LETTER TO THE IRISH POST
I was intrigued by your story of 29 September arising from the unveiling by Prince William of a statue of Frank Foley of MI6 who reportedly risked his life whilst “entering German concentration camps to present camp authorities with Visas, thus enabling prisoners to escape.”
This was presumably before Britain declared war on Germany and the camp authorities recognised him as an accredited diplomat at the British Embassy in Berlin.
Other Nazi authorities were well aware of his role in British Intelligence, for as soon as they had seized Karl Liebnecht Haus in Berlin, the Communist Party Headquarters, and renamed it after one of their own thugs, Horst Wessel, in early 1933, they invited Frank Foley from the Embassy, and an MI5 Officer from London, Guy Liddell, to transcribe captured lists of Communists and others hated alike by Nazis and British Intelligence agents, within Horst Wessel Haus, whilst prisoners were undergoing rough treatment there. The two British spies spent many days there.
A sixteen year-old British schoolboy, then staying with relatives in Berlin, was on the list and he left for England soon afterwards, where he lived another 79 years. During those eight decades his mail was opened and his phone tapped by British security officers, although he was never charged with not found guilty of any illegality.
His name was Eric Hobsbawm. He was a historian by profession. He was, incidentally, Jewish.
The London Review of Books had a long article on these matters about three years ago.