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Erben Myths – What’s the Truth About Hermann Erben?

29 Sep

There are some contradicting theories and competing contentions regarding Hermann Erben. Most notably, did he or did he not do work or favors for the Nazis?

Personally, I suspect he was an extremely selfish and often immoral man, who even went as far as using his unwitting “friend” Errol in a self-serving scheme to aid the Nazis, in Mexico, Spain, the U.S., and elsewhere. I also believe his endlessly selfish deceit and profound misconduct
gravely hurt Errol, and still severely hurts Errol’s family & legacy. … Despite so, I’m wide open to and strongly encourage all honest evidence and argument to the contrary. Who knows, we may learn something that completely undermines the widely held belief that Erben was no-good.

ANYONE who has evidence Erben did not help the Nazis should state so and identify that evidence here and now. This invitation and encouragement notably extends (but is not limited) to you, Herr Fegerl. From what you say, I gather you were a friend of Herr Erben. So, please do weigh in with whatever evidence you may have concerning these well known and long standing charges against Erben. Here’s your chance, if you can, to prove these charges wrong – something I would welcome. If Erben is being falsely accused, that should be thoroughly documented and condemned. If not,that should also be made known.

Let honest research, analyses, and debate begin.

Erben

— Gentleman Tim

 
 

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  1. Gentleman Tim

    September 29, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Here are a couple of articles accusing Erben of extremely serious criminal and immoral conduct. Can any one provide evidence either of these contain false charges against Erben? If so, please do.

    verynanchang.com…

    mattsko.files.wordpress.com…

     
  2. Gentleman Tim

    September 30, 2014 at 5:44 am

    I’ve read in a number of documents that – COMPLETELY without any notice or connection to Flynn whatsoever – Erben may have been involved in the murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico, as part of a larger effort by the Nazis to gain power against the U.S.

    Likewise, Erben is suspected of doing reconnaisance for the Nazis at various strategic ports and locations, including but not limited to the Panama Canal.

    Any truth to any of that, Herr Fegerl? Or, is that all false?

    Additionally, Nazi war crime investigators believe that Herr Erben used several aliases during his work for Nazis and Nazi-related causes. Did he use any of the aliases identifiec in the Holocaust link below?

    www.wienerlibrary.co.uk/?location_id=51&adlibmultifilter%5Bfields%5D%5Bperson_keyword%5D=1&adlibmultifilter%5Bterm%5D=Erben%2C%20Hermann…

     
  3. Gentleman Tim

    September 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Is it not true that Erben ultimately admitted and/or was found guilty by official post-war investigative bodies of being a pro-Hitler member of the Abwehr?

    Is it not further true that Erben confessed and/or was found guilty of using the celebrity of the UNWITTING Errol Flynn to advance his own pro-Nazi aims and power/position in the Abwehr??

    And is it not true that many if not all of the photos taken of the unwitting Errol Flynn by Erben were taken while Erben was in the commission of international pro-Nazi espionage and war crimes?

     
  4. rswilltell

    September 30, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Tim; As far as I know Dr. Erben was never convicted of any war crimes by either the post-war occupying allies or the Federal Republic of Germany. Based on one of the articles you provided, the Gestapo considered him to be nothing more than a buffoon getting in the way. Serving your native country during a war is not criminal, and is in and of itself honrorable. Erben strikes me as a hanger-on to Flynn and it is doubtful that he would come across anything of value to the Third Reich in either Hollywood, New Guinea, or Mexico. There is zero evidence of his involvement in the assassination of Leon Trotsky in 1940 Mexico. I guess you could make a case that Dr. Erben was guilty of being a German! Ralph Schiller

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      September 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks for your response, Ralph. Though I don’t dispute that members of the Gestapo and SS would have regarded Erben somewhat of a “buffoon”, that does not negate the evidence I’ve referenced that he was indeed involved in unlawful international crimes, often for the Nazis.

      I should reiterate, too, Ralph, that the evidence is that Erben was not acting lawfully for Germany as a legal combatant or agent. Rather, he was conducting unlawful acts outside the lawful definition of war. Indeed, there was no declaration of war by anybody at the time of the acts I linked above. Erben was plainly acting in violation of international law – guilty far, far more than just being an honorable German. In fact. for a Jew in particular, his conduct seems to me to be even more particularly dishonorable.

