Aug 2005 Journal

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AJR in 1950s keen to preserve memory of British officials such as Frank Foley

The June edition of the AJR Journal contained a report by Ruth Rothenberg on the recent unveiling of a memorial to the British agent Frank Foley in his hometown of Highbridge in Somerset. The following extract from Anthony Grenville's forthcoming history of the Jewish refugees from Central Europe in Britain, 'Aliens' and After: A Social History of the Jewish Refugees from the German-speaking Countries in Britain, 1945-1970, shows that the AJR was concerned as far back as the 1950s with preserving the memory of Frank Foley and like-minded British officials. Dr Grenville's book is based largely on intensive research in AJR Information, generously supported by the AJR.

AJR Information strove to preserve the memory of British officials who had helped Jews to survive the Third Reich, notably Frank Foley, Passport Control Officer (and spy) at the Consulate in Berlin, who otherwise remained largely forgotten in Britain until Michael Smith published his best-selling biography in 1999. In July 1958, the journal reported the death two months previously of Major Francis Edward Foley, who had been 'extremely helpful to the persecuted Jews', in recognition of which his name had been inscribed in the Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund.

The following June, the journal publicised the appeal by a group of German Jewish friends of Foley in Israel for funds to plant a memorial forest in honour of his memory. Donations were to be sent to an account in Tel Aviv in the name of Hubert Pollack, a Jew from Germany who had been one of Foley's agents in the rescue of Jews. The consecration of the forest, at which the memorial stone was unveiled by Siegfried Moses, State Comptroller of Israel and a leading figure among the Jews from Germany there, was reported the following month. Clearly eager to associate itself actively with this memorial to a government official who had at the same time been a benefactor of the refugees, the AJR announced that contributions could now be sent direct to its offices, whence they would be transferred en bloc to Tel Aviv.

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