Flirting With Fascism / Greece’s Dirty Secret 20.04.2018 by RONEN BERGMAN ABU DHABI DH35 ALBANIA €6.25 AUSTRALIA $11.00 AUSTRIA €6.25 BAHRAIN BD3.5 BELGIUM €6.50 CHINA RM80 CROATIA HKR70 CYPRUS €6.50 CZECH REP CZK180 DENMARK DKR49.95 DUBAI DH35 EGYPT E£ 60.00 FINLAND €7.60 FRANCE €6.50 GERMANY €6.50 GIBRALTAR £6.05 GREECE €6.25 HOLLAND €6.50 HONG KONG HK80 HUNGARY FT1,800 IRELAND €6.25 ISRAEL NIS35 ITALY €6.50 KUWAIT KD3.00 LATVIA €6.50 LEBANON LL10,000 LITHUANIA €8.99 LUXEMBOURG €6.25 MALTA €6.50 MONTENEGRO €8.30 MOROCCO MDH70 NEW ZEALAND $14.00 NIGERIA $3.40C NORWAY NKR45 OMAN OR 3.250 POLAND PLN28 PORTUGAL €6.50 QATAR QR65 MALAYSIA RM27.90 ROMANIA LEI 42.00 SAUDI ARABIA SR35.00 SERBIA RSD1035 S LEONE SLL30,000 SINGAPORE $11.95 SLOVAKIA €6.50 SLOVENIA €8.50 SOUTH AFRICA R55.00 SPAIN €6.50 SWEDEN SKR60 SWITZERLAND CHF8.90 TURKEY TL20 UK £4.95 US $8.99 ZIMBABWE ZWD4.00 INTERNATIONAL EDITION APRIL 20, 2018 _ VOL.170 _ NO.14 FEATURES COVER PHOTOS BY GET T Y (11); AL AM Y (3) POWER HUNGRY The Greek Public Power Corp. has dominated energy production in the country since the 1950s, and its 625-square-mile mine has gobbled up villages, homes and lives in northern Greece and Western Macedonia. COVER CREDIT Photo illustration by Gluekit for Newsweek 16 30 Assassin’s Creed Greece’s Dirty Secret The secret history of Israel’s Mossad and its covert war against Hitler’s scientists after the Holocaust. The EU has created jobs in the country’s coal mines, but at serious cost to public health and the environment. BY RONEN BERGMAN BY DANTE CIAMPAGLIA For more headlines, go to NEWSWEEK.COM Photog raph b y A N N A P A N T E L I A 1 GLOBAL EDITOR IN CHIEF _ Nancy Cooper CREATIVE DIRECTOR _ Michael Goesele INTERNATIONAL EDITION APRIL 20, 2018 _ VOL.170 _ NO.14 NEWS DIRECTOR _ Cristina Silva DEPUTY EDITORS _ Mary Kaye Schilling, R.M. Schneiderman OPINION EDITOR _ Laura Davis EDITORIAL DEPARTMENTS Breaking News Editor _ Juliana Pignataro London Bureau Chief _ Robert Galster Politics Editor _ Michael Mishak Science Editor _ Jessica Wapner News Editor _ Orlando Crowcroft Gaming Editor _ Mo Mozuch Deputy Editors _ Dante A. Ciampaglia (Culture) 04 Soweto, South Africa A Divide That Binds P. 48 06 Joint Base Andrews, BAD MOON RISING In Fascism: A Warning, former U.S. Secretary State Madeleine Albright writes about a revival of creeping nationalism and authoritarianism at home and abroad. Maryland Hair Force One Periscope McAllen, Texas Ticket to Hide 08 SpyTalk Gaza Strip The Tire Next Time From Moscow With Murder 12 World Madeleine Albright on Trump and Fascism Horizons 38 Health Sunscreen Matters 41 Politics Scientists on the Campaign Trail Culture 42 Books An Interview With Eve Babitz 44 Movies Scriptwriter Kay Cannon Directs an R-Rated Comedy 46 Art Hank Willis Thomas’s New Show 48 Parting Shot Neil Patrick Harris NEWSWEEK (ISSN2052-1081), is published weekly except one week in January, July, August and October. Newsweek International is published by Newsweek Media Group, 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5LQ, UK. Printed by Quad/Graphics Europe Sp z o.o., Wyszkow, Poland For Article Reprints, Permissions and Licensing www.NewsweekReprints.com 2 NEWSWEEK.COM Jen Glennon (Gaming) Jason Le Miere (Politics) Jessica Lipsky (Breaking News) Robert Valencia (World) Katie Zavadski (Politics) Associate Editors _ Hannah Osborne (Science) Harriet Sinclair (Politics) Maria Vultaggio (Culture) Amanda Woytus (Breaking News) London Sub-Editor _ Hannah Partos Production Editor _ Jeff Perlah Copy Chief _ Elizabeth Rhodes Ernst Copy Editors _ Bruce Janicke, Kelly Rush, Joe Westerﬁeld Contributing Editors _ Max Fraser, Owen Matthews, Matthew Sweet Video Producer _ Jordan Saville Editorial Assistant _ Zola Ray CREATIVE Director of Photography _ Diane Rice Contributing Art Director _ Michael Bessire Assistant Photo Editor _ Alessandra Amodio Digital Imaging Specialist _ Katy Lyness Production Manager _ Helen J. Russell WRITERS Carlos Ballesteros, Meghan Bartels, Nina Burleigh, Anthony Cuthbertson, Chantal Da Silva, Janissa Delzo, Dana Dovey, Gillian Edevane, Sean Elder*, Emily Gaudette, Nicole Goodkind, Michael Hayden, Katherine Hignett, Kristin Hugo, Josh Keefe, Max Kutner, Jessica Kwong, Tracy Lee, Soﬁa Lotto Persio, Tim Marcin, Melissa Matthews, Cristina Maza, Anna Menta, Alexander Nazaryan, Tom O’Connor, Callum Paton, Sydney Pereira, Maria Perez, Tom Porter, Bill Powell, Greg Price, Tom Roddy, Winston Ross*, Roberto