MI5: Zionists ‘plotted to kill Churchill’

Jewish extremist proposed assassinating Britain’s WWII leader while Nazis planned to poison sausages, secret files show.
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2011 | AlJazeera
MI5 were worried about British ministers being targeted by armed Jewish extremists [GALLO GETTY]

A Jewish extremist group proposed assassinating Winston Churchill, Britain’s war-time leader, declassified files from Britain’s spy agency have revealed, along with plans by the Nazis to poison food as part of a post WWII sabotage operation.

Eliyahu Bet-Zuri, who was hanged in 1945 for murdering Walter Guinness, also known as Lord Moyne, a British government minister in Cairo, suggested a plan to kill a number of “highly placed British political personalities, including Churchill”, records released on Monday showed.

Major James Robertson, who worked for the MI5 Middle East section, wrote that threats made by Bet-Zuri in November 1944 were revealed by a member of the Stern Gang, an armed Zionist group that fought against the British presence in Palestine.

Robertson said the suspect told them that: “as soon as he [Bet-Zuri] returned to Stern Group headquarters he proposed to suggest a plan for the assassination of highly placed British political personalities, including Mr Churchill, for which purpose emissaries should be sent to London.”

In February 1946 Britain’s defence security officer in Palestine sent an encrypted telegram to London revealing a plot to kill ministers.

“Stern Group are training members to go to England to assassinate members of His Majesty’s Government …Stern further reported to be receiving practical sympathy from important Jews [in] Palestine,” he wrote.

“A steady flow of recruits for Stern being received in this connection.”

MI5, Britain’s intelligence agency, was concerned that Zionist groups might assassinate other British politicians after the death of Guinness in 1944 and when Irgun, a Jewish resistance group, killed 91 people in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946.

Thwarted plans

Meanwhile other files also released on Monday showed that the Nazis plotted to poison sausages, chocolate, sugar and coffee as part of a sabotage operation in the US and postwar Europe.

A group of men trained in bomb making and carrying explosives were sent to the US in June 1942 to undermine the American war effort, but were spectacularly unsuccessful.

“It was not brilliantly planned,” Edward Hampshire, a historian at Britain’s National Archives, which released the wartime intelligence documents, told the AP news agency.

“The Germans picked the leader for this very, very poorly. He immediately wanted to give himself up.”

The mission, code-named Pastorius, was supposed to see a group of eight Germans begin a campaign of sabotage against factories, railways and canals and Jewish-owned shops.

But the seeds of failure were sowed early on in the mission, when the group left their camp in Germany and went to Paris, where one of the team got drunk and “told everyone that he was a secret agent”.

The submarine dropping half of the group on Long Island, in the US, ran aground leading MI5 to write “it was only owing to the laziness or  stupidity of the American coast guards that this submarine was not attacked by US forces”.

Another team sent to Florida made it ashore but their leader, John Dasch, had decided to surrender. According to the files he rang the FBI in Washington and said he was a saboteur and wished to tell his story to J Edgar Hoover, the FBI chief.

Poison sausage

Later on in the war, a captured French Nazi spy told his interrogators that collaborators were planning a violent campaign across Western Europe that would “eventually lead to state of civil war in which Fourth Reich would re-emerge”.

German agents arrested in northern France in March 1945 also revealed a range of deadly poisons including special cigarettes that caused a headache, allowing the Nazi to offer an poison “aspirin” tablet that would kill the victim in 10 minutes, and fatal poison powders that could be sprinked into food or onto surfaces.

There were also plans to contaminate alcoholic drinks with methanol, inject sausages with poison and prepare “poisoned Nescafe, sugar, German cigarettes and German chocolate”.

The files suggest British agents were unsure how much credence to give some of the more fanciful claims, though a memo was drawn up advising that Allied soldiers should not eat German food or smoke German cigarettes “under pain of severe penalties”.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: