Spies in Stockholm during the 1940’s

 

spies in Stockholm
Stockholms rådhusrätt 1850-1947, Avdelning 5, Avdelningen för spionmål A1:13 (1943-1943) Image 550 / page 1 (AID: v788124.b550.s1, NAD: SE/SSA/01400603) Link.

There is often a strange mystique around certain cities such as Casablanca, Istanbul, and Lisbon. Maybe this is because of the roll they played during the Second World War: neutral places where spies, diplomats and others from warring counties could meet in secret.

Further north one finds another such city: Stockholm. Many persons were drawn here also during the war to meet discreetly at restaurants and in parks.  Microfilms were hidden in the heels of shoes. Envelopes were discreetly exchanged. The Swedish intelligence service was under much pressure to keep up with all these covert activities.

For those who are fascinated by this exciting period of history, you can now find the espionage court protocols (Avdelningen för spionmål)) from the Stockholm city court for the years 1939 to 1946 in ArkivDigital. To find these records, enter “spion” in the search box.  One can find notes such as these in the records as shown in the above image.

Måndagen den 30 november 1942 klockan 18.50 blev svenske medborgaren f.d. direktören John Helge Walter anhållen på Vasagatan utanför hotell Continentel … enär det konstaterats, att direktör Walter vid upprepade tillfällen besökt brittiske marinattachén, captain Henry Denham, i dennes bostad n:r 46 Riddargatan.”

On Monday, the 30th of November 1942 at 6:50 in the evening, Swedish citizen Director John Helge Walter was taken into custody on Vasagatan outside the Hotel Continental…. since it had been established that Director Walter had repeatedly visited the British naval captain, Henry Denhem at his residence, 46 Riddargatan.”

As one reads further one discovers that Director Walter was searched at the station and 20,000 Swedish kronor in cash was found in one of his pant pockets plus more cash in his briefcase. In his wallet two typed questionnaires in English were found. The image below shows some of the English questions.

2nd spy document
Stockholms rådhusrätt 1850-1947, Avdelning 5, Avdelningen för spionmål A1:13 (1943-1943) Image 560 / page 2 (AID: v788124.b560.s2, NAD: SE/SSA/01400603) Link.

Read original blog entry in Swedish.

ArkivDigital

Tax Registers (Mantalslängder)

The tax/population registers (mantalslängderna) are an important replacement source in cases where the parish records have been destroyed.  Even in cases where the church records have not been destroyed, the household examination records only go back to the early 1800’s or late 1700’s in many parishes.

The tax/population registers exist from the middle of the 1600’s and while they are not as detailed as the household examination records; they do provide the possibility to continue to follow a family backwards.

Several copies of the tax registers were created. ArkivDigital is photographing the two copies which are preserved at the regional archives primarily the district/city registers and the county rural copies.

The original copy of the tax register exists in the district (häradsskrivarnas) archive. This is the copy that one should use since as a rule it is the one that generally contains the most information. The district office was responsible for the tax registers for the rural areas.  For the cities, you can find original copies of the tax registers in the city hall and magistrates archive, crown treasurer’s archive (kronokassörens arkiv), crown accountancy (kronokamrerarens) or tax collection (uppbördsverkets) archives.

Below is an image of a 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish in Jönköpng county.

Svenarum mantal Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 158 / page 299 (AID: v400751b.b158.s299, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link

To search for the above record, one method is:

  1. Click on advanced options in the ArkivDigital program.
  2. Search by archive type.
  3. In the archive selection, select country office.
  4. Select Jönköpings läns landskontor.
  5. Open the population register volume that includes the year 1787.
  6. Open the volume and look for a place or parish index.
  7. You will find a place index at the following reference: Jönköpings läns landskontor EIII:34 (1787-1788) Image 3 (AID: v400751b.b3, NAD: SE/VALA/01971)  Link
  8. The place index states that the tax register for Svenarum for 1787 begins on page 298.
  9. Go to page 298 and you will find the beginning page for the 1787 tax register for Svenarum parish as shown above.

For most counties, the copies of the tax registers up to 1820 from the regional archives are now available on ArkivDigital. These records are found in the district registrar or country office archives.

ArkivDigital