Sweden in World War II - across borders

German intelligence

In 1937 the Swedish legation in Berlin expected that all their telephone conversations could be tapped, and that there also was a risk that normal converstaions in their rooms was tapped. The solution to let Swedes install another telephone system was rejected from Sweden - since such an activity probably would make the German legation in Stockholm do the same ... [s67]

When the president of the Norwegian parliament was sent to Stockholm after the German attack began on Norway on 9 April 1940, he lived at Grand Hotel. He learnt that it was a German spy nest, and that several of he staff worked for the Germans. He was adviced not to sleep there without a guard, and was also asked if he wanted permission to carry a gun. He said no thanks. [s01]

German spies were active in Sweden. Among others a British representative discovered a microphone that hang on a steel wire in the open chimney in his flat. [s48]

Germans and Swedish collaborators were active in Gothenburg, the port in southwestern Sweden that was used for among others the granted Swedish "lejdtrafiken" ships and the British blockade busters. One of them was employeed at the customs office. One activity was to spread dissatisfaction among Norwegian refugees and sailors in Sweden, so they for example would not go to Britain and military training there. [s48]

Sweden now and then learnt that Germany had access to top secret Swedish material. Among others anti-nazist German officers told the military attaches that Germany had access to practically all correspondence from the Swedish legation. [s67]

The secretary of the Swedish minister in Berlin worked for Germany. Among others she handed over carbon papers used when she typed dictated letters. [s67] (Read more under "Berlin, a city with secrets").

Over time the Norwegian resistance learned by their mistakes. A documentation, "Forsiktighetsdirektivet" (directive about cautiousness), was written. Among the precautions et cetera it was said that even if a person managed to get to Sweden or Britain - Gestapo works in all countries. [s45]

In 1944 the German air attaché in Stockholm defected. Later he said that he had told the Swedish authorities, who questioned him at the defection, about having seen a document originating from the Swedish foreign office. He also had told that it was a common view on the legation that they had a contact from the Swedish foreign office. [s67]

In January 1945 secret reports from the Swedish military attaché in Berlin found the way to the Germans. Among others it was written that three Swedes in a German unit had handed over secret German military information to the Swedish military attaché. This may be the reason why their commander, also a Swede, lost his position as commander. [s50]

2013-10-27. www.granfoss.se. Text/pictures: Arne Granfoss