The Cooperation between the Consular Services of II Republic and Military Intelligence

Wojciech Skóra The Cooperation between the Consular Services of II Republic and Military Intelligence The boundary between the legal gathering of in...
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Wojciech Skóra

The Cooperation between the Consular Services of II Republic and Military Intelligence

The boundary between the legal gathering of information abroad by state services in compliance with the laws of a host country, and the gathering of intelligence information in an illegal way, is difficult to define. In general, it can be assumed that outposts of foreign affairs departments act openly, within the legal system of the foreign state, whereas intelligence services obtain secret information and usually use illegal methods. The intertwining of the two areas of activity is, however, both obvious and necessary. The authorities of each state try to make sure that the information which they gain is, first of all, reliable; the manner in which it has been obtained is less important. Parodying Karl von Clausewitz's classic definition of war, it could be said that intelligence-gathering is the performance of the tasks of foreign affairs services by other means, especially in terms of state security. Foreign affairs departments and intelligence gathering services have overlapping goals, which brings about their partial hybridisation. This phenomenon is at the same time both very common and not very frequently investigated.1 Colonel Stefan Mayer, head of 1

In the Polish historiography devoted to Polish diplomacy the issue has been almost completely disregarded. Studies concerning the activities of the espionage services usually omitted the organisational aspects of the ties and cooperation between the foreign affairs department and intelligence. To some extent, the issue was discussed in the following studies: A. Pepłoński, Wywiad polski na ZSRR 1921-1939, Warszawa, 1996; L. Gondek, Działalność Abwehry na terenie Polski 1933-1939, Warszawa, 1974; L. Gondek, Wywiad polski w Trzeciej Rzeszy 1933-1939. Zarys struktury, taktyki i efektów obronnego działania, Warszawa, 1982; H. Kopczyk, 'Niemiecka działalność wywiadowcza na Pomorzu 1920-1933, Gdańsk, 1970; R. Gelles, "Z dziejów polskiego wywiadu w przedwojennym Wrocławiu", Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis, No. 910 (Historia LXII), 1988. The issue is also to some extent discussed by the latest publications by Henryk Cwięk, Andrzej Misiuk and Aleksander Woźny.

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Polish intelligence and counterintelligence in the years 1930-1939 characterized it, with reference the two interwar decades, as follows: "When the element of espionage in the intelligence services became less and less prominent and gave way to scientific methods for gathering information, and when the intelligence services began to identify themselves with espionage to a lesser and lesser extent, and their work became similar to detailed scientific informational research, there were no obstacles to ever closer coordination of the two apparatuses, their better mutual understanding, and closer cooperation in the search for information."2 The carrying out of intelligence tasks by the Polish foreign affairs services dates back to the beginnings of Polish diplomacy.3 The consulates became involved in the process relatively late, i.e. only in the second half of 18th century, and the phenomenon never became widespread, as the consular service was established shortly before the Third Partition of Poland and the consular network was too thin. After World War I however, the situation was entirely different. The Polish foreign service consisted of two separate structures, the diplomatic service and its consular counterpart. The consular service, operating according to other legal principles and governed by its own pragmatic rules of service within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was much more involved in intelligence work than the diplomatic service. In 1923, the Polish consular network consisted of 54 permanent offices and 18 consular departments at diplomatic representative offices, employing 472 persons.4 On the verge of World War II, Poland had as many as 87 consular offices with over 573 employees. In Germany alone there were 16 offices. The consular network was not only incomparably wider and thicker than the diplomatic one, but employed almost


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Józef Piłsudski Institute in London, the Colonel Stefan Mayer collection, file No. 100/12/16, the lecture entitiled "Polski wywiad o współpracy z polską służbą zagraniczną na terenie Rosji sowieckiej", pp. 3-4. Colonel Mayer did not entitle his lecture. The title quoted above comes from the records of the Institute. The text of the lecture has been published (excluding the drawings and supplementary notes by Coloner Mayer) in: M. Kwiecień, G. Mazur, "Wykłady pułkownika Stefana Mayera o wywiadzie polskim w okresie II RP", Zeszyty Historyczne, 2002, p. 142. W. Zarzycki, Wywiad dyplomatyczny i wojskowy Polski przedrozbiorowej, Warsza wa, 1979, passim. In 1923 the number employed in the Polish diplomatic centres was 271 persons (Funkcjonariusze państwO.


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twice as many persons.5 This offered a lot of opportunities for obtaining information and for supporting espionage activities. Consequently, contacts between the intelligence services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took place mainly at the consular service level. Another factor was the exclusion of official army representatives abroad, i.e. military attaches and officers assigned to the Polish diplomatic centres, from intelligence gathering activities. In 1933, as many as 16 officers held these positions in 10 capitals, including Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, and Prague.6 Even the first temporary instruction of 1919 defining the tasks of the military attaches forbade them to use paid informers in order to gather information on foreign armies. This, however, did not exclude intelligence activities, which some attaches conducted on a large scale.7 The instruction issued 10 years later, however, explicitly provided that military attaches were not to report to the head of Polish intelligence, were not to carry out espionage activities, and were not responsible for them. This directive was motivated by "a threat of exposure". Military attaches and officers were only allowed to assign tasks to intelligence officers.8 Only contacts made by the military attaches with the staffs of states with regard to the

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Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej według stanu na 1 czerwca 1939, Warszawa, 1939, passim. Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej według stanu na 1 kwietnia 1933 r., Warszawa, 1933, p. 100. See also P. Łossowski, Dyplomacja II Rzecz pospolitej. Z dziejów polskiej służby zagranicznej, Warszawa, 1992, pp. 69-77. In the 1925 instruction for the military attache in Tokyo (i.e. the future director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wacław Jędrzejewicz) the attache was ordered to organize an intelligence unit working from the territory of Japan against the USSR. 900 dollars as well as a camera were assigned to the project. He was also ordered to contact the Japanese intelligence (the Central Military Archives—CAW), Department II of the General and Main Staff 1921-1939 (hereinafter Department II SG), file No. 1.303.4.1750, The Instruction of the Intelligence Department B for the head of the intelligence unit in Tokyo of May 5,1925). Another example may be Captain W.T. Drymmer, also a future head of the Consular Department of the Ministry. In 1921-1927 he worked as a deputy, and then as the military attache, in the Polish mission in Tallin. From the beginning of his stay in Estonia, he was in charge of the "Rewel" intelligence unit, later renamed as "Witteg". From 1924 he was the head of the "R. 7" intelligence unit, considered as one of the most effective in anti-USSR intelligence. A. Peplonski, op. cit, pp. 101 and 140). M. Leczyk, Polska i sąsiedzi. Stosunki wojskowe 1921-1939, Białystok, 1997, pp. 10-11.


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potential future threat posed by the USSR was deemed to be of greater importance for the intelligence investigation.9 There were two basic forms of cooperation between the consular services and Polish military intelligence.10 The first consisted in the assignment of intelligence tasks to consular officials, who performed them on the side in addition to their work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The second, more advanced and effective, consisted in using the official structure of consulates to conceal full-time intelligence officers (known as "residents"). The documentation preserved indicates that the intelligence gathering activities of the II Republic, at both the shallow and strategic (i.e. deep) levels, relied extensively on the support of the consular service. In the major areas of investigation focused upon by the headquarters of Polish intelligence (II Department of the General Staff, from 1928—Supreme Staff), i.e. on Germany and the USSR, the participation of consulates in the organization of intelligence activities was so widespread that it can be regarded as a norm, almost a part of the ordinary rules of conduct applied in the service. It should be noted that in spite of the common occurrence of this phenomenon, it violated both Polish and international law. Article 15 of the Act of November 11, 1924 "on the organization of consulates and operations of consuls" obliged consuls to defend the interests of Polish citizens "in compliance with the laws and customs of the states in which they hold their office". Article 22 obliged consuls to submit exhaustive reports on various aspects of economic and social life in host countries.11 This concerned information obtained in compliance with the laws of the host country, as consuls had the right to hold their office only after obtaining the exequatur, i.e. an official act acknowledging the consul and authorizing him to carry out his work in a host country. The grant of the exequatur was tantamount to obliging the consul to comply with the legal norms 9



M. Leczyk, "Kontakty wojskowe Polski z Japonią i Chinami w dwudziestoleciu międzywojennym", in: Z dziejów Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej. Księga pamiątkowa ofiarowana prof. dr. hab. Władysławowi A. Serczykowi w 60. rocznicę Jego urodzin, Białystok, 1995, pp. 351-358. The issue of the cooperation between the Consular Department of the Ministry and the management of Agency No. 2 of the II Department (constituting together the Committee of the Seven) regarding sabotage in Czechoslovakia and Germany after 1934 is so broad and separate that it cannot be tackled in this study. It should be added, however, that it was the third principal form of cooperation between these services. Dz.U. (Dziennik Ustaw — Official Journal of the Republic of Poland), No. 103 of 1924, item 944.


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of the host country.12 According to the common practices applied to consular activities, the conduct of espionage activities by a consul (or his subordinates) constituted an unacceptable abuse of power and grounds for withdrawing the exequatur, followed by expulsion from the host country.13 The cooperation of Polish consular officials with the intelligence service was conducted in parallel at several levels. The most basic level was known as white intelligence. The average consulate would subscribe to thousands of books, brochures, and informational publications. When writing their periodical political, economic, or press reports for the Ministry, the consular officials concentrated on gathering that information in which analysts in the Warsaw intelligence headquarters indicated a vivid interest. From 1919 extracts were prepared in the Ministry headquarters from the reports arriving from the consular offices abroad. "Wiadomości MSZ" (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs News), containing summaries of the wire reports from consulates on the military and political situation in the decision-taking circles in the countries in which they were located, as well the more extensive (about 10 pages long) weekly "Raporty polityczne" (Political Reports) could be found on the desks of most intelligence officers. Unfortunately, missing documentation makes it impossible to investigate the information flow in later years. We know that some of the consular reports were submitted to the II Department by military attaches at diplomatic representative offices.14 In other cases, in order to ensure a rapid flow of the reports, the II Department would ask that the intelligence headquarters be included in the distribution lists for specific reports. In the 1920s, requests were sent by the II Department to the Foreign Ministry headquarters, with a suggestion that the consulates should be ordered to send appropriate information.15 In the next decade, the officers of the II Department contacted the consuls themselves, as the management of the Consular Department of the Ministry, closely linked with intelligence, allowed for such a procedure.

