this office (M.I.5?) and S.I.S.;
(c) the statements of Hans Brandes (Ballhorn this name was the name Jebsen was acquainted of) as reported by Artist (Johan Jebsen)
4- As to (a), the intrinsic nature of the reports. From Top Secret Sources (M.S.S.) (intercepted W/T traffic between KOP and HIOB/Skapura Berlin v.v.) we have had a continuous flow of Ostro reports from the U.K. since January, 1942. These reports, generally of a frequency of more than one lengthy message a week, have been, with the exception of a tiny percentage, mot only false, but fantastically so. It would be tedious to exhibit here these reports with the appreciations on their veracity which have been made, though both the reports and the veracity checks are available when required. What is more relevant to the issue is to establish that the mistakes made in these reports are of a character which no agent resident in this country or travelling between this country and the continent could make. A simple example of this type of error is the first sentence of a recent message which conveyed the information that the Allies proposed to attack the Manche Peninsula (Northern beaches and hinterland of the Normandy). This stated that there was no ban on leave in the U.K. and the period to which this refers, though not specified, was the last week of May. The ban on leave which has been in existence since April 9th (1944), is of course practically public knowledge in this country, and no agent, however low his grade, could have failed to discover this fact, of if he had failed to discover it, would have committed himself to the categorical assertion that there was no ban.
KV 2/197-2, page 54b
Errors of this type are, it is considered, the material ones on the issue as to whether Ostro's reports are invented, and the following are further illustrations of this this type of error:-
(AOB: ships information were certainly conveyed onto Kriegsmarine Skl. III (Seekriegsleitung III); and: I have studied all published message reference copies: sometimes were these errors complained towards Fidrmuc; the military daily practice was comparing whatever data being already available, in their card index)
(1) In his early convoy reports, Ostro frequently gives the names of ships and on more than one occasion has given the names of vessels which have been long sunk, and in many cases, e.g. the Georgic, where the loss had already been published in the press. Other vessels are named as sailing in convoy from U.K. when they were in the Far East at the time, and two vessels, the Letitia and Andania, are given as carrying troops from Canada to the U.K. in a number of Ostro messages, although one of these vessels had long been sunk and the other was in the Far East.
(2) Ports such as Fleetwood are frequently given as major ports of embarkation.
(3) Fantastic pictures are drawn, e.g. in the report in April 1942 (this report originates from 7 June 1944) that a banquet was to take place at four o'clock at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool, to be attended by Queen Mary, members of the Royal Family, various Lords of the Admiralty, The Prime Minister (thus Churchill), in conjunction with a great celebration at Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead.
(4) On technical issues, e.g. anti-submarine devices, Ostro commits himself to literally pages of technical description of wholly non-existent devises "USREW-USOPS" etc.
(5) On major strategical issues, Ostro has committed himself to definite plans and supported then with thick daubs of local colour. Thus, in the summer and autumn of 1942, Ostro received and passed on "reports" to the effect that the commencement of operations against Corsica was imminent, and he reported this statement with the quite untrue detail that large scale maps of Corsica had been ordered by the War Office from Messrs. Phillipps and Co. (AOB: Fidrmuc bought between 1935 and 1938 great numbers of maps from British companies. These purchases were already closely watched by M.I.5) This report was subsequently mentioned in a speech of the Führer.
More illuminating is the strategical report which Ostro produced in August 1943. This was to the effect that large scale operations were then in contemplation against Norway and against the rest of the continent, and Ostro's resident agent went so far as to give the code names in use for these operations, i.e. Viking and Black Prince.
This list of errors which are not explicable as simple mistakes by an agent here or the transmission by an agent of ill-informed rumours in circulation here, could be prolonged indefinitely establish the conclusion that the reports must be invented outside the country. In matters of small detail the attached appreciation of the last Ostro report (1 June 1944 Isk 100131?), which is thoroughly characteristic, is also cogent evidence to the same effect.
AOB: please read the last paragraph yourself
(9) (since 29 June 2023)
KV 2/197-2, page 58
PF 55032 Popov Duchan (Tricycle) (KV 2/845 ... 866) Dated 8.5.44
Extract from B.1.a. Report mentioning Fidrmuc.
. . .
On 13.4.44 Schreiber reported to Berlin that according to a communication from Brandes of 11.4.45 Artist (Johan Jebsen; initiated apparently by S.I.S. which latter Services did deny it severely) was noticeable trying to find out about Ostro & his connections. In order to avoid accidents, the secretary, Lily Craas, (she was a very close friend of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor), had forthwith been forbidden and contact with Ostro (Fidrmuc) , because through her connection with Baroness von Gronau (the latter was also a secretary at KOP) (Her father was the German Military Attaché at the Legation in Tokyo) Artist learnt everything, ...
. . .
One of Brandes (known generally as Ballhorn) motives in attacking Artist may be fear that Artist should disclose to the more honest members of the Abwehr, or to the S.D. (should be Milamt / Amt Mil) (the merging between Abwehr and the newly established successor Milamt / Amt Mil, was yet in progress), the fact that the espionage organisation which Ostro and Brandes (he himself also operating in cooperation with some German Service, but I consider more focussing on business matters. Brandes / Ballhorn travelled up to the bitter end rather frequently between Lisbon and Berlin per Airline v.v.) pretend to have do not exist.
. . .