      Very few Germans were involved in anything like what Erben has been accused of doing, Ralph. Operations for the Abwehr in the South Seas, Asia, the U.S., Mexico, Panana, and Spain, inter alia. And all outside of international law protecting those lawfully engaged in war for their country. I just don’t see how his conduct can be accurately viewed as honorable. Grossly selfish adventurism, at best, perhaps, but definitely not honorable. Even less honorable for involving and exploiting an unwitting Flynn.

      With concern to the assassination of Trotsky -as part of the Nazis larger effort to corrupt and control Mexico for Hitler’s own ignoble (and illegal) objectives – here’s an excerpt from the book Los Nazis en Mexico, tying Erben to this most infamous assassination – so notable that, as I’m sure you’ll recall, Richard Burton did a movie about it. I certainly don’t personally know the extent of Erben’s involvement, but there does appear to be evidence he may have had some.

      www.insidemex.com…

      And let us not forget Erben’s apparently even more certain role in working for the Nazis against non-Nazi German’s in the International Brigade.

      In short, Ralph, Erben does not appear to me (or to many others) to have been an honorable German, Austrian, or world citizen. Nor was he an honorable friend to Flynn.

       
    • Gentleman Tim

      September 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Excellent observations and thoughts, Tina. If true, however, that any of Erben’s motivations included staying out of Jewish concentration camps and surviving the Holocaust, how then would that explain and justify all his unlawful and immoral conduct prior? Before he even met Flynn, for example – when concentration camps were not very likely a motivating factor?

      Doesn’t it seem far more likely he was a very selfish individual who did Whatever it took to get others to fund his travels and adventures, even when that involved Unlawfully aiding the Nazi cause? Even if that involved despicably and using Errol’s celebrity (without Errol’s knowledge or consent) to help and get in with Hitler’s creepiest and most dangerous bastards – the very ones who exterminated millions of his fellow Jews? I think he was far, far, far more of a selfish bastard, then a buffoon. And certainly not an honorable man, like the majority of Germans Forced to fight for Hitler.

       
      • Tina

        October 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

        Tim, I have to agree with Ralph it is time to stop this discussion about Dr. Erben. It does’nt make any sense!
        Are we the Nuernberg Trial here? We are not!
        Dr. Erben is basically non of our business here.
        Furthermore, if he was good enough to be a great friend of Errol and more important – Errol chose him to be friend – we should respect that and stand behind Errol as his fans!
        And foremost Errol Fans is what we are!.
        No attach intended and I hope you agree!

         
        • Gentleman Tim

          October 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm

          We clearly have different world views on this, Tina. I greatly respect, encourage, and recognize the great importance of your wonderful research and extremely valuable contributions regarding, Errol. It just happens to be a different approach then mine. As a researcher, I believe it is important, even essential, to expose, air out, and examine these type of matters and issues. Tempered by such examination, Errol’s legacy will better stand, because those of us who praise his great accomplishments cannot be legitimately criticized.

          I’m certainly not a world expert on Hermann Erben. Perhaps others are and can provide evidence (rather than just unsupported criticism) that my assessment of him is incorrect. I would love to find this the case. But I cannot honestly say now that, based on what I’ve seen to date, he was a “good person”, or a “good friend” to Errol, though Errol was a good friend to him. Rather, I believe Erben was an extraordinarily selfish and deceitful man, who did much harm to many – as a Jew for the Nazis, no less!

           
      • Maria

        October 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

        I have been reading these posts as well. I have been looking around the internet today (still at home with my headache!) I found the following:

        news.google.com…
        This is an article from the Montreal Gazette 1980, mentioning Charles Foster . Charles Foster is the author of
        “Once Upon a Time in Paradise: Canadians in the Golden Age of Hollywood”.

        books.google.ca/books?id=DTMY4TIpRogC&printsec=frontcover&dq=isbn:1550024647&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VcEtVKvwA-a68QHctIGoBA&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA…

        Page 307 onwards describes some of Errol’s activities for the allies.

        In putting all of this to rest I don’t feel the need to ever defend Errol – whether it be against ill treatment by co stars and so called friends or by books that cast an ugly shadow on him. I think that Errol could handle himself. I also do not think that Errol would ever do anything that would bring shame upon his father or his children. Being a playboy is one thing but betraying your country – never.

        I cannot attest to the truth of Mr. Foster’s comments; Please do not think that I am dismissing the seriousness of Dr. whatsits activities either – Tim you have done a lot of good solid research. I married into a family whose lives were altered by the German occupation, school friends whose parents escaped from camps in Europe.