Saviano*, Zach Schonfeld, Damien Sharkov, Kate Sheridan, Ryan Sit, Marie Solis, Jeff Stein, Janice Williams, Christina Zhao (*Contributing) PUBLISHED BY Newsweek Media Group Inc. Chief Executive Ofﬁcer _ Dev Pragad Chief Content Ofﬁcer _ Dayan Candappa Chief Operating Ofﬁcer _ Alvaro Palacios Chief Financial Ofﬁcer _ Amit Shah Chief Technology Ofﬁcer _ Michael Lukac General Counsel _ Rosie Mckimmie VP, HR Business Partner _ Leiann Kaytmaz Senior VP Global Creative Director _ Robert Lee Executive Producer _ Alfred Joyner Commercial Director _ Sam Kumar Global Head of Programmatic + Partnerships _ Jeremy Makin VP, Product + Business Intelligence _ Luciano Costa VP, Programmatic Sales _ David McClain Senior Sales Director _ Chantal Mamboury Group Client Director _ James Byrne Sales Director _ Marta Leja Sales Manager _ Chris Maundrell Head of Subscription Operations _ Samantha Rhodes Newsstand Manager _ Kim Sermon FROM TO P: BR IT T SPENCER ; PRADEE P GAUR /MINT/GET T Y In Focus In Focus THE NEWS IN PICTURES A PR I L 20, 2018 SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA MARC O LONGA RI/A FP/GET T Y A Divide That Binds Children stand beside a portrait of late South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie MadikizelaMandela at her home on April 3, a day after her death. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela, calling her a “voice of deﬁance” against white minority rule. But her legacy was also marred by scandals involving kidnapping, corruption and murder. → MARCO LONGARI NEWSWEEK.COM 5 CLO C KWISE FRO M TOP LEFT: KEVIN LAMARQU E/R EUTERS; IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS; LOREN ELLIOT T/REUTERS In Focus 6 NEWSWEEK.COM A PR I L 20, 2018 JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND MCALLEN, TEXAS GAZA STRIP Hair Force One Ticket to Hide The Tire Next Time President Donald Trump contends with strong winds while boarding Air Force One on April 5. Trump was traveling to West Virginia to promote his $1.5 trillion tax overhaul. But shortly after he began his speech, he called his prepared remarks “boring.” Border patrol agents apprehend immigrants who illegally crossed from Mexico into the U.S. on April 3. The same week, President Donald Trump, still unable to secure funding for a border wall, announced he would deploy National Guard troops to the southern U.S. border. Palestinian protesters run during clashes with Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip on April 5. A day later, Israel killed 10 demonstrators along the border, as thousands of Palestinians continued to protest for the right to return to land they lost during the 1948 war. → KEVIN LAMARQUE → LOREN ELLIOTT → IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA NEWSWEEK.COM 7 Periscope NEWS, OPINION + ANALYSIS FEAR AND LOADING? Karpichkov, a former Russian double agent in the U.K., said he’d been warned that the Kremlin was coming for him too. 8 NEWSWEEK.COM A PR I L 20, 2018 “Fascism can find a foothold wherever people are unhappy.” » P.12 SPYTALK From Moscow With Murder LE FT: C HRIS RATC LIFFE/BLO OM BERG/GE T T Y; TOP RIGHT: TK TK Is Russia hunting defectors in the U.S.? they get lonely. they miss their friends intelligence agencies have been especially on edge. A leading factor: the March 4 nerve agent attack and family. So, despite the danger of exposing on Sergei Skripal, a former mole for British intelthemselves to retribution, Russian defectors hiding ligence, in a shopping mall in Salisbury, England. abroad make phone calls or send emails to relatives London and Washington blamed Moscow, which in the motherland. And when they do, the Kremlin denied a role in the attack. “Everyone’s been on is listening. “It’s easy to find us,” one defector in the U.S. tells Newsweek, “if they are really determined.” high alert since the Skripal poisoning,” says Michelle While phone calls and emails open channels for Van Cleave, head of national counterintelligence under President George W. Bush. On March 29, Russian eavesdroppers to locate defectors, relatives another former Russian double agent in the U.K., visiting from back home make it even easier. Agents Boris Karpichkov, reported that he’d been warned can track them to a defector’s doorstep. that Kremlin agents were coming for him too. Some American security sources say there has been an uptick in Russian activity in the U.S. in re- “[S]omething is probably going to happen,” an old comrade told him in