Israeli newspaper Haarertz said Otto Skorzeny (pictured) assassinated rocket scientist Heinz Krug on September 11, 1962
He was Hitler’s favourite Nazi commando, famously rescuing Mussolini from an Italian hilltop fortress, and was known as “the most dangerous man in Europe”.
Decorated S.S. killer Otto Skorzeny later joined Israel’s Mossad as a hitman
Allegations say Skorzeny assassinated rocket scientist Heinz Krug in 1962
Krug worked on Nazi V1 and V2 programmes but vanished from his office
Claimed to be Israeli plot to intimidate German scientists working for Egypt
Adolf Hitler’s most decorated S.S. killer was signed up by the Israeli secret service Mossad after WWII as a hitman charged with eliminating former Nazi rocket scientists.
Israeli newspaper Haarertz said Otto Skorzeny – the brutal but brilliant rescuer of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini who went on to commit war crimes by dressing German troops in American uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge – assassinated Heinz Krug on September 11, 1962.
Krug, 49, was one of a number of Nazi rocket experts who worked on Hitler’s V1 and V2 programmes recruited to work for Egypt to develop missiles capable of wiping out the Jewish state.
Krug was never found after vanishing from his office in Munich.
Now Haaretz reveals: ‘Based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to the Mossad’s archived secrets from half a century ago, Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.’
The most astounding part of the claim is that Lt. Col. Skorzeny – holder of the Knight’s Cross, Nazi Germany’s highest award for valour – was a member of the hit squad.
Haaretz said its sources spoke out about his extraordinary role within the Mossad only if they were not identified.
According to the newspaper, Krug was at the top of the Mossad list for assassination. He was a superstar during the war at Peenemunde, the Baltic island where Wernher von Braun constructed the ‘wonder weapons’ Hitler was convinced would bring Germany final victory.
Haaretz said von Braun offered Krug the chance to go to America with him and other members of the team to work on the rockets which would win the race for space with the moon landings.
It went on: ‘Krug opted for another, seemingly more lucrative option: joining other scientists from the Peenemünde group — led by the German professor Wolfgang Pilz, whom he greatly admired — in Egypt. They would set up a secret strategic missile program for that Arab country.
‘In the Israelis’ view, Krug had to know that Israel, the country where so many Holocaust survivors had found refuge, was the intended target of his new masters’ military capabilities. A committed Nazi would see this as an opportunity to continue the ghastly mission of exterminating the Jewish people.’
Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.
At first Mossad contented itself with a war of harassment against Krug and his comrades: anonymous threatening phone calls at midnight and unsigned letters calling for him to quit his Egyptian assignment.
According to Haaretz, Krug contacted Skorzeny, then 54, because he felt Hitler’s favourite warrior would protect him. American and British military intelligence once labeled Skorzeny ‘the most dangerous man in Europe’ for his remarkable exploits, the most famous of which was flying a gliderborne rescue squad to the top of an Italian mountain to rescue Mussolini from partisans.
‘Krug contacted Skorzeny in the hope that the great hero — then living in Spain — could create a strategy to keep the scientists safe,’ said Haaretz.
But unbeknown to him, the former servant of the organziation which carried out the Holocaust of six million Jews, was already in the pay of Mossad. Haaretz said its sources within the vaunted intelligence services said Skorzeny drove Krug out of Munich in his car with three bodyguards following in a vehicle behind.
Otto Skorzeny – the brutal but brilliant rescuer of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini – was one of the favourite assassins of Adolf Hitler (centre)
Otto Skorzeny with the liberated Mussolini – 12 September 1943
‘He said they would accompany them to a safe place in a forest for a chat,’ reported Haaretz. ‘Krug was murdered, then and there, without so much as a formal indictment or death sentence. The man who pulled the trigger was none other than the famous Nazi war hero. Israel’s espionage agency had managed to turn Otto Skorzeny into a secret agent for the Jewish state.’
Krug’s body was doused in acid and the remains of what were not burned away plunged into a shallow grave. It is alleged that future Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, who was then head of the Mossad’s special operations unit, greenlighted the operation.
Another was Zvi Malkin who had tackled extermination expert Adolf Eichmann when he was kidnapped by a Mossad gang. Yosef ‘Joe’ Raanan, the secret agency’s senior officer in Germany, coordinated the killing.
Skorzeny (pictured) died of cancer, at age 67, in Madrid in July 1975, taking the secrets of his treachery to Nazism to the grave
While it may seem implausible for the state of Israel to hire a man so closely linked with the regime which tried to destroy all Jews, Haaretz went on: ‘The Mossad’s playbook for protecting Israel and the Jewish people has no preordained rules or limits.
‘Mossad has sometimes found itself working with unsavory partners. When short-term alliances could help, the Israelis were willing to dance with the proverbial devil, if that is what seemed necessary.’
But why would Skorzeny work for them? According to Haaretz’s informants, Skorzeny shunned an offer of money from Mossad operatives who met him in Madrid, saying he had enough.
But he did what one thing – to be removed from the list of wanted criminals sought by the world’s top Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. Mossad agreed to fix it.
His Mossad handler arranged a secret flight for him to Tel Aviv where Skorzeny was introduced to Mossad chif Isser Harel.
During this visit, Skorzeny was taken to Yad Vashem, the museum in Jerusalem dedicated to the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. ‘The Nazi was silent and seemed respectful. There was a strange moment there when a war survivor pointed to Skorzeny and singled him out by name as a war criminal,” said Haaretz.
His Mossad handler smoother over the situation by claiming he was his relative and a Holocaust survivor himself.
The new recruit allegedly flew to Egypt and gathered valuable intelligence on German scientists and the front companies supplying them. These included Heinz Krug’s company, Intra, in Munich.
One man went on the record about his hiring, Rafi Eitan who, in 2006 aged 79, became an as head of a political party representing pensioners.
‘Yes, I met and ran Skorzeny,’ Eitan told Haaretz, refusing to confirm more details.
Ultimately, Mossad were unable to persuade Holocaust survivor Wiesenthal to remove Skorzeny from his list of war criminals. Instead the Mossad forged a letter for their new recruit, allegedly from Wiesenthal, saying it had been done.
As well as eliminating Krug, Haaretz said Skorzeny mailed letter bombs to Nazi scientist in Egypt, one of which killed five Egyptians in the military rocket site Factory 333 where German scientists were employed.
Skorzeny died of cancer, at age 67, in Madrid in July 1975, taking the secrets