Future Israeli president Chaim Weizmann, leading British Jew Selig Brodetsky and an English spy who helped thousands of Jews escape the Nazis appear on a list of British “enemies of the state, traitors and undesirables” compiled by the Nazis in World War II. The 2,820 politicians, academics, writers and activists were earmarked for punishment should Germany have won the Battle of Britain in 1940.
Many of the people named are Jews or anti-fascists, according to the Daily Mail, which said that while 20,000 copies of the list were made during the war, only two are thought to be still in existence. Weizmann
Among the non-Jews on the list, along with then-British prime minister Winston Churchill and his deputy Clement Atlee, was Major Francis Foley, a spy known as the “British Schindler” for helping 10,000 Jews flee Nazi Germany. Foley was a passport control officer in Berlin — a cover for his work for the MI6 intelligence agency — who identified the threat to Germany’s Jews and issued visas and stamped passports for them, allowing them to reach Britain.
The list, which has now been translated into English by the Forces War Records, mentions other British-based Jews, including art historian Frederick Antal, Professor Hugo Braun (who the Daily Mail says was actually in Turkey at the time) and academic Elisabeth Blochmann.
The list also includes notable anti-fascists and writers Virginia Wolf (whose husband was Jewish), Noel Coward, Aldous Huxley and HG Wells.
According to the Forces War Records website, the 144-page list was compiled by the office of SS General Walter Schellenberg. The Nazi officer had been tapped as the official responsible for Britain should Germany have completed an invasion.
The website says the original German name of the list was “Sonderfahndungsliste GB,” which translates to “special/most wanted list –GB.”
“It is the first ever full English translation of the Nazi Most Wanted list, which has been extrapolated from a very dry list,” Tim Hayhoe, the managing director of Forces War Records, told the Mail.
“The people on this list would have been the first to be rounded up and risk being killed, sent to concentration camps or forced to throw in their lot with the Germans.”