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FTR#‘s 1329 & 1330: Conversations with Monte #‘s 3 and 4

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FTR#1329 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR#1330 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

Intro­duc­tion: The pro­grams begin with a syn­op­sis of FTR#’s 1327 and 1328, fol­lowed by analy­sis of the Falange and its impor­tance for Spain, Europe and Latin Amer­i­ca.

1. Syn­op­sis of Last Two Shows (FTR#’s 1327 & 1328): Trea­so­nous meet­ing between Hohen­lo­he and Dulles in ear­ly ’43; Hohen­lo­he rep­re­sent­ing Schel­len­berg (SD, ITT); Hohen­lo­he net­work­ing with Win­field Scott via “pre-CIA” in imme­di­ate WWII peri­od; Ray Roc­ca iden­ti­fies Hohen­lo­he as a key CIA agent in Mex­i­co City, pos­si­bly being focused upon by Gar­ri­son; Win­ston Scott as CIA sta­tion chief in Mex­i­co City is net­work­ing with both Hohen­lo­he and Los Tecos; Los Tecos evolved from Mex­i­can Gold Shirts; Los Tecos deeply-involved with for­ma­tion of Latin Amer­i­can death squads accord­ing to Jack Ander­son; Los Tecos oper­at­ing as key CIA assets in Mex­i­co City; Ann Good­paster help­ing with the fram­ing of Oswald in Mex­i­co City via Bill Simpich; True nature of ZR Rifle as revealed by recent doc­u­ments.

2. Dis­cus­sion of the Falange—key points: Hohen­lo­he mar­ried into Haps­burgs in Spain; Nazis take con­trol of Spain first, as it is seen as the key to con­quest of (among oth­er ele­ments) Latin Amer­i­ca and U.S.; Links between Euro­pean aris­toc­ra­cies and their coun­ter­parts in for­mer colo­nial ter­ri­to­ries (Latin Amer­i­ca and Philip­pines among oth­ers); Gen­er­al Wil­helm Von Fau­pel and his Iber­ian Insti­tute; Emper­or Max­i­m­il­ian Von Haps­burg of Mex­i­co; Epi­cen­ter of Falange in Amer­i­c­as is Havana (where did they go when Cas­tro took over); Spain (and Por­tu­gal) are fas­cist coun­tries, although offi­cial­ly neu­tral); Spain fig­ures promi­nent­ly in post­war Nazi activ­i­ty (Sko­rzeny et al) net­work­ing with Fran­co.

Next, Dave reads from the descrip­tion for the book Falange, from the Spit­fire web­site.


In 1936, Reichs­mar­shall Her­mann Goering—one of Hitler’s top aides and the head of the Luftwaffe—observed that “Spain is the key to two con­ti­nents.” Goer­ing was enun­ci­at­ing a key prin­ci­pal of Ger­man and Nazi geopol­i­tics. By con­trol­ling Spain, the Nazis felt they could con­trol both Europe and Latin Amer­i­ca. Geo­graph­i­cal­ly dom­i­nat­ing the entrance to the Mediter­ranean Sea from the Atlantic and “flank­ing” France, Spain also wield­ed tremen­dous influ­ence in Latin Amer­i­ca through the strong cul­tur­al and eco­nom­ic ties between the Span­ish and Latin Amer­i­can aris­toc­ra­cies. In addi­tion, the pro­found Catholic influ­ence in both Spain and Latin Amer­i­ca, aug­ment­ed Span­ish clout in that part of the world. (In FTR#532, we exam­ined the Vatican’s involve­ment with fas­cism. The Vatican/Fascist axis was anoth­er major con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the influ­ence of the Falange through­out the Span­ish-speak­ing world.)

