He Who Holds The Devil

The Grey Eminence

[Harry Truman] [ https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001505]

This is a solemn but glorious hour. I wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to see this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly all over Europe. For this victory we join in offering our thanks to the providence which has guided us and sustained us through the dark days of adversity and into light. much remains to be done. The victory won in the west, must now be won in the east. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. United the peace loving nations have demonstrated in the West that the arms are stronger by far, than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military clicks that once called us soft and week. [End]

President Truman speaks to a nation up on the end of the war in Europe. A Europe that lay smouldering at the end of a long and bitter war that had seen many millions die through fighting, aerial bombardment, starvation and horrendous crimes. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. The war is over, but a new task is set to begin.

In Berlin eight days prior to Harry Truman’s speech to the people of the United States, Adolf Hitler the man who once stood before cheering crowds, in Nuremberg, Vienna, Munich and Berlin, now is surrounded by only the closest of aides, military Generals, and his wife, Eva. Those who wish to run have either do so or are about flee.

Adolf Hitler and his new wife Eva, would enter Hitler’s private study within the Bunker nestled below ground in the gardens of the Reich Chancellery that his Architect Albert Speer had built for him not that many years before, the Chancellery building in which Hitler had berated the Czechoslovak President Hacha into relinquishing control of his nation with the threat of destroying Prague now was a shell of its former glory, it like Hitler’s third reich teetering on the brink of destruction. is empty as bombs have destroyed sections of its roof and artillery shells from the ever Soviet forces artillery grew closer and closer. Now his thousand year Reich is now more than a carcass had lasted just twelve years. Defeat was imminent, and the master, whose voice had once been broadcast to millions, now sat alone with his wife in his final moments, only now at this point, after six years of war, with the American armies at the Elbe and the Russians in Berlin itself does he realise it is over.

Eva places a cyanide capsule between her teeth, she bites down, a final expelling of breath her last action within the world. Hitler does the same, and also places a gun to his temple, he bites, and pulls the trigger. The monster, whose ideologies had spawned the horrors of the third reich was dead. Those left in the bunker flee. Some, like Martin Bormann, the man who rejected Dr. Hans Globke’s application for membership for the NSDAP from October 1940, would never escape. Presumably surrounded by soldiers of the Red Army, he bit into a cyanide capsule and died. His body covered by dirt, it was only rediscovered in 1972 with DNA confirming its identity in 1998.

Two days after Hitler’s suicide the red flag would hang from the Brandenburg Gate and from the Reichstag. The battle for Berlin was over, and six days after Truman would make his speech, as the allies now prepared for dealing with a Germany once run by Hitler and his propaganda machine.

Now millions of soldiers were in captivity. Members of the government were spread far and wide, some had been captured as Germany surrendered. Groß Admiral and second and last Führer Donitz, Architect and Minsiter of Armaments Speer, Reichsführer SS and Minister of the Interior from 1943-1945 Himmler, Reichsmarshall and chief of the Luftwaffe Göring all fell into the hands of the allies, many believing they would be needed to help rebuild a defeated Germany. They were mistaken.

At Camp Dustbin, a British run internment camp at Schloss Kransberg, Albert Speer and the Nazi rocket scientist and man who put America into space and onto the moon Werner von Braun were interred amongst others. At Camp Ashcan in the Palace Hotel, Mondorf-les-Bains Luxembourg, a camp run by the Americas the real stars of the NSDAP were gathered. Sat together for a photo in August 1945 before the entrance way to the hotel are Göring, Ribbentrop, Robert Ley, Wilhelm Keitel, Dönitz, Funk, Frank, Jodl, Funk, Streicher, all were interred, along with former Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, and co-author of the commentary on the Nuremberg Laws Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart. Yet there is an obvious missing man. The man who stood behind Frick raising his arm in the Hitler salute in Slovakia. The man who negotiated the seizure of the Memel area. Put his name to the commentary on the Nuremberg Race laws, and major contributor to their interpretations, revered by the blood judge Freisler. Creator of the name change laws, and the man of the shadows, Dr. Hans Globke, the grey eminence.

