Schellenberg file photo [976]

Walther Schellenberg

Given NameWalther
Born16 Jan 1910
Died31 Mar 1952


ww2dbaseWalther Friedrich Schellenberg was born at Saarbrücken, Germany and grew up in Luxembourg after the French occupation of Saarland in 1918. He attended the University of Marburg and the University of Bonn and studied medicine then law. He was fascinated to the point of obsession with Renaissance politics and especially the philosophy of Machiavelli.

ww2dbaseIn May 1933, Schellenberg joined the SS and moved up the ladder very quickly, specializing in counter-intelligence operations alongside of Reinhard Heydrich. In Nov 1939, he played a major role in the Venlo Incident in the Netherlands which led to the capture of two British agents, Major Best and Captain Stefens. Between 1939 and 1942 he was Heinrich Himmler's personal aide and deputy leader of the Reich Central Security Office. In 1940, he went to Portugal in attempt to kidnap the Duke of Windsor and try to persuade them to work for the German cause; the attempt failed as he was not able to intercept him. In 1944 he became the head of foreign intelligence after unsuccessfully attempting to succeed Heydrich as the head of the RSHA.

ww2dbaseWhen the defeat of Germany was looming, he was sent to Stockholm to work with Count Folke Bernadotte, through him some German leaders hoped for a separate armistice with the western Allies. The attempts failed as the western Allies pressed for an unconditional surrender by Germany on all fronts. After the war, he was arrested while attempting to arrange his own surrender. He escaped immediate imprisonment by testifying against his former colleagues at the Nuremberg trials. In Apr 1949, he was sentenced by the Ministries Trial to six years in prison, but was released in 1951 from serious liver conditions. During his imprisonment he wrote his memoirs, the Labyrinth. He died of cancer in Turin, Italy in 1952.

ww2dbaseSources: the Fall of Berlin, Spartacus Educational, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2006

Walther Schellenberg Timeline

16 Jan 1910 Walther Schellenberg was born.
1 Dec 1944 Walther Schellenberg was given command of the anti-Soviet counterintelligence units Walli I and Walli III, which he combined into Branch F of the Militärisches Amt (Mil Amt).
31 Mar 1952 Walther Schellenberg passed away.

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