If they do not yet suspect the latter there is a good chance that Artist (Johann Jebsen) will not be subjected to pressure which will break him; particularly as all the parties involved have their week spots which they will not wish to expose: for example, Brandes (Ballhorn) & perhaps Schreiber (Leiter I KOP), will fear a counter investigation of Brandes & Ostro ...
KV 2/197-2, page 59 (minute 109a)
CX/ /487/V.X. (Jebsen's CX?) dated 23.4.44
My dear Robertson (TAR),
At Mr. Wilson's request we asked Lisbon certain questions.
The answers are:-
(1) Bogus and fake mean controlled
(2) Artist has not mentioned Ostro.
(3) The date of our representative's meeting is uncertain and is left to the discretion of Artist.*
F. Foley (The S.I.S. representative, in Lisbon)
* Artist, thus Johann Jebsen, was showing (expressing) to quite many in Lisbon that the had sound contacts in England (showing a letter of invitation) and was intending to leave for London in due course. Please consider also: https://www.cdvandt.org/kuebart-kv-2-410-abwehr.htm
Lt. Col. T.A. Robertson,
KV 2/197-2, page 60a (minute 108b)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 (Fidrmuc's) Name. : Fidrmuc, Paul
Original in File No. :
3503255032 Popov, Vol. V. 13 Serial.: 878a Dated 21.4.44
Original from B.1.a. (Wilson)
Extracted on 17.5.44
Extract from notes on Brandes (KV 2/3295), Artist (remaining to be covered in Popov's file) and Tricycle (= Popov)
. . .
9. On 13.4.44 Schreiber reported to Berlin that according to a communication from Brandes (half Jewish) of 11.4.44, Artist (Johann Jebsen) was noticeably trying to find out about Ostro and his connections. In order to avoid accidents the secretary, Lily Craas (friend of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor, whose contacts apparently weren't entirely broken-off yet) had forthwith been forbidden any contact with Ostro, because through he connection with the secretary Baroness von Gronau Artist (Johann Jebsen), as proved again, learns everything (Mrs. von Gronau was in love of Johann Jebsen) (however, after Johann Jebsen had been abducted at the KOP office (about 19.00 hours), Lily Craas as well as Mrs. von Gronau were, long thereafter, sent back to Germany)
. . .
12. On 14.4.44 Lisbon reported to Berlin that, according to a communication from Artist to Brandes on this morning of the 14th, Artist (Johann Jebsen) had learned from (his girlfriend / fiancé?) von Gronau, who had learnt it from Lilly Craas, that Ostro had been in Portugal for two days (likely returning from Spain) for two days and had also resumed his old activities for Berlin. Artist (Johann Jebsen) had asked whether Ostro's connection with England could be ascertained . Artist (Johann Jebsen) also knew that Berlin had given permission to Ostro → about the connection between Ostro and the K.O. Portugal (KOP)
KV 2/197-2, page 61b
about the connection between Ostro and K.O. Portugal (KOP) through Lily Craas. Artist was equally au fait also with Schreiber's order to Craas concerning the ban on further relation with Ostro, and remarked in this connection that Craas had no intention of confirming to the ban (but Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor), but would adhere to the instructions of Berlin which had been given her through Ostro. Lisbon urgently requested that as K.O. Portugal could not continue to work in such circumstances, Craas and von Gronau should be immediately being recalled, given the routine reductions of staff as the justification in order not to give Artist prior warning. (AOB: actually - both girls left Portugal some days after the abduction of Artist).
. . .
1. Brandes is quite cleverly telling tales about Artist, but there is no indication, at least so far, that Brandes is trying to suggest that Artist (Johann Jebsen) is working for the British. It seems not unlikely that Brandes knows that Ostro is is as fraudulent as he himself is towards the Germans (AOB: unproven, purely M.I.5's "Wishful-Thinking"), and is therefore concerned in having the secretaries recalled so that Artist will not find out the truth about Ostro and denounce Ostro. (Oh, poor children)
. . .
17. A reply was sent to this telegram (from S.I.S. Lisbon re Tricycle (Popov) - General Staff (OKW) wish a further check on his genuiness on 19.4.44 asking whether, in using the words 'bogus' and 'fake' Lisbon meant (British controlled) or that the reports are based on Tricycle's own imagination. They were also asked when their next contact with Artist was an to telegraph anything he had said about Ostro at last meeting.
KV 2/197-2, page 63 (minute 108z)
Extract for File. : PF 64447 Name : Fidrmuc, Paul
Original in File No. : PF
3503255032 Popov V.13
Original from B.1.a. (Wilson)
Extracted on : 17.5.44
Extract taken from report (No. 1) by Artist (Johann Jebsen) brought back by Tricycle, 13.4.44. (AOB: this might indicate, that Popov left the Continent for the last time during the war)
Re - Valuation of the various connections to England by the Abwehr.
In the discussion with Kuebart (KV 2/410), Hansen (Leiter I, since ca. May 1944 Leiter Milamt), Dr. von Bohlen (Ludwig) (KV 2/1975) (later Milamt cover-name Mate) Weiss (Johannes @ Dominik) and
KammlerKamler = Kurrer Otto @ Kamler (KV 2/1962 PF 305470) about the valuation of the various England connections by Fremde Heere ?? Fremde Heere West (FHW) in Berlin, Brandes has learned the following:
The only connection working really well are the Red-Spanish Group and the Iwan (Ivan) Group (= Popov @ Tricycle as a double-cross agent) The correspondence with a number of other agents, amongst which are presumably also Sostaric, Cais, Iwan II (Popov's brother: Ivan Milorod @ Dreadnought?) etc., has even before the cancellation of the postal traffic (before 9th April 1944) not been very productive. In Brandes' opinion there are no other wireless connections. He said (to whom?), however, that possibly only connections carried on from the Iberian Peninsula were discussed with him (by whom - Johann Jebsen?), and that perhaps there are other connections from Sweden or from Switzerland.
