Vol. 14


Top Spy

c. 1930–1944; Leipzig, Germany; near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

In Leipzig, Germany, Luis, my great-grandfather, was in the German Army in 1934. He rose in ranking very quickly to soon become a spy. As he went on being a German spy, Hitler came to power and discovered how great a spy Great-Grandfather was. As a spy, he was around top generals and was treated as one of them.

Hitler, after becoming aware of how powerful Luis was, asked him to work under him and to spy on the United States. Accepting the opportunity, Luis spied on the United States for a while — until he realized that Hitler’s beliefs were wrong.

After realizing that Hitler’s beliefs were wrong, Luis decided to turn himself in to the United States as a German spy. Turning himself in was very dangerous, but it was the right choice. When Luis turned himself in, he gave information about Hitler’s plans.

After many days, the United States asked Luis to be a double spy. A double spy is a person who spies on two countries — in this case, the United States and Germany. Luis became a double spy in 1939. Back and forth he went between the two countries, getting information. Luis had information about the United States, but the information Luis was giving Germany about the United States was false. On the other hand, he gave true information about Germany to the United States.

One day after returning to Germany from the United States, Luis decided to tell Hitler that he could send his family to the United States to help “spy” on them. Hitler gladly agreed, but little did he know that Luis’s family were not going there to help spy. Instead, Luis was getting them out of harm’s way. Little by little they trickled into the United States.

As Luis continued to spy, Hitler became so overly powerful that the United States decided to try to assassinate Hitler. In 1943, Luis planned with the United States and a resistance group to assassinate Hitler with an explosive device. With the device, Luis and a few other spies went to Germany with the plan. There was a meeting that was going to be held with Hitler and many other important spies and generals. The plan was working out greatly, until it all went downhill. The device exploded, but it did not kill Hitler. Instead it made him scared of his own shadow. Afraid Germany would find out what he had done, Luis got the rest of his family and himself back to the United States.

From 1935 to 1944, Luis’s family were making their way into the United States. In all, thirteen children, Lewis, and his wife, Grace, made it into the United States.1 Once they all arrived, all had to vow to never speak of Germany and never to speak in German. My great-grandfather did not keep the vow. By speaking of times in Germany, he broke the vow.

This story had a very large impact on me. I never knew that my family had a past like this. It made me feel excited, confused, ashamed, and many other emotions. I never had heard this story. That is because all of the information is top-secret and is never spoken about throughout the family.

Sydney Taylor; North Carolina, USA


1. Luis changed the spelling of his name to “Lewis” because that seemed more American to him.



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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