disposal in occupied France: Pierre de Bénouville, of the Combat network, was a regular visitor to Herrengasse 23, where he was fed and lodged.
mistress of Admiral Canaris: Wilhelm Canaris (1887–1945) was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Third Reich. An ultraconservative nationalist, he nevertheless tried discreetly to counter Hitler’s belligerent plans. His double game finally came into the open and he lost his post in February 1944. He was executed in April 1945. See Heinz Höhne, Canaris, tr. J. Maxwell Brownjohn (New York: Doubleday, 1979).
military intelligence (Abwehr): The Abwehr, which designated all the intelligence services of the German army, was expert in counterespionage. The agency was established by Prussia in 1866, during the war with Austria.
also became preferred sources: In a letter of December 10, 1943, Hugh R. Wilson (a high official in the OSS) wrote to Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle: “On the second of November we informed our representative in Bern that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had instructed us to do what we could to detach the satellite countries, Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania immediately from the Axis.” Foreign Relations of the United States 1943, vol. 1.
Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Masson: Lieutenant-Colonel Masson’s services had several irons in the fire: their contacts with the Americans did not keep them from sustained dialogue with the German intelligence services, headed by Walter Schellenberg, who went to Switzerland several times in 1943.
a large German community: The Swiss NSDAP had been banned since the assassination of its leader Wilhelm Gustloff by the Yugoslavian student David Frankfurter in February 1936 in Davos. Nazi Germany attached little importance to the country’s neutrality, as demonstrated by the 1935 kidnapping of the German pacifist militant Berthold Jacob by German agents in Basel.
(Sicherheitsdienst, foreign intelligence services: Headed by Walter Schellenberg, the SD was under the Central Security Service of the Reich, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA), another name for Heinrich Himmler’s police empire. The SD was Department VI of the RSHA, the Gestapo Department IV.
“unconscious” of the Germans: See Bancroft, Autobiography of a Spy.
Ecumenical Council of Churches: Willem Visser’t Hooft: his friends called him simply Wim, and in Dulles’s secret correspondence with Washington, he was merely number 474. Sauerbruch had number 835 for the OSS, while Kocherthaler seems not to have had a number.
Dulles’s close collaborators: This visit was full of meaning for Dulles: The threat of a shift of German liberal elites toward communism was very real. This appeal was all the more troubling because it came from a man, von Trott, who had had some of his schooling in England and knew the United States well.
“unconditional surrender” of Germany: Policy defined at the Casablanca conference between Roosevelt and Churchill, from January 24 to 26, 1943. This strategy seemed dangerous to Allen Dulles because in his view it risked humiliating the Germans and driving them into the arms of the Russians. “We rendered impossible internal revolution in Germany and thereby prolonged the war and the destruction,” Dulles wrote after the war. Letter of January 3, 1949 to Chester Wilmot (Australian war correspondent), Allen W. Dulles papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton.
contact for the future: Relations between Allen Dulles and Prince Hohenlohe were used after the war by Soviet propaganda to discredit after the fact American policy during the war. See James Srodes, Allen Dulles, Master of Spies (Washington, DC: Regnery, 1999), pp. 261–67.
rest of the world: Connections by air between Switzerland and the rest of the world had been practically nonexistent since the beginning of the war, except for flights to Germany. Source: Rudolf J. Ritter, Grub, Switzerland.
postal and telecommunications service: Allen Dulles, The Secret Surrender (New York: Harper & Row, 1966). Dulles telephoned Washington four or five times a week to provide general political analyses and news summaries without operational implications.
numbered only about fifteen: The two permanent agents assigned as cipher clerks received reinforcements from American aviators blocked in Switzerland after forced landings. Source: Bern, summary of the OSS Bern office during the war, National Archives. In Bern, Dulles had four intelligence officers (Gero von Schulze-Gaevernitz, Gerald Mayer, Frederick Stalder, and Royall Tyler), and about ten cipher clerks, not counting about one hundred informants working regularly for him.
concerned sensitive information: The series of dispatches dealt with the political situation in Italy and the rise of anti-German feeling in Mussolini’s entourage. Soon thereafter (was this coincidental?), they learned of the disgrace of Count Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister, and of several of his friends who wished to end the German alliance. Source: Bern.
