He Who Holds The Devil

The Cover Up

It’s the 27th of March 1952 and two young boys run along the street’s of a Munich already rebuilt from the ravages of war. One boy running, runs with a packet cradled in his arms. The packet is little larger than a book. Behind them walks a man, keeping to the shadows, he hides from the two young boys.

Not many minutes before, this man, that keeps to the shadows had given the packet to the boys. He told the boys he needed the packet delivering to the local post office but he had not the time to do it himself. He told the boys his name was Mario Mirelli and that his train was leaving soon, yet there he was as the boys ran down the street strolling behind.

To the boys many things had stood out as curious. The senders address wasn’t written by a German. The abbreviations were wrong along with the capitalisation. Could this man be German? To hand a packet with an address that was obviously wrong. Then there was the receiving address. It was addressed to Konrad Adenauer, at Bundeshaus Bonn, the then government building of the Federal Republic of Germany. But Konrad Adenauer was at the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn.

With so much mysterious mistakes the boys were concerned. Mario Mirelli following behind must also have started to worry. The boys were no longer running to the post office, but with a mysterious man giving them a package directing to the wrong address for the Chancellor, they used their intuition and delivered the parcel to the local police station. Quickly Mario Mirelli disappeared. The police quickly realised the threat.

The parcel was put aside but it wasn’t secured. The strange parcel attracts attention, a reporter even picks it up and shakes it. The police are looking for an explosives expert, but after a few phone calls they find out he is on holiday. Then arrives Karl Reichert.

Karl Reichert is no demolition expert as is commonly reported, he’s the chief of a Munich Fire station, he has no experience. He does, however, deduce, if the package is dangerous, its best to examine it in a secure space. So he takes it, along with some police officers and a reporter by the name of Merz to the air raid shelter in the basement. Placing the package precariously on the pipes along the wall he begins to unwrap. He pulled back the brown paper and revealed the deep blue of a copy of the Kleinen Brockhaus, a German encyclopedia. The police officers turn to one another and laugh, “who sends the Chancellor a copy of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia?” It was sheaved in a blue card cover that Karl Reichert slowly pulled the book from. Slowly the book was pulled, then a faint metallic ping. Fractions of a second later, at 18:20, the Police Station was ripped through by a blast.

500 Grams of explosives that had been placed within the carved out book exploded. A pressure mechanism had been triggered as Karl Reichert had pulled at the book. Karl Reichert was thrown back both of his arms ripped from his body and killed. Two other officers were severely injured along with three other people. The reporter who had just been leaving the room as Reichert pulled the book from its sheave was uninjured.

Whoever Mario Mirelli was, to who he represented, and where ever he had disappeared to, he had tried, unsuccessfully to assassinate the Chancellor of the Federal Republic, a police officer had died, others were injured, surely a great investigation would unfold.

But even as the dust settled from the explosion, after it was swept away, Karl Reichert was laid in the ground, and the two boys received gold watches from Konrad Adenauer himself, no federal investigation began.

A munich police inspector Bernhard Gnirs would pickup the case over a year later. After many interrogations he has got nowhere, that is until he notices something one of the two boys said. The man, Mario Mirelli, had a mutilated finger. He re-examines his interrogations and realises that someone already known to the police already matches this description. His name was Josef Kronstein. Kronstein was known to be a member of a right wing Jewish organisation. Gnirs tracks down and goes to where Kronstein’s relatives lived, he found clothing that matched the boys description, but Kronstein was gone.

Kronstein had fled to Naples and then Tel Aviv where the trail ran quickly cold.

But why was the case of the attempted assassination of the Chancellor handled by one detective?

At the time of the bomb going off, Chancellor Adenauer and representatives of the Federal Republic were in negotiations with Ben Gurion and the representatives of Israel. They were negotiating a path to reconciliation.

