Holocaust hero spy's plaque is stolen

A plaque celebrating the heroism of an MI6 agent who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust has been stolen.

During the Second World War Major Frank Foley, who died in 1958, posed as a passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin. He forged passports and acquired visas to help 10,000 German Jews escape the Nazis.

In 1999 Mr Foley was named one of the "Righteous Amongst the Nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.

The following year, a bronze plaque was put up in Mr Foley's Somerset home town, Highbridge.

But last week residents reported that the memorial had been removed. It read: "In honour of Major Frank Foley, the spy who saved the lives of more than 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust."

Police believed the theft could be linked to similar thefts in the area by people seeking valuable scrap metal.

A shocked Timothy Haas, whose mother, uncle and grandfather fled to England with the help of Mr Foley in 1934, said he was greatly saddened that the plaque had been stolen.

"It's sacrilege. They would have known what it stood for," said Mr Haas, a film producer who is adapting Mr Foley's story for the screen.

Last updated: 12:14pm, June 2 2011