SpyCast 11.8.22
Ep 563 | 11.8.22

“Nazis on the Potomac” – with former National Park Service Chief Historian Bob Sutton

Show Notes


Bob Sutton (LinkedIn; Twitter) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the mysterious intelligence site P.O. Box 1142. High-value Nazis were interrogated here during WWII.

What You’ll Learn


  • The interrogation of top Nazis for intelligence 
  • The analysis of literally tons of captured German documents 
  • Refining ways to escape and evade Nazis in German occupied Europe
  • The importance of intelligence on the German Army’s Order of Battle 


  • The National Park Service & History
  • Politicizing Interpretation

And much, much more…

Episode Notes

This week’s guest is the former Chief Historian of the National Park Service, Bob Sutton, and what a wonderful conversation we had.

His book, Nazis on the Potomac: The Top-Secret Intelligence Operation that Helped Win WWII, tells the story of military intelligence facility P.O. Box 1142 – present day Fort Hunt, around 15 miles south of Washington DC.It was here, between 1942-1945, that around three and a half thousand high level German prisoners were interrogated, captured documents analyzed, and ways to help Americans escape and evade Nazis in occupied Europe studied.

This story is particularly incredible, because many of the interrogators were German born Jews.

This story was almost lost to history, but thankfully because of the NPS and Bob Sutton, it never will be.

[Conflict of interest disclosure, Andrew has an “America the Beautiful” Annual Pass].


John W. Kluge arrived in the United States from Germany not speaking a word of English in 1922. He was 8 years old. He would go on to be the head of the Military Intelligence Research Section (MIRS) at P.O. Box 1142. After the war, he would go on to become the richest man in the United States. He was so appreciative of America, that he provided funds to Columbia University and The Library Congress to provide opportunities to future students and scholars. Andrew is a former John W. Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress and therefore a direct recipient of his philanthropy for which he is grateful.

Quote of the Week

"Doing what we did at Fort Hunt is actually fairly unusual, where we didn't know the story. We were able to locate people, we were able to get money, we could actually interview everybody that we found…That's relatively unusual." – Bob Sutton