Alfred Helmut Naujocks, alias Hans Müller, Alfred Bonsen, or Rudolf Möbert (20 September 1911 – 4 April 1966), was an SS-Sturmbannführer (Major), and took part in a staged incident intended to provide the justification for the attack on Poland by Nazi Germany, which in turn provoked the Second World War in Europe.
Naujocks was born in Kiel and attended the University of Kiel where he studied engineering and, after an incomplete apprenticeship as a precision mechanic, he led an undercover attack on an Anti-Nazi radio station in the village of Záhoří, near Slapy, Czechoslovakia on 23 January 1935. Black Front activist Rudolf Formis was killed in the incident. Naujocks later confessed to the murder whilst in American custody in 1944.
World War II
On 31 August 1939, he led the attack on the German radio station Gleiwitz, one of twenty-one similar concentrated attacks that the Germans quickly attributed to the Polish. These attacks, but not explicitly the Gleiwitz incident, formed Hitler's justification to the Reichstag regarding the necessary "pacification" of Poland.
Author and researcher Jak P Mallmann-Showell suggested from his investigations that Naujocks' claims may very well be a fabrication on his part to curry special handling by the Allies after the war. Showell shows that there is but one source for this tale of a German incursion on the night of 31 August 1939--that source is Naujocks. He goes on to suggest that the Poles may very well have accessed the site to obtain Enigma machine secrets, as the Poles were the earliest to contribute knowledge of the Enigma machine to the allies.
In 1941, he was dismissed from the SD after disputing one of Reinhard Heydrich's orders. He was demoted and had to serve in the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front. In 1943, due to his health, he was sent to the West, where he served as an economic administrator for the troops in Belgium, while involving himself in the deaths of several Belgian Underground members.
After his promotion to Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) he participated in sabotage and terrorist actions against the Danish population from December 1943 until autumn 1944, as a member of the "Peter Group", led by Otto Schwerdt, including the murder of the priest Kaj Munk.
After the war
At the Nuremberg Trials, Naujocks declared the attack against German Radio Tower in Gleiwitz was under orders from Heinrich Müller, the head of Gestapo and his superior, Reinhard Heydrich. Interestingly, according to Mallmann-Showell, there are no other references to this incident outside of Naujocks, himself, .
After the war, having escaped from custody, he worked as a businessman in Hamburg, where he also sold his story to the media as The Man who Started the War.
- Jak P Mallmann Showell, Enigma U-Boats, revised edition (2009), page 166.
- Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 518–519. LCCN 60-6729 Check
- Klimek, Antonín (2003). Vítejte v první republice. Praha: Havran. pp. 251–253. ISBN 80-86515-33-8.
- Alfred Naujocks: Eine verflixt heikle Geschichte (in German)
- Mallmann-Showell, Jak P. (2009), Enigma U-Boats; Breaking the Code, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978-1-59114-238-6
- Stalin enthauptet die Rote Armee: Der Fall Tuchatschewskij (in German)
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