In order to uti­lize Spain’s geopo­lit­i­cal influ­ence as a tool for Nazi impe­r­i­al designs, the Third Reich turned to Gen­er­al Wil­helm von Fau­pel and his Ibero-Amer­i­can Insti­tute. Von Fau­pel was a bit­ter oppo­nent of the Weimar Repub­lic, and read­i­ly accept­ed the Nazis as the anti­dote to Ger­man democ­ra­cy. Known as an “I.G. Gen­er­al” for his links to the I.G. Far­ben com­pa­ny, von Fau­pel also main­tained close ties to the pow­er­ful Thyssen inter­ests which, like Far­ben, were the pow­ers that backed Hitler. (The Bush fam­i­ly were also close­ly linked to the Thyssens.) Dur­ing the 1920’s, von Fau­pel had served as a gen­er­al staff advis­er to the Argen­tine, Brazil­ian and Peru­vian mil­i­tary estab­lish­ments and was famed through­out Latin Amer­i­ca for his skills as an offi­cer. Because of his Latin Amer­i­can ties and his links to the cor­po­rate inter­ests that backed Hitler, von Fau­pel became the Reich’s point man for the fas­cist takeover of Spain and sub­se­quent con­struc­tion of a Fifth Col­umn through­out the Span­ish-speak­ing world.

In 1934, von Fau­pel assumed con­trol of the Ibero-Amer­i­can Insti­tute, an aca­d­e­m­ic think tank orig­i­nal­ly found­ed as a legit­i­mate schol­ar­ly insti­tu­tion. Under von Fau­pel, the orga­ni­za­tion became a front for orga­niz­ing the Nazi infil­tra­tion and con­quest of Spain. Reject­ing roy­al­ist and Catholic sec­tar­i­an right­ist par­ties, von Fau­pel and the Nazis set­tled on the Falange as their cho­sen vehi­cle for gain­ing dom­i­nance over Spain. After arrang­ing the assas­si­na­tion of Gen­er­al Jose San­jur­jo (a roy­al­ist rival for the lead­er­ship of Spain after the over­throw of the Repub­li­can gov­ern­ment), the Ger­mans and their Ital­ian allies installed Fran­co as head of the fas­cist Falange.

” . . . Gen­er­al Jose San­jur­jo, wear­ing a pea­cock­’s dream of a
uni­form-the Lon­don-made gift of Adolf Hitler-board­ed
a Junkers plane in Lis­bon and ordered his pilot, Cap­tain
Ansal­do, to take off for a secret land­ing field in Spain. But
on July 17 the old gen­er­al was actu­al­ly head­ed for: anoth­er
land­ing field his Nazi com­rades had cho­sen with­out his

A few remarks he had let slip to inti­mate friends in Esto­ril
ear­li­er that year had, unknown to San­jur­jo, reached cer­tain
Berlin ears. On April 13, 1936, for instance, San­jur­jo had
com­plained, “They want me to start a rev­o­lu­tion to serve
the bankers and the spec­u­la­tors, but I won’t do it.” Two
weeks after say­ing this, he made anoth­er trip to Berlin. He
remained in Ger­many for only a few days, and on his return
he went to work in earnest on his plans for the pend­ing
revolt. What hap­pened in Berlin while San­jur­jo con­ferred
with von Fau­pel is of lit­tle moment now. His fate had already
been sealed before the vis­it.

Very short­ly after San­jur­jo’s plane took off from Lis­bon,
a Ger­man time bomb plant­ed in the bag­gage com­part­ment
explod­ed. The blaz­ing frag­ments of the Junkers mono­plane
became the pyre of the Anoint­ed Chief of the Span­ish Rev­o­lu­tion.
Jose San­jur­jo had the dubi­ous hon­or of being the
first of the Nazis’ mil­lion vic­tims of the Span­ish War. . . .”

Falange; pp.20–21.

Von Fau­pel then pro­ceed­ed to direct the con­struc­tion of the “Falange Exte­ri­or” as the fas­cist Fifth Col­umn move­ment through­out the Span­ish-speak­ing world (includ­ing the Philip­pines).

Author Chase describes the Falange Exte­ri­or on page 31 of Falange:

“On the sur­face, von Fau­pel had—in the Falange Exterior—delivered to the Third Reich a remark­able net­work, extend­ing from Havana to Buenos Aires, from Lima to Mani­la. This net­work, accord­ing to its cre­ator, was capa­ble of con­cert­ed espi­onage, polit­i­cal diver­sion, arms smug­gling, and any­thing that any oth­er Fifth Col­umn in his­to­ry had accom­plished. It remained only for the Wehrma­cht to give von Faupel’s instru­ment the tests which would deter­mine whether the Aus­lands Falange had been worth all the trou­ble its orga­ni­za­tion had entailed. The answer was soon pro­vid­ed by a num­ber of Falangists—among them one Jose del Cas­tano.”

