Who is Vladimir Brjuhanov and what kind of books he writes

(You can download illustrated pdf-file at the bottom of the page)

The Master and the Apprentice:

Super-Agents Alfred Redl

and Adolf Hitler


The most fitting brief description of the work of the Russian historian Vladimir Bryukhanov is "Conspiracies In The World History".

He searches for the clues and the background information concerning those historic events which have been traditionally misinterpreted by the community of established historians.

His gift of astute observation as well as his skilful use of deductive reasoning in analysing all the available archival documents result in solving the mysteries and removing the logical contradictions of the previously accepted versions of events.

The subject of Vladimir Bryukhanov's latest book is the mysterious death of the colonel Alfred Redl in 1913.  The colonel was one of the top leaders of the counter-espionage service of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. He was accused of spying for Russia whereupon he allegedly took his own life.

Supported by the numerous details known from the published memoirs and archival documents, the author is able to prove that this generally accepted version is basically flawed.  He shows in his book the true circumstances and the succession  of events leading to the murder of the colonel.

The author makes astonishingly detailed deductions about the motives  of the acting politicians and the counter-espionage officers; he exhaustively explains how the conflicting interests and career considerations aggravated by homosexual passions and venereal diseases resulted in the murder.

The legend of the poor young artist Adolf Hitler and his woefully impecunious life in Vienna and Munich in 1909-1914 has been thoroughly destroyed. Adolf Hitler has been shown as one of the key figures on the chessboard of the colonel Redl.

The invaluable experience that the young Adolf Hitler had made before the First World War – as well as his considerable wealth (acquired at about the same time) – were the ground on which Adolf Hitler some years later erected his sensational criminal political career.

The accusations of having been a Russian spy were later used in order to blackmail him into submission.  The sword of this blackmail was threatening him during the most of his political career.

This book will be a good companion to all those who are interested in solving historical mysteries – be it as a professional historian or merely an amateur.




Dr. Vladimir Brjuhanov

Biographical data


Vladimir Brjuhanov was born in 1945 to the family of Moscow researchers.


His father, Andrey Brjuhanov (1910 – 1970), professor, Doctor of Engineering, the author of numerous books on press-forging technologies, was born to a Russian family of gentry with a long history of antimonarchist movement.


Andrey Brjuhanov’s great-uncle (his maternal grandmother’s brother), Nicolay Bludorov, served his term of imprisonment for revolutionary activity as far back as in 1862-1867.

Andrey Brjuhanov’s uncle (his father’s elder brother), Piotr Brjuhanov (1873 – 1929), took part in revolutionary movement since 1895, was sentenced to solitary confinement in 1897, then spent three years in exile, after which, in 1900, emigrated. In Geneva he became a friend and assistant to George Plekhanov (1856 – 1918), the founder of Russian social-democratic movement. In 1903, having accomplished his medical education, Piotr Brjuhanov returned to Russia where he worked as a doctor for the rest of his life. Only in 1917 he resumed, for a very short time, his interest to politics, remaining, however, unanimous with Plekhanov in his rejection of the bolshevik regime.  

Andrey Brjuhanov’s parents, having joined revolutionary movement since 1896, were professional revolutionists and took part in all the three Russian revolutions (of 1905, of February 1917 and of October 1917).


Andrey Brjuhanov’s  father and Vladimir Brjuhanov’s grandfather, Nicolay Brjuhanov (1878 – 1938), was a member of the Bolshevik Party since 1902, took part in the Fifth party Congress, in 1907, in London and in the Seventh party Conference, in April 1917, in Petrograd.

From the first months of 1918 on, he was a member of the communist government: in 1918 – 1920 in the Soviet of Military Defence, in the twentieths – in the Soviet of Labour and Defence, in 1921 – 1924 he was assigned the People’s commissar (minister) of supply and in 1926 – 1930 the People’s commissar (minister) of finance of the USSR, in 1927 – 1934 –  candidate to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. 

For many long years, Nicolay Brjuhanov rivaled Joseph Stalin in the most significant and no less culpable party activities. Thus, while in 1905 – 1907 Stalin was heading the expropriations and brigandage organized by the communist terrorists in the Caucasus, Nicolay Brjuhanov was playing a similar role in the Urals. In 1918, when Stalin was busy stocking up on cereals (which, in fact, was nothing but flagrant pillage of peasants) in the town of Tzaritsyn on the Volga river (renamed eventually and more famous as Stalingrad), Nicolay Brjuhanov was managing the same activity on an all-Russian scale. Their opinions often clashed, as was also in 1930 – an outstandingly strained period for the communist economy.

Stalin’s hatred for Nicolay Brjuhanov is just too clearly seen in his drawing – the only published instance of Stalin’s caricature drawings he used to amuse himself with during Cabinet councils. In the same 1930 Stalin expelled Brjuhanov from all significant roles in the government.

On September 1, 1938, at the height of political purges, Nicolay Brjuhanov was taken into custody and shot with no investigation or trial as one of those listed in the condemnation roll affirmed by Stalin and Molotov personally.

The same fate overtook one of his brothers, Alexander Brjuhanov (1874 – 1938), an eminent administrative official, and the elder son Artemy.   


Andrey Brjuhanov’s mother and Vladimir’s grandmother, Vera Brjuhanova (born Popova) (1878 – 1953), joined the Bolshevik Party in 1905.

In 1919 – 1920 she headed the Ufa regional Revolutionary Tribunal implementing the policy of communist terror. In 1921 she found that activity immoral, ruptured with the Party and divorced her husband.

For the rest of her life she shunned public activity or any renown, working as a medical nurse and, in her last years, bringing up her grandson Vladimir.  


Andrey Brjuhanov’s elder brother and Vladimir Brjuhanov’s uncle, Artemy Brjuhanov (1904 – 1941) joined the Communist Party as early as in 1917 (this is not a misprint!), was one of the Komsomol (the Young Communist League) leaders during the Civil war and, since 1920, the founder of the young-pioneer movement.

