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Hitler's Man in Havana (Hardback)

Heinz Luning and Nazi Espionage in Latin America

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 24
ISBN: 9780813125015
Published: 12th September 2008
Casemate UK Academic

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At the beginning of World War II, Heinz August Lüning, posing as a Jewish refugee, was sent to Cuba to spy for the Third Reich. Lüning's assignment was to collect information about the United States and its allies and report back to Abwehr, the German foreign intelligence agency. The Caribbean waters Lüning monitored were important to the Allies both for shipping and for deploying ships between the various fronts. Despite some early setbacks, Lüning provided information on naval activities to the Germans. Ultimately, however, Lüning was arrested and became the only Nazi spy executed in Latin America during World War II. For at least five months after Lüning's arrest, U.S. and Cuban leaders -- J. Edgar Hoover, Fulgencio Batista, Nelson Rockefeller, General Manuel Benítez, Ambassador Spruille Braden, and others -- treated Lüning as the dangerous, key spy for a Nazi espionage network in the Gulf-Caribbean.British counterintelligence agent Graham Greene, who oversaw one group supervising Nazi communications areas, picked up Lüning's story and made it into a seminal spy novel. In Hitler's Man in Havana, Thomas Schoonover investigates the true story of the life, career, and death of Heinz August Lüning. In the sixty years since Lüning worked in the Caribbean, very little has been written about Nazi espionage in Latin America because the U.S. government kept much of the material secret. Schoonover draws from extensive research to recreate Lüning's story and explore the significance of his life and capture.

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