"He [Oberhauser] was a wonderful man. He was something of a father to me at a time when I happened to need one."
James Bond.[src]

Hannes Oberhauser was an Austrian climbing and skiing instructor, later an officer in the Gestapo, and a father-like figure to James Bond. The character was first mentioned in the 1966 Ian Fleming short-story Octopussy. He was later adapted into a similar character for the 2015 James Bond film SPECTRE.


Oberhauser taught climbing and skiing in Kitzbühel before World War II. He even taught James Bond during his youth while he was on term breaks while attending Fettes College. He formed a very strong paternal relationship with James, to such an extent that he later referred to him as his second father. After the annexation of Austria and outbreak of war with Great Britain he was drafted into the Gestapo, probably due to his ability to speak English.

One day, in the closing weeks of the war, a British officer named Dexter Smythe arrived by jeep at Oberhauser's chalet and arrested him. He had told his weeping, protesting family that he was being taken to an interrogation camp in Munich. If the Oberhauser's record was clean he would be released within a week. If his family caused a drama it would just make things worse for Oberhauser.

The officer and Oberhauser drove off and Oberhauser was told that in exchange for assisting him climbing the Kaiser range, he would report to his commanding officer that he had been cleared at Munich. He guided the Englishman up the mountain to a hut where he was shot point blank in the back of the skull by the officer's Webley & Scott .45 pistol. His body was then pushed off the mountain onto a glacier below.

Twenty years later, Oberhauser's corpse was discovered by mountaineers and the case for his murder was re-opened. As serendipity had it, the case was noticed by James Bond, who set out to discover the one responsible for his friend's death.

See also