Quantcast
Connect with us

Nazi letter to Soviet wartime agent found in Japan

Published

on

A birthday letter from a Nazi foreign minister to a legendary spy credited with helping turn the tide of Germany’s advance on Moscow has been found in Tokyo, a book dealer said Tuesday.

Unknown to Adolf Hitler’s regime, Richard Sorge accurately forewarned his Soviet paymasters that the Nazis were preparing to tear up a non-aggression pact and march into western Russia.

Under his cover as a journalist and press attache to the German embassy, Sorge ran a spy ring in pre-war Tokyo, reporting to Moscow what both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were planning.

Historians say the 1938 letter from Joachim von Ribbentrop, marking Sorge’s 43rd birthday and praising his “outstanding contribution” to the embassy in Tokyo, underlines how trusted he was by the Germans — and therefore how valuable he was to the Soviets.

“The letter comes from pre-World War II time. It is interesting in that it allows you to surmise” the Nazis’ trust in Sorge, said Yoshio Okudaira, who works at antique book dealer Tamura Shoten in Tokyo’s Jimbocho district.

ADVERTISEMENT

The letter came with a signed photograph of Ribbentrop, who was Hitler’s foreign minister from 1938 until 1945.

Although Sorge was a German national and a Nazi party member, he spent part of his childhood in the Soviet Union and was a committed communist who later began spying for Moscow.

In 1933, at the Soviets’ behest, he moved to Japan as a correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Vital information –

Known for his womanising and heavy drinking, Sorge was also a keen political observer whose insights brought him respect, and ultimately, high-level access inside the German embassy.

He became a personal aide to German ambassador Eugen Ott, a position that gave him an excellent vantage point on Nazi policymaking, and made him privy to vital information about the German war machine.

ADVERTISEMENT

It was there that he learned of Hitler’s intention to unilaterally revoke the non-aggression pact with Moscow and invade the Soviet Union from the west.

While the Soviets did not fully believe this intelligence at the time, they did act when Sorge told them he had learned Japan did not intend to invade Russia from the east, preferring to concentrate on winning territory in resource-rich Southeast Asia.

This vital information allowed Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to reposition vast military resources from the far east to the west, helping to turn back the advancing German army in late 1941.

ADVERTISEMENT

Okudaira said this snapshot of history came as part of a bundle of Nazi-related documents brought in by a customer who was disposing of a dead relative’s collection.

“I thought, ‘Here is interesting stuff,'” Okudaira told AFP, adding that the customer did not know the nature of the letter.

Okudaira said the letter and photograph would be auctioned off, although he cautioned that they were written by Ribbentrop’s secretary, making them relatively ordinary administrative documents.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sorge’s spy ring was broken up by the Japanese authorities. He was disavowed by the Soviets and hanged by Japan in 1944, although posthumously rehabilitated by post-Stalin Russia.


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

Published

on

Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

Published

on

Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

Published

on

A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image