A Nazi Spy in Our Midst

Discussion in 'Conspiracies & Paranormal' started by Ken Anderson, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I could have posted this thread under Family Relationships or in People I Have Known but, since the mystery behind the man was unproven, I thought I'd post it here.

    My parents came to this country from Sweden so, of course, most of my family was Swedish. One of my aunts, my mother's sister, married a German, however. Alvin (which is not his real name) was well involved in family, church, and community affairs, and was very well liked throughout his life. He just passed away a few years ago.

    Before my time, and not long before World War II began, Alvin's brother, Arvid, came to the United States. Arvid bought a place at the end of road that had no other houses on it, outside of a town of just a couple of hundred people in the UP of Michigan, most of whom I was related to.

    Arvid was a bachelor who rarely left the house. My cousin, Alvin's son, was just a year younger than me, and was a friend of mine as well as a cousin, and I'll call him Jerry. Although he lived until I was fourteen years old, I had only seen Arvid twice, and Jerry told me he never visited them either, despite the fact that he had moved there, apparently, because his brother was living there. Jerry said that he had never been in his uncle's house, that when his dad went to see him about something, they always spoke outside. The rumor was that Arvid had been a German spy during World War II, although I didn't believe it, thinking that surely there couldn't be much for a Nazi spy to do in a town of two hundred people, that wasn't even near any larger towns.

    However, not long after Arvid died, Jerry, another cousin, and I went to his house.We went inside through an unlocked window, and I was surprised to find how clean the house was, figuring that a bachelor who never had company would have probably left a mess.

    He didn't have much, actually. His furniture was limited to the bare necessities, and there were only a couple of pictures, and no nicknacks around the house.

    However, all that changed when we got to the attic. His attic was furnished like an apartment, with a bed, dresser, and closet. In the closet, there were two full-dress German uniforms; one was blue and I'm thinking the other was green, but I'm not sure.

    Also in the closet was a box of armbands with the Nazi insignia, with the black swastika in a white circle, with a red base and and a wide strip of gold leaves through the center, horizontally. In another box was a full roll of red ribbon with the swastika imprinted on it. There were letters in German, some clearly showing the Nazi swastika on the outside of the envelope, along with German newspapers and magazines, and a couple of boxes of paper and envelopes, embossed with a swastika.

    There was also a shortwave radio near a window, with an antenna that was, I think, affixed to the side of the house and extending above the roof. It looked like Arvid spent most of his time in the attic, and that the rest of the house was more or less for show.

    I still don't know what to make of it. Were he truly a Nazi spy, I doubt he would moved there with two military uniforms, and wouldn't have kept all of that incriminating evidence lying around, and would probably not have behaved suspiciously. Clearly, his loyalties were with Germany, however, yet he lived outside of a small town and in a community where many people lost their lives fighting in World War II, and certainly not on the side of the Germans. My dad lost three brothers in World War II, and he was in the army for the duration. Perhaps he was transmitting the kind of stuff that people here could have picked up on the radio or in the newspaper. Maybe he was just a nut. I don't know.
     
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  2. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    That is a very though provoking story, Ken. Perhaps he was under the impression that Nazism was a good initial idea but could see that it was getting too radical. I really can only speculate. Or perhaps he thought the war would go in the favor of Hitler and after the USA surrendered , he could dress up in his uniforms and "run" your town. Fortunately, that never happened.
     
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  3. John Stone

    John Stone Member
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    That is a very interesting story. It would be sort of difficult to be a spy in a small town in the UP though. What would he be spying on? Maybe he was just a patriotic person that left before things got really bad towards the end. If I recall the history correctly, the Third Reich pulled Germany out of some terrible economic problems at the beginning of the regime. So maybe he was just remembering that part of the history.
     
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  4. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Very interesting story. I wonder how many more stories of this type are floating around the states, people who at one time may have been an enemy deciding to just live out the rest of their lives in peace and quiet.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    True, a spy in the sense of someone who could be expected to infiltrate US military facilities, research facilities, and war industries, that would probably be unlikely, but one of the documentaries that I watched some time ago said that, prior to the start of World War II, or at least our involvement in it, Germany sent people to various places around the world, including the American continents, where they bought land, explored caves and caverns, and gathered reports on natural resources. Others would involve themselves in the communities in which they settled, perhaps as a sort of sleeper agent. After the start of the war, they would report on seemingly minor things that might be evident to most Americans, but which were not reported in the news (loose lips sink ships), and may not be evident to those in foreign countries.

    People didn't talk much about Arvid, although the stories had to have come from somewhere. If the adults really believed the stories about him being a Nazi spy, I don't know that he would have been left alone. My dad fought in the Pacific and I don't think he ever lost his hatred for the Japanese. I commented once, to the effect that they probably weren't too fond of him either, but I immediately understood that wasn't the right thing to say.

    Here's an interesting story from Bar Harbor, Maine, not far from where I'm living now.
     
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