Nazis

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Image of Juan Pujol Garcia disguised in glasses and a beard.

Garbo

The Story Behind Britain?s Greatest Double Cross Agent

The Normandy Landings of 6 June 1944 marked the beginning of the liberation of occupied Western Europe. Until the very last minute, the place of invasion – Normandy – was the most heavily guarded secret on the planet. The Security Service made a significant contribution to the success of D-Day through its double agent Juan Pujol, codenamed GARBO, who has been described as the greatest double agent of the Second World War. On his own initiative, the industrialist?s son from Barcelona approached the Germans and tricked them into thinking he wanted to spy for them.

Possibly the greatest double cross operation in British espionage history was nearly ruined by a Spanish double agent?s homesick wife and her horror at wartime British food. He went to England, working with MI5 to create a whole network of entirely imaginary agents and feeding misinformation to the Nazis, culminating in the ultimate triumph: a leading role in securing the success of the D-Day landings by convincing the Germans the main invasion would happen around Calais, not in Normandy.

Throughout it all, ?the small meek young Spaniard?, as his MI5 handler called him, was never the problem. He fooled the Germans so completely they awarded him the Iron Cross.

The problem was the meek young Spaniard?s wife.

?Mrs Garbo?, Araceli Gonzalez de Pujol, had never left the Iberian Peninsula before she arrived in London in the spring of 1942. Speaking no English, missing her mother, the 23-year-old became terribly homesick. Mrs Garbo was, horrified by having to swap a Mediterranean diet for the rationed offerings of a country that was still decades away from accepting haute cuisine or the gastropub.

Her despair at ?too much macaroni, too many potatoes and not enough fish,? was duly noted by MI5.

So too was the fear that driven by the desire to go home to mother, or to the Spanish Embassy in London, Mrs Garbo might divulge to a fascist power the secrets of what was fast becoming the most successful double cross of the Second World War, and arguably of British espionage history.

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WING COMMANDER FOREST FREDERICK EDWARD YEO-THOMAS – British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent

“The White Rabbit”

His action-packed life was the stuff of boyhood fantasy

Tommy Yeo-Thomas was dropped into occupied France three times and fell into the hands of the Paris SS and Gestapo. Brutally interrogated to the point of death for a total of over 6 months at the SS and Gestapo HQ at 84 Avenue Foch and Fresnes Prison, he told the Germans nothing. Transported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp he escaped and eventually made his way to the Allied lines.

Espionage has always been a business marked by deceit, betrayal, and frequently, death. The fate of a captured spy is usually brutal, and even relatively benign entities like the Allies dealt harshly with such individuals. Still, their treatment was relatively kind compared to the Nazis. The remarkable World War II?spy stories?include heroes and villains, loyalists and traitors, and the greatest World War II spies that were motivated by duty, principle,?or just plain money.

Forest Yeo-Thomas

Recruited: February 1942

Role: Deputy Head (RF Section)

Missions: SEAHORSE, MARIE CLAIRE, ASYMPTOTE

Codenames: Shelley, “The White Rabbit”

Fate: Captured, deported to Germany, survived

Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas (who went by F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas) was not your typical clich? espionage agent, photographing documents in the early morning hours behind the embassy doors of some darkened office. After serving for two years in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, Yeo-Thomas requested even more hazardous duty in occupied France serving as a liaison between the French government in exile and the Resistance.

On his third mission in 1944, he was betrayed to the Gestapo and was so badly mistreated that he developed blood poisoning from the shackles worn during his isolated confinement. After numerous escape attempts (which prompted the Gestapo nickname “the White Rabbit”), Yeo-Thomas was transported to Buchenwald. He survived eight more months of abuse, escaped from a work detail, and eventually lead other POWs to freedom in the final days of the war. Yeo-Thomas is recognised by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as “among the most outstanding workers behind enemy lines whom Britain produced”. Yeo-Thomas is also credited as the inspiration for the character James Bond.

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The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers. The heroic efforts of three brothers who helped save more than 1,200 people while living in the forest during World War II. Florida Holocaust Museum.

Courage and Compassion

The Bielski Brothers

The story of three men who defied the Nazis saved hundreds of Jews and built a village in the forest

In 1941, as the Jews of Eastern Europe were being massacred by the thousands, the Bielski brothers took refuge in a dense Polish forest filled with wolves, poisonous snakes, swamps and frigid temperatures during the winter. It was there they staged their revenge for the deaths of their parents, family members and friends.

