Hitler's deputy transferred from Hampshire to S America in 1956?

Zardoz tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Jun 16 23:36:56 BST 2013

Martin Bormann transferred from Hampshire to South America in 1956?

In general, he said, his aim was to recreate the old Nazi movement in the form of a National Socialist Union in Europe. This could be achieved only if the other countries surrendered their identities and agreed to be ruled by Germans. First Europe, then the whole world, would be administered by a Nazi government in Berlin, where there would be an Upper House of German politicians, and a Lower House for representatives of other nationalities. In this new world-empire only German would be spoken, 'but people would soon get used to that', even in America. For all the obvious flaws in his character, Hanne saw him as 'a most brilliant man', with the ability to put Germany back on its feet.

Op.JB- Final Twists
Extract from Op. JB 
by Christopher Creighton
Pub Simon and Schuster, 1996
pp. 230-239
Andrew Lycett made the ludicrously naive remark that when, on 30 May 1945, Fleming wrote to a girlfriend complaining that he had had 'no devilry for too long', this proved he could have taken no part in 'the hunt' for Martin Bormann. On the contrary: that kind of flippant answer was Fleming's normal means of deflecting tiresome inquiries. He knew full well that during the war a serious breach of the Official Secrets Act could have carried the death penalty, and that even in peacetime he could have been arrested, court-martialled, cashiered and sentenced to at least five years' imprisonment for talking out of turn. His career and life would have been ruined. Small wonder that a man of such professionalism and discipline never blabbed.	
For me, one major regret has always been that my father never knew the truth about my wartime service. He died at the beginning of January 1976, still believing I had been a renegade and traitor with a criminal background - for he was so indiscreet that nobody in authority had dared to enlighten him about my secret operations. After the war the M Section did nothing to improve my character references: on the contrary, they went out of their way to enhance my supposed villainy, adding psychopathic tendencies, gambling, bad debts and finally bankruptcy to my list of failings. This policy paid off on several occasions, not least in 1967 at the Barrendov Studios in Prague, where, under cover of an international film production, I was on an intelligence operation. When the KGB and the Czech SSS (secret police of the notorious Eighth Department) opened my mail - as they always did - and read threatening demands from creditors, they dropped their well-founded 'suspicions of me, and I was able to continue my undercover work.
The fact that my father and stepmother were kept in ignorance caused much grief to my mother and my sister Jennie; but post-war events proved that it was just as well. On three potentially dangerous occasions Britons working for the KGB, the SSS and Odessa (the secret society of former members of the SS) came digging for information about my background; but my stepmother's scathing reports - apparently confirming every word of myoid records - persuaded the inquirers that I could not possibly be a secret agent: the British Intelligence Services did not employ bankrupt, psychopathic, criminal traitors. It helped that, by then, my father vehemently denied that he had ever known Ribbentrop: if the former ambassador's name ever came up in conversation, he would exclaim, 'If ever I'd got anywhere near that bastard, I'd have killed him!'
The fact that my father could not know the truth about me remained a source of embarrassment and sorrow to Mountbatten. Years earlier, when my father appealed to him for help over my career, Lord Louis had written back a cover letter saying that, alas, my character was so bad that there was nothing he could do. When my father died, the long-term deception was evidently still weighing on Mountbatten's mind, for he wrote two more letters, the first to me, the second about me.
In the first, a personal note, he reminisced about my father. The second letter was to Susan Kemp, who had devoted her entire' career to the M Section and moved steadily up through its ranks, becoming an Assistant Deputy Director in 1951, Deputy Director in 1955, and Director - M in person - from 1965 until her retirement in 1980. So secret was it, in Mountbatten's view, that on 21 January 1976 he drove over from Broadlands to her home and declared that he intended to set the record straight. Using our original code-names from A. A. Milne - Owl for Morton, Tigger for Churchill, Kanga for Susan and Christopher Robin for me - he dictated a five-page memorandum headed MOST SECRET, in which he outlined my career in covert operations.
'I shall certainly recommend that it's time for the curtain to be lifted on C. R.'s intelligence career,' he began. 'For some time I have wanted to confirm in writing his service in the Royal Navy under a cover name, and the various operations in which he was involved with the Morton Section.'
Having stated that he had known my father, Jack, at Christ's, Cambridge, Mountbatten recalled how he had cheered him on at the Antwerp Olympics, together with the Duke of York and Prince Henry. He said that he himself had several times met Ribbentrop at our house at 69 Harley Street, and that he had 'assisted' my entry into the Royal Navy under a cover-name. He then gave brief resumes of my earlier operations, before coming to Op JB:

