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Saturday, April 3, 2004

Attempts by German traitors in Rome to do a deal with the British enemy, Nov 1944

[Source: US National Archives, RG-59, Office of European Affairs, Box 17].


(COMPARED: [initials])



Early in November information reached His Majesty's Government that von Kessel, Counsellor at the German Embassy to the Vatican, was anxious to desert to the British authorities in Rome. The German Ambassador [Ernst] von Weizsäcker was said to be aware of and in sympathy with von Kessel's intentions. Von Kessel wanted to meet a British officer to give oral explanations which he claimed might be connected with a fresh Putsch. Though suspicious of this approach His Majesty's Government authorized an interview to see if von Kessel had any useful information to impart.

2. The interview produced no information of value. It appeared that neither von Kessel nor von Weizsäcker was prepared to renounce publicly his German allegiance and both seemed to be primarily moved by the desire for personal reinsurance. In the message received from Weizsäcker the latter claimed he had means to bring about the downfall of Hitler but that for his own safety be would only communicate his proposal to a responsible British official personally known to him. Von Kessel offered to go to Switzerland ostensibly on sick leave there to establish contact with Guderian or von Runstedt [sic, Rundstedt] who he thought would be willing to negotiate peace.

3. His Majesty's government considers that this approach is purely a manoeuvre and that there is nothing to be gained by maintaining contact with von Kessel, which has accordingly been dropped.

4. The Soviet Government is being informed.


16th December, 1944.

Website note: The above text is optically scanned, and may contain characteristic OCR errors. We will correct these if notified. [notify]. Weizsäcker has been corrected to Weizsäcker throughout. Ernst von Weizsäcker, who had been Ribbentrop's Staatssekretär, was father of Carl-Friedrich von Weizäcker, the later German Federal President, and Richard von Weizsäcker, an atomic scientist under Hitler (who proposed the manufacture of plutonium in July 1940: see The Virus House), and later peace activist.

The above material has been researched by David Irving for the third volume of his Churchill biography, "Churchill's War", vol. iii: "The Sundered Dream."

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