Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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FTR #234 Tales of the Amber Room

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1. As part of a growing rapprochement with Russia, Germany recently returned pieces of a priceless work of art known as the Amber Room. (San Jose Mercury News, 4/28/2000, p. 22A.) Presented by Prussian King Frederick William to Czar Peter the Great, the Amber Room was plundered by German troops during World War II and subsequently disappeared. Considered priceless, the amber sculptures have been the object of a decades-long search by art experts, the KGB and what Mr. Emory calls “the Underground Reich.”

2. This broadcast sets forth an account of the Bormann group’s search for the Amber Room, set forth by Frank Brandenburg, a young German who infiltrated the Underground Reich elements in Germany. (Quest: Searching for the Truth of Germany’s Nazi Past, Ib Melchior and Frank Brandenburg, Presidio Press, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-89141-397-9.)

3. Introduced to Brandenburg under the title “Mariborsol,” the Bormann group employed Medard Klapper, a former SS man and gun dealer from Karlsruhe, to attempt to locate the Amber Room. (Quest, pp. 289-94.)

4. The account of Brandenburg’s encounter with Klapper and Klapper’s account of the Bormann group begins with a discussion the two men had concerning the “Serail Documents,” of which Brandenburg had heard from other veterans of the Third Reich.

“The Serail documents! Frank thought. With growing excitement he asked, ‘What do you know about those documents?’ ‘Only that they had been salvaged from the plane and hidden in Dresden. The Bormann group instructed me that they were of the utmost importance. That under no circumstances must they be allowed to fall into Russian hands. Or any of the other enemy allies. That they must be recovered by us.’ ‘And they were?’ ‘They were.’ ‘By you?’ ‘Not Actively,’ Klapper said. His eyes shifted toward the window and back. ‘I was the Vermittler—the agent for the operation.’ ‘What happened?’ ‘Exactly what was supposed to happen’ Klapper said testily. ‘The documents were retrieved and sent to Madrid. To the Bormann group.’ Frank felt enormously keyed-up. Here was what he had been seeking. Here was the answer to what had happened to the Serail documents. They had been sent to Madrid. They were in the hands of a – a Bormann group. ‘That Bormann group,’ he said. ‘What can you tell me about that?’ ‘They still have their headquarters in Madrid,’ Klapper told him. ‘Today it is the Mariborsol, and’—He suddenly stopped and gave Frank a sharp look. ‘You are familiar with Mariborsol?’ he asked. ‘I have heard of such an organization,’ Frank lied, ‘but—no, Herr Klapper, I am not familiar with it. Neither General Wolff nor General Bauer mentioned it to me.’ Klapper nodded sagely. ‘They would not know,’ he said. ‘They were not among the—the active. There was no reason for them to know.’ For a moment Klapper studied him. His eyes once more darted quickly to his shop and back to Frank. ‘Such knowledge could be dangerous for you to possess,’ he said finally, an ominous tone to his voice. ‘I presume you realize that.’ Nevertheless, Herr Klapper, it is necessary to my work that I know.’”

5.

Klapper nodded. ‘The name is, of course, an acronym. Mari from Martin, bor from Bormann and sol, the Spansish word for sun.’ Again he smiled ‘the rising sun of our cause,’ he said ‘Mariborsol.’ ‘Mariorsol.’ ‘And –the purpose?’

(Ibid.; p. 291.)

6. Discussing “Mariborsol,” Klapper predicted that it would eventually dominate the world, described its economic impact as being on a “world scale,” and sought to recruit Brandenburg (who was posing as a researcher) into its ranks.