        What I would like to see is someone verifying the story about Jack Warner and Errol’s activities as recounted in Mr. Foster’s book.

         
        • Gentleman Tim

          October 2, 2014 at 10:30 pm

          Magnificent research and find, Maria! Wonderful!! And thank you for the compliment regarding my research. I regret that some may find it dangerous to Flynn, but I do not. I am a very big fan of Errol’s, believing him to be one of history’s greatest adventures, but I’m not blind to the fact that, his adventurism may have occasionally taken him down a few wrong paths. That’s the inevitable consequence of being a trailblazer.

          In my view, blindly defending Errol’s bad films, or bad friends, is counterproductive to his legacy, as it tends to taint credibility of his great accomplishments. IMO, the decade-plus older Erben had to be an incredible travelling guide and companion on young Errol’s voyage from New Guinea to Europe via the Orient, India and Africa. But, based on information I have looked at from 1980 to the present, I cannot share the view that a “good” man, or a “good friend”.

          From what I’ve seen, I think Herr Erben was a grossly selfish and immoral man, who did serious harm to truly good people fighting truly bad forces, including the Nazis and Japanese Empire of the 1930’s. And he did these things as a Jew, which is even more incomprehensible to me – before, during (and after!) the War in Europe, as an American.

          Errol was loyal to him as a former friend, to the extent that he didn’t betray him. But Errol was not a Nazi, nor a Nazi supporter. He was an adventure-seeker, who treasured freedoms Hitler and his creepy regime notoriously opposed. As we know, he was not one to walk in lockstep (or goosestep) with anyone. He was his own man.

          The intelligence reports are EXTREMELY credible and damning with concern to what Erben was, did, and repeatedly confessed to – from spying & doing dirty tricks for the Nazis around the world, doing extensive espioinage against America, working in support of the Japanese in China, international dope dealing, and other profound violations of international law. There’s no doubt in my mind he was a war criminal (pre-war & post-war, too)l, and that he was a very bad friend to Errol in the incessant way he would use his name to save his own ass. That is NOT a “good friend”.

          Having said all that, there may be others who have controverting evidence. I am not locked into any permanent position on this or any other matter. If anyone has exculpating evidence, I very strongly encourage it’s publication.

          Great info here, Maria! Thank you!!

          bit.ly/YVx9Aq…

           
  5. rswilltell

    September 30, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Tim; So far I have seen nothing but rumors, innuendo and fabrications against Dr. Erben. Thanks for the posting from the Mexican author, I really needed a good horse laugh! He writes that Erben was one of Adolf Hitler’s most valuable agents in North America? In the words of Ralph Kramden, har-de-har-de-har-har! That’s like saying Colonel Clink (played beautifully by Werner Klemperer) of Hogan’s Heroes, was the German army’s most important officer in WW2! On the Trotsky assassination, that was the KGB carrying out Stalin’s orders. Hitler and Stalin mistrusted and hated each other. If anything the Germans needed Trotsky as threat to keep Stalin in line and should have protected him. Now mind you I don’t claim Dr. Erben was Albert Schweitzer, but to me he was a great Nazi spy only in his own mind, the Barney Fife of the Third Reich, which didn’t suffer fools gladly. Ralph

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      September 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Well, Ralph, it looks like we have a few points of agreement! Erben was definitely no Dr. Albert Schweitzer! (In fact, he may have not really ever legally been a “Dr.”) Werner Klemperer was a great Colonel Klink!! And Ralph Kramden could always provide a good laugh!!! I cannot agree, however, that all these very serious charges against Erben are unfounded, nor that Barney Fife ever worked for Hitler!! I most especially refuse to believe the latter, as would most Mayberry loyalists, I’m sure.

      I will search for further evidence. Hopefully, Erben’s friend Herr Fegerl will contribute evidence to dispel all these Erben Myths for us!

       
      • Gentleman Tim

        September 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm

        I have searched for further evidence and I stand corrected, Ralph:

        Missouri_s-Finest.jpg

         
  6. Gentleman Tim

    September 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Erben was apparently not only a Nazi spy, but a rat as well:

    Contemporaneous evidence from 1946:

    news.google.com…

    Guilty of spy crimes he was placed in a prison camp after the war, despite his efforts to trade freedom for ratting out his co-spies.

