Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

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susodus
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Posts: 5
Joined: 07 May 2021 11:32
Location: Sweden

Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by susodus » 02 Jun 2021 14:05

Hi,

I am working on a book project, a biography, and I have found a reference to Ast Hamburg, Abwehrstelle Hamburg.
I wonder if someone can tell me more about that. Is there an archive with members? Operations?
I am told there was a spy school in Hamburg, does anyone know anything about that?

Thanks,

Susanne

Tamari
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Posts: 232
Joined: 14 May 2020 07:14
Location: Germany

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by Tamari » 02 Jun 2021 16:09

Hi Susanne,

can you name the person of your biography or is it a secret? :D

Independently of the specific person Ast Hamburg was a quite famous and active Abwehrstelle with special responsibility for operations against Great-Britain.

You can found a lot interrogation reports of Ast Hamburg officers (p.e. Nicolaus Ritter and) and espionage and sabotage operations of this Ast in The National Archive in Kew.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... s/r/C14997

P. e. TNA file KV-2/103 Wichmann and Dierks

Type in ABWEHR and search for the downloadable files and you will find a lot of documents which can be paid via PayPal.

I possess the book Monika Siedentopf "Unternehmen Seelöwe- Widerstand im deutschen Geheimdienst" which covers the badly conducted operations against the United Kingdom (Unternehmen LENA, Unternehmen HUMMER I and HUMMER II).

But there is one comprehensive book about Ast Hamburg by Uwe Brammer "Spionageabwehr und Geheimer Meldedienst. Die Abwehrstelle im Wehrkreis X" which offers a lot of information.

other sources of information about Abwehrstelle Hamburg:

- David Kahn: Hitlers Spies, German Military Intelligence in world war II

- Nicolaus Ritter: "Deckname Dr.Rantzau"

- Ladislas Farago: "Das Spiel der Füchse"

- Herbert Wichmann: 45 Jahre danach. It seems that this document is a manuscript about Kapitän zur See Herbert Wichman, long-time head of Ast Hamburg.

https://intelnews.org/tag/herbert-wichmann/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.welt.d ... mburg.html

https://www.hermann-historica.de/de/auc ... t/id/21957


I will try to help you if you want with your topic. Please let me know.

Best regards
Robert

Tamari
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Posts: 232
Joined: 14 May 2020 07:14
Location: Germany

Abwehrstelle Hamburg - Kapitän z. S. Herbert Wichmann

Post by Tamari » 02 Jun 2021 20:47

from KV-2/103

Head of Ast Hamburg:

Herbert Christian Oscar Otto WICHMANN
* 18.04.1894

last permanent address:
Hamburg-Wohlsdorf, Diestelstraße 28

20210602_214735.jpg

Best regards
Robert
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Tamari
Member
Posts: 232
Joined: 14 May 2020 07:14
Location: Germany

Abwehrstelle Hamburg - sources of The National Archive in Kew

Post by Tamari » 02 Jun 2021 22:29

Hi Susanne,

here you can also type in HAMBURG and search in the KV - Security Service register.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... s/r/C14997

Maybe the following files are of interest for you:

20210602_232654.jpg
20210602_232633.jpg
20210602_232611.jpg
20210602_232527.jpg
20210602_232548.jpg

in addition

KV-2/85 and KV-/88 Nikolaus Ritter alias Dr. Rantzau

KV-2/3163 Hans Karl Albrecht Blum

KV-2/103 Herbert Wichmann


Best regards
Robert
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susodus
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Posts: 5
Joined: 07 May 2021 11:32
Location: Sweden

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by susodus » 03 Jun 2021 10:44

Thanks for all your help. The person I am looking into was german and living in Sweden from 1930-1940 until he was sent out to war.
He worked as a chef all around the country but was allegedly quite incompetent. He then returned to Hamburg in 1938 for six months to "pursue song studies", but after his return he was seen making light signals and taking photographs near military bases and ports among other things.

So I wonder if Ast Hamburg had operations also in Sweden. It says he was involved in trade espionage, I wonder what that means.

The person that made the application for him to go to Sweden was a Karl Geiser in Hamburg. I do not know anything about that man, he might be a chef at restaurant Jalant in Hamburg.

The books you are referring to seem intresting, however, I have to do with the English ones, since I unfortunately don't speak german. You seem to know about many of the operation that was conducted by Ast Hamburg. Do you know if there was any activity in Sweden? Or what kind of operations?

The time period I believe is most critical is from 1937-1940. In Jan 1940 he was in training for the Police Batallions that were stationed in Tilsit.


Best regards,
Susanne

Tamari
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Posts: 232
Joined: 14 May 2020 07:14
Location: Germany

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by Tamari » 03 Jun 2021 14:18

Hi Susanne,

thank for your reply. Your project sounds interesting.

At the moment I'm working via Smartphone while my TNA files stored at my Laptop. In addition I haven't a lot of Ast Hamburg files because this topic is of no special interest for me.

But I will still try to help you.

Trade espionage means possibly economy intelligence. In the system of the Abwehr department I Wi was in charge for "Wirtschaftsspionage". Due to the fact that the Abwehrstellen were more or less organized like Abwehr HQ in Berlin I Wi of Ast Hamburg was responsible for "Trade Espionage".

Dr. Karl Praetorius was head of I Wi in Hamburg. Later Hauptmann Trautmann.
20210603_150900.jpg

Praetorius later headed the whole Gruppe I (Espionage) of Ast Hamburg.
20210603_150835.jpg

The Abwehr school in Hamburg was in Klopstockstraße 28.

As far as I remember before Abwehr installed stations in Scandinavia Ast Hamburg was also in charge for this Region but I habe to check this claim.

Best regards
Robert
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susodus
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Posts: 5
Joined: 07 May 2021 11:32
Location: Sweden

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by susodus » 16 Jun 2021 11:40

Hi Robert, your information has been a goldmine. I haven't been able to track my guy down yet in the Kew-records, and I think it is a needle in a haystack since he was probably not a very significant source, if at all.

The Praetorious act was named "Historical" and has been very good for overall information. I hope to find more in that category. Do you have any good information about the training and recruitment? I have read somewhere about two different group or categories where the first one was of a higher social status and the second more common people, but I just can't find the source for that. I think my guy is a more lower level recruit. But he was definitely making photographs on harbours and also received a german parachuter that landed i Sweden. He was also seen making light signals at night and possessed some radio equipment.

I have also some letters where he tells the receiver that if the ink would run out he could use copy pen. A very strange remark that makes me wonder if he is suggesting that he has used invisible ink. But how would the receiver know how to read it if he had no information on what type of ink that has been used? Well. Some om my thoughts that I have to figure out.

Susanne

Tamari
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Posts: 232
Joined: 14 May 2020 07:14
Location: Germany

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by Tamari » 19 Jun 2021 21:09

Hi Susanne,

I agree that the person himself was no major intelligence asset but as a facilitator nevertheless important for the Abwehr's infrastructure.

I haven't heard the Abwehr's sources/ assets were divided at their social backgrounds. I will re-read Uwe Brammer's book about Ast Hamburg. Maybe I will find something in addition about the espionage classes.

Regarding the ink issue, I think that your person was trained in the use of the special ink and it was agreed before he was send out which kind of ink has to be used.

Abwehr department I G was in charge for technical devices which were used by its members and intelligence assets.

Sorry that I'm not able to share more and better information at the moment.

Best regards
Robert

steve248
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Joined: 10 Aug 2003 20:53
Location: Hertfordshire, England

Re: Espionage, Abwehrstelle Hamburg

Post by steve248 » 20 Jun 2021 13:06

Your "spy" in Sweden would only have an individual MI 5 file at UK National Archives if he basically had been interviewed/interrogated by them after the war.
If he is mentioned by one of the Abwehr officers responsible for espionage in Sweden when interviewed/interrogated by MI 5 after the war you would need to search their individual files (as mentioned above in the posts above by Tamari).
The Polizei Battalions being organized in Tilsit that you mention must be a better choice to look at. As a chef no doubt he was probably used in the Battalion kitchens and therefore easier to identify. I doubt there were many Polizei Battalions being recruited in Tilsit in your timeframe. The Orpo archives in Münster/Westfalia probably have everything you might need.

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