So who were they? And how was their escape across multiple continents and time zones financed?
And why did the address of the German Archaeological Institute appear in the Pöch diary?
- Gitta Sereny, Into that Darkness: From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder, London: Pimlico, 1995, p. 289
- Gerald Steinacher, Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 251
- Alois Hudal, Die Grundlagen des Nationsozialismus (“The Foundation of National Socialism”), Leipzig: Günther, 1936. A copy of this book was presented to Hitler by Hudal, with the inscription: “To the architect of German greatness.”
- Jonathan Levy, The Intermarium: Wilson, Madison and East Central European Federalism, Boca Raton: Dissertation.com, 2006, p. 38. See also Gerald Steinacher, Nazis On The Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 193-4
- It is worthwhile to mention that the leader of the “independent” Slovak government during World War II was the pro-Nazi Monsignor Tiso, a Roman Catholic priest.
- There is even an Archbishop Stepinac High School in New York, created in 1948 with the blessings of Cardinal Spellman. The author attempted to obtain a list of its alumni from the school’s website but that information is locked to outsiders. One has to be an alumnus oneself, and prove it, before being admitted to what is surely an innocent roster in any other school. For comparison purposes, the author visited the website of his high school alma mater—Christopher Columbus HS in the Bronx—and was able to access the list of alumni freely and without a password.
- By comparison, in the Ukraine the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was seen as pro-Nazi, as was the Russian Orthodox Church and its American headquarters in New York City. This was because both
these churches were under the control of the Communist government in Moscow; they naturally assumed that their best chance for independence was siding with the Nazis who were at war with Russia.
- Details on the atrocities committed by Fathers Filipovic and Brekalo can be found in various sources, such as Lazar Lukaji: Fratri i ustaše kolju (Friars and Ustaše Do the Slaughtering), Belgrade: 2005 and in Viktor Novak, Magnum Crimen: Pola vijeka klerikalizma u Hrvatskoj (Half a Century of Clericalism in Croatia), Zagreb (1948, n.p.) and Beograd: RO “Nova Knjiga” 1986.
- All the above details are from a CIC HQ document dated February 12, 1947, “Subject: Father Krunoslav DRAGANOVIC, and signed by CIC Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd.
- Robert Mudd memo, already cited, paragraph number 8. The author has been unable to further identify Monsignor Madjarac.
- Alois Hudal, Römische Tagebücher (“Romam Diary”), Graz: Stocken, 1976, p. 21 and cited in Goñi, p. 231
- Franjo Kralik, “Why Are the Jews Being Persecuted?” in Katolicki Tjednik (Catholic Weekly), Sarajevo, 1941.
- Ironically, one of the monastery route operations had the name Caritas, which is Latin for “charity.” It was under the direction of Cardinal Montini, the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope Pius XII. Montini would later become Pope Paul VI.
The Land of Living Dangerously
Nazi Germany typically laundered looted gold and non-monetary gold by re-smelting it and casting it into bars that were hallmarked with black eagle swastikas, numbered in keeping with standard practice of the Reichsbank. This gold was moved to banks in Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, or Argentina. Japan used the same techniques, moving gold through Swiss banks in Tokyo, Portuguese banks in Macao, and banks in Chile and Argentina. When gold was physically moved to those countries it was carried by large cargo submarines.78
ne of the least reported of all the individuals who were with Hitler in the Bunker on April 30, 1945 was Walther Hewel (1904-1945?). Although history remembers Bormann, Goebbels, Eva Braun, General Krebs, and even Linge and Gunsche, Hewel is rarely mentioned except occasionally and in passing .79 It is an odd omission, particularly since Hewel seemed to have been one of Hitler’s closest friends and associates from the earliest days of the Nazi Party. In fact, Hewel’s own membership number in the NSDAP was even earlier than
Hewel was only eighteen at the time of the Beer Hall Putsch: Hitler’s failed attempt to take control of the state in Munich in 1923. Hewel marched with Heinrich Himmler under the swastika banner, and was later arrested with Hitler for treason and served time in Landsberg Prison, the same prison where Hitler would write Mein Kampf. Hewel was an intimate of Himmler, Rudolf Hess, and all the old comrades around the Fuhrer since the beginning of the Nazi experiment. And he was present in the Bunker in the last days, as well.
Yet, few historians speak about him.