. . .
It can therefore be said that, as I reported previously, from the Iberian Peninsula, and probably from anywhere, only these two really good connections exist, after Ostro has dropped out ...
KV 2/197-2, page 66 (minute 106b)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name Ostro Fidrmuc
Original in File No. : PF 55032 Popov, Duchan (there existed also a brother of Popov)
Original from : B.1.a. report (Wilson)
Extracted on : 29.3.44
Extract from report re meeting with Tricycle (Popov) and Artist (Johann Jebsen).
26. Ostro. Lily Craas had told Johann Jebsen (Artist) that Ostro's agents used Alumxx(?) should change them, but nothing had been done. (AOB: later in these file series, we will encounter the fact that there exist a post war reports on - that Fidrmuc communicated also by means of secret ink; these messages could not be intercepted as they were conveyed mainly by diplomatic mail-bag) Artist (Johann Jebsen) regarded this as further proof that Ostro's agents were imaginary. (??) He said that Ostro might go to Switzerland from Barcelona and that his information would probably tend to dry up because he could not get sufficiently quick large supply of newspapers from which to concoct his reports in Barcelona or Switzerland. (AOB: a good example of "Wishful-Thinking")
Curious matter next:
KV 2/197-2, page 80 (minute 103a)
I am most anxious, as are other people connected with Deception who see Ostro's activities, to denounce Ostro before it is too late. This whole question was discussed at the Twenty (XX) Committee meeting last week and S.I.S. have undertaken to put forward further representations for the liquidation of Ostro if possible.
I am, incidentally, being supplied with a plan by John Gwyer who has been giving this matter some thought and I am proposing to put it to Major Foley (S.I.S. representative in Lisbon) and ask him to take the necessary action.
I am a little surprised at (Colonel) Milne's arguments, especially the under number (b). The evidence certainly does not point towards the fact that O.K.W. (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) think that Ostro's information is bad otherwise would they have given him the Iron Cross? (AOB: curious the Iron Cross can only be achieved by soldiers in some form of combat; which wasn't the case in respect to Fidrmuc. However, in these often occurring cases, the Germans possessed another war-related decoration - the so-called K.v.K. (Kriegsverdienstkreuz of which Fidrmuc, in May 44, in Berlin, at a private session attended by Obst. Hansen personally, received one of Class 2) But this letter had been sent on 7 February 1944; quite before this matter was raised.)
T.A. Robertson (TAR) (M.I.5)
(E2019 ↓↓↓↓↓ E2019return)
KV 2/197-2, page 85a + 86b (minute 102a)
Colonel Robertson (TAR) B.1.a.
Further to our conversation regarding the blowing of Ostro. . I called on Lloyd to discuss the possibility of discrediting his organization by means of anonymous letter.
I pointed out to him that if Ostro and other uncontrolled (versus British controlled) organizations are allowed to operate and the information they pass continues to conflict with the information which reached the Abwehr through (British) controlled channels, it will tend to dilute the value of Abwehr reports reaching headquarters (O.K.W. in Berlin) and lessen the possibility of successful deception (think of Fortitude) through British controlled channels.
Lloyd was in full agreement that it would be in the interest of deception to discredit the uncontrolled channels and considered that so far as Ostro was concerned there was the possibility of discrediting his organization by bringing it to the notice of the S.D. (Amt IV) by means of an anonymous letter (which did not mature).
We then consulted Milne who agreed with the principle of the argument but considered that little benefit would be gained by taking these steps for the reason that:-
(a) Ostro constituted a very small percentage of the (Allied) uncontrolled traffic reaching the Abwehr;
(b) That if the bulk of the information passed through uncontrolled channels was a inaccurate as our vetting reports it to be, there was no likelihood that it would be evaluated highly by O.K.W.
(c) The bulk of useless traffic passed by uncontrolled channels was so considerable that it served us in occupying the time of the Abwehr outstations.
I explained that you (T.A. Robertson) had not yet given the matter full consideration. Furthermore there existed the danger that if drastic enough steps were taken to discredit Ostro and other uncontrolled agents might result in discrediting the Abwehr itself and thus B.1.a. channels.
It was decided that they would give the matter further consideration and consult with you before taking an further action.
B.1.g. 25.1.44 Sgd. T. Harris, albeit signed by someone else.
KV 2/197-3, page 1 (minute 101b)
Extract for file No. : PF 64447 Name. : Fidrmuc
Original in File No. : PF 55032 Popov Volume 12
Original from : S.I.S. Under : CX/
Extracted on : January 12th, 1944
Information from Artist (Johann Jebsen).
Ostro is very friendly with Schreiber's (Leiter I KOP) secretary Lily Craas (good friend of Fidrmuc's wife Ragmor) Through her (Frl. von Gronau) he (Johann Jebsen) sees nearly all reports which come in to K.O. Portugal and this helps Ostro to prepare his own reports. Artist had with difficulty persuaded Lilly not to show Tricycles (Popov's) report to Ostro (meant here is the same Popov engaged on the German Abwehr side; where he (Popov) was run with the German alias: Iwan (Ivan).
