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

For The Record  

FTR #234 Tales of the Amber Room

MP3 One Seg­ment

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.’”


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.)


“‘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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