The treaty agreement was to see that Israel would receive compensation for the financial burdens incurred by the the state of Israel for the Jewish refugees of the areas formerly occupied by Germany. There was also to be millions put aside for compensation to those persecuted by the Nuremberg Laws who were considered Jewish but did not belong to the faith, to the people categorised as Jewish by Dr. Hans Globke’s commentary.

An Israeli Jewish terrorist organisation had claimed the assassination attempt. They didn’t wish for Israel to have any dealings with the people that had murdered millions. Menachim Begin the future prime minister of Israel had said in January 1952 in Zions Square Jerusalem on the treaty that it would be “blood money” and “this is a war on life and death. There is no German who has not murdered our fathers. Adenauer is a murderer. Every German is a murderer.”

The agreement was signed and the funds that were given to Israel were used for infrastructure goods, such as ships, railways, electric turbines that would make Israel the largest buyer of German goods and be the basis for the post war economic miracle of Germany.

Adenauer and the Cabinet didn’t want an investigation into the attack now as with an Israeli Jewish terrorist organisation claiming the attack both the Israeli investigators and German investigators would have to work together, and many of the German investigators would have once been of the Sicherheitsdienst of SD, the intelligence arm of the SS. The controversies would be huge and reinforce the words of Menachim Begin. The number of former members of the National Socialist party and those who adhered and worked for it would be exposed and the German government could crumble. Adenauer and Gurion wished to normalise relations with the treaty, even if it meant hiding the past and ignoring the present.

So the case was kept small and closed in 1978. The files were locked away and were not to see the light of day, the public was to be kept in the dark and the past was to remain the past, undisturbed, dust covering it, and god help you if you tried to uncover it.

[INTRO MUSIC] This is…[PODCAST NAME]… Episode 7 – The Cover up

In 1960 the past did rear its head. Max Merten a German lawyer and administrative officer within Army Group E in Salonika during the Second World War had a bone to grind with the Federal republic.

On the 26th April 1957 Max Merten travelled to Athens. Upon his arrival in Athens he made his way to the German Embassy. He wished to check in, to ask the German Embassy if he, as he desired, could give evidence in a war crimes trial in Greece without the fear of being arrested.

During the Second World War Merten had been stationed in Salonika. He had arrived in Greece in 1942 replacing Karl Marbach who was being sent to the eastern front. Merten in 1960 was now suing Marbach. Marbach in court in 1958 had suffered a spell of amnesia and forgotten his signature to war crimes committed in Greece, to villagers being hanged, their homes and businesses burnt to the ground and mass shootings taking place.

He also claimed not to have met Max Merten personally, and that he was not aware of a meeting of the Jews on the 11th of June 1942.

At 8 o’clock in the morning of 11th July 1942 all Jewish men who lived in Salonika and were between the ages of 18 and 45 were gathered. Nine thousand stood on the Freedom Square. They were to be registered for work permits, one by one. As they queued they were told to jump, to do exercises as the sun beat down. When they fainted, guards threw water upon their faces. After they were registered they had to crawl on their stomachs for the first hundred metres. The torture of the 9000 became known as the Thessalonian Games. The act was registered as part of the direction of the Commander of Salonika-Aegean administrative department. A role held by Marbach then Merten successively.

Merten, in 1957, was informed by the German Embassy that he should report to the Greek State Attorney Toussis. What Merten didn’t know and the German Government was very much aware of, is that the Greek authorities were renewing their efforts to prosecute German war criminals. Merten was arrested. He was arrested for organising the Freedom Square Action, the so called Thessalonian Games, whilst also profiting from the sale of confiscated Jewish property.

Merten was enraged. He had gone to Athens to give evidence and now he was the prisoner. And the thing that enraged him most. The German government had thrown him under the bus. So from his sell he used his excellent memory and furiously typed away at a typewriter.

He claimed that at the earliest he had arrived in Greece on the 6th of August 1942, two months after the action had taken place. Whilst in jail, Marbach was questioned under oath in Germany about his time in Greece. Merten had to insist of the German government that he should receive a copy of the testimony, but upon receiving it, it only had Marbach’s answers, not the questions asked of him. But Marbachs answers fuelled Merten’s fire further.

