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MBrooks

The Hunt for SS General Hans Kammler

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MBrooks
Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

SS General Hans Kammler was Hitler's secret weapons chief and number one trouble shooter. He was also a war criminal of the highest order and was wanted to stand trial at Nuremberg. As commander of the V-2 rocket programme and all other secret weapons Kammler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany, occupying a position just outside Hitler's inner cabinet and answerable to Hitler directly. The fact that Kammler vanished without a trace on the last day of World War has lead many many to speculate - often wildly - about his true fate and the extent of the high technology he controlled by war's end. For this reason Kammler's name is most often found in the realm of  'conspiracy' and understandably so as he is a mysterious man with a mysterious ending. As a world war two buff and someone with an interest in secret weapons technology I think I have read every book available on Kammler - not that there are many - a paragraph here and there with an odd snippet of interesting information about him gleaned from the archives to add to his unfinished story. Researchers have in fact noted thirteen variations of Kammler's death - some have him dying by suicide and others claim that he went down in a blaze of glory but oddly each variation of his death has been given as sworn testimony by men who served under him. One thing the stories of his death have in common, however, is that Kammler was in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now modern day Czech Republic) at the end of the war - one of the last bastions of Nazi power in the final days of the war. This brings to me a recent book I've read about Kammler, which might be of interest to others. The Hidden Nazi: The Untold Story of America's deal with the Devil by Dean Reuter, Colm Lowery and Keith Chester tells the true story of the hunt for Hans Kammler.'s by these three modern day researchers. The author's spent a combined 20+ years researching Kammler and have turned up a absolute treasure trove of information on him from archives in Europe and America. During their research the authors also unearthed a file on Kammler - released to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The documents state - quite definitively - that Kammler was in U.S. custody following his surrender to the U.S. Army in the last days of WW2. Adding to the intrigue is further information they present - again all based on archive documents from the U.S. National Archives - that Kammler was head of a German Atomic bomb project and other advanced weapons systems research - all located in .... Czechoslovakia. There's much more to the book including an account of U.S. lead secret mission into Czechoslovakia after the end of war to recover hidden documents / materials. Its an incredible story and so well told - like a treasure hunt - that follows in the footsteps of the researchers every step of their journey. I'm hoping this book will encourage others to continue the hunt for more information on this subject.

Marty           

Edited by MBrooks
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Kittens Are Jerks
5 hours ago, MBrooks said:

The documents state - quite definitively - that Kammler was in U.S. custody following his surrender to the U.S. Army in the last days of WW2. Adding to the intrigue is further information they present - again all based on archive documents from the U.S. National Archives - that Kammler was head of a German Atomic bomb project and other advanced weapons systems research - all located in .... Czechoslovakia. There's much more to the book including an account of U.S. lead secret mission into Czechoslovakia after the end of war to recover hidden documents / materials. 

Interestingly there was virtually no mention of Hans Kammler during the first Nuremberg trial, despite his senior position in the SS and involvement in role crimes. Furthermore, the Allies seemed all to ready to accept conflicting accounts of his death and did not order further investigations. It wouldn't be surprising if he was indeed in US custody which is most likely why various records were sanitised and all mention of him dropped.

Some historians suspect he might have been taken to the US along with other German scientists and engineers under Project Paperclip, but he did not possess a deep enough technical understanding of special weapons technology. That he may have been head of a German Atomic bomb project isn't surprising as he controlled most of the Third Reich's secret weapons research. But if the American were able to recover some of those documents, I don't know what value Kammler would have had for them after that. 

Does the book speculate on what might have happened to Kammler after the US' secret mission into Czechoslovakia?

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tortugabob
Posted (edited)

Let's get real here. Hans Kammler would have a intellectual and intelligence prize for the USA or the Soviet Union. Politics and/or slave labor wouldn't have meant anything. If either country had captured him he would have been debriefed extensively, given a new name and worked in the defense industries of that country  If you want to read a good book about Kammler and the weapons work going on in Czechoslovakia read Tom Agoston's "Blunder - How the US Gave Away Nazi Supersecrets to Russia."  One stupid ass American Army captain (unnamed) let the Russians have truckloads full of documents even though German technicians were trying to give them to the American soldiers who swept into the Skoda compound on May 6th, 1945 (before the Russians got there).  He did this because the Russians had been given post-war occupation  "rights" to that country.

Edited by tortugabob
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MBrooks

The book does go into some detail on Kammler after his surrender - he was handled by the same US Army CIC team who handled Klaus Barbie and he was moved around to various locations including Nordhausen and Ebensee where he was questioned by CIC about bank accounts he controlled.  

I've read Blunder by Agoston - several times - but The Hidden Nazi by Dean Reuter is in a league of its own in terms of the new archive documents these authors bring to the table. There are ~63 pages of references throughout the book - all primary source material much of which is new. The book also details how the Russians dropped Russian paratroopers into Pribram, Czechoslovakia, to seize Kammler's research facility there just before the U.S. Army arrived at that location. Pribram was home to a rocket programme under Kammler's control - it ran parallel with the von Braun V-2 programme and was headed up by Germany's No. 2 rocket scientist - Rolf Engel. As well as this long range rocket programme the Pribram scientists also worked on a variety of other hi-tech weapons projects that included guided missiles, advanced aircraft designs and nuclear research. Putting two and two together its not hard to imagine what they were planning. The Russians stripped the place and sent everything east including industrial scale cyclotrons for uranium enrichment. This is not hearsay but is documented in the book The Hidden Nazi and everything is based on the archive documents and reports from the National Archives. ALSOS never set foot in Czechoslovakia and yet they claimed the German atomic bomb programme amounted to nothing. It's clear that ALSOS never got the full picture and this wasn't helped by the fact that their target selection was based entirely on pre-war intelligence. I think the true story of the German atomic bomb programme - and Kammler's role in it  - has yet to be written.

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19_Kilo
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tortugabob said:

Let's get real here. Hans Kammler would have a intellectual and intelligence prize for the USA or the Soviet Union. Politics and/or slave labor wouldn't have meant anything. If either country had captured him he would have been debriefed extensively, given a new name and worked in the defense industries of that country  If you want to read a good book about Kammler and the weapons work going on in Czechoslovakia read Tom Agoston's "Blunder - How the US Gave Away Nazi Supersecrets to Russia."  One stupid ass American Army captain (unnamed) let the Russians have truckloads full of documents even though German technicians were trying to give them to the American soldiers who swept into the Skoda compound on May 6th, 1945 (before the Russians got there).  He did this because the Russians had been given post-war occupation  "rights" to that country.

But as it turned out the so-called "Blunder" resulted in no harm, no foul. Since we (US) got the best German rocket guy in Herr Von Braun; we beat the Russians to the moon; we won the Space Race; we were always miles ahead of them in Cold War technology and Nukes, also Defense Systems. (Though the US government forever tried to convince the public that the USSR was much better off techno-wise than in reality in order to justify exorbitant tax-fueled defense spending.)

Such was not the case, of course. Whenever we captured or got a peek of some sort of Soviet tech or weaponry we were nonplussed at most, in regards to its design and performance, and often awed by its crudeness. The word "kludge" was popular with our tech guys in referring to Soviet hardware. 

Reagan didn't have squat to do with bringing down "that Wall, Mr. Gorbachev"--what really killed the Soviets was trying to Keep up with the U.S.  It bankrupted them. And their own version of Vietnam--Afghanistan--didnt help much either.

Cheers.

Edited by Tuco's Gas
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MBrooks

 

46 minutes ago, Tuco's Gas said:

But as it turned out the so-called "Blunder" resulted in no harm, no foul. Since we (US) got the best German rocket guy in Herr Von Braun; we beat the Russians to the moon; we won the Space Race; we were always miles ahead of them in Cold War technology and Nukes, also Defense Systems.

And this is exactly what the book the Hidden Nazi is all about ..i.e. the only reason the U.S. got von Braun and the rocket technology and who knows what else is because Hans Kammler (von Braun's boss in Nazi Germany) oversaw the surrender of the rocket team, research documents and hardware to the US. The deal was struck months before the end of the war when Kammler's emissaries met with US industrialists in Lisbon in late '44. The same industrialists had just signed a contract with the US government the previous month to build the US version of the V-2. Truly fascinating history ......  

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