Del Cas­tano was the pri­ma­ry Falange orga­niz­er in the Philip­pines. (Recall that the Philip­pines had been a Span­ish colony before the Span­ish-Amer­i­can war.) Del Cas­tano had orga­nized the Falangists in the Philip­pines into a very effec­tive Fifth Col­umn, much of whose mem­ber­ship had enlist­ed in the Philip­pine Civil­ian Emer­gency Admin­is­tra­tion, charged with dis­pens­ing first aid and oth­er emer­gency ser­vices in time of war. Dur­ing the Japan­ese attack in 1941, del Castano’s agents went to work. Chase describes what hap­pened on pages 46 and 47:

“ . . . Toward the end of Novem­ber, Jose del Cas­tano made a thor­ough check-up on the work of the Falange Exte­ri­or in the Philip­pines. He sent a cod­ed report to Madrid, via prepa­ra­tions tak­en by his Falanges. On Decem­ber 7, Spain’s Japan­ese Axis part­ner bombed Hawaii and the Philip­pines. . . In Mani­la, after the shock of the first attack, the peo­ple looked to the gov­ern­ment, to the Army, to the Civil­ian Emer­gency Admin­is­tra­tion, for guid­ance. In most cas­es, the aver­age Fil­ipino turned to the C.E.A.—under ordi­nary cir­cum­stances, the prop­er thing to do. But on Decem­ber 7, 1941, the C.E.A. was so shot through with Falangis­tas as to be the foun­da­tion of the Axis Fifth Col­umn in the city. . . On Decem­ber 29, the Japan­ese air forces staged their first great raid over the city of Mani­la. For three hours the Jap planes rained bombs on the forts along the bay, the docks, and the homes of the poor­er Fil­ipinos. Then the planes flew off. But some­thing had hap­pened dur­ing the bom­bard­ment. The civil­ian defense orga­ni­za­tions seemed to have bro­ken down com­plete­ly. War­dens were receiv­ing orders to be every­where except the places where they were need­ed most. Stretch­er-bear­ers were drop­ping like flies with bul­lets in their backs. Streams of con­fus­ing and con­flict­ing orders had most C.E.A. work­ers run­ning around in crazy cir­cles.”

On page 47, Chase also notes that the Falangis­tas spread wild rumors to under­mine the will to resist the Japan­ese invaders, rumors that were all the more potent because they orig­i­nat­ed with per­son­nel with­in the Emer­gency Admin­is­tra­tion.

“Wild rumors spread like hur­ri­canes through the city—rumors the char­ac­ter of which had already become famil­iar in all lands invad­ed by the Nazis in Europe: MacArthur had fled to Wash­ing­ton. Que­zon had gone over to the Japs. The entire Amer­i­can Air Force had been destroyed. The Amer­i­can Army had received orders to shoot all Catholics and imprison all Fil­ipinos. Hen­ry Mor­gen­thau had per­son­al­ly req­ui­si­tioned all the funds in the Philip­pine Nation­al Trea­sury. Ad infini­tum. There was some­thing offi­cial about these rumors, some­thing had been added that made even lev­el-head­ed cit­i­zens give them cre­dence. For these rumors were not being spread by obscure Japan­ese spies: they orig­i­nat­ed direct­ly from Civil­ian Emer­gency Head­quar­ters, from the lips of the hard-work­ing air-raid war­dens who had been so dili­gent about tack­ing up the posters bear­ing the ten emer­gency point­ers for the cit­i­zen. ‘Get your facts straight from C.E.A.’ . . .”

