Alias George Wood

Fritz Kolbe (alias George Wood) espionage services,
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George Wood


thus concerned with military as well as political matters.   Kolbe's job was to screen the German and foreign press and all incoming Foreign Office traffic for him.
The 16 telegrams were a sample of that traffic. Kolbe was able to expand on some of them. Those from Dublin discussing plans to spring "Col. G." from prison referred to Col. Dr. Görtz, a captured German agent.1 The "Hector" mentioned in the one from Stockholm as source of information about what went on at a conference held by Sir Stafford Cripps in London was another German spy; it should be possible to identify him because so few were privy to the conference.
Aside from telegrams, in four hours of talk that Thursday, Mayer (Dulles joined them later, using the name Douglas) elicited a great deal of miscellaneous information--changes of personnel and office locations in the Foreign Office, Dublin Legation's possession of a rarely used secret radio transmitter, an aborted plan to evacuate civilians from Berlin, the results of the epochal air raid on Ploesti and of other bombings, the location of a rendezvous for German and Japanese submarines, a spy apparatus in Lourenço Marques to get data on Allied ship movements, the German one-time-pad cipher system, and much else. Kolbe warned that German cryptanalysts had broken many Allied codes;2 he cited from memory the substance of an OWI cable from Cairo3 to Washington signed "Parker." He drew a map showing Hitler's headquarters at Rastenburg (where Stauffenberg was to plant the bomb almost a year later), Ribbentrop's residence nearby, and the siding for the OKW and Himmler special trains some miles away.
The Higher Loyalty
Kolbe wanted no money for this information or for what he could furnish in the future. He believed the overthrow of the Nazis to be an urgent necessity for Germany's own sake as well as the rest of the world's, and he was doing what he could to bring it about.   He lived by a principle his father had drilled into him, always to do what he thought right and never be afraid, and by an ideal of inner integrity
1 The Görtz story is told in great detail by Enno Stephan in Geheimauftrag Irland (Hamburg, 1961), reviewed in Studies VII 1, p. A26.
2 Dulles already knew from his Abwehr source Gisevius that some of the Bern legation's messages had been read.
3 Dulles' cable to Washington has Cairo; Mayer's notes on the meeting, curiously, say Istanbul.


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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:05 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 08:44 AM