the German Enigma code: “Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of British cryptanalysts, and the cooperation of Polish, Czech, and French liaison colleagues, and a lone German spy [Hans-Thilo Schmidt], the Nazi military and intelligence ciphers had been broken sometime before Kolbe became active. This success—code name ULTRA—rivaled only by the American triumph of breaking Japanese ciphers (code name MAGIC), was one of a handful of the great secrets of World War II. The Ultra information made a vital contribution to the Allied victory in Europe and Africa.” Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder. “Enigma” was the name of the sophisticated machine used to encrypt the secret messages of the German army. “Ultra,” the system for decoding Enigma messages set up in England during the war, was located in Bletchley Park, not far from London, and employed dozens of expert mathematicians working in absolute secrecy.
and to General Oster: General Hans Oster (1887–1945) was number two in the Abwehr. He informed the Dutch of the imminent invasion of their country by the troops of the Wehrmacht in the spring of 1940. He played an initiating role in several seditious anti-Nazi plots but was placed under Gestapo surveillance by 1943 and was relieved of duty in the spring of 1944. He was executed in April 1945 in the Flossenbürg concentration camp.
explained that these rockets: “V” was the abbreviation for Vergeltungswaffe, retaliatory weapon. The V-1 rocket was made up of an aerodynamic fuselage with two small wings propelled by a jetpulse engine in the rear. This was the first cruise missile in history. This flying bomb loaded with explosives was launched from an inclined ramp and was not very precise. The V-2 (or A4), developed and built at Peenemünde (a Baltic Sea resort), was a veritable rocket, having a range of about 320 kilometers and capable of being launched from mobile ramps that were easily camouflaged. This rocket and its principal inventor, Wernher von Braun, made possible the development of American space research after the war. The first V-1 missile was fired on London in June 1944. In September, it was the turn of the V-2 to enter into action. Thousands of V-2s were launched in 1944 and 1945, chiefly on London and Antwerp, causing tens of thousands of deaths. Thanks to Philippe Ballarini and Michel Zumelzu for their invaluable web sites (www.aerostories.org and www.perso.club-internet.fr/mzumelzu/home.htm).
a Baltic Sea resort: Allen Dulles learned of the existence of Peenemünde in several stages: first from the Swiss industrialist Walter Boveri (February 1943), then from Hans-Bernd Gisevius (May 1943), then from Franz Josef Messner (chief executive of a company in Vienna). Peenemünde was bombed on August 17, 1943. Bern, National Archives.
bad with utmost confidence: Srodes, Allen Dulles, Master of Spies, p. 268.
given to a woman: Circular of June 10, 1941 on the organization of diplomatic mail, Foreign Ministry archives, Berlin.
offices throughout the world: Excerpt from the circular of June 10, 1941: “We have recently noticed an abusive increase in missions to our offices abroad [Kurierausweis]. In many cases, these are merely documents of convenience used primarily to offer the beneficiary the opportunity to travel comfortably and to pass easily through customs. This is not acceptable.”
between Himmler and Ribbentrop: “We encounter constant difficulties because of the inopportune activities of your services abroad,” Ribbentrop wrote to Himmler on June 11, 1941. Foreign Ministry archives.
packages, stamped “official dispatch”: In German, völkerrechtlich immun. The stamp had both French and German phrases.
envelope containing diplomatic cables: “Since he traveled on a diplomatic passport, the border controls never thought once to inspect closely the large envelope which he carried.” Unpublished, undated memoir by Allen Dulles, Allen W. Dulles Papers (box 114, file 11), Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton.
despite official warnings: Internal circular of the Foreign Ministry (February 27, 1943) concerning the organization of diplomatic mail, Foreign Ministry archives.
with sturdy string: Biographical document by Gerald Mayer and Fritz Kolbe.
as a diplomatic courier: Fritz Kolbe had been trying unsuccessfully to secure an assignment as diplomatic courier to Switzerland since 1940. “The fact that he did not belong to the party kept him from being placed on the lists.” Biographical document by Gerald Mayer and Fritz Kolbe.
semivacation in Switzerland: The circle of the “privileged” was rather large, because the transport of diplomatic mail between Berlin and Bern took place every day, at least in the first years of the war. Those charged with carrying diplomatic mail were not supposed to have to high a rank in the ministry hierarchy.
his political reliability in writing: Autobiographical document written by Fritz Kolbe in Berlin in early January 1947.
the Ministry of Propaganda: Propaganda Ministerium, or Promi in common speech.
not repress a shiver: The Central Security Office of the Reich, Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA).
the Askanischer Platz: The names are references to German history. The old princely house of Askania reigned over the duchy of Anhalt until 1918.
not bang into them: Source: Alfred Gottwaldt, Berlin, January 10, 2002. All the technical details on trains (including the schedules) were kindly provided by Mr. Gottwaldt, curator of the railroad department in the Technical Museum in Berlin.
front of the train: In 1939, the diplomat Theo Kordt traveled from Bern to Berlin in first class “because he was carrying dispatches” (Foreign Ministry, Theo Kordt file). During the war, first class was abolished on German trains (Alfred Gottwaldt).
