Bernard Julius Otto Kuehn was a sleeper agent for Nazi Germany with ties to Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. In 1935 Kuehn got hired by Japanese intelligence in Hawaii, thus he moved to Honolulu in that same year. His daughter, Susie Ruth has been told as the mistress of Minister Goebbels.ù
Susie dated U.S. military personnel and opened a beauty parlor that offered cheapest services in the city, obviously to gather such info from wives of high-ranking military personnel.
Bernard Kuehn’s son, Hans Joachim “Eberhard” Kuehn ,11 years old, was trained by his father to ask questions about ships and submarines. Bernard would dress up young Hans as a U.S. Navy sailor to show patriotism, and so go for a walk along the waterfront. Often the Officers would invite Hans into the ships or into submarines and that’s when Hans would start spying, but I highly doubt that a kid could distinguish consoles and engine specs if even an adult could not.
Kuehn flashed coded messages from the attic of his household to the japanese master spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrived in Honolulu, and remain undetected until the end of the war.
A Japanese agent claimed that Bernard lacked spying skill and was not made for the job offered by Goebbels, I bet so, there’s no prove that Kuehn received any spy training, what Kuehn did he did He being at high of getting caught despite his bit of information gathered and passed through enemy lines.
In Pearl Harbor’s day, December 7 1941, a flashing light from the Kuehn’s lodge triggered an alert being spotted by some of the military intelligence.
Kuehn was arrested then , and , on February 21 1942, he was sentenced by a military commission to be shot by a platoon as a spy. However his sentence was commuted to 50 years hard labor and ever after the war he was deported to Germany both to his family.
The Otto Kuehn Family Papers were collected by Dr. Bernhard L. Hormann, professor of Sociology at the University of Hawai’i. Dr. Hormann provided a home for the two sons of Otto and Freidel Kuehn during at least part of the time the Kuehns lived in incarceration on Sand Island. Dr. Hormann donated the papers to the Hawai’i War Records Depository in 1981.
The Otto Kuehn Family Papers contain three parts plus an introductory essay by Dr. Bernhard Hormann.
- Part one, labeled “Otto Kuehn,” contains correspondence between Otto Kuehn and Bernhard Hormann plus a newspaper clipping.
- Part two, labeled “Hans Joachim (Bubchen) Kuehn,” contains letters written to or about Hans, the younger son of Otto and Freidel Kuehn during the time Hans stayed with the Hormann family. These letters are written by Freidel Kuehn and by her daughter, Mrs. Ruth Moore, nee Kuehn, both of whom were interned at Sand Island.
- Part three, labeled “Eberhard Kuehn,” contains parole documents on Eberhard Kuehn, the older son of Otto and Friedel Kuehn, and correspondence from Eberhard to Hormann during Eberhard’s tour of duty in the United States army.
Photocopying of this collection is prohibited.