EJ. Pałyga, Stosunki konsularne II Rzeczpospolitej, Warszawa, 1970, pp. 67-69. K. Libera, Zasady międzynarodowego prawa konsularnego, Warszawa, 1960, p. 409. CA W, II Department SG, file No. I.303.4.1750, Instruction for the military attache at the Mission of the Polish Republic in Moscow of March 21,1924. Archiwum Akt Nowych (the Archive of New Files —AAN), the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Munich 1920-1939, file No. 129, copy of the letter of Lieutenant Colonel Tadeusz Pełczyński to III Consular Department of the Mnistry of November 24,1927.


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The consulates would maintain intense contacts with the intelligence service in matters related to the investigation of suspected or wanted persons. The II Department would send warrants and issue warnings against specific provocateurs, while information on those persons whose documents raised doubts in visa or passport procedures would be sent in the reverse direction.16 This cooperation in the intelligence area was strengthened in the years preceding the outbreak of World War II. In February of 1937, the head of the Intelligence Unit of the II Department, Colonel Mayer, approached the head of the Consular Department with a request to involve consulates in the search for Polish citizens of German origin who could be of use in case of war. The consulates were particularly instructed to register those Poles who had been drafted or employed in the armaments industry.17 We do not know the fate of this initiative. In his memoirs, Director Drymmer claimed that he had been firmly opposed to involving Poles living abroad in "any intelligence work", and added in the same paragraph that he had been "fully supported by the subsequent heads of the II Department of the Supreme Staff" concerning this issue.18 Since the composition of the Polish espionage networks in Germany and Czechoslovakia completely contradicts this assertion, it may regarded as proof of a failing memory.19 Beginning in March 1938, the Polish consulates would send to the military attaches in Berlin copies of visa questionnaires of German military personnel

In this area, the consulates also cooperated also with Polish counterintelligence units. For instance, in 1920 the Information Department of the General Pomerania District Command Headquarters arranged with the officials of the General Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Kwidzyn that if a signature under a consular visa was underlined in red, the holder of the passport should be "closely observed" during his/her stay in Poland. If the whole signature of the consulate official was red, the holder of the passport was to be arrested and the Kwidzyn consulate was to be approached for proofs and the rationale. This arrangement was directed mainly against the Ukrainians transporting weapons into Eastern Galicia. In the later years such radical solutions were no longer used, but the method of encrypting counterintelligence information in passports was used until 1939 (CAW, Samodzielny Referat Informacyjny DOK No. 8 in Toruń, file No. 1371.8/A.82, the invigilation card of the Information Department of the DOGen. Pomerania of May 8,1920). AAN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1917-1939 (hereinafter "the Mnistry", file No. 9981, the letter of Lieutenant Colonel Mayer to the director of the Consular Department of the Mnistry, Mr. Drymmer, of February 10,1937. W.T. Drymmer, W służbie Polsce, Warszawa, 1998, p. 131. R. Hajduk, Nieznana karta tajnego frontu, Warszawa, 1985, pp. 37-60; W. Skóra, "Działalność polskiego wywiadu w międzywojennym Szczecinie", Przegląd Zachodniopomorski, vol. 2, 2000, p. 109.


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travelling to Poland, together with photographs and descriptions of the previous travels of such person.20 In the same month, Director Drymmer approached the II Department with a request to involve residents of the intelligence service in the implementation of the Act on Polish Citizenship of March 31, 1938. Their task was to consist in reporting to the consulates those persons who were to be deprived of Polish citizenship. The persons in question were deemed to be persons disloyal or hostile towards the Polish state. The II Department sent the appropriate orders to the residents of the intelligence service. Their cooperation with the consulates was to be discreet, which is probably why there is no trace of it in the documentation of the consular outposts.21 Consular offices were an important part of the technical base of the intelligence staff operating abroad. This was particularly true in the first years after Poland regained independence, as the so-called shallow intelligence was based on the agents sent from the domestic agencies of the II Department to operate in the territories of neighbouring countries. The consulates, mainly in Germany and Czechoslovakia, transferred money and documents arriving from the intelligence headquarters and agencies to the agents.22 As this mechanism became more and more popular, intelligence officers from the agencies began to treat Polish consulates as their most obvious and guaranteed sources and places of support. At the same time, the intermediation of the intelligence head office in these contacts with consulates was often not sought, which gave rise to frequent misunderstandings. As early as in 1921, the Poznań II Department agency received many complaints from consulates. The Polish consular offices were notoriously pestered by collaborators from the II Department, demanding money, contacts

AAN, Attaches wojskowi RP przy rządach państw kapitalistycznych 1919-1939, file No. AII^ll, the letter of the military and air force attache Lieutenant colonel Antoni Szymański to the Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Berlin of April 5,1938. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2320, the letter of Stefan Kun to the intelligence unit "Jur" in Budapest of April 8,1938. From January 1922, at the request of the II Department agency in Poznań, the consulate in Munich took care of the intelligence agent A. Dobrocki. He was given instructions and paid, and his reports were sent. The agent acted in Bavaria under the pseudonym Sepp Gams. His remuneration, paid by the consulate, amounted to 2,000 German marks; he was also entitled to an intelligence fund of 1250 marks (AAN, KGRPM, file No. 29, the letter of the agency head of the II Department of SG in Poznań to the Consulate of the Polish Republic in Munich of April 11,1921).


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with couriers, and the issuance of various documents. They openly referred to their principals and colleagues among consular officials. Since the Polish consular offices were continuously observed by counterintelligence, this behaviour compromised both the Foreign Ministry units and the agents themselves. The Poznań agency several times received orders forbidding agents to act in this manner, but the results were unsatisfactory.23 It was only after the reorganization of the intelligence services and the dispatching of full-time employees of the II Department to consulates (as residents) that the practice ceased. The internal agencies of II Department were categorically forbidden to directly contact consulates, and intelligence officers going abroad were instructed that in the consulate offices of the Polish Republic they would be treated as provocateurs of foreign counterintelligence services if they approached the consular offices without the knowledge of the II Department.24 These decisions indicated the growing professionalism of the intelligence service. The longest-surviving form of support granted by the consulates to the intelligence service involved the transfer of instructions and reports via consular channels. The Ministry couriers who travelled between consulates, and less often the consuls themselves, served the intelligence officers placed in the Foreign Ministry units until the outbreak of World War II.25 The most advanced form of cooperation between the consular officials and the intelligence service involved the recruitment of consular officials by the II Department for operational tasks. The Ibidem, file No. 129, the letter of the II Department Agency of the High Command in Poznań to the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Munich of April 11,1921, the internal order of the II Department NWDP Agency in Poznań No. 13 of March 26,1921. The State Archive in Gdańsk (hereinafter AP Gdańsk), the General Commissioner of the republic of Poland in Gdańsk 1919-1939 (hereinafter KGRPG), file No. 1264, the letter of Colonel Michał Bajer to the II Department Agency No. 7 in Gdańsk of September 29,1925. Using couriers via consular mail was a regular element of the intelligence procedures of the II Department in the 1930s. Lieutnant Wacław Gilewicz, a resident of II Dep. in the Szczecin consulate, received correspondence from the "West" Office via the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Berlin in four envelopes put into one another, addressed according to the following pattern: The Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Szczecin—Consul Sztark— W. Gilewicz—"W. Giirtler" (the operational pseudonym of the resident) (W. Skóra, Konsulat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej w Szczecinie w latach 1925-1939. Powstanie i działalność, Słupsk, 2001, p. 238). See also A. Pepłoński, op. cit., pp. 98-99; M. Długołęcki, Ostatni raport. Wspomnienia b. oficera polskiego wywiadu we Wrocławiu. Przebieg ważniejszych wydarzeń od 1 lipca do 1 września 1939, London, 1988, p. 42.


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consular staff became involved in such tasks to varying degrees, ranging from the incidental performance of a specific task, to continuous involvement in a network headed by a II Department officer, to the independent functioning as the head of an intelligence unit concealed in a consulate. While this practice put the Ministry offices in danger of being compromised, it was regarded as a necessity from the intelligence viewpoint. In his report on the II Department's operations of July 1922, Lieutenant Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski put it laconically: "The planned development of the intelligence network throughout Germany, both by the Head Office and the agencies, encounters serious problems due to the lack of intelligent human material."26 In the early 1920s the carrying out of orders of intelligence service residents and the involvement of consular officials in intelligence networks was a constant element of the II Department outposts placed in consulates. Major Bruno Kilian Grajek, in charge of the "Adrian" intelligence unit located in the Wroclaw consulate structure, recruited the contract official Jan Matuszczak (and his wife), as well as the janitor Wiktor Urbanowicz. They secured informational contacts with the local Polish community.27 One of the members of the "auxiliary staff" in the "Jur" intelligence unit, operating within the Mission of the Republic of Poland in Budapest, was Leopold Raszyk, the secretary of the Polish consulate in the city. He provided the intelligence service resident, Captain Roman Królikowski, with information concerning local Poles and clients of the consulate.28 Such examples are very numerous. Intelligence tasks were also performed by the highest-ranking officials, usually on their own initiative. In the case of the Polish consul in Kharkov, Konstanty Zaremba-Skrzyński, we can hardly discuss his being recruited, as during his meeting with Major Tadeusz Kobylański, the military attache in Moscow (later the Deputy Director of the Political-Economic Department and head of the Eastern Department of the Ministry), he himself offered to perform a number of intelligence tasks and demonstrated considerable enthusiasm for

CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.38, the report of Lieutenant Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski on the current operation of the II Department SG for July 1922. R. Gelles, op. cit, pp. 231-232. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2320, Raport organizacyjny placówki "Jur" No. 8, August 1937.