Marbach claimed never to have met Merten, but Merten remembered a cross over period of several weeks where the two worked together. But he also denied ever having signed or knowing of war crimes, atrocities, reprisal actions or the Freedom Square Action. Merten was enraged, to him it felt as if the German government was conspiring against him, and at his trial he was ready, ready to bring out the information that could shake the Federal Republic’s Government all the way to the highest office.

Merten, according to himself, had struggled to save the lives of many of the Jews that fell under his administrative control.

Merten testified that he had attempted to save ten thousand of the Jews destined for deportation, he had wanted to put them on a boat and ship them to the British Mandate of Palestine and he had worked to achieve this goal. The Sicherheitsdienst had heard of his plan and Merten was summoned to Berlin to speak with Adolf Eichmann. This was 1957 that Merten was testifying about Eichmann, three years before Eichmann was captured.

Eichmann asked Merten how many should be shipped to Palestine, Merten replied 10,000 to which Eichmann said take 20,000. Yet Eichmann wanted to rubber stamp the plan, so he contacted the department for and spoke with the referent for Jewish Affairs, Dr. Hans Globke. Globke upon hearing the plan immediately refused Eichmann’s suggestion. Eichmann however decided to continue anyway and approved the deportation. The plan failed when Lord Moyne, an official for the British Mandate of Palestine refused saying “They (the Jews) cause me only trouble.” Thus the 20,000 Jews went upon the trains and to their deaths at Auschwitz.

The Greeks decided not to investigate Merten’s claims. They handed him a sentence of 25 years in jail, of which he would serve 30 months.

Upon his release he returned to Germany. In 1960 Merten took sued Marbach in Kiel. The court would see army documents counter signed by Marbach which showed he had dealt with the extreme reprisal killings taken against the Greeks and had not only known but helped in the Freedom Square horrors.

Marbach’s defence? He had been through so much horror on the eastern front his brain did not remember the bad, it could only remember the good and he produced expert medical testimony to support his claim. The court took a placid decision when it came to the verdict.

Marbach would be excused for lying under oath because of his memory. Merten would be rehabilitated, and he would be excused from the charge of profiteering from the sale of Jewish property as it could not be made to stick especially as he had evidence that the Jewish property actually ended up in the hands of his secretary Leontidu, her fiance Demetrios, and her uncle Constantine Karamanlis, the Royal Prime Minister of Greece.

Merten would discuss the case with the Hamburg Echo Newspaper with a series of stories printed in September 1960. In which Merten was careful with his words. He hoped that the press could help to get the Greek government to release their files on him so that he could clear his name.

The articles had shaken the Greek government with their claims of profiteering from the wealth of the Jews persecuted by the Nazis. But also they were starting to shake the powers behind the government.

The story was so sensational, Dr. Globke refused to help 20,000 Jews. Globke went on the defence and on the 5th of October 1960 the Hamburger Echo printed a written denial by Dr. Globke. Yet in a priority marked CIA document Globke spoke with someone from the CIA. The document notes that Globke thinks the attack was Communist inspired.

America was coming to the end of the Red Scare, where anything labelled communist was terrible and not to be trusted. It was the easiest way to have any information classified as false by labelling it communist inspired, but the implications of the red scare on the psyche of the Americans both in public and governmental circles at the height of the cold war meant that, even if a communist wasn’t hiding under the bed, anything directed at an individual could be easily discounted if the word communist could be associated with it.

The second interesting part of the CIA document, is where it states that Globke admits a shred of truth to charges against him.

Eichmann 78

I believe that, as far as in respects to the fundamental legal foundation, it was exclusively the Reich Ministry of the Interior that was responsible and not the head office of the Reichsführer SS or chiefs of the German army and Police.

Yet during the 121 sessions of the trial of Eichmann Globke was hardly mentioned. A Jerusalem Post article of the 15th of March 1961 said that Eichmann refused to give information on certain subjects, but it wasn’t sure if Globke was one of them. The U.S mission in Berlin reported up the chain of command at the CIA that several men describing themselves as Israeli intelligence agents had visited the chief political reporter of the West German newspaper Weltbild to give him copies of sworn statements allegedly made by Adolf Eichmann implicating Hans Globke in ultimate responsibility for the death of 20,000 Jews from Northern Greece.

There was worry from opposition parties within the Knesset that Dr. Servatius, Eichmann’s defence attorney was paid for by the Israeli government and that Dr. Servatius had advised his client not to make any statement in connection with Dr. Globke.

On the 28th February 1962, a message from CIA Munich to the CIA director said that Dr. Servatius, visited Eichmann and Eichmann talked extensively to Dr. Servatius about Globke and his roll during world war two.

The story was becoming consistent however. No matter what charges were thrown at Adenauer and Globke, nothing would stick to Globke. When charges were brought out, when it appeared that Globke could fall, he could always reach into the inner pocket of his blazer where he kept some letters. Letters from bishops and other members of the catholic church stating how good of a man he was. For this, in Germany, there is a word, to clean ones record, to wash away the dirt of the past it is Persilschein. To wash as one would their clothes with the Persil brand laundry detergent, to remove the dirt and grime of the day, to Persilschein is to cleanse your past. When people, as like Max Merten became a threat the German government could be brutal in its tactics to suppress. Reinhard Strecker was one who suffered when he tried to expose the past.

In Novemeber 1959 he, Reinhard Strecker, a 29 year old graduate set out on tables and on the walls of a back room within student bar in Karlsruhe an exhibition. He had spent years pulling together information and documents that highlighted how many people within the modern Federal Republic were hiding their National Socialist pasts, pasts like Dr. Globke’s the government were keen to keep secret.

The exhibition gained international interest from the press and a like, it spoke to students who were in University or recently graduated, a generation born into the war, too young to be indoctrinated by Hitler’s Reich, and were appalled by its crimes, and appalled by a government that harboured them and persilscheined.

Strecker placed within the room photocopied files, files that revealed the judgements of Nazi era judges, judges that still served in Germany in 1959.

One would have hoped that his work would have caused a political change, a change that would have brought in fresh air, a new judiciary not tainted by the horrors of the past, by the unforgivable crimes against their fellow human beings. Instead, the reaction was quite the opposite. The government took a hard line approach to Strecker. They created and published slander against him and his research, it did not matter that these were photocopies of real documents, factual evidence, for ti did not follow the government line. Strecker suffered death threats, his name was thrown into the dirt whilst the government continued its acts of Persilschein.

Strecker toured Germany with his exhibition, whilst the government and politicians tried to destroy him, stating the documents were fake. So Strecker took the files to the German attorney General Max Güde who declared them real. So the government brought out the C word. Communist they cried. Strecker must be in the pay of the Soviet Union. Surely, the government thought, only a Communist could write such slanderous material, an international communist conspiracy it must be. The irony being, it was the truth.

Two years after his exhibition Strecker would publish a book of documents that confirmed that Hans Globke had interpreted the Nuremberg Race laws. The government launched a new campaign against Strecker, two ministries perpetrated character assassinations against him for exposing the truth, but a truth the government was unsure if it could handle. So rather then doing the right thing, they dug in and continued to abuse Strecker. There was only one line, the government line.

Yet it didn’t stop the Adenauer and Globke from worrying about their image abroad. They could handle their image at home through sheer force but abroad it was a more difficult task. So they looked towards General Julius Klein.

General Julius Klein was National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America but also had a public relations business.

He received the business of the German government at a time they were eager to prove that, at least the government, wasn’t anti-semitic, especially after a rise in 1959 of the desecration of Jewish sites with swastikas that coincided with the Max Merten and Reinhard Strecker events.

