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The Nazi Redoubt


The most notable individual apprehended was SS Obergruppenfuhrer, Dr. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Chief of all police agencies in the Reich, who was apprehended along with his adjutant, Arthur Scheidler, and two SS guards. Information was received that the party was hiding out with false papers, heavily armed, in a remote cabin near Alt Aussee.


Special Agent Robert E. Matteson, of the 80th C.I.C. Detachment, organized and led a patrol to effect the arrest, climbing over mountainous and glacial terrain for six hours in darkness, and personally confronted his suspects alone and unarmed.  For this exploit, Agent Matteson was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in action.  Subsequent investigation also implicated Dr. Rudolf Prahmara in the hideout plot.  This physician, who was director of an SS hospital in Alt Aussee, and was Orts Kommandant of the town, had been secretly active in several Nazi and SS plans and was evacuated as a security threat.  Likewise evacuated after subsequent investigation was Kaltenbrunner's wife, Elizabeth.


In the same area as Kaltenbrunner and operating under his direction was a group of Sicherheitsdienst officials led by Wilhelm Waneck, Chief of Amt VI-E of the SD.  Along with him was Werner Goesch, who was the leader of an SD Group, whose mission was to draw the United States into war against Russia, and Dr. Wil Hoettl, a representative from this group who assertedly had met with members of the U.S. State Department in Switzerland.  All were arrested along with five other SD officials and a radio transmitter, which had been in contact with Washington and other capitals.  Simultaneously, Paul Neunteufel, Goesch's Chief of Staff, were arrested, operating three more radio sets in another valley  some 50 miles away from the original group.



Members of the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst, the most sought after group in Nazi Germany, and probably the key to Allied control  of underground activity, contributed other personalities in addition to the above.  All told, fourteen members of the Gestapo were  apprehended, including the former head of the Budapest Office, Othmer Trinka and the head of the Vienna office, Franz Huber. Several key figures of the SD were likewise located, among them the actual Chief of the Oberdonau sector.


Several members of Reich Central Government were located,  including Prince Friedrich Christian Zu Scheuhburg-Lipre, Ministerielnat in the Reich Propaganda Ministry, and former adjutant to Goebbels; Dr. Wolf gang Muglberger, head of the press bureau of  the German legation in Berlin; and Victor Mockesch, a former Yugoslavian Priest who turned Nazi and became an official in Fremdsprache, a news agency of the Reich Propaganda Ministry.


The area also proved to hold several ranking members of the Reich  Foreign Office, most notable of whom was Gunther Jettburg, Minister Plenipotentiary to Greece.  Wilhelm Knothe, Nazi General  Consul to Paris was likewise arrested, as was Franz Rothen, advisor to the Chief of the Radio Political Department of the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. More are reported below, concerning Hungary and Croatia.



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