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the activity.29 A similar attitude was demonstrated by the consul in Leipzig Feliks Chiczewski, who had extensive contacts in Germany, including among members of the anti-Nazi opposition. He confirmed for the II Department information which the intelligence service had obtained through other channels. Such information included, inter alia, the timing of Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, the plans for dividing Poland between Germany and the USSR, and the timing of the attack on Poland.30 The head of the Consulate General in Opole, Bohdan Samborski, who in the period 1933-1937 regularly sent reports of his travels and social contacts to the intelligence services, worked in a similar manner. Typically, these reports would be sent directly to the head of the II Department, as the Consul General worked with the II Department personnel on this level.31 The motives for commencing such cooperation were varied. Patriotism and a sense of duty undoubtedly played an important role among the staff of the Polish outposts in Germany, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia, where an atmosphere of confrontation reigned. This was particularly true in the case of high-ranking, i.e. well-paid, officials. There is no evidence that Consul Chiczewski or Consul Samborski were ever paid for the information they provided, and the idea that they were seems most dubious. For rank and file employees, however, the financial incentive could be of major importance. The most efficient agents could practically double their salary. Beginners received lesser amounts from the intelligence service resident, but they still oscillated around 50-200 zlotys. They also received additional sums as reimbursement for intelligence expenses (informers, technical equipment) and transportation costs. Part-time informers, i.e. persons who were not connected with the intelligence unit by any formal ties, were paid

Ibidem, file No. 1.303.4.1750, The letter of the military attache at the Mission of the Republic of Poland in Moscow Major Tadeusz Kobylański to the General Staff of the Ministry of Mlitary Affairs of March 25,1925. A. Woźny, 'Niemieckie przygotowanie do wojny z Polską w ocenach polskich naczelnych władz wojskowych w latach 1933-1939, Warszawa, 2000, pp. 244, 275, 286; M. Kornat, Polska 1939 roku wobec paktu Ribbentrop-Mołotow. Problem zbliżenia polsko-sowieckiego w polityce zagranicznej III Rzeczpospolitej, Warszawa, 2002, p 421. AAN, Mlitary Attaches of the Republic of Poland at the governments of capitalist states, 1939, file No. A.II-38A, Report of B. Samborski for the head of the II Department SG of March 30,1937.


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only for providing specific information.32 The intelligence service residents cooperated most often with the contract staff at consulates, who were paid much less than the full-time Ministry staff and welcomed the extra money they could make thanks to cooperation. Performing tasks for the intelligence service resident could also often be of key importance in prolonging one's employment in a consulate, as the II Department could influence personnel policy in the offices.33 In the existing Polish reality, cooperation with the intelligence service distinguished and improved one's position in the consular hierarchy. Auxiliary personnel of the consulates, i.e. drivers, doormen, and typists were also recruited. In the deteriorating international situation of the late 1930s, the II Department came to more and more intensely rely upon consular officials for the less complex intelligence tasks, paying them for providing information. This was not arranged with the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry. Auxiliary personnel at honorary consulates, inter alia in Geneva and Zurich, were also recruited for cooperation. Obviously the consuls themselves, as foreign citizens, were not informed about the activities of their subordinates. At the beginning of 1939, this phenomenon was so common and detrimental to the atmosphere in the Foreign Ministry outposts that Director Drymmer asked the head of the Intelligence Unit of the II Department, Lieutenant Colonel Mayer, to cease the practice. The deputy director of the Personnel Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, Jan Rozwadowski, referred to the methods as "demoralizing" and suggested that officials cooperating with the II Department without the consent of the management of the Consular Department of the Ministry should be dismissed. This did not much improve the situation however, as to the field intelligence agencies and their resident officers the Ministry officials were a most valuable and easily available source of information.34

An analysis of the compensation of agents and informers of the "Bombaj" unit: W. Skóra, Konsulat..., op. cit., pp. 246-247. The salaries of the agents in the "Tulipan" unit at the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Amsterdam were similar (L. Gondek, Wywiad..., op. cit, pp. 247-248), as well as those of the "Jur" unit at the Mission of the Republic of Poland in Budapest. (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2320, A summary of intelligence expenses for June 1937). W. Skóra, "Miejsce wywiadu w strukturach MSZ II Rzeczpospolitej na przykładzie placówki "Bombaj" w Szczecinie", Słupskie Studia Historyczne, No. 8, 2000, p. 230. AAN MSZ, file No. 9981, the letter of the deputy head of the Personnel Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jan Rozwadowski to Director Drymmer of January 9,1939.


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Some members of the consular service proved so efficient that they were entrusted with tasks such as heading independent intelligence posts. This meant direct contact with the intelligence headquarters, receiving orders, performing tasks on one's own, the right to recruit people for cooperation (agents and informers), and management of the intelligence fund. These were usually full-time employees, as the status of a civil servant was a guarantee of the trust and competence necessary for the performance of such tasks. However, there were also incidents of recruiting contract officials, especially in the early years after gaining independence. Unlike the consular officials performing less important intelligence tasks, this type of involvement required the consent of the head office of the Foreign Ministry, as it was connected with the high risk of exposure and involved an additional workload which decreased the agents' effectiveness in carrying out their official duties.35 The August 1934 description of the intelligence outpost of the "Zachód" (Western) Branch of the II Department mentions two such persons (out of a total of 11 active intelligence posts in the area). Vice Consul Edward Czyżewski was in charge of the intelligence unit located in the Polish consulate in Amsterdam, operating under the cryptonym "Tulipan". Its tasks included the observation of German affairs in Holland, the free crossing of the Dutch-German border, and the recruitment of agents. His monthly budget amounted to 3500 zlotys. The intelligence unit "Mary Tudor", concealed at the Consulate General of New York, was headed by Vice Consul Zygfryd Aleksander Englisch. His task involved the recruitment of agents for the Polish intelligence service, and his budget for this purpose was 500 zlotys a month.36 Consul Bohdan Jalowiecki's career was typical of a small group of the consular service staff. In 1931,

CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.108, Organisation of the "western" intelligence" report for the period from January 1,1933 to April 1,1934. Ibidem, file No. 1.303.4.108, description of the units of the "West" branch. Report as of August 21, 1934. In December 1933, an observation-recruitment unit started its operation in the consulate of the Republic of Poland in Lyon. Consul Wacław Czosnowski was its head for over 6 months. His tasks involved gathering information on Germany thanks to trade relations between the French factory owners and German industry. He was also to recruit agents for the intelligence services in Germany, using political emigrants, who appeared in Lyon after Machtubernahme, for the purpose. In July the Consul was replaced by a former police sub-commissioner, reserve 2nd Lieutenant Jerzy Morozewicz, employed in the consulate as a contract official (CAW, II Department, file No. 1.303.4.108, Description of the units of the "Zachód" branch. Report of August 21,1934).


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holding the rank of a captain, he was delegated from the army to work in the Foreign Ministry. After a several-month internship in the Warsaw head office, he was sent to the Consulate General in Minsk. In the period from 1931-1935, he was in charge of the Minsk intelligence unit, using the cryptonyms "B-17" and "F-16". In December 1936, he was nominated head of the consulate in Olsztyn. At the same time, he headed the "Toro" intelligence unit there. German counterintelligence arrested him shortly before September 1, 1939. His further history demonstrates the risks involved in the performance of intelligence tasks by consular staff. After a short stay in the Konigsberg prison, he was detained in the Hohenbruch and Działdowo concentration camps, where he died in 1941. Two other officials of the Olsztyn consulate, Jan Piotrowski and Władysław Pieniężny, both of whom had been his assistants in intelligence activities, shared his fate.37 The "Wschód" (Eastern) branch employed Foreign Ministry staff as heads of intelligence units to an even greater extent. This was particularly true of the USSR outposts, in Czechoslovakia, which was included in the Eastern branch after 1937, there intelligence operations were conducted by full-time employees of the II Department concealed in the Foreign Ministry offices. In the USSR, heads of certain Polish consulates had a specific type of immunity, a mixture of a diplomatic and consular one, which protected them to a greater extent and clearly aided in the continuity of intelligence gathering activities.38 Many of the II Department officers indeed seemed to advocate a thesis that the intelligence operations of the USSR consulates constituted the only justification for maintaining the offices at all, as all the other consular activities—issuance of visas, taking care of Polish citizens, or supporting economic exchanges—could not take place given the

M. Budny, "Epilog polskiej służby zagranicznej (w czterdziestą rocznicę)", Zeszyty Historyczne, No. 73,1985, pp. 54-55. W. Materski, Tarcza Europy, stosunki polsko-sowieckie 1918-1939, Warszawa, 1994, p. 166. For instance, in 1935 the consulate in Kiev was headed by J. Karszo-Siedlecki, holding the title "the Counsellor of the Embassy and the head of the Consulate General." B. Jałowiecki, holding the title "1st Secretary of the Embassy and the head of the Consulate General," was in charge of the Consulate General in Minsk. The situation was similar in the Consular Department in Moscow. Only the consulates in Leningrad, Kharkov and Tyflis were headed by officials holding the title of consul (Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej według stanu na 1 kwietnia 1935, Warszawa, 1935, pp. 135-138).