    It’s further noteworthy that Erben may well have been an “American” citizen at this time, with no legal loyalty to Germany! Further noteworthy is that his espioinage activities in Shanghai began long before the War – approximately a decade perhaps. His plea however was carefully crafted to imply only wartime espionage, which (being covert, out of country, against one’s country and out of uniform) would be a very serious war crime.

    Again, I have no personal knowledge of this, but can only interpret the extremely damning records. If Herr Fegerl, or anyone else, has evidence proving any of this erroneous, Please speak up. No one should be falsely accused, not even an apparent rat and “American” traitor like Herr Erben!

     
  7. twinarchers

    October 1, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I can’t debate this since I have not researched it. There is part of an interview with a elderly Koets denying allegations. I have the DVD Portrait of a Swashbuckler and any serious fan needs to get it especially since he added more interview content.

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      October 1, 2014 at 2:50 am

      Great recollection and info, twinarchers! Thanks. I have seen this once or twice a long while back, but don’t now recall exactly what Erben said. (If you do) Did he deny his guilt regarding all the above charges, or did he deny Flynn’s? Or both? Generally so, without specificity? Or, with specific reference to the actual charges?

      I ask this because, by all credible accounts, Erben was a frequent liar – maybe even pathologically so. Moreover, he is reported to have already confessed to many of these allegations to various people and authorities. Of course, he was a known braggart (and liar), so that could have conceivably all been stupid or self-important boasting. He evidently did go to prison camp for his war crimes in Shanghai. And apparently did admit things to the FBI, OSS and possibly other intelligence agencies, as well as to an author or more. So, we all need to be very wary of anything and everything Erben said.

      Notwithstanding all that, it is very good that he commented on film to some degree about something regarding this. Would love to see it again.

      P.S. If you’re able to transcribe what he said for us, that would be terrific. I don’t have the ability to watch that documentary at this time. Thanks, tw.

      D1651-2.jpg

       
      • twinarchers

        October 1, 2014 at 11:32 pm

        No I don’t have a transcript as I would have to watch it and right it down but he simply says “a friend of mine, Errol Flynn” etc. It is a generalization only so it does not count for much in a per accusation charge situation. I just mentioned it because it is all we have. He vass very old and I vonder vat else he said?

         
        • Gentleman Tim

          October 2, 2014 at 12:14 am

          Thanks, twinarchers. I’ve been reading original FBI files on Flynn the last couple of days. Hoover & Tolson were some really petty characters, personally (and quite obviously jealously) involved in the investigations themselves. The post-rape trial extortion investigation is fascinating to read, but my favorite, so far, is when the FBI investigates a women who went boating & fishing with Errol in Acapulco, intimidatingly interrogating her with “What kind of fish did you catch?” (implying you know what) and she said “You know … Mexican fish.” !!!

          Mexican_fish_by_Monylove17.png

           
        • David DeWitt

          October 2, 2014 at 1:44 am

          I remember a bit of this, Erben says coyly that young Flynn was “easily bamboozled”!

           
  8. Gentleman Tim

    October 2, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Just finished extensive FBI files on Erben, which, in turn, includes extensive and very detailed documentation from multiple military intelligence agencies, the State Department, foreign agencies and consulates, and numerous independent informants, et al.

    Let’s put it this way: (unless this documentation is all fraudulent, which I see no evidence of) Erben was guilty as sin, in many regards, including as a pre-War Nazi spy against America, as a long-time international dope-dealer, and as a “friend” of Errol’s who involved and dropped Errol’s name at every turn to save his (Herr Erben’s) ass.

    Long before the War, and even as an American citizen, Erben was conducting unlawful espionage for the Nazis, and ingratiating himself with top Nazis around the world – the South Seas, the Orient, Europe, the U.S., and in Central & South Americas. Wherever he went, he was up to no good. He tracked Allied ship movements, recruited Nazi spies outside of Germany, spied on and ratted out anti-Nazis, and endlessly imposed on Errol to save him from going to prison for betraying America. He got Errol in a ton of trouble, knowing that Errol, still a young man) was a loyal person, who could be easily “bamboozled” and betrayed, something Erben clearly did over and over to him.

