Bugged conversations 'could reveal extent of Britain's Holocaust knowledge'

The author of a forthcoming book on the Jewish refugees who listened in on the bugged conversations of captured German PoWs believes that the work of this top secret operation could reveal the extent of British government knowledge of the Holocaust during the war years.

Speaking at an event at the London Jewish Cultural Centre, to celebrate the contribution of German and Austrian refugees who served in the British army, Dr Helen Fry said that new files were being released all the time which shed new light on the subject.

“We are only just finding out how much we knew about the Holocaust,” she said.

One surviving listener, Fritz Lustig, explained that any discussions between PoWs about atrocities and war crimes were transcribed and kept on file for use in intelligence work. However, these could not be produced as evidence in war crimes trials, as they had been obtained illegally.

As the JC reported last month, TV company October Films is researching a programme on the listeners to be screened later this year. Dr Fry’s book, The M Room, named after the secret office from which men such as Mr Lustig worked, will be published next year.

The other veterans speaking at LJCC event included Mr Lustig’s wife Susan, who worked in the Intelligence Corps.

Mr and Mrs Lustig were joined by Colin Anson, who fought as a commando during the invasion of Italy, Albania and Corfu and his wife Alice, who served in the WAAF with bomber command working on film brought back from bombing raids.

Geoffrey Perry talked about his time with “T Force” working in the immediate aftermath of the war on the de-Nazification process in Germany.

Mr Perry made the first allied broadcast to the German people after the war and was responsible for the shooting and arrest of the fascist traitor William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw).

Another panellist, Harry Rossney, participated in the invasion of France before becoming a signwriter for Allied war graves.

Last updated: 1:21pm, October 18 2012