Brandes, told Artist (Johann Jebsen) that he read most of Ostro's reports which struck him as being invented nonsense. (AOB: I have my strong doubts what has been pointed here; it simply smells too much at: St. James' Street like (the home address of M.I.5 Offices) (AOB: by then Brandes was known by his cover-name Ballhorn, and as such known to Artist and not the other way around!)
KV 2/197-3, page 2 (minute 101aa)
B.1.b. Mr. Hart.
My memorandum on general information (from Artist Johann Jebsen) about the Abwehr and S.D. will become to you in due course but in the meantime you might like to have the following extract about Ostro:-
(AOB: noticing the S.D. is quite curious, because the S.D. (R.S.H.A. Amt IV) became more significant during Spring 1944. Before, the Wehrmacht possessed their own jurisdiction, partially based upon military tradition)
"Ostro works direct under I- H where Carnap has no function other than running Ostro. (AOB: they apparently were quite ill informed, as the one interviewing Fidrmuc in Spring 1947 knew rather well the real circumstances. K.O. Portugal forward Ostro's reports for him but take no part in running his case. When Carnap is out of Berlin, Beck alias Wernicke acts as his stand-in. Apart from this, Beck has retired from service, and gone back to his private business.
Ostro has never disclosed to Carnap or anyone else who his agents are, or how he gets his information. (AOB: this was one of the agreement points settled between Fidrmuc and someone in the German 1934/35 Intelligence hierarchy) (Pieper? KV 2/2140?) Artist (Johann Jebsen) said as soon as Ostro's name was mentioned that he believed he invented his reports (Artist's and British "Wishful-Thinking") . He is, however, regarded by Berlin as a sort of "prima donna" who must not be ruffled. Berlin sometimes sends other reports to Ostro for his evaluation. Artist (Johann Jebsen) thinks this helps him to invent his own reports. (AOB: do we have to believe that what the quite frustrated Johann Jebsen is forwarding - is true and not being more or less coloured and modified? Do we have to believe that so openly by everyone being acknowledged the state of affairs in respect to Fidrmuc? The points discussed within the services, especially on the level of their regular servants is coloured by various kinds of "tunnel-visions") A civil pilot (Van der Vliet KLM?) is supposed to act as courier (from England to Portugal on behalf of Fidrmuc?) for him about once a fortnight. Ostro is now supposed to be leaving Lisbon for Madrid (AOB: nonsense). The official reason is in case German-Portuguese relations deteriorate further and make Ostro's position here more difficult (AOB: again none-relevant nonsense, and "wishful-thinking" and as the history will prove, all in vain; as up to March 1945 Fidrmuc mainly remained living and operating in Portugal), but Artist (Johann Jebsen) thinks the real reason may be fear that his bluff would be called and he would have to confess to being unable to arrange a line of communication for Pigeon (a double-crossing agent for the British)."
(AOB: is this, latter, showing to us - that they suffered from some kind of an endemic flaw? Notwithstanding all their many efforts: At no moment Ostro was actually pulled over to the Allied side, and hardly ever was endangered, nor being controlled by them)
(10) (since 8 July 2023)
KV 2/197-3, page 5 (minute 101x) This document is explaining about the mail services from Germany territory to abroad, for example, also to Britain.
I have discussed this problem with various officers, and arrived at the highly speculative suggestions:-
(1) The letter containing the duff (micro dots) (Y2014 Y2014return) must almost certainly have emanated from Germany and not from this country/
(a) Because on internal evidence the text was much more like instructions to an agent than a report from an agent.
(b) Because the production of a Duff by a German agent in this country would be extremely difficult.
(2) If the Duff was oicjed yo in Copenhagen in transit from Germany to England, it is unlikely that it was going via Stockholm.
(a) Because mail from Germany to Stockholm almost certainly goes direct.
(b) Because the Abwehr would probably (though not quite certainly) send a questionnaire, intended for transmission from Stockholm, by the Diplomatic Bag to Sweden.
(3) The only probable explanation for the letters going through Copenhagen at all is that it was in transit to Norway, not to Sweden. (It is still obscure why the Germans should not send the questionnaire as far as as the Norwegian forwarding point by Abwehr courier).
(4) If this is the case, the only method of onward transmission to England by courier. The courier would be either:-
(a) A Norwegian fisherman.
(b) A German agent who has penetrated the S.O.E. organisation.
(5) Some confirmation for the above hypothesis is provided by the fact that the Germans recently supplied their censorship in Norway with a list of addresses in Stockholm so that any letters bearing these addresses should be immediately forwarded unexamined. This seems to show that communications are being received in Norway from this country for the Abwehr. It also indicates that such letters are not always carried from Norway by Abwehr courier direct to Germany (see 3 above).
(6) As far as the later history of the Duff is concerned, it looks as though it was obtained by the Danish police official in the investigation department in Copenhagen, handed to Lieutenant Runnet, who sent it to Outpost (Malmø ?) who in turn forwarded it to Polish Intelligence H.Q. in Stockholm. From there it was transmitted by Polish Bag to London.