In January 1945, C R was promoted Acting Lieutenant-Commander and appointed in Command of Operation James Bond, under the executive command of Commander Ian Fleming, RNVR (Sp). With Operational WRNS 'Wrens', Royal Marine Commandos and German patriot fighters, he abducted 'Piglet' from Berlin and using the German waterways brought him safely down the Spree and Havel to the Elbe and the British Forces on the North West bank.
Piglet had the key to the vast Nazi wealth held in Switzerland. Operation James Bond made possible the subsequent release of those assets for the people to whom it belonged or for the general good of the occupied territories from where it had been plundered.

At the end of the memorandum Mountbatten gave me permission to publish anything he had written, but only after he himself had, as he put it, 'gorn off'. As things turned out, he died in 1979, rimrdered by the IRA; but another twelve years passed before I saw this document again. The reason was that he gave it to Susan Kemp, instructing her that it should be held in safe-keeping along with other secret records of the M Section. He also asked her not to let me have it unless she thought I really needed it, and she in her wisdom withheld it.
For me, M Section documents had long been a matter of concern and controversy. One day in the late 1960s I went to see Morton at his home, told him I wanted to write a book about my career, and asked if I could have access to some of his papers - whereupon he completely lost control. Jabbing a finger in my direction from across the drawing-room, he damned me as an ignominious traitor and a son of Satan. He disowned me, and, in his own phrase, 'retired' from being my godfather. If I were to publish any such book, he boomed, he would tear the First World War bullet from his heart and hurl it at me with all the force that God had employed in destroying the Philistines.
I never saw him again; but a little later he burnt all his papers. Historians and politicians bewailed the loss of this priceless intelligence archive, covering the years 1920-60, and including details of Operation James Bond. When Morton died in 1971, the world assumed that he had ~aken his secrets to the grave.
That was certainly my impression - until 18 April 1991. That morning Susan Kemp telephoned for a chat about how I was getting on with the draft of my book, records or no records. We had scarcely begun talking when she came out with the startling but welcome news that she and the M Section's photographic experts had copied everyone of Morton's records long before he had his bonfire, and had placed the copies in the safety of the Section's security control. (A doctor who gave him a routine check-up claimed that he had detected a dangerous irregularity in his heartbeat, and while Morton was in hospital for three days of tests his people raided his archive). Susan told me that I could have restricted access to some naval reports, but that I might not take any away or make copies: handwritten notes only. She also reminded me about Mountbatten's letter and memorandum.
A week later she picked me up and we drove into the Surrey countryside. In the course of a walk she confirmed that security control had agreed to provide me with further information about Bormann's final years. Then, after lunch in a pub, she drove me to a country town and parked outside the cemetery. We walked up a path to the Roman Catholic section and stopped by a patch of mown grass.
'Do you like conjuring tricks?' she asked. 'In a graveyard?'
'Why not? You're standing at Piglet's grave.'
She told me that, far from dying in 1956, Bormann had lived on in England until 1989, and then had been buried here. For a moment I was so startled that I did not believe her. But then I looked at her and decided that she was not joking. After a while we returned to the car and drove back to her house, where she showed me Mountbatten's letter, and I read again how concerned he had been that the true story of my naval service had never been told.