This resulted in a political adventure with rather ambiguous ends: under the auspices of a children communist organization, Artemy Brjuhanov made an attempt to recreate the prerevolutionary Scout Association, gathering its former leaders (who, in most cases, had gone through the Civil war siding with the White Army) and seeking to establish their influence over the new generation. That was, of course, classified as a counter-revolutionary conspiracy and led to the 1924 repressions of the first leadership of the young pioneers. Artemy Brjuhanov, as a People’s commissar’s son, was lucky then to get off with mere exclusion from Komsomol. Having got an economic education, he became a prominent nonpartisan administrator.

Soon after his father’s arrest, he found himself unemployed and then was taken into custody himself. In August 1938, he was sentenced, without any trial, to eight years of confinement and sent to Kolyma. In 1938, he escaped from the camp there and managed somehow to rove on the loose amidst the bitter Kolyma frosts for three weeks. In January 1939 he was caught, returned to Moscow for prosecution and sentenced to death. In July 27, 1941, he was shot. 


Vladimir Brjuhanov’s father, Andrey Brjuhanov, from his very childhood couldn’t help witnessing exceptional political events. Since summer 1918, his mother and he were held hostage by the White Guard in Ufa, and in March 1919 some other woman and boy were shot, through mistake, instead of them.

In 1921-1922 he witnessed the horrors of famine in Povolgie and Bashkiria – a tragedy that happened, by the way, not without his father’s fault.  

After his parents’ divorce, Andrey, though keeping in touch with his mother and elder brother, was brought up by his father, Nicolay Bjuhanov – which allowed him, in the 1920s, quite a close look at the everyday life of the communist top people of the time.  

Andrey entered an engineering college, then was summoned to the Red Army, admitted to the Academy of the Armoured forces and was, in 1934, one of its first graduates. Demobilized for industrial work, he soon became eminent among research people; his first book saw the world in 1936. 

Andrey Brjuhanov, highly appreciated by his immediate boss, was unbelievably lucky to escape repressions; in 1945 he even afforded himself a son, Vladimir Brjuhanov, to whose upbringing and education he eventually devoted very much of himself.  


Vladimir’s mother, Valentina Brjuhanova (born Makunina) (1919 – 1991), descended from a Russian peasant family that had, after the Civil war, settled down in Moscow.

Her father, Nicolay Makunin (1896 – 1960), very young had been sent to St-Petersburg in search of a living, where he got on quite well and soon became a shop assistant; after 1914 was summoned to army and became a holder of the Cross of St. George. In 1917 he returned to his native place somewhere between the Moscow and Ryazan provinces, took part in establishing the soviet power there, got married. In 1921, getting  increasingly disillusioned with communist regime, he returned to trading craft – and worked as a salesman and director in Moscow food stores up to the pension age.

He went, together with two sons of his (Valentina’s younger brothers), through the Second World War, all the three were wounded, decorated with medals and orders, but returned home safe and sound – an exceptional thing for Russian families. 

Valentina’s childhood dream was to become a woman-metallurgist – which came true: she graduated from the Institute of Steel, worked at plants, wrote books together with her husband and taught at Moscow institutes of higher education.


Vladimir Brjuhanov graduated in 1967 from the Moscow University, the department of mechanics and mathematics; candidate of engineering sciences since 1971, associate professor in economic cybernetics since 1976; for more than twenty years taught higher mathematics, economic cybernetics and statistics in Moscow, trained postgraduate students, the author of about 40 papers. During the Perestroika period – an assistant director in scientific field of the Experimental Research and Informational Association under the State Academy of Science. 

At the same time, since 1978, he contributed to underground organizations of dissident historians publishing abroad the miscellanies “Memory” and “The Past”. 

In 1992 he emigrated to Germany, was awarded doctorate from the Hessen Ministry of education and science.

Since 1996 he fully devoted himself to historical science and literature. In 1998 – 2002 and then again since 2010 on, he has been contributing to the magazine Der literarische Europäer (“The Literary European”) (Frankfort on the Main).





Vladimir Brjuhanov is the author of six books published in Moscow in 2004 – 2010:


Count Miloradovich’s Conspiracy.


Publishing house: АSТ, “Astrel”, 2004.

416 pages, 5000 copies.



Myths and the Truth

about the Decembrist Revolt.


“Yauza”, “Eksmo”, 2005.

640 pages, 3000 copies.




A Plot against the World.

Who Unleashed the First World War.


AST, “Astrel”, 2005.

656 pages, 5000 copies.

The Tragedy for Russia.

The Regicide on March 1, 1881.


Scientific publishing partnership KMK,

2007. 660 pages, 1000 copies.



Adolf Hitler’s Genealogy and Youth.


KMK, 2008.

640 pages, 1000 copies.



The Master and the Appentice: Super-Agents Alfred Redl and Adolf Hitler.


Intellectual Book, 2010.

320 pages, 10 000 copies.



The Master and the Apprentice:

Super-Agents Alfred Redl and Adolf Hitler


The author’s preface.

Introduction. Who is Colonel Redl?