For the con­tem­po­rary read­er, it is vital to remem­ber that Latin Amer­i­ca (and the Philip­pines) were nev­er “de-Falan­gized.” Fran­co and his fas­cists remained in pow­er in Spain until 1975. Por­tu­gal remained under the con­trol of the fas­cist dic­ta­tor Salazar for decades after the war. The deci­sive influ­ence of Latin Amer­i­can fas­cists in the decades fol­low­ing the war (includ­ing their inti­mate col­lab­o­ra­tion with ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence) is a mat­ter of pub­lic record. The lega­cy of the Falange Exte­ri­or is very much with us today.

3. Monte reads from an arti­cle by Richard J. Evans in the Lon­don Review of Books (Volume38, #36, from March of 2016.) The review is of a book by Kari­na Urbach, Go-Betweens for Hitler (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2015). The review and the book chron­i­cle the immense influ­ence of the descen­dants of Britain’s Queen Vic­to­ria in the Euro­pean aris­toc­ra­cy and, in turn, the Nazi hier­ar­chy, the SS in par­tic­u­lar.

4. Monte reads from Doc­u­ments #1 and #13 from Johannes Bern­hardt’s 201 file.

Check the com­ments sec­tion for more of the sources for dis­cus­sion.


One comment for “FTR#‘s 1329 & 1330: Conversations with Monte #‘s 3 and 4”

  1. Hel­lo, lis­ten­ers, Mön­té here!

    What is this “SOFINDUS” that was spo­ken of in FTR 1329 & FTR 1330?

    Well, on the face of it, some­time in Novem­ber 1938, Nazi busi­ness­man Johannes Bernhardt—who had set­tled in Span­ish Moroc­co around 1929—organized the “Indus­tri­al Finan­cial Com­pa­ny” (SOFINDUS) in Lis­bon, with cap­i­tal val­ued at two and a half mil­lion pese­tas from the Nazi high com­mand.

    Bern­hardt had already found­ed the His­pano-Moroc­can Trans­port Soci­ety (HISMA) in July 1936, a ghost com­pa­ny in charge of serv­ing as a cov­er for arms traf­fick­ing des­tined for the pro-Fran­co rebel side.

    SOFINDUS, which had its head­quar­ters at num­ber 1 Aveni­da del Gen­er­alísi­mo in Madrid, had branch­es in eight Span­ish cities in 1939 and a staff of 260 employ­ees — half of them Span­ish intel­li­gence agents work­ing for Fran­co’s La Direc­ción Gen­er­al de Seguri­dad.

    By then it had four­teen sub­sidiaries in charge of var­i­ous activ­i­ties — trans­porta­tion, min­ing, machin­ery, leather, wine and fruit.

    Most of the cap­i­tal was from Nazi Ger­many, although the Ger­mans used a net­work of Span­ish front men to com­ply with the Span­ish leg­is­la­tion of the time that estab­lished a 25% lim­it for for­eign cap­i­tal. Although this busi­ness con­glom­er­ate was par­tial­ly con­trolled by the Fran­co admin­is­tra­tion, Sofind­us was sub­or­di­nate to the man­age­ment of ROWAK and received all its eco­nom­ic funds from Ger­many.

    Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War the Sofind­us con­glom­er­ate had intense activ­i­ty in rela­tion to Span­ish-Ger­man trade, although they also devel­oped oth­er types of activ­i­ties. In August 1941 they cre­at­ed the Transco­mar Com­pa­ny — an acronym for “Com­pañía Marí­ti­ma de Trans­portes” — which, using mer­chant ships fly­ing a neu­tral Span­ish flag, would trans­port 125,000 tons to the Axis forces in North Africa, between 1941 and 1942.

    In March 1943, he found­ed anoth­er sub­sidiary, the SOMAR Com­pa­ny, in charge of acquir­ing Flu­o­rite and Wol­fram, min­er­als of great strate­gic val­ue for the Nazi war indus­try. Lat­er in 1944, SOFINDUS was involved in smug­gling sup­plies to Ger­man gar­risons that had been iso­lat­ed on the French Atlantic coast fol­low­ing the Nor­mandy land­ings.

