OTTO AND ILSE SKORZENY’S PASSPORTS
OTTO SKORZENY (1908 – 1975) Nazi officer and Hitler’s chief and favorite commando, he made a daring mountain-top rescue of Mussolini, placed English-speaking soldier in American uniforms to mislead American forces in the Bulge, and after the war headed the organization that helped hundreds of ex-SS officers flee Germany. Large important and revealing a lot of passports travel documents, membership cards, etc. owned and used by Otto Skorzeny, as well as his wife ILSE SKORZENY (nee von Finkenstein, d. 2002), all obtained directly from the Spanish heir to Ilse Skorzeny’s estate. There is a vast wealth of information in the body of these documents which not only traces Skorzeny’s post-war movements but also shows how Ilse, the “front man” for almost all of Skorzeny’s overseas businesses, moved about in his behalf.
1.) Signed passport issued by the All Palestinian Government at Gaza on July 27, 1952, and valid for five years, 40pp., given to Skorzeny under the alias “Hanna Eff. Khoury” and signed by him twice with that name, describing Skorzeny as a Palestinian national, and engineer born in Haifa on June 6, 1908 (Skorzeny’s true birth date), and bearing a “scar on his left cheek” and now residing in Cairo.
2.) Signed passport “Otto Skorzeny” issued by Spain at Madrid, May 18, 1951, valid for three months, 48pp., bearing his photo and three fingerprints, birth date incorrectly indicated June 19, 1908, marked “Stateless,” with visa stamps from Portugal and Caya, Spain.
3.) Signed passport “Otto Skorzeny” issued by Spain at Madrid, July 11, 1958, valid for three months, 32pp., bearing his photo and brief description, birth date correct, marked “Stateless” and allowing travel only to Ireland, Germany, and Cuba, with visa stamps from Germany and Ireland.
4.) Signed passport “Otto Skorzeny” issued by Austria at Madrid, Feb. 10, 1959, valid for five years, 48pp., bearing his photo and brief description, birth date correct, with visa stamps from Athens, Corfu, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Mallorca, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Zurich, Tangiers(?), South Africa, Nairobi, Cairo, Libya, France, Jordan, and Paraguay, and others, many multiples of each country.
5.) Consul of Argentina in Madrid special authorization for Skorzeny to travel to Argentina on an “urgent” basis, 1p. legal folio, Madrid, Oct. 16, 1954, bears Skorzeny’s photo and signature of the consul, with two related documents.
6.) Safe-conduct pass issued to Skorzeny by the Spanish Government, 1p. legal folio, Mar. 26, 1956 (split).
1.) Temporary Travel Document in Lieu of Passport for German Nationals”, issued by the Allied High Commission for Germany, Jan. 23, 1951, issued at Madrid on and valid for two years for “Repatriation to Germany and travel via France”, bears stamps showing travel to Germany and France, along with a Swiss visa.
2.) Spanish passport, issued in Madrid, Jan. 18, 1951, valid for one trip only, a visa from France.
3.) German passport issued at Bremen, Feb. 27, 1951, valid for two years, bears visa stamps from Spain, Portugal, Frankfurt, France, Switzerland, Rome, London, Accra, Luanda, Austria, and other – so many that two passports had to be combined to accommodate all the stamps.
4.) German passport issued at Madrid, July 26, 1963, valid for five years, visa stamps from Paris, Boston, New York, San Juan, Switzerland, London, Gibraltar, Dublin, Athens, Tehran, Iraq, Egypt, Bombay, Thailand, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and elsewhere.
5.) German passport issued at Madrid, June 13, 1966, valid for five years, visa stamps from the U.S., Athens, Paris, Dublin, London, Geneva, Malaga, Egypt, Nice, Lebanon, Lisbon, Sweden, and elsewhere.
6.) German passport issued at Madrid, June 8, 1970, valid for five years, visa stamps from Nice, London, Geneva, U.S., Rome, Egypt, Dublin, Bahamas, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco, and elsewhere.
7.) German passport issued at Madrid, June 26, 1975, valid for five years, visa stamps from Kuwait, Athens, Saudi Arabia, Nice, Canada, Egypt, etc..
In the years after Otto’s death in 1975, it appears that Ilse maintained contact with her old clients. The six remaining passports, German and Austrian, bear multiple visa stamps from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Athens, Zurich, and other cities in Europe and the Middle East. Interestingly, in the 1990s, Ilse held passports from both Austria and Germany. Her Austrian passport showed 22 entries to the U.S., two to Rome and one to Bermuda – and nothing else. At the same time her German passport showed multiple visits to Russia, Argentina, Cyprus, and Uruguay. Finally included is Ilse’s Military Government Temporary Identification, 1945; a Nazi-issued1942 hunting license; vaccination certificate, driver’s licenses, Hamburg-America Line credentials, press credentials, etc., and a copy of her and Otto’s marriage certificate. Overall fine condition. In 1952, Egypt had been taken over by Gen. Mohammed Naguib. Skorzeny was sent to Egypt the following year by former Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, who was now working for the CIA, to act as Naguib’s military advisor. Skorzeny recruited a staff made up of former SS officers to train the Egyptian army. Among these officers were SS General Wilhelm Farmbacher, Panzer General Oskar Munzel, Leopold Gleim, head of the Gestapo Department for Jewish Affairs in Poland, and Joachim Daemling, former chief of the Gestapo in Düsseldorf joined Skorzeny in Egypt. In addition to training the army, Skorzeny also trained Arab volunteers in commando tactics for possible use against British troops stationed in the Suez Canal zone. Several Palestinian refugees also received commando training, and Skorzeny planned their initial strikes into Israel via the Gaza Strip in 1953-1954. One of these Palestinians was Yasser Arafat. Skorzeny would eventually serve as an adviser to Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. An excellent set of historic credentials documenting the Skorzenys many “business ventures” selling training, arms and material throughout the Middle East and Europe. Worthy of careful research. Sold for $4270 at auction
You can find several videos on YouTube of Skorzeny.