11.5.16

George Breeckow alias Reginald Rowland


On 11 May 1915, the German spy George Breeckow arrived in Tilbury Docks, London, and made contact with another spy named Lizzie Wertheim. They both made spying trips to British ports. When, on 30 May, money was wired to Breeckow’s cover account from a known German front company he was made a spy. He was arrested on 4 June. His letters were checked for secret messages and found to contain naval intelligence and a reference to Wertheim in Inverness. There, she had already aroused suspicion, leading to her arrest on 9 June. Breeckow and Wertheim were tried together in a civil court as Wertheim was a British subject by marriage and Breeckow’s nationality was still unclear. Breeckow was sentenced to death, which was upheld on appeal, and he was executed on 26 October. Wertheim died from tuberculosis caught in the Broadmoor criminal lunatic asylum where she had been locked away since she was certified insane in 1918.

Breeckow belonged to the Dierks-Hockenholz group of the KNSt Antwerp. Wertheim was recruited by the Vollrath-Brandt group of the KNSt Wesel.