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Forces War Records Blog

‘BRITAIN’S SCHINDLER’, WHO SAVED 10,000 JEWS FROM THE HOLOCAUST, IS NAMED IN THE FORCES WAR RECORDS DATABASE CONTAINING THE ‘MOST WANTED’ LIST FROM HITLER’S BLACK BOOK

Britain’s Schindler

Major Francis E. Foley, born in Somerset in 1884, was studying Philosophy in Hamburg when World War One broke out, but managed to escape Germany with the aid of a borrowed German officers’ uniform. He initially joined the army and was later injured in action & rendered unfit for service. Subsequently, he was invited to join British Intelligence and spent the rest of the war recruiting for and running spy networks across France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

After the Great War he worked as Passport Control Officer in Berlin, a cover for his work as head of the Berlin Station of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).  His position enabled him to save tens of thousands of people from the Holocaust in the lead-up to the Second World War, as despite having no diplomatic immunity and being liable to arrest at any time, he blatantly broke the rules when stamping passports and issuing visas to allow Jews to escape “legally” to Britain and Palestine. Sometimes he went further by going into Internment Camps to get Jews out, hiding them in his home and helping them get forged passports.

It is lucky for him that he was recalled to Britain at the outbreak of World War Two, since the Nazis were on to him – and his name was added to the Black Book. As it was, he lived to do even more damage to their regime; in 1942 he helped to co-ordinate MI5 and MI6 in running a network of double agents, the now famous “Double Cross System”.

The entire digital Black Book can be seen and searched for free on: http://fwr.to/x8QDb.

 

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