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USSR reality.39 The counsellor of the embassy and head of the Consulate General in Kiev, Jan Karszo-Siedlewski, was also in charge of the intelligence unit in the consulate (under the cryptonym "Karsz"). A fulltime staff member of the Ministry, Janina Pisarczykówna, headed the "X-22" unit concealed in the Consulate General in Kharkov. She was followed by consul Eugeniusz Weese, who headed the unit "We" located in the consulate for ten months in 1934. Numerous other instances could also be mentioned, including examples of consular officials working outside USSR borders but performing intelligence tasks directed against that state.40 The assignment of an independent task at the behest of the II Department seems also to have been conditioned upon on the personal characteristics of the persons in question. The risks were considerable and the earnings, though by no means low, could not be considered a sufficient compensation if a full-time employee was exposed and forced to leave a foreign post. Several officials in Eastern Prussia paid the highest price during World War II for their intelligence gathering activities. Consular officials working independently for the II Department were not only patriotic, but also keen on challenges, which is indicated by the common This was the opinion, inter alia, of Colonel Mayer (the Józef Piłsudski Institute in London, Colonel Stefan Mayer Collection, file No. 100/12/16, lecture "Polish intelligence and the cooperation with the Polish foreign affairs services in the area of the Soviet Russia", p. 8). Maria Połońska, a full-time employee of the consulates in Kharkov and Kiev, in the years 1932-1935 conducted intelligence activities under the cryptonym "Z-14". A fulltime employee of the consular department of the RP Mission in Moscow, Stanisław Ossowski, in the years 1932-1935 headed an intelligence unit under the cryptonym "Serafin". Vice Consul Piotr Kurnicki, working in the Kev consulate in the years 1932-1936, also conducted espionage activities, using the cryptonym "Ku". The intelligence unit "L-16", concealed in the structures of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Minsk, was headed by a contract official, Władysław Wolski, in the years 1935-1938. Intelligence activities against the USSR were also undertaken from the territory of Turkey. In the years 1933-1936, a full-time employee of the Consulate General in Istanbul, Jerzy Bogumił Litewski, was also the head of the "Ghazi" intelligence unit. Also Consul Aleksander Kwiatkowski, between 1932 and 1938 the head of the Harbin office, cooperated with II Department. This was a most untypical situation, as the consul was in charge of the "Cholski" unit, subordinate to Branch No. 2 of the II Department. Consequently he participated in a "Promethean" action in the Far East. Framework data on the full-time Mnistry staff in charge of the intelligence units of the branch are contained in the study by A. Pepłoński, op. at., pp. 126-127,140 and 169. Dates were verified based on the employment history of the Mnistry staff according to Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej of 1939.


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phenomenon of undertaking tasks even outside the area of one's delegation. Kazimierz Rudzki was put in charge of his first intelligence unit in Tyflis (Tbilisi), where he was a consular secretary in the years 1927-1929.41 After a short stay in Poland, he was sent to Piła, where in the years 1931-1933, as a consular attache, he was in charge of an intelligence unit with the cryptonym "Graff". His tasks included observing German armament and the Polish national movement in District V of the Polish Union in Germany (Związek Polaków w Niemczech). His monthly remuneration amounted to 200 zlotys (in the USSR, the "salary" was as much as $145).42 The career of Franciszek Charwat constitutes an example of near constant cooperation between a consular official and the intelligence services. Before World War I, he was a police commissioner in Lvov. Already during the war he demonstrated a talent for intelligence work, which was noted and utilized by the special services of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy.43 Soon the Polish authorities also came to appreciate his specific talent and experience. In February 1919 he was employed by the Berlin Consulate General, where he commenced close cooperation with the head of the Intelligence Bureau of the High Command of the Polish Army and the Gdańsk branch of the Polish intelligence service. Gradually Consul Charwat became a leading figure of the Polish intelligence network in the capital of the Third Reich. He paid salaries to agents and received their reports, which he sent to Warsaw through the head of the intelligence branch in Gdańsk, Cavalry Captain Karol Dubicz. At the end of 1920, the monthly budget of his unit was 50,000 German marks, thanks to which the unit was able to retain more than ten agents and collaborators, including as well in Munich and Hamburg. Their main task was to investigate German intentions toward the Polish-Bolshevik war and the preparation of plebiscites. F. Charwat was in charge of the strictly confidential advisory committee at the Plebiscite Bureau in Berlin, where the Polish campaign and organizational work before After leaving Piła, he worked in the Ministry head office, and only in March 1939 was he sent to the Consulate General in Minsk. His activities were known to Director Drymmer, as he received the reports from Piła, but were a secret to his direct bosses, the heads of the consulate (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.1826, the letter of the Intelligence Unit of the II Department to the Mnistry of January 28,1928, file No. 1.303.4.2317, the briefing with the head of the "Graff" unit of May 31,1933). The intelligence talents of F. Charwat were noted by an officer of Austrian intelligence, Max Ronge. M. Ronge, Dwanaście lat służby wywiadowczej, Warszawa, 1992, pp. 79 and 102-103).


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the plebiscites was focused.44 Persons belonging to the committee performed (perhaps unknowingly) many tasks at the order of the Intelligence Bureau. The consul also supervised the work of Cadet Leonard Zarzycki, assigned by the Gdańsk branch to the editing office of Dziennik Berliński (Berlin Daily).45 At the end of 1920, a staff member of the German Ministry of Internal Affairs warned Charwat that his espionage activities were closely watched by counterintelligence. This was a hidden suggestion that he should leave Berlin. The consul approached the II Department of the High Command of the Polish Army with a request to release him from the obligation to perform intelligence duties. At the end of his letter to the head of the Information and Intelligence Bureau, Major Kazimierz Kierzkowski, he enclosed an additional request, shedding a certain interesting light on the then personnel policies of the Ministry: "(...) do try to ensure that if I am dismissed, I will not be left to my own devices and that I will be assigned to one of the foreign posts. After the plebiscite I really want to have my own unit anyhow and I do count on your support."46 The support of the intelligence services was successful. In mid-1921, F. Charwat was appointed the head of the consulate in Hamburg, even though the Ministry had originally planned to send another person there. Not for long, however. Between September 1921 and August 1923 he was in charge of the consular department of the Kharkov mission, and from July 1922 of the entire mission as charge d'affaires (while continuing to work as the Consul General). Having at his disposal considerable funds, he organized a network of informers working in the Ukrainian cooperatives trading with Poland. This was also to a certain extent amateur detective work, in some aspects independent of the II Department. The last stage of the consular career of F. Charwat was as head of the consular office in Riga. There too the consul cooperated with the intelligence services. Upon joining the diplomatic corps, he cooperated with Agency No. 2 of the II Department, this time as an envoy in Helsinki. Another element of the cooperation between the consular service and the intelligence service was the employment in the consular structures of full-time staff of the II Department. These M. Piotrowski, Reemigracja Polaków z 'Niemiec 1918-1939, Lublin, 2000, p. 159. AAN, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Berlin 1920-1939 (hereinafter " AB"), file No. 3656, the letter of Consul Charwat to Cavalry Captain Dubicz of January 22,1921. Ibidem, file No. 3656, the letter of Consul Charwat to the II Department of the High Command of the Polish Army of December 17,1920.


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people were only superficially involved in the work of the consulates; their main tasks and real superiors were connected with military structures. Even though residents (or, according to the terminology of the time, "exponents") would hold various official posts, their real employment, performance evaluation, and remuneration depended on the management in charge of the II Department. They were separate in the structures of the consular service to such a significant extent that the issue was raised whether the two teams were in fact cooperating or simply co-existing. The concept of basing Poland's strategic intelligence gathering in Germany and the USSR on officers employed in the Foreign Ministry units was controversial, but inevitable. The issue of limited funds played a role, as did the peculiarities of the internal situations in Germany and the USSR.47 The Polish passport and employment in the Ministry increased the security of an officer/agent. Another positive side of the concept was the fact that it was impossible to simultaneously expose all the units (as happened in the USSR in 1927-1928 and in Germany in 1933-1934) without provoking an international incident. There were many officers and they could take over each others' contacts in case of exposure. The concept was also justified by the easy organization of units and much lower costs than those of a classic strategic intelligence service. Intelligence service residents, like the remaining consular officials, were able to make use of the customary assistance of local authorities in issues such as rent or accommodation, registration, and exceptions regarding currency restrictions. Moreover, the opportunity to properly secure the unit itself and the documents it produced was another aspect supporting the concept. One of the most basic consular privileges was the inviolability of a consular unit's archives. The same was true of courier mail, whose secrecy could not be violated without the risk of serious repercussions. However, there were also disadvantages. In his study summarizing the 190 reports of the II Department, Colonel Ludwik Sadowski wrote that the concept of relying on Foreign Ministry posts seriously limited the possibilities of the intelligence agency and

Until 1938 the expenditure on the intelligence services in Germany exceeded 120,000 a month. Colonel Ludwik Sadowski stated in his study that the amount was "in no relation to the needs of the intelligence in a huge and affluent state, or at least was by no means sufficient to build a war network within the framework". L. Sadowski, II Department of the Main Staff. The results of the peacetime work and participation in the preparation for the war, material stored in the Historic Documentation Workshop of the Military History Institute AON, Materials and Documents, file No. 1/3/60, p. 54).


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documentary intelligence.48 The link to official positions excluded the possibility of adapting to the local environment and limited contacts with potentially useful agents. Another drawback was the risk of exposure, which could compromise the entire consulate. Such a system also involved the threat of a complete paralysis in time of war, i.e. at the moment when intelligence assumes a particular importance. There were attempts to rectify some of the problems through the organization of a network of posts in neighbouring countries and the creation of a parallel, dormant, and more conspiracy-oriented "mob" network, which could be activated in case of war. Other countries organized the cooperation between diplomatic and consular services and resident intelligence operations in a different way. The British offensive intelligence SIS, also known as MI6, was subordinate to and financed by the Foreign Office, i.e. the Department of Foreign Affairs.49 In the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, intelligence remained within the competence of the army, but not only was it subsidized by the foreign affairs department, but also the dispatch of intelligence officers to the consulates was a commonplace and natural practice. Consuls were recruited for the express purpose of cooperation with the intelligence service pursuant to the initiative of ministers of foreign affairs.50 In Poland, where intelligence was within the competence of the army, organizationally independent of the foreign affairs branch, espionage activities provoked various, often negative, attitudes within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The specific symbiosis of the consular services and intelligence services required the close cooperation of two separate departments of state administration. It also meant the encounter of two environments with very different mentalities and methods of operation. After 1926 the situation became even more complex. The coup d'etat of May 1926 pushed Poland towards an authoritarian system of power, dominated by the military, which was reflected in an interesting manner in the evolution of ties between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the intelligence service. At first, they were regulated by "internal agreements", which form a valuable element in the investigation into the history of Polish diplomacy. After 1926, the management of the intelligence service took less and less notice of the

Ibidem, p. 52. J.M. Ciechanowski, "Brytyjskie służby wywiadowcze i specjalne", Zeszyty Historyczne, No. 143, 2003, p. 10. M. Ronge, op. cit., p. 12.


