840.414/5–1845: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

2770. From Murphy and Perkins.60 Colonel R. C. Thomson leader of the Brit FO CIOS team arrived at SHAEF Main on May 18 with microfilms of German Foreign Ministry papers relating to Germany’s foreign policy and doings from 1933 to 1944 including correspondence and records of conversations between Hitler and Ribbentrop61 on the one side and Mussolini, Franco,62 Laval,63 Molotov64 and Japanese and other personalities on the other and also reports by ambassadors and ministers on the most secret matters. Thomson reports that on May 12 he was in Muehlhausen, Thuringia where he met Dr. Ralph Collins of the State Dept CIOS team. While there Thomson was approached by Carl von Loesch who was the understudy of the well known interpreter Dr. Schmidt and interpreted at many meetings between Hitler and foreign statesmen. He was sent to Thuringia last February to house and look after the most secret archives. Owing to the sudden Allied advance orders were received to destroy the collection. This was done but not before a few of microfilms was retrieved and buried in a lonely spot. Von Loesch offered to reveal the whereabouts of these microfilms to the [Page 1106] Brit Govt. Thomson refused to consider any separate deal with his Govt. and said he would report the matter to the American authorities. Collins collaborated with Thomson in all that followed. On Monday May 14 Thomson, Collins and Von Loesch proceeded to the neighborhood of a country house named “Schoeneberg” accompanied by Captain A. M. Folkard of the Local American Command. They went to the spot where the microfilms were buried in a steep ravine. There they dug up a large can containing the documents. Later Thomson met a microfilming unit of the Brit RAF65 and with the aid of their reading apparatus examined some of the films. They fully corresponded to the informant’s description and will doubtless supply information of value which may not be obtainable elsewhere. Thomson has brought these films with him to SHAEF Main.

Thomson and Dr. Perkins will fly to London on May 19 to supervise the development of these microfilms by the Brit Air Ministry. It is planned to provide copies for the Dept State, the Brit FO and the Control Commission. The original films will later be returned to Marburg to become part of the archives of the German FO being collected at that place. [Murphy and Perkins.]

  1. Mr. Perkins had left London and reported at Versailles for CIOS duty with SHAEF on April 22.
  2. Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Chief of State and President of the Spanish Government.
  4. Pierre Laval, French Chief of Government at Vichy.
  5. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  6. Royal Air Force.