Gareth Jones

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Dr. Herbert Muller (alias Gissler) was a Soviet Agent?

(also spelled elsewhere as: Mueller & Müller)

From Recently Released British Public Records Office Records Evidence


Gareth's last vehicle from which he was kidnapped in Inner Mongolia in 1935 belonged to a German company called Wostwag, which are now known to be trading front of the Soviet NKVD [See HERE for more details]. Now it appears from a recently released (July 2002) MI5 dossier on Dr Herbert Mueller (operational between 1917 and 1951) that Mueller who was kidnapped with Gareth and then released unharmed after two days in captivity, was a known communist and an agent of the Soviet 3rd International (Comintern) in China... Now to my mind there appears to be a definite correlation between Gareth's kidnapping and murder and the fact that he was afforded hospitality by Wostwag and Mueller! For an Mueller's account of the kidnapping as reported in the British press, please CLICK HERE [N.B Note that this link now also alleges that unconfirmed report that Mueller's release account is the only version of the incident, can it now be really taken as gospel?

Later in the PRO documents, it becomes quite confusing over Muller's actual identity - but the British Security services had a file open on him from 1918 to 1951 - the PRO link is HERE  references KV2/910, KV2,911, KV2/913 AND KV2/914. It was released in July 2002 and is a joint file with another German journalist Saltzman, suspected of being a Nazi (/Soviet undercover) spy in the Jahnke Buro. The file is not completely disclosed as there are still documents being withheld from public access by MI6...

The gist of the documents is that in the first world war Muller may have been a German spy in the Hague specialising in the Far East. In 1927, the British discover that this was probably another Herbert Muller who had died in 1924-25 (though to me it still sounds like 'Gareth's' Dr. Herbert Muller and these reports of death was incorrect).

He then turns up in 1927 trying to subversively contact some Indian regiment British Soldiers in China, so an investigation ensues over reports of him spreading propaganda amongst the Indians, which basically then amounts to nothing. There is again some confusion over his identity with another possible Herbert Muller in India, which is then sorted out, but he is put on an Indian black list and is identified as being a journalist for the Frankfurter Zeitung, a known  communist and a Soviet 3rd International representative in China (i.e. Comintern). [FYI - the Comintern or Third International  is, according to Wikipedia,  a Soviet organization whose purpose was to fight, "by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic."]

Two interesting profiles are made of Mueller, including allegations that he was mixed up with sales of weapons to the Soviets. As a rich man he has a career change and organises paper chases for rich Europeans along with Saltzman.

In 1934, the year before Gareth was murdered the British reviewed their intelligence on Mueller and cleared up some previous confusion - It also is mentioned that Mueller was at some point living at the Soviet Consulate in Hankow under the alias of 'Gordon'... 

In 1950, he is released from Lansberg prison in Munich after being convicted for the crime of "News Intelligence", which basically meant that after the fall of Berlin in 1945, he continued as a German citizen to report picked up readily available allied radio transmissions within Japanese occupied China and by reporting them, was judged at a Shanghai War trials court to have been guilty of espionage against the Allies.

Initial Conclusions

At the end of the day. though the Foreign Office compiled 500 pages for their confidential investigation on Gareth's murder in 1935, nobody and there at least a dozen listed British MI5 personnel named below, including British Officials in Peking like the Military Attaché, who were keeping an eye on Muller's dubious goings-on, especially in 1927-28,  deemed it necessary to pass on their intelligence information to the Foreign Office enquiry relating to Mueller... Furthermore neither was MI5's  intelligence on Wostwag (being an NKVD trading front for Soviet espionage and from whose vehicle Gareth and Mueller were kidnapped (CLICK HERE) ) passed on to the Foreign Office at the time of the enquiry....

In relation to Mueller, he reported that his speedy freedom after just two days in captivity and without any payment of ransom, was down to the fact that he was a German national, and the Japanese-controlled bandits had stated to him that because of a 'secret' agreement between their two nations, he would be permitted to leave.

After Gareth's death, known British Marxist Claud Cockburn in his influential confidential newsletter, The Week,  revealed that Mueller was released because of a Japanese- Nazi military agreement, which didn't in fact occur for over a year after the incident. Basil Newton of the British embassy in Berlin had no knowledge of any entente or pact in September 1935, though US Ambassador Dodd of their Berlin Embassy in a State Department 'warnings' briefing had noted that "there was probably in existence a German-Japanese understanding, if not an alliance." [CLICK HERE for an online source of this State Dept. evidence].

 It is probably just a bizarre coincidence that a 'reliable source' of MI6 noted on 22 November 1935 [in Cockburn's 1935 PRO file]:

 "Information has been received from a reliable source that Vinogradoff  of the Russian Embassy is apparently in the very closest contact with Claud Cockburn. 