mid-February, according to cent years; suspected agents have been spotted cruising the neighborhoods of defectors protected by CIA NBC News. “It’s very serious, and you are not alone.” security teams. The FBI and CIA have been “bringing Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who was visiting people out of retirement, people who worked against him from Russia, were assaulted with Novichok, a lethal chemical agent invented by Soviet engithe Russians in the 1990s,” to cope with the challenge, the defector says, speaking anonyneers in the 1980s. The former mole mously because of safety fears. (The was slow to recover; a month after CIA declined to comment. The FBI the attack, Skripal and his daughBY did not respond to questions about ter were said to be out of danger. A policeman investigating the attack Russian activity in America.) JEFF STEIN Over the past month, U.S. counter@SpyTalker was also harmed. NEWSWEEK.COM 9 A similar assault in the United States is not unthinkable, say CIA veterans with long histories with Moscow. The Russians “largely got out of this business in the mid-1970s,” says former CIA analyst and Russia specialist Mark Stout, but with the rise of Vladimir Putin in the 1990s, they got back into “tracking down and hunting defectors.” Two former CIA station chiefs in Moscow don’t rule out such audacious attacks in the U.S. “Putin has demonstrated there are no limits to the methods he would use to target Russia’s ‘main enemy’ and our allies,” says Daniel Hoffman, a 30-year agency veteran. “The attack on Skripal should be ringing alarm bells for all NATO member countries, including the United States, that something like that could happen here.” But while SPYTALK Moscow has “always sought to locate Russian defectors in the U.S. and Britain,” fellow agency Russia hand John Sipher says, it also “attempts to lure them back to Russia” with the message that “all is forgiven.” That worked pretty well in the waning days of the Cold War, when as many as 40 percent of Russian defectors, such as the infamous Vitaly Yurchenko, took the bait and returned home, two agency veterans say. “Often Suspected Russian agents have been spotted cruising the neighborhoods of some defectors protected by CIA security teams. it was because they were homesick, lonely and having great difficulty adjusting to life in the West,” says one, speaking on terms of anonymity because such matters remain highly sensitive. “A simple thing like choosing a tube of toothpaste was difficult—too many choices.” Because they could not speak with family and friends behind the Iron Curtain in those pre-internet days, “daily existence became overwhelming.” No longer. The recent events suggest Moscow may have abandoned the lure for the hammer. In 2016, an official British inquiry implicated Putin himself in the 2006 radiation-poison murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian intelligence officer living in exile in England, but the uproar faded without diplomatic consequences. The Skripal hit, says former FBI intelligence analyst Aaron Arnold, “could be...a litmus test to see how far people would let them go.” Not far, judging by the response of European leaders, led by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who expelled scores of suspected Russian spies working under diplomatic cover. President Donald Trump declined to join the Europeans in their criticism of the Kremlin, but the administration booted 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S and shuttered the Russian consulate in Seattle. Moscow responded by expelling 60 U.S. diplomats—plus 59 from other countries—and closed the American consulate in St. Petersburg. Later, the U.S. added new sanctions against Russian oligarchs, their companies and senior Kremlin officials. Yet some spy veterans raised doubts about the Kremlin’s role in the Skripal AX TO GRIND The Kremlin has a long history of none-too-subtle assassinations. A Russian agent murdered Trotsky, middle, with an ice ax in 1940. 