Schellenberg, General Walther, 1911-1952

Schellenberg was an SS General and secret service officer who became Head of Combined Secret Services in 1944. A law graduate of Bonn with a strong interest in and Command of several languages he was much prized by the SS and SD for his culture and intelligence. This won him the patronage of HEYDRICH, Head of the SD (Intelligence and Security Service), when Schellenberg joined in 1934. He was involved in a vast number of plots and subterfuges which he enjoyed enormously and performed well. In 1938 he organized the Einsatzgruppe (Combat Troops) of combined SS, SD and Gestapo under Heydrich’s orders. He was one of the first to enter both Austria and Poland after their take-overs, to carry out operations planned by HIMMLER. In 1939 he was involved in investigating British intelligence operations, an operation in which he posed as a resistance agent to gain the confidence of three M15 agents in Holland. This led to their kidnap by SS troops on neutral territory.

In 1944 Schellenberg became Head of all the secret services after the arrest of CANARIS and the dismantling of the Abwehr. In 1945 he took a leading role in Himmler’s attempt to arrange an armistice with the Western Allies. Schellenberg arranged meetings between Himmler and Count BERNADOTTE in April 1945. When the Reich finally fell Schellenberg was in Denmark still trying trying to arrange a surrender.

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