What I did not realise was that, even after all those years of service, I myself was still being used by the M Section in their schemes of disinformation. It was not until the spring of 1996 that Susan at last revealed to me the truth about Bormann's final years - and highly disconcerting it was to find that It.-who had been involved in the preparation of disinformation schemes for much of my life, had myself fallen for one, and had been actively encouraged to follow a planted trail.
In July 1960, somewhere in the south of England, a man who called himself Peter Broderick-Hartley jumped on to a moving bus just after it had come round a corner, and so by chance met Johanne Nelson (generally known as Hanne), a Danish woman whose British husband had died a year earlier. He sat down beside her and they fell into conversation. He said he was a civil engineer; in fact he was a con-man and fantasist with a criminal record and a known propensity for fastening on to vulnerable women. Unknown to his new contact, for the past eight years he had been employed, trained and supervised by the M Section, which had cultivated him as another Bormann double.
The two began an affair. One evening, after a few drinks, Broderick-Hartley suddenly began speaking German, and carried on for half an hour, 'revealing' that he was Martin Bormann. He spoke passionately about Hitler, about Eva Braun and Goebbels, and about his own life in Germany. When at last he stopped, Hanne asked in English, 'Why are you telling me all this?' He seemed surprised, and said, 'Oh, I thought you were German.'
No Nazi herself - her family had Jewish antecedents - Hanne was at first alarmed by this outburst, because she believed that her lover really was Bormann: certainly he bore an extraordinary resemblance to Hitler's former secretary, and he had the same powerful, squat build. Yet by the time that Broderick-Hartley claimed to have played a major role in the Third Reich, she was so much in love with him that she suppressed her feelings of anxiety and guilt.
The two never cohabited, because Broderick-Hartley was living with a housekeeper, Hilda (whom he also referred to as Amy Gant). Nevertheless, he and Hanne spent much time together, and on 1 August 1961 she bore him a daughter, Vanessa. Soon afterwards he again told her he was Martin Bormann; when she said she did not believe it, he took a used envelope, rapidly scribbled a signature, and said, 'After all, you are now part of the Bormann family.' Although the signature was not a perfect match, it convinced Hanne.
For years Hanne wore an engagement ring, and naturally she would have much liked to live with the father of her child; but
this was never possible because Hilda had such a hold over him - something that Hanne could never quite understand. As she soon discovered, her lover held extreme political ideas. He claimed that all Germans, not only himself, were Nazis at heart, whatever they professed outwardly.
In general, he said, his aim was to recreate the old Nazi movement in the form of a National Socialist Union in Europe. This could be achieved only if the other countries surrendered their identities and agreed to be ruled by Germans. First Europe, then the whole world, would be administered by a Nazi government in Berlin, where there would be an Upper House of German politicians, and a Lower House for representatives of other nationalities. In this new world-empire only German would be spoken, 'but people would soon get used to that', even in America. For all the obvious flaws in his character, Hanne saw him as 'a most brilliant man', with the ability to put Germany back on its feet.
In spite of his grandiose claims, his own behaviour was frequently puerile. On visits to London he pointed out Jews and made loud, derisive comments about them, saying that they should have been eliminated years ago, and that they would not escape next time round, as their names were all in the computer: 'They shall be liquidated one and all.' When he and Hanne walked along London streets, he would often barge a person of Semitic appearance off the pavement, saying 'You bloody Jews! Hitler should have exterminated the lot of you.'
This unreconstituted Nazi was a good rider, and often went to the races; he also enjoyed other typical English pastimes, and liked to dress in tweeds as a country squire, although he despised the British in general. He typed well, and kept a powerful radio transmitter 'as big as a table-top', according to Hanne - which was frequently in use, sending and receiving messages.
He had a taste for caviare and champagne, and indulged his sybaritic tendencies as far as he could while ostensibly living a middle-class existence. His long-term frustration emerged in his claim that he 'owned a first-class ticket for life, but was unable to use it'. Referring to himself as 'the Third Man', he complained that he was always under surveillance - and this was certainly true, as M Section personnel were permanently on hand to keep an eye on him. 
He and Hanne continued to meet intermittently over the years, and in 1984, five years before his death, they drank champagne and had dinner 'in a fine Chinese restaurant near Hyde Park'. Again he asked Hanne to marry him, and, she, still admiring him, was sorely tempted to accept. But, thinking of her own Jewish antecedents, she declined his offer. When he died on 20 June 1989, he was buried in the unmarked grave I had seen, and she did not attend his funeral.

