Using original documents from hitherto closed archives, this book will uncover the story of the Nazi diehards who settled in Egypt and Syria, and the role they played in Cold War espionage, arms trafficking and conflicts around the region. In the streets of Cairo and Damascus, former spies of the SS Arab Department brushed shoulders with mass murderers, Holocaust perpetrators, ambitious scientists and embittered war veterans. They soon found protectors, allies and enemies in the top-brass of the emerging Arab world.
As small but influential pieces in the jigsaw of the Cold War, these Nazi adventurers detested the Soviet Union, the United States, France and Israel, yet occasionally spied for them. While serving as double and triple agents, many of them also sympathized with the Arab World’s struggle against Western colonialism. Their clandestine activity linked the Second World War and the Algerian liberation struggle with the Israeli-Arab conflict. By the time this group broke apart in the mid-1960s, it had left an indelible yet hidden mark in the history of the region.
Fugitives is a comprehensive account of Nazi fugitives and adventurers in the postwar Middle East, unlike other books which have focused on their presence in the Western world and South America. Some key features of the book follow.
A veteran of Israeli intelligence, Danny Orbach is a senior lecturer for history and Asian studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studied for more than ten years in Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Harvard Universities. As a historian, commentator and political blogger, he has published extensively on German, Japanese, Chinese, Israeli and Middle Eastern history, with a special focus on military resistance, disobedience, rebellions and political assassinations. He is also studying the history of espionage, intelligence and military adventurers.
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