Otto Skorzeny - Mossad Agent
Probably, it is not too convenient to put the topic of forty years ago under the heading "Spite of the Day." But last week this information was leaked to Maariv, and at the same time Yosef Dan did this "news"the theme of the broadcast. Therefore, we ...
We are talking about the work of the most famous of the SS, the head of the SS "special forces", Obersturmbanführer Otto Skorzeny, and Meir Amit, the coordinator of Israeli intelligence services in the 1960s of the last century.
At first, Amit was headed not by the Mossad, but by AMAN — the military intelligence department (analogous to the Soviet GRU). Then he had professional disagreements with the then chief of the Mosad (political intelligence), the legendary Iser Harel.
Harel actually created the Mossad. He succeeded in a series of brilliant operations, the most famous of which was the capture of Eichmann. But over the years, the “lack of amateur” in his work manifested itself, as it were more delicately expressed. Harel preferred to carry out military operations, rather than engage in a painstaking analysis of the extracted intelligence. Amit, a representative of the new generation of Israeli intelligence, was fond of, on the contrary, comprehension and bringing together the information flowing to him. In his opinion, the political agents of the Mossad were used by Harel unreasonably (according to the principle “there is strength — mind is not necessary”).
This conflict escalated at a time when Egyptian President Nasser decided to create his own military-industrial complex. To implement this plan, he invited high-class specialists from Germany who were still developing new systems for Hitler. weapons. In the end, the United States and the USSR used this practice once - why is Egypt worse than them?
German experts designed for Egypt new types of missiles and many other weapons. The security group was in charge of a former SS officer, who was declassified today under the pseudonym Valentine.
Harel tried to solve the problem in his style - to intimidate the Germans. Someone was killed (letters sent by him exploded), someone mysteriously disappeared. But this tactic caused discontent in the Israeli government. Harel intuitively did not trust the Germans and believed that the Bonn government agencies were hiding behind the back of the German engineers in Egypt, that everything that happens in Cairo is a continuation of the same insidious German anti-Semitic policy. However, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion chose a fundamentally different line for the country, aimed at reconciliation with the authorities of the new Germany. Naturally, the killing and intimidation of the Germans in Egypt did not improve Israel’s relations with this country.
The prime minister was dissatisfied with intelligence. Especially since the tactic of Harel did not bring any visible results: the development of Egyptian missiles may have slowed down, but it did not stop at all.
Ben-Gurion made a "personnel revolution" in the Mossad: he displaced Harel, and Ben-Gurion's successor as Prime Minister Levi Eshkol put Meir Amit at the head of the Mossad.
Amit began to look for other approaches to the secrets of the Egyptian program. In particular, he drew attention to the following information: a certain Jew, an industrialist from Germany, had business contacts with a company that belonged to the Spanish wife of the “great SS” Otto Skorzeny.
Here, apparently, it is time to briefly talk about the life of Skorzeny after the war. He became famous mainly in the 1944-45 years fantastically bold operations in the rear of the enemy. For example, abduction in Italy from the captivity of Benito Mussolini or the raids of their saboteurs disguised as Anglo-American in the rear of the Allied armies during the Wehrmacht Ardennes offensive. His soldiers, caught by the enemy’s patrols, were instantly shot as spies, but he himself always managed to get out of escape.
In 1947, the American court acquitted him - he took part only in combat actions of the SS, for which he was decided not to be punished after the war. Skorzeny emigrated from Germany to Spain, got married and became co-owner of a large construction company. He wrote memoirs that were published in many languages. According to rumors and assumptions, he occupied an important place in the secret organization of ODESSA, which was after the war rescuing former SS men from punishment.
It was business contacts of this construction company that Amit decided to use to establish relations with her owner's husband.
Perhaps, even to Amit’s surprise, Skorzeny very willingly responded to the offer to “help a little” the Mossad in Egypt.
A psychological question arises: why did he need it in his old age? The avenging Jews themselves could not threaten Skorzen himself: yes, he was an SS officer, one of Hitler’s most famous and trusted persons, but had no personal connection to the so-called “crimes against the Jewish people.” Therefore, by law, he was not subject to prosecution by any Israeli organization. His activities during the war related to the justice of Germany, the United States, Italy, Britain, but not Israel.
This circumstance facilitated contact with him by Amit, but what was Skorzeny himself looking for?
On the other hand, if he was among the secret leaders of ODESSA, then contacts with Mossad would be useful to him. For contacts in the intelligence always have to pay return services. Nothing connected him with Egypt: assisting Israel in the confrontation with Nasser did not hurt his personal convictions or interests.
In addition, I think he and earnings, of course, come in handy. Like every spy. Meir Amit, however, stipulates that Skorzeny worked for him for free - the only condition was the publication of a book of memoirs in ... Hebrew. “We, however, didn’t try very hard in this direction,” the former chief of the Mossad hypocritically says, “but wrote a preface to it.” As if in Israel 1960-s someone could decide to publish the memoirs of the most prominent SS man without the blessing of "organs"!
But, more importantly, the form of the fee for the book, as is well known to immigrants from Russia, is a favorite opportunity to pay for any secret services, without attracting special attention either to the income of the recipient, or to the costs of the briber. What were both parties interested in?
But what exactly could Skorzeny do for Amit? On his recommendation, Amit’s man entered into direct contact with Obersturmmbanführer’s longtime colleague - with Valentin. ”Through this, with German scientists in Cairo. Soon Amit had a complete program on what exactly German specialists were doing in Egypt. However, cooperation the German military was forbidden to the military-industrial sphere with other countries then. And Amit, instead of killing and robbing someone, simply put this information on the table of Franz Josef Strauss, the German defense minister, With the law, he immediately recalled the citizens of his country from Cairo. Thus, Nasser’s military program was undermined.
Now new details of those contacts have surfaced. Amit’s direct contact with the Egyptian leadership was established along the same line (Skorzeny-Valentin). President Nasser invited Amita to a meeting in Cairo - just before the war, in 1966.
Of course, the decision on such a visit could be taken only by the government of the country. The Levy Eshkol personal adviser on intelligence affairs strongly opposed the visit. It turned out to be ... Iser Harel. And this time he managed to convince the chef: it is too dangerous to rely on the Egyptian word. The circle is closed. The trip of the Israeli intelligence officer to Cairo did not take place. And a year later the war began.
Who knows: if Eshkol had trusted Amit’s instincts then, maybe she wouldn’t exist?