“‘To insure that the future will be ours,” Klapper said earnestly. ‘The financial matters, for instance. And they are considerable, even on a world scale. Real estate. Manufacturing plants. All kinds of profitable investments and business ventures, controlled by our people, the people of Mariborsol, both old and new.’ Again, he smiled his disconcerting smile. ‘Such as you, nicht wahr?—not so?’ Frank treated it as a rhetorical question and said nothing. ‘And to guard the papers and documents handed down to us from the Fuhrer and the Third Reich to guide us.’ Klapper went on. ‘Such as the contents of the crates recovered from concealment in Dresden. The reporters of the popular press have coined the phrase ‘The Fourth Reich.’ We do not mind. It will be our Reich. The future will be ours. Martin Bormann himself may not live to see the organization that bears his name become triumphant,’ he finished. ‘But triumphant it will be!’ . . . ‘The Reichsleiter is convinced of that,’ Klapper said. Frank picked up. ‘Is, Herr Klapper? Then Martin Bormann did not die in Berlin? In that tank explosion? He is still alive?’ He was excited. Here might be real corroboration of what had happened to Martin Bormann. . . . ‘I myself had the honor of meeting the Reichsleiter. In Spain.’ ‘When?’ ‘Less than four years ago. In 1982.’ ‘Are you certain it was Martin Bormann?’ Klapper gave him a stiff look, obviously taking affront. ‘Of course,’ he said curtly. ‘He was introduced to me. Besides, I had seen him many times when I served in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler [a Waffen SS division]. And I recognized him, and his voice. It was the Reichsleiter himself! Of course he was an old man. Eighty-two. But still as stocky as ever and amazingly robust.’”

(Ibid.; pp. 291-292.)

7. Next, the program relates Brandenburg’s meeting with Georg Stein, a German World War II veteran and art expert considered an authority on the Amber Room.

“‘And now, Herr Brandenburg,’ he [Georg Stein] said firmly. ‘What did your friend in Karlsruhe—Klapper, Medard Klapper was it?—what did he say about the Amber Room?’ ‘He simply said that his organization might have uncovered a lead as to where it is,’ Frank told him. A look of apprehension suddenly clouded Stein’s face. ‘Organization?’ he said. ‘What organization?’ ‘He referred to it as—the Bormann group,’ Frank said He thought it best to leave out Mariborsol. For Now. Stein sat down. He rubbed his temples in a circular motion with the thumb and middle finger of his left hand. He looked up at Frank, a trace of worry in his eyes. ‘Now I know why you are here,’ he said. ‘Now I know why Herr Klapper sent you to me.’ ‘Why?’ ‘The Bormann group,’ Stein said. ‘I know there are such—groups. Powerful groups. Groups of old, and new Nazis. They, too, want to find the Amber Room. The financial bonanza to them would be immense. If Herr Klapper represents such a group.’ ‘He does,’ Frank said. He had decided to reveal whatever he knew to Stein. Klapper could not fault him for doing so, having sent him to see the man himself. Anyway, what if he did?’ Stein gave him a quick glance. ‘You are certain of that?’ he asked sharply. ‘I am. Klapper represents an organization of Nazis called Mariborsol,’ Frank told him. ‘An organization which he claims is headed by Martin Bormann himself.’ Stein nodded. ‘I have suspected something like that,’ he said. ‘I never accepted the claim that the Reichsleiter died in Berlin. Whatever old bones they dug up. And if he did not, he would have been certain to gather a group, an organization around him. Apparently he has.’”

(Ibid., pp. 303-304.)

8. Perceived by Stein to be a messenger from the Bormann group, Stein told Brandenburg to propose a collaborative relationship between “Mariborsol” and himself. Stein had, as of 1986 (the time frame of the events described in the book), come upon new leads as to the whereabouts of the treasure.

