Fritz Wiedemann once Hitler’s personal adjutant and later Consul General

Fritz Wiedemann Consul General

Fritz Wiedemann (16 August 1891 – 17 January 1970), the former adjutant of Hitler and later Consul General in San Francisco were arrested in July 1947 at his country residence in Neuhofen. From 1933 to 1939, he was Hitler’s personal adjutant, head of the Reich Office of the NSDAP, brigade leader of the NSKK, and holder of the Golden Party Badge. According to his statement, he was transferred to San Francisco because of differences of opinion with Hitler. Wiedemann was in China until 1945.

Some of his personal belongings were auctioned in Germany in Dec 2019, including two diplomatic passports from 1939 and 1941.

Wiedemann personal belongings, San Francisco 1939
Wiedemann’s diplomatic passport 1939 as Consul General in San Francisco and other personal items

Wiedemann and Hitler first came into contact during the First World War when Hauptmann Wiedemann, as regimental adjutant, was Corporal Hitler’s superior. Along with Max Amann, he was one of Hitler’s most active supporters in the regiment, nominating him for the Iron Cross, First Class, on several occasions before the medal was given in 1918. While giving evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, Wiedemann suggested that Hitler had failed to gain promotion in the regiment due to commanding officers viewing him as a ‘Bohemian.’ Fritz Wiedemann Consul General

After the war, Wiedemann left the army and became a farmer, initially refusing an offer from Hitler at the regimental reunion in 1922 to help organize the Sturmabteilung (SA). However, when Hitler came to power in 1933, Wiedemann accepted a new offer, initially in the offices of Rudolf Hess before taking up his post at Hitler’s side, as well as Nazi Party membership, on 2 February 1934. From then on, Wiedemann remained at Hitler’s side, accompanying him on state visits, facilitating meetings, and dealing with Hitler’s correspondence. He also attended a meeting with Lord Halifax in July 1938, in which Wiedemann made it clear that Hitler intended to deal with the problem of the Sudetenland by force.

Not long after this, Wiedemann fell out of favor with Hitler as his rival Julius Schaub became the more critical adjutant. After trysting with Stephanie von Hohenlohe, he was “exiled,” in January 1939, to San Francisco as a Consul General to the United States. In public, Wiedemann continued to support Nazism and led a playboy lifestyle, which included attendance at society parties, membership of the exclusive Olympic Club, and regular appearances in the columns of Herb Caen.

He met with the British agent Sir William Wiseman, warning him of Hitler’s unstable personality and urging Britain to attack Germany. He also offered to denounce the German regime publicly, but the White House at that time had no interest in such an offer. Fritz Wiedemann Consul General

Wiedemann's diplomatic passport 1941 as Consul General in Tientsin
Wiedemann’s diplomatic passport 1941 as Consul General in Tientsin and other personal items

Thomas Weber has found the records of Wiedemann’s talks with him in 1940 in which Wiedemann openly warned against Hitler and claimed Hitler had a “split personality and numbered among the cruelest people in the world, saw himself better than Napoleon and that peace with him was impossible.” He told Wiseman of Hitler’s plans to attack and conquer the UK and “recommended strongly” that the British themselves strike as quickly and as “hard as possible” against him.

He told Wiseman that the morale of the German population and the support of Hitler were lower than generally believed. Thomas Weber said if Hitler had known about Wiedemann’s “treason,” he would have given him the death penalty. Fritz Wiedemann Consul General

Wiedemann was subsequently sent to Tientsin, where he was a central figure in German espionage in China, apparently this time without betraying Hitler. After the Second World War, Wiedemann was arrested in Tientsin, China, in September 1945, and flown to the United States. He gave evidence at Nuremberg, although charges made against him were dropped in 1948, and he subsequently returned to farming, disappearing from public life.


The Madera Tribune, Volume LXXVII, Number 68 reported on 20 February 1941… Nazi San Francisco Consul Sued By Former Wife of Army Officer

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20. The divorced wife of a lieutenant colonel in the United States army today demanded that German Consul General Fritz Wiedemann pay her $8000 for acting as his secret agent in Berlin. She is Mrs. Alice Crockett, former wife of Lieutenant Colonel Gilman K. Crockett of Camp Jackson, South Carolina. Mrs. Crockett, 37, a woman with a round, plump face, and dark, bobbed hair, was born in Zurich. She now makes her living as a governess. Her suit, filed in superior court, said that Wiedemann, in 1939, had a misunderstanding with Adolf Hitler, German Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, and Field Marshal Hermann Goering, regarding his ability to discharge his duties as chief of the Nazi propaganda and espionage services in the United States. $500 PER MONTH SALARY She said he agreed to pay her $500 a month and expenses to sound out Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering, and she stayed in Germany from June until December 1939. She said she saw Goebbels, Goering, and Hitler “five or six times,” and when she returned, she was able to report that Hitler thought he was “the best man for the job we have to do in the United States.” Wiedemann said the suit was “ridiculous.” “My record is clear. The entire suite is without any foundation.” He said that he had repeatedly refused to give Mrs. Crockett a job in the consulate and that she had tried to borrow money from him.

“Matters were arranged on a social basis,” she said, explaining that she had met the consul general when she called at the consulate to inquire about relatives in Germany. ON SOCIAL BASIS Wiedmann’s side o the case was advanced by Otto A. Hoecker, the consulate attorney. He said that she introduced herself at the consulate in 1939, and said she was greatly impressed with Nazism and wanted to work for it in the United States. Hoecker said Wiedemann told her he had nothing for her at the consulate and did not hire agents. Nevertheless, she persisted in calling at the consulate, Roecker said, and in the summer of 1939 told Wiedemann she was going to Germany and needed a letter of introduction. He said Wiedemann gave her a letter to a German Motion picture executive and did not hear from her again until a year ago when she wrote to him from New York that she was sick and friendless and needed $100.


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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

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"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

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Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

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A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

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Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

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A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

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