Security Service release: German intelligence agents and suspected agents
Carl MARX (KV 2/3266 - KV 2/3268) 22/01/1940 - 06/11/1959
Marx (no relation to the father of Marxism, Karl Marx) was a journalist of German-Jewish extraction from the Saar. Fleeing to France after the Saarland plebiscite he worked as an informant for the French and later ostensibly for the Italians, although they locked him up for double-crossing them to the French (as well as currency and people smuggling). He then fled to North Africa, where in July 1941 he initiated unexplained contact with German intelligence in Tangier. In May 1942 he escaped to Gibraltar and was sent to the UK for interrogation. He was interned temporarily. KV 2/3266 contains Marx's account of his life, handwritten in German (with an English translation), entitled 'Life Story of Karl Marx'. KV 2/3267 notes he was detained in HM Prison in Brixton 'on a charge of having acted as a secret intelligence agent of the German Government in Tangier'. This file contains a handwritten letter from Marx complaining of the 'adverse effect of prison treatment on his nerves'. It also contains Marx's mostly empty diary except for a few business cards. Post war he returned to West Germany, published a German-Jewish newspaper in Dusseldorf and acted as the Rhineland correspondent for the Jewish Chronicle.
Joachim BENEMANN (KV 2/3270 - KV 2/3273) 16/12/1936 - 07/10/1954
Benemann first came to attention of the Security Services in 1937 when he arrived in the UK, ostensibly to study at London University but his real purpose was suspected to be the development of the Hitler Jugend (HJ) in Britain. His organising of HJ cycling tours of the UK was suspected to be a cover for espionage activities, but this was unconfirmed by the time he left Britain in 1939. After the war he claimed to have been anti-Nazi and on his applying for British naturalisation in 1953 his true allegiances were investigated. He had been very close to the Communist Party in the early 1930s while employed in Moscow and a member of the Nazi Party from 1938, but during the Second World War had worked with the Communist-influenced Resistance in Denmark. His application for naturalisation was refused. KV 2/3270 contains an anonymous denunciation of Benemann, accusing him of being a 'true nazi', and covers his involvement with the Dunstable flying club. KV 2/3271 includes suggestions that Benemann was used to gather information on ICI's oil facility at Ellesmere Port.
Marina LEE (KV 2/3281) 07/08/1941 - 15/11/1960
Of Russian origin, Lee was described as a highly valued German agent in Norway in 1940. According to the file, she was a ballet dancer who was believed to have left Russia in 1917 after both her parents were murdered by the Bolsheviks. At some point after arriving in Norway, she was recruited by the Abwehr (a German military intelligence organisation) and married a Norwegian. The file includes two unconfirmed reports from German officers that Lee managed to penetrate the British command and get hold of the British campaign plan. The file describes her as a 'blond, tall, beautiful figure, refined and languid in her behaviour' and refers to her as 'a very dangerous woman'. Lee was later reported to be operating in Spain.
File KV 2/3281 is available to view on Discovery.
Dr Manuel BIANCHI (KV 2/3283 - KV 2/3287) 19/10/1939 - 25/10/1945
A Chilean career diplomat who had previously served as Chargé in Berlin, Bianchi arrived as Ambassador in London in 1941. He was reported on the basis of his associations in Chile to have pro-Axis sympathies and to have arranged a means of transmitting secret information to Santiago for forwarding to the German mission there. The files detail the resulting investigation (in which Blunt had a part), which gave no evidence of these allegations but showed Bianchi's apparent involvement in illegal currency trading. The files contain correspondence between Bianchi and a mistress in Cuba. Related file Subercaseaux (KV 2/3323) also appears in this release
Prince Max Egon Maria Erwin Paul HOHENLOHE-LANGENBURG (KV 2/3289) 19/11/1937 - 25/08/1953
A friend of Goering and Himmler, Prince Max Hohenlohe, a scarlet pimpernel character, was said to have been used as a 'gentleman agent' by Admiral Canaris, head of the Abwehr. In 1941, Canaris intended him to be used as an interlocutor with the Allies. After Canaris' fall, he was known as a 'special informant' of Walter Schellenberg, who became head of foreign intelligence following the abolition of the Abwehr. Hohenlohe was assessed by the Security Service as a political opportunist.