Office of the Provost Marshal General
Washington 25, D. C.

16 July 1944.
  SPMGA (75)  
  MEMORANDUM to Colonel Tollefson.  
          Subject:  Prisoners of War Who Have Acted As Informants for American Intelligence.  
          1.        Reference is made to the murder of Werner Drechsler at Prisoner of War Camp, Papago Park, Arizona, for which seven prisoners of war have recently been charged.  The investigation in that case indicated that Drechsler had been used as an informant by G-2 or ONI to assist in the interrogation and processing of prisoners at Meade or some other installation in this vicinity.  After his usefulness had been exhausted Drechsler was shipped to Papago Park for imprisonment.  He was a submarine man, and Papago Park detains numerous Navy prisoners.  Drechsler was recognized as a traitor to Germany and was murdered.  This result could or should have been foreseen, to put it mildly.  
          2.        We have had at least one other example of prisoners of war who have been used as informants by G-2 or ONI being shipped out to camps where they might be recognized by prisoners whom they had previously interrogated.  In this instance, as I recall it, when the facts came to the attention of this office we issued an order freezing them at a prisoner of war camp where they were comparatively safe.  I can look this up if you want the details.  
          3.        It is recommended that some arrangement be made between this office and G-2 and ONI so that we will be alerted when prisoners who have assisted the American authorities are transferred to normal imprisonment.  Under the present system, the responsible officers who are transferring such prisoners without taking any steps to provide for their safety are bringing about their deaths more rapidly and efficiently than our courts-martial are trying their murderers.  
                                                                                         R. E. Guggenheim,  
                                                                                         2nd Lt., CMP.  


    Form No 0115
23 March 1914
  The following order indicated:  
1 PRISONER OF WAR DIVISION-Attn:  Legal Branch  (Initials)
2      (Name or title)          (Organization)          (Building and room)  
28 July 1944
          With reference to the attached memorandum subject, "Prisoner of War Informants", it must be clearly understood that we cannot set up a camp especially for this type of person.  If he is an anti-Nazi, send him to an anti-Nazi camp, but do not attempt to provide for special categories of persons, because in the general movement of prisoners such special categories will entail too great a burden.  
          I have no objection to attempting to provide for informants.  It appears that about all this plan provides for is to have G-2 notify us as to who is an informant and who is not.  
         (Name or title)                (Organization)                (Building and room)  (Telephone)


  Lt. Guggenheim/mil/79631
  2 August 1944.
SPMGA (75)  
3 August 1944.
  MEMORANDUM to Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2.  Attention of  
                                    Colonel Russel H. Sweet, Chief, C.P.M. Branch, M.I.S.  
                      Subject:  Prisoners of War Who Have Acted As Informants for American Intelligence.  
          1.        In a few instances prisoners of war who have assisted G-2 or ONI, and subsequently have been released for normal imprisonment, have been recognized as informants by other prisoners in a prisoner of war camp, with the result that reprisals were taken against them.  
          2.        It is requested that this office be notified when prisoners who have acted for American Intelligence are ready for release to normal imprisonment, in order that steps may be taken to safeguard them.  
                     For the Provost Marshal General:  
                                                                      Francis E. Howard.  
                                                                        Colonel, C.M.P.  
                                                                  Director, Prisoner of War Division.  
  Lt. Guggenheim/mil/mm/POW DIV  




1st Ind.
  Captured Personnel and Material Branch, M.I.S., War Department, Washington 25, D. C. 9 August 1944.  
  To:  Prisoner of War Division, Office of the Provost Marshal General, War Department, Washington 25, D. C.  
          1.        Since a high percentage of prisoners is giving information at this time, it is not considered necessary to make special note of this fact.  
          2.        In certain specific instances, where we believe the individual will be endangered by work that he has done for M.I.S., your office will be advised.  
                     For the Chief, Military Intelligence Service:  
                                                                      RUSSEL H. SWEET,  
                                                                        Colonel, General Staff Corps,  
                                                                  Chief, Captured Personnel and Material Branch.  



Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the U-118 page