VALKYRIE AT DEALEY PLAZA REVISITED (An Update)
By William Kelly
Valkyrie was the code name for the German military officer’s plot to kill Hitler and take over the government that culminated in the July 20, 1944 bombing attempt that failed to kill Hitler, an event that repeatedly surfaces in the story of President Kennedy’s assassination.
Valkyries were the fairies of Norse legend who flew above the battlefield and decided who would live and who would die, and was the theme for Richard Wagner's classical composition Ride of the Valkyries. [(4) Richard Wagner - Ride of The Valkyries - YouTube ]
The association between the German plot to kill Hitler and the assassination of President Kennedy first came to my attention when I interviewed Volkmar Schmidt, a friend of George deMohrenschildt who hosted a house party set up specifically for Lee and Marina Oswald to meet Michael and Ruth Paine. While Michael Paine didn’t show, Ruth and Marina became fast friends, and while they conversed in Russian in the kitchen, Volkmar Schmidt and Lee Oswald had a lengthy two hour conversation. I talked with him for the same length on the phone in a recorded conversation in 1995:
Volkmar Schmidt: https://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2008/01/volkmar-schmidt-interview.html
Schmidt, born in Germany, was raised by his good friend’s father, Dr. Kuetemeyer a professor of psychosomatic psychology at the University of Heidelberg. In the course of their conversation, Schmidt said he used a reverse psychology technique taught to him by Kuetemeyer, in suggesting that right wing fascist General Edwin Walker should be killed much like Hitler should have been killed.
Schmidt even acknowledged mentioning the July 20, 1944 plot as an example, and told me that Keutemeyer personally knew two of the plotters, Herr von Halen and Dr. Adam von Trott zu Solz, both of whom were captured, tourtured and executed for their roles in the Valkyrie plot.
When he learned that Oswald was accused of killing President Kennedy and was a suspect in the shooting of General Walker, Schmidt himself felt guilty for planting the seed in Oswald’s mind, as shortly after their conversation Oswald ordered the rifle said to have been used in both attacks.
Schmidt said, “….and naturally it was a terrible responsibility, and for years when I drove past the underpass I literally had to cry….I certainly didn’t tell him to take a pot shot at him (Walker)…I may have triggered it.”
In her testimony before the Warren Commission Marina Oswald mentioned that when he returned home the night someone shot at Walker he admitted he did it, referring to the idea that Walker should have been killed like Hitler should have been, echoing Schmidt’s reverse psychological reasoning.
An examination of Marina’s notebook included the name - , that turns out was what an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) psychological warfare officer said was Hitler’s real name in an attempt to embarrass him. – See link: https://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2023/04/hitler-at-grassy-knoll.html
In a 2009 New York Post column promoting Lemar Waldron’s book “Legacy of Secrecy”, gossip writer Liz Smith called the Warren Commission a “fairy-tale” and wrote:
In parentheses: “(The CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff even referred to the World War II plot to kill Hitler as their role model for getting rid of Castro. You can see that story told by Tom Cruise in the new movie ‘Valkyrie.’).”
[BK Notes: Just as Rupert Murdoch fired Tucker Carlson shortly after he did three shows advancing the idea that the CIA was behind the assassination of President Kennedy, Liz Smith was fired by Murdoch shortly after writing this column. JFKcountercoup: Murdoch Axes Smith and Carlson over JFK? ]
Since I had read all three of Waldron’s books on the assassination, and could not recall any such mention of the July 20, 1944 Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, I had to do some digging, and found it mentioned by Gus Russo in a footnote in his book on the Kennedys and Castros Live By the Sword (thanks Gus) giving the RIF – Record Identification Form number – 202-1000101-10028 – that I found among the Mary Ferrell Foundation site (thanks Rex Bradford).
Higgins Memo: http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-higgins-memo-of-jcs-meeting-of-sept.html
The memo was written by Colonel Walter Higgins, who served as an adjunct to General Victor “Brute” Krulak, then Special Assistant for Counter-Insurgency and Special Activities (SACSA), with offices in the Pentagon and White House. Krulak’s job was to give the CIA any special military assistance for covert actions, especially in Cuba and Vietnam and he wrote the memo of the minutes of the September 25, 1963 meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefing by Desmond FitzGerald, who had taken over responsibility for the CIA’s covert operations against Cuba from William Harvey, who had been relieved by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Air Force Chief Of Staff General Curtis Lemay was acting as temporary chairman at the time because the chairman General Maxwell Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam. While the whole memo is extremely important, and what I consider to be one of the most significant documents released under the JFK Act of 1992, Under Bullet Point 13. Higgins writes:
“He (FitzGerald) commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed.”
Then there’s the clincher: “He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach. (against Castro).”
So the CIA had “studied in detail” the German military plot to kill Hitler and take over the government of Germany during WWII as a means of having disgrunted Cuban military officers to kill Castro and take over the government of Cuba.