(7) The information which the report contains is not in itself very alarming. Portion is widely known: Falfield is an A.R.P. School, but is not very secret; Scammel Lorries do not make decontamination vehicles' there is no gas station in Leeds. There remains the mystery of "Jonjshair", which I still hope to amend and identify. And there is also the problem of the presumed other twelve or more pages.
Till, however, we get further details from the Poles, I doubt if we shall get the bottom of the whole business.
6.12.43 Sgd. A.F. Blunt
KV 2/197-3, page 6 (minute 11a)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name : Fidrmuc, Paul
Original in File No. : PF Popov V.11 Serial:
Original from : S.I.S. Under Ref. : CX/ /Y./V.X.
Extracted December 18th, 1943
Miscellaneous C.E. Information from Artist.
Pigeon (British double-cross agent) has been offered to Ostro who has accepted him and he is to go to England for him. Ostro however, has refised to meet Artist (Johann Jebsen). Artist (Johann Jebsen) showed me the actual telegrams and promised to copy them and hand them to Tricycle (Popov).
Ostro claims to have a fortnightly courier to England but Artist (Johann Jebsen) that this man does not exist. The test will come when Pigeon (an S.D. agent) (as the British refused to notice the various German Services sections; was he an Amt IV of from mid 1944 a, double-crossing, Milamt agent?) is briefed by Ostro. The latter will either have to put in touch with his courier or admit that he is notional.
It must be remembered that Artist (Johann Jebsen) does not know Ostro's real name. I confirmed with him that his first name is Paul so that he would continue to look out for Paul material such as he had previously shown to us (Mr. Foley?) Otto Wolff (Wolf von Amerongen) is due back on November 18th.
KV 2/197-3, page 7 (minute 99a)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name : Fidrmuc
Original in File PF 55o32 Popov V.11
Original from : S.I.S. Under CX/ /Y.
Extracted on December 2nd 1943
Source Artist. Date 26.10.43.
Ostro is run directly from Berlin by Carnap (Oblt. Wilhelm von Carnap). through a special Dienststelle (Skapura) in Berlin.
Beck(Dr. Beck) is assistant to Carnap. (nonsense Dr. Beck did quit the Services in early 1942, and was no no longer in charge since)
In view of the recent alleged poisoning attempt on Ostro the Abwehr wishes to transfer him to Madrid for greater safety. (AOB: the Abwehr possessed no jurisdiction upon Fidrmuc) It is considered possible that Ostro may refuse to go.
Ostro is associated with a firm (Brucker-Traus) in Lisbon. Last year Ostro is believed to have made one and a half million escudos.
KV 2/197-3, page 11 (minute 98ab)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name : Fidrmuc
Original in File No. : B.1.Reg.Folder No. 51
Original from R.I.S. (Radio Intelligence Service ?)
Extracted on : 8.4.44
From R.I.S. enclosing comments on the September (1943?) amendments for the Spain & Portugal Who's Who.
. . .
Fidrmuc. Miscellaneous. I doubt if Tricycle is right in saying that Fidrmuc had a special department in Berlin to look after his work. We know that he is controlled (AOB: in my perception, more meant his handling office when he addresses messages to Berlin I) by the I.H. Ost (H = Heer) (Ost = East) officer (Oblt. Wilhelm) von Carnap who, according Tricycle (Popov) has largely replaced his superior Hauptmann (Captain) Beck @ Wernik (nonsense, Dr. Beck did quit in early 1942) But I do not think that he is Carnap's only agent of interest. I think that Fidrmuc is run by particular section of I. H. Ost (actually known as: Skapura) which has a few other activities in Portugal:- hence Tricycle belief that it is a special department set up to deal with him (Fidrmuc) - and that this is due to the coincidence of his recruitment (in 1934/35) and nothing more. As Harlequin (real name Dr. Weiss) (KV 2/268 + KV 2/275 .. 277 on Wurmann) (AOB: Maybe the British got only German cover-name Wurmann only, whereas his true name was Dr. Weiss ) showed, it is an Abwehr principle that agents belong to the officers recruiting them, even if they change their area of activity. (AOB: This latter comment proves - that R.I.S. was correctly informed - whereas the British Secret Services, remained ill informed, throughout the remaining war) The case of Leisner @ Lichtenstein once controlled by Dresden (Wehrkreis IV) but now run from the Netherlands because of Dr. Daene's transfer there, is a case in point.
KV 2/197-3, page 14 (minute 93a)
I showed tricycle (Popov) yesterday, without any comment whatever, the photograph of Fidrmuc. He at once said he recognised the man, that he had frequently seen him about in Lisbon, although he had never actually met him, that he was a German and one of the few Germans in Lisbon who still gave the Nazi salute (AOB: Fidrmuc was a NSDAP member), and that he had seen him in the company of the First Secretary of the German Legation. (AOB: Fidrmuc was on very friendly terms with KOP Leiter Ludovico von Karshof) (real name: Major Ludwig Kremer von Auenrode) He did not know his name.
KV 2/197-3, page 19a partially + 20b
1. There is a certain similarity in the general set-up of the agents Garbo (Putjol) and Ostro.
2. From the analysis report (A), which compares information sent to Lisbon by Garbo in secret ink with messages sent by Ostro to Berlin by W/T (AOB what is going on?), it seems possible that Ostro has had access to Garbo's letters. This deduction is made from the analysis as distinct from the physical impossibilities of such an act. It would in fact be impossible for Ostro to develop Garbo's letters and then send them again.