    There’s no doubt Erben was guilty. In fact, he confessed so on multiple occasions, officially and otherwise. His defense, after he was caught by American military intelligence, was that he was spying on America for the Nazis so that someday in the future he could spy for America. On one occasion, he said he did whatever the Nazis asked to assure his two sons in the Nazi army would not be mistreated, but that didn’t make much sense because of an apparently long train of things which aggravated the Nazis, like not returning to Germany when directed so, disappearing on (mis)adventures, not diligently completing his assignments, etc.

    Buffoon is not the right word for Erben. He was a very bright but extremely selfish and often immoral man who did a lot of damage to good people – Chinese opposing Japan’s brutal occupation, Americans and Allies opposing Hitler’s murderous insanity, and South & Central Americans trying to prevent Nazis from corrupting their world. All in all, I think he was an immoral bastard, who used an unwitting Errol. Errol, in turn, was a fun-loving adventurer who could all too easily be duped by a snake like Erben.

    Anyhow, that’s how I see it, even more so after reading the intelligence files. All contrary evidence and opinions welcome & encouraged!!

     
  9. rswilltell

    October 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Hey Tim;

    Stop acting like Richard Widmark in ‘Judgement At Nuremburg’!!! Why do you keep going after Fegerl? He’s not Dr. Erben’s lawyer or son. Fegerl is a great artist who had the good fortune to meet Erben and have access to material that shows another side to Errol Flynn (including that Lili Damita was perhaps the beautiful woman in Hollywood). The FBI files prove nothing against Dr. Erben. During World War Two, J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI had nearly supreme powers under President Roosevelt. The FBI arrested and incarcerated many espionage agents but never Dr. Erben, not even for a parking ticket. My father grew up in Chicago in the 1930’s and remembers the pro-Nazi German-American Bund of German-Americans. In fact he was supposed to attend a Hitler Youth rally and ditched for the beach instead. When the war broke out, J. Edgar Hoover threw all the leaders of the Bund into prison, but not Erben. Anyone who became a member of the Bund (only a handful of German-Americans ever joined) was barred from military service. My father was able to serve in the U.S. Navy because he didn’t attend that day. Now either Dr. Erben was the greatest espionage mastermind in world history who outwitted the Allied powers, Churchill, Roosevelt, and the FBI, or frankly there’s nothing here! Mr. Fegerl, come back the war is over, and all Flynn scholars are welcome here! Ralph Schiller

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      October 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Going after Fegerl? What are you talking about, Ralph? Mr. Fegerl wrote a post attacking me for suggesting that Erben had committed crimes for the Nazis and was not such a great guy – which he did and which he was not, Ralph. Despite that, I have not “gone after” Mr. Fegerl, rather, I simply have asked him (and all potential others) to provide the evidence they may have proving theitr position(s) that erben was a good man and good friend of Errol’s who did not commit war (pre and post, also) crimes for the Nazis.

      I do not at all see any relevant comparison of your father’s NOT participating in a pre-war Bund rally (and then serving honorably against the Nazis) to Erben’s very profound war crimes, Ralph. Nor do I see any relevance Mr. Fegerl’s artistic talents have with respect to whether or not Erben was a war criminal.

      It is not unscholarly to seek, report and discuss the truth, Ralph. Quite the opposite.

       
  10. David DeWitt

    October 2, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Regarding Hermann F. Erben, we should remember that Charles Higham pinned his falacious book on the friendship between young Errol Flynn and this unusual figure who definately had a shady background to put it mildly. Erben is fair game in this regard, as an important figure in the life, and legacy of Errol Flynn. In the interview that has been referenced showing Erben reacting to the Higham charges he tells us that if he, Erben, ever had the intention of using Flynn’s company to do such a thing as help him gain information for the Nazis, he would have waited for such a time when he could lure and ensnare Errol into his efforts since Flynn at the time was easily bamboozled into adventures. He went on to say that “no such thing was ever attempted by me”.

    It’s a discussion worth having but we may never have the kind of evidence needed to prove how valuable Erben was to any esspionage effort since he actively used everybody to obtain travel papers for his own adventures and had an active fantasy life, as most wild characters do. Flynn was always drawn to the kind of people who thumbed their noses at authority, and were living on the edge. I agree Flynn would never allow his family to be disgraced by becoming a traitor. He volunteered his services to help the war effort as a serviceman, an entertainer, and even suggested he could serve as a spy for us in South America. As far as we know, that suggestion was politely declined. I’m sure what these two had in common was travel, adventure, alcohol and women over anything else. Errol would hardly have referred to him by name after the war had he been involved in any of Erben’s activities. That Erben was never prosecuted shows that he was not so clever as lucky he had no real value to anybody. That doesn’t mean he was not guilty.