1.  Starting point of “Redl’s case”

            1.1. Mystery letters

1.2. The trap has worked!

1.3. Alfred Redl and his shadow

1.4. Prices for treachery and provocation

2. Masks have been torn off!

2.1. From the post office to the hotel

2.2. Experts repeat and assure

2.3. A knife case and the torn notes

2.4. Big trade

3. Colonel Redl’s last night

3.1. Secret trial

3.2. Alfred Redl ´s last dinner

3.3. Redl’s death: the official version

3.4. A rush to Prague

3.5. Redl’s death: reconstructing the chain of events

4. Was Redl a Russian agent?

4.1. Military attaché report ...

4.2. Brothers-traitors

4.3. Agent N 25

4.4. A gloomy reformer of the patched-up empire

5. Alfred Redl’s big games

            5.1. Alfred Redl’s unhappy love affairs

5.2. One lover for two colonels

5.3. General Conrad’s big game

5.4. Colonel Redl’s last game

6. The appearance of a non-classical secondary school pupil

6.1. The deadlock of the First World War

6.2. Archduke against the Chief of General Staff

6.3. Mysterious ancestors of Adolph Hitler

6.4. The first steps of Adolf Hitler

6.5. Hitler in “Redl’s case”

Conclusion. Who could have needed him, that Hitler?



The Author's preface


 It's a cock and bull story”. This proverb refers to situations where someone tries to piece facts and concepts together which seem to have no semantic match.

The reader is invited to make another attempt to achieve such an unattainable goal. What do Hitler and Redl have in common and who, by the way, is the latter? These are not idle questions but have arisen in a serious attempt to understand the vague information on Adolf Hitler’s youth, relating to the period preceding the First World War.


The preface to the first edition of the famous German historian Werner Maser about Hitler, written in 1971, begins as follows[1]: "there are numerous books about Adolf Hitler. Ten years ago there were already about 50,000 book titles relating specifically to the Second World War. But there are relatively few biographies. So far, too much in Hitler's life has been considered not clearly understood, and too little can be proved”[2].

 The preface ends with the following cheerful statement: "Now no blind spots have been left in the life of Adolf Hitler”[3].

As this preface is reproduced in the twelfth (!) German edition of this book, published in 1997, it should be understood that the point of view of Maser has not changed over the past quarter century.
And what do we actually know now about the life and death of Adolf Hitler? As it turns out, not very much.

Here is a typical example.


Maser himself, alleging that he hadn’t left any blind spots in the biography of Hitler, provides these details: "In the summer of 1912 - Hitler wrote in" Mein Kampf "- I finally arrived in Munich.

When he came to power, a large memorial plaque with an eagle and swastika appeared on house N 34 in Shlyayshaymer Strasse in Munich: Adolf Hitler lived in this house in the spring of 1912 until the day of voluntary enlistment in 1914.

Both dates do not coincide with the real facts”[4] .


The real facts are as follows: May 24, 1913 "Hitler deregistered in Vienna and moved to Munich, where he rented a room from the tailor and shop owner Joseph Popp in Shlyayshaymer Strasse"[5]- there is confirmed evidence of this in various major independent documents.

The contradiction is obvious: 24 May 1913 - is neither spring nor summer of 1912. Is the difference important?

Judging by the fact that Maser has left it without any further comment, he considered the difference unimportant - and, therefore, should never be among the blind spots, which Maser so trustfully rejects.

But is this so?


Of course, every memoirist can make a mistake - and a priori Hitler has the same right to make a mistake as other memoirists do.

We - not the former Hauptleiter[6] of Burgenland Tobias Porchey, who even after 1945, said: “Even today I still believe that Hitler was a superman”.

 He knew how to inspire and to compel attention of people so, that they willingly followed him. Hitler was the Lord for me, the personification of all German people. I firmly believed that he couldn´t make a false step"[7].

From our point of view, Hitler might well be wrong - and he was wrong, well –things happen!

But the authors of the official memorial plate in Munich had, of course, fewer rights to make a mistake: they had to crosscheck the information of witnesses and memoirists and put things right. And they corrected (corrected Hitler himself!): changed the summer 1912 to spring of the same 1912 – i.e. further exacerbated the mistake made by Hitler in "Mein Kampf"!

Very interesting!


It is well known that Hitler had a phenomenal memory. If his memory did fail him sometimes, there was practically no evidence of this - at least not until April 1945. As a matter of fact, it was the way to simply and clearly demonstrate his own infallibility - no one could oppose such knowledge and memorization of details!

Therefore, the episode with the wrong date of moving, honestly pointed out by Maser though left unexplained, contains a deeper meaning – and the meaning of this "mistake" can only be an attempt to create an alibi for Hitler who wanted to refuse to have anything to do with some events that took place in Vienna during the period from summer 1912 to spring 1913.


The author’s interest concerning the connection between Hitler and Redl, has been awoken by the same Werner Maser.

Maser emphasized that Hitler extracted himself from the police records in the hostel, where he then lived, on exactly 24 May 1913 - and on the same day departed from Vienna for Munich[8].

Then Maser drew attention to the following: "On the night of 24 to 25 May [1913] the Chief of Staff of the 8-th Corps[9], Colonel Alfred Redl, committed suicide in Vienna.He was blackmailed because of his homosexuality and recruited by the Russian secret service; after that he had been working for Russia for many years, betraying important military secrets. Hitler learned about it from newspapers in the house of his landlord Josef Popp in Munich. He reacted to it almost with joy, as it confirmed his conviction that it did not make sense to serve in the Austrian army. Josef Popp, who had worked as a tailor in a fashionable Parisian atelier when he was young, knew French, and was convinced that he "had been round the block”, immediately on May 26, the day when a new tenant moved into his house, saw that he had a good understanding of political events and reacted to them quickly, clearly and with independent opinions in connection with the Redl case. Every night there were political debates, which quickly became boring to another tenant, who shared the room with Hitler, and as a result he moved out of the flat”[10].

Interestingly, the latter phrase contains a factual mistake - as we will see below. Whichever way, the coincidence of dates seems very symptomatic, and this fact made us seriously reconsider the famous Colonel Redl case.

Hitler left Vienna, 24 May 1913, and settled in Munich at the tailor Popp’s residence on May 26.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Hitler’s landlord in Munich was no ordinary man: he spoke French and used to work as a fashionable tailor in Paris, then returned to Germany to live permanently. His unusual fate makes one suspect that he could have been someone else, for example a retired spy.