    Sofind­us’ activ­i­ty not only caused great con­cern to the Allies, but also pro­voked protests from some Ger­man com­pa­nies in Spain due to its monop­o­lis­tic posi­tion. It ceased its activ­i­ties with the end of World War II. In Octo­ber 1945, the Fran­co author­i­ties agreed with the British, French and Amer­i­can author­i­ties that the assets and assets of Sofind­us would be placed under the con­trol of the Allied pow­ers.

    How­ev­er, over the years there has been much dis­pute as to whether there was a well orga­nized net­work geared toward revving the Reich or a hap­haz­ard net­work thrown togeth­er as the war was wind­ing down to spare as many of Nazi hier­ar­chy as pos­si­ble. The truth appears to lie some­where in between.

    On the one hand, plans for this net­work do appear to have been rather last minute and geared chiefly towards sav­ing as many of the most noto­ri­ous Nazis, espe­cial­ly as SS mem­bers, as pos­si­ble. And on the whole, this net­work appears to have been rather decen­tral­ized. And yet, there appears to have been some type of for­mal hier­ar­chy with­in this net­work that drew upon its resources. And as many of the long­stand­ing ODESSA alle­ga­tions have long main­tained, this inner cir­cle appears to have cen­tered around Otto Sko­rzeny in the imme­di­ate decades fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War. But rather than stag­ing a revival of the Reich, Sko­rzeny and his asso­ciates appear to have been enlist­ed by the Anglo-Amer­i­can defense estab­lish­ments in their Cold War against the Sovi­et Union.

    This inner hier­ar­chy that Sko­rzeny was the fig­ure­head of appears to have derived from a con­glom­er­ate called Sociedad Financiera Indus­tri­al, bet­ter known as SOFINDUS. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, this com­pa­ny’s murky ori­gins are close­ly linked to the RHSA, and espe­cial­ly the SD.

    The gen­e­sis of SOFINDUS can be traced to two pri­or hold­ing com­pa­nies: the Berlin-bases ROWAK and HISMA of Tetouan, Moroc­co. Both com­pa­nies were head­ed by a Ger­man busi­ness­man known as Johannes Bern­hardt. Bern­hardt was not only close to the Nazi regime, but Fran­co as well. After the Nazi regime opt­ed to sup­port Fran­co dur­ing the Span­ish Civ­il War, Bern­hardt was tasked with fun­nel­ing sup­plies to the gen­er­alis­si­mo. Bern­hardt effec­tive­ly cre­at­ed ROWAK and HISMA for this pur­pose.

    In 1938, ROWAK and HISMA were rolled into one oper­a­tion, SOFINDUS. From the very begin­ning, SOFINDUS was close to Nazi intel­li­gence.

    The above-men­tioned Mosig is him­self quite an inter­est­ing fig­ure. He left SOFINDUS in 1945 as the Reich was com­ing to an end and would fall into the hands of US author­i­ties in 1946. In Feb­ru­ary of 1947 Mosig was “inter­ro­gat­ed” US Army Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence (CIC) Offi­cer Arnold M. Sil­ver. Sil­ver, who would sign on with the CIA in 1948, had also inter­ro­gat­ed Otto Sko­rzeny and is wide­ly believed to have been the man who rec­om­mend­ed his use to the US intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

    It is like­ly Sil­ver did the same for Mosig, as both “for­mer” SD men man­aged to escape from US cus­tody after being inter­ro­gat­ed by Sil­ver. In 1948, Mosig would turn up in Argenti­na, work­ing for the suc­ces­sor of SOFINDUS. But more on that in a moment.

    On the top­ic of Arnold Sil­ver, it is also inter­est­ing to note that after he was drummed out of the CIA in 1977, he signed on with Bri­an Crozier’s 6I intel­li­gence net­work. As was not­ed in the pri­or install­ment, Crozi­er was very close to many of the for­mer SOE men who signed on with Le Cer­cle in the 1970s. His 6I net­work would become a key intel­li­gence net­work for Le Cer­cle by the late 1970s.