[Intro Music] This is [Podcast name] episode 6. The Grey Eminence.

Searching for films and videos of the liberation of peoples who were subjected to the rules and tyranny of the National Socialist regime one would normally look to the liberation of the camps. Of Buchenwald, Theresienstadt, Dachau and Auschwitz, but as the results fill the screen I realise that the search of the United States Holocaust memorial Museum archives reveals much more.

For the films of the camps, the silent footage shows the destitute and skeletal people deprived of their humanity, subjected to treatment as not just second class citizens but as an inferior race. At Theresienstadt, black and white footage shows the exhumation of bodies, a man stands as others work, pulling the corpses from the pit to which they were cast, a crime the Nazis undoubtedly hoped would remain hidden, now this man works in the dirt, a swastika drawn on the back of his blazer, the man next to him has the symbols of the SS.

It was from Theresienstadt where Bernhard Koln was liberated, Bernhard Israel Koln, upon his liberation he was finally allowed to see his wife. Bernhard, and Emily who was pursued to divorce her Jewish husband who had asked to change their last name for her sake, a request denied by Dr. Globke.

But the other results of liberation that fill the screen, are not of the camps but of the cities, where the boots of the armies of the national socialist regime once marched in step with one another.

Prague, Paris, Warsaw, Brussels and more. All bare the word liberation. Liberation for the living from tyranny, from the laws of the Reich Ministry of the Interior.

For Warsaw, a city decimated by the initial German attacks, then again by the German’s as revenge for the Warsaw uprising, one could be forgiven that, as the film reels roll, the city comes to life, trams are over crowded, intersections have cars passing through, temporary bridges full of pedestrians, that life is returning. However it never would for six million Poles who died through the mass murders and the Germanisation in the pursuit of Hitler’s Lebensraum.

Now, in immediate post war Europe as people try to come to terms with life in a Europe that is a shadow of its former self, where people search for relatives and friends through pictures and lists, plead for information knowing not if those they search for are alive or dead, one of the major instigators of these crimes sits before OSS officer William Donovan. The man who later would be a founding farther of the American Central Intelligence Agency. William Donovan, had flown into Europe on the 17th May 1945, and joined Robert Jacksons trial staff, eventually bringing 172 OSS officers, who would take the testimonies of Auschwitz and other camp survivors. It was William Donovan, who apparently had the idea for the Nuremberg Trials. It was now time for the denazification process to begin.

Sat before William Donovan now was another lawyer. A lawyer who undoubtedly concerned for his own well being, and reportedly in the interrogation by William Donovan he, Globke, according to his own words “was a great disappointment to him, and he wasn’t pleased at all!” Globke was playing it safe, safe within the shadows. Those who had stood central in pictures like former Minister of the Interior Frick and his deputy Dr. Stuckart were both interned in Camp Ashcan. It was easy to place their crimes, their names were on the laws when they were printed. But for Hans Globke, who could answer truthfully that he had never been a member of the Nazi party, he was just an employee of the Ministry of the Interior. He need not mention that he had wished to join the party, but he was refused, his application documents probably had been burnt up in the fires from the bombing of Berlin, or destroyed in the ground attack. How do you denazify someone who was never a part of the party? He was sent on his way.

Very quickly from his release from American custody Hans Globke returned to civilian life. He would return to his beginnings, hit the reset button as it were. He returned to Aachen.

In Aachen he was considered for the role of Bürgermeister already in July or August 1945. Despite not being appointed as Bürgermeister he did start to return to the civil service in which he had been employed for the most of his adult life becoming vice President of the Accounting Office for North Rheine-Westphalia.


The Nuremberg Trials of 1945 1946, brought many of the men of Camp Ashcan to trial. Göring was the prize of the trial.