General Julius Klein looked to Senator Thomas J. Dodd senator from Connecticut, who travelled to Germany. Upon his return to the United States he wished to give a speech to the senate, but fell ill so his speech was read for him. His speech continued the trend of speaking of Globke’s role within the resistance, that he helped not hindered the Jewish people, the testimony of Jakob Kaiser is repeated, and now Hans Gisevius, German resistance fighter and author of The Bitter End, a book updated in 1961 to include Dr. Globke’s role in the July 20th plot, that biographer of Hans Globke Jürgen Bevers would state cannot be taken seriously. The reception to the book was mixed, with many historians stating the work was not convincing, “especially in the form of verbatim recitations and dramatic scenes in the detective novel style” according to Hans Rothfels.

Some years later in 1964 Dodd would be asked again by Klein to make a visit to Germany to help improve opinion of Globke and also to keep some West German clients. The Washington Post and Times Herald wrote “When in Bonn Klein wrote Dodd just before he left for Europe in April 1964, see him (Globke) first to brief you. Dr. Globke is your devoted friend. He will ever be grateful to you for your courageous stand taken in your Senate speech of 1960…To refresh your memory attached is a marked copy of your speech. Globke is already working on my problem” Klein wrote Dodd relative to keeping his West German clients, “Dr. Glocke will support and guide you 100 per cent in my behalf. You can show him everything and discuss everything with him.”

Dodd was flying to stop West German leaders and industrialists from cancelling their 150,000 dollar a year public relation contracts with Julius Klein around 1.2 million in 2019 dollars. He was a senator running errands for a public relations firm in the employ of a foreign country.

Dodd ultimately would be censored in 1967, the first senator to be so since Joseph McCarthy in 1954 and one of only six in the 20th century to be censored. A committee found that he had been converting campaign funds to his personal account and spending the money. Sources have suggested that Dodd’s corruption was even wider spread.

Globke and Adenauer continued in government. The force of the two seemed unwavering.

Adolf Eichmann on the 1st of June 1962 was taken to the gallows in Ramla Israel. Shortly after midnight his final journey ended with a short drop. It could have ended sooner for Eichmann, the Gehlen organisation and Globke had known about Eichmann’s whereabouts in 1952. The exact location of Eichmann was known to the Bundesnachrichtendienst that succeeded the Gehlen organisation, still with Reinhard Gehlen at its head, in 1958, when apparently the trail for Israeli intelligence had gone cold, Globke and the BND still knew where he was and in 1958 they informed the CIA.

And the cover ups continued. Globke stated publicly that less than one percent of the BND had been members of the SD. However, as he was speaking publicly he was also ordering Gehlen to prevent the unmasking of other members of the BND as leading SD or Gestapo Officials. Including. Franz Six once Eichmanns chief in the Reich Security Office, Emil Augsburg Sturmbannführer in the SD and Franz Göring also of the Reich Security Office.

Mauerbau Antifaschistischer Schutzwall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdfOs2FPN8I

am 13er August 1961 erfuhr die Deutsche Imperialismus, hier ist kein deutsche kommen mehr. Hier sind die grenzen seine mache, von ihr geht es eine endgültige  Niederlager rung, hier ist die deutsche demokratisches republik in der zum ersten mal in Deutschland der frieden zum Regierungsprogramm erhoben ist. Hier auf laut in fireden schwitz das heist die stadtschützebn das werk als haus das feld in die schule und die universität sozialistische faterland das leben und die leben und der zukunft unsere kinder.

On the 13th of August 1961 20,000 East German soldiers surrounded West Berlin and started to construct the Berlin Wall. A symbol that became famous for the divide not only of Germany but of a world that was to be fought over by Communism and Capitalism. As the wall was constructed, it was known to the east as the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall, or the anitfascist protection barrier. It was a direct referral to what the Communist East saw as the Imperialistic West, and at the West German government.

