How a German SS Commando Skorzeny Became an Assassin for Israel
German scientist Heinz Krug vanished on September 11, 1962. Krug was at his office, and then he was gone without ever returning home.
The only other detail known to the Munich police was that Krug often went to Cairo. Like dozens of other Nazi rocket scientists, he had been hired by Egypt to help them develop advanced weapons.
The Israeli newspaper HaBoker (now defunct) claimed that the Egyptians had kidnapped Heinz to keep him from doing business with Israel. The “leak” was an attempt by the Israeli government to keep investigators from looking too closely at the case. Although the 49-year-old scientist wasn’t going to be found either way.
Based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to Mossad archives from the last 50 years, it is now known that Krug was murdered by Israel to intimidate German scientists working for Egypt.
More amazing is the discovery of who committed the murder. Otto Skorzeny turned out to be one of the Mossad’s most valuable agents. He was also a former lieutenant colonel in the Nazis’ Waffen-SS, one of Hitler’s favorite among their commando leaders. The Führer gave Skorzeny the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, the most prestigious medal in the German army, for leading the operation that saved Benito Mussolini from his captors in 1943.
By 1962, Skorzeny was working for the Mossad, which translates from Hebrew to “The Institute for Intelligence and Special Missions.”
One of the Mossad’s top priorities had been stopping German scientists from working on Egypt’s rocket program. Krug and other German scientists had received threatening messages for several months before his death. In Germany, they received phone calls in the middle of the night to quit the Egyptian program. In Egypt, some received letter bombs.
Krug was near the top of the Mossad’s list of targets. During World War II, Krug was a member of a team of superstar scientists at Peenemünde, a test range on the Baltic Sea coast. The top German scientists worked there under Wernher von Braun. There they engineered the rockets used in the Baby Blitz that had a massive impact on England in the second half of 1944. They had larger goals of building rockets with longer range, better accuracy, and more power.
According to the Mossad files, von Braun invited Krug and other scientists to join him in America 10 years after the end of the war. Von Braun, nearly cleared of charges from the war, was leading a missile development program in the U.S. He became one of the fathers of the NASA space program. Krug, instead, chose a more lucrative option: working in Egypt for the German professor Wolfgang Pilz with other scientists from Peenemünde. There, they set up a secret missile program.
In Israel’s opinion, Krug must have known that Israel would be the target for the Egyptians’ new missiles. As a committed Nazi, they believed he would take the opportunity to continue working toward the Final Solution.
The phone calls and notes were driving Krug crazy. He and his coworkers knew that they were coming from the Israelis. In 1960, Israeli agents kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, one of the Holocaust’s chief administrators, in Argentina. They managed to smuggle him to Jerusalem, where he was tried and executed.
Krug knew the Israelis were coming for him, too. That is why he turned to Skorzeny, the Nazi hero. The one man able to save him.
On the day he vanished, sources say that Krug left work to meet with Skorzeny.
Skorzeny was 54 years old at the time. By this point, he was a legend. He was a dashing, innovative military man. He grew up in Austria. The trademark scar on the left side of his face came from an over-zealous fencing match as a youth. He rose through the ranks to lieutenant colonel in the Waffen-SS. Because of his success as a guerilla commander, Hitler recognized him as a man who would go above and beyond, stopping at nothing to complete his mission.
His exploits made him an inspiration to Germans and gained him the grudging respect of Germany’s enemies. He was labeled by American and British intelligence as the “most dangerous man in Europe.”
Krug drove Skorzeny in his white Mercedes north out of Munich. Skorzeny said that he had arranged for three bodyguards, who were following behind. They would stop in the forest at a safe location to chat. When they arrived there, Krug was executed – without a trial, without even a formal indictment. The executioner was Germany’s hero. Israel had managed to turn him into a secret agent for the Jewish state.
After Krug was shot, the three Israelis poured acid on his body. After waiting for the acid to work, they buried the remains in a previously dug hole. They covered the grave with lime to keep
FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE CLICK LINKClick here for the Top 12 Moments in Jewish History...LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! »