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

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy