THE HUNTEMANN FILE
Gerhard Gottfried Eduard Hunteman was born october 21st 1901 in Hamburg. So far I could not find when he passes away. He was a NCO within the German Abwehr and worked with Hermann Giskes of Abwehr III-F, FAT 365, Driebergen.
1. General Situation in AST-Niederlande.
In August 1941, GISKES was transferred from AST-Paris to AST-Niederlande, with the rank of Overstleutnant, and appointment of Leiter Referat III-F. On taking up his new appointment he found that the netire section needed reorganisation, as many of the officers were quite incapable and, in addition, many of the NSB members of the section were using their positions merely to terrorise their own nationals; moreover GISKES had to reckon with the hostile attitude of the SIPO and the SD towards the Abwehr. The hostility became more acute every year until, as will be seen later, GISKES' life was in danger.
As there was a German civil administration in Holland as opposed to a Wehrmacht administration in the other occupied countries, internal security was completely in the hands of the Höhere SS und Polizeiführer, and, theoretically at least, the work of III-F was confined entirely to military matters and was not executive. The Abwehr had no powers of arrest, and so in all cases where action was necessary it was taken by the SIPO.
For purely disciplinary matters GISKES found that he was subordinated to the Leiter of AST-Niederlande, but, as regards his own activities, he was respnsible to a certain Oberst ROHLEDER ABTG-III, Berlin. While GISKES was still at Paris ROHLEDER had painted a gloomy picture of the unsatisfactory state of affairs of III-F at THe Hague, and had charged him with the task of reorganising the Referat.
On arrival GISKES made sweeping changes and restaffeled his section with men recommanded to him for their capabilities, amongst these being a certain Gerhard HUNTEMANN.
2. British Activity in Holland in summer 1941.
It was known to RDF (Radio Detection Finding), operated at that time by the Funk-Abwehr, that two enemy transmitting stations were active and there were constant rumours about sea communication between Holland and the UK. Prior to GISKES arrival, a seaplane had endeavoured to land off the Dutch coast and, in a brush with the German police, several of the latter had been killed. It is thus evident that at this stage British espionage and resistance activities in Holland waere on a small scale, at least as far as III-F were aware.
3. Arrest of W/T Operators.
At the beginning of September 1941, as a result of RDF, a W/T operator was arrested in the Bilthoven district and on him was found a series of messages, signed AC. (Hans Zomer, mission Zebra). The messages were of a prely intelligence nature. This matter was handled entirely by the SD, and III-F were not told of the identity of the arrested agent, but GISKES thinks he was a Dutch Naval cadet, whose name may have been TER HAAK or LAAK ( Jo ter Laak, was arrested in 1942). A second operator, whose name GISKES believes was VAN DER REYDEN, was arrested probably arrested in January 1942 (Jo ter Laak en Willem van der Reijden were arrested in February 1942). This man agreed to act as a double-agent, but the attempt by the SD to play him back proved arbortive. This case also was handled exclusively by the SIPO and the Fu-B Stelle ORPO, who had replaced the Funk Abwehr towards the end of 1941.
4. Arrest of EBENEZER.
Amongst those handeling counter-espionage and counter resistance agents in III-F, was a certain Uffz. KUP, who had been employed by the Referat since the German occupation of Holland in 1940. Sometime in the late summer or early autumn of 1941 a certain George RIDDERHOF aka VAN VLIET, an agent of KUP, had been improsoned in Amsterdam for illicit dealings in gold and diamonds. Whilst serving his term of imprisonment RIDDERHOF made the acquaintance of a man, name unknown to GISKES or HUNTEMANN, who was apparently a member of an indigenous resistance group. When RIDDERHOF was released he was asked by the unknown to make contact with his wife and visit certain friends, whose addresses would be given by the wife. RIDDERHOF reported this to KUP who in turn informed GISKES. The latter then gave instructions that RIDDERHOF was to attempt to penetrate this group by contacting the addresses. In due course reports came in from RIDDERHOF as follows:
a) About the beginning of December 1941, RIDDERHOF reported that a man with a motorboat indended to make an escape to the UK and that he required petrol for the journey. RIDDERHOF was given 25 liters of petrol from III-F and the SIPO had the starting point watched. But nothing transpired and RIDDERHOF later reported that the man had departed from a point other than the one which had prevously been decided upon. Enquiries were made at the man's home address, near the Abwehr Stelle Scheveningen, on the corner of Parkweg and Hoogeweg, and it was established that the man's name was MAAS and that he had been absent from home for three months.
b) In January 1942 the broadcasting by London of the Wilhelmina Lied was to be the signal that a motor-boat would be arriving at Scheveningen to pick up certain members of the Dutch Resistance Movement., to take them to the UK (Tazelaar, Dogger, Goedhart, etc) On the appointed, plain clothes police were on the beach and arrested Dutch patriots who were awaiting the motor-boat, which however failed to arrive (Contact Holland).
c) Later in Janiary 1942, RIDDERHOF reported that he was in touch with a certain Capt. VAN DEN BERG, a Dutch Army reserve officer, living ath The Hague, who was connected with a resistance organisation at Vierlingsbeek, near Nijmegen. Reports on this organisation were to the effect that arms and explosives were in churches and monasteries in the neighbourhoud. A sub-agent, GRAAN, was charged with the surveillance of this group.
Again, later, RIDDERHOF reported that the organisation expected an aeroplane to arrive from the UK to drop sabotage material, and gave the locality, but not the exactposition of the dropping ground. Upon hearing this, GISKES, who at this time wassceptical, said to KUP "Gehen Sie zum Nordpol mit solcher Geschichten". (It is for this reason that the code name NORDPOL was given by III-F to cover the subsequent turning and playing back of the SOE agents.
HUNTEMANN, who had recently been discharged from hospital, was accordingly sent to Assen to keep observation.
Towards the end of February 1942 a British plane was seen one night during the full moon period, circling in the vincinit, and it was later learnt that in fact two containers had been dropped. On this occasion there was a genuine Dutch reception committee headed by Capt VAN DEN BERG, and a certain Sgt. BIERMAN. Only one container was found by the committee, which was taken to a warehouse nearby, VAN DEN BERG then went to RIDDERHOF, living at that time in The Hague, and asked him to arrange for the transport of the material to his (RIDDERHOF) flat for safekeeping; RIDDERHOF obliged. This incident, when reported to GISKES, convincing him that there wasa W/T Operator in direct touch with the UK, especially as prior to this date the Fu-B-Stelle-ORPO had intercepted, but not deciphered, signals in the The Hague area. Furthermoore, RIDDERHOF had also given information, gleaned from VAN DEN BERG, to the effect that two British agentshad been dropped, at the end of November 1941, in the area of Assen. It was therefore decided by GISKES that intensive efforts would have to be made to locate and arrest the operator. Accordingly, the Fu-B-Stelle-ORPO was given this task as a first priority, and the area in which the operator was working was finally narrowed down to the vicinity of Laan van Meerdevort, The Hague. A raid was organised in the district and one Hubertus Mattheus Gerardus LAUWERS, aka EBENEZER was arrested on the 6th of March 1942. He had evidently become aware that a raid was in progress and after throwing the W/T set into the garden, left the house woth TELLER the proprietor.
KUP, who was taking part in the raid, had been furnished by RIDDERHOF with a personal description of EBENEZER, which had been obtained from Capt. VAN DEN BERG, and apprehended him in the street, both men were conducted to TELLER's house where the W/T set was found in the garden, and GISKES had a short interview with EBENEZER. The latter was then conveyed to the so-called Oranje-Hotel, where Dutch patriots were imprisoned. At first he was confined in the SD sectionof the prison, but about a month afterwards, on GISKES representation, he was transferred to the Wehrmacht section where conditions were better.
5. Implications of EBENEZER's arrest.
Interrogation of EBENEZER by Krimrat. SCHREIEDER, and to a lesser extent by GISKES himself, convinced the latter that if British intensions were realised and numerous well equipped sabotage and resistance groups were created, an extremely dangerous military situation would arise, particularly if these measures succeeded simultaneously in all the Western occupied countries. For this reason, therefore, GISKES decided to concentrate the activities of his Referat on the hindering or prevention of any such plans.
6. Employment of Double-Agents.
An Abwehr Abtg III directive from Berlin, circulated during the early part of the war, laid down the objects to be achieved in playing back captured agents, as follows:
a) To maintain contact with Allied espionage agents and their HQ's in order to ascertain missions and enemy intentsions.
b) Deception (procedure is given in Annexure I)
c) To control any Allied organisation and thus prevent the growth of a sister organisation unknown to the Germans.
d) To penetrate organised escape routes.
(III-F were not interested in individuals escaped haphazardly as these matters were handled by the SIPO)
7. The 'turning' of EBENEZER.
Shortly after EBENEZER's arrest, KUP asked permission to visit him in prison, and on his return informed GISKES that EBENEZER was prepared to work for the Germans. GISKES maintains that no physical force was used to turn him. GISKES also personally visited him in prison, and with SCHREIEDER guaranteed his life as well as the lives of any subsequent Allied agents, who might fall into Germans hands through his treachery. EBENEZER on accepting the proposal to work for the Germans, told both GISKES and SCHREIEDER that he had been aesured by a certain Colonel BLUNT, before leaving the UK, that in the event of his arrest he was at liberty to accept any proposal put forward by the Germans to save his life; for, at the most, it would be discovered within three weeks if he were working under control. EBENEZER accordingly accepted the German proposal and, on the 18-3-1942, sent his first message of German origin. This message requested further supplies and stated that the location of a prevously agreed dropping point was too dangerous (EBENEZER CXG 18-3-1942 refers). Three further messages all dated 15-3-1942 - CXG-14 containing information about a ship's crew, money and reference to BRANDY, CXG-15 dealing with political and industrial information, and CXG-16 containing information about the position of the Prinz Eugen - all of which had been previously composed by EBENEZER and found on him after arrest, were allowed to go forward by the Germans.
The information as to the locality of the Prinz Eugen was found on reference to Referat IIIM to be false, but GISKES denies that prior to this date false information had been passed to Resistance Groups for onward transmission. He declares that as far as he can remember EBENEZER had received the information from his organiser Thijs TACONIS aka CATARRH, who in turn probably obtained it from VAN DEN BERG as the latter was believed to have certain sources among the Port Authorities and dockyard workers in Rotterdam.
8.Distribution of Functions.
GISKES was resonsible for the general policy of playing back EBENEZER and sunsequent W/T operators captured, but the non-technical detailed conduct of the traffic, i.e. preparing drafts of messages, seeing London signals received answers, keeping traffic on the right lines, and when necessary the notional killing of operators, etc, was the sole resonsebiliy of HUNTEMANN, who was struck off all other duties until the termination of the traffic on 1st April 1944. The messages were drafted by HUNTEMANN and then taken to the Fu-B-Stelleof the ORPO which was always in close proximity to III-F.
The B-Stelle was solely responsible for the encyphering and decyphering of all signals and for the actual transmission. In this connection it is interesting to note that only two SOE W/T operators ever actually transmitted, namely EBENEZER for about three months after capture and TRUMPET (Han Jordaan) (see below). All traffic with these exceptions was conducted by trained operators of the B-Stelle.
The actual arrests and custody of the agents were entirely SIPO resonsibilities, but of course both GISKES and HUNTEMANN had access to them when necessary.
An account of the procedures and division of resonsibilities during a Dropping Operation is given in Annexure II.
9. Arrest of CATARRH.
About the 18th of March 1942, Thijs TACONIS aka CATARRH was arrested by the SIPO at Arnhem whilst trying to effect the rescue of a member of his group who had been taken prisoner by the Germans. Neither GISKES nor HUNTEMANN know much about the circumstances of the arrest as the entire affair was handled by the SIPO, but it appears that at the time of his arrest the Germans were unaware of his identity, and it was only at a later date that they realised the importance of their capture. GISKES had an interview with him at the prison at Scheveningen the day after he had tried to escape, but CATARRH refused to give details about himself, and it was only at a later date, when he had been convinced that the whole organisation had been 'blown', that he could be induced to give details of his mission. as he was not a W/T operator he was not of much interest to GISKES and HUNTEMANN, but GISKES expresses considerable respect for his steadfast and soldierly behaviour.
10. Arrest of WATERCRESS.
On the 19th of March 1942, SOE signal XCG-21 to EBENEZER advised that an independent agent was to be expected from the 24th March 1942 onward, together with tree containers, with the result that Albert Arnoldus BAATSEN aka ABOR aka WATERCRESS was received on the 27th March near Steenwijk by a Dutch reception committee working under SD control. Among those taking part in the reception were the Dutch subjects SCHLAGTER (Slagter), POOS and RIDDERHOF; the latter was drunk and his behaviour was such that his attendance on future accasions of this nature was forbidden by the Germans. The 'safe' arrival of WATERCRESS was acknowledge in EBENEZER's CXG-24 of the 28th March 1942 to London.
WATERCRESS voluntarily offered his services to the Germans and was even prepared to undertake a mission abroad for the SD. He was used, however by the SIPO for spying on his fellow prisoners at Haaren to which all captured agents were sent after a short stay at Scheveningen prison.
