THE QUESTING OF DRUE HEINZ

Why the interest here, suddenly, about the rather good Phoenix Ark article about Drue Heinz, during the war in Switzerland, and her links to the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner to the CIA? It is surely too long back to bring any interest from the Services, even if Drue Heinz was such an enormously prominent Manhattan socialite, and bound into the Heinz fortune too, if Baked Beans have had a crisis recently. She funded the Paris Review and many arts projects.

Yet that necessarily murky world demands a few answers too. What really happened to Dale Wilford Maher in 1948? What links did that group in Switzerland have to the chemical plant, IB Faben, that used Jewish slave labour? What was that meeting in the Swiss house just after the war really about? There is a strange story involved about ALIU too, the Art Looting Investigation Unit, set up by American services, because people at that Swiss home were certainly involved in the Art world during the war and with figures like Goering. It would make a good movie, but if we’ve touched on anything sensitive, and again those neutral territories were always the centre of spying, we are currently on Corfu for a chat!

It remains true that despite Bill Clinton’s efforts to open the files on Switzerland, as part of the Holocaust Commission, and on the programme instigated just after the war, called Safehaven, which crucial people like Allen Dulles wanted ignored, turning American attention towards the Soviet Union, many of those important files remain closed. Open them and you would find a can of worms indeed.

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