His children should at least have been aware of this fact (or found out when they grew up). When they were still young, but grown-up enough, they very carefully and reasonably shared information about what happened to their family in 1913-1914. Their indirectness came out many years later.

Maser, who was in contact with the children in 1966-1967, was sure that Hitler’s unknown roommate, with whom he shared a room with a separate entrance, left after a few days, unable to withstand Hitler’s continuous disquisitions about Redl, who was in the news at that time.
It should be noted that the children did not find it necessary to give Maser a detailed explanation on facts which they certainly could not have forgotten: this young man (he was twenty years old, four years younger than Hitler) lived together with Hitler, and not just for a few days, but up until 15 February 1914 - and only then left Popp’s apartment[11].

This long stay together produces a strange impression: "In Munich, Hitler was still lonely. Together with Rudolf Häusler, he rented a room from the tailor Popp/.../. What these two men could possibly have had in common, remains unclear – in the following years nobody even remembered or mentioned Häusler. His name became known as a result of recent research "[12] - in order to highlight the future of Hitler's roommate, let us cut short the text by Guido Knopp, the most popular historian and journalist in modern Germany.

After August 1, 1914, when World War I broke out, Hitler, as is well known, volunteered for the German army. His former comrade made a different decision.

Rudolf Häusler (1893-1973) until “3 August 1914 did odd jobs in Munich, then returned to Austria and joined the army”.

Later on he became a senior manager, in 1938 – a functionary (Hauptabteilungsleiter – department manager of “Deutsche Arbeitsfront” - DAF)”[13].

As we see, it would have been easy for Maser to talk to Häusler himself – should Maser have shown sufficient persistency.

Knopp continues: " Hitler’s  neighbour [Rudolf Häusler], a commercial employee by profession, later became the Chief Manager of the N.S.D.A.P.[14] in Vienna.

Hitler’s life in Munich was no different from his way of life in Linz and Vienna. Having no interest in the profession of an artist, Hitler continued to paint but only to earn his living. Popp’s wife later characterized her guest as an extremely polite, but very unsociable young man. "Sometimes Hitler didn’t leave the house for a whole week." Never, ever had the silent tenant hosted a guest. /.../

His talent as a painter developed no further. His paintings always remained the same, only the themes changed: in Vienna - the church of Charles, the market of sweets, old town, in Munich - Feldherhalle, Old Town Hall, the Court Theater and brewery. City sights - accurate, correct, but somewhat petrified and heartless as the artist himself, an eccentric, scared of people. /.../

The scarce evidence of the few contemporaries who knew Hitler in those years, show that in Munich, he was still an inconspicuous creature, “a weird lonely wolf, commonplace and colorless, like all his pictures."[15]

All that is known about Hitler (details started to gain popularity after the war in late 1919 - early 1920, and won world-wide fame a few years later) strongly differs from the possible assumption that his inconspicuousness and colorlessness could have been an internal organic feature of his violent and impulsive nature.

Here, one has to suspect that Hitler had to behave so inconspicuously because of the extremely hazardous, threatening circumstances which could have lead to him being traced by certain persons or organizations.

Interestingly, there are currently only few pictures of Hitler from the First World War period which we know of - official photos from his personal file of him as a service-man and a few pictures taken by fellow-soldiers[16]. These were not intended for further distribution. Furthermore, in these photos it is simply impossible to recognize Hitler - who became very famous later - in a cap and a mustache of incredible shape.


After 1919, Hitler had not only refused to be photographed, but also forbade any photographing of his person in general.  It contradicted his desire for a political career.

An explanation such as this is considered to be taken seriously: "A new-sprung politician was striving for publicity but avoided photos in the press for fear that his pictures could be used to aid the search for him: in northern Germany, the NSDAP was banned, and Hitler was wanted. Thus, Hitler pretended to be a "mystery man"[17], hoping to spark interest in himself. "Siplcissimus" the most famous satirical newspaper in Germany, asked: "What does Hitler look like?"[18]

The above opinion should not be regarded as a pure lie, although its author, an exuberant and productive historian and writer, Anna Maria Sigmund, invariably uses fabrication and falsification after exhausting all other arguments. In this case we have a half-truth: Hitler really did have such a motive to conceal his appearance, but this is not the whole story.

Prohibition of the Nazi Party in northern Germany, and the fact that Hitler was wanted, appeared only in June 1922 - after the assassination of the German Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau[19] by the nationalists. It was then, and through 1925-1928 that the “NSDAP was banned nearly everywhere in Northern Germany “[20] and Hitler‘s prohibition on taking photos of his person, as we have already mentioned, appeared in 1919.

This categorical ban on the publication of his photographs was raised by Hitler only after September 2, 1923 on the Day of Germany in Nuremberg, after one of the reporters managed to take a few photographs of Hitler. The latter tried to take away the camera and began to beat the reporter who fought back - a rare case when Hitler used violence against a person. The angry audience acted in defense of the battered reporter who thus managed to retain his camera. The next day, pictures of Hitler were published in the press for the first time, one of them published by Knopp where Hitler is certainly recognizable.

Immediately thereafter, Hitler raised his unexplainable prohibition on taking photos of his person.


Later, after the Munich putsch in November 1923 and the trial, Hitler became famous throughout Germany and even Europe, but while in prison he could not control the publication of his pictures: Alfred Rosenberg[21], who undertook the party leadership in the absence of Hitler, made sure nobody forgot about the prisoner by distributing postcards with the Fuhrer’s portrait "in millions of copies”[22].

Who could recognize Hitler in previous times?

And what did that Jean Valejean, whom Victor Hugo had invented before the birth of Hitler, face by being recognized?

Maybe he was recognized in 1923 or a little bit later?


All these questions could have been answered a long time ago, provided that the same idea as that quoted by Tobias Porch didn’t dominate among the researchers involved in the biography of Hitler.