3. Analysis report (B), which compares Garbo W/T traffic with Ostro W/T traffic for June, July and August, up to 9th September (1943), shows a slight similarity, not so much in the details but in the places and objects mentioned. It is noticed that the period over which the traffic is most similar is whilst Starkey was being built up to its peak. The simple explanation is, that Garbo, being a controlled agent, was purposely used to implement Starky, and Ostro was giving information on the operation on the instructions of Berlin, (Berlin's message of 13.8.43). Also in the spread? publisity? was going ?? ?? excersise? - the newspapers ????
A more complicated solution might be as follows:-
Ostro is not supposed by the authorities here to have any agents in this country. In that case he must either be invented all his traffic or possibly intercepting Garbo's.
The first objection to the latter hypothesis is the physical one. How could Ostro, even he picked up Garbo's traffic on the air, decode and read it? He could only do this if he possessed a copy of Garbo's code. The only reason why he should have a copy of the code would be if he were an Abwehr official, and the traffic indicates that he is not. If he were an Abwehr official in Lisbon, it is difficult to see why he should have a copy of the code of an agent transmitting from London to Madrid. Supposing, for the sake of argument, that Ostro has a copy of Garbo's code and is intercepting and reading, that Ostro has a copy of Garbo's code and is intercepting and reading his traffic, then why should he distort it to such an extent? there seems one possible but improbable answer to this- that is that Ostro, as an Abwehr official (AOB: Ostro wasn't even an Abwehr related person), , knew Garbo in Lisbon and knows that he is now an agent in the U,K. and wishes to discredit him in the eyes of Berlin. This he does by making Garbo's traffic appear inaccurate (which just was Garbo's aim) by sending in contradictory reports, along more or less the same lines as Garbo's hoping that Berlin will take his information as accurate rather than Garbo's.
After reading the foregoing conclusions, I think the final conclusion must be that Ostro is not intercepting Garbo's traffic.
B.1.a. 21.9.43 Sgd. M. Sherer.
KV 2/197-3, page 21 (minute 92b)
Extract for File No. : PF 64447 Name Fidrmuc
Original in File No. : PF 55032 Popov v.10
Original from B.1.a.
Extracted on. : October 14th, 1943.
There is a man introduced to Johnny (German cover-designation to Johann Jebsen) as van Ostro or Ostrow, living in Estoril in an octagonal house (Villa Igloo), who is supposed to be the best German agent in the Nachrichtendienst looking after his work and Karsthoff (= Ludovico) is not running him. He is called
P.B.K. or P.B.H.(Z2015 Z2015return) P.C.B. He gets his information through "Luftverkehr". Johnny (German cover-name of Johann Jebsen) knows that every time an aeroplane from Britain arrives Ostro get news. Originally he was connected with Dr. Wernicke (alias of Dr. Beck, but he did quit in early 1942!) (see man in front at: D2018 D2018return). Johnny (Johann Jebsen) is trying to get more information about him.
Johnny (Johann Jebsen) saw a message in the office (KOP??) from
P.B.H. or P.B.K. (P.C.B.) Service in which it was said that the invasion of France would take place on August 28th (AOB: actually a test invasion did take place at Dieppe on 19 August 1942: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe_Raid . Later on in a discussion Karsthof(f)? (= Ludovico Leiter KO Portugal) explained to me (AOB: please notice, Johann Jebsen himself was a German agent with the cover-name Johnny; he therefore was double-crossing Ludovico and others) explained that to me that the date must be accurate because the night was the darkest night and there was no moon. It also was in accord with the preparatory bombing of Northern France and furthermore in October the Channel becomes very rough and it is necessary to have at least one clear month for supplies, which it would difficult to send across in October. They did not mention it again when the 28th passed and nothing happened. (AOB: what a nonsense! The landing at the beach of Dieppe took place on 19th of the very month of August 1942; whereas the text conveys the impression that the month August 1943 was without any noticeable events)
KV 2/197-3, page 22a + 23b (minute 92ad)
PF. 64447?B.1.a./J.C.Masterman 17th September, 1943.
At the Twenty Committee yesterday a discussion took place about various German agents, known to us the secret sources (M.S.S.), whom we do not control (thus no double-crossers). The chief of these is Ostro (Paul Georg Fidrmuc) in particular, were becoming a serious embarrassment to us (British Secret Service M.I.5) It is possible, though not certain, that Ostro's reports are constructed on neutral territory and invented by him or his assistants. They are often wildly inaccurate, but it spears that they are sometimes believed by the Germans, and they therefore enter into competition with the work of our (also notional agents).
From the specifically M.I.5. point of view there is nothing to worry about in this situation, but for two reasons it is extremely prejudicial to deception.
1. When an operation is pending and the Germans receive many conflicting reports, they will tend to suspend judgement or, at the least, will not have complete confidence in the reports of British B.1.a. (M.I.5.) agents.
2. It is always possible that Ostro, even if his reports are invented, may hit upon the correct area in which we hope to attack and thereby do our plans considerable damage. (AOB: just this occurred with Fidrmuc's message Isk 100131, kept hidden even in this file series date 1st June 1944 and Fidrmuc was predicting the landing on the beach of Normandy! We will deal with it in great detail in due course)
The (XX) Committee therefore came to the conclusion that it would be desirable, in the interest of the successful deception work (Operation Fortitude), to discredit, or preferably to eliminate, these competing agencies, We have already done something to discredit them by passing over accurate information on some points in which Ostro has been inaccurate, and no doubt we shall be able to do more in the way; but this is a palliative rather than a cure, and I think that we ought to consider very carefully if there is any chance of getting rid of Ostro, at any rate, altogether.
