Security Service release: German intelligence agents and suspected agents
Angel ALCAZAR DE VELASCO / Manuel Garcia YLLERA LAGO
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3535
- Date: 03/01/1941 - 23/09/1978
These files deal with the activities of Alcazar de Velasco, the Press Attache at the Spanish Embassy in London, and his secretary Yllera Lago. A former bullfighter, Velasco arrived in London in 1941 unable to speak a word of English. One of the original members of the Falange (Spanish Fascist Party) and close to the pro-German Foreign Minister Ramon Suner, Velasco's true role was to monitor his colleagues and facilitate espionage. He also gave orders to Pieravieja del Pozo, the controller of the supposed Welsh nationalist (and actual MI5 Double Agent), GW. The files contain transcripts of Velasco's telephone conversations and also those of his associates, who talk about him in mostly unfavourable terms. In one file Velasco hears of a plot to assassinate him and claims he had been awarded police protection. In 1942 after his return to Madrid, Alcazar de Velasco was involved in selling fabricated intelligence from a mythical group of 'agents' in the UK to the Germans and Japanese. Press clippings from 1978 show Velasco openly admitting he spied for the Nazis whilst working as Press Attache.
Stefan Klemens STARYKON-KASPRZYCKI, alias Boleslaw Adam PIASECKI
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3548
- Date: 04/09/1943 - 21/10/1944
Kasprzycki arrived in the UK from Warsaw via Germany and Sweden in August 1943, claiming to be a courier from the Polish Underground in Warsaw. Interrogation, a process which continued at intervals for nearly three years, raised serious doubts about his story which involved the Underground movement, arrest, imprisonment in concentration camps and commercial activity in Poland prior to his UK mission. Interrogation strongly suggested that Kasprzycki had been recruited by the Germans to counter Polish Intelligence operations against them, but this was never conclusively proved. Kasprzycki was finally deported in April 1946. The files contain a telegram that states Kasprzycki had been previously tried by a Special Military Tribunal and notes 'Kasprzycki is dangerous: watch him carefully'. Kasprzycki is described as a 'rather entertaining character' who 'loved money'. The files states his 'dominating characteristic was selfishness for which he was ready to sacrifice everyone and everything'.
The files span KV2/3548 to KV2/3549.
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3550
- Date: 13/05/1941 - 04/12/1945
A member of the German Consulate in Los Angeles before the war, Plack's propagandist activities led to suspicions that he was an intelligence agent. Whilst based in Los Angeles, he also worked as a motion picture extra and allegedly reported to the German Consul about important film personalities. The file notes that following his involvement in a nightclub brawl, the Consul was said to be 'anxious for Plack to return to Germany for disciplinary reasons". He returned to Germany in 1940 to work in the Foreign Office. In 1943 and 1944 he was based in Paris as a member of the Press Department attached to the German Embassy where his work involved finding suitable English language broadcasters to speak to England and America. Plack allegedly approached P.G Wodehouse to record wireless broadcasts and 'the intention had been to use Wodehouse for propaganda purposes'. This file contains signed statements from Wodehouse who refers to Plack as 'my Hollywood friend'. His wife Ethel claimed that Plack had offered to look after a sum of money for her but some of this had yet to be returned to her. In the file Plack is described as 'something of a playboy and inclined to drink too much'. He was considered to be 'somewhat irresponsible in money matters' and had a poor credit record. The file contains statements from P.G Wodehouse and his wife about Plack.
File KV2/3550 is available to view on Discovery.
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3551
- Date: 19/07/1944 - 23/06/1949
George Brown first came to notice in 1944 seeking repatriation to the UK from Spain, having escaped from Germany where he had settled in the 1920s and opened a restaurant. Interrogation left suspicions but no firm evidence that he was a German agent - but a 1949 military report from a captured German document revealed his real role as an agent of the Abwehr. In fact Brown was recruited by the Abwehr in March 1941 and the file notes he has 'quite a long record about which he has never spoken to us'. The file contains the interrogation report on Brown where he claims he was forced into joining the Todt organisation to rid his wife of her embarrassment at having married a foreigner. The file notes that Brown 'blames his wife for shopping him to the Gestapo'. The interrogation report notes that he displayed a curiously poor memory for names and details, unable to recall even the name of his mistress or the man who helped him escape from Germany. The report states that Brown is 'muddle-headed but somewhat shrewd'. He is described as having an 'exaggerated brand of Belfast dialect' and 'would do anything to safeguard his own skin'. He was also involved in blackmarket activities including the theft of cigarettes.
File KV2/3551 is available to view on Discovery.
Antonia HUNT alias Tonia LYON-SMITH
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3552
- Date: 15/06/1942 - 31/01/1950
Trapped in France by the German invasion in 1940 at the age of 15, Antonia Lyon-Smith was kept as an office girl by a Gestapo office in Paris, rather than being sent to a concentration camp or shot as in most people's cases. During her time at the office, a German officer named Karl Gagel apparently fell in love with her. She had been arrested by the Gestapo because of a letter she had written on behalf of the resistance movement led by Claude Spaak. She was questioned after the war but was reticent about her relationship with Gagel and her connection with Spaak's organisation, which assisted in the escape of Leopold Trepper, the principal Soviet agent in the Rote Kapelle network. She claimed Spaak 'played her a dirty trick' and of Gagel she 'has not the slightest intention of ever seeing Karl again if she can possibly avoid it'. She did not make a good impression with the interviewer as her account varied from information previously received and was given in 'a rather disconnected and elusive way'. She claimed she could not remember many names or details as she was kept in confinement, however, the file notes she was 'allowed a fair amount of freedom' and Gagel frequently accompanied her on shopping expeditions in Paris. The file contains a letter from Gagel attempting to make contact with Lyon-Smith after her return to Britain. In Gagel's interrogation report he is described as anxious to get in touch with Lyon-Smith 'if only because she is in possession of a considerable amount of money and a valuable camera'. Several years later her memoirs of the time were published in a book entitled 'Little Resistance: A teenage English girl's adventures in occupied France'.
File KV2/3552 is available to view on Discovery.
Alfred Oscar PFISTERER
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3555
- Date: 19/06/1945 - 09/02/1961
A member of the Waffen SS (a military arm of the Third Reich) from 1933, by 1941 Pfisterer was a Haupsturmfuhrer and the representative of Amt VI Gestapo in Spain. Pfisterer came to the UK with the purpose of arranging marriage to a British subject, however at the time his divorce from his previous wife was not yet finalised. As a trusted Nazi officer and agent of German intelligence service the file notes he was 'notorious in Spain during the Second World War'. As such Pfisterer was initially not considered to be a desirable candidate for permanent residence in Britain. However Pfisterer did indeed go on to marry a British woman and settled in the UK, in one of the few instances of SS Officers settling in Britain.
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3568
- Date: 03/04/1946 - 10/02/1947
Schreiber was the Abwehr officer at the German Embassy Lisbon who was ordered in April 1944 to deliver the Mi5 Double-Agent Jebsen (code-named 'Artist', see previously released files KV2/2845-66) to German territory following suspicions that he was going to defect. Despite initial discussions that they 'would not resort to any extreme measures' the file describes how Schreiber lured Jebsen to his office late one evening under the pretext that he was to be awarded a decoration and there he abducted him and drove him, drugged and concealed in a trunk, to Biarritz where he was handed over to the German authorities. The file notes that Shreiber 'belonged at least in feeling' to the group who sponsored the assassination attempt on Hitler.
File KV2/3568 is available to view on Discovery.