The spy story that helped derail Lady Renouf’s Dresden trial

Sir Frank Renouf (above left) with his close friend and colleague for many years, Hermann Abs, widely accused of financial ‘war crimes’

H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton today reveals an extraordinary Second World War spy story – previously unknown to military and intelligence historians.

This story was one of the reasons for Dresden prosecutors’ abandonment of their prosecution of Lady Michèle Renouf three months ago. It had taken two and a half years for this prosecution to come to court.

Lady Renouf was charged with having committed ‘holocaust denial’ during an impromptu speech at a public commemoration in Dresden in 2018. Part of her ‘crime’ was to state that it had not been “exceptionally cruel” for Germany to intern Jews, given the fact that organised Jewry had declared war on Germany and that its representatives were closely involved in various forms of overt and covert warfare on the British (and later Soviet and American) side.

Lady Michèle and Sir Frank Renouf

H&D‘s Peter Rushton was a research consultant to the Renouf defence, and today he releases part of a dossier that would have caused great embarrassment to the German and British authorities had the case come to trial.

This reveals the existence of a previously unreported spy at the heart of the Third Reich – half-Jewish banker Robi Mendelssohn, partner in his family bank Mendlessohn & Co., the largest private bank in 1930s Germany.

Mendelssohn was an MI6 agent in wartime Berlin, meeting with British intelligence officers during his business trips to neutral Stockholm.

The case raises numerous previously unreported questions about the state of British intelligence regarding wartime Germany, including the so-called ‘Holocaust’.

Robi Mendelssohn: half-Jewish banker and MI6 spy in wartime Berlin

And it is of special relevance to the Renouf case because for complex reasons it turns out that MI6 spy Robi Mendelssohn was the man who convinced British occupation authorities to reinstal accused ‘war criminal’ Hermann Abs at the centre of reconstructing Germany’s postwar banking system.

Abs went on to be the closest colleague and friend of Lady Renouf’s former husband Sir Frank Renouf, who was awarded the Verdienstkreuz (Germany’s highest civilian honour) for his work with Abs in transforming German investment banking.

Click here to read today’s extraordinary story at the Renouf trial blog: modeltrial.blogspot.com

Further details will appear in the March edition of H&D.

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