Other Nazi Party members include (standing, left to right) Adolf Mahr, Otto Bene (head of the Nazi Party in London) and Oswald Mueller-Dubrow (a director of Siemans engineering company).
Dr Adolf Mahr ...
Dr Adolf Mahr on his appointment as director of the National Museum, Dublin, 1934. (National Museum of Ireland)
Brase's successor was another Irish state employee, Dr Adolf Mahr, an Austrian archaeologist who had arrived in Dublin in 1927 to join the staff of the National Museum in Kildare Street (he was promoted to the top post of museum director in 1934 by Éamon de Valera's cabinet).
scoured the country buying artefacts for the museum but, like other party members, he
had a hidden agenda.
After taking over as party leader in Ireland, Mahr set about building up the NSDAP's membership and was quite successful; at least 23 Germans were recruited to the party during Mahr's
1934-9 term (roughly a quarter of all adult German males in the 26 counties).
Mahr's efforts on behalf of the Nazi Party were not restricted to German citizens.
According to Irish military intelligence files, he
'made many efforts to convert Irish graduates and other persons with whom he
had associations, to Nazi doctrines and beliefs'.
was no 'Mr Nice Guy', and his
recruitment methods have been described by Lt.
Col. John P. Duggan
(retd), a leading expert on Irish-German relations in the 1933-45 period, as 'bully boy tactics'.
Those targeted by Mahr
appear to have been given the choice of joining the party or being packed off to the Fatherland in disgrace.
Visiting Germans had to report first to Mahr
or face a reprimand.
Using his virtually unlimited powers within the small German colony, Mahr
was able to get two diplomats (Georg von Dehn-Schmidt, in 1934, and Erich Schroetter, in 1937) sent home to Berlin for not toeing the party line.
From 1934 to 1939 Mahr
was, de facto, Germany's top diplomatic representative in pre-war Ireland.
Dr Mahr even represented the Irish branch of the Nazi Party at the May 1937 coronation of George VI in London, where he was joined by Ribbentrop, then Hitler's ambassador to the Court of St James.
It was no coincidence, therefore, that Mahr
secured a post as head of the Irish desk at the wartime foreign office in Berlin when Ribbentrop was foreign minister.
also directed radio propaganda broadcasts to Ireland from 1941 to 1945.
In the later stages of the war, his
radio responsibilities were extended to include large parts of the English-speaking world.
A major biography of Adolf Mahr by journalist Gerry Mullins (due to be published in 2007) will cast the Austrian in a more sinister light than hitherto seen, linking him to the Nazis' core anti-Semitic plans, particularly in the propaganda sphere.
One of the museum director's colleagues, a Scottish archaeologist, Dr Howard Kilbride-Jones, recalled that in June 1938, when Mahr needed additional funding to complete an archaeo-logical dig in Drimnagh, they called to the taoiseach's office and left with de Valera's personal cheque for £400 (about ?25,000 in today's values).
Annual Nazi Party rally in Nuremburg, 6 September 1938-Mahr left Dublin in July 1939 with the intention of attending the 1939 one, cancelled owing to the outbreak of war. (TimePix/Hugo Jaeger)
Nazi Party members like Adolf Mahr
found themselves in an awkward position as state employees in the 1930s because, essentially, they could not serve two masters without a conflict of interest arising.
Adolf Mahr was assisted in his Nazi Party duties by a Dublin-based Siemens director, Oswald Mueller-Dubrow, who operated as Mahr's deputy in the Nazi Party's ausland (foreign) organisation, which kept an eye on Germans living abroad, enforced discipline among party members and produced regular reports for Berlin.
According to Irish military intelligence records, Adolf Mahr
and Otto Reinhard were both employed during the war in 'one of the German intelligence sections which dealt with matters concerning a landing in Ireland'.
In July 1939 Mahr
had received a letter from an SS war maps office in Prague thanking him for his
But, in the 1930s, were de Valera and his
ministers aware that Nazi Party members were on the state payroll?
had left Dublin two months earlier, officially for his
annual holidays in Austria in July and to attend the sixth international congress of archaeology in Berlin in August.
Unofficially, however, he
had planned to attend the Nazi Party's annual rally at Nuremburg in September (cancelled on the outbreak of war).
In addition, since early 1939 he
had been feeling the pressure from top Irish officials over his
Nazi Party role, and had been shadowed both by the Garda
special branch and the army's military intelligence arm, G2
'I suggested to him, as I have frequently done to his minister [Hempel] and his minister's predecessor [Schroetter] that the existence of a Nazi organisation in Dublin . . . having as its chief member and organiser an employee of our state [Mahr] was not calculated to improve relations between our two governments.'
Dr Eduard Hempel, Dr Vogelsang and Dr Adolf Mahr at the German legation's garden party in Dublin, 1938....
Dr Eduard Hempel, Dr Vogelsang and Dr Adolf Mahr at the German legation's garden party in Dublin, 1938.
release from a British army internment camp in Germany in April 1946, Adolf Mahr
sought reinstatement as director of the National Museum
(technically he was on leave of absence from his job in Dublin).
was pensioned off against his
wishes and never set foot on Irish soil again.