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healdav

Spies in France

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healdav

I have come across a refernce in a local newspaper of 1922 that a certain Marguerite Francillard was found to be spying in France for the Germans because she had a German lover.

She was imprisoned and executed in St. Lazare on 10/1/1917.

There was also a Mme Steinheil who was captured.

Does anyone know any more about these two women?

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Lancashire Fusilier

I have come across a refernce in a local newspaper of 1922 that a certain Marguerite Francillard was found to be spying in France for the Germans because she had a German lover.

She was imprisoned and executed in St. Lazare on 10/1/1917.

Here is an article which mentions Marguerite Francillard.

Regards,

LF

" Elsbeth Schragmüller (AKA: Fraulein Doktor; Mademoiselle Docteur; Fair Lady; La Baronne; Mlle Schwartz; Tiger Eyes; August 7, 1887-February 24, 1940), German professor of political science (held a 1913 doctorate from the University of Freiburg in that field, ergo her sobriquet of "Fraulein Doktor"), and spymaster, who operated a spy training school for German Intelligence (Abwehr) in Antwerp during WWI. (This is the only known photograph ever taken of her.) She was the only female spymaster during that war and answered directly to Colonel Walter Nicolai (Walther Nicolai; 1873-1947), chief of German Intelligence during that time. Nicolai stated that she was one of the best spymasters in any intelligence service in WWI. She was an unrelenting and demanding teacher of spies sent to French coastal towns and English Channel cities during the war, washing out those showing academic weaknesses of lack of national spirit. She looked upon espionage as a science, not a haphazard adventure of luck or circumstance. Ruthless, she religiously employed the concept of "sacrifice" in espionage (which she had learned from her research of the Okhrana, the Russian Secret Police), a planned betrayal technique by indentifying a genuine spy in one of her networks to the enemy in order to preserve the safety of another agent of greater value. Mata Hari was one of those "sacrifices." Shragmüller used a "safe house" in Geneva, Switzerland to clear all coded messages sent and received by the German agents in her network, changing those codes every week or so. She rewarded her best agents by tripling their salaries or giving them large bonuses they could nevertheless not spend, as they were kept in safekeeping for those agents in German banks, to be bestowed following the war. She was a cold-blooded spymaster in that she used up many of her agents, such as Margaurite Francillard, a young French girl, who had been compromised into becoming one of her spies by German agents. Schragmüller used the girl as a courier between Paris and Geneva until she felt she was expendable and then identified Francillard to French Intelligence, which caused her conviction of treason and execution by firing squad at Vincennes on January 10, 1917. Schragmüller survived the war, teaching and lecturing in Munich, Germany. Her identity as a WWI German spymaster was not learned until 1945, following WWII, five years after she had died. Several films were based upon this enigmatic woman, none of them accurate, the most outlandish being Fraulein Doktor (1969) where Suzy Kendall plays the part of Schragmüller as an alluring vamp and sexy siren. "

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healdav

Well, thanks for that. Where did it come from?

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Lancashire Fusilier

Well, thanks for that. Where did it come from?

Marguerite Francillard is well documented, with many internet and book references to her, some of the articles are in French.

I could only find one photograph of Marguerite Francillard ( attached ), which was unfortunately taken after her execution.

There was a ' Marguerite Steinheil ' and again she is well documented, but rather as a mistress of the French President Felix Faure, rather than a German spy, if indeed it is the same woman ?

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-61939200-1385216278_thumb.j

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Story

Interrogation reports and photographs are among secret MI5 files about World War One spies being made available online for the first time.

Among the spies detailed are Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and Dutch spy Mata Hari, who was executed for spying for the Germans

More than 150 files are being made available in the digitised release.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26959349

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Phil Tomaselli

Most of the released WW1 "spy" files have very little to do with the war unfortunately, except in its final phases and just happen to contain a few WW1 period papers in files mainly dealing with the 1920's. Mata Hari, George Vaux Bacon, Roger Casement and (just released) Von Rintelen are just about the only serious spies the files cover.

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