Zion Island 36 19 October 2022.

Reichsarchiv.  Nachlasse Bach-Zalewski.  Private files–Miscellaneous.

Transcript of Recording.  Private Meeting held at the Villa Remoulade[1] near Theresienstadt.  3 July 1950.  Meeting began at 9:00 PM. 


EZB: Yes, of course.  Well, you certainly have landed on your feet. 

WB: I’m a paratrooper, we’re supposed to land on our feet. 

EZB: Laughter. 

EZB: Even so, I might not have expected so much after Latvia.  How do you find the Abwehr? 

WB: It’s an odd collection of people.  Very varied in personalities and interests.  Most of them are very able….in their own sphere of interest.  General Gehlen[2] is a superb leader for such a crew. 

EZB: You’ve been some places?  Done some things…of a covert nature? 

WB: I’ve been some places, done some things.  Although I can’t talk about those any more than I can about my current mission. 

EZB: No, of course not.  I’m just trying to get a sense of things. 

EZB: And your sergeant, Arpke is it? 

WB: We’ve been together for a long time.  Since Gibraltar.  Comrades, friends really.  You know how this is among soldiers.

EZB: Yes.  Shared experience of remarkable things builds a bond.  Another drink? 

WB: If you’re having one. 

EZB: I am. 

EZB: So, you two are settled in town.  I hope that the accommodations are satisfactory. 

WB: The accommodations are very comfortable.  And so many possible exits to several different streets. 

EZB: I thought that someone from the Abwehr would appreciate that.  Have you seen any trace of Lange’s little watchers? 

WB: Yes, although it is being done with a light and skillful touch.  Rather Hungarian really. 

EZB: He likes to know everything that is going on.  He watches the immigrants like a hawk, of course, but also everyone else. 

WB: Even you? 

EZB: Even me.  He’ll want to know what you are up to. 

EZB: Well, it’s getting late.  We both have much to do, so I’ll let you be on your way.  I hope that we can talk again from time to time.  If you are going to be here for some time.  Please contact me directly if I can be of any assistance to your mission. 

WB: Thank you.  General, I’m still very grateful for your help in Latvia. 

EZB: Unexpected things come up.  We deal with them as best we can under the circumstance.  Good night, Colonel. 

WB: Good night, General. 

[1] The Villa Remoulade is a two-story brick residence with verandas on both levels all around the house.  The house was built by a banana planter in the Twenties and requisitioned by the German government in 1941.  It is on the outskirts of Theresienstadt.  Set in the midst of an elaborate garden of tropical plants and surrounded by a stone wall (with broken bottles cemented into the top), it is a calm and very private place.  Bach-Zalewski occasionally spent week-ends there and seems to have used it for private meetings as well.  

[2] Reinhard Gehlen (1902–).  Son of a former officer; joined the “Reichswehr” of the Weimar Republic in 1920; slow climb up the ranks; graduated from the Staff College (1935) and joined the General Staff (1936); various increasingly responsible positions thereafter; appointed head of “Foreign Armies East” (military intelligence, Eastern Front broadly conceived) (1940-1944); replaced Admiral Wilhelm Canaris as head of the Abwehr after the “20 July Plot” (1944). 


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