Hague to honour wartime British spy who saved Jews

By Marcus Dysch, June 15, 2012
Frank Foley

Frank Foley

Foreign Secretary William Hague is to unveil a plaque at a Jewish cemetery in honour of a British spy who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis.

Major Frank Foley worked undercover for MI6, posing as a passport officer at the British Embassy in Berlin. He provided fake exit papers and acquired visas to help 10,000 German Jews escape.

He died in 1958 and was recognised as a "righteous among the nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in 1999. Two years ago the British government named him a British Hero of the Holocaust.

Mr Hague will unveil the plaque at Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green, north west London, next month. The initiative is being led by John Curtis, chairman of the joint burial committee of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation and West London Synagogue.

Mr Curtis said: "This man was as good as any of the heroes of the war who saved Jews. He is one of the giants and an amazing guy. His story is remarkable and there is nothing in London to recognise him."

A bronze plaque in Mr Foley's memory was stolen from his Somerset home town last year.

Mr Curtis also arranged for a plaque to be dedicated at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv last month to recognise the saving of 22,000 Jews in Shanghai during the war. That plaque was funded by the Berwin Leighton Paisner law firm.

Last updated: 9:48am, June 15 2012