The horrifying discovery which forced Winston Churchill to make a massive £840m WWII bribe to Spain has been revealed in an MI6 spy report.
An MI6 spook uncovered a secret meeting between Hitler and fascist dictator General Franco of Spain about entering the Second World War as an ally of Nazi Germany in 1940.
The British spy, known as Agent T, reported the meeting to London, where a panicked Churchill came up with a plan to bribe Spanish generals and businessmen to persuade Franco not to support the Nazis, The Times reports.
Churchill made payments worth about £840 million ($1bn) in today’s money to prevent Spain entering the war.
The bribary was revealed by Ángel Viñas, author of Bribes: How Churchill and March Bought Franco’s Generals.
He claims that Agent T was a member of the Falange secretly working for MI6 – paid 5,000 pesetas a month.
It comes after a chilling album of mugshots that helped bring scores of Nazi war criminals to justice was unearthed more than 70 years later.
The gallery of Hitler’s henchmen involved in the Holocaust was assembled by an Allied intelligence officer whose job was to interrogate the monsters.
A vital part of the questioning was to get them to provide an authentic signature to compare it with handwriting of Nazi officials who signed off orders for war atrocities.
This key evidence which helped convict the war criminals was one of the main reasons why so many Nazis tried to burn millions of documents as the Allies advanced on Berlin towards the end of the Second World War.
The album, titled Nazi Cavalcade, was compiled by officer Hank Schardt, who was born in Germany but emigrated to America at the age of eight.
It is being sold on September 7 and is expected to fetch £18,000.
The album contains 230 individual signatures from high ranking military officers, political leaders, diplomats, factory owners and heads of institutions like banks who stood trial and helped give evidence during the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg in 1946.
Among the high-profile Nazis he quizzed and who feature in his dossier were Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering.
Mr Schardt’s description of the monster reads: “Director of the FOUR YEAR PLAN. Looter of priceless European Art Treasures, Nazi ‘Glamour Boy’ Designer of Uniforms, Drug addict, on trial in Nuremberg on all four counts of the indictment.”
At the historic war trials Goering was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to hanging. But on the eve of his execution he managed to kill himself by taking cyanide.
One of Hitler’s favourite generals, Alfred Jodl, is featured in the album. He is described in it as an ‘active leader in the development of the Nazi war machine’. He too was found guilty and executed.
German Admiral Karl Donitz, who succeeded Hitler after his suicide in April 1945, was described as the ‘second Fuehrer of the Third Reich’ by Mr Schardt. He was convicted of war crimes but sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel was the third highest ranking Nazi to be tried at Nuremberg. He is described in the album as ‘one of the most active military leaders of Germany’ and was sentenced to death.
Joachim von Ribbentrop is one of the most vilest Nazis featured. He played a key role in brokering the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact, which paved the way for Germany to invade Poland and start the Second World War. He was sentenced to death and hanged.
Julius Streicher, a man whose anti-Jewish beliefs were so strong even other Nazis condemned his excessive behaviour, is also in the file.
Although he was not a member of the military and played no part in planning the Holocaust, his pivotal role in inciting the extermination of Jews was significant enough for prosecutors to include him in the indictment of major war criminals at Nuremberg.
He was found guilty of crimes against humanity and hanged.
One of the more unusual entries is Hanna Reitsch, who was a pilot. She flew to Berlin in the hope of airlifting Hitler out before the Russians arrived.
In the event he refused and chose to kill himself. Mr Schardt wrote that she was one of the last people to see Hitler and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels alive in the bunker.
She was held for 18 months before being released and died in 1979.
The album is now being sold in Britain by a private dealer.
Matthew Tredwin, of C&T Auctioneers of Ashford, Kent, said it was a truly unique and historical archive.
He said: “Hank Schardt’s job was to interrogate German officials and high ranking officers.
“He made them sign these documents under the wording ‘this is my signature’.
“This was done so they could prove that it was the same person who signed documents ordering war atrocities and that they could not claim their signature had been forged at the time.
“They were quite possibly the last signatures some of these people gave before they were hanged.
“The album is extremely extensive and also contains mugshots of many of the war criminals.”
Mr Schardt was born in Thuringa, Germany, in 1918 and emigrated to Chicago in 1926. In 1937 he joined the US Army and was later assigned to army intelligence in Europe during the war as he could speak fluent German.
Most of his work involved interrogating captured German officers and officials.
During the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 he was awarded the Bronze Star for his interrogation of English-speaking Germans posing as Allied troops.
At the end of the war he was assigned to an intelligence unit at Nuremberg, processing, interrogating and cataloguing both German field grade officers and political officials to compile this dossier.
After Nuremberg he remained with the US Army before joining the CIA. He retired in 1976 and was awarded the CIA Intelligence Medal of Merit. He died in the 1990s.
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