    Accord­ing to David Teacher in his long sup­pressed Rogue Agents, Sil­ver is known to have attend­ed Le Cer­cle meet­ings in 1982 but it is unknown if he became a mem­ber. The sig­nif­i­cance of Sil­ver’s con­nec­tion to SOFINDUS via Sko­rzeny and Mosig is even more dis­turb­ing, once you real­ize that Arnold Melvin Sil­ver, CIA com­man­der of Project “QJWIN” crim­i­nal spot­ter pro­gram and US Army Brig. Gen. Theodore C. Mataxis, Chief of Per­son­al Staff, Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs—of course, Arnold Sil­ver’s liai­son to the CIA’s assas­si­na­tion capa­bil­i­ties, AKA Exec­u­tive Action, was William King Harvey—in Novem­ber of 1963, Bill Har­vey was the CIA Sta­tion Chief in Rome, Italy, where his State Depart­ment attaché to the Vat­i­can was Carmel Offie.

    Carmel Offie was the Office of Pol­i­cy Coor­di­na­tion com­man­der of Oper­a­tion BLOODSTONE, and by 1963, while work­ing under Bill Har­vey, Offie was attaché to Pope Paul VI.

    Pope Paul VI, AKA Gio­van­ni Bat­tista Enri­co Anto­nio Maria Mon­ti­ni, had served, in 1952, under the Sec­re­tari­at of State of the Holy See, as the Deputy of For­eign Affairs of the Vat­i­can, and secret­ly met with Otto Sko­rzeny to finance a com­man­do army in Spain...

    Before mov­ing along, a note should be made con­cern­ing SOFIND­US’s resources: they appear to have been quite exten­sive, to put it mild­ly. Indeed, SOFINDUS appears to have been one of the key insti­tu­tions used to laun­der gold out of Nazi Ger­many, as we can see from page 60 of the Peter Lev­en­da’s bril­liant book “Rat­lines”:

    “... It is worth­while to note that the Allies had com­put­ed the amount of gold com­ing into Spain from Nazi Ger­many dur­ing the peri­od of the war as more than 122 tons (con­ser­v­a­tive­ly; oth­er esti­mates put it at more than 200 tons). These cal­cu­la­tions were based on records obtained from Sofind­us and from truck­ing man­i­fests out of Ger­many to Spain. The final dis­po­si­tion of this gold is unknown, but it would be worth more than US$100 mil­lion in 1945 dol­lars...”

    Today, this gold would be worth in the bil­lions. Clear­ly then it was no insignif­i­cant amount of fund­ing SOFINDUS had its dis­pos­al by 1945, when these ship­ments were at there peak. SOFINDUS would seem­ing­ly put these resources to good use in one par­tic­u­lar project the con­glom­er­ate became deeply involved in as the war was draw­ing to a close.

    When key fig­ures in the SS began draw­ing escape plans for the after­math of the Reich’s inevitable defeat, it was the SD that they turned to devise escape routes. And it would seem that the SD in turn made good use of the SOFINDUS net­work in cre­at­ing what has become known as the “Rat­lines.” As such, it is hard­ly sur­pris­ing then to find that the ear­li­est Rat­lines led from Spain to Argenti­na, where var­i­ous Nazi war crim­i­nals could flee even deep­er into South Amer­i­ca, depend­ing upon the extent of their crimes.

    Report­ed­ly the first such Rat­line was estab­lished by a Buenos Aires-born French­man known as Charles Lesca. Dur­ing the 1930s Lesca had been most active in var­i­ous far right move­ments in France, most notably Action Fran­caise. Lesca was an asset of the SD and appears to have been recruit­ed even before the Nazi con­quest of France. After­wards, Lesca would have well placed con­tacts in the Vichy regime, most notably Pres­i­dent Pierre Laval.

    As the war wound down, Lesca became the fig­ure­head of a group of French col­lab­o­ra­tors who end­ed up in Spain to avoid arrest. Lesca was tasked with smug­gling them, along with var­i­ous Ger­man SD men, to Argenti­na. Lesca and his asso­ciates fre­quent­ly met at a Ger­man restau­rant in Madrid known as Horcher’s. This estab­lish­ment was a key point of con­tact for var­i­ous Nazi intel­li­gence per­son­nel in Spain and was like­ly set up by the SOFINDUS net­work.