10 NEWSWEEK.COM A PR I L 20, 2018 KEYSTONE/GET T Y Periscope RED FLAGS Clockwise FROM LEFT: SPUTNIK/ALAMY; SERGEI KONKOV/TASS/GE T T Y; EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GET T Y from top: the American ﬂag is removed from the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg; New York newspapers feature photos of Russian spies in 2010; and Lesin, Putin’s former media chief, who died in his hotel room in Washington, D.C., last year. affair. And the Russian defector who spoke with Newsweek called the hit “very unprofessional” because it not only failed to kill its target but inevitably pointed to the Kremlin. The U.K.’s top military lab also said it could not identify “the precise source” of the highly engineered weapon. And why Skripal? the defector asked. The former officer with the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, had been unmasked as a British mole years earlier and wrung dry under interrogation before being released in a trade for 10 Russian spies arrested in the U.S. in 2010. “He had no more secrets with him,” the defector says. “He was no threat to Russia.” More likely, he says, some former GRU comrades whom Skripal betrayed to British intelligence were taking revenge, using “idiots” in the Russian mob to carry out the “am- ateuristic” hit. He also pointed to a documentary on state-controlled Russian media saying stocks of Novichok had gone missing. Those are Moscow’s lines too, as it turns out. Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, explained to NBC News that Skripal “spent five years in Russian jail. So it was enough time for us to know everything that he knew. Why we should make revenge?” That’s easy, Hoffman says. “Putin wanted to whip up his electorate with anti-Western rhetoric” before the March 18 presidential election. And he was assured of “an intense reaction” over Skripal from May, who was home secretary in 2006 when Litvinenko was fatally poisoned by plutonium. The expulsions, Hoffman says, allowed Putin to “portray Russia as a besieged fortress, which only he could defend.” The Kremlin, its critics point out, has a long history of none-too-subtle assassinations. A Russian agent murdered former revolutionary Leon Trotsky with an ice ax to the head in Mexico in August 1940. Six months later, an outspoken Russian defector, Walter Krivitsky, was found in a pool of blood in his room in a Washington, D.C., hotel. Unaware he was on a Soviet hit list, investigators concluded he had committed suicide. Last year, in Washington, D.C., police officially concluded that Putin’s former media chief, Mikhail Lesin, died from multiple falls in his hotel room during a drinking binge. But “everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it,” an FBI agent recently told BuzzFeed. In February, the site surfaced evidence implicating Russia in 14 suspicious deaths on British soil that the U.K. government had largely ignored. In January, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a report warning that the long arm of Russian intelligence might reach into the U.S. and take somebody out. “The trail of mysterious deaths, all of which happened to people who possessed information that the Kremlin did not want made public, should not be ignored by Western countries on the assumption that they are safe from these extreme measures,” it read. Putin said as much after the FBI rounded up Anna Chapman and nine other deep-cover Russian “illegals” in the United States in 2010. Whoever betrayed them would suffer. “It always ends badly for traitors,” he said. “As a rule, their end comes from drink or drugs, lying in the gutter.” Meanwhile, the defector is fatalistic. “I know it’s going to happen to me sooner or later,” he says. “All I can do is renew my life insurance. If they send a professional, I’m done.” NEWSWEEK.COM 11 Periscope a decade later. In her new book, Fascism: A Warning, Albright says she sees a revival of creeping nationalism and authoritarianism at home and abroad. Albright does not consider Trump a fascist, but she says his behavior is paving the way for fascism around the globe. In her book, she studies the rise of past autocrats like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini and finds similar patterns in modern leaders like Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The result is an in-depth look at a changing world order and America’s diminishing role in that hierarchy. I spoke with Albright, currently a professor of diplomacy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, about Trump, antifa and what she describes as an international fraternity of “bullies.” Pulpit Bullies Madeleine Albright talks Trump, antifa and the return of global fascism i n t h e wa k e o f d o n a l d Trump’s election, a troubling word re-emerged in the American political lexicon: fascism. The left says the president mimics strongmen by attacking the media and targeting immigrants. The right claims liberals suppress dissenting views on everything from climate change to gender politics. 