It was work on this book that put me in touch with Hanne. I met her in May 1995, when we had lunch at a small hotel in Sussex. Because one aim of the meeting was to make sure that she was genuine, I had arranged for M Section's security control to vet the venue and put full security in place. During drinks, holding it cleanly at the base, I picked up a glass my guest had been using, and passed it to a waitress, who in fact was one of our girls, so that the fingerprints could be checked. Twice more during the meal we repeated the procedure, and some thirty photographs were taken, several of them close-ups. Within twenty-four hours security control confirmed beyond any doubt that this was the woman with whom Broderick-Hartley had been associated.
Still - though I did not know it - my own section was playing me along. For several months thereafter I was greatly excited by my belief that I had at last stumbled on the truth about Bormann's latter years.
I knew that during the early 1950s suspicion and rum our about Bormann had been rife throughout Europe, with many fingers pointing at England. I also knew that after the end of the war several Doppelgangers had performed well in Italy, Germany and other countries. What I did not know was that in 1952 the M Section had found a strikingly good replica of Bormann, in the form of Peter Broderick-Hartley, on their own doorstep, and had decided to make use of him also. The idea was that, if ever anyone seemed to be coming uncomfortably close to the truth, the British authorities could produce the resident double and say, 'There you are. Of course he looks like Bormann, but in fact he's got nothing to do with him.'
As I say, I knew nothing of this when Hanne showed me letters, written by her lover in English, and numerous photographs of him in England. His resemblance to Bormann was astonishing: the same broad cheekbones, the same hairline. But neither Hanne nor I - at that stage - realised that, to achieve the likeness, he had undergone extensive plastic surgery. Nor did either of us know that he had received long training in his role as Bormann's Doppelganger, and that most of the letters apparently from him had been forged by M Section experts.
But the more I thought about Hanne's story the more I believed that her lover really was Bormann. She herself certainly did, and I do not blame her. Nevertheless, I was never totally convinced. There was something about the photographs which jarred: even given the fact that Bormann also had undergone plastic surgery, I could not quite reconcile the appearance of Broderick-Hartley with the image of Hitler's secretary stamped on my mind during our journey downriver fifty years earlier.	.
It was not until the spring of 1996 that Susan Kemp at last felt able to revel the truth to me. Even after retiring from the M Section, she had some access to its records, and so was able to help. Belatedly I learnt that in 1989, when I started work on this book, the Section had deliberately led me to believe that Bormann died in Hampshire in April 1956, in the hope that I would publish the date and so get it generally accepted. What they had not bargained for, however, was that Hanne Nelson would come forward with her story in the hope of getting it published. At first they told me they supported her version of events, and confirmed to me that she was who she claimed to be, at and after our meeting in the Sussex restaurant. Only when they realised I was adamant that Hartley was not Bormann did they at last decide to come clean.	
The truth was that between 1945 and 1956 Bormann was based (as I have shown) in England. During those years, however, he made several trips to Brazil, Argentina, other countries in South America, and elsewhere, always under the control and surveillance of the M Section and the CIA (successors of the OSS). The leader of the CIA's control and protection team in South America was none other than Barbara Brabenov, who reported that when Bormann first set eyes on her again both of them were overcome by emotion, and tough CIA operatives watched in amazement as their star agent embraced the world's most wanted war criminal. According to Susan, the results of their partnership were 'superlative': wanted Nazis were run to earth, hoards of cash, jewellery and gold were recovered, and other important things accomplished, among them the containment of attempts to rebuild the Third Reich in exile through financial and economic domination of the free world.
Nevertheless, the government was still nervous about having the convicted war criminal in England, and early in April 1956, just before the official visit of the Soviet leaders Bulganin and Khrushchev, Susan was sent for by the Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, who launched into a diatribe about the problems caused by all the suspicion that we were harbouring Bormann. Before she could say anything, Eden lost control- as I also had seen him do and began to bang on the desk as he screamed obscenities: 'We're cosseting him like a f****ing VIP!' he yelled. 'I want him out of the country before these bloody Russians get here. Why don't you just cut the bloody man's head off and throw him in the sea?'
As usual, with the tantrum over, Eden abruptly reverted to his normal, suave self, giving Susan a big smile and saying with the utmost courtesy, 'Be so good, my dear Miss Kemp, as to escort him out of the country by April 25th'.
Susan did almost exactly that. In Hampshire, as I have recorded, it was announced that Herr Schuler had died, and a coffin bearing his name was buried in the village graveyard near the riding school. On 29 April 1956 Bormann was flown under escort to Argentina, and there once again joined forces with Brabenov. By then, however, his health was failing: he was still only fifty five, but he wanted somewhere to settle down in obscurity. He found his haven in Paraguay, where he lived quietly until, after a long illness, he died in February 1959. He was buried in the local cemetery, but some time later, in a deal concluded by the CIA, the Paraguayan government and German intelligence, his remains were exhumed and taken back to Berlin. They were reburied in the sand beneath the Ulap Fairground, where they were conveniently found in 1972. I say 'some time later' because Susan could not give me details of this operation, which she heard of only at second hand. All the same, her account of Bormann's last years is strikingly similar to that of Hugh Thomas, who reached much the same conclusion by means of acute detective work.