Of course, almost all German (and non-German) historians do not glorify Hitler or praise him; moreover, in Germany and in many other countries it is prohibited by law. But even Tobias Porchey himself, if asked after 1945 (maybe he was asked) whether he approved of the war, bombing, concentration camps and extermination of millions of people without a trial, he would most definitely have answered no - and perhaps quite sincerely. But such general opinion did not prevent some people from spreading the legend commonly used in the Third Reich about Hitler being the greatest, though purely negative, hero.

In recent years, there has not been a single day when the Hitler memorials have not been shown on at least one of the dozens of German television channels.

Everyone who has been involved in the problems of advertising is well aware that a negative advertisement is better than no advertisement at all.

As a result, the historical figure has developed, and continues to do so, claiming to become the origin if not of universal but then of national religion – and this is what Hitler really wanted. …. And this task has not been taken off the agenda, because eventually Hitler's deeds will not be derogated, and the emotions relating to the victims of his criminal regime will gradually subside.

Consider this, who now feels grief for the babies allegedly slaughtered by King Herod, or even for the real victims of the Inquisition?

It is extremely difficult to oppose such a tenacious and certainly promising legend, now no longer a half-truth, but a pure and treacherous deception, capable of repeating the effective methods of political manipulations which have not been met with a resounding rebuff.

Nevertheless, we undertake an attempt to expose the black magic, and therefore again appeal to the legend of Colonel Redl who, as it turned out, was a direct associate of Adolf Hitler, – a fact, that he himself tried to hide carefully (apart from other crimes of his youth).

Introduction. Who is Colonel Redl?


World fame caught up with Colonel Alfred Redl immediately after his mysterious death in Vienna in May 1913.

Subsequent grand events - the assassination of the Austrian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand (directly implicated in the scandal associated with Redl) in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 and the First World War that broke out shortly afterwards, on August 1 of the same year, seemed to push out and completely erase the interest in the sensational "Redl’s case from the public memory.

But as it turned out, only ten years after the death of Redl, this oblivion was considered a relatively brief pause.

The longstanding, bloody tragedy of the First World War, its absurd and unfair termination where many states declared defeat, made us recall the mysterious circumstances that preceded and accompanied its onset.

A story about Colonel Redl, which seemed to have been completely forgotten, could not fail to awake fresh interest. And it has not waned up to this day!

Redl has gradually turned into one of the iconic figures of contemporary politics and culture (sorry for the almost innocent pun!), though not so great in scope as characters of the world's most famous tragedies of the twentieth century.


Publications about Redl, which have been written in the space of almost a hundred years since the drama occurred, number into thousands. Three well-known adaptations of this story were made - in 1925, 1955 and 1985, the latter - the famous film by István Szabó.

Characteristically, the overwhelming majority of authors writing about personalities, such as Redl, does not care too much about strict compliance with the truth, which, on the one hand, is explained by excessive information found by contemporaries and historians but accessible in their entirety only to a few specialists (considering  the fact that most of the research published in various languages – is either not translated into other languages, or reproduced in a much shortened or distorted way), and, on the other hand, - a paradoxical scarcity of other very important details, even about the most famous characters, particularly those related to the secret services.

The real, but certainly mysterious story, which happened to Alfred Redl some time ago, naturally led to the subsequent grand medley of investigations and research, speculation and fiction.


The plot outline of Redl’s revelation is simple and at the same time amazing:

Once upon a time there lived a seemingly ordinary officer who reached the highest position in the service - and not just anywhere but in the leadership of intelligence and counterintelligence, and then suddenly became an enemy spy - and shot himself, unable to endure the severity of the charges.

He was unmasked purely coincidently: he forgot, or was too lazy, to pick up a ‘spy’ letter at the post office with money enclosed in it and the unclaimed letter was noticed by the colleagues of the traitor.

Honest counterintelligence then organized an ambush at the post office, but a clever traitor who, however, came to the post office later, managed to avoid arrest by fleeing from his pursuers, but during his flight left the knife case, which had contained the knife with which he had opened the envelope, in a taxi.

Because of that knife case he was found and identified – justice was finally carried out, though with difficulty!


The whole story "reminds us of a poorly made detective scenario. If these events had not occurred in reality , and had been  presented as the author's imagination,  doubt would most certainly

have arisen concerning their reliability"[23]- as Major-General GRU[24] candidate of military sciences Michael Milstein wrote in 1966; we’ll refer to this publication many times hereinafter.

Anyone who has faced the history of Redl, feels the same.


Let us start from the very beginning: with the mysterious letter at the post office - and go through the whole chain of events right up until the end, analyzing each incident in detail in order to get the answer to all riddles.

In this way readers will become familiar with all the details, some for the first time, and others will be able to refresh their memory based on what they have read or seen on the screen.





5.3. General Conrad’s big game


Simultaneously and quite independently of Colonel Redl solving his exciting task of Colonel Zankevich’s[25] secret enrollment, General Conrad was trying hard to settle his own problems.

I’d like to repeat here that Conrad recommenced his leadership in the Austro-Hungarian HQ on December 26, 1912, the second day of Christmas.

It had been about three years by that time since the Austrians  received the Russian army deployment plan, sold to them as an accepted-for-sure design of the Russians for the start of the oncoming war. Since then, the Austrian intelligence service had collected rich data on the continuing reinforcement of the Russians: a fair amount of new Russian regiments had become known and numbered. At the same time the international media kept reporting openly of the financial loans coming specially from France to support the Russian army.


Conrad, half-retired, as was mentioned, at that moment, had a great deal to consider in respect of all that. It was clear as day that, however exact and trustworthy the 1909 Russian plan might have been, the oncoming blow from that direction was sure to be much graver. 

Judging by the galloping pace of the subsequent events, there is no doubt Conrad resumed his ordinary position not before his ideas about the necessary steps had taken full shape.