This will have to be looked into and certainly may account for some of the peculiar information – accurate or otherwise – which Cockburn publishes in “The Week”. As an instance, source stated that certain information has been given to Vinagradoff by a contact as something most secret; the same information appeared in “The Week” three days later."

This Boris Vinagradoff, the first secretary in the Soviet Embassy in Berlin was also the lover of Ambassador Dodd's daughter Martha and it is generally now believed that it was he who recruited Martha Dodd into Soviet intelligence so as to pass on her father's diplomatic correspondence to Moscow...

Nevertheless, Cockburn's 'propaganda'  clearly put the F.O .off any Soviet scent and no link to Gareth's revelations of a 1933 Soviet famine ever entered the equation of their investigation - Walter Duranty also colluded, by repeating Cockburn's Marxist propaganda over the Japanese blame for Gareth's murder in an article for the New York Times on 15 September 1935; entitled "Russia is Watching Japanese in China", where he twisted the knife into his young Welsh adversary, and where he wrote

"Today it can be stated positively that the Soviet Union has no fear of a Japanese attack, but that does not mean the Soviet Union is yet in a position to interfere with Japanese expansion in China.  There are frontier incidents aplenty between Inner Mongolia which is under Japanese control, and Outer Mongolia, which belongs to the Soviet sphere.  Moscow newspapers this week publish a dispatch from Britain hinting plainly that the murder of the British journalist, Gareth Jones, by ‘bandits’ on the western fringe of Outer Mongolia was due to the fact that he knew too much about Japanese military preparations and troop concentrations in that region.  It is thought here that Japan is on the verge of new action in Northern China, with the aim of consolidating the five Northern provinces, including Inner Mongolia, as a Japanese protectorate….  Faced by this probability Soviet policy is definitely “wait and see,” because in point of fact the deeper the Japanese get their feet into Chinese mud the better the Russians are pleased."

In my humble opinion, regardless of the Soviets actions in most likely perpetrating Gareth's kidnap and murder, and the ensuing propaganda thereafter- especially as Muller was released unharmed after two days - is why did this British intelligence get suppressed from the F.O. enquiry into Gareth's murder? It now seems likely that some sort of cover-up occurred, probably not by the Foreign Office, as they were merely interested in keeping Lloyd George from asking embarrassing questions about the Japanese in Parliament, but by the British security services, or perhaps Soviet sympathetic employees also known as 'moles' therein!

Finally, in conclusion, for Gareth to have been kindly invited by the alleged Comintern representative, Mueller, to go on an extended trip in the vehicle provided free of charge by a trading front of the NKVD, with their own 'beefy' employee Anatoli,  a supposed White - Russian, as driver (read possible local military attaché?), and whose Area manager, Adam Purpiss, was suspected by Chase Manhattan in Shanghai of acting as banker to the Chinese communists as well as supplying them with arms, then to my suspicious mind, this scenario leaves little to doubt that together they led Gareth to his murder or in some way were indirectly responsible...


FYI Most of the thumbnails below open up in a new window for legibility purposes - In some cases you may need to save the image to disk and  open it up in a photo editor software program so as to magnify the image.





These 1917 letters initially alerted MI5 during WW1 to Mueller and are only included here  for academic purposes of completeness, however the most salient articles relating to Muller's association with the Comintern are to be found below in the 1934 section...








May 1927 - Muller gets 'cross-referencely' confused with a 'Herbert Constantine Muller' in India but reports are that 'my' Herbert Muller is stirring up propaganda with Indian British troops.


Sven Hardin's Nazi-esque Expedition of Asia (c.f. Indiana Jones) - Mueller went as Frankfurter Zeitung Correspondent.


Passport Control Correspondence to prevent issuing of a visa to India for Mueller:


Mueller is believed to have an alias and is cited as being a communist:

The Official Black-list document preventing Mueller from entering India:


This document states that in German journalist circles there is disbelief he is a communist, that the 1917 Muller is dead, he would do anything for money so long as it wasn't anti-German and a Soviet defector from Germany has never heard of his name.


Info from Peking that the British have a sample of his handwriting, that Muller arrived penniless on a steamer in 1924 and begged the captain for a loan, but was now a very rich man [by selling priceless Chinese curios in the world's capitals]. Muller was mixed up in supplying arms to the Soviets and is a German agent. he is also noted as very anti-British.

The following shows 1927 possible German / Soviet diplomatic collaboration from Peking plus a cross-reference to another case where Muller's name comes up with regard to telegrams [secret ones? - I am not sure of the relevance as it is out of context] But something fishy is being inferred.

