Alias George Wood

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


meyer personally." That they were valued in the China theater became evident when, because their great bulk soon overcrowded the OSS cable facilities, Washington asked on 21 March for guidance on how to cut down on them: Chungking replied that "technical reports"--there had been for example an exchange of German data on the characteristics of different rocket fuels against information on a Japanese method for high-frequency-induction hardening of metal--could come by fast pouch, but all the rest should continue to be cabled. Thus in one theater, at least, a year and half after the beginning and within a month or two of the end, Kolbe's heroic efforts bore some fruit.
Last Exit
With Berlin in smoking chaos, Ritter asked Kolbe to take his mistress and baby to a safe place in the south. They chose the Ottobeuren monastery near Memmingen where Kolbe's friend Prelate Schreiber was; his nephew was the prior. On 18 March Kolbe left Berlin with his charges in Ritter's Mercedes, but because there was no gasoline the car had to be towed by a charcoal-burning SS truck that Ritter managed to wangle. The trip took three days.   After a few days at Ottobeuren he took a train to Weiler, east of Bregenz, to see his friend Mackeben, who had once played unwitting courier for him; he had a mountain cabin there.14
Mackeben had been in touch with officers of the General Staff's Fremde Heere Ost15 who had a project to turn over its voluminous (three to four freight cars full) files on Russia to the Americans. It was agreed that Mackeben should find a safe hiding place thereabouts for this material and get word to Kocherthaler when it had been received. Then Kolbe left by train for Lustenau on the border. He had some difficulty getting across because his pass gave him the option of exiting from Friedrichshafen and such options were no longer permitted; but he talked his way through.
Since Dulles was at this time much preoccupied with the negotiations that led to the surrender of the German forces in Italy, Kocher-
14 Edward P. Morgan's fictionalized but generally faithful account of the Wood case in True magazine for July 1950, "The Spy the Nazis Missed," for which he used Mayer and Kolbe himself as sources, says that the wife of a doctor at the Universitätsklinik also rode in the Mercedes from Berlin and now accompanied Kolbe as far as Weiler.
15 In particular with a Dr. Schellenberg (not Walter), said to be its director.


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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:05 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 12:39 PM