Conrad, as Austro-Hungarian military leader, had, of course, his own ideas about the possible gravity of the peril of the imminent All-European war and about the ends that should be pursued in it; the same was true about the Germans, the French, and the Russians. 

The latter, however, to our great shame and misfortune, had the fewest ideas on the subject and were guided, in the political and financial situation that emerged, more by the wishes and dictates of the French side than by the goals and tasks of their own. Russia was bound up with France by the 1891 military alliance and the1892 war convention reaffirmed and ratified in 1894.

In the summer-autumn period of 1914, the Russian headquarters was going to wage a great attack to Berlin straight from Warsaw, which was certainly a sure escape for the French, but the whole offensive, as it proved a failure, was the very thing that led the war into the quagmire of trench-sitting, which ended in 1917-1918 revolutions in all the empires at war, except Britain.

In fact, any more or less dynamic activity of the Russians would then have saved Paris and really did it in 1914, whereas Berlin would in no possible way have been surrendered by the Germans. In the meanwhile, there was a quite feasible opportunity for the Russian armies to decide the outcome of the whole war as early as in autumn of 1914: if they were to manage a successful attack through the Carpathians, followed by capturing Budapest and Vienna.

Were this a success, it would have resulted in a configuration of the German Eastern frontline quite similar to that of the early-middle-April of 1945: any resistance proved useless for the Germans then, the Russians being able to make an advance both from the East to Munich and from the West to Prague; there was no urge for them to attack Berlin right ahead, though such an opportunity was as well profitable for them, at this point, and not for the Germans. That is why, in 1945, the German army ceased hostilities at the West front: it was becoming utterly useless either.

In 1914 something like that might have very possibly happened – General Conrad had anticipated and precalculated such an outcome by the end of 1912.

What he could not in the least have anticipated then was the fact that the Russians would simply reject, in 1914, the strategy most profitable for them – and so he was desperately making everything ready to withstand the blow nobody proved actually eager to strike!

The original prewar Austrian plans, coordinated, too, with the Germans, presupposed that the main burden of the war against Russia was to be borne by the Austrian side – during those first weeks while the Germans were to be invading France.

Conrad did not reject the idea as it was, but he had to realize that the real burden was equal, in fact, to the utter defeat of the Austrian army. He had no opportunity to advocate explicitly so pessimistic an outlook – and all the more so because he himself was the head of the militant party. But slogans are one thing and war is quite another.

Conrad’s new plan was founded upon a very simple idea: no offensive war against Russia is needed, but efficient and steady defence, with the main defensive line going along the Carpathians – where, therefore, serious forces are to be drawn together. Such view was not at all likely to evoke warm response from either Conrad’s militant team-mates in Austria and Hungary, or, a fortiori, from the Germans, who hated the very idea of taking care of the East front during the first fighting weeks, hoping to snatch its share in the common victory later.

Taking into consideration Conrad’s shaky position, as he had just resumed his leadership in the HQ after the 1911 intra-governmental political collisions provoked by his former extremely militant optimism, he was more than likely to easily break his neck at this principally novel exhortation of overtly defensive strategy.

His decision was just too far from being trivial: in a most extravagant way, he started his ministration as the HQ commander by    communicating the actual plan of operational deployment to the Russians.

Thus he was killing two birds with one stone: 1) the Russians were led astray, for Conrad’s true intention at the moment was to deploy troops about 100-200 km to the West as compared to the former plan, so the main blow of the Russians was to hit an empty place, and some extra time, victuals and ammunition were to be spent by them on passing through the unexpected demilitarized zone, whereas the Austrians gained time for preparing better defence in the Carpathians and essentially shortened the distance of communications needed for military logistics and war supplies; Conrad was not to blame for the fact that the Russians, finally, thought better of the situation and decided to advance on Berlin instead; 2) the Germans and those among the Austrians who adhered to the former plan had simply to face the fact: the plan is no longer secret for the Russians and so must be reviewed – pursuing more recent ends and taking into account more realistic conditions.

What were Conrad’s ideas about making the security leak justified is not yet clear (we shall discuss it below), but the “Redl’s case” resolved in a most brilliant way all his possible troubles in that respect. It is clear, however, that some information leak about the alleged treason in the Austrian higher headquarters staff was presupposed by the tricky Conrad’s design.

So, a certain Austrian was doomed to become an innocent victim to Conrad’s ambitions – there was simply no other way!


It was, let us remember, already March or April 1913 and Redl must have just made his appearance in Vienna seeking to recruit Zankevich. In which he must surely have been a success – there was nothing Zankevich could do about it.

Urbanski[26] seems to have been the most likely companion for Redl to discuss the possibility of the deployment plan transfer to the Russians: they were old acquaintances, both colonels, no longer bound by direct official subordination. Of course, Redl was not going to inform Urbanski about the Agent No 25[27], nor give him any information on Zankevich’s enrollment that had just taken place. But, provoked by Urbanski’s probing, Redl made it quite clear to him that he could well undertake to transfer to the Russians some disinformation of utter importance. That was a great hazard and proved eventually to be Redl’s fatal step.

Quite naturally, Urbanski was then to ask for Conrad’s permission to involve Redl into the affair of transferring the plan to the Russians – which he got well enough: Conrad could think of no other occasion like that in the nearest future.

That was the moment when Redl was finally informed about the contents of what he was to transfer – under the strictest oath of secrecy, of course.

Redl thus found himself in a most distressing position: having made certain steps he couldn’t help going further, but transferring the actual deployment plan to the Russians was surely no less than high treason! He could well imagine himself simply scapegoated by Conrad, who was not at all his closest associate, while the delinquency was really flagrant. Redl invented a way to secure himself: he made photocopies of the documents to transfer, so that the whole procedure of passing the criminal information on  could be restored if needed.

