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8. The post-war conspiracy between the United Kingdom and Australia to secretly procure German scientists and technicians – some destined to work in the weapons development industry in Salisbury, a suburb of Adelaide.

‘Britain secretly organised the recruitment and transfer to Australia of scores of leading Nazi scientists and weapons specialists after the second world war, newly declassified Australian government papers disclosed yesterday.

The German scientists sent to Australia under a top secret Anglo-American project codenamed Operation Matchbox included SS and Nazi party members. The leading Nazi-hunting watchdog, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem, yesterday demanded an investigation into the recruitments ordered by Britain and the US, and said Australia was a haven for “holocaust perpetrators and mass murderers”.

According to documents obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, the British government decided within four months of the end of the war to poach “a limited number of German scientists and technicians… on defence research to develop military potential at Germany’s expense.”

Ian Traynor, The Guardian, August 1999.

Some of these men named below agreed to work in America, others in Australia. We have no birthdates and don’t know where and when they died. We don’t know if the Somerton Man is amongst them.


File DEFE 41/38 .. 1 of 3 files.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alan H #

    That’s why there’s so much confusion about whether SM had a matchbox or not. Someone knew of the need to get it out of the public domain.

    July 7, 2021
  2. Nic J #

    Interesting stuff, Peter. When will you be getting a full copy of the list? Assuming it’s in the National Archive in Kew, UK? All the best, Nic

    July 8, 2021
    • Nic J: that’s where I found it, and I’ve got a complete copy of the first of three files. I’ll eventually put them all up in order.

      July 8, 2021

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