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Cryptonym: ROBOT

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The declassified CIA Files on Nazi and Japanese Imperial Government war crimes stated that ROBOT was the cryptonym for Josef Mueller, former Abwehr operative and OSS and CIA asset.


CIA document: Research Aid: Cryptonyms and Terms in Declassified CIA Files Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Disclosure Acts: Page 50: ..."Term: ROBOT. Definition: Cryptonym for Josef Mueller..."


11/05/62: Department of the Air Force Intelligence Report: COUNTRY: Poland. PLACE & DATE ACQ.: Germany/2 Nov 62. SOURCE: ROBOT. SUBJECT: (C) Alleged Secret Police Official in Zabrze.


11/06/62: Department of the Air Force Intelligence Report: COUNTRY: Poland. PLACE & DATE ACQ.: Germany/1 Oct 62. SOURCE: ROBOT. SUBJECT: (C) Secret Police Activities in Bytom. "SUMMARY: (U) Location of secret police office, method of recruiting repatriate for spy work, description of secret police agent..."


11/12/62: Department of the Air Force Intelligence Report: COUNTRY: Poland. PLACE & DATE ACQ.: Germany/31 Oct 62. SOURCE: ROBOT. SUBJECT: (C) Recruitment of Agent in Gliwice (Gleitwitz). "SUMMARY: (C) Personal description and biographical data of an agent of the Polish Secret Police. Recruitment methods of Polish Secret Police...II. All information contained in this report is based on statements of Source's brother-in-law in Gliwice, who personally had the experience described in this report, and discussed same with Source. There seemed no reason to doubt Source's reliability, who was cooperative, answered questions willingly, and no inconsistencies in his statements were noted. III. Source furnished the following information about his brother-in-law: Weimann, Georg, DOB: 8 Feb 1926. POB: Gliwice. Trade: Mechanic. Present occupation: Laborer in coal mine Gliwice-Sosnica..."


Undated CIA Draft Working Paper: Chapter Three: Persons From All Spheres of Influence (U): Pages 28-38: ..."ROBOT (U): Josef Mueller, nicknamed 'Ochsenseppi,' (Joe the Ox) was one of OSS's earliest contacts in Munich as an SI source and an agent for X-2. Born in 1898 in Bavaria, Mueller served in World War I and later attended the University of Munich. He settled in the city as a lawyer and became active in the Bayerische Volkspartei, or Bavarian Peoples Party, a wing of the Catholic Center Party, witnessing at firsthand the rise of the Nazis...Mueller's wartime saga illustrated the tangled and furtive efforts of the resistance to Hitler from within the German military establishment...Abwehr leaders early on recognized the usefulness of Mueller's links to high Church circles, which included Father Robert Lieber, a Jesuit aide to Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (who became Pope Pius XII in 1939), and Monsignor Ludwig Kaas, formerly the head of the Center Party in Germany and in exile in Rome. In 1939, Oberst Hans Oster, chief of the Abwehr's Central Office, commissioned Mueller as an Abwehr lieutenant with the clandestine mission of acting as a conduit between the military's resistance to Hitler and the Vatican. Between 1939 and 1943, Mueller estimated that he traveled to Rome at least 150 times from his post in Munich...In April 1943, the Gestapo finally arrested Mueller and searched his home in Munich, uncovering substantial evidence of Mueller's anti-Nazi activities...He was acquitted of high treason, and spent the remainder of the war at various concentration camps, including Buchenwald, Flossenberg, and Dachau. In the final days of the war, the Gestapo transferred Mueller...to Austria and then to northern Italy, where American forces liberated him in early May 1945... Mueller...returned to Germany via military air transport." (CONTINUED BELOW)


Undated CIA Draft Working Paper: "OSS quickly recognized that Mueller could be a valuable source of information about German resistance efforts against Hitler as well as political developments in occupied Bavaria. Henry Hecksher, an officer with the Third Army's Interrogation Center, who later served with SSU and CIA, interrogated Mueller concerning the fate of Admiral Canaris and other members of the German resistance. 'From a brief conversation with Mueller,' Hecksher wrote in 1949, 'I carried away the impression of an unusually forceful, shrewd, and informed man, who even at the time of total internal collapse and national paralysis was laying his plans, with deliberation and diplomatic skill, for a political career.' Like most American intelligence officers, Hecksher 'was particularly impressed by the range of Mueller's political contacts inside Germany and the Vatican. This, coupled with a seemingly untarnished personal and political record, induced me to prevail on the Munich Detachment of SCI to recruit Muller.' Boleslav A. Holtsman served as Mueller's case officer and, according to Hecksher, Holtsman 'succeeded in establishing an unusually close understanding with Mueller, based upon mutual respect and the former's rare understanding of what in Bavaria goes by the name of politics'...After receiving permission to do so in September, Mueller was given the codename of ROBOT...In addition to his work with SSU, Mueller also assisted the War Crimes Commission in Nuremberg. Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan, the former director of OSS and briefly a member on the American team for the International Military Tribunal, wanted Mueller to gather information on German resistance to Hitler." (CONTINUED BELOW).


Undated CIA Draft Working Paper: ..."X-2's relations with Mueller dwindled after 1946 for several reasons. His stature in the CSU grew controversial when he ran afoul of both American Military Government officials and the right wing faction of his party. Mueller's contact with the French and the Soviets raised new concerns about his political allegiances as he continued his rise in Bavarian political circles. In addition, (REDACTION) reported in 1947 that, while Mueller was 'very friendly with (REDACTION) in 1946, ROBOT subsequently began to exploit the friendship to assist some of his CSU friends in denazification and other matters. The services he required,' (REDACTION) wrote, 'and the small returns received prompted (REDACTION) to break contact. On a different basis of association, ROBOT is still potentially useful, since he is a shrewd and energetic politician with a good knowledge of 'behind-the-scenes activities.' Mueller's significance to American intelligence can be measured in the leads that he provided. Although CIA continued to meet with Mueller periodically and reported on his activities until the late 1950's, contact with and interest in the German lawyer-spy-politician never took on the same scale as it did during the first year after VE-Day. Mueller continued to play a leading role in early West German political developments. He served as deputy minister president and minister of justice in the Bavarian Government from 1947 to 1950 and then joined the Federal government as minister of justice until 1952. He remained a visible figure in CSU circles until his death in September 1979..."

Gavin McDonald

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