    “The group often gath­ered at the exclu­sive Horcher restau­rant on Alfon­so XII Street, installed there in 1943 by Berlin restau­ra­teur Otto Horcher with the help, accord­ing to Amer­i­can intel­li­gence, of Wal­ter Schel­len­berg. To open his Madrid branch Horcher alleged­ly trans­ferred 250,000 Swiss francs out of Ger­many to Nazi diplo­mats in Lis­bon and lat­er con­vert­ed the Swiss notes to pese­tas on the black mar­ket, an exer­cise in mon­ey-laun­der­ing alleged­ly orga­nized by anoth­er Schel­len­berg agent who end­ed up in Argenti­na, Wal­ter Eugen Mosig. Schel­len­berg report­ed­ly also helped Horcher trans­fer fur­nish­ings and sil­ver­ware from Ger­many. The orig­i­nal Horcher restau­rant on Berlin’s Kur­furs­ten­damn had been a reg­u­lar meet­ing place for the Third Reich’s hier­ar­chy from Gor­ing to Himm­ler. Unknown to most clients, it was plant­ed the secret micro­phones to cap­ture the con­ver­sa­tions of for­eign vis­i­tors...”

    (The Real ODESSA, Uki Goni, pg. 74)

    Wal­ter Schel­len­berg was the head of the RHSA VI, the for­eign intel­li­gence branch of the SD. As was not­ed above, this was same branch of the RHSA that over­saw the SOFINDUS net­work, which Mosig was an agent of by 1942. As such, SOFINDUS like­ly played a role in estab­lish­ing Horcher’s in Spain, which in turn was clear­ly used as a cov­er for intel­li­gence oper­a­tions, most notably the first Rat­line to Argenti­na.

    Before mov­ing along, its also inter­est­ing to note that Lesca first arrived in Spain (1944) around the same time Sko­rzeny was train­ing French col­lab­o­ra­tors there in sab­o­tage and assas­si­na­tions oper­a­tions with eye towards infil­trat­ing them back into France in the wake of the lib­er­a­tion.

    A much more tan­gi­ble con­nec­tion between SOFINDUS and the Rat­lines comes in the form of Car­los Fuld­ner, anoth­er Argenti­na-born SD asset. Fuld­ner was born to Ger­man immi­grants in Buenos Aires, but he and his fam­i­ly returned to Ger­many in 1922, just as the Nazi Par­ty was start­ing to take off. Fuld­ner would join the SS in 1932 at the age of 21. Bizarrely, he was then boot­ed out of the SS in 1936 as alle­ga­tions of fraud and dis­loy­al­ty hoovered around him. The charges were cleared up in 1937 and by ’38 he attempt­ed to reen­list in the SS. The next sev­en years of his life are shroud­ed in mys­tery.

    “... He appar­ent­ly had a close con­nec­tion with Spain, serv­ing as a lieu­tenant and Ger­man-Span­ish inter­preter in the Blue Divi­sion, the corps of 20,000 sol­diers sent by dic­ta­tor Fran­cis­co Fran­co to fight along­side the Nazis on the Russ­ian front. He returned fre­quent­ly to Berlin. At some point he joined the huge Nazi cor­po­ra­tion Sofind­us, which con­trolled wide­spread Ger­man busi­ness inter­ests and pro­vid­ed cov­er and financ­ing for the Nazi agents in Spain. True to char­ac­ter, Fuld­ner cre­at­ed trou­ble for him­self even there and was dis­missed for embez­zle­ment. In the last months of war he trav­eled back and forth between Madrid and Berlin. An arrival by plane in Madrid was reg­is­tered in 26 Novem­ber 1944, then a return to Berlin in late Decem­ber.

