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Alias George Wood

Fritz Kolbe (alias George Wood) espionage services,
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CONFIDENTIAL

George Wood

been brought up but reached a rather positive set of conclusions: a) "Wood" had committed no suspicious act, b) there was no evidence against the genuineness of the documents, c) they were valuable at least for counterintelligence purposes, having actually helped in four German agent cases, and d) "Wood" should be encouraged but a watch should be maintained for deception.
To Washington, however, London recommended that Col. Alfred McCormack, director of the Army's military intelligence service, be consulted before anything was done with the reports. Washington protested mildly, asking why, but apparently felt obliged, because OSS London was working closely with the British, not to act independently. Nevertheless it appears that there was no consultation with McCormack (and no dissemination of the reports) until the end of December, when yet another batch was coming in, and that then the meeting was called on McCormack's initiative. 6
Convincing Flood
To a number of particular questions that London and Washington had wanted put to Kolbe, Dulles had replied that he did not expect him back, presumably because of the arrangement to transmit material through Dr. Bur. But shortly before Christmas Walter Schuepp received a not meaningless letter signed Georges: "I'll probably be in there on the 27th, so save a bit of the Christmas goose." (The envelope was postmarked Bern; all Kolbe's impersonal communications were brought out of Germany by trusted but unwitting friends.) On 22 December Kocherthaler dropped a note to the legation for "Herr Meyer." Referring to his need to consult him on a matter, he wrote, "I've heard from a friend abroad that he will probably be in Bern on the 27th.   Since I should by no means miss him, I'm going to be there then, at 13:09. If you could be there too we could talk over our pending business." On the 28th Dulles cabled, ". . . sorting out a vast collection of new material brought by Woods . . ." And the next day, "More than 200 documents . . . I now firmly believe in his good faith and am ready to stake my reputation that they are genuine."
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6There are abstract cards on the two cables from and to London in the archives; the cables themselves are missing. No Washington inter-office correspondence on the case dating earlier than January 1944 has been turned up. A 1 February memorandum refers to a meeting with McCormack "following a query from Special Branch [of the Military Intelligence Service] late in December."
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:05 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 08:47 AM