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opinions of the foreign affairs department, a fact made possible by the influx of intelligence officers to the Ministry and the increasingly difficult international situation, which brought with it a certain radicalisation of attitudes. The first agreements on placing intelligence service residents in consulates were not systemic solutions, but rather concerned concrete cases. In November 1921, a meeting of Foreign Ministry representatives and the II Department was organized, and the conditions for employing an "exponent" in the Polish consulate in Konigsberg were discussed. The agreement provided that the officer sent as an intelligence service resident was formally a consulate official and as such obliged to comply with the appropriate rules of procedure of the Foreign Ministry. However, the remuneration and funds for the intelligence activities came from the II Department, and the instructions concerning the intelligence activities also came from that source. The obtained materials were to be shared between the "Staff and Consulate". In return, the Ministry undertook to provide residents with all the necessary documents and passports.51 In January 1922, the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Military Affairs signed a "basic agreement", which consisted of eight articles regulating the principles of cooperation between intelligence officers in the structure of Polish missions and consulates.52 The arrangements made on this occasion remained in force until the end of the 1920s. The II Department staff members were subordinate to the head of the consular unit, but only in terms of administration and in issues connected with their position in the hierarchy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The position and official duties of an officer could not hinder his/her intelligence work. The Ministry could not cancel a resident's employment without the prior consent of the II Department. However, heads of consular offices were guaranteed the right to declare that the work of a given officer could no longer be conducted. Immediate suspension in service activity pursuant to the initiative of a consul or an envoy was possible only if the resident had been found to act against the state. Intelligence

AP Gdańsk, KGRPG, file No. 1146, the letter of II Department SG to the Agency of II Department No. 2 in Gdańsk of November 25,1921. AAN, AB, file No. 3657, the main points of the basic agreement on cooperation between military intelligence and the foreign services section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of January 1922. For the text of the document, see: W. Skóra, Miejsce wywiadu..., op. cit, pp. 219-234.


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activities were to be financed from the funds of the II Department. The materials obtained were to be shared between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Military Affairs in close cooperation with the envoy or consul, though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had the right to receive all political materials. The agreement was very general—its authors clearly intended that the details be worked out in everyday practice. As it later turned out, most of the ambiguities were interpreted in favour of the military authorities. There was no possibility to force a resident intelligence officer to submit materials which he/she did not want to submit. This was not changed by the fact that certain heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offices required the officers to confirm in writing that they were familiar with the provisions of the agreement of January 1922 and that they would comply with them.53 From the viewpoint of the consuls, the agreement substantially altered the personnel policies in their units. Until then they had been free to employ and almost immediately dismiss contract officials. In 1923, the II Department issued a detailed "instruction for officers, heads of intelligence units in foreign territories, mail methods of intelligence activities, and conduct in private lives."54 It described the method of conducting relations with the personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, manner for sending mail correspondence, secrecy in private lives, methods of cooperation with recruited agents, and proper conduct in case of arrest. In the section describing the agents' attitude towards Ministry staff, the provisions of the 1922 agreement were referred to. The instruction emphasized the subordination of agent/officers to the heads of diplomatic or consular offices, but only with regard to issues connected with the work of the Foreign Ministry. In disciplinary matters, agent/officers were subordinate to the heads of the II Department, with the important reservation that "for the sake of the service" agent/officers should comply with all disciplinary penalties imposed by the heads of the unit for faulty office work. For the first three months, intelligence service residents were to refrain from intelligence work and fulfil only the duties prescribed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This provision was designed to

CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2150, Declaration of M. Pogorzelski of October 9,1922. AP Gdańsk, KGRPG, file No. 1525, Instruction for officers, heads of intelligence posts in foreign territories on mail methods of intelligence work and conduct in private life (hand-written date November 20,1923 on the margin of the document).


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dull the vigilance of the foreign authorities and convince a resident's colleagues that the resident was merely another staff member. The instruction devoted a great deal of attention to the issue of secrecy vis a vis the rest of the personnel. The actual tasks of the agent/officer were to be known only to the head of the unit. Such officers were warned against showing off their higher earnings, though they were advised to buy a car in order to facilitate their meetings with recruited agents. Officers enjoyed the protection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, inasmuch as "(...) in compliance with the customs adopted in foreign territories, local authorities had no right to arrest or search persons riding in a car of a foreign state". During the discussions over the principles governing the placement of intelligence service residents in the posts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their actual numbers and the locations from which they would carry out their activities were also discussed. On October 1, 1922, an inter-departmental conference took place, during which representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and II Department developed a draft of the organization of Polish intelligence in Germany. The intelligence network was to consist of full-time employees of the Department, employed in the Polish consulates. They were to be subordinated to the "main resident" staying permanently in Germany and coordinating all the activity. Only those parts of the plan relating to the placement of intelligence officers in consulates was fulfilled.55 The intelligence management proposed a deadline of July 1923 for the ultimate organization of the intelligence network in Germany. Plans were made to place officers in Ministry of Foreign Affairs' outposts in Berlin, Hamburg, Essen, Munich, Leipzig, Wroclaw, Szczecin, Konigsberg, Olsztyn, and Kwidzyn. The present state of research does not make it possible to fully verify the implementation of these plans. It is certain that intelligence posts were opened in the consulates in Berlin, Hamburg, Konigsberg, Olsztyn, and Munich.56 In the

A. Misiuk, Służby specjalne II Rzeczpospolitej, Warszawa, 1998, pp. 71-72; H. Ćwiek, Przeciw Abwehrze, Warszawa, 2001, pp. 144-145. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.69. Report on the activities of Branch B/5 of II Department for the period between January 1,1923 to May 1,1923. The post at the consulate in Munich had the cryptonym "Huber"; in Kwidzyn— "Sturm"; in Olsztyn—"Margot"; and in Berlin—"Brzoza". The offices in Elk and Kwidzyn in 1923 did not employ full-time intelligence officers, but selected officials of the Mnistry of Foreign Affairs were granted a disposition fund and intelligence tasks. In subsequent years, an intelligence unit "Parade" was opened at the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Leipzig.


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Szczecin consulate, an intelligence service resident was employed only in 1927.57 The II Department was vividly interested in placing residents in the territory of the USSR, but the slow organization of the Polish consular network was an obstacle there. Both states were cautious and reluctant to grant permissions to open offices, based on the reciprocity principle which was in force, and there were justified suspicions that the offices would be used as centres of intelligence gathering activities. There were only two Polish general consulates in Russia in 1922, in Moscow and in Kharkov. The Moscow post was soon turned into a consular department at a mission. In 1924, a consulate in Minsk was opened, and only in 1926 was a Consulate General in Tyflis established along with consulates in Kiev and Leningrad. Nonetheless the head of the II Department, anticipating the normalization of consular relations with the USSR, approached the Minister of Foreign Affairs in July 1923 with a proposal to reserve one official position for intelligence workers in each planned consulate. At the same time, he presented the locations where consulates were deemed desirable. Minister Marian Seyda agreed to the proposal, but its practical implementation was conditional on the consent of the USSR to establish the posts.58 In the 1920s intelligence service agents resided in, inter alia, Kharkov, Kiev, Moscow, Minsk and Tyflis. Officers of the II Department were also placed in states neighbouring with Germany and the USSR, i.e. in Czechoslovakia, Turkey, Romania, and the Baltic states. The main aim of these intelligence gathering activities, however, was to investigate Poland's neighbours in the west and east, i.e. Germany and Russia. The placement of an officer of the II Department in a consulate began with obtaining the consent of the Foreign Affairs head office. The second step—but only in the 1920s—consisted of obtaining the consent of the head of the given consulate. The management of the II Department, via letters or meetings, would attempt to convince the Foreign Ministry about the advantages of accepting their candidates for new "officials". The Foreign Ministry headquarters did not so much order the consuls to accept an intelligence service resident as it persuaded them of the necessity to comply with the request. At that time the position of the military authorities with

W. Skóra, Konsulat..., op. cit., p. 233. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.1750, letter of the head of the II Department to the Minister of Foreign Affairs M. Seyda of July 23,1923; letter of Minister M. Seyda to the head of the II Department of August 3,1923.