On the 15th of August 1961 a special seating of the cabinet of the Federal Republic would take place. In that meeting of 24 people, 15 either were soldiers, NSDAP members or prosecutors for the state they were; Ludwig Erhard, an advisor to the economic integration of annexed territories of Poland, Austria and Lorraine. Heinrich Von Brentano, who served as the state prosecutor of Hannover. Gerhard Schröder member of the NSDAP from 1933 to 1941. Franz Etzel, a soldier during the war the same for Theodore Blank, Richard Stückle NSDAP member from 1939, Paul Lücke and Hans Wilhelmi both soldiers, Ludwig Westrick a Hitler Wirtschaftführer and head of VIAG a company that used disproportionately higher numbers of forced labourers during the war, Franz Thedieck worked in the office of the commander of Belgium during persecution of Jews who falsified his war record, Karl Theodore Bleek member of the NSDAP from 1942, Hans Kruger who had been a member of numerous NSDAP organisations and Hans Globke author of the commentary on the Nuremberg Laws and the Jewish Name Change Laws.

Amongst the others, Walter Strauß now minister of Justice whose Jewish parents had been murdered at Theresienstadt, and Siegfried Balke a half jew, it must have been strange for the pair to share a room with those who supported their persecution.

But as the years rolled on rather than the number of Nazi party members in the Bundestag falling, they rose, and in no more so than in Adenauer’s CDU.

In the first Bundestag of 1949 17 CDU members had been NSDAP members, the second Bundestag of 1953-1957 that number rose to 65 and in the third of 1957-1961, ending the year the wall was erected, it had grown again to 79. 29.6% of the CDU seats in the Bundestag were occupied by Nazi party members. In total 130 seats of the Bundestag had once been a Nazi party member, totalling 25% of the Bundestag. However the CIA felt there was little dangers of Nazi resurgence as the government was doing the one thing the Weimar Republic failed at, they had created stability.

This is not to say the East German government was different, Nazi party members had found their way into the ruling government of the SED. However, when the crimes of the members of the West German government, and especially of Globke were highlighted in documents and cases published, all were dismissed by the west as communist propaganda.

Earlier in 1961 with new elections looming in the Federal Republic, Globke had been to see Mayor of Berlin Willy Brandt. Brandt had fled Nazi Germany because of his ties to the Socialist Youth and Socialist Workers Party, been a reporter in Spain during the civil war, he was arrested in Norway during the German occupation but escaped to Sweden, and after the war he returned to Germany to work for the Norwegian Government. Globke asked that the SPD and Brandt not take heed of the “Communist Propaganda” and not to use them in the election, or else he and the CDU would target Brandt as a tool of the communists and a traitor.

Propaganda, like with Dr. Joseph Goebbels at the book burning on the 10th of May 1933 was still the most powerful tool. If the West German government wished for information to be dismissed, factual information that a government didn’t wish the people to believe, if they didn’t want a people to pay attention or to give credence to the information they merely had to say communist propaganda and no more need to be said, the information would immediately become false and the distributor a liar even if the opposite were true. This hasn’t changed, it has merely evolved, it is no longer communist propaganda that is the danger, but fake news.

On the 11th of October 1963 Chancellor Konrad Adenauer resigned after a scandal dealing with Der Spiegel rocked the CDU in 1962 had built enough pressure to force the elder statesmen to quit. Four days after, on Adenauer’s suggestion, President Lübke awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to Dr. Hans Globke. Which he could hang with his Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania received from the King of Romania with Hitler’s permission for helping to implement the Nazi racial laws in Romania and the War Merit Cross he received from Hitler, amongst many others.

He would remain faithful to Adenauer and assist him in his work as chairman of the CDU. Globke tried to retire to Switzerland, but was refused an entry visa as he was declared an unwanted foreigner and received an entry ban, a great irony for the man who had wished to identify the Jews of Germany by only allowing non-Jews to have the words “valid for Switzerland” within their passports. Hans Globke was never brought to justice for his dedication to the persecution of the Jewish people of Europe, for the Czechs, poles, Lithuanians, slovenians murdered because of his work on Germanisation. He died on the 13th of February 1973.

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