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Mary Hunter asks, June 26, 2003 was there an SS atomic bomb project?



Question on German Atomic Research Project during WWIISpeer

ALBERT SPEER in his memoirs states quite clearly that the SS had a separate Atomic Bomb project. Can you recommend any informative sources on the SS project i.e who led it, how far did it get etc.?

Mary Hunter


David Irving: "The Virus House" (The German Atomic Bomb)
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David Irving responds:

Speer was talking through his hat; his memoirs were actually written by Wolf Jobst Siedler, Annette Etienne and Joachim Fest on the basis of questionnaires put to Speer. Hitler, Speer

In fact it is plain that Speer saw no future in the atomic research programme, and he effectively killed it in a conference with Adolf Hitler in June 1942. The SS did keep tabs on the Allied atomic project; Amt III of the Reich Sicherheits Hauptamt sent an expert to Switzerland to keep his eyes and ears open, but he came back empty handed after spending many months and no doubt large sums of foreign currency. Here's what else I know:-

In the winter of 1943-44 Walter Schellenberg had a brief talk about atomic research with Spengler, of Amt III technical branch; Spengler mentioned the work that Professor Werner Heisenberg of the Kaiser-Wilhelm institute in Berlin was performing in this field. Amt III maintained a close interest, particularly after the leading Danish scientist Niels Bohr managed by unexplained means to leave for the United States. A Colonel Wagner in Stockholm subsequently contacted Bohr through a Swedish professor of Hungarian Jewish origin, Heversy; Heversy asked for the release of his Hungarian relations in return.

Schellenberg got them into more comfortable accommodation, but then got bogged down in red tape and nothing worthwhile came back from Bohr. (Schellenberg, it is relevant to note, stated this to interrogators two weeks before the world heard of the first atomic bomb dropped on Japan).

Over dinner one day early in 1944, Schellenberg passed on to Himmler, for what it was worth, a rather odd story from an Amt VI agent in Finland, about a clairvoyant working there for Prime Minister Ryti who had predicted that the British were dabbling in atomic bomb research and that in 1945 they would accidentally blow up half of their country in an atomic explosion, and that millions of British would try to settle in Scandinavia and Germany in consequence.

Himmler tapped his nose in a knowing way and became serious: Nobody yet knew, he said earnestly, what surprises Germany would have in that direction; he had already heard something similar from Ryti.

Schellenberg stepped up the investigation of enemy atomic research. In August 1944 he put Ogilvie of Amt VI-Wi/T in charge, and Ogilvie appointed an aviation expert to be given special technical training and sent to Switzerland under suitable diplomatic cover to research the matter from the German legation in Berne. Neither this agent nor another produced any useful reports for Himmler on the matter.


 © Focal Point 2003 David Irving