740.00119 Control (Germany)/9–647: Telegram
The Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State
3043. Tagesspiegel and Telegraf, September 5, first reported mysterious disappearance Minister President Rudolf Paul of Thuringia and wife September 1, last seen motoring direction Berlin. Western licensed Berlin press September 6 continues reference this sensational news, reporting inter alia strict police control throughout Thuringia and along Soviet zone border, evidently connected efforts locate missing Paul. Thus far, Soviet licensed press has not mentioned case.
For Department’s secret information only:
Following preliminary contacts with CIC agents some weeks ago, Paul and wife fled Berlin September 1, requesting reception American zone as political refugees. His defection from SED–SMA bandwagon is obviously most sensational such case to date, and intelligence agencies now questioning him in Heidelberg hope obtain much interesting information. His statements regarding election practices, political arrestees, reported existence concentration camps et cetera in Soviet zone may also prove valuable coming CFM. We have long regarded Paul as complete opportunist, until now willing to go far in SED service. He claims he decided to take this step only recently, when high Soviet official Thuringia told a German friend that Paul and his kind would be gotten rid of following London CFM, when “remaining bourgeois elements will be liquidated from leading positions Soviet zone”.