The reason for this strange omission is unknown, but it does lead us into some interesting territory for after his release from Landsberg Prison Walter Hewel went on to establish Asia’s only real Nazi Party organization…in Indonesia.
Hewel was born on January 2, 1904 in Cologne. His father was the owner of a factory that made cocoa, but he died when Hewel was only nine years old. His mother was the Baroness von Lindenfels. At the age of eighteen, Walther entered the Technical University of Munich to study mechanical and industrial engineering, but it was a short-lived education due to his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch.
By 1925, however, Hewel—released from Landsberg where he functioned as a kind of valet for Hitler—began working for a Hamburg firm involved in import-export and a year later wound up in England where he eventually got a job with a company called Anglo Dutch Plantations of Java Ltd.
Beginning with his sojourn in England, Hewel—a committed Nazi and true believer—was active in promoting Nazi ideals. Encouraged by Rudolf Hess to form alliances with British fascists, he then went on to create an active Nazi Party in Indonesia starting in March of 1927 and remained in Java until called back by Hitler at the end of 1935 to serve as an ambassador to Spain and then as a special advisor to Nazi Foreign Minister Ribbentrop (who was hanged at Nuremberg). The positions in Spain and in Indonesia are suggestive, since they would form an important—but largely unrecognized—leg of the Ratline.
While in Indonesia, Hewel formed Nazi Party units throughout Java: in Jakarta (then known as Batavia), Bandung, Medan, Padang 80, Semarang, Makassar…and Surabaya. In fact, Hewel was known to the Bunker inhabitants as “Surabaya Wally.”81 That there was a Nazi Party in Surabaya is interesting, because it leads us eventually to the deeper mystery of Hitler’s possible escape.
Hewel would remain in Dutch-controlled Indonesia for nine years, during which time he saw the Nazi Party in that country grow and expand, largely among the ex-patriate German and Dutch communities in those cities. It may come as a surprise that the Netherlands provided the largest number of volunteers for the Waffen-SS out of all other countries in Europe. Even Prince Bernhard—the father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands— was briefly a member of the Nazi Party in the 1930s as well as of the SA. (the “Brown Shirts” paramilitary wing of the Party) while at university, although he later fought against the Nazi invasion of his country during the war. In Indonesia, the Dutch Vaderlandsche (Fatherland) Club of Medan helped to financially support the Nazi Party there using money raised from
plantation sources, and its membership was eventually subsumed into the Dutch Nazi Party. 82 This would have been exactly the type of activity for which Walther Hewel was responsible.
There was a small Nazi Party in the Netherlands itself for years before the invasion, and it held only a few seats in the Dutch parliament. After the invasion, there was a power struggle between the Germans (who wanted to annex the country) and the Dutch Nazis who wanted autonomy. The Dutch lost their bid, and the Netherlands became an outpost of the Third Reich, with the murderous Seyss-Inquart as its Governor-General. While student demonstrations against the invasion and against the Nazis were famous— and brutally suppressed—many in the Dutch intelligentsia were sympathetic to Hitler and to the ideals of the Nazi regime (as was Prince Bernhard, briefly). Therefore it would not be surprising to learn that elements of the Dutch expatriate community in Indonesia would have flirted with the idea of joining the Nazi Party there.
Once Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he began to take steps to form his own government, and to do that he surrounded himself with people who did not necessarily have the requisite experience in political matters but who were reliable from an ideological point of view. One of these was Joachim von Ribbentrop, a man roundly despised by most who knew him but who was trusted completely by Hitler since Ribbentrop studied the Fuhrer obsessively and knew what buttons to push, and when. Ribbentrop held various posts under Hitler, all concerning foreign affairs. He created various institutions, some of which were designed ostensibly to improve Anglo-German and French-German relations, but which were used by Hitler to manipulate foreign affairs in a somewhat more cynical manner.
One of the men called upon by Hitler to work with Ribbentrop in these endeavors was Walther Hewel. Hewel had, by that time, spent nearly a decade in Indonesia, was also familiar with China and Japan as well as the United States, and was recalled personally by Hitler to work in Spain and, later, to assist in the Anglo-German projects (since Hewel had a good command of English and had spent time in England, unlike Ribbentrop). We have very little information as to what Hewel was doing in his position with Ribbentrop, and he is usually dismissed as a kind of clownish personality—a characterization that is at odds with his background, his education and experience, and his devotion to the Nazi ideal. As one of the last men to leave the Bunker, he is believed to have committed suicide a
few days after Hitler by simultaneously biting down on a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head (the same improbable fiction promoted as Hitler’s means of death).