11. Arrest of LETTUCE, TRUMPET and TURNIP.
Early in April 1942 III-F was informed by the Feldgendarmerie that a dead parachutist had been found in a field N.W. of Holten; it appeared that he had hit his head on a stone water-trough on landing. From tracks in the neighbourhood of the body there were grounds for believing that other agents had landed at the same time. Early in May the SIPO, on information received from a certain Dr. STEMKEL of the Incasso and Hypotheken Bank, Utrecht, arrested Goswigen Hendrik Gerard RAS aka LETTUCE and Johan JORDAAN aka TRUMPET. The arrests were effected by the SIPO and GISKES thinks that the informant acted unwittingly. About the same time the SIPO also arrested Leonardus ANDRINGA aka TURNIP on information supplied by a woman (name unknown) in Utrecht. This informant is thought by GISKES to have acted unwittingly.
Interogation of the three agents produced the full story of the Dropping Operation on the 26th March and established the identity of the dead man, a W/T operator named JOHN aka SWEDE (Jan Molenaar) The latter's signal plan was found on TURNIP which enabled the Germans at a later date to operate a notional, locally recruited operator named SWEDE. Moreover, under interrogation the three captured men gave the numbers of Dutch SOE agents who had completed their training and who could therefore be expected to be arriving in the not distance future. In addition, personal descriptions, aliasses, an estimate of the capabilities, togetherwith a description of their future roles i.e. W/T operator, saboteur, clandestine press, organisers, etc were obtained.
Thence-forward the Germans devoted a good part of the interrogation of captured agents to the obtaining of this type of information, with the result that they generally knew whom to expect in the future; the information obtained enabled them to impress captured agents during interrogation with their seeming omnisience.
It must be remenbered that towards the end of April, B-Stelle had been aware that clandestine transmissions were taking place, but they had been unable to decipher the messages.
The first controlled message on the TRUMPET (Jordaan) link was transmitted on the 5th of May 1942 (CGX-14) proposing a new Dropping Point.
12. LEEK and W/T Operator.
On the 5th April 1942 Barend KLOOS (Klooss) aka LEEK was dropped blind with his W/T operator Hendrik SEBES aka HECK or LEEK. It appears that during the drop the W/T set was damaged and although these two agents were not like the others, apprehended immediately, they were never able to get in touch with the UK. They were eventually arrested at a date unknownto GISKES and HUNTEMANN. HUNTEMANN recollects that after the arrest, London was asked for a replacement of the W/T set on another link, and this was furnised. The HECK transmitter was first operated on the 22nd August 1942 the Germans, but HECK himself never operated.
13. Arrest of POTATO.
On the 19th April Johannes Henricus Maria de HAAS aka PIJL or POTATO arrived in Holland by a sea-operation. On the 24th April TRUMPET in CGX-14 reported to London that he was in touch with POTATO, contact having been established through TURNIP, but that he could not contact EBENEZER. At this date TRUMPET had not been arrested although his signals had been intercepted by B-Stelle. On TRUMPET's arrest, in early May, the Germans were able to decipher the TRUMPET messages that they had intercepted, and it is probable, according to GISKES and HUNTEMANN, that POTATO's arrest by the SIPO was due to information furnished by TRUMPET. The first POTATO message sent, CGX-14 on the 5th May 1942, refers to a dropping point.
14. Meeting of CARROT and TURNIP.
On the 5th May London, in CGX-17, advised TRUMPET of a meeting place where he was to contact GEORGE aka CARROT (Dessing) who had arrived in Holland on the 27th February 1942. The name of the rendezvous was sent in a elaborately coded message, but was decoded by the B-Stelle and found to be the Bodega, Leidsche Poort, Leidsche Plein, Amsterdam.
For some reason unknown to GISKES and HUNTEMANN, the SIPO decided to send TURNIP, not TRUMPET, to rendezvous and TURNIP was able to warn succeeded in escaping through a lavatory, eventually arriving in the UK on the 2nd September 1943.
15. The situation in May 1942.
It had, at this period, become evident to GISKES interrogations of captured agents that SOE was trying to build up a well organised sabotage organisation capable of operating throughout Holland. Groups were to be formed by the various organisers by recruimtment among NCO's of the Dutch Army, railwaymen and dockyard hands, for sabotage of railroads, harbour installations, dockyards, shipbuilding yards, locks and bridges; in addition instruction had been given in 'sabotage insaissisable'. Regions and missions had been alloted as follows:
CATARRH (Taconis): Provinces of N. and S. Holland and Gelderland.
WATERCRESS (Baatsen): Special mission, not divulged by SD to III-F.
LEEK (Klooss): Oberjessel (Overijssel) area.
LETTUCE (Ras): Utrecht area.
POTATO (de Haas): Establishment of sea communication between Holland and UK. Suitable landing places were to be reconnoitred in the area of Katwijk and later Egmons-aan-See.
GISKES gave consideration to the possibility of using the organisers, already arrested, for forming German controlled Resistance Groups; this would have ensured that the best and most resistance elements in the population would be known and could, therefore, be arrested at any time when it was thought necessary, but he decided that such action was too great a risk to the security of his controlled W/T links.
16. BEETROOT and W/T Operation.
On the first day of May 1942 London advised EBENEZER in message No. 36 of the impending arrival of two agents, and on the 29th May Herman PARLEVLIET aka BEETROOT, and his W/T operator Antonius van STEEN were both dropped to the customary SD reception near Steenwijk.
GISKES describes these two men as being excellent agents and it was only at a much later stage that they divulged, under interrogation that they were EUREKA instructors; in addition they were to be assistants to WATERCRESS.
17. PARSNIP and SPINACH.
On the 15th June 1942 London advised TRUMPET (Message No. 28) of the impending arrival of two further agents and accordingly on the 22nd June, John Jacob van RIETSCHOTEN aka PARSNIP and his W/T operator Johannes Jan BUIZER aka SPINACH were dropped to a German reception near Holten. Interrogations showed that PARSNIP had an independant mission in N. Holland whilst SPINACH was to act as W/T operator, not only to PARSNIP, but also tp POTATO who had notional been using EBENEZER, as London apparently feared that too much traffic on the EBENEZER link might endanger the latter who, of course, had been arrested on the 8th March 1942.
HUNTEMANN deduced from this that London regarded EBENEZER as being the best operator.
The 'safe' arrival of PARSNIP and SPINACH was notified to London on the 24th June 1942 in TRUMPET No. 77.
18. MARROW and W/T Operator.
On the 15th June, London, in No. 61 to EBENEZER, advised the field to stand by from the night of the 24th June onwards to receive two bodies with the result that, on the night 26th June, George Louis JAMBROES aka MARROW and his W/T operator Joseph BUKKENS aka SMIT and MARROW were duly arrested near Wezep. EBENEZER acknowleged the 'succes' of the operation on the 27th June 1942, adding "SMIT staying with us some time".
19. The six main links.
Although during the Nordpol affair the Germans operated many links, (at one time they were operating 15) the sis main links over which fresh arrivals were advised were as follows:
An account of the APOLLO and BRUTUS affair advised over GOLF is in Annexure V.
At a conference at which SOE and MI-5 were represtented it was decided that it was unnecessary to give an account of the arrests of subsequent agents as they present little interest, the procedure being monotonously identical with that already described i.e. London advising departure to the Germans with the resomtent SD reception.
SOE however put forward a written questionnaire and, at a subsequent conference, a verbal questionnaire to fix the basis for future interrogations, Annexure IX.
20. Reasons for closing the 'Nordpol'.
At the end of August 1943, two of the captured SOE agents, Pieter DOURLEIN aka SPROUT and Johan Bernard UBBINK aka CHIVE, escaped from Haaren and eventually reached the UK via Switzerland.
When in October 1943, London intimated that Holland could expect no further deliveries owing to commitments elsewhere, GISKES was certain that these two men had either reached the UK or had in some way coveyed to London the information that the entire SOE organisation in Holland was German-controlled. During the next twp months, the traffic from London was of a non-commital character and GISKES concluded that the 'NORDPOL' possibilities were at an end. Confirmation that SOE was aware of what had happened came through the arrest, at the beginning of 1944, of the HEINTJE Group which took place in Amsterdam through RDF of one of the W/T operators. (It was interesting to note that at this period relations between the SD and Abwehr were so strained that III-F were only informed of this group after its arrest, and the subsequent attempt to play it back was entirely handled by the SD.
The Heintje Group had been sent by the Dutch SIS in London and had been briefed for an espionage mission by Major SOMERN (Somers). According to GISKES and HUNTEMANN, this group had received , towards the end of November 1943, a W/T signal from London that the sister organisation, the SOE Resistance Movement, was completely under German control and futher, that two agents who had been in Haaren had reached London. This information of course only became available in early 1944 when the group was arrested and the intercepted traffic could be decyphered. GISKES wanted to close the NORDPOL affair immediately, with a message to London, giving the news that all those agents who had been notionally killed were in reality still alive. However Abt. III-F Berlin refused permission for this and sent orders that the closing message must breeth a spirit of confidence in the final victory for German arms. and in the certitude of repelling any Allied invasion of Holland. Accordingly, the closing signal to this effect was transmitted to Londen, not unappropriately, on the first of April 1944, thus ending the 'NORDPOL' affair which had lasted a little over two years.