German Intelligence Officers

German Intelligence Officers

(KV 2/1319-1334)

Adolf Nogenstein, aka Nassenstein

(KV 2/1326)

Adolf Nogenstein was first brought to the attention of the Allies by information supplied by General Mihajlovic in Yugoslavia from an unidentified source in the Gestapo, when Nogenstein was reported to be leaving for Portugal to act as an intelligence agent.

This file, covering 1942-1947, charts the initial attempts to locate and identify him (he was eventually found in 1943 to be identical with Adolf Nassenstein, a German diplomat in Lisbon, born in London in 1911). A close watch was kept on Nogenstein, who turned out to be a key Gestapo figure in Portugal. At the end of the war, he was captured but escaped by shooting his way out, and went to ground in Portugal until 1947, when he and two other Germans were traced by Interpol. There was a violent shoot-out, Nogenstein was arrested and of his companions, one was shot dead and the other took poison. Nogenstein made several attempts to kill himself, but was eventually repatriated to Germany via Gibraltar and the UK. The file contains reports of the various stages in this dramatic case and correspondence about how Nogenstein was to be handled, along with notes of Nogenstein's interrogation.

Willy Piert and Hans von Pescatore

(KV 2/1329)

Piert (b.1910) and von Pescatore (b.1900) were German intelligence officers employed at German diplomatic posts in Switzerland, from June 1943 (Piert) and January 1944 (von Pescatore). They were among a party of four who surrendered to the OSS in May 1945 and were extensively interviewed, and it is their reports which gave details of the extent of Soviet intelligence operations in Switzerland during the war (called the 'Rote Drei' or Ring of Three by the Germans because of the three separate transmitters used by the Russians in Switzerland to send messages back to Moscow).

After the war they supplied much information to the British and Americans about the intelligence world in Switzerland, and the organisation of the German network and its knowledge of other powers' networks. In particular they identified several Swiss who had been working for Soviet intelligence, and against whom the Swiss authorities had been forced to act to prevent German intervention during the war. The Germans had, in fact, succeeded in penetrating the Soviet organisation to a large degree.

This weeded file, covering 1939-1952, includes the detailed reports from Piert and von Pescatore's interrogations made by the Combined Services District Intelligence Centre (CSDIC). After the war, Piert, who was married to an Englishwoman, Vera Dale, was issued with an exit visa from Germany in error and visited the UK in 1947, staying with his wife in Wimbledon and visiting his sister in Shirley. The file contains some papers on this visit and the consternation it caused the officials.