“‘But why should Klapper send me to see you?’ ‘It is evident, Herr Brandenburg,’ Stein answered him soberly. ‘My interest in, my investigations concerning the Amber Room and what has become of it are well known. . . . ‘Then you think it is because of your interest in the Amber Room, your knowledge about it, that Klapper asked me to see you? But why? What did he think would be accomplished?’ ‘It is more than that, Herr Brandenburg. Much more than that. You see, I too have recently uncovered new leads to the treasure. From Eastern sources.’ He leaned toward Frank and lowered his voice to a tone of confidentiality if not conspiracy. ‘I actually have quite excellent connections with certain Soviet sources,’ he said. ‘Intelligence sources. I am certain the people of—uh, Mariborsol, your Medard Klapper, have learned of this new development in my search for the Amber Room. That is the reason you are here.’ ‘For what purpose?’ Frank was beginning to feel uneasy. ‘It does not make sense.’ ‘But it does, Herr Brandenburg, it does. Those people do not do things the straightforward way. I have had marginal dealings with other such individuals and groups before. I know. You were sent here as a messenger, Herr Brandenburg, as an intermediary if you wish, either with a guarded invitation for me to collaborate with them in the further search for the treasure—or with a warning.’ ‘What do you mean—warning?’”

(Ibid., p. 304.)

9.

“‘Stein ignored his question. ‘What you must now do,’ he said, ‘is this. You must return to Karlsruhe. You must see your Medard Klapper, and you must convey to him my willingness to meet with him, to discuss the possibility of my collaboration with—with Marisborsol, in the search for the Amber Room. By combining our knowledge, and our new leads. Einverstanden?—agreed?’ Frank stared at him. ‘Herr Stein,’ he said, ‘I am not a—a messenger, or an intermediary in this matter. Or in any other matter pertaining to Mariborsol. I am not one of their couriers.’ Stein contemplated him, an ironic little smile on his deformed lips. ‘Whether you want to be or not,’ he said, ‘you already are one of them. Already you have been used. As a messenger to me. And now you will have to carry my answer back to them. They will expect it.’ ‘I must decline, Herr Stein,’ Frank said, increasingly ill at ease. ‘I am a researcher. A seeker of facts. I am not a participant.’”

(Ibid.; pp. 304-305.)

10. Stein had been warned frequently that the search for the Amber Room was dangerous, and warned Frank that the Bormann Group and other organizations like it would kill if necessary.

“Stein frowned at him. ‘ I would caution you not to cross them,’ he said slowly. ‘It is a dangerous game you play. There are still among them those who will kill.’ He looked earnestly at Frank. ‘You must understand,’ he said solemnly. ‘Even though the old Nazis in the organizations such as your Mariborsol are dying out, new ones, young ones, such as you, step into their beliefs. They see in you someone who is ready to join the pool of young blood to be infused with their beliefs, shaped in the image of the old guard, ready to take their places. Your life, from the day you do, will be set on a new course, a course that they firmly believe will see the rise of a new Reich, soaring from the ashes of the humiliation and degradation of the old. Like an iron-clad Phoenix to rule the world with absolute power, guided by the mighty ideals of Adolf Hitler—a world that will be theirs.’ He stopped he looked hard at Frank ‘Be not deceived by the flowery speech, the fanatic goals, Herr Brandenburg. Those are words from the mouths of the very people you are dealing with even now.’ Frank sat silent. For the first time the full realization of how deeply he become involved in his project surged through him like an icy bite. He was no longer just looking for information , he was becoming part of the whole unsavory cabal. It was time to call a stop before it was too late. ‘Do not take my warning lightly,’ Stein cautioned him. ‘The matter in which you have involved yourself, the struggle to find the Amber Room is a dangerous matter. I myself have often been warned. Everyone knows of the dangers. Even the old abbot of a monastery to which my inquiries led me said to me. ‘Give it up, Herr Stein. Die in bed, and not with a bullet in your back!’”

(Ibid., p. 305.)

11. Brandenburg did not carry Stein’s message back to the Bormann group and Klapper, and Stein was found murdered in a forest—two kitchen knives stuck in his naked corpse.

“Frank Stood up. ‘Thank you for your time,’ he said, ‘and the information you have given me. But I must categorically decline any active involvement on my part with the activities of Mariborsol or you. A year later, Georg Stein was found murdered in a forest near Munich, naked, stabbed to death with two table knives that were still stuck in his body.’”

(Ibid. p. 306.)

12. Mr. Emory concludes the program with rumination about the possibility that the events related in Quest may have been related to the eventual appearance of the elements of the Amber Room collection that were returned to Russia.

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