12 NEWSWEEK.COM But is this really fascism? Few are in a better position to judge than former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Born in Czechoslovakia, she fled fascist regimes twice, first during the Nazi occupation of BY her home country in 1939 and then after NICOLE GOODKIND a Communist coup @NicoleGoodkind What are some of the key “warning” signs, as you call them? First of all, there’s an appeal to extreme nationalism. We’ve seen that in Europe, Turkey and, to some extent, in the United States. There’s this “us against them” mentality, the disregard for the rights of others and a display of popular enthusiasm through rallies. Then there’s relentless propaganda, which is really an attempt to shape one’s own truth. A PR I L 20, 2018 LE FT: MA RLIJN D O O MER NIK WORLD In your book, you write that the term fascism has lost its meaning. People kind of think, OK, well, everything I disagree with is fascist—which is crazy. A fascist is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others and is willing to use violence and whatever other means to achieve the goals. In short, a fascist is a bully with an army. Is the United States vulnerable to modern-day fascism? If you look at this historically, fascism can find a foothold wherever people are unhappy and are looking for answers. We obviously have very strong democratic institutions, but I think that there are real questions in terms of how the government is responding to the needs of the people at this moment. That’s why this book is a warning. How does Trump ﬁt in this picture? Let me make this absolutely clear: I’m not calling President Trump a fascist. I am very concerned about his lack of democratic instinct of any kind and his disdain for the press and the judiciary and the electoral process. Are his actions contributing to the rise of fascism around the globe? There are fascists in other countries who are taking some of the things that President Trump says in order to justify their own behavior. Instead of the U.S. being the leader in democratic values and the leader of the free world, the bottom line is [there’s] an empty chair there. Whether you’re talking about [Philippine President Rodrigo] Duterte, Orbán or Putin, these people are a bunch of bullies. The president praising some of the aspects of those people, identifying with them, gives them even more strength. When he was in Poland, standing next to [Polish President Andrzej Duda], [his remarks] not only strengthened the anti-democratic things that are going on in Poland, but kind of gave [them] an American blessing, which is outrageous. Are you worried about war with North Korea? It concerns me a lot. I’m still the highest-level sitting official to have met with the North Korean leader. It takes a lot of work and preparation, and you need experts to understand what the background of a particular issue has been and what to push for, what to avoid. From what I can tell, that has not taken place. Is Putin trying to dismantle democracy in the West? He’s trying. You can’t forget that we’re dealing with a KGB agent. This is what Putin grew up on. He is not stupid. He’s smart, and he’s playing a weak hand very well. “Let me make this absolutely clear: I’m not calling President Trump a fascist.” Are you concerned about more Russian interference in American elections? I am. We need to have the [congressional] investigations [into Russian meddling] go forward, not kind of say, “It’s not happening.” We have an opportunity to stop what is going on. And it isn’t just the president. It’s on all of us to have people run for office, to voice our displeasure, to really take active measures in terms of pushing back to show what democracy is really about. What do you make of the antifa movement? I don’t think one should fight fascism with violence. Violence is a tool of the fascist. What does Trump’s “America ﬁrst” agenda mean to you? It’s an unfortunate term from the ’30s when the United States cared only about itself and was isolationist, and things got worse and worse [globally]. This is a very personal thing for me, as somebody who was born in Czechoslovakia. The British and French made a deal with the Germans and Italians and sold the country I was born in down the river. The United States wasn’t there. [Today], President Trump makes us look like a victim, a