740.00119 European War 1939/2050: Telegram

The Minister in Sweden (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

3. Norwegian who is in Norwegian military intelligence work gave following information in utmost confidence to trusted Norwegian member my staff.

In German Wehrmacht23 circles in Norway there have been for long time some responsible non-Nazi officers who have wanted bring war to end soon as possible. They might even be willing to collaborate with United Nations if given certain assurances regarding future of German people. Among these officers are several of high rank including at least one on Falkenhorst’s24 staff.

Approximately two years ago they tried through some of their Norwegian non-Quisling25 friends who were members of Norwegian civil home front to establish contact with British in order discuss question. Their proposal was passed on to representatives of Norwegian exile government in Stockholm who, informant understands, communicated with British in Stockholm. Informant believes matter aroused no interest that time and certainly no action was taken.

Norwegians having contacts with these Germans have already used them to advantage. One case Germans let their Norwegian friends know in advance certain number German soldiers would arrive certain place in Norway from Denmark on certain date, information which later proved correct in every detail. Same Germans on other occasions gave similar valuable military information.

Informant believes these Germans still want to talk responsible British or American of one kind or another.26 Impression was gathered these men do not consider themselves traitors and should not be approached as such but that they might be willing to agree on important subversive action provided certain conditions presumably regarding nature of future peace were agreed upon. Informant felt it would not be difficult to establish contact as one of higher German [Page 488]officers could readily arrange to pass through Stockholm (as civilian) on trumped-up excuse for trip to Germany.

Message repeated to London as my 3, January 3, noon.27

Johnson
  1. German Armed Forces.
  2. Gen. Paul N. von Falkenhorst, German Military Governor of Norway.
  3. Vidkun Quisling was Minister-President of the Norwegian puppet government set up by the German occupation forces.
  4. In telegram 51, January 10, 1944, 9 p.m., to Stockholm the Minister was instructed to meet any approach “with the statement that the only terms which we are prepared to give are those of unconditional surrender.” (740.00119 European War 1939/2050)
  5. In a memorandum for the file, dated December 30, 1944 [1943], William C. Trimble, Assistant Chief of the Division of Northern European Affairs, stated that Charles E. Bohlen, Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs, considered this information not sufficiently detailed to warrant its being sent to the Soviet Embassy. Accordingly, draft notes prepared for transmission to the British and Soviet Embassies were not sent. (740.00119 EW/2050)