280. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1
- Brandt Resignation—Possibility of Sex Scandal
Until now, it has been supposed by many that Chancellor Brandt resigned in the belief that it was his duty to bear responsibility for the Guillaume spy case. There are now reports in the German press that the threat of blackmail by the East German agent Guillaume was a major factor in Brandt’s decision to resign. The reports allege that Guillaume was aware that Brandt was having extra-marital relations and that he threatened to expose Brandt if he were not released to East Germany without being subject to prosecution.
It is being reported that CDU/CSU circles and their supporters, including the Springer press, are in possession of the details which underlie these reports, and it is quite possible that they will unleash a campaign against Brandt. These possibilities may well have moved Brandt to take the decision to resign.
We have obtained information on this matter from a German security official who has been participating directly in the Guillaume investigation. This source reports that German Security Group personnel assigned as bodyguard detail to former Chancellor Brandt have been questioned under oath. These interrogations brought to light the fact that numerous females had been brought to Brandt’s quarters both at home and in hotels while he was away. Guillaume was present on most of these occasions. The guard personnel were not able in most instances [Typeset Page 866] to identify the females but the guards’ statements specify that the women visited Brandt and Guillaume for periods up to six hours, mostly at night.
Summary: Kissinger discussed Brandt’s resignation as West German Chancellor.
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 61, Country Files, Europe, General, German Exchange (1 of 3). Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Outside the System. Sent for information. Scowcroft initialed the memorandum on Kissinger’s behalf. Brandt resigned on May 6. He was succeeded as Chancellor by Helmut Schmidt on May 16.↩