One of the strangest German agents involved in the Mexican Revolution and World War I appeared on the scene in 1913 to work in the Carranza camp, most likely reporting to Felix Sommerfeld. His name was Arnold Krumm-Heller, a German nationalist, born in Salchendorf, Germany in 1876. He left Germany “with permission of the military authority” at age eighteen and worked in Chile, Peru, and Mexico mostly as a scientist. Between 1907 and 1909 he studied medicine in Paris and transferred to Mexico in 1910.
Krumm-Heller became Madero's private doctor in the beginning of 1911. According to the American Military Intelligence Division MID, Krumm-Heller worked for Sommerfeld in the Mexican Secret Service in January of 1912. One year later, after Madero’s murder, Krumm-Heller became a secret agent for Carranza who sent him on diplomatic missions to Texas. Then-Governor Ferguson, with the prodding from the German secret service agent, was the first U.S. state executive to formally recognize the Constitutionalists as the legitimate government of Mexico.Carranza also dispatched Krumm-Heller on diplomatic missions to Argentina and Chile. In June 1913, exactly 100 years ago, the Huerta government arrested Krumm-Heller, ostensibly for hosting a “meeting of socialists and anarchists.” Germany intervened on his behalf and affected his release. Documents in the German National Archives show that the German government thought Krumm-Heller to be weird at best, maybe even mentally deranged, but loyal and fanatically committed to the Fatherland.
Appearing in El Paso in the summer of 1913, the trained doctor then met up again with Carranza and served as a colonel in the Constitutionalist army. He became General Obregon’s chief of artillery, an occupation many German and American mercenaries pursued. Artillery required precision, thorough knowledge of mathematics, and most artillery pieces ued at the time were either German or French-made canon. In the German army, training focused on the effective use of canon in combination with cavalry attacks, a strategy that Mexican revolutionaries knew very little about. In the First World War, Krumm-Heller worked for the German Secret Service. On a mission to Germany, British authorities arrested him at Falmouth as a spy. Because of his Mexican citizenship he could resume his trip to Berlin where the agent spent the rest of the war as the military attaché for the Mexican embassy. While in Mexico he also founded the Society of the Iron Cross, a Germanic-imperialist order, with Carranza as head and himself as secretary. While in his published works he presented himself as a “rational nationalist,” the German government came to think of him as crazy. Krumm-Heller had become fascinated with occultism in Paris in 1908. After he moved to Germany, he became a bishop in the Gnostic Church. He died in Germany in 1949.