Sounds reasonable enough, but when Jim Lesar of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for their “detailed study” of the Hitler plot, they could find no records whatsoever in their files related to that plot. When the AARC sued in civil court for a more detailed response, they found one document, a cold war propaganda pamphlet that tried to blame the failure of the plot on communists.
While the CIA may have lost their “detaiiled study” of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, we know from the history of the story that the Valkyrie plan was devised by Col. Von Staufenberg as a contintunity in government emergency plan to have the Home Guard seize key governemnt and media buildings and ensure the leadership was continued, a plan that they had Hitler himself approve. The national emergency example given was a revolt by the millions of foreign slave laborers in the country.
The five aspects of the German military's Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler that also appear in the JFK assassination story include: 1) The use of Covert Intelligence Operational procedures and security - codes, no written records, need to know, etc; 2) Obtaining the victim's approval for the plan - Hitler approved Valkyrie, JFK and or RFK are said by Sam Halpern and David Belin to have approved the assassination of Castro; 3) Use of Home Guard (National Guard-Army Reserves in USA) to carry out the plan on the ground; 4) Control of Communications and Media -as was done with JFK in Collins Radio and Mockingbird; 5) Blame the opposition - Communists.
The control of the mass media – radio, communications and newspapers, was considered a key element, as Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, who planned Valkyrie and planted the bomb put it, “only the conspiracy must speak.”
Another key aspect of the Valkyrie plan was to blame the death of Hitler on the Gestapo, SS and Communists, who would be rounded up in the immediate aftermath.
Since the CIA’s Valkyrie study has no documented history in their files, it is possible that a number of persons living at the time could have filled them in on the details – Allen Dulles, Mary Bancroft and Hans Bernd Gisevius.
Gisevius was a German military intelligence officer who made the acquaintance of OSS chief Allen Dulles in Switzerland, and informed him of the plot, and received Dulles’ assistance. Dulles assigned his secretary and paramour Mary Bancroft to be Gisevius’ case officer, and she provides the details of her role in the plot in her book Autobiography of a Spy.
Gisevious was in Berlin at the time of the bombing, and with word from Stauffenberg that the bomb had killed Hitler, he began to issue press releases, but when it was determined Hitler was alive, and the plotters were being rounded up and executed, he went into hiding in the basement of a friend’s house. He got word to Dulles and Bancroft, who arranged for him to receive forged documents that allowed him to travel to Switzerland.
After testifying at the Nurenberg trials, sending some of his former associates to the gallows, Gisivious came to America, where he lived for a time with Dulles’ top lieutenant Tom Braden, and then Dulles arranged for Gisivious to get a job in Dallas. On July 20, 1954, the tenth anniversary of the Valkyrie plot, Dulles and Gisivious had dinner together in Washington D.C. at a public restaurant that received newspaper coverage.
As David Talbot points out in his book The Devil’s Chessboard, Dulles’ assistant Mary Bancroft was a close personal friend and European traveling companion with Ruth Forbes Paine Young, Michael Paine’s mother.
It was Ruth Paine who arranged for Oswald to obtain the job at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). The building's owner David Harold “D.H. Dry Hole” Byrd was on a big game hunting safari at the time of the assassination. Byrd had also been a co-founder of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) that included a young Lee Harvey Oswald.
If Africa Byrd visited Safariland, a hunting preserve that was owned by a German Werner von Alvensleben, whose father, according to an OSS report, was a German authority on assassination, who after the failure of the Valkyrie plot, wrote an essay in support of it.
D.H. Byrd financially supported his cousin, Admiral Richard Byrd’s polar expeditions, as did Art Collins, whose home made short wave radio receiver could pick up Admiral Byrd’s radio reports when the Navy couldn’t. Collins, a friend of Curtis LeMay, then received military contracts to install radio in all of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers as well as the Executive Air Fleet, including Air Force One.
Air Force General James Doolittle was another hunting partner of Byrd, and was one of the three members of the Eisenhower appointed Doolittle Commission to study CIA covert activities, and their report concluded that such covert operations were necessary against Communism and were increased.
When Byrd returned home to Dallas after his African safari trip he invited his host von Alvensleben to visit, and showed off his trophy room that included the stuffed heads of big game animals he had killed, as well as one of the sixth floor windows from his TSBD
THE CIA-MAFIA PLOTS TO KILL CASTRO
That the CIA had recruited mafia bosses to assist them in assassinating Fidel Castro was not known to the Warren Commission, except for Commissioner Dulles, who kept that fact to himself.
When Warren Commission attorney – the still living Sam Stern was questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), he told them that had the Commission known about the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro “they would have conducted an entirely different kind of investigation,” and not trusted the CIA as much as they did.
Sam Stern and HSCA: JFKCountercoup2: HSCA Sam Stern Interview - Smoking Doc.#2
The plots to kill Castro are a key aspect of the assassination of President Kennedy, as President Lyndon Johnson said, “We were running a damn Murder Inc. in the Caribbean,” in regards to the CIA attempt to kill Castro.
