Monday, November 29, 2010


The  defection of  Abwehr officer Vermehren and his deeply religious wife Elizabeth to the Secret Intelligence Service in 1944 in Istanbul proved to be the catalyst for the absorption of the Abwehr into the German Reich Security Agency. The Vermehrens were cultivated by an SIS officer, Nicholas Elliott, who eventually persuaded them to switch sides with a promise that their decision would remain secret. Unfortunately the news leaked  almost as soon as the couple had been received and debriefed in Cairo and was broadcast by the BBC, forcing them to adopt new identities and be resettled in Switzerland.