While most of the Nazi elite had escaped justice by committing suicide, leaving their victims unable to question why did they commit such abhorrent crimes, Heinrich Himmler doing so whilst in the custody of the British forces, Herman Göring was present to be questioned and to hopefully answer how a government could commit such heinous crimes. His testimony, some of which you have heard in the previous episodes, was clear and concise, he explained the ideas behind the Gleichschaltung, the enabling laws, the Nuremberg laws, and how he came to task Reinhard Heydrich with dealing with a final solution for the Jewish question. Others during the trial like Wilhelm Frick, Hans Globke’s former boss, opted to chose to defend himself and one, Albert Speer, pled guilty to the charges brought before him.

The death sentences was handed down to most. Speer escaped like Dönitz and Hess with a prison sentence. Frick was hung, Göring escaped the nose by a secret capsule of cyanide hidden within a watch.

But what of Wilhelm Stuckart, the co-author of the Nuremberg laws, and of Globke’s commentary?

Stuckart was put on trial later in Nuremberg as part of the Wilhelmstraße Process beginning in 1948. Yet, the limelight had faded long before. With the execution of the principal leaders who had been captured and the rise in tensions between East and West with the beginnings of a Cold War looming, the focus no longer was on the crimes of Germany, but rather on the nation Britain and America allies had supplied with weapons when it was on broken knee with the German armies outside of Its capital and its second city under heavy siege. The Soviet Union.

In the years after the war the Allies ruled over the German lands. Slowly regional governments had started to be formed but there was no Germany as such. The new borders that constituted the German lands had been divided amongst the victorious allies. The Soviets taking the East and half of the capital of Berlin, the Americans the South, the French taking the Saar and the lands closest to their own and the British taking the North West, each receiving a portion of Berlin as well. Yet tensions between the former allies started to form.

It was also in 1948, as a response to the western allies introducing a new currency, Stalin decided to blockade West Berlin, the island of western capitalism surrounded by the communism of the East. The Western Allies deciding not to surrender Berlin to Stalin and the Soviets, chose to fly the goods the western portion required to survive into the city. The Berlin airlift began.

As planes flew the coal and food into Berlin. In Nuremberg the Wilhelmstraße Process involving Dr Stuckart continued. Named after the major ministerial street in Berlin, the trial put the leaders and deputies of the National Socialist ministries on trial.

Called to the witness dock against Dr. Stuckart was Dr. Lösener of the Interior Ministry. Who, upon witnessing the crimes of the National Socialist Regime against the Jewish people in Riga in 1941 approached Dr. Stuckart and later recounted for the court;

“But then an event occurred which made it impossible for me to stay in my position. So on December 21, 1941, I called Stuckart and urged him to do the following. Feldscher Received a description from a completely trustworthy friend as an eyewitness, of how recently German Jews had been slaughtered in Riga. In essence, I said the following: the Jews of the entering camp had to dig long baskets as mass graves, then undress completely, sort their discarded belongings into certain piles and then lay naked on the floor of the mass grave. Then they were killed by SS people with submachine guns. The next group of the damned to death then had to lay down on the already executed and was shot in the same way. This process was continued until the grave was filled. It was then thrown with soil and a steamroller passed over it to level it. In this way, all the mass graves were filled. Stuckart said that these atrocities do not only affect me as a human being, as was the case with other abominations, but that this time I would also be affected as a speaker of the Ministry of the Interior, since this time it is a question of Jews of German nationality. From now on, it would no longer be possible to reconcile my whereabouts in my previous position and in the Ministry with my conscience, even at the risk that the previous handling of the Mischling and intermarriage interrogation can no longer be sustained. Stuckart replied verbatim: Herr Lösener do not you know that all this happens on the highest order? I replied: I have inside me a judge who tells me what I have to do.”

It was also at this trial that Hans Globke would be asked to take to the witness box. Where Lösener had at least presented his disgust and wish to take a leave, Hans Globke had very different words.

“Within the Reich Ministry of the Interior, the extermination of the Jews was no secret. I knew that the Jews were mass murdered, but I was always of the opinion that there were also Jews who were living in Germany, or as with Theresienstadt or similar, in a kind of ghetto.”

The defence asked: “So you mean that it was just excesses, not one systematic extermination?”

Globke answered: “No, I did not mean to say that. I knew that this extermination of the Jews was being carried out systematically, I just did not know it was to all Jews.”