One historian83 believes that Hewel worked for the Abwehr (Germany’s military intelligence operation, under the command of Admiral Canaris until 1944) while in Spain, and this connection with Spain is tantalizing. Canaris, like Dönitz, had been a U-Boat commander during the first World War. He spoke fluent Spanish and was instrumental in developing a close working relationship between Franco and Hitler. His admiration for Hitler soured early on, however, and he began to conspire against the Fuhrer and was eventually arrested for treason and hanged by the Nazis in the last days of the war.
This meant that the Abwehr would come under new management in the form of Walter Schellenberg when the Abwehr was merged with the SD in 1944. Canaris’s network of agents in Spain (those considered above reproach and not tainted by their relationship with the presumed traitor) would have taken orders then from Schellenberg’s group. This meant that Germany’s military intelligence operation was removed from military control and placed under Schellenberg, and thus under Himmler and the SS, thereby effectively becoming an arm of an ideological entity rather than the Wehrmacht. This is important, for it means that the work of the agent network in Spain could be diverted to matters that were non-military in nature: such as creating escape routes for the SS or finding ways to transport gold and other valuables out of Europe. We have already seen that the Etappendienst was established by Admiral Donitz to supply the U-Boats out of Spanish ports, and that money-men such as Carlos Fuldner were active in Spain in the last days of the war with only one purpose in mind: to create an escape channel for men and money out of Europe and to safe havens around the world.
What is perhaps not so well known is the fact that Nazi U-boats were seen not only in Europe and along the coasts of North and South America both during and after the war, but also as far away as Indonesia.
The Nazis and the Japanese had formed a political alliance against their common enemy, the United States. However, that alliance was formed only after much resistance by the German military and members of the foreign policy establishment who saw China as their natural ally in Asia in a
relationship that dated back to the First World War. It was only after tremendous effort by men like Ribbentrop—and Hitler’s inspiration for ideas like lebensraum, the geo-politician Karl Ernst Haushofer (1869-1946)
—that a more aggressive approach to Nazi-Japanese relations bore fruit.
While Japan extended its authority over most of East Asia from Korea and China to the Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Indochina and Indonesia, it had virtually no direct contact with the armed forces of Germany. It did, however, control important natural resources in those territories—like rubber, tin and other commodities—that were essential to the war effort in Europe. Rubber, in particular, was necessary for the production of tires and other components of tanks, trucks, jeeps and aircraft parts, and rubber was abundant in Malaya and Indonesia, areas under Japanese control.
Thus, a system was established whereby the Germans would transport jet engine technology, machine tools and raw materials the Japanese did not have—such as uranium84—in exchange for rubber, tin, tungsten, and whatever else was needed by the German war machine. The method of transport was the U-boat. The port of call was Penang on the western coast of Malaya, with the first such shipment arriving on July 15, 1943 via German U-boat U-511. The submarine was actually a gift to the Japanese Navy by Adolf Hitler himself, in return for a Japanese submarine shipment of desperately-needed war materiel on Japanese sub I-30. Thus we have the rather bizarre image of Nazi U-boats bearing the swastika on their conning towers sailing into Asian ports halfway around the world from Germany.
The Asian U-boat bases represented the only occasion in the entire war when the Germans and the Japanese actively cooperated militarily. German U-boats would refuel in the Indian Ocean on their way to and from Malaya, out of range of British bombers, in an operation that was conducted quickly and efficiently. The submarines themselves had been outfitted more as cargo ships than as engines of destruction, and towards the end of the war they were carrying V-2 rocket components to the Japanese. There has been much speculation that the Japanese were working on their own version of the atomic bomb at the time and, had they managed to build the V-2 rocket using German blueprints and parts, they would have had not only the bomb but also an effective delivery system.
As the British grew in strength in Asia in 1944, and using India as a base, they began to bomb Penang in order to disrupt the U-boat traffic from Europe and also to deny the Japanese that important port that controlled the
sea lanes in the Melaka Straits. At that time the decision was made to move the base to Indonesia, to Batavia (now Jakarta), as well as Surabaya, and the shipments carried on as before.