Early in 1996 I travelled to Bavaria and met Gerhardt Bormann, one of Martin's sons, in the company of the family lawyer, Dr Florian Besold, and a first-class interpreter, Dr G.K. Kindermann. The meeting took place in the Bormanns' house on the outskirts of Freising, near Munich. Also present were Gerhardt's wife and son,
In 1945, as I have said, the ethics of Operation James Bond did not concern us. As naval officers, we merely carried out orders and the atmosphere was thoroughly cordial. Conditioned as they were by years of belief that Martin Bormann had died in 1945, the family received the story of Operation James Bond with a good deal of scepticism. Nevertheless, I think they were shaken when I showed them copies ofthe letter from Ian Fleming and the memorandum from Mountbatten, confirming that the rescue of Piglet had taken place. There was also one point, trivial yet telling, at which the truth suddenly struck home. Through the interpreter I asked Gerhardt (who speaks practically no English) whether, as a boy, he had owned a pony. The answer was, 'No, that was my brother Martin.'
'And when the family had to move,' I went on, 'he was upset because he couldn't keep the pony any longer.'
Until then Gerhardt had remained impassive, reminding me strongly of his father, ,with his broad features and wary eyes. But now he suddenly came alive. With a startled look he said to the interpreter,-'How on earth could he have known that?'
The answer was simple. Martin Bormann senior had told this sad little story to the girls at the riding school in Hampshire.
Our interview in Freising ended amicably, if indecisively. I made a point of emphasising that my book would not harp on Bormann's war record: on the contrary, I described how in 1945, when I knew nothing of his recent past, I had formed an emotional bond with him during our journey down the waterways, and everyone in the party had become fond of him.
The family said they would like time to think about what I had told them, but Gerhardt reiterated his conviction that the bones and skull dug up in Berlin, and now preserved in a vault in Wiesbaden, are those of his father. As I was leaving, Dr Besold remarked that the way to settle the issue once and for all would be to arrange a DNA test, comparing a sample from the bones
with hair or blood from a surviving member of the family. I myself very much hope that such a test will be carried out; if it is, I .am confident that it will confirm the authenticity of the remains, and that it will show that the bones were brought back from Paraguay.

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