GARETH JONES, SPIES AND JACK HEINZ

Fascinating programme on BBC 4 about the eventually murdered journalist Gareth Jones, Stalin, Hitler and America. What we noted was his journey to Russia, with the US baked bean magnet, Jack Heinz. There to record, as an intimate of Lloyd George’s, Stalin’s murderous famine. How, as the wind of opinion, from Randolph Hurst to a major New York Times journalist, turned towards some kind of support of Hitler and the Nazis, against Soviet Russia, but honest journalists like Jones were squashed in the middle, dropped by Lloyd George and branded a spy in Russia and persona non grata. “Both Communism and Fascism in those days were peddling lies on a grand scale“.

It links to the article here about Drue Heinz, who married Jack Heinz. The Heinz family’s link to Nazi support ring as loudly as Republican ambivalence about Hitler, or Hurst’s turning against Roosevelt and his New Deal. But evidence from Switzerland suggests Drue Heinz, the great Manhattan socialite and arts patron, publisher of The Paris Review, was some kind of spy in Switzerland until 1944, linked to the American legation and the OSS, where Alan Dulles, later CIA Director, cut his teeth. In that smoke and mirror spy world she also has links to Hertford College Oxford. The Dulles clan can hardly be seen as easy Nazi supporters, yet so much of CIA dubiousness comes out of Switzerland, and the shifting winds of war too, as the Second War turned towards the Cold War. That house in Switzerland though is astonishing in its links to aristocratic European families, to the Agnellis, the fifties designer Emilio Pucci, and to Mussolini’s daughter Eda.

PA PRESS

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