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regard to their civilian counterpart required obtaining their consent. This is not to mean, however, that a Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff member at any level was able to refuse to accept an intelligence officer. This was a privilege only of the premiere league diplomats, whose opinion was of importance to the highest authorities in Poland. In the case of consuls, the idea was that they should maintain the appearance of having power over the personnel of their office. On the basis of the preserved correspondence, one may conclude that in actuality these "debates" were but a formality, aimed primarily at ensuring better working conditions for the officers. Those agents who were voluntarily accepted by the head of the Foreign Affairs office could hope for preferential treatment in the event they neglected their official duties. Maintaining the good will of a consul was most desirable, but the tone of the correspondence indicates that a "stubborn consul", consistently refusing to accede to a request, would be transferred to another office.59 The year 1931 constituted a breakthrough moment in the cooperation between the consular service and intelligence residents,60 both with regard to the methods of cooperation and the extent to which consulates were involved. In February, Captain Drymmer was appointed temporary head of the Personnel Department of the Ministry. In June, Lieutenant Colonel Wacław Jędrzejewicz became director of the Consular Department of the Ministry (DK MSZ). Two years later September 15,1933 W.T. Drymmer became the director of DK MSZ, remaining in charge of personnel affairs of the Ministry. This status quo was maintained until the outbreak of World War II. Thus, from 1931 onwards the management of personnel appointments and transfers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the consular service, remained in the hands of former intelligence officers. They both began their careers in the intelligence service of the Polish Military Organisation during World War I. When Poland regained independence, they were distinguished officers of the Intelligence

Ibidem, file No. 1.303.4.2150. The copy of the letter of Consul General Eugeniusz Rozwadowski to Department D VII of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of September 7,1922; letter of Kazimierz Olszewski to II Department. Of October 25,1922. It should be noted that the influx of the military personnel to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began almost immediately after the coup of May 1926. At the beginning there were relatively few of them, but they held positions connected with personnel matters. From 1926, the Administration Department of the Ministry, in charge of personnel affairs, was headed by intelligence officers: Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski and Lieutenant Colonel Wacław Jędrzejewicz.


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Bureau, where they worked with Major Józef Beck.61 Both directors of DK MSZ, when starting their work in the foreign affairs services, were thus formally "former intelligence officers". W. Jędrzejewicz began working in the head office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1928 as part of a vanguard of officers sent to the Ministry at the behest of Marshall Piłsudski. Interestingly, he found out about his "transfer" to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the journal Gazeta Polska during a journey from Tokyo to Warsaw.62 An important role was also played by esprit de corps of the intelligence officers, who constituted the army elite. In his memoirs, W.T. Drymmer explicitly suggested that his employment in the Foreign Ministry was a result of the intercession of his colleagues at the II Department.63 Further personnel changes were a natural consequence of this process. Fifteen intelligence officers were hired as full-time employees of the consular service (apart from the DK MSZ). In the subsequent issues of Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej RP (Foreign Service Yearbook of the Republic of Poland) it was noted that they were "delegated from the Ministry of Military Affairs" or "at the disposal of the Ministry". Together with Major Adam Steblowski, hired in 1928, intelligence officers constituted a considerable group among the full-time employees of consular offices, with their number totalling 134 in the mid-1930s.64

A. Pepłoński, Wywiad w wojnie polsko-bolszewickiej 1919-1920, Warszawa, 1999, p. 51. W. Jędrzejewicz, Wspomnienia, edited by the author of the foreword, J. Cisek, Wrocław, 1993, p. 184. Between 1935 and 1939 Director Drymmer was the head of the secret Committee of the Seven (K.7), whose members included employees of the Consular Department of the Ministry and Agency No. 2 of the II Department. He actively participated in, inter alia, the preparation of Polish sabotage groups in the Śląsk Cieszyński. This indicates his close and constant relations with the heads of the consular service and intelligence, even after his formal dismissal from the army ("Sprawozdanie z działalności tajnej organizacji Komitet Siedmiu z września 1938 r.", in: K. Badziak, G. Matwiejew, P. Samuś, "Powstanie" na Zaolziu w 1938 r. Polska akcja specjalna w świetle dokumentów Oddziału II Sztabu Głównego WP, Warszawa, 1997, p. 123). The article by P. Stawecki ("O dominacji wojskowych w państwowym aparacie cywilnym w Polsce w latach 1926-1939", Wojskowy Przegląd Historyczny, No. 3, 1965) included a table with data on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It contained the names of 32 officers who were employed in the Mnistry after the coup of May 1926. As many as 19 (59%) of the persons from this group were employed in the consular service. The data required certain verification. The report of P. Stawecki does not include W. Jędrzejewicz and Colonel Ignacy Matuszewski, the head of the Intelligence Bureau during the Polish-Bolshevik war, who between 1928 and 1929 was the envoy of the Republic of Poland in Hungary. No official publications of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seem to confirm that Lieutenant Zygmunt Jezierski and Major Edward Ksawery Kalinowski were full-time employees of the Mnistry. Even after taking this data into consideration, there still are 18 officials of the consular service who went to the service from the army.


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The influx of military personnel into the consular service had two basic effects. The first, of slightly lesser importance to the issue in question, was the temporary change in the criteria for appointing consuls in the USSR. The most important criteria became their experience in intelligence work. Among the 15 officers who joined the consular service after 1931, as many as 8 had conducted intelligence activities against the USSR before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or did so just after being appointed to their consular posts. In 1935, half of the Polish consular posts in Russia were headed by officials with a history of intelligence gathering activities, who carried out the orders of the II Department while working in their new positions. The consulate in Kharkov was headed by Captain Stanisław Sośnicki65 and the Consulate General in Minsk by Capitain Bohdan Jałowiecki, who at the same time was in charge of the intelligence unit under the cryptonym "B-17". The Consulate General in Tyflis was headed by Lieutenant Jerzy Kłopotowski, who successfully combined this position with being in charge of a II Department unit under the cryptonym "C-15".66 The remaining consulates were admittedly headed by "civilian staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs", but they also actively collaborated with the intelligence service. The same was true with regard to the lower-ranking contract staff. Thus the consular service in the USSR during this time was almost completely dominated by the II Department. The Soviet counterintelligence quite effectively reacted to this phenomenon. In 1937, they liquidated the Polish consulates in Kharkov and Tyflis. The remaining ones were openly watched and harassed. In practical terms no official could leave the consulate unnoticed, which rendered extensive intelligence operations impossible.67 In the end, in 1939, no Polish consulate in USRR was headed by an intelligence

Before taking over the Kharkov post, Captain Sośnicki had worked in the Kiev consulate, where he was one of the officers running an intelligence unit of the II Department with cryptonym "Kh". A. Pepłoński, Wywiad polski..., op. cit, pp. 126127. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2084, the letter of the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Leningrad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of May 10, 1938. The letter stated that NKVD agents accompanied Consul Weese, walking just by him, almost touching him with their elbows. Paying no attention to the presence of Consul's wife, they made rude remarks and ostentatiously spat on the ground. During religious services they would stand right next to Consul's pew. Their behaviour towards the lower-ranking personnel was even worse. There even were cases of arrests of several-hour and tormenting. All the clients of the consulate had their IDs checked. The consulate was completely isolated.


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worker. This is probably one of the reasons why the coordination of II Department investigative activities in the USSR virtually disappeared before World War II, a fact often related in the historiography on the subject.68 The main result of the influx of military personnel into the consular service was to strengthen the position of the II Department residents in the consular structures. Gradually but consistently, Directors Jędrzejewicz and Drymmer selected their staff according to clear criteria. In 1932, the Emigration Policy Unit in the Consular Department of the Ministry was headed by Apoloniusz Zarychta, a lieutenant in active service, delegated a year before from the Ministry of Military Affairs. In 1935, the Division for Poles Abroad of the Consular Department was headed by Captain Tadeusz Kawalec. Several months later, he was replaced by Tadeusz Alfred Kowalski, who until 1931 had been a lieutenant in active service. In this way, almost all major positions in the Consular Department of the Ministry were held by former military intelligence officers. United in their loyalty towards Marshall Piłsudski, sharing in common certain standards of decorum, and linked by ties of friendship, they constituted a disciplined and influential group, which seems to have had a decisive influence on the changing principles of cooperation between the consular service and intelligence. Documents from the 1930s referring to the delegation of intelligence service officers to the consulates no longer referred to the agreement between the Ministries of 1922. In the face of the changing political conditions in Poland, its provisions were now a dead letter. No new agreements were negotiated, as the II Department no longer had to enter into understandings with the management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, now mainly in the hands of the "former" intelligence officers.69 Cooperation

This thesis is regarded in the study by M. Kornat, op. cit., pp. 138-145. The theses that the 1922 agreement between the two Ministries was no longer in force in the 1930s and that there were no other agreements are merely hypotheses which require further research. There are, however, arguments which confirm these assumptions. In a number of documents from the period from 1931 to 1939, intelligence officers appealed to the management of II Department to specify their position and competences in the structures of the foreign affairs outposts in an appropriate agreement. Such a request was formulated by, inter alia, Captain Roman Królikowski (pseudonym Bielański), running the "Jur" intelligence unit in the Mission of the Republic of Poland in Budapest (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2320, a letter of Captain Królikowski to II Department on the draft of the instruction regarding the cooperation of II Department exponents with the diplomatic outposts of October 20,1938).


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principles were determined on a current basis as the need arose. The situation as regards the consulate heads was particularly clear. Their immediate superior was not only an intelligence officer of many years, but also a man of strong character, enthusiastically introducing military discipline into subordinated units. Given the configuration of events, the need for negotiations concerning the placement of a resident in a consulate was obviated, and complaints by consuls about residents' work became ever more rare. Research documentation indicates that both the personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the II Department residents took note of the change in the political conditions and the growing competencies of the intelligence service. Nevertheless, numerous conflicts and mutual complaints occurred in the consulate themselves. The management of the II Department tried to rectify the problem, but—characteristic of the time—there were no attempts to sign an inter-departmental agreement such as the one of 1922; the only response was to develop instructions for officers. In a document distributed in the spring of 1936, officers were categorically forbidden to interfere with the internal procedures and the operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' posts, and direct correspondence with the Ministry head office or the expression of an opinion on the operation of consulates were forbidden. Residents were instructed to be modest, calm, and not provoke attention. The management of the II Department emphasized that residents would be assessed not only on the basis of the intelligence material they collected, but also on their relations with the Ministry units and the climate they created there. This instruction also contains the following sentence: "No exponent has the right to pursue their own personnel or interdepartmental polic/'.70 Reports submitted by the officers employed in consulates indicate that these orders were followed in a selective manner. Residents not only judged the Foreign Affairs officials in terms of their honesty, patriotism, or hard work, but there also are numerous examples of the officers' influence on personnel decisions within the Ministry. The situation prevailing in the 1920s was almost completely reversed71. Residents no longer shared the results of their work with consuls, even though Article 4

W. Kozaczuk, Bitwa o tajemnice. Służby wywiadowcze Polski i Rzeszy Niemieckiej 1922-1939, Warszawa, 1969, p. 374. It should be noted, however, that international conditions to a certain extent required such a radicalisation of solutions.