Letter to IPI [I.P.I. is an acronym for Indian Political Intelligence (I believe)] which notes that Muller is runs a Soviet Courier business for China from Manchouli [Manzhouli] in Inner Mongolia , where the Soviets gave him control to distribute documents to the rest of China. Muller was working with a German Jew named Koch (with the alias Menchinaf or Mechinov] who was involved with German propaganda and also was assisted by the head of a German Bank in Peking. Mueller is also cited as being entrusted to distribute propaganda to British Indian troops in Tientsin and Peking.

Mueller is reported for inviting a Border regiment soldier back to his home on 31st December 1927 and noting that Muller was on a blacklist from May 1927.

A letter from the Military Attaché in Peking, G.V.R. Steward stating that Mueller is a well-known communist, with more details as how to discreetly pursue an investigation into Muller's approach to a British Soldier. It also states that Muller is about 40,  unkempt and drinks heavily!

September 1st 1928 - Muller has now changed jobs - [as a very rich man, from his international curio sales] he is now bizarrely organising paper chases, hunts racing, etc, to appeal to the better class of Europeans along with the co-spy case suspect, Saltzman. The British then come to the conclusion that Muller was standing free drinks to their soldiers - so end of investigation for this period...

Confirmation of much of the above:

Very Interesting Profile ? Précis for recognition purposes of Mueller: Click HERE for a transcript as the original is not very legible.


I.P.I. is an acronym for Indian Political Intelligence (I believe)

Word document transcript for the above document can  be read HERE

British overview CV of Muller in 1934 - Note it mentions that Mueller was living at the Soviet Consulate in Hankow under the alias of 'Gordon'.

[Note to NLC - who is referenced below Schwartzberg of Soviet Military Transport- Anataoli of Wostwag?]

MI5 clearing up of old 1927-27 erroneous facts and confusion regarding Mueller from the above document:


After the fall of the Third Reich in 1945, Muller was in China and continued working a a journalist, and in the eyes of the Americans he should as a German have ceased this line of work in Japanese occupied China after hostilities had finished in Berlin. He was tried in a Japanese War Crimes Court in Shanghai in 1947 on the charge of "News Intelligence" and sentenced to 10 years at Landsberg Prison in Munich. This was commuted in 1950 when he was released.[ Source: H. Walravens: Herbert Mueller (1885-1966), Sinologe, Kunsthändler, Jurist und Journalist. Eine biobibliographische Skizze. Berlin 1992. 206 pp.]  Dr Walravens also sourced an American Military document relating to Mueller's letter pleading his innocence, when his case came up for review in about 1950 [CLICK HERE for Details]

A transcript of the following document can be read HERE which refers to his release and that he was living in Hamburg, unable to return to China, but the British investigations did not reveal Muller to be "either pro-communist or has any connections with the Red Chinese government."


To show that the Muller case is still not fully open for public appraisal at the PRO, the next two images show a reference and its relating 'blank' page - Note the reference number - 1172A - in the top right hand side of the page [to the N.C.C.A., whose acronym currently alludes me]  and then cross reference it with the citation in the  MI5 index (in the second photo):

E. & O.E. - There are more documents to be published, as well as to be discovered...

A Précis of Dr Mueller's Public Life Not covered by any of the above evidence from Dr Walraven's Book.

[H. Walravens: Herbert Mueller (1885-1966), Sinologe, Kunsthändler, Jurist und Journalist. Eine biobibliographische Skizze. Berlin 1992. 206 pp]

Dr Mueller was born in 1885 and died in Germany at the age of 81.  He graduated from Bonn University in 1908 and went to China in 1912 for the first time.  In 1924 he went to Peking as correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung and in 1934 joined the Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro, the German News Office, for North China and Mongolia.  In 1941 he published a map of Mongolia. His Chinese name was Mi Sung-lin and wrote poems under this name.

He engaged in China in extensive archaeological work making large collections for the Berlin and Munich Museums.  He excavated a Neolithic site at Port Arthur , a shell mound at Darien and mounds of the kings of Ts’I near Ts’ing-chou-fu.  In Shantung he excavated Han tombs and Han reliefs.

The thousands of Chinese works which he acquired for the Royal Library of Berlin made it the richest field of any Library in the world.  Chinese, Korean and Japanese works from the Sunglin collection can be found in museums all over the world including the British Museum, the Louvre, Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Far Eastern.  The collection was considered on of the most important ever to be exhibited in the United States.

Dr. Herbert Muller was a Secret  Agent of the USSR?

Original Research, Content & Site Design by Nigel Linsan Colley. Copyright © 2001-17 All Rights Reserved Original document transcriptions by M.S. Colley.Click here for Legal Notices.  For all further details email:  Nigel Colley or Tel: (+44)  0796 303  8888