Fake German astrologer duped Brit spies about Hitlers endMarch 4th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by admin
London, Mar. 4 (ANI): A charlatan astrologer duped senior members of British Intelligence into believing that the secret to defeating Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler lay in the stars.
According to a declassified MI5 file released on Monday, Louis de Wohl, a bogus Hungarian nobleman, convinced the British intelligence community that Hitler was obsessed with astrology and made no decisions before consulting his horoscope.
Although MI5 gave warning that de Wohl was a confidence trickster, he managed to persuade senior figures in the intelligence services that Hitler relied on the forecasts of his personal astrologer, Karl Ernest Krafft.
According to The Times, De Wohl assured them that he could replicate the Swiss stargazers predictions, the file, released by the National Archives at Kew, revealed.
So impressive was his apparent unique understanding of Hitlers psychology that the Special Operations Executive (SOE) sent him to the United States in 1941 to persuade the Americans that the Fuhrers dependence on his star sign Taurus with Libra rising made him vulnerable. De Wohl became a key part of Churchills black propaganda attempt, masterminded by William Stephenson in America, to woo the United States into joining the Allies against Hitler before the Japanese made it inevitable by bombing Pearl Harbor.
He went on a lecture tour of the United States to try to convince the American public that horoscope-mad Hitler could be defeated. It proved a success.
Dick White, later head of MI5 and then MI6, noted in March 1941, when asked to comment on the report that de Wohl had been appointed official astrologer to the War Office: I dont like having decisions . . . made by reference to the stars rather than MI5.
However, the MI5 file indicates that de Wohls astrological magic impressed many leading figures during the early 1940s, especially Admiral John Godfrey, the director of Naval Intelligence, who found Hitlers erratic strategies hard to understand, and Sir Charles Hambro of SOE, who thought that the astrologer was a splendid chap and would not hear a word against him.
Christopher Andrew, a Cambridge professor and intelligence historian who is writing the official history of MI5, said: Actually, Hitler regarded astrology as complete nonsense, but the belief that he paid attention to horoscopes entered the corporate mind of the JIC.
De Wohl, who liked to call himself the modern Nostradamus, had spent many years in Germany before moving to Britain as an enemy alien in 1935. He wrote an essay on German psychology that was regarded so highly that it was sent to the Vice-Chief of the General Staff.
In return he wanted to be commissioned into the Highland Regiment as he loved to dress up in uniforms.
Although this was frowned upon by MI5, he got his wish when SOE agreed that he should be a temporary captain in the Army. (ANI)
Tags: adolf hitler, british intelligence, charlatan, confidence trickster, dick white, intelligence community, intelligence services, john godfrey, kew, lecture tour, mi5, naval intelligence, nazi dictator, nobleman, operations executive, personal astrologer, special operations, star sign taurus, war office, william stephenson