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of the 1922 agreement between the Ministry or Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Military Affairs was quite explicit on this issue. A consul's request that a resident reveal the contents of his intelligence reports would typically be refused.72 In the meantime residents were instructed how to use consuls for intelligence purposes.73 The decline in the application of codified principles to govern the cooperation between the intelligence services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of intelligence officers employed in consulates.74 The development of this organizational structure in order to obtaining strategic intelligence was connected with the exposures of the existing residents in the USSR and Germany. As Soviet counterintelligence infiltrated and controlled most of the Polish outposts in the USSR, the intelligence operations there after 1928 were based almost exclusively on officers placed in the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the 1930s, II Department residents worked in the Moscow consular department and in consular offices in Kiev, Leningrad, and Minsk. Officers investigating the USSR also worked in Istanbul and Harbin. In 1933 and 1934 German counterintelligence also neutralized the main agents and collaborators working on Poland's collection of strategic intelligence in the Reich. Thereafter, organization of the espionage network in Germany was also based on consulates. In late 1930s, intelligence officers worked in Foreign Affairs' offices in Munich, Wroclaw, Diisseldorf, Leipzig, Szczecin, Frankfurt am Mein, Hamburg, Berlin, Konigsberg, Kwidzyn, Ełk, and Opole. In the spring of 1939, as Poland's relations with its western neighbour rapidly deteriorated, the "Zachód" (Western) branch of the II Department undertook efforts to double the number of its agents in its intelligence outposts in the Third Reich.

For instance, such a case was described by the II Department resident, Jan Karsch, between 1934 and 1936 in charge of an intelligence unit "W-2" at the Polish consulate in Leningrad. When consul Zbigniew Prażmowski Belina-Kryński asked his "subordinate" to show him intelligence reports, he was told in response that "there was no instruction regulating such procedures" and that "it was not customary" (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2084, the letter of the head of the "W-2" unit to the leading officer in the II Department of June 27,1934). Ibidem, file No. 1.303.4.2294, the quarterly assessment of the "Bombaj" unit for the period between April 1 and June 30,1936. The general data on the Polish intelligence residents placed in the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found in: A. Pepłoński, Wywiad polski..., op. cit, pp. 126-127; A. Woźny, Niemieckie..., op. cit, pp. 317-321.


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Eighty line unit officers who knew the German language were selected and examined. Those chosen, approximately a dozen, were trained in the II Department75 and mostly placed in consulates, where from July 1939 they supported the existing residents in intensely investigating the concentration of the German army. In mid-August of 1939, the total number of the Polish intelligence officers working in Germany was 2426.76 Outposts directed towards Germany operated in the consulates in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Bern, Prague, and Vienna. Following the annexation of Austria, residents were also placed in the Polish consulates in Moravian Ostrava, Bratislava, and Uzhorod.77 In 1939, intelligence officers disguised as consular officials were so numerous that the intelligence management pressurized Director Drymmer into introducing changes in the official Rocznik Służby Zagranicznej RP (Foreign Service Yearbook), published annually and containing biographical notes of all the Ministry staff, in order to conceal intelligence service residents. While the relations among the full-time intelligence staff and the consular service employees evolved in a manner reflecting the changes taking place in Poland, generalizations should be made with utmost caution, as the relations were determined by a number of factors. The principles for placing residents in consulates gradually evolved towards depriving consuls of their influence on intelligence officers' work. The personal characters of consular officials and intelligence officers must also be taken into account, as they fleshed out the framework decisions taken in Warsaw. Nevertheless while keeping in mind these reservations, several

The report of Major Tadeusz Szumowski, the head of the Independent Branch "Zachód" of the II Department (deep, i.e. strategic intelligence for Germany), a material stored in the Historic Documentation Workshop of the Military History Institute AGN, Materials and Documents, file No. 1/3/94, pp. 5-7. From July 1,1939 officers were sent to the following offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Jan Kaszubowski to the consulate general in Vienna; Marian Długołęcki to the consulate general in Wrocław; Roman Malinowski to the consulate in Leipzig; Karol Miler to the consulate in Szczecin; Maciej Konar to the consulate in Hamburg; Marian Lorenz to the consulate general in Kónigsberg; Józef Meissner to the consulate in Opole; Władysław Kamiński to the mission in Bratislava (from August 16), Ildefons Kędzierzykowski to the consulate general in Berlin. The intelligence staffing of the general consulate in Kiev was also strengthened, thanks to the employment if Józef Zdanowicz (AAN MSZ, file No. 1457B, newly employed in the Mnistry (from July 1,1939) at the request of the II Department. Note for the Director of the Consular Department of the Mnistry, Mr. Drymmer, of September 1939). L. Sadowski, op. cit, pp. 39-64.


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typical patterns of cooperation between intelligence and consular officers can be noted. In the early 1920s, when the first group of full-time intelligence staff was sent to consulates, the reports by the residents concerning the cooperation with and assistance of the consular heads of office were nearly identical. Following some preliminary resistance towards the "employment" of intelligence officers, the consuls came to terms with their activity. The agreement of January 1922 gave them power, at least in theory, over their new "officials". The consultations which preceded the arrival of intelligence officers gave the impression that consuls maintained full power over the personnel subordinate to them. This was an important psychological factor, which probably mitigated conflicts. Upon receiving Mieczysław Pogorzelski, the resident of the II Department, the Consul General in Konigsberg, Zygmund Merdinger, promised him full support for his mission and transferred his own information agents to him. A similar declaration was also made to the next resident, Lieutenant Marian Skorupa78. Two consecutive residents in the Szczecin consulate in the years 1927 and 1928 were given the same welcome.79 Consuls in the USSR also offered assistance to the residents sent to them. In 1925 the Consul General in Kharkov, Konstanty Zaremba-Skrzyński, suggested that another II Department officer be sent to his office. He offered comprehensive assistance, recruiting agents in the Right-Bank Ukraine and initiating intelligence contacts with officials in the Italian and Czechoslovakian consulates.80 Reports by the intelligence residents in the 1930s, however, indicate that offers of assistance in intelligence tasks during that time were made primarily by contract officials. Consuls seldom made similar offers, as the placements of intelligence officers were no longer discussed with them and they did not feel obliged to extend them such assistance. Heads of consulates had to deal with faits accomplis, which caused their attitudes towards intelligence residents to become much more rigid. Given the situation of unclear subordination, conflicts between the management of consulates and intelligence service residents AP Gdańsk, KGRPG, file No. 1263, organisational report of the intelligence unit No. 1 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Konigsberg of October 1,1923. W. Skóra, Konsulat..., op. cit., pp. 233-234. CAW, II Department SG, file. No. 1.303.4.1750, letter of the military attache at the Mission of the Republic of Poland, Major Kobylański, to the General Staff of the Mnistry of Military Affairs of March 25,1925.


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were inevitable. In the early 1920s the rare conflicts that occurred were mitigated and the importance of consuls taken into account, preserving the superio-subordinate relationship. In December 1920, a conflict occurred between the head of the Gdańsk intelligence agency, Cavalry Captain Karol Dubicz, and Consul General Stanisław Srokowski, head of the consular office in Konigsberg, over the management of agents and the use made of the results of their work. While the issue did not concern an intelligence resident, it clearly illustrates the rules of cooperation then in place. Captain Dubicz forbade his agents to perform intelligence tasks for the consul. Consul General Srokowski's reaction is described by one of the intelligence officials/agents, in a letter to her "other boss" residing in Gdańsk, as follows: "Consul Srokowski is incredibly bitter about being so badly treated in spite of all his helpfulness, assistance, and cooperation. He is outraged that opinions and judgments are being circulated about him, and if he is not offered some form of compensation, such as a letter of apology or something of that sort, he may—as he said today— inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the issue. (...) The Consul, who has been most friendly towards us, helpful in all situations, always ready to offer assistance and shelter, and never known to refuse any request made by the Captain, is so outraged today that the door of the consulate may be closed to us for a long time."81 This letter shows how important the good will of the head of the consulate was in those times. A consul could demand an apology if intelligence officers made a negative assessment of his work and "threaten" to approach the head office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a certain type of a tribunal—something which was unthinkable in the next decade. At the time this was possible because the consuls' superiors were not connected with the intelligence service. Another mechanism was also observable in the 1920s. If a resident did not work well in the performance of his consular functions, the consul would inform the II Department of his objections. No traces of such similar interventions can be found in the following decade. On the other hand, a number of residents' reports contain complaints about the conduct of consuls. The 1930s saw a clear increase in the number of the "hidden conflicts" involving the heads of consulates and intelligence residents. There were four main sources of misunderstanding: differing work

AP Gdańsk, KGRPG, file No. 1136, copy of the letter of G. Puławska to Captain Dubicz of December 17,1920.