    “But by that cru­cial Mon­day in March 1945 when he climbed down the Ger­man plane’s steplad­der in Madrid, Fuld­ner seems to have been restored to his for­mer rank. He was now on a ‘spe­cial mis­sion’ for Himm­ler’s secret ser­vice for which he car­ried both his Ger­man and Argen­tine pass­ports, and to which he would add the par­tic­u­lar brand of finan­cial chi­canery which had dis­tin­guished his career. In the com­ing years, many for­mer Reich offi­cials and some of the worst Nazi crim­i­nals, includ­ing Adolf Eich­mann, would owe their lives to the Argen­tine SS cap­tain. Was Fuld­ner’s mis­sion the result of a plan laid by Schel­len­berg and Himm­ler? There is pre­cious lit­tle doc­u­men­ta­tion avail­able even today about Fuld­ner’s activ­i­ties in Madrid in the imme­di­ate post­war peri­od, but his lat­er activ­i­ty sug­gests high-lev­el Nazi involve­ment.”

    (The Real ODESSA, Uki Goni, pg. 69)
    It was Fuld­ner more than any­one else who man­aged to enlist Juan Per­on, the Argen­tine dic­ta­tor, to turn his coun­try into a haven for Nazi war crim­i­nals. As was not­ed above, Eich­mann and many of the most noto­ri­ous Nazis who fled to South Amer­i­ca were aid­ed by Fuld­ner.

    When exam­in­ing Fuld­ner’s career, there is a strong hint of sheep dip­ping. After being boot­ed out of the SS he would appar­ent­ly spend much time trav­el­ing in the late 1930s and ear­ly 1940s, fre­quent­ly vis­it­ing South Amer­i­can and even the Unit­ed States. He then ends up serv­ing in Fran­co’s Blue Divi­sion and employed by SOFINDUS.

    As was not­ed above, the con­glom­er­ate was effec­tive­ly a front for the SD and was used to smug­gle tremen­dous amounts of gold from Nazi Ger­many to Spain. And here is Fuld­ner, alleged­ly boot­ed out of SOFINDUS for “embez­zle­ment” short­ly before he was brought back into the SS and SD in 1945, appar­ent­ly with high lev­el sup­port amongst the Nazi hier­ar­chy.

    Fuld­ner was serv­ing as an agent of the SD for much of this time, and most cer­tain­ly dur­ing his time with SOFINDUS. His dis­mal from the com­pa­ny was like­ly a ploy to con­fuse Allied intel­li­gence as to Fuld­ner’s actu­al mis­sion.

    Curi­ous­ly, there are also reports that Fuld­ner was linked to the Nazi “Wer­wolf” efforts at war’s end. As was not­ed in the pri­or install­ment, Otto Sko­rzeny also had some involve­ment in these stay-behind efforts.

    And that brings us to Scar­face. Sko­rzeny does not appear to have had direct involve­ment with SOFINDUS dur­ing the war, but like­ly made use of its assets. After all, both SOFINDUS and Sko­rzeny’s com­man­dos were the con­trol of Amt VI and SOFINDUS would have pro­vid­ed the kind of cov­er nec­es­sary for covert oper­a­tions.

    Around the same time, Sko­rzeny would emerge as a key fig­ure in the Rat­lines. H. Kei­th Thomp­son, an Amer­i­can recruit­ed into the SD while alleged­ly still a teenag­er who lat­er aid­ed the escape routes in the post­war years, empha­sized Sko­rzeny’s impor­tance to jour­nal­ist Mar­tin A. Lee: “...Sko­rzeny was not an intel­lec­tu­al. He was a get-it-done type, a sol­dier. Very dar­ing. He would take on any­thing. He played a sig­nif­i­cant role after the war in the escape routes...” (The Beast Reawak­ens, Mar­tin A. Lee, pg. 86).

    With its ties to Sko­rzeny, Mosig, Fuld­ner and like­ly Lesca, it seems clear that SOFINDUS was cru­cial in estab­lish­ing the Rat­lines in Spain imme­di­ate­ly after the war. Oth­er orga­ni­za­tions, most notably the Vat­i­can, would lat­er pick up the slack, but SOFINDUS appears to have been the trail­blaz­er. But smug­gling Nazi war crim­i­nals does not appear to be the extent of SOFINDUS net­work’s intel­li­gence efforts in the post­war years.

    With that, this is Mön­té say­ing hap­py hunt­ing and until next time...

    Posted by Mönté | June 19, 2024, 3:48 pm

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