862.20235/11–2945: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy)

A–239. For Griswold.84 By order of the Secretary a special ad hoc unit has been organized under Assistant Secretary Braden to collate with the greatest possible speed all evidence of Axis activities in Argentina and especially complicity of the present Argentine regime. Success of this project depends largely on obtaining additional evidence from sources within Germany. Material already received from you is very valuable for this purpose, but much more is needed, especially in the form of interrogation of German personnel. In view of the extreme urgency you are requested to transmit hereafter by airgram full description of important material discovered hereafter, following up with expeditious transmission of photographs of documents and other full reports. War and Treasury Departments are cooperating in this project. Griswold should therefore communicate with proper Army authorities in Germany to ascertain who has been charged with this work in Germany for the Army. It is recognized that additional personnel will be needed in Germany for this project, especially interrogators. Griswold should use all available personnel for this purpose and arrange for the use of qualified Army personnel to the extent necessary. In this connection reference is made to War Department cable no. 84395 dated November 14, 1945 instructing War Department personnel to give priority for the purpose of this project. Griswold should also inform himself on the progress and coordination of investigation of German commercial and industrial enterprises in this field by Cartels and External Assets Investigation Division and report developments currently.

Information needed from you (unless already transmitted in the material en route) is as follows:

Ascertain for purposes of interrogation whereabouts of Foreign Office personnel who handled Argentine matters in recent years, including subordinate assistants and clerical help. Information available here indicates that Reinebeck was in charge of Latin American [Page 491] political matters and Beye was in charge of Latin American commercial and economic matters. Therefore, these two may be sources of information on this subject.
Special and detailed interrogation should be made of all such personnel along the following lines (in addition to such others as may occur to the interrogator).
Where is the Argentine correspondence and file material not discovered by you in existing Foreign Office files at Marburg?
Where are other communications and file material on subject of Argentina not filed with Foreign Office, such as Abwehr,85 SD,86 cultural activities not under Foreign Office, etc.?
What are names and whereabouts of other individuals than Foreign Office personnel involved in the handling of Argentine matters within the German Government, both at the German end and the Argentine end?
What were the plans (completed, projected, or otherwise) for the use of Argentina for German purposes? Are documents available in which such subjects are discussed? If so, the documents should be obtained and promptly transmitted. It should be borne in mind in this connection that we are concerned with the participation of the present Argentine regime in any German plan as well as the use of Argentina by Germany as a base for penetration elsewhere in this hemisphere (such as Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile) and any German plan to dominate Argentina.
Obtain full story on conspiracy and cooperation with leaders of the Argentine ruling regime, including financial aid to the officials of the present regime, plans for armed aid, bribes, subsidies, technical military assistance, use of other intermediaries (such as Spanish) both before and after the Argentine Revolution of June 4, 1943. In this connection specific information should be sought on Argentine leaders, particularly Colonel Juan D. Perón and General Edelmiro Farrell. Also ascertain the part played by such German agents as Ludwig Freude, important in Argentine construction industry and German community, and SD representatives Becker and Harnisch.87 All files involving Freude, Becker, and Harnisch mentioned above should be photographed and transmitted with greatest dispatch.
Obtain details of German participation in Helmuth case, with which Blancke is familiar.
You should also conduct investigation of Ibero Amerikanisches Institut along same lines as foregoing.

It is expected that you will be sent additional lines of specific inquiry as may be indicated by further developments.

  1. Richard W. Griswold, Economic Analyst, Office of the United States Political Adviser on German Affairs.
  2. Information agency of the German High Command.
  3. Sicherheitsdienst, Nazi Security Service; intelligence and counterintelligence agency headed by Heinrich Himmler.
  4. Hans Harnisch was a key secret agent of the German military intelligence service (Abwehr).