The Abwehr

  • Michael Balfour
  • Julian Frisby


Helmuth had gone to Berlin on 21 August with a view to finding a job which, if war did break out, would protect him from being called up as a soldier.1 Within a fortnight he had succeeded in getting posted as a War Administrative Counsellor/Kriegsverwaltungsrat to the Foreign Countries Division of the Abwehr in the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (OKW). As early as 11 August officers of the Abwehr realising that in the event of hostilities they would need to strengthen their arrangements for getting advice about international law, had started negotiations with the ‘Institute for Foreign Public Law and the Law of Nations’ which was part of the Society for the Promotion of Knowledge founded in 1911 by Kaiser Wilhelm II (and which still exists though rechristened after Max Planck). Helmuth had had dealings with the Institute in the course of his legal activities and had written articles about Commonwealth law for their journal: he was now recommended to the Abwehr by the Institute’s director Professor Viktor Bruns. No doubt the name of Moltke helped to make him acceptable to the soldiers. Bruns, who was getting on in years, did not himself join the Abwehr but his deputy Ernst Martin Schmitz was given a position parallel to Helmuth.


Position Parallel Foreign Public Commanding Officer Nazi Party Naval Officer 
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  1. 2.
    H. B. Gisevius, Wo ist Nebe (1966), p. 104.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Balfour and Julian Frisby 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Balfour
    • 1
  • Julian Frisby
  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

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