"Mein Gott! Well, show him in, please, Frau Hassler."
Himmler rose from his desk and walked toward the double doors to his office. A moment later, one of them opened; and a tall, blond young man in civilian clothing stepped inside. In his hand was a briefcase. He raised his arm straight out from the shoulder. "Heil Hitler!" he barked.
Himmler raised his right arm at the elbow. "Korvettenkapitän Boltitz, how nice to see you," Himmler said.
"Herr Reichsführer," Boltitz said. "I regret the intrusion on your valuable time, Herr Reichsführer, but I was directed to give this to you personally."
Himmler knew that Boltitz's assignment to the office of Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop meant that he was really Admiral Wilhelm Canaris's man - read spy - in the Foreign Ministry. Canaris was Director of Abwehr Intelligence. Neither he nor von Ribbentrop was really a member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, and Himmler wasn't entirely sure either of them could be completely trusted. "I understand," Himmler said, and put out his hand for the message.
Boltitz opened the briefcase and took from it a clipboard, whose clip held an envelope. He removed the envelope, and then handed Himmler the clipboard and a pen. Himmler scrawled his name, acknowledging receipt of the message, and the young man then handed him the envelope.
"Thank you, Herr Reichsführer."
"Are you to wait for a reply?" Himmler asked.
"No, sir, but I am at your disposal if you wish to reply."
"Just a moment, please," Himmler said, then tore open the envelope and read the message.
Classification: most urgent
Confidentiality: most secret
Date: 15 April 1943 1645 Buenos Aires time
From: ambassador, Buenos Aires
To: immediate and personal attention of the foreign minister of the German Reich Heil Hitler!
Standartenführer-SS Josef Goltz requests that appendix one attached hereto be immediately brought to the attention of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler.
Manfred Alois Graf Von Lutzenberger ambassador of the German Reich to the republic of Argentina begin appendix one
To: Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler
From: SS-Standartenführer Josef Goltz
Subject: operation phoenix, progress report
The undersigned has the honor to report to the Herr Reichsführer-SS the following:
(1) all arrangements have been made to off-load the special cargo aboard the motor vessel Comerciante del Océano Pacífico early in the morning of 19 April 1943.
(2) all arrangements have been made to transport and store the special cargo under the highest possible security once it is ashore.
(3) all arrangements have been made to effect the transport of naval officers from the Graf Spee from their place of internment to Puerto Magdalena on Samborombón bay once the actions described in (1) and (2) above have been accomplished.
(4) the naval officers will first be taken aboard the Océano Pacífico and then repatriated to the fatherland as space becomes available aboard u-boats returning to European ports.
(5) while the undersigned has assumed personal command of operation phoenix since arriving in Argentina, he wishes to acknowledge the contributions made by ambassador Graf Von Lutzenberger and members of his staff, in particular first secretary Anton Von Gradny-Sawz, military attaché Oberst Karl-Heinz Grüner and assistant military attaché for air major FreIherr Hans-peter Von Wachtstein. their immediate grasp of the importance of operation phoenix and their dedication to the principles of national socialism and the Führer has earned my admiration.
Josef Luther Goltz
end appendix one
Excerpted from Secret Honor, by W. E. B. Griffin. © January 10, 2000 , W. E. B. Griffin used by permission of the publisher. No part of this book can be reproduced without written permission from the publisher
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