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      October 3, 2014 at 6:25 am

      Thank you, David. Marvelous information and insight.

      I would just add that these documents do confirm that Erben was found guilty on multiple occasions, and punished for his crimes in various ways, including incarceration in post-war internment camps, revocation of his American citizenship, permanent exclusion from a number of countries. I don’t recall seeing any record of him standing trial, per se, but that appeared to be l because he formally confessed to all the charges I saw, and then negotiated some sort of deal or arrangement (including ratting out his co-Nazi-spies in Shanghai, ALWAYS using Errol ‘ name, sometimes adding Hemingway, and even Eleanor Roosevelt. That’s why I don’t consider him a “good friend” or Errol’s. To the contrary, I think he frequently betrayed and exploited Errol, to the very grave detriment of him, his family, and his legacy. Fortunately, Errol’s accomplishments are SO immortally great and undeniable, he has survived and will continue to survive despite Erben’s gross offenses and betrayals.

      None of this, of course, proves Erben wasn’t also somewhat of a buffoon, as he’s been referred to, but, IMO, that doesn’t explain or rationalize all his incredible selfishness, deceit, and criminality. It also seems to me he may have been a drug addict, and that may have fueled some of his behavior. Without doubt, he was a trafficker and dealer. So, it’s not a big leap to consider the possibility he was also a user (in multiple senses of the word,)

       
  11. David DeWitt

    December 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Hermann F Erben

    Hermann F Erben

     
  12. David DeWitt

    December 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Erben and wife Joan

    Erben and wife Joan

     
  13. David DeWitt

    December 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Erben imitating Hitler

    Erben imitating Hitler

     
    • Gentleman Tim

      December 8, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Are these from his auditions for the role of Adolph in Desperate Journey, David? If so, he was in some very good company! – Flynn, Reagan, and even a Kennedy!!!

      2.bp.blogspot.com…

      WK-AV696_FLYNN_F_20101014163010.jpg

      p.s. are those other photos from a prison or internment camp?? that’s looks a bit like a prison yard with barbed wire!

       
      • David DeWitt

        December 9, 2014 at 4:07 am

        No, the photos with Joan are in Vienna, I think? An article was published about his exploits in the newspapers and he and his wife were looking at a copy of it when this photo was taken. I am not sure of the reason for the Hitler imitation but Erben seems to be capturing the crazed look many felt Hitler had in his eyes at the time. Lincoln Hurst felt Erben was using Errol for his own ends, and was responsible for Spanish Civil War fighters being identified by the Nazis in some of the photos Erben took as Flynn’s official photographer during their Spanish Civil War trip to cover the war. Errol’s Spanish Diary reveals that Errol was at times wondering why Erben was so mysterious about some of his movements but brushed off those concerns knowing Erben never had proper papers and likely slipped over the border into Spain somehow, and let sleeping dogs lay. Flynn was more concerned with his note taking for his future articles about the war. His notes are the notes of a keen observer, and are written in a style that captures moments to be used in his writing later. He does happen to put down his own movements in a way that refutes Charles Higham’s claims about his activities. Never written for anyone but himself to read, these notes are written with absolute candor and honesty. There is little doubt Flynn was used by Erben for his own agenda, while keeping a friendship alive that was based on mutual romping rather than anything else as far as Flynn was concerned. Errol always spoke of Erben fondly, and was loyal to his old friend and the to Flynn, carefree days that they spent together. He wrote to Earl Conrad about Erben by name to describe the way he spoke and his attitude about life for MWWW’s. Erben by then could not be found to obtain permission to use his name, so the publisher’s used the the name Koets … no evil plot to cover up who he really was, as Higham contended …

        Hermann F Erben is an important figure in Flynn’s life and legacy because of the Charles Higham claims, and deserves attention. I refer everybody to The Spy Who Never Was, by Jack Marino’s close friend, Tony Thomas, for a thorough look at all of this!

         
        • Gentleman Tim

          December 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

          With friends like that! … Collaborating with Nazis, deceiving you to backstab anti-Fascist freedom fighters, using your name all over the world to escape prosecution and prison for working in support of Hitler. If he ever truly was once great, Dr. Hermann sure went through a lot of Erben-decay!! IMO, he was a character, not a friend – at least not a true friend.

           
 
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