Globke knew of the mass murders, he knew of the fate that befell so many of the Jewish people, and his reaction was to implement stricter and stricter laws of Germanisation and reinforce his commentary of the Nuremberg Race laws with further ordinances, as the territories of the Reich expanded. Therefore sending more and more people to their deaths that he knew awaited them.

Yet the case and his statements didn’t gain international media attention as the war weary eyes of the world were no longer focused on the court room in Nuremberg but on the skies over Berlin. As for Dr. Stuckart he received a sentence of three years, ten months and twenty days, or rather time served as pre-trial detention. He was released. He later would join and rise through the government once more. He joined Socialist Reichs Partei, which saw itself as the spiritual successor to the NSDAP in 1952 but he died in a car accident in 1953.

Such was the rift that was growing between the former allies, the west, as planes flew over the east to fuel West Berlin, chose to form a new country. To unite the British, French and American sectors of Germany, into a new country under the flag of the old Weimar Republic, and named the Federal Republic of Germany, this new Germany was founded on the 23rd of May 1949.

The main man in negotiations with the allies to found the Federal Republic of Germany, was the former Lord Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer.

Adenauer, had sat as the Chairman of the Prussian Council but refused to take his seat when Hitler’s enabling act was passing through the chamber as part of the Gleichschaltung. He had now been negotiating to consolidate his own power in the new Federal Republic. He was little known outside of the British sector, his main rivals for power Kurt Schumacher of the SPD and Ludwig Erhard. Adenauer as a member of the CDU, fearful of the SPD challenge to leadership negotiated that on the founding of the Federal Republic, West Berlin would not be a federal state. The reason for this was that it could have been a social-democratic overweight in West Germany.

In the first Federal elections of August 1949, Konrad Adenauer became a representative of Bonn. He then formed a coalition with the FDP the Freie Demokratische Partei, and extreme right wing Deutsches Partei. So, with the smallest of majorities in the new Bundestag, Konrad Adenauer on the 12th September 1949 became the first Chancellor of the new Federal Republic. Yet with the coalition that he had formed he would need help in controlling and maintaining power. Hans Globke was to return.

Dr. Hans Globke, despite his past was to come close to power once more. However he wasn’t doing so unnoticed. For the man in the shadows, hiding away from the light, it was the shadows that were watching him.

Despite William Donovan’s failure to extrapolate anything of worth from Globke in 1945, the new Central Intelligence Agency had been keeping watch. As Adenauer started to form his government in Bonn the CIA started to watch from Frankfurt. On the 25th of October 1949 the High Allied Commission of Germany or HICOG was starting to worry.

Despite the denazification process that ruled over what positions, if any within post war German society, Nazis could hold, a growing number of former Nazis were occupying higher positions. HICOG was expressing concern that the man who helped formulate the Nuremberg Laws was now slated to be the personal referent of Chancellor Adenauer.

The CIA also were uneasy so they turned to one of their informants, a lawyer by the name of Herbert Engelsing to try and establish what role the formulator of the Nuremberg laws would be occupying within the new government. Yet Engelsing as it would emerge much later was not the most reliable of informants, but his report did state that Globke was adherent to the right wing Zentrum Partei, but not a Nazi.

He also stated that Globke participated in the 20th of July Putsch to kill Hitler and oust the Nazi leadership. A claim with little grounding. As the 20th July 1944 plot happened, Dr. Globke was immediately before and after still producing drafts for laws or decrees. Such as the request for naked photographs of the intended spouses from conquered territories for German men of 15th June 1944. Or the increase in regulatory conditions for German citizenship of the 13th July 1944.

For many of the 20th July plot 1944, they had stood before the Judge Roland Freisler, the blood judge. The one who had so greatly admired Hans Globke’s commentary on the Nuremberg laws, stating that every public office should have a copy. For most, the sentence was treason reached after a farcical show trial, over two hundred were executed.

