The German-Jewish Refugee Who Fought the Nazis as an American Spy

Having fled Germany in 1938, the late Frederick (né Friedrich) Mayer enlisted in the U.S. army immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He quickly found himself working for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. Emily Langer writes:

By late 1944, Mayer had arrived in Europe, where, dissatisfied by what he considered the slow pace of his work, he talked his way into the Secret Intelligence division of the OSS. He became the leader of Operation Greenup, a mission to gather intelligence in the area of Innsbruck, where the Allies suspected the Germans might mount a final stand in the war.

The night of February 25, 1945, Mayer flew from his base in Italy to the Austrian mountains, parachuting onto a frozen lake in the treacherous terrain. . . .

Working alongside Mayer were Hans Wynberg, a Dutch-born Jew whose family had been deported to Auschwitz, and Franz Weber, an Austrian officer whose patriotism had led him to defect from the German army. The three fashioned a pair of skis into a sled and made their way down a mountain, at times navigating snow as deep as their shoulders. . . .

[Mayer] was credited with gathering intelligence and building a network of informants that helped determine the location and dimensions of Hitler’s Führerbunker in Berlin, the condition of Nazi war plants, and the movement of enemy freight and troops, particularly through the Brenner Pass.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Austria, History & Ideas, Jews in the military, World War II

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy