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The Pond: Secret CIA-like group of WWII

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posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:31 PM
Did you guys catch this article on Y! today?

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Budapest, November 1944: Another German train has loaded its cargo of Jews bound for Auschwitz. A young Swedish diplomat pushes past the SS guard and scrambles onto the roof of a cattle car.

Ignoring shots fired over his head, he reaches through the open door to outstretched hands, passing out dozens of bogus "passports" that extended Sweden's protection to the bearers. He orders everyone with a document off the train and into his caravan of vehicles. The guards look on, dumbfounded.

Raoul Wallenberg was a minor official of a neutral country, with an unimposing appearance and gentle manner. Recruited and financed by the U.S., he was sent into Hungary to save Jews. He bullied, bluffed and bribed powerful Nazis to prevent the deportation of 20,000 Hungarian Jews to concentration camps, and averted the massacre of 70,000 more people in Budapest's ghetto by threatening to have the Nazi commander hanged as a war criminal.

Then, on Jan. 17, 1945, days after the Soviets moved into Budapest, the 32-year-old Wallenberg and his Hungarian driver, Vilmos Langfelder, drove off under a Russian security escort, and vanished forever.

And because he was a rare flicker of humanity in the man-made hell of the Holocaust, the world has celebrated him ever since. Streets have been named after him and his face has been on postage stamps. And researchers have wrestled with two enduring mysteries: Why was Wallenberg arrested, and did he really die in Soviet custody in 1947?

Researchers have sifted through hundreds of purported sightings of Wallenberg into the 1980s, right down to plotting his movements from cell to cell while in custody. And fresh documents are to become public which might cast light on another puzzle: Whether Wallenberg was connected, directly or indirectly, to a super-secret wartime U.S. intelligence agency known as "the Pond," operating as World War II was drawing to a close and the Soviets were growing increasingly suspicious of Western intentions in eastern Europe.

Speculation that Wallenberg was engaged in espionage has been rife since the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged in the 1990s that he had been recruited for his rescue mission by an agent of the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS, which later became the CIA.

About the Pond, little is known. But later this year the CIA is to release a stash of Pond-related papers accidentally discovered in a Virginia barn in 2001. These are the papers of John Grombach, who headed the Pond from its creation in 1942. CIA officials say they should be turned over to the National Archives in College Park, Md.

In February, the Swedish government posted an online database of 1,000 documents and testimonies related to Wallenberg's disappearance. In a few months, independent investigators plan to launch a Web site with their nearly 20-year research into Russian archives and prison records. Russia is building a Museum of Tolerance that will feature once-classified documents on Wallenberg. And the CIA last year relaxed its guidelines to reveal details of its sources and intelligence-gathering methods in the case.

Despite dozens of books and hundreds of documents on Wallenberg, much remains hidden. The Kremlin has failed to find or deliver dozens of files, Sweden has declined to open all its books, and The Associated Press has learned as many as 100,000 pages of declassified OSS documents await processing at the National Archives.

[edit on 28-4-2008 by r32adt3db]

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:31 PM

The Russian, Alexandr Myasnikov, later claimed he had been misunderstood, but Svartz stood firm. His remark, she later reported, "came spontaneously. He went pale as soon as he said it, and appeared to understand that he had said too much."

A few years later the Soviets sent out feelers for a possible spy swap. Envoys indicated Moscow was ready to "compensate" Sweden if it freed Stig Wennerstromm, a Swedish air force officer who had spied for the Kremlin for 15 years.

Though Wallenberg's name was never mentioned, he was considered the only prize worth exchanging for such a high-value spy. The intermediary was Wolfgang Vogel, an East German lawyer who engineered many Cold War prisoner exchanges. But years of halfhearted negotiation ended in no deal.


Nina Lagergren keeps a small wooden box in the cellar of her comfortable Stockholm home. The Russians gave it to her in 1989 when she visited Moscow. It contains her half-brother's diplomatic passport, a stack of currency, a Swedish license for the pistol he bought but never used, and two telephone diaries. Among the entries are Eichmann and Berber Smit, the daughter of the Dutch spy.

They also gave the family a copy of Wallenberg's "death certificate," handwritten and unstamped.

"They anticipated that I would get very moved and understand there was no more hope," Lagergren said.

Instead it reinforced her belief that Wallenberg had lived beyond 1947 and perhaps was even then alive. "This proved we could go on," she said. Today he would be 95, and she concedes he must be dead.

If indeed Wallenberg's death in 1947 was a lie, the question remains: Why was he never freed?

The 2001 Swedish report speculated that the longer he was held, the harder it was for the Soviets to release him. Still, "it would have been exceptional to order the execution of a diplomat from a neutral country. It might have appeared simpler to keep him in isolation," the report said.

The search continues.

Berger, the independent researcher, has submitted a new, detailed request to Moscow to release files on prisoners who shared cells with the missing diplomat and on other foreigners in the gulag; Mesinai hopes to study psychiatric facilities where Wallenberg may have been confined; Ritter, the Hungarian researcher, is tracing the British spy network of Lolle Smit; and historians are awaiting the release of the Pond papers.

Whatever any of this reveals, a 1979 State Department memo puts these questions into perspective: "Whether or not Wallenberg was involved in espionage during World War II is a moot point at this stage in history. His obvious humanitarian acts certainly outweigh any conceivable 'spy' mission he may have been on."

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 05:35 PM
Article Credit: By ARTHUR MAX and RANDY HERSCHAFT, Associated Press Writers

Link: Original Article

[edit on 28-4-2008 by r32adt3db]

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 09:47 PM
Wow. Very interesting. Whenever I read about THE POND or heard about the POND I just assumed CIA.

Interesting article on WW2.

posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:05 PM
No, I didn't thank you.

Man, this good stuff, I was going send you a warning for excessive quote, but since you are new. Just bear in mind, you can quote a small section of the info, and link to the source.

Very interesting story, sounds like you have a keen eye for valuable info.

If you ever get a chance to check out the Research Forum, and would like to participate, just u2u me some time.

posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 12:51 AM
reply to post by ADVISOR

Oops. Sorry for the excessive post.

Oddities do catch my eye and I seem to look at things from much different perspectives. I also have a 'thing' for compiling and organizing information that borders on the OCD sometimes.

What does u2u mean? I will look at the other forums.


[edit on 29-4-2008 by r32adt3db]

posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 06:46 AM
Thank you for posting this r32adt3db, it is a very interesting article and a great find. Information on the Wallenberg's is very hard to come by and although the story of Raoul's assistance to the Jews is well-known there is very little available about his and his families connections to the CIA and the financial assistance that they gave to the 'Nazi' bankers and industrialists. If the contents of those archives are indeed released it should answer more than a few questions.

This is some of the information that I have collected on the Wallenberg's from various books and articles, it is by no means diffinitive but I think it helps provide some background to the article that you have posted and on his families connection to the CIA and the Nazis.

Allen Dulles was the representative of the Wallenberg's in the US, he and his opposite number in Britain Sir Charles Hambro were old friends and shared many business dealings. Hambro's bank had merged with the Wallenberg's Enskilda Bank and it is likely that this is how Dulles met Raoul. I think that it is safe to assume that Raoul was working for the CIA/OSS or vice versa. Hambro himself held shares in both IG Farben and Standard Oil, as well as being the head of SOE (Special Operations Executive) that operated spies in occupied Europe.

Both the FBI and the US treasury, towards the end of the war, launched inquiries into the activities of the so-called neutral Wallenbergs and Enskilda and actually petioned the British government to have them blacklisted. They refused. Hambro sent John McCaffrey, an SOE agent to assist Dulles and to help tie up the investments of UK investors in German industries, just as Dulles was doing ith his clients in the US. Enskilda was integral to this process.

When truman assumed the Presidency, Dulles asked Hambro to write to him and claim that the Wallenbergs were pro-British and that any reports to the contrary were disinformation aimed at damaging their reputation. Truman it appears trusted the word of Hambro and charges against Marcus and Jacob Wallenberg for War Crimes were dropped. This was in no small part due to lobbying from John Foster Dulles. His clients, JP Morgan and National City Bank both used Enskilda to cloak their investments in Nazi Germany.

It seems somewhat likely, and I may be a little jaded, that Raoul may have been attempting to buy favour with the Jewish population and that by saving the Jews he hoped to counter negative reports of his families role in finacing Hitler and the Nazis. I think that this would explain why the Soviets held on to him for so long. The Swedes were far from neutral in the second world war, and though they worked hard to conceal that fact I don't that Stalin would have been completely fooled. Raoul is unlikely to have escaped torture during his interrogation, which would have further caused difficulty in releasing him. The Soviets at that time had no friends, to release Wallenberg would have meant international outcry, with the Soviets word against the rest of the world. Better to kill him or keep him in isolation and play dumb.

Enskilda were successful at cloaking the investments of Ford, Gillette, Kodak, ITT, General Motors and Bosch, and I am sure many others, including those of the British Royal family. They were assisted in this by Dulles' firm Sullivan and Cromwell in conjunction with the German brokerage firm of Albert and Westrick (Westrick visited the US in April to August 1940 at the expense of Texas Oil boss Torkild Reiber).

At the end of the war, many of the peace negotiations were conducted via Sweden. The British Ambassador Victor Mallet seems by all accounts to have been kept in the dark of both the peace talks and the financial shenigans - but as many of these records are still classified it is difficult to be sure. Walter Schellenberg, effectively Himmler's number two, surrendered to the British via Sweden's Count Bernadotte (later assassinated by Mossad and possibly on directions from British Intelligence).

To demonstrate the lengths that the intelligence services were willing to go to to conceal the activities of the 'neutrals' in the second world war I think the following story is very insightful if not entirely relevent. While in prison for war crimes (he received a light sentence and was released early due to liver cancer), Schellenberg wrote his memoirs which he then entrusted to the Swedes to deposit in a Swiss bank. On his release he found that 50% of the hand written memoir was missing and as he had no time to re-write it, his secrets relating to Himmler's association with the Swiss, Swedes and Brits were lost for good. The remaining memoirs were then passed to a historian (Heinrich Fraenkel) to be developed for publication. Shortly after he was visited by another 'eminent' British historian, a former British SIS operative (I haven't as yet worked out who this was, but i have a short list) who asked if he could look the notes over, when the notes were returned to him they had been further pruned. The memoirs were eventually published but by that time they had been thoroughly 'cleansed'.

Further information on Swedish/British/US connections can be found in the following books.

Martin Allen
The Hitler/Hess Deception (Harper Collins, London) 2003
ISBN 0-00-714119-X

Martin Allen
Himmler’s Secret War; The covert Peace Negotiations of Heinrich Himmler
(Chrysalis Books, London) 2005
ISBN 1-86105-889-6

Charles Whiting
Hitler’s Secret War: The Nazi Espionage Campaign against the Allies
(Leo Cooper, Barnsley) 2000
ISBN 0-85052-744-9

Hugh Thomas
SS1: The Unlikely Death of Heinrich Himmler
(Fourth Estate, London 2001)
ISBN 1-84115-306-0

posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 08:26 AM
U2U means "user to user", I see you figured it out by the one I received.

Can be usefull, and keeps another channel of communications open for most members.

posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 08:56 AM
This is a link to the information on 'The Pond' from the CIA archives, it is incredibly sanitised of course, but some interesting names and places are mentioned. Worth a read.

These are the documents that the Swedes have released, I haven't read these yet, the index certainly looks interesting though...

It makes me wonder what it is that they are worried the Russians may have in their archives...the Brits tend to get similarly very twitchy when the Russians announce plans to release. Stalin wasn't much interested in the documents that Red Army captured so much of the World War two archives are still untouched. Quite exciting this one.

posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 09:12 AM
The Pond was responsible for bringing down OSS once it showed it was riddled with spies. John (or Jean) Grombach was the first to learn of the Katyn Massacre ( Stalin killed 15,000 Polish officers) and was told to keep quiet as the Russians were our allies.

The Pond was a private firm unknown to 99% of the people it was spying on. They were supposed to find spies and were very effective at it. They were at one time or another in OSS, CIA and The State Department. Grombach had a source who was a high level member of the KGB who provided him with the names of spies.

However, ten years passed from FDR through Eisenhower and no one acted on firing the spies. As the strategy of the Cold War developed the fact Communist spies had infiltrated our government was too much for Grombach to take. He finally after years of no action by his superiors took the list to a man named Senator Joseph McCarthy. Today historians believe McCarthy was right in his charges, now that old Soviet documents can be researched.

Dulles hatched a plan to feed him fake names through a Pond agent and shatter McCarthy's confidence. The CIA broke its charter and meddled in U.S. politics, created a smear campaign that extended from plays, to film, to TV and radio. All to keep from admitting they had failed to remove Soviet spies from the group!

The story of the Pond as it is being revealed is amazing because they were not a government agency. The question of private firms being used to work in Intel is one we need to discuss as our own CIA feuds with the FBI, etc.

By the way, Pond members were not bound to regulations. My guess is, since we never bombed the trains going to the death camps, we never bombed the concentration camps so people could escape, Raoul was acting on his own.

The story of the Pond was almost lost. When a family discovered CIA, OSS, and other Intel TOP SECRET files in their barn they called CIA- and no one knew about the Pond. There were no documents, until this find. 911 delayed processing the files, which I urge CIA to go public with. The only truly secret spy group based on the British model and sadly, perhaps our most effective. CIA= COVER IT'S ASS.

I have been reading The Pond story since it began coming out in 2004 and hope the historians at CIA (the only branch in the U.S. I wouldn't reform and would in fact expand) release more material.

The way Grombach found out about the Katyn Massacre is a wild, and ugly spy story. He had a French informer that cut the hair of the officers of the Third Reich. This guy had been turned when Grombach discovered he was a serial killer!

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 04:12 PM
reply to post by r32adt3db

Well Yahoo has brought the Pond back

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 04:25 AM
Wallenberg's bank Enskilda was connected with a Dutch bank created by August Thyssen and used by German steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. Before the war Dulles and the Rockerfellers used the Dutch bank as a conduit for Rockerfeller to fund the Nazis.

Rockerfeller was burned by the Bolsheviks who seized Standard Oil's holdings around Baku and refused to compensate Rockerfeller. Rockerfeller it seems funded Hitler to use Germany's Whermacht as his own private army to recapture the Caucuses.

It may even be that the Western Allies knowingly facilitated Rockerfeller and others trading with the Nazis to encourage the invasion of Russia in 1941.

However as the red Army began to roll back the Nazis during 1943, Himmler read the writing on the wall and tried to save the Hungarian Jews to win brownie points for negotiations with the west. Himmler wanted an armistice with the west to give Germany a free hand in the east.

My personal take on this was that the Pond negotiated with Himmler and Hungarian freedom fighters to try and establish a neutral buffer state between Germany and Russia. For example had an independent neutral state in Hungary booted out the Germans in 1943 Stalin would have been obliged to respect it's borders. Similar efforts may have existed in Roumania.

My theory is that US business interests colluded with Himmler and Wallenberg to try and create such a buffer to artificially protect Germany from Soviet advances. Enskilda Bank may also have represented Philips which operated a large factory in Hungary. The Pond tried to rouse Polish slave workers in the Philips factory to arise and start an uprising for Hungarian independence.

I speculate Himmler may have viewed this as his chance to topple Hitler, but that he chickened out ('scuse the chicken farmer pun)

Stalin was looking for evidence of a global capitalist conspiracy against him. With Wallenberg's connections to Dulles and Rockerfeller, it is not hard to guess the real reason why the Soviets imprisoned him.

Viewed in this context WW2 may have been all about Rockerfeller's thirst for revenge for the Rothschilds destroying his oil monopoly with their Middle east oil fields and his determination to destroy the Bolsheviks for taking his Caucuses oil fields off him.

60 million people may have died for Rockefeller's hatred, or revenge and Wallenberg perhaps held the key. Probably Wallenberg was the Pond's most important man in Hungary.

posted on Mar, 4 2012 @ 12:21 AM
reply to post by r32adt3db

It's funny how the different security establishments lose and find things.

I wonder how many documents that should have been released because of valid FOIA requests have been stashed in various barns and disused lavatories?

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