The other person who was sponsoring this claim was Jakob Kaiser, the CDU leader who had supported Hans Globke’s failed attempt to become Bürgermeister of Aachen in 1945. Whilst Jakob Kaiser was in the German resistance he was not directly informed of the 20th July plot. No other reference to Globke’s involvement with the plot can be found. Those who could dispute it, predominantly all were killed as a result of the plot.

In the document circulated around Washington in 1961 by the German embassy, the transcript of the Die Zeit interview, Globke would say: “At an early date, I also made contact with military and civil groups of the resistance movement, who later attempted the coup of July 20, 1944. I was on friendly terms with General Stieff whow as later executed. I had constant contacts with Herr Kaiser who later became a Federal Minister, and with Count Schulenburg and the Attorney Wimer, both of whom were also later executed.” So it was, the only person mentioned that was alive to corroborate Dr. Globke’s involvement was the man that was not directly informed of the coup. As we have seen previously, most of what Dr. Globke mentions in this transcript circulated around Washington is at best a lie. It stands to reason that Dr. Globke being part of the movement to kill Hitler was also a lie.

Nethertheless Globke became an assistant to Adenauer and the chief of Internal affairs.

In April 1950 the CIA had an interview with Dr. Globke. The Office of Intelligence Analysts sought to understand a little more about the man behind Adenauer lurking in the shadows. CIA employee J.S Arouet put together a study of the man. He wrote:

“He is responsible for reviewing draft bills and reporting on them to the Federal Chancellor, and sometimes for drawing them up if they are enacted by the Federal Government.”

Based on Dr. Globke’s past this task could not have hardly seemed new to him.

“It follows that all laws enacted by the German Government go out at one point or another over his desk. He also has under his jurisdiction the functions of the Executive Secretary, including the preparation of agenda for the Cabinet meetings, briefing Adenauer and supervising the drafting of supporting documents at these cabinet sessions. Within the Federal Government, he is regarded by many as one of the main powers behind the throne. His office is assailed by innumerable visitors, and even members of Parliament, wanting special favours from the Chancellor, find it more effective to apply to Globke.”

A position of power, where he had control over drafting of laws, and making sure all laws passed across his desk.

Globke was becoming the puppet master of Adenauer. He spoke carefully, Arouet, would note, his answers slow, as to make sure he would not incriminate himself. It is also about this time, that Dr. Hans Globke, who according to a CIA document dated 10th April 1953 is described as being ultra-nationalistic, becomes an informant inside the Federal Republic for the CIA, code named CAUSA.

Hans Globke over the next few years from 1950 would dedicate a lot of time to the foundation of a new secret service for Germany. One had already been unofficially put in place, to the Americans who financed it, it was codenamed ZIPPER, to everyone else it was known as the the Gehlen organisation.

An organisation of dubious foundation and success, it was named for its leader Reinhard Gehlen, and it courted controversy when it helped Nazis escape to Egypt to help the Nasser regime, as well as the Alois Brunner to Syria. A man who sent at least 128,500 Jews to extermination camps.

It was Hans Globke’s wish to promote the Gehlen organisation to being an official Federal Agency and over the course of the next years, Globke and Gehlen would meet often with the CIA to discuss its ascension.

The CIA were very much in the life of Hans Globke and Chancellor Adenauer and they knew most of what transpired inside the Federal Office of the Chancellery. On the 29th of December 1952 it was recorded by the Chief of the CIA in Bonn, that Globke had convinced Adenauer to install tape recording devices into the Chancellery, to which the Americans would have access to the recordings. All as part of the bargaining for ZIPPER.

There was little to stop, however, Globke’s quest for power. If when Hans Globke was undersecretary and adviser to Chancellor Adenauer he had power, he had total power when he became Secretary of State at the Federal Chancellery in October 1953.

In the months leading to his assumption of the office of Secretary of State, Globke crushed any of his rivals or Adenauers. The CIA noted that Globke was levelling accusations of meddling against his rivals. Theodore Blank worked for Adenauer as a Special Representative, or a rival to Globke’s power and he would become a political rival of Adenauers in the CDU. At  a political rally in Dortmund he, Blank, was abruptly sidelined because Globke felt he would take too much of the limelight from Adenauer. Globke even had a spy in Blank’s office who would pass along any information Blank had access to to Globke. Blank knew about this, and hoped he would eventually get to “throw this in Globke’s face.” Globke’s rise however put wouldn’t allow for Blank’s revenge.

