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Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) - November 1, 1936, Oakland, California
Oakland Tribune november 1. 1936 it become with All Europe and the far bastion the verge of War a great Deal of undercover work necessarily is going on in anticipation of a break of hostilities. The world has never known As elaborate espionage and counter espionage As is now going on. Last week an article in this Magazine discussed How spies operate. Today s Story deals with what it takes to become a note. Thousands of men and women Are overrunning America and Europe seeking military and economic secrets to sell at the highest Price offered by Frederick Mccord and italian spies failed on one of the biggest espionage assign ments since the world exact timing of the outbreak of civil strife in Spain British and French spies on the other band were More successful in keeping their governments informed when the rebel uprising could be expected and after it broke How Quick its Progress would be. Subsequent dramatic events proved How vital to the peace of All Europe was each Power s understanding of the Spanish situation. While espionage booms with War there were Between Ana 40.000 spies and their agents operating in Europe before fratricidal bloodshed began in Spain. The depression could scarcely be said to have affected espionage. Watching Spanish developments with an expert s appreciation of the role the spy has played is major Thorna Coul son former member of the British intelligence service who is world famous for the part he took in the capture of Mata Harl. Maior Coulson is now a member of the staff of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He had this to say about the spy s bit in the Span ish tragedy those statesmen whose decisions mean peace or War for All Europe Are Basing heir Public utterances and secret policies on the reports of their Intelli gence services from Spain. As result of what the various countries have done so far it appears to me that the German and italian intelligence services were caught Flat footed. The rebellion broke out too soon. Had it been coordinated As the germans and italians expected it would have been Over in a week France and Britain knew what was going to Hap statement gives illumination to the apparent eagerness of Italy and Germany to help the rebels in the Early stages of the War the flight of italian air planes that were forced Down in French Morocco while in route to Spanish Morocco the arrival of Ger Man air planes and pilots at Seville the rebellion s stronghold on the Spanish Mainland. It might also explain the belated decisions of Italy and Germany to enter the neutrality agreement proposed by France. They grew More amenable when the rebel drive slowed Down. In the diplomatic game it costs More than Money to Back the wrong horse. But whatever the varied policies involved it is apparent that when the Powers realized Spain might Well be come the first Battleground of a new european War they each followed the Precept of Frederick the great who is credited with creating modern espionage. He once ironically remarked of his French opponent Marinai Bourise is followed by 100 Cooks. I am preceded by 100 major Coulson pointed out that a distinction must be made Between Genu Ine spies and their agents the paid Captain George von Sosnowski Learned Many German secrets. Two of his women associates were be headed but he was sent Back to his native land in Poland in Exchange for a German political prisoner tools who Are the usual catch when counter espionage nets Are dragged in. Genuine spies Are Seldom caught. But Baron George Sosnowski was a recent european exception to this generalization. Wine women and song was the Pat Tern of Sosnowski s Success. He employed it for eight years in Berlin. It Cost two of his women agents their Heads brought life imprisonment to a third. But the Baron who wept when he Learned their Fate escaped death and eventually prison. Poland Felt it had to be constantly advised concerning Germany s military intentions in the direction of the pol ish corridor the bottleneck of former German territory that gives Poland Access to the Baltic. Sosnowski suave and Gallant a handsome Man a cavalry officer who had fluent command of German was selected for the mis Sion. In Berlin he met Baroness Benita von Berg she was Beautiful but there was even a better reason for Sosnowski s ardent attention. She had been the wife of Richard von Falkenhayn son of a German general and was then married to Joseph von Berg aviation Engineer at the great Siemens works one of Germany s key War industries. Her friends would be helpful to the polish spy. Too late the Baroness realized that her idyllic Romance had brought her to betraying her country As Well As her marriage vows. Through her Sosnowski enlisted the Aid of Frau Renate von Natzmer a Young Divorcee and Frau Irene von Jena. Both were members of old Prus Sian military families. Both held secretarial positions in the administration offices of the German army. Their salaries were Small and they had social position to maintain. Sosnowsk would pay them Well for extra Carbon copies of letters relating to military matters. The Young women fell in with the suggestion. For months this arrangement worked smoothly. But Sosnowski was not satisfied he was obtaining All the information Poland needed. He broadened the scope of his system. With the Baroness he opened a fashionable dress the m Young women holding clerical positions in the ministry were invited even pressed to become its patrons. When they coveted frocks beyond their Means the management was always glad to extend credit. When they found difficulty meeting their Bills the accommodating Baron