Throughout the War, the Bielski brothers carried out a continuous guerrilla war against the Nazis. They often used captured German weapons gained from ambushed German patrols. They also derailed troop trains and blew up bridges and electricity stations.

Tuvia, Asael, Zus, and Aron Bielski were four of 12 children born to a miller and his wife in the rural village of Stankevich, near Novogrudok. The only Jews in a small community, they had connections within and outside of the Jewish community and quickly learned how to look after themselves. Before long, the older brothers developed a fearsome reputation.

After witnessing the brutal execution of their parents by Nazi soldiers, the three Bielski brothers, Tuvia, Asael and Zus, fled into the nearby dense forest, where they joined relatives and friends, scrounged for food and weapons and inflicted whatever damage they could on German troops.

It was a grim scene that would, of course, be repeated endlessly throughout the war. Instead of running or capitulating or giving in to despair, these brothers — Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski — did something else entirely. They fought back, waging a guerrilla war of wits and cunning against both the Nazis and the pro-Nazi sympathisers. Along the way, they saved well over a thousand Jewish lives.

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The 47 suitcases seized by police in a private residence at Villeneuve at the Seine Assize Court during the trial of French mass murderer Dr Marcel Petiot. The cases contain clothes which were identified by relatives of some of his victims. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

The 47 suitcases seized by police in a private residence at Villeneuve at the Seine Assize Court?during the trial of French mass murderer Dr Marcel Petiot. The cases contain clothes which were identified by relatives of some of his victims. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Dangerous Lunatic

The Monster of Rue Le Sueur

Meet the French doctor who promised Jews safe passage from Nazis, only to rob and murder them

To all who knew him, he was the most devoted, benevolent doctor in Nazi-occupied Paris. Dr Marcel Petiot provided free care for the poor and risked his life helping persecuted Jews flee to safety.
Or so everyone thought ? until locals in his affluent neighbourhood reported a foul stench from his home and thick black smoke pouring out of his chimney in March 1944.

Nazi-occupied Paris was a terrible place to be in the waning days of World War Two, with Jews, Resistance fighters and ordinary citizens all hoping to escape. Disappearances became so common they often weren?t followed up.

And one man used the lawlessness for his own terrible purposes, killing perhaps as many as 60 people.

Petiot?s criminal career stretched from his teenage years to his mid-life, and ran parallel to a successful military, political, and medical career. He was a real life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The inherent grisliness of murder makes it hard ? if not impossible ? to describe any murderer as ?better? or ?worse? than another. Still, Marcel Andr? Henri F?lix Petiot was truly superlative in his horror, mainly because of the circumstances and motivations behind his acts: He promised safety and freedom to those leaving Nazi-occupied France, only to strip them of their possessions and lives.

Despite his infamy in France, many elsewhere have never heard his story. As with many serial killers, internal struggle marked much of P?tiot?s early life.

Born on January 17th, 1897, he was the son of a civil servant, and?his uncle, Gaston Petiot, was a professor of philosophy at the College of Auxerre.?From childhood he showed signs of violence, after he strangled a cat after plunging its legs in boiling water.

However, he showed great intelligence, at 5 years old he was reading like a 10-year-old child. He then was found distributing obscene images when he was eight.?Interned at St. Anne for a psychiatric disorder, his mother died when he was 12, he was then subsequently sent to several schools for discipline, but exhibited severe behavioural problems in school and was expelled several times before completing his education.

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Betty Pack? born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an ?asset? ? someone the Secret Intelligence Service could ? and did ? reach out to. As a diplomat?s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.

Betty Pack? born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an ?asset? ? someone the Secret Intelligence Service could ?and did ?reach out to. As a diplomat?s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.

Sexpionage

Code Name Cynthia

Also Known As:

Elizabeth Pack

Judy Brackett

Betty Pack

Betty Thorpe

?She hid Secrets in her Negligees, never wore Knickers and Seduced Countless Men to help Britain Win the War

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack was one of the most successful female spies of her time, arguably any time ? yet her story has rarely been told.

A fundamental rule of intelligence work is that one must not mix love and work when dealing with any intelligence target. The relationship can become dangerous to one or both of the parties if an agent develops genuine affection for a target. In wartime, this rule is even more critical, and if the agent is operating in hostile territory, the rule of avoiding romance is paramount. In spite of that, one agent broke this essential rule in wartime and lived to tell?a remarkable woman by the name of Amy Elizabeth Thorpe.