That, of course, would have put Redl on extremely tense terms with Conrad and company, should they have come to know of such security measures: any disclosure of their role in the most secret information leak, documented with the mentioned photocopies, was an irrefutable charge of high treason against them.


In addition to this, Redl had another very difficult task to solve: the deployment plan, as we have already mentioned, was not a thing to pass for a postcard – it was quite a voluminous paper or, more exactly, a whole folder of papers, even if these were photocopied. Neither was it easy to pass by post in the form of photographic films, whether developed or not: such a parcel would have rightly attracted attention of the Austrian domestic intelligence police – and the Russians would have surely been rather puzzled at the success of such a delicate transaction.

For the virtual Agent No 25, however, the task was quite trivial: short documents he sent by post to agreed addresses abroad, and for more voluminous ones there also existed a well-trodden path to follow: also by post, Agent No 25 (purely anonymous for the Russians, I’d like to repeat) sent a message reporting of a waiting parcel (at that moment, quite logically, the size of reward was to be mentioned), by return post he was given the go-ahead to send it (with the finance agreement affirmed from Russia), after which the parcel was cached in an agreed secret place somewhere in Vienna or on its outskirts, whence it was then retrieved by the military attaché (Zankevich, or earlier – his predecessors) himself or his assistants. Thereupon the parcel went to St-Petersburg by the Russian diplomatic mail, exempt from Austrian and German control. Describing this path we neither cite anybody nor invent anything – it’s just the most usual and safest way to transfer intelligence.

There was, however, a certain bottleneck along the smooth path – and Redl was not a man to cherish delusions about it – namely, its passing through Zankevich’s hands.


Well, one way or another, Redl got the deployment plan from Urbanski, left with it to Prague and, after some time, reported Urbanski (and hence, Conrad, too) of the parcel being safely sent and then, after a few days more, of its safe reaching St-Petersburg – all these steps are supposed by the usual pattern of normal espionage.

But in reality everything happened not that way, or rather not exactly that way.

Having received the deployment plan practically at his disposal, Zankevich (having, by the way, not a slightest idea about its connection with Redl, who had just enrolled him to the Austrian intelligence service) realized that it was for him an absolutely unique opportunity to get rid of the undertaken duties. If he were to arrive at St-Petersburg with a trophy like that, that would provide him the top brass’ highest possible favour one could ever imagine. That would give him a chance to ask for a transfer from Vienna to some other place (and Zankevich was really very soon appointed commander of a regiment of high prestige, in which position he entered presently the First World war) and not care a damn for his reckless enrollment.

Zankevich’s calculation was based upon his hope that, if the pack of photos showing him amusing himself with the Austrian homosexual special-service agents, was still to reach St-Petersburg, the very fact would tacitly mean Redl’s disavowal of his, Zankevich’s enrollment. And that would provide evidence for his not being a traitor. So, there was a chance for those ill-fated photos not to be ever sent. But even if it came to the worst, the scandal would lead to the loss of good reputation and retirement, but not to the condemnation of high treason!

I’d like to stress here that it was the last opportunity for Zankevich to elude the fate of an involuntary Austrian agent: for all his treachery by that time was no more than taking Redl’s money, whereas he had not yet started handing over intelligence. He might have delivered some secret information to him on the day of their meeting but he might as well have left Redl’s more serious questions unanswered pleading that their conversation was too unexpected.


So, Zankevich seized at the deployment plan that had fallen into his hands and swiftly boarded a train to Russia with it, informing neither Vienna nor St-Petersburg of his departure. Passing the frontier town of Eidkunen, he enclosed the roubles got from Redl into an envelope and sent them off to Nikon Nicetas[28]: those thirty pieces of silver taken from Redl were really burning his hands!

Zankevich refused to become a traitor of his mother country – his parcel to Redl expressed it without words! Yet, Redl was not to ever receive it.

Or maybe you have got a different explanation for all the described developments?


It is noteworthy that there was nothing to prevent Zankevich from taking the money – he could nonetheless elude becoming an Austrian spy having retained it. However he felt the beau geste of sending it off necessary for him – which was extremely offensive to Redl, who was, let us repeat, not in the least associated in Zankevich’s mind with the Agent No 25, who had just handed the deployment plan over to him.


In the meanwhile, Conrad had not yet solved all his problems either: the deployment plan had, of course, been successfully transferred to the Russians, but the home scandal around the glaring security leak was yet to face, thus suspending the task of justifying the intended alteration of the old plans.

Redl at that period was the last man to think of as a suitable candidacy for an unmasked Russian spy.

But Zankevich, however, seemed to have kind of telepathically caught Conrad’s worries and supplication!



CONCLUSION.  Who could have needed him, that Hitler?  


Was Adolf Hitler a self-dependent political figure?  The issue was raised from the very beginning – even before the year of 1933:

“Hitler appeared to be an easily replaceable “minor tin figure”, as a leftist author[29] once wrote in an attempt to analyze fascism in 1929[30] /.../.

/.../ quite a number of conservative politicians and Marxist historians were so unexpectedly unanimous in their view upon Hitler as a mere tool for attaining somebody else’s aims. Far from any nobility of spirit, not in the least an eminent political or, a fortiori, historical figure, he seemed to be a living embodiment of an ideal ‘agent’-type” [31].

The same opinions had been expressed still earlier – and by people far from being bourgeois diehards and still farer from Marxism of any kind. Shortly before June 29, 1921, when Hitler was announced Führer, i.e. the leader of the German National-Social-Democratic party, his antagonists in the same party came out against him. Thus, one of its first members, Ernst Erensperger, published his political declaration in the newspaper “Munich Post”. It said about Hitler:

“He believes that the time has come for him to bring about, according to the will of the dark powers at one with him, diffusion and dissidence among us, thus acting in favour of gerrymanders of the Jews and their accomplices. And how is he doing so? Exactly in a Jewish-like manner[32].