And former Warren Commission attorney and Rockefeller Commission counsel David Belin even brings killing Hitler into the Castro-Kennedy assassination equation. While most people know of his book supporting the Warren Commission Report “You Are the Jury,” Belin also wrote “Final Disclosure,” in which he reports on his investigation of the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro and their signifiance.
David Belin – Final Disclosure: https://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2021/08/david-belins-about-face.html?m=1
In Final Disclosure Belin writes: “Moreover, inside the CIA people were developing scenarios to show why the presidential order was not necessarily appropriate for all occasions. The example most often cited was Adolf Hitler. ‘Would not the world have been better off it we had had a CIA in 1938 and someone had gone over to assassinate Adolf Hitler?....Yet there is still that question to be answered. What would we do if there were another Adolf Hitler who came into power and threatened world domination?”
So inside the CIA there was much talk about justifying the assassination of Castro by comparing him to Hitler, just as Volkmar Schmidt did with Oswald and Walker.
Now we recognize, as former Warren Commission lawyers Sam Stern and David Belin have, that the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro are extremely significant in regards to the assassination of President Kennedy, and should be studied as such.
Former FBI Agent, the late Bill Turner once concluded, “We now know what happened at Dealey Plaza to a fairly good degree of certainty. The motives were piling up – the Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the two-track backchannel to Castro, - the motives were piling up to the point where they had to assassinate him. I think it’s now pretty obvious, with the information we have today, that the mechanism of it came out of the allegiance between the CIA and the Mafia. They already had an assassination apparatus set up for killing Castro, and they just swittched targets and killed JFK instead.”
Turner’s opinion is shared by others, including Gene Wheaton, a former US miliitary investigator who blew the whistle on the Iran-Contra affair, and ran a CIA owned airline with former JMWAVE commando leader, the still living Carl Jenkins, who Wheaton lived with and met a number of Jenkins’ former anti-Castro Cuban commandos.
Wheaton told Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) attorney Ann Buttimer that based on his knowledge, “Cuban exiles who were orginally trained by the CIA to kill Castro, and killed Kennedy instead, considering him a traitor for his failure to support them at the Bay of Pigs.”
And the Higgins Memo brings the Valkyrie plot and the CIA plots to kill Castro together, a Castro plot that was redirected to JFK in Dallas.
At the time of the assassination, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, minus General LeMay, who was on a hunting expedition of his own, were meeting with their West German counterparts, the German General Staff, that included Generals Hans Speidel, who was responsible for convincing General Erwin Rommel to join the plotters, which led to Rommel’s execution, though Speidel survived.
During the meeting the Germans were surprised when they were interupted with the news that the President had been shot, and General Taylor continued with the meeting. When it was announced that the president was dead, the meeting was adjurned, and General Taylor took a nap.
Although the CIA has lost their “detailed study” of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, to be used against Castro, we know where it went – it became the AMLASH plot to kill Castro, with Dr. Rolando Cubella agreeing to kill Castro, an operation that was run personally by Desmond FitzGerald.
At the time of the assassination, FitzGerald was having lunch at the exclusive City Tavern Club in Georgetown with his assistant Sam Halpern, a rabid Kennedy haiter. Being informed of the assassination they left, with Halpern and FitzGerald wondering out loud if the assassination “had anything to do with Cubans.”
As Desmond FitzGerald told the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there were a number of Cuban military officers who were disenchanted with the Castro regime, but they weren’t confident enough to talk to one another to plot a coup.
That wasn’t the case with the US military, as the Joint Chiefs of Staff were united in their oposition to President Kennedy over the air support for the Bay of Pigs, the failure to invade Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis, his reluctance to approve the plans to assassinate Castro, and the idea that JFK could conduct backchannel communications with Castro with the goal of normalizing diplomatic relations. Their disenchantment with President Kennedy rose to the level of despise and hatred, except for General Taylor, who was kept out of the Valkyrie loop.
The Valkyrie plan to kill Hitler failed, the Valkyrie plan that was studied by the CIA to be redirected to kill Castro was, according to CIA records, “disapproved by higher authority,” and was then utilized as the strategic plan against the higher authority - President Kennedy at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
BK Notes: Sources, Footnotes and additions will be added ASAP.
Next Up: PATHFINDER @ Dealey Plaza - The Tactical Plan to kill JFK.
German References to Valkyrie at Dealey Plaza: https://books.google.com/books?id=rQhqEAAAQBAJ&pg=PT433&lpg=PT433&dq=jfkcountercoup+valkyrie+at+Dealey+plaza&source=bl&ots=zXpVNP9Yzp&sig=ACfU3U3h0IZg8HMBs30swdsI3io4pRt7zg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjyiP2otKD_AhUCGVkFHYPxBvwQ6AF6BAgdEAI - v=onepage&q=jfkcountercoup%20valkyrie%20at%20Dealey%20plaza&f=false