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methods; the consuls' fear of exposure; the fact that the residents were not clearly subordinate to the heads of the consulates; and the fact that officers of II Department controlled, in a disguised though perceptible manner, the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An analysis of the intelligence reports from this period leads to the conclusion that intelligence residents provoked ambivalent emotions among the consular officials. The consuls working in Germany and the USSR certainly understood the threat to Poland which those states posed. Many elements in the reports seem to indicate that they appreciated the efforts and risks involved in the resident's work. Formally, however, the residents were also officials, and consuls were responsible for the image and prestige of the outposts entrusted to them. Consulates operated in compliance with the principles adopted by the Sejm, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and international agreements. One of their tasks involved protecting the rule of law and enforcement of the law. And the operations conducted by the residents involved breaking the law and persuading others to do the same. Colonel Tadeusz Schatzel, head of the II Department in the years 1926-1928, put it clearly in his paper describing the specificity of intelligence operations: "Intelligence services play on human weaknesses, character faults, flaws in human nature, and uncontrolled passions, by trying to identify and foment them."82 In order to be effective, an officer must resort to "immoral necessities", whereas each consulate was a flagship of Poland, and its head was obliged to maintain such relations with the local authorities as would allow him to defend the interests of Polish citizens to the maximum extent possible. The respect that consuls were shown by being invited to various official functions, parties, and ceremonies constituted an almost indispensable element of the normal operation of a consulate. An espionage scandal could radically change such conventions and behaviours. It is also certain that counterintelligence services had their own agents in Polish consulates, trying to track all intelligence activities. In the Third Reich, the local authorities were not only informed about the journey routes taken by consular officials within their competences, but also about their contacts with officers of the II

W. Kozaczuk, op. cit., p. 130.


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Department during their travels to Poland.83 The career of a consul expelled from a country for an espionage scandal was finished, at least in terms of prestigious appointments and lucrative positions in foreign outposts. This happened to, inter alia, the Polish consul in Szczecin, Wacław Russocki-Brzezie,84 which underscores the fact that personal motives were also in play. Conflicts were provoked by the unclear relationship between consuls and intelligence residents. Residents performed tasks about which the consuls knew nothing. They had considerable funds for that purpose, and their activities involved the personnel of the consulates. Consuls were deprived of the possibility to dismiss residents and lost their power over them as subordinates. Officers would also try to influence the personnel policy of a consul, asking that a given person be dismissed or forbidding the dismissal of a given official deemed to be useful. In addition, the tone of the residents' reports clearly indicates that they were deeply convinced that their methods were indubitably right. Given their awareness of the personal risks involved, it became natural for them to reduce the consulate and the people working in it to the role of tools to be instrumentally used. It should also be added that due to the dual salaries which they received, residents' earnings were comparable to those of consuls, which led to an impression that when a resident arrived a consulate gained another boss. Another aspect, purely technical, of an intelligence officer's work in a consulate should also be mentioned. Following the 1932 personnel reductions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, each and every staff member in a consulate was worth his or her weight in gold. And no new positions were created when intelligence residents were placed in a consulate. They took over already existing positions of contract officials whose contracts had not been renewed. The consul was thus forced to accept a II Department officer, whom he knew would treat his consular work as a duty of secondary importance. From the viewpoint of the head of a consulate, his office was worse off after the change. Consuls had their legitimate reasons to treat intelligence residents as a foreign body within the structure of their outposts. For instance, the Superior President of the Pomerania province was informed in detail about the journey of Stanisław Szydłowski, the Secretary of the Polish Consulate in Piła, and about his meetings with three staff members of the II Department (State Archive in Szczecin, Naczelne Prezydium Prowincji Pomorskiej w Szczecinie, file No. 3573, letter of the President of the Szczecin branch to the Superior President of the Pomerania province on the activities of S. Szydłowski of December 21,1930). See W. Skóra, "Likwidacja konsulatu polskiego w Szczecinie w 1939 roku", Przegląd Zachodniopomorski, No. 4, 2000, pp. 82-86.


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However, only in the 1930s could the residents be said to have become a source of fear and to provoke concealed contempt, exacerbated by the awareness that the residents' tasks also encompassed providing information on the consulate staff and all "irregularities" noticed in their conduct. Given the realities prevailing in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after 1931, such opinions could have a significant negative influence on the further career development of a consular official. The competencies of the II Department were widely known, as was the professional career of Director Drymmer. While control over state administration outposts is a common and necessary phenomenon, the untypical element in the existing situation was the placement of a permanent "controller" into the official structures in a position of formal subordination to the persons to be assessed by him. Also, consular officials were not privy to the assessment criteria and did not know the contents of the reports sent to the Warsaw head office. Some work carried out in this respect even involved counterintelligence tasks.85 Consulate staff knew many state secrets, and foreign intelligence services could gain access to them through blackmail, bribery, or intimate contacts. The task of intelligence residents included the identification of those persons who succumbed to these methods. Given human nature, it was seemingly very easy for them to cross the fine line between fair and unbiased reporting and abuse of their significant power over other people's careers owing to personal feelings or resentments.86 Such

The intelligence unit "Bombaj", operating at the consulate in Szczecin, would develop 7-10 counterintelligence studies every quarter at the request of the intelligence head office. Some of them concerned Ministry personnel (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2294, Miscellaneous information of the "Bombaj" unit of August 1,1935). Lieutenant Wacław Galewicz, in charge of the intelligence unit „Bombaj" in Szczecin, in his report to the II Department referred to a failure to display Polish national flags on November 11 as a scandal and offence to national pride: "When I came to the consulate on that day, I noticed that no flag had been displayed on the consulate building. I assumed it had been forgotten and reported it to the consul, who got confused and said that the flag had not been displayed pursuant to an oral order of Ambassador Lipski, so that we do not tease the Germans!". The resident commented on the fact and intimated that it had a most undesirable impact on the mood of the local Polish community. In the same report, he also described a case when consul Heliodor Sztark was summoned to the Polish embassy in Berlin and persuaded to withdraw a report shedding unfavourable light on the Germans. The intended purpose was to avoid a deterioration in the relations with the Germans. The resident regarded it as an attempt to distort the truth (CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2295, monthly political report for the period from October 15 to November 15,1935).


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conduct by residents would not have been possible had it not been for the favourable conditions existing in the Ministry head office and even, more broadly, in Poland. In his memoirs, Jan Małęczyński, a staff member of the consulate in Opole between 1936 and 1939, wrote that upon his departure to his new outpost Director Drymmer suggested that he write confidential reports on the work of Consul General Bohdan Samborski, then head of the Opole consulate.87 It seems likely that such an order was not an exception. In this context, the following statement of W.T. Drymmer himself in his memoirs seems farcical: " I came down heavily on informing practices, including concealed ones. I even applied to the Minister to remove a vice consul and a contract employee for this kind of practice."88 The circumstances described above spoiled the atmosphere in consulates. Residents not infrequently encountered maliciousness and obstacles. They responded with disobedience, sometimes arrogance, and in their reports mentioned facts compromising the consuls. This took place not only in the consulates in the USSR and Germany, but in countries with friendly relations with Poland as well. The reports of intelligence officers are strikingly similar.89 Jan Karsch was delegated by the II Department to the consulate in Leningrad in the spring of 1934, and his task was to observe the port and armament industries, which were intensely developed in that city. According to the report of the resident, Consul Zbigniew Prażmowski Belina-Kryński received him most "cordially" (inverted commas in the original). The irony was justified. He was placed in the consulate's smallest room, which had not been renovated for a long time. His oft repeated requests for use of the consulate car were dismissed, with the explanation that the car was out of order or taken, which was not true. When another employee of the II Department was to arrive in Leningrad, the consul refused to receive him in the consulate, claiming that "he did not care".90 The resident informed the head office in detail about similar

J. Małęczyński, Moja praca w Konsulacie Generalnym Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej w Opolu, ed. W. Lesiuk, Opole, 1980, p. 35. W.T. Drymmer, W służbie ..., op. cit, p. 118. The total lack of similar reports authored by the consular service staff members should be emphasised here. Neither memoirs nor reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contain complaints of consular officials against officers of the II Department. This discrepancy should lead to cautious conclusions. CAW, II Department SG, file No. 1.303.4.2084, letter of the head of the "W-2" outpost to the leading officer in II Department of June 27,1934.


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behaviour by the consul. Considerable sections of his reports were devoted to listing irregularities in operations of the consulate. Not only did the resident point out irregularities concerning state secrets, which were clearly of importance from the viewpoint of counterintelligence, he also bitingly commented on the frequent parties in the consulates, which he "unfortunately had to attend". The rising tensions led to passive resistance on the part of the resident towards the consul in official matters. The head office supported him in his attitude. In its instruction of September 1939 we read: "We also believe that your policy towards your boss [the consul—W.S.] is appropriate and provokes no objections. Be firm, faultless in official relations, and do not allow him to push you around. In the future, carefully note all his attempts to limit your possibilities."91 We can infer that the last sentence concerned gathering reasons to dismiss the consul at the demand (request) of II Department officials in the future. The situation was exceptional, as until 1931 Colonel Prażmowski was an officer in active service and should have shown some understanding and appreciation of the resident's work. Even in the case of a former officer, however, personal ambitions turned out to be stronger than an ingrained sense of duty.92 Changes in the management of the consulate took place in mid-October 1934. Consul Prażmowski ended his career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Leningrad consulate was headed by Eugeniusz Weese.93 The cooperation between the new consul and the resident was much more harmonious, not only because Consul Weese knew how such conflicts were likely to end, but also because of the growing pressure of the Soviet authorities on the consulate, which had the effect of uniting the personnel. The brutal surveillance tactics carried out by Soviet counterintelligence agents pushed all hierarchical conflicts and ambitions into the background. Consul Weese also cooperated closely and smoothly with the next intelligence resident, Stefan Ratomski. A similar phenomenon occurred in Germany in 1939. In spite of the Ibidem, file No. 1.303.4.2084, letter of the leading officer in II Department to the head of the "W-2" outpost, September 29,1934. There were antagonisms between the II Department and other parts of the Polish army. A fragment of the address of Colonel Tadeusz Schatzl to the inspector-generals GISZ on January 25, 1929 is worth quoting here: "(...) the essence of the II Department makes it considerably different from the rest of the military structures and that is why the problem of II Department vs. the Army exists (quoted after : W. Kozaczuk, op. cit., p. 125). Consul Weese had cooperated with II Department before, when he worked in the general consulate in Kharkov.


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considerably higher number of residents placed in the consulates that year, no traces of conflicts have been found. This leads to the conclusion that it took the threat of a real war to bring about efficient cooperation between the consular and intelligence gathering services. Source: Dzieje Najnowsze, No. 1, 2004, pp. 21-43


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