This paragraph has nothing to do with charging Hitler with Jewish origin. It is no more than a hackneyed turn of speech I have on repeated occasions heard addressed to me (not being a Jew either by origin, or by name or appearance) – a very typical cliché always used when there are no Jews around. Very often I’ve also heard absolutely unfounded suspicions about the Jewish origin of people just because they seemed this or that way disagreeable to the speaker.  

However, this Erensperger’s démarche led to the fact that up to the end of 1921, Hitler was rumoured among the NSDP members to be a Jew.

There were much better reasons, though, for the unpleasant sensation of the dark powers at one with Hitler.



The most unfortunate thing about this point of view has always been the fact that its advocates failed to provide a reasonable and consistent explanation for whose agent exactly he was.

The entire text of this book, however, has demonstrated quite clearly that Hitler was, to put it mildly, culpable of too many wrongdoings of no small importance, which could only too well be used to put the squeeze on him and have him in subjection.

There have up to now emerged too little evidence of any such attempts ever made or, naturally, of such pressure being a success. This was due to the fact that nobody has as far tried to establish linkage between Hitler’s biography and the “Redl’s case”. But it is exactly investigation of the latter that provides rather definite findings on blackmailing Hitler.

In his turn, Hitler, having deliberately annihilating in 1938—1939 the tombs of his ancestors and in them – the tangibles of his early crimes, thus managed to blot out the main menace of the dossier that Redl had once filed against him.

But there remained somewhere else still another dossier.

This reserved the lasting opportunity to blackmail Hitler with the allegedly incontrovertible photographic evidence speaking for his closest and most criminal ties with the obvious Russian agents (which was quite fair in respect of Zankevich and absolutely unfair in respect of Redl), giving thus immeasurable power over the actual master of the Third Reich.

This power did not dwindle as time passed, it just required much deliberation, for even the closest Hitler’s team-mates, starting from Hermann Göring, would have never forgiven him if they were to learn and believe that their reverently admired Führer had been, back in 1912 – 1913, not only a homosexual prostitute but a Russian agent, too.

In such circumstances a sudden death in an accident and the subsequent most ceremonial funeral were surely hovering over Hitler like a sword of Damocles.


We have managed, at least, to outline an approximate intrigue for the possibility of a direct outside pressure upon Hitler. Now there is only one thing left: to demonstrate how it was going on in actual fact – which we shall do in detail in publications to follow.









Translation to English:


The first page - Valentin Werbitz, St-Augustin, Germany

Biographical data, chapter 5.3 and the conclusion - Jana Larionova, Moscow, Russia

Contents, preface and introduction - Tatiana Gorokhova, Frankfurt, Germany

[1] We use the second edition of this book in Russian, first published in 2000.

[2] Maser W. Adolf Hitler: legend, myth, reality. 2-nd edition, Minsk, 2002. p. 7.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, p. 110.

[5] Ibid. p. 109.

            [6] The title of the regional head of the National Socialist Party.

[7] Knopp G. Adolph Hitler. Psychological portrait. M., 2006. p. 253.

[8] Ibid,  p. 158.

[9] Cf; correctly - Chief of Staff, 8 Corps, General Staff, Colonel Alfred Redl. Below we indicate the          source of this error.

[10] Maser W. Adolf Hitler. p. 110.

[11] Koch Hillebreht M. Homo Hitler: psychogram of a dictator. Minsk, 2003. p. 344.

[12] Knopp G. Op. cit. p. 158.

[13] Joachimsthalers A. Fuhrer’s women. List of Hitler. M., 2007. p. 439.

[14] Abbreviation in German for the German National Socialist Workers 'Party (N.S.D.A.P.), in 1920                renamed from the German Workers' Party, which Hitler joined in 1919.

[15] Knopp G. Op. cit. p. 158, 160.

[16] Ibid. p. 140-141.

[17] Mystery Man.: op.cit. note.

[18] Sigmund A.M. Adolf Hitler. The way to power. Kharkov, 2007. p. 103.

[19] Fest I. Hitler. Biography. The way up. M., 2006. s. 258.

[20] Broyninger V. Hitler's opponents in the Nazi Party, 1921-1945. M., 2006. p. 39.

[21] A. Rosenberg (1893-1946) - the Baltic German of mixed ancestry, one of the ideologists of the             Nazi Party, was the leader of the occupation policy on the territory of the Soviet Union, executed         by the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal.

[22] Fest I. Op.cit. p. 329.


[23] Milstein M. The Colonel Redl’s Case.//Military and History Magazine. 1966, N 1, p.52.

[24] Main Intelligence Directorate of the Red Army, and then – of the Soviet Army.

[25] Mikhail Ippolitovich Zankevich (1872-1945) served in Vienna from November 1903 to January 1905 as he Russian military attaché assistant and from October 1910 to April 1912 as the Russian military attaché.

[26] Colonel August Urbanski von Ostrymiecz headed the intelligence department of the Austria-Hungarian HQ    in 1909-1914.

[27] By 1914, Russia had the only permanent agent acting within the Austro-Hungarian territory – the famous “Agent No 25”. He remained undisclosed, having ceased activity just on the eve of the war, and up to now his true name has remained unknown. In reality, that virtual agent was a mystification,  Redl’s most cunning invention enabling him to transfer disinformation abroad.   

[28] The name of the addressee indicated upon the letters received by Redl at the Vienna General Post Office.

[29] Here it is a euphemism for a more common though not much clearer notion – a Trotskyite. 

[30] Tahlheimer A. Gegen der Strom. Organ der KPD (Opposition), 1929.

[31] Fest J. Op. cit. P. 17, 23.

[32] Maser W. Op. cit. P. 14.

Vladimir Brjuhanov,
3 окт. 2010 г., 6:25