chump. We have the most powerful country in the world, and his whole message is about victimization. “Everybody’s taking advantage of us.” It’s ridiculous. What’s the future of the United States on the world stage? It’s going to take a while to rebuild trust in America and our alliance structure and how we behave, but we have it in us to do that, and we have done it in the past. We are leaders. NEWSWEEK.COM 13 +++++ NEWSWEEK.COM /TRY SAVE 57% Subscribe ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Award-winning journalists and photographers. Download issues and read ofﬂine on any device. National and global coverage on the issues that matter. Expert analysis beyond the headlines on a wide range of topics. +++++ EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE Go to Newsweek.com/try or complete and return this form. → Select One: Deliver to: □ 52 Weeks for €139 NAME (€2.67 PER WEEK) 46% SAVINGS ADDRESS □ 104 Weeks for €219 (€2.11 PER WEEK) 57% SAVINGS BEST OFFER! CITY REGION/STATE POSTAL CODE COUNTRY □ Visa RETURN TO: NEWSWEEK SUBSCRIPTIONS DEPARTMENT 24th Floor 25 Canada Square London, E14 5LQ □ Mastercard □ Amex CARD NO. EXP. CCV CODE NAME ON CARD SIGNATURE To receive an email conﬁrmation and other information, please provide your email address: * Percentage savings calculated as a saving on our cover price, as found on the cover of Newsweek. The weekly price is an indication of what you will pay per issue, we will charge you the full price for the term you select. EMAIL □ Payment enclosed (cheques made payable to Newsweek) The secret history of ISRAEL’S MOSSAD , and its cov 16 NEWSWEEK.COM Photo illust rat ion b y G L U E K I T b y RON EN BERGM A N ert war against Hitler’s scientists after the Holocaust A PR IL 20, 2 MOSSAD ince world war ii, israel has used assassinations and targeted killings on more people than any other country in the Western world. In many cases, its leaders have determined that in killing a designated target—and protecting its national security—it is moral and legal to endanger the lives of innocent civilians. Harming such people, they believe, is a necessary evil. Israel’s reliance on assassination as a military tool did not happen by chance. It stems from the roots of the Zionist movement, from the trauma of the Holocaust and from the sense among Israelis that the country is perpetually in danger of annihilation. And that no one would come to its aid. Because Israel is such a small country, because the Arab states have long talked of and attempted to destroy it, and because of the menace of terrorism, the nation has developed a highly effective military and, arguably, the best intelligence community in the world. It has also developed the most robust, streamlined assassination machine in history. The following reveals some of the early successes and failures of that machine. on the morning of july 21, 1962, israelis woke up to their worst nightmare: Egypt’s newspapers reported the successful test launch of four surface-to-surface missiles. Two days later, the Egyptian military paraded the missiles through Cairo. Some 300 foreign diplomats watched the spectacle, as did President Gamal Abdel Nasser. He proudly declared that the military was now capable of hitting any point “south of Beirut.” The implication was clear: Israel was in Nasser’s crosshairs. The next day, a broadcast delivered in Hebrew from Egyptbased radio station “The Voice of Thunder from Cairo” was more explicit. “These missiles are intended to open the gates of freedom for the Arabs,” the anchorman boasted, “to retake the homeland that was stolen as part of imperialist and Zionist plots.” A few weeks later, Israelis learned that a team of German scientists had played an integral role in developing these missiles. World War II had ended 17 years earlier, and suddenly the traumas of the Holocaust, suffused as they were with images of German scientists in Wehrmacht uniforms, gave way to a new and different existential threat: weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Israel’s new great enemy, Nasser, whom Israelis regarded as the Adolf Hitler of the Middle East. “Former German Nazis are now helping Nasser in his anti-Israeli genocide projects” was how the Jewish press described the news. And the Mossad, to say nothing of its political and military leaders, had been caught unaware, learning of Egypt’s missile project mere days before the test launch. It was a devastating reminder