Britain’s MI6, the Secret Intelligent Service, honored late British intelligence officer Major Frank Foley on Tuesday for saving an estimated 10,000 German Jews in Nazi Germany prior to the Second World War, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The most senior spy in Berlin, stationed in the British Embassy, Foley issued thousands of visas to German Jews seeking to flee Nazi persecution – an act of heroism that was never acknowledged during his lifetime.
Foley’s cover story for his espionage activity in Germany was his work as a passport control officer at the embassy, moving to Berlin in 1920. Foley risked arrest and even his life by entering concentration camps, including Sachsenhausen, to present camp authorities with visas issued for Jewish prisoners, enabling them to escape. Foley also hid fleeing Jewish families in his home.
MI6 chief Alex Younger said, “With little regard for his personal safety he took a stance against evil. Despite exposing himself to significant personal risk, Frank made a decision to help. He knew the dire consequences were he to get caught.” Foley, who died in 1958, was awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” status by Israel’s Holocaust center Yad Vashem in 1999.