The German Anti-Nazi movement

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The German Anti-Nazi movement

Count Helmuth von Moltke (KV 6/65-66)

From these reconstituted files, it emerges that the leading German, Anglophile, anti-Nazi conspirator, Count von Moltke first came to Security Service attention when he applied for permission to practise as a lawyer in the UK before the Second World War. However, the main interest in the files is his continuing contact with a number of personal friends in Britain, and the possibility of using von Moltke in some way in the war effort.

KV 6/65 (1939-1944) includes a lengthy debate by minute attempting to decide whether von Moltke could be trusted or utilised in any way, including at minute 77 (22 November 1943) the Director-General David Petrie's assessment of this case as being "of quite exceptional psychological interest". The file includes discussions regarding SOE's links with von Moltke, and moves by the Foreign Office to block any contact being made with him during his visits to Stockholm. There is a case summary at folio 55b dating from August 1943. The file also includes copies of his correspondence with his various British contacts, principally Julian Frisby, Michael Balfour and Lionel Curtis. Balfour had passed much of this correspondence on to SOE.

KV 6/66 (1944-1949) continues this story, and includes Secret Intelligence Service reports on the failure of von Moltke's 1944 attempt to assassinate Hitler (e.g. at serial 112a, of September 1944). The file gathers what intelligence it can about his arrest in March 1944, and whether he had been executed or not. After the war, the file chiefly relates to handling of von Moltke's relatives.

Otto John (KV 2/2465)

John, a committed anti-Nazi during the Second World War, was both an Abwehr agent and legal adviser to Lufthansa in Spain before being brought to Britain by the Secret Intelligence Service in 1944. After the war he went on to head the West German Security Service, and achieved the height of his fame in 1954, when he was kidnapped and taken to the East, but was widely believed in the West to have defected. He later told his story in an autobiography, Twice Through the Lines.

This file collects Security Service records on John, including severe criticisms of the Secret Intelligence Service's handling of his case, and covers some post-war dealings with John in his official capacity. The file ends in 1954 with the first Secret Intelligence Service reports of his disappearance in July 1954 (e.g. at serial 99a).

The anti-Nazi movement in Germany (KV 3/291-292)

This release also includes two general reconstituted files on the German anti-Nazi movement, gathering reports from disparate sources on figures believed or suspected of being part of or aligned with this movement. KV 3/291 (1942-1945) includes Secret Intelligence Service reports from neutral territories and concerning the 1944 bomb plot against Hitler, and interrogation reports of codename characters HARLEQUIN and COLUMBINE.  Post-war correspondence on the movement is gathered in KV 3/292 (1946-1948). Both files record the involvement of Kim Philby in this topic.