Now, Hans Globke, controlled the everyday operation of the chancellery. He controlled the axis to the chancellor, the bills that were put before him, the people that could have an interview with him. Reporters would note, that where ever Adenauer went Globke was also. If a reporter had an interview with Chancellor Adenauer, Adenauer would listen to the questions then wait, wait for Globke to write an answer on a piece of paper and slide it before him, or to whisper in his ear. Many reporters felt the frustration of believing they had an interview with the Federal Chancellor, when in reality they were interviewing the stoic grey haired man in the background.

Adenauer trusted Globke most and relied upon him most. Many times he had to stand before the Bundestag and defend his personal aide Globke. He would perceive the SPD’s and other political opponents dredging of Globke’s past, of his crimes, and his devotion to the jobs tasked to him during the Third Reich as an attempt to weaken himself. Although sadly it is hard to believe the SPD did wish to expose Globke for the rightful good and not for the gains they would make if Globke and Adenauer fell. Adenauer before the Bundestag would confess, “that in the long time in which I am active in public life, I have scarcely ever met an official who acts with the same devotion and equal objectivity as Herr Globke.”

When heckled in the Bundestag over Herr Globke by an irrate member of the chamber shouting ironically “Himmler also saved Jews,” Adenauer would retort “let’s stop with the Nazi sniffing.”

Adenauer perhaps relied on Herr Globke as he would call him too much, even for Herr Globke’s liking. When a visit to the United States was organised it was to be Adenauer and Globke that would travel.

Planning had begun in May 1955 for Adenauer and Globke’s visit. In a declassified secret document from the CIA in Bonn to the Director, Allen W. Dulles the importance of Secretary of State Globke was outlined. It reads:

“Despite any unclarified points in Globke background, suggest do not underestimate his importance in present German Government.” It continues “Globke much more important than his rank indicates. References to him as the GREY EMINENCE in the German Government […] and controls access of even cabinet ministers to Adenauer. He [is] more important than other visitors on whom time has been spent and should be handled only by top echelon, including possible personal attention from Director.”

Globke was not to be underestimated. He had even requested extra time within the United States from Adenauer in order to discuss the transition of ZIPPER or the Gehlen Organisation from CIA funded to becoming the Federal Intelligence Service under German government control. However it appeared Adenauer got itchy feet of the idea of both himself and his closest aide leaving Bonn to cross the Atlantic.

In another declassified secret telegram the Bonn office of the CIA confirms that the “Chancellor decided Globke cannot leave Bonn at this time and will therefore not accompany Adenauer Party to States.”

However, later in 1955 when Konrad Adenauer made a visit to the Soviet Union Globke was in tow. The Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, infamous for his name inspiring the Finnish cocktail of flammable substances used in the often forgotten Winter War of 1939/1940, and part of the namesake of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that agreed the shared invasion and divide of Poland between the Nazis and the Soviets would say of Hans Globke upon his visit to Moscow that he is a “lovely person.”

During the same visit in a display of information power, Soviet Premier Bulganin made a toast to Hans Globke’s 57th birthday, during the break between the first and second Acts of Rome and Juliet at the Bolshoi. The Soviet Premier, famous for his goatee would rise from the box and raise a glass, the auditorium would follow in suit and toast the real power within Germany a happy 57th birthday. Later Globke would remark “the Soviets knew our personal details exactly.”

The visit for the German delegation was a success, the Federal Republic and the Soviet Union agreed to form normal diplomatic relations, and for the Germans the great propaganda success was the agreement that German Prisoners of War still held ten years since the end of the war would be allowed home in the near future. The British Pathe newsreel that captured the event, shows the happy delegation, of Adenauer reaching across the table to shake Bulganin’s hand, his arm obstructing the face of Hans Globke the Grey Eminence.


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