was All to ready to cancel them for a consideration a specific consideration the files of this or that correspondence relating to troop movements or fortifications along the German Eastern Frontier. On the night of february 28, 1934, a raiding party of secret police burst unto the apartment while Sosnowski was giving a party in Honor of his latest protege. Lea Nikko a dancer. Host and guests were hustled off to jail in eve Ning dress. For almost a year nothing was heard of Sosnowski and his confederates then on february 16, 1935, came the Bare announcement that Baroness von Berg and Frau von Natzmer had been condemned to death. Sosnowski and Frau von Jena were Given life imprisonment two Days later the condemned women kept their rendezvous with the Heads Man in the courtyard of Ploetze see prison a sprawling yellow Brick building in Berlin. A month later Baron Sosnowski appeared in Warsaw. The polish govern ment obtained his Freedom for that of a German master spy who had been caught in Poland. No bloody ending was there to the theatrical affair of lieutenant nor Man Bailhe Strwart. Of Britain s sea Forth highlanders and a mysterious German woman spy known Only As Marie Louise the British intelligence sen ice charged the lieutenant with visiting Berlin and Selling specifications and photographs of an experimental tank or. And mrs. Robert Gordon Switz americans were caught in the net of the French military intelligence when the latter made a drive on a spy ring lieutenant Norman Baillie Stew Art of the British army was the dupe of a German woman spy and a new automatic Rifle for infantry also notes on the organization of tank and armoured car units to one Otto Waldemar Obst. In return the lieu tenant had received two letters contain ing Money and signed Marie Louise a scrap of paper on which the lieu tenant had scribbled the Telephone num Ber of the German Wai office presented As evidence of direct dealings with Germany. The lieutenant was convicted of betraying British military secrets. Had it been wartime he would have been marched before a firing squad. Five years imprisonment was the sentence International spy rings information brokers who sell their stolen secrets to the highest bidder Are a development of modern espionage. A typical spy ring Case came to Light with the arrest in Paris 01 Twenty one persons including two Young americans Robert Gordon Switz and his wife of East Orange n. J. Members of the ring brought to Book included frenchmen russians poles and rumanian. At the time the ring was specializing in French and British military secrets which it was peddling to Germany and Russia. But it had ramifications reaching even into the United states. French authorities in formed Washington that the ring had done some work on Panama canal fortifications for an unnamed Power. Captured spies Seldom receive Aid Flora their Home governments for their acts Are officially recognized. Why Poland and Germany arrange the undercover Deal for Sosnowski major Coupon Hart this to ski As no Small Fry. He As a genuine spy. The p6wers Are usually eager to obtain release of their master there Aie two general reasons the captured spy has valuable information to commune cite and if not rescued he May be turned into a spy against hut own country. Carl Graves is a Case in Point. He was a German spy whom we arrested in Glasgow before the outbreak of the world War. We convinced him that he had been tripped up because of the stupidity of superiors in Berlin he entered British sen ice and did much valuable work for us in the United states before America entered the criminals said major Coulson do not make Good spies. He explained they Are too easily tempted to com Mit an awful act if the Opportunity unc Trosi Veness ability to move around without attracting attention is the most valuable asset of a spy major Coulson believes. He does not place courage High on his list of qualifications. Judgment in Reading character and resourcefulness Are More important. In great Britain we looked for men with a spirit of adventure. The German spy appeared to have a perverted sense of patriotism one that overemphasized the dignity and Honor of spying for the fatherland. French spies seemed impelled by an exaggerated sense of espionage is a profession that must be Learned without help of textbook there Are none for a classroom that usually is an enemy s country. But some idea of the principles of espionage May be gained from a decalogue accredited to Fraulein doktor the German spy whom major Coulson respects As one of the most effective spies of the world War. Fraulein doktor was last reported an Mats of an insane Asylum. For a time during the War she tutored Ger Many s beginner spies at Antwerp Bel Gium and gave her pupils this advice before they left on their first missions Tram the face to be absolutely impassive. Obtain the revelation of important intelligence by inventing mis leading information during the course of the conversation and expounding it with an air of mystery. If the person you Aie pumping knows the truth he May Correct you. Do not speak of confidential subjects m Street cars or cafes. Carefully avoid leaving letters notes hotel Bills and addressed newspapers where they May be found and do not throw them into waste baskets even after tearing them up. Conceal Jour of a Given language As Long As possible in order to overhear the conversation of careful study of such principles even ability to put them into practice does not open the win to a Job As a spa. The spy. As distinguished from the traitor is drafted in line of duty or impelled into his hazardous profession by Circum stances beyond his control. In espionage. Major Coulson said no volunteers need
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