Total Espionage: Germany's Information and Disinformation Apparatus 1932-40

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Total Espionage
Cover of the 2016 Edition
Author(s) Curt Riess (introduction)
Country United States of America
Language English
Genre(s) Politics
Publisher G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
Publication year 1941
Pages 303
ISBN 9781781554517

Cover Text

"Total Espionage was first published shortly before Pearl Harbor and is fresh in its style, retaining immediacy unpolluted by the knowledge of subsequent events. It tells how the whole apparatus of the Nazi state was geared towards war by its systematic gathering of information and dissemination of disinformation. The author, a Berlin journalist, went into exile in 1933 and eventually settled in Manhattan in where he wrote for the ‘Saturday Evening Post’. He maintained a network of contacts throughout Europe and from inside the regime to garner his facts. The Nazis made use of many people and organizations: officers’ associations who were in touch with many who left to help organize the armies of South American countries, and in the USA there were the Friends of the New Germany. German consulates sprang up and aircraft would make unusual detours to observe interesting parts of foreign countries. News agencies and various associations dedicated to maintaining contacts with particular countries were encouraged to supply information. Film studios would send large crews abroad to shoot documentaries as well as perform acts of espionage. Foreign nationals were bribed or blackmailed; and pro-fascist groups in foreign countries were supported via the Auslandsorganization. All Germans living abroad were encouraged to report their observations to the authorities, particular attention was being focused on engineers, technicians, scientists and people in other professions who were particularly likely to obtain valuable information; however, other Germans abroad were also used, even cabaret singers, waiters, language teachers, as well as Germans traveling abroad as tourists. Germans living abroad were exempt from mobilization because of their value as spies. Foreigners were given opportunity to study in Germany, and connections with them were kept in the hope that they would one day provide useful information. All of this was Goebbels’ ‘Total Espionage’."

About the Author

Curt Riess was born of Jewish-German origin in Wurzburg, Germany in 1902. As a young man, Riess studied in Paris, Munich, and Heidelberg, and spent time working as a merchant in both New York and Berlin. On a business trip to the USA he discovered his talent for journalism and decided to pursue a career in the industry. Riess’ first journalistic position was for a liberal 12 o’clock worksheet in Berlin, for which he also edited the sports section and throughout the 1920s he toured Europe as a reporter and film and theatre critic. In 1933, Riess was forced into exile and finally settled in Manhattan where he wrote for the Saturday Evening Post. Throughout the Second World War, he was heavily engaged in anti-German activity, serving as a spy, and then, once the USA had joined the Allies, as a specialist in the United States Navy. His final military job was as a war correspondent for the Army, and as such he became well known for his anti-German propaganda.

Table of Contents

Foreword: It Isn't Done with Mirrors 7

  • Introduction to the 2016 Edition 11
  • A Biographical Summary of the Life of Curt Riess 17

Part I The Revolution of Espionage 19

  • Colonel Nicolai takes a trip 19
  • A meeting 23
  • Architect Himmler 27
  • The end of the Romantic Era 30
  • B4 can't convince Baldwin 37

Part II Maginot Line of Espionage 43

  • The dangerous age of the Deuxieme Bureau 43
  • What price USA? 52
  • Splendid isolation of the IS 60
  • Chismes and Chistes 64
  • Lord Runciman goes to Prague 70
  • The case of the German tanks 73

Part III Peace in Our Time 83

  • Hess, the organizer 83
  • The dual foreign politics 91
  • Herr Bohle covers the globe 104
  • The special envoys of Dr Goebbels 112
  • Schools for spies 120
  • Mobilization in our time 126
  • Intermezzo: Clouds of spies 135

Part IV The Debacle 139

  • The friends of Monsieur Bonnet 139
  • Paris: Spy centre 146
  • B4 has an idea 155
  • Curtain for France 160

Part V Tomorrow-the World 171

  • Hjalmar Schacht does his bit 171
  • Espionage in the Lebensraum 178
  • Eugen Ott goes to Japan 185
  • Spy Axis 192
  • Casa Chica 197
  • No secrets in South America 203

Part VI The Counterrevolution of Espionage 211

  • Awakening 211
  • B4 acquires allies 217
  • Twilight 221
  • Story of a strange flight 231
  • FBI 235
  • The Unknown soldiers of espionage 244
  • Chronology 253
  • Endnotes 259

Other Works by this Author

Publication Data

Total Espionage, Curt Riess, 1941, G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, ISBN 9781781554517

External Links