Berlin (visa no. 519): Fritz Kolbe’s diplomatic passport has been kept by his son, Peter Kolbe, in Sydney. See illustrations.
Italian, and Austrian deserters: One of Fritz Kolbe’s friends had wanted to desert and go secretly to Switzerland. Kolbe had succeeded in dissuading him and brought him back to his barracks before his absence was noticed. Morgan, “The Spy the Nazis Missed.”
not display a Nazi flag: German diplomats feared hostile reactions from the Swiss population and made themselves as discreet as possible.
concealed beneath his pants: Where were the documents hidden? It is impossible to say. The hotel was not a secure place, because the owners had good relations with the German authorities (reservations were made by the Foreign Ministry).
known well since Spain: Otto Köcher had the title “envoy” (Gesandte), not ambassador (Botschafter, which was reserved for diplomats serving in the major capitals; see ch. 1, n. 2) Otto Köcher was born in Alsace in 1884. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 1912, was vice-consul in Naples, then first secretary in Bern; legation adviser in Mexico City in 1924; consul general in Barcelona in 1933. Joined the NSDAP on October 1, 1934 (number 2,871,405). Head of the German legation in Switzerland from March 29, 1937. Very favorably evaluated by the hierarchy of the National Socialist Party. Also very much appreciated by the Swiss authorities (note that Köcher’s mother was Swiss). “George, from his Spanish times, was well acquainted with… Herr Köcher, who had been formerly Consul general in Barcelona” (Ernst Kocherthaler, “The Background of the George Story”).
nature of the place: “Everywhere, only happy people could be seen,” wrote Klaus Mann in his novel The Volcano.
south of the capital: Ernst Kocherthaler had settled in the heart of the Bern Oberland in September 1936 after fleeing from the Spanish Civil War. All his movements were closely scrutinized. His mail was opened. “Mr. Kocherthaler spends his time taking photos of the region,” “he receives many letters from abroad,” “he lives in the same chalet as Dr. Hans Schreck, a Bavarian who spied for Germany in 1916.” These are some of the observations noted down in police reports of the time, now preserved in the Ernst Kocherthaler file of the Swiss public archives (Federal Archives, Bern).
to many different versions: The first meeting among Fritz Kolbe, Allen Dulles, and Gerald Mayer is described in several archival documents: Memorandum of Gerry Mayer and Allen Dulles of August 28, 1943, National Archives; memorandum of OSS Bern of August 31, 1943, National Archives; biographical document by Gerald Mayer and Fritz Kolbe; various undated documents written by Allen Dulles (Allen W. Dulles Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton).
attaché since September 1939: Cartwright was a man of action. He had escaped dozens of times from German internment camps during the First World War. Srodes, Allen Dulles, Master of Spies, p. 280.
in Bern that day: On the British intelligence network in Switzerland during the war, see the article by Neville Wylie in Intelligence & National Security, vol. 11, no. 3 (July 1996).
Alpenstrasse 29 and 35: This scene is described in the memorandum of Gerry Mayer and Allen Dulles of August 28, 1943, National Archives.
his office on Dufourstrasse: The OSS offices in Bern (officially the offices of the “special assistant to the American envoy”) occupied the second, third, and fourth floors of two residential buildings in the Kirchenfeld district. The ground floor was occupied by the offices of the Office of War Information (OWI) headed by Gerald Mayer, “press attaché” of the American legation. The premises were covered by diplomatic immunity. Miscellaneous Activities OSS Bern, undated internal document of the OSS Bern office, National Archives.
at nine that morning: Memorandum of August 28, 1943 by Gerry Mayer and Allen Dulles, National Archives.
War Information (OWI): Gerald Mayer sent thousands of leaflets, pamphlets, newspapers, brochures, and other printed matter into enemy territory during the war. “Mr. Mayer worked closely with Mr. Allen Dulles… and was of inestimable help to him, particularly in developing a contact which went into the heart of the German Foreign Office. This contact was generally recognized as being one of the outstanding intelligence sources of the war.” Statement of War Services of Mr. Gerald Mayer, sent April 24, 1947 by Allen Dulles to General Donovan, Allen W. Dulles Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton. See also Miscellaneous Activities OSS Bern, National Archives.