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, Family and friends called her Betty, was a glamorous American socialite, born in Minneapolis, raised in Washington, DC, who helped the Allies win World War II. She had lots of derring-do exploits, helping the British obtain an Enigma code-breaking machine, ingeniously stealing ciphers from an embassy safe that were crucial to the successful invasion of North Africa.?Time?magazine, in her obituary, called her a ‘blonde Bond’?who used ‘the boudoir as Ian Fleming’s character used the Beretta.’?She lived a consequential, exciting, and intriguing life.

Cynthia and her husband travelled to European and South American posts, where she conducted a series of foreign intrigues with assorted admirers. She once wrote in her diary, “I love to love with all my heart, only I have to appear cool. Life is but a stage on which to play. One’s role is to pretend, and always to hide one’s true feelings.”

Betty found that marriage and motherhood left her unfulfilled and empty. She longed for adventure and?romance, and as she strayed from her husband she felt she was always searching?for her one true love. In her quest, she was introduced to a top British diplomat who quickly recognized Betty?s impressive powers of seduction. In the mid-1930?s Betty was groomed for a career in espionage against the backdrop of a world?preparing?for massive?conflict. Over the course of World War II, Betty identified, pursued, and seduced many powerful men, including top-ranking Polish and Italian commanders.?Through her series of intense love affairs, Betty uncovered?privileged intelligence that would help the Allies break the top-secret codes and ciphers of the enemy troops.

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Solomon and Frieda Radasky. After over 50 years of marriage and two children, Frieda Radasky passed away in 1999. Frieda, like her husband, was from Warsaw.

Solomon and Frieda Radasky. After over 50 years of marriage and two children, Frieda Radasky passed away in 1999. Frieda, like her husband, was from Warsaw.

Solomon Radasky

Survivor

The 27th of January was Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember how little we remember. Despite the many movies, books and survivor?testimonies, there are the countless stories that have been lost and there are all the non-transmissible sensations. One who was not there can never know what it felt like to be there.

How did I survive? When a person is in trouble he wants to live. He fights for his life…Some people say, “Eh — What will be, will be.” No! You have to fight for yourself day by day. Some people did not care. They said, “I do not want to live. What is the difference? I don’t give a damn.” I was thinking day by day. I want to live. A person has to hold on to his own will, hold on to that to the last minute.

I am from Warsaw. I lived in Praga, which is the part of the city across the Vistula river. I had a nice life there; I had my own shop where I used to make fur coats. In Warsaw when a Jewish holiday came we used to know it was a holiday. All the stores were closed, and the people were in the synagogues.

Out of the 78 people in my family, I am the only one to survive. My parents had 3 boys and 3 girls: My parents were Jacob and Toby; my brothers were Moishe and Baruch, and my sisters were Sarah, Rivka and Leah. They were all killed.

My mother and my older sister were killed in the last week of January 1941. The year 1941 was a cold winter with a lot of snow. One morning the?SD?and the?Jewish police?caught me in the street. I was forced to work with a lot of other people clearing snow from the railroad tracks. Our job was to keep the trains running.

When I returned to the?ghetto?I found out that my mother and older sister had been killed. The Germans demanded that the?Judenrat?collect gold and furs from the people in the ghetto. When they asked my mother for jewelry and furs, she said she had none. So they shot her and my older sister too.

My father was killed in April 1942. He went to buy bread from the children who were smuggling food into the ghetto. The children brought bread, potatoes and cabbages across the wall into the?Warsaw ghetto. A Jewish policeman pointed out my father to a German and told him that he saw my father take a bread from a boy at the wall. The German shot my father in the back.

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Private Voytek "He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer - he drank a bottle of beer like any man." Pictured here with Voytek is the Polish soldier Henryk Zacharewicz. In 1942, Polish soldiers, who had been released from Russian POW camps to join in the fight against Nazi Germany, adopted an orphaned Syrian brown bear cub from a boy in northern Iran. The bear would become the pet and mascot of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. The bear reportedly even fought alongside his fellow soldiers at the savage Battle of Monte Cassino in the spring of 1944, carrying heavy crates of mortar shells. With the approval of the Polish high command, the company's emblem was then changed to one showing a bear carrying a massive artillery shell.

Private Wojtek “He liked a cigarette, he liked a bottle of beer – he drank a bottle of beer like any man.” Pictured here with Voytek is the Polish soldier Henryk Zacharewicz.

Private Wojtek

A Beer for a Bear

Archibald Brown had already seen a lot during the war — but nothing like this. It was mid-February 1944, and the courier for British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was in the port of Naples to help process a unit of Polish soldiers that had just arrived by ship from Alexandria, Egypt, to advance with British soldiers against German and Italian forces. Among his everyday duties was checking crew manifests and speaking with freshly arrived soldiers. But this would be no typical day.

Brown had already spoken with every single member of the new unit, the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps — except one.

“We looked at the roster, and there was only one person, Private Wojtek, who had not appeared,” Brown recalled in an interview years later. But the documents said that Wojtek belonged to the unit. Brown had his service number and his pay book, but the soldier himself seemed to have vanished without a trace.

Brown then called out the soldier’s name, but there was no response. So he asked the other soldiers why Wojtek wasn’t coming forward. An amused colonel responded: “Well, he only understands Polish and Persian.” Brown was then led to a cage holding a full-grown Syrian brown bear, the unit’s most popular member.

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Mariya Oktyabrsakaya

To Avenge her Husbands Death

Mariya bought a Tank and Killed Nazis

When Nazis invaded her homeland, bombed her city, blew up her house, kicked over her garbage cans, walked across her kitchen floor without taking their boots off, and violently killed her husband during the Battle of Kiev, the Ukrainian housewife ?Mariya Oktyabrskaya didn?t just roll over and take it ?She got revenge.

Violent, armor-piercing, high-explosive, white-knuckled revenge served Siberian Ice Cold with a side of mashed potatoes and a pot of hot borscht to the face.

Mariya sold all of her worldly possessions, clenched her teeth, bought a 26-ton T-34 Main Battle Tank, taught herself how to drive it and repair it, and just started blasting every Nazi that came within range of the fearsome-looking 76mm cannon, mounted on the turret of her vengeance-fueled war machine, and she didn’t take her finger off the trigger or her hands off the throttle until someone pried them out of her cold dead hands.

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Juan Pujol Garcia, the man who may possibly be the most successful double-agent in history.

Juan Pujol Garcia, the man who may possibly be the most successful double-agent in history.

The Greatest Double Agent in History

“This is the crowning achievement of the long and glorious history of the British Secret Service.”

-?Winston Churchill

Being the guy who almost single-handedly ensured that the Germans were completely unprepared the Allied invasion of Normandy is pretty damn impressive.? Doing it without so much as lifting a rifle is amazing.

Juan Pujol Garcia, the man who may possibly be the most successful double-agent in history, is the complete opposite of everything you think about when you think of badass secret agents.? He was ordinary-looking, married, balding, and wore kind of nerdy glasses, and never owned a wristwatch that shot lasers.

He never snuck into a top-secret high-security enemy facility disguised as a frogman, flying side-kicked a dude into a nuclear reactor, and stole biological weapons schematics from a rogue terrorist nation.? He didn’t lead foreign authorities on high-speed car chases through crowded streets, plow commandeered armored vehicles through blown glass museums, or stop the Doomsday Laser from fragnosticating the human population into radioactive ash by flicking a coin into the machine seconds before it activated.? He didn’t have illicit affairs, sleep with piles of beautiful women stacked up on top of each other, or gamble away millions in complicated casino table games that don’t make any sense to anybody watching.

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Photo: Hugo Jager/Life Magazine The site of the annual Third Reich Harvest Festival in Buckeberg, close to the city of Hamelin in Germany. Given its importance in Nazi propaganda, there is surprisingly little known about the site. It is not o?cially recognized as a historical monument.

Photo: Hugo Jager/Life Magazine
The site of the annual Third Reich Harvest Festival in Buckeberg, close to the city of Hamelin in Germany. Given its importance in Nazi propaganda, there is surprisingly little known about the site.
It is not o?cially recognized as a historical monument.

This is the Reichserntedankfest of 1934 in Buckeburg. Even those who did not support Nazis were totally blown away and emotionally shaken. They had never experienced anything even remotely like this; there was no rock concerts back then. It created spiritual feeling of sublime and unity among people who were participating. When they were marching back to their tents in the night, they could still see the huge spotlights piercing the sky in the Buckeberg. They were totally pumped up and felt that things are really going to change better.

From 1933 to 1937 the German National Socialist (Nazi) Party arranged an annual harvest?festival?at?Buckeberg,?close?to?the?city?of?Hamelin.?The?festival?was?one?of?the symbolically most important celebrations in the Third Reich; at its height, more than one million people are reported to have gathered there. A special arena, designed by Albert Speer, was built to handle the large number of participants. Although extensive remains of this arena have survived, local feeling has prevented them from receiving official?recognition?as?a?historical?monument.

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