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Friedel Kuehn, Spy for Japan, 1942Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Friedel Kuehn, Spy for Japan, 1942

Description: Friedel Kuehn, the wife of Bernard Julius Otto Kuehn (or Kuhn; 1895-1956), German spymaster for Nazi Germany and Japan in Hawaii, up to the time of the December 7, 1941 attack by Japan. Kuehn, an early member of the Nazi Party, and close friend of Nazi leaders Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Paul Goebbels, agreed to spy for the Japanese in Hawaii (as a "sleeper" spy), moving his entire family to Honolulu on August 15, 1935. He was paid $2,000 a month, plus a $6,000 yearly bonus, as well as expenses to buy small houses in and about Honolulu from which he and other family members--his wife Friedel, his daughter Ruth, and even his small son Hans--gathered secret information on the U.S. Navy fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. Friedel Kuehn opened a beauty salon where her daughter Ruth also worked and where she recorded all the gossip containing important information loose-mouthed to them by unwitting wives of U.S. Navy officers. The attractive Ruth Kuehn dated many U.S. Navy officers and pumped from them important information on fleet operations. Little Hans, dressed in U.S. Navy uniforms, was invited on board U.S. warships where he took notes of armament and guns. Kuehn himself scouted Pearl Harbor, noting each warship's anchorage locations--such information pinpointing the targets later used by attacking Japanese planes. During that attack on December 7, 1941, the Kuehns were relaying by light signals from the top of one of their houses that overlooked the harbor to the Japanese Consulate in Pearl Harbor the direct hits made upon U.S. warships until U.S. intelligence agents saw the light signals, rushed to the Kuehn house and arrested the family. Kuehn was convicted of espionage and sentenced to death on February 19, 1942. Because he provided information on Nazi and Japanese spy rings, his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was released in 1948 and returned to Germany, dying there eight years later. His wife and daughter, who had both received fifty-year prison sentences, were also released and deported to their native Germany. The Kuehn case inspired screenwriter Ben Hecht to write Notorious (1946), a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and one where Ingrid Bergman's role was loosely based upon Ruth Kuehn.

Category: Intelligence

Keywords: Bernard Kuehn, Bernard Kuhn, Friedel Kuehn, Friedel Kuhn, Ruth Kuehn, Ruth Kuhn, Hans Kuehn, Hans Kuhn, espionage, spies, spying, intelligence, covert secrets, Japanese Intelligence, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Paul Goebbels, Pearl Harbor attack, Honolulu, Hawaii, spy rings, spymasters, Ben Hecht, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingrid Bergman

Orientation: Landscape

Dimensions: 1050 x 952 (1.10)

Print Size: 8.9 x 8.1 cm; 3.5 x 3.2 inches

File Size: 2.86 MB (3,002,834 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004142

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection


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