Security Service release: Files of interest to Jewish researchers
Peter Bergson, alias Kook (KV 2/2956) 1946-1955
Bergson was a leading member of the European Zionist movement in post-war Europe, and this reconstituted file details the Security Service's collection of information about his activities. Bergson played a leading part in encouraging Jewish immigration into Palestine, through agencies he led such as the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation. Despite this, it seems that the Service did not actively investigate or target Bergson, but was content to collect reports of his activities from other sources. The file shows official interest in his movements in 1946 (Bergson was trying to get papers to allow him to attend the 1946 Zionist Conference in Switzerland), American records about his work (a 1944 assessment at serial 1z passed on by the US Embassy in 1946) and in his efforts to found a Government in Exile of the Hebrew Republic of Palestine. Of some interest are the accounts of Bergson's arrest in connection with landing of Irgun arms in Israel in 1948 by the Jewish authorities (serial 28a).
This release also includes the file on Franz Weintraub (KV 2/2982-2983, 1940-1956), the Austrian Communist and writer (as Franz West) of the autobiographical 1983 film Return to Vienna.
SIME (KV 4/436-438) 1946-1954
This release includes three files relating to the operations of SIME (Security Intelligence Middle East) in Egypt and its outstations which are of interest to those wishing to understand the work of British intelligence in that region after the Second World War. Two (KV 4/436-437 covering 191946-1954) detail registry policy and practice in SIME and its outstations. These files give an insight into the type of information held and the manner of recording it, the volumes held, the targets, the co-running of Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service information through a single registry (e.g. at serial 50a), and the differing approaches followed.
The third file, KV 4/438 (1947) consists of a report on a visit to SIME made by Guy Liddell and Major J C Robertson in 1947, taking in the various outstations, and Greece and East Africa. This is a detailed report giving copious information on SIME staffing, organisation and activities, and particularly on its efforts to define its role after the Second World War. The report's appendices include large charts showing SIME's intelligence targets and lists of its requirements for intelligence from London to assist with SIME's own work.