800.20235/409: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Armour) to the Secretary of State

499. Federal Police this afternoon released 9-page memorandum on German espionage activities in Argentina. Report states South America divided into two sections for espionage purposes: Eastern zone and western zone, former under direction Siegfried Becker and latter under Heinz Lange. Report is divided into three sections each dealing with separate espionage groups dominated [denominated] by police as Becker Group, Seidleitz Group and Harnisch Group. Police take full credit for discovery of groups and state that supplementary report on German espionage will be made in about 15 days, this to be followed at later date by revelation of similar Japanese activities. It is believed second release may deal with Spanish aspects of the situation. Present release appears to be good and is probably more sensational than cases of Napp, Freiwald, Schneider, et al. Some information not hitherto known included in this release and it is evident that arrested agents confessed to much of their activities. Report mentions clandestine radio transmitter formerly maintained by Becker at farm near Bella Vista, province of Buenos Aires, but that he secured its transfer before police could confiscate it. Transmitter hidden in secret cellar to chicken coop, which probably explains why provincial police failed to find it when they made raid many months ago and why it was transferred. Report also mentions that Transocean and Deutsches Nachrichten Buero also involved in obtaining information for German war effort and that at least two separate organizations in Germany receiving information from Argentina, [Page 387] namely the Abwehr42 and the Sicherheitsdienst. The memorandum contains about 20 names of German agents, including Argentines, Spaniards, an Austrian, a Chilean woman, an Italian and a white Russian, and devotes some space to the so-called Miramar case, stating that Wilhelm Otto Albert Seidlitz, Gustavo Eickenberg and German Military Attaché were principal agents involved in landing German agents on Argentine soil by submarine. Evening press with exception of El Federal which does not mention it carries memorandum verbatim with large front page headlines.

Presidential Press Bureau also issued statement explaining today’s release from arrest of German Military Attaché and Japanese Naval Attachés Yammashita [Yukishita?] and Kameda, Pertinent part of statement as follows: “Taking into account the progress made in the investigations, and that for the present their freedom will not affect such investigations, considering the diplomatic status of the persons referred to, and that the activities which have been proved were committed prior to the breaking of relations, it has been decided to grant their freedom during the time it will take for arrangements to be made for their repatriation and for the obtention of safe conducts”.

Complete report by next courier.

  1. The German military intelligence.