250,119 Pages

Alfred Naujocks

Alfred Naujocks

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.

Early lifeEdit

Naujocks was born in Kiel and attended the University of Kiel[1] 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.[2] Naujocks later confessed to the murder whilst in American custody in 1944.[3]

World War IIEdit

Glivice plaque

Plaque on site commemorating the Gleiwitz incident

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. .[4]

That November, Naujocks (along with Walter Schellenberg) participated in the Venlo incident, which saw the capture of two British SIS agents in the Netherlands.

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.[citation needed]

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.[5]

Circa November 1944, Naujocks turned himself over to American forces, who subsequently placed him in detention as a possible war criminal.

After the warEdit

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, there no other references to this incident outside of Naujocks, himself, according to Mallmann-Showell.

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.

He is alleged to have helped Otto Skorzeny run "ODESSA" in covertly helping former SS officers to escape to Latin America to avoid prosecution.[citation needed]

Naujocks died of a heart attack in Hamburg on 4 April 1966.[6]

See alsoEdit


  • Jak P Mallmann Showell, Enigma U-Boats, revised edition (2009), page 166.


  1. Shirer, William L. (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 518–519. LCCN 60-6729. 
  2. Klimek, Antonín (2003). Vítejte v první republice. Praha: Havran. pp. 251–253. ISBN 80-86515-33-8. 
  3. Alfred Naujocks: Eine verflixt heikle Geschichte (in German)
  4. Mallmann-Showell, Jak P. (2009). "Enigma U-Boats; Breaking the Code". Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-238-6. 
  6. Stalin enthauptet die Rote Armee: Der Fall Tuchatschewskij (in German)

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.