The Ambassador in Uruguay (Dawson) to the Secretary of State

No. 5764

Sir: I have the honor to furnish herewith such details as have appeared in the Montevideo press describing how the Uruguayan authorities, with the assistance of a lead received from the British Intelligence Service, carried out a series of raids early this month and after interrogating some twenty people released all but the following three individuals, who have been remanded to prison to stand trial for carrying on Nazi espionage activities: Fritz A. Rabe (PL),86 his brother, Hans J. Rabe (PL) and José Vendemia.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It appears that the authorities have discovered from their interrogations of the above individuals and the evidence received from other sources that the Rabe brothers and José Vendemia were engaged in obtaining and forwarding information on Allied shipping to a Nazi group in Rio de Janeiro. These three individuals have now been committed for trial and, as stated, have been placed under arrest. On April 11 it was announced in the press that Fritz Rabe had been provisionally suspended as a member of the National Chamber of Commerce and also as a qualified stock exchange broker.

While the recent success of the local authorities in uncovering additional Nazi agents naturally attracted attention and produced expressions of alarm from various newspapers, coinciding as it did with the appearance of press reports of the discovery of an Axis sabotage ring in Chile and with publication of the more sensational findings of the Uruguayan and Argentine authorities who had been jointly investigating Axis subversive activities in the River Plate (see Embassy’s despatches no. 5561 of March 21 [12] and no. 5683 of April 10, 1945),87 this case failed to arouse the excitement provoked by the discovery three months before of the local Nazi spy ring involving Juan Alberto Bove Trabal (see Embassy’s despatches no. 5270 of January 10 and no. 5339 of January 23, 194587).

Upon completion of the report now being prepared by the Legal Attaché about this case, a copy will be promptly forwarded to the Department.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Reginald Bragonier

Second Secretary
  1. Proclaimed List.
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