I was instructed by the Twenty Committee (XX) to write to you on this topic and to say that the Committee hoped that, if you concur in our view, you would get into touch with S.I.S. and S.O.E. and discuss with them the possibilities of eliminating Ostro and his fellow workers.
Colonel J.H. Bevan, M.C.,
Offices of the War Cabinet
Great George Street
(AOB: this again is a proof of the incompetence of the (frustrated) organisation; of course in respect Paul Georg Fidrmuc only. They will fail until Germany surrendered in May 1945 - but Fidrmuc was at no moment being harmed or in serious danger!
Please notice: (E2019 E2019return)
KV 2/197-3, page 26a + 27b (minute 84b + 84a)
Source: Camp 020 report dated 13.4.43
Subject:- Paul and Frau (Ragmor) Fidrmuc
Photographs of the above were shown to internees at Camp 020.
Wout recognised Frau Fidrmuc (Ragmor) as a blonde (born Danish) to be found in the English bar. He saw this woman and Maria Schuvalov many times in Lisbon in the Hotel Aviz and in many cafes and restaurants in Estoril. He never saw Frau Fidrmuc with Paul Fidrmuc, although he saw a man of Fidrmuc's appearance in the streets of Lisbon.
Da Silva said he thought Frau Fidrmuc was identical with a girl named Rose (this might have constituted Ragmor's more westerly sounding name), a protégée of Mme. Taylor, often in the company of Hoffmann. He gives a description of her. B.1.b.'s comment on it is: "Da Silva is a prodigious (phenomenal) liar and it does not surprise me that he should have invented a story rather than admit he does not know the individuals concerned."
Original in PF 63202 (no longer existing)
Extract from Camp 020 report 13.4.43.
Frau (Ragmor) Fidrmuc.
A blonde, always to be found in the English Bar. This bar was run by an Australian named Bass, known to the customers as "Uncle Arthur" and Wout suggested that he would be in a position to give information of interest on all the people who frequented the English Bar.
- - -
KV 2/197-3, page 29a (minute 84x)
Extract from Fanto's Interrogation. Original filed in PF 65730 (KV 2/327)
8th April 1943. Afternoon.
Belgian - Portuguese Trade.
Rohrbach had a firm in Belgium called Kosmos for some time. They were shipping agents. As far as Fanto knows they did not do any business trade with Portugal before the war.
Freitas used to be in the cork business in Portugal.
A man of the name Otlet, who lives in San Sebastian, was a business connection of Rohrbach's in Spain, where Rohrbach's main business interest lie. Rohrbach used to visit Spain to conduct his business and then go on to Portugal to see Freitas. Rohrbach has done a good deal of business importing nickel from Portugal to Belgium, but as Belgian funds in Lisbon are block (AOB: as was usually for all nations), the business is done by compensation (AOB: known as Clearing: where the amount currency of a swap was then compensated by the same amount of a product delivered in return. For example: when Rohrbach obtained, say, metals worth 50.000 escudos from Belgium - products were delivered in return being worth 50.000 escudos). Fanto thinks that Rohrbach may have been sending tin plates to Portugal and importing sardines from Portugal, but he is not sure of this.
Brucker-Traus is another firm engaged in trade between Portugal and Belgium. Fanto believes that most of the members are in the "information game". (AOB: not true, the only was engaged was Paul Geor Fidrmuc, whom was also one of the "business partners". He got this impression from Kamler (real name Oblt. Otto Kurrer @ Heribert) Fanto only knows one member in this firm a Lisbon employee Nagy (an Hungarian name). He also once met von Karup (von Carnap?), the Berlin representative, a man of about thirty-five. Nagy came to see Fanto and Koessler on behalf of Brucker-Traus, who were trying to import citric acid from Belgium for Koessler's firm.
The first time Fanto went to Lisbon he tried to buy fats for the company in Belgium, but was told by the American Consulate that this would be impossible.
Fanto visited the firm Pereanes Palma, which belongs to Salgardo, a big man in the Portuguese legion. This firm has a tin concession, and ship tin to Belgium where it turned into tine plate and sent back to Portugal.
Da Fonseca had the following plan. All trade between Belgium and Portugal was in the hand of Kosmos (Rohrbach's firm) and Brucker-Traus. Because these were both known to be German firms (not true; Brucker and Traus once had been born in the German era, but after the end of WW I (The Great War) they became engaged in Belgium), da Fonseca wished to organise some trade with Belgium firms who would be able to continue after the war. He therefore proposed to go to Brussels and try to form a group of the biggest Belgium importers and distributors to carry on trade with Portugal. The Portuguese firm whom he intended to carry on the Portuguese end of the trade wasPereanes Palma. (This firm is on the Black List (thus a firm once accused dealing with the Germans or other occupied countries, including Fascist Italy) In fact, da Fonseca was unable to obtain any support from this idea in Brussels and da Fonseca told Fanto that before he left Lisbon he had had conversations with on the directors of the Société Géneral who had come over from London, whom he had informed of his plans. Koessler had told Rohrbach about da Fonseca's plans and supposed that Rohrbach was in consequence endeavouring to prevent da Fonesca getting his visa to go to Belgium (Germany occupied Europe and therefore terra incognito). There was, however, no definite evidence that this was Rohrbach's doing. Finally Fanto managed to get da Fonseca's visa for him. Da Fonseca went to Brussels on 3rd February (1943) and returned on 28th March. There was no evidence that Brucker-Traus knew of or tried to torpedo da Fonseca's plans. When Fanto asked Kam;ler if da Fonseca would be able to obtain a Passierschein, Kamler seemed to be rather opposed to this making the journey and Fanto got got the definite impression that Brucker-Traus were engaged in intelligence work (only true for Fidrmuc), and that Kamler did not see any necessity for anybody else to "horn in)" on the business.
Koessler's firm was always careful not to get into any business which was likely to cause them to be put on the Black List. This was one of the conditions imposed by the Board of Directors on the instigation of de Korth. De Korth even went so far as to suggest that a separate company should be formed in Portugal to import citric acid from Belgium in order that the Sociedade should not be involved in trade with Belgium. The Sociedade was only intended to be a holding company.
KV 2/197-3, page 30b
When asked Falus (Paul, Hungarian Wine merchant), Fanto said that when he was in Portugal he had been warned not to have anything to do with him and he thought that this was by Thornton. Fanto never actually met Falus, although he had seen him in the Hotel du Parque (in Estoril) where they were both staying. Latterly he had seen him good deal in the company of Canas of the Portuguese Petroleum Institute. Fanto believes that his Christian name was Fritz and that he was working in the Lisbon branch of Otto Wolf (Otto Wolf von Amerongen).
Fanto did not know any man called Wolf in Lisbon, though he did meet a Miss Wolf, whom be believed to be Kamler's (Oblt. Otto Kurrer) girl-friend. She was the daughter of a Berlin Lawyer and secretary to Breisky, the 1st Secretary of the German Legation (in Lisbon), and was living in the same house as Kamler. There was also in Lisbon the son of Otto Wolf von Amerongen, whom Fanto did not meet. Fanto believes that his Christian was Fritz and that he was working in the Lisbon branch of Otto Wolf von Amerongen.
When Fanto had dealings with Brucker-Traus, it was because the Sociedade proposed to import citric acid from Belgium and the handling of it was to be undertaken by Brucker-Traus. The Sociedade wished to by the citric acid from Brucker-Traus in Lisbon and Nagy (engaged at Brucker-Traus) a Hungarian, came to see Koessler about this about the beginning of January (1943) , and was seeing him at intervals until Fanto left. Nagy gave the impression of beuing a partner of Brucker-Traus (correct), though Fanto believes that in fact he is not. The Portuguese Chemical Control refused a import licence, so that nothing has so far come of this, but the Sociedade hopes to import it under the auspices of the Food Control (citric acid being used as a food preservative). Fanto said he did not know either Frank (Camillo?) or Fidrmuc in Brucker-Traus. The only member of the firm he knew was Nagy. He described Nagy as a thick set man, who spoke French and German with a very Hungarian accent, living at the Parque Hotel (Estoril). He used to go to the Casino and dance. He had been the representative of some well-known American firm, the name of which Fanto could not remember. Fanto also met von Carnap, who was in Lisbon on a visit from about the middle of November (1942) to the middle of December. he was the Berlin representative of Brucker-Traus Ltda (AOB: nonsense!) He made the trip regularly and was intending to return. Fanto met him by accident one day in the Commercial Attaché's office at the German Legation, when Korff explained that Fanto was also interested in Portuguese-Belgian trade.
Von Carnap(?) then invited Fanto to come and see him again in order to discuss this subject. Fanto described von Carnap as a short slightly built man, aged about thirty. He was certainly a North German, rather than an Austrian or Bavarian, and probably a Berliner.
Fanto himself was supposed to be arranging purchades of corks to be be bought by the Crown Cork Co. Ltd. of Antwerp, (which has nothing to do with the American or British companies) and belongs to a Mr. Bens. Fanto himself did not try to put this through, but Koessler mentioned the possibility of doing this business to James Lancaster Freitas. Fanto believes that his business never materialised.
When asked how Korff fitted into this, Fanto stated that it had been arranged that Korff would transmit the correspondence of Koessler to Paris, from where it would be sent on to Brussels. Bergmann made this arrangement with Koessler and had it been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bergmann has no connection with Oswald as far as Fanto knows. Fanto did not meet either Kreiss or Ruser (Dr. Hans Ruser British alias Junior) (his file has been blocked up to 2039 'aka'), though he saw the former quite often. He also never met Merckel.
Fanto did not know Herr Schmitt, the shipping clerk working with Vivas, the transport firm, and living at the Palacio. He had, however, seen him often and described him as tall, with a long neck, a rather squashed head, dark hair going a little thin in front, wearing glasses, clean shaven (though he might possibly have a small moustache, (aged about forty-two, generally dressed in a blue suit.
Fanto met Mr. Schubeius of the German Consulate, whose job is to arrange all passport difficulties. He is an official indicator for the Gestapo and tells all that is going on. Fanto describes him as very tiny, very vain, with a pointed nose, rather agitated, very energetic, wears glasses, has lived in Lisbon for about eighteen years, looks like an animated gnome.
Terminating herewith the entire KV 2/196 and KV 2/197 series
To be continued soon with a new web-page
By Arthur O. Bauer