of the little country’s vulnerability. The German scientists developing the Egyptian missiles weren’t obscure technicians. They were some of the Nazi regime’s most senior engineers, men who’d worked during the war at the 18 NEWSWEEK.COM The bullet hit the glass and SHATTERED IT, and then hit Kleinwächter’s scarf, but it missed his body. C LO C K W I S E F R O M B OT TO M L E F T: C O R B I S /G E T T Y; R O L L S P R E S S / P O P P E R F OTO/G E T T Y [ 2 ] ; PREVIOUSE SPREAD: PHOTOS BY: GET T Y (7); D O CUMENTS COURTESY OF RONEN BERG MAN research base at Peenemünde, a peninsula on the Baltic coast where the Third Reich’s most advanced weaponry was developed. “I felt helpless,” said Asher Ben-Natan, the director general of the Defense Ministry, “as if the sky were falling on our heads. [David] Ben-Gurion [Israel’s first prime minister] spoke again and again of the nightmare that kept him awake at night—that he had brought the surviving Jews of Europe to the state of Israel, only for them here, in their own country, to undergo a second Holocaust.” The Mossad, which was created shortly after the formation of Israel in 1948 to monitor and protect the country against external threats, conducted a top-secret inquiry into the affair in 1982. It described Egypt’s 1962 announcement of the missile project as “one of the most important and traumatic events in the history of the Israeli intelligence community.” Mossad chief Isser Harel placed the entire agency on high alert. An atmosphere of crisis swept through every corridor of the intelligence service. The agency’s operatives immediately began breaking into Egyptian diplomatic embassies and consulates in several European capitals to photograph documents. They were also able PUBLIC ENEMY When Israel learned that Nasser, above and to the left, was working with German scientists on surface-to-surface missiles, the nation was horriﬁed. It harked back to the trauma of the Holocaust. At left, a member of the SS shoots a Polish Jew. to recruit a Swiss employee at the Zurich office of EgyptAir—a company that occasionally served as cover for Nasser’s intelligence agencies. The Swiss employee allowed Mossad operatives to take the mailbags at night, twice a week, to a safe house. The operatives opened their contents and photocopied them, then experts resealed them, leaving no sign they’d been tampered with, before returning the mailbags to the airline office. Soon, the Mossad had a preliminary understanding of what Cairo was planning. The Egyptian project had been initiated by two internationally known scientists, Eugen Sänger and Wolfgang Pilz. During the war, they had played key roles at Peenemünde Army Research Center. In 1954, they joined the Research Institute of Jet Propulsion Physics, in Stuttgart. Sänger headed this prestigious body. Pilz and two other veteran Wehrmacht specialists, Paul Goercke and Heinz Krug, were heads of departments. But this group, feeling underemployed and NEWSWEEK.COM 19 underutilized in postwar West Germany, approached the Egyptian regime in 1959 and offered to recruit and lead a group of scientists to develop long-range surface-to-surface rockets. Nasser readily agreed and appointed one of his closest military advisers, General ’Isam al-Din Mahmoud Khalil, former director of air force intelligence and the chief of the Egyptian army’s research and development, to coordinate the program. Khalil set up a compartmentalized system, separate from the rest of the Egyptian army, for the German scientists, who ﬁrst arrived in Egypt for a visit in April 1960. In late 1961, Sänger, Pilz and Goercke relocated to Egypt and recruited about 35 highly experienced German scientists and technicians to join them. The facilities in Egypt contained test ﬁelds, laboratories and luxurious living quarters for the expats, who were well paid. Krug, however, remained in Germany, where he set up a company called Intra Commercial, which was the group’s European front. Almost as soon as the Mossad gained a basic grasp of the situation, however, more bad news arrived. On August 16, 1962, a grave-faced Harel came to see Ben-Gurion, bringing with him a document from the Egyptian intelligence mailbags that had been photocopied two days before in Zurich. The Israelis were in shock. The document was an order written in 1962 by Pilz, to the project managers in Egypt, and it included a list of the materials that needed to be acquired in Europe for the manufacture of 900 