Refugees' hidden role to be revealed on stage

By Jennifer Lipman, May 31, 2012

The Jewish refugees who played a vital but hidden role in Britain’s Second World War intelligence efforts are to be celebrated in a new stage production.

As war raged across Europe, the British recruited German-speakers who had fled Nazi persecution and posted them as “listeners” in prisoner of war camps across the country.

The information they gleaned as they eavesdropped on the German PoWs was to prove vital to Britain’s war effort and later as evidence during the Nuremberg Trials. The listeners were sworn to secrecy and many never revealed their wartime contribution

Now researchers hoping to uncover more about the covert mission have been given a grant of almost £95,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It will enable volunteers to study documents from the National Archives and the transcripts of recordings made at Enfield’s Trent Park in order to compile a permanent archive at Middlesex University and the Jewish Military Museum.

Their work will also form the basis of a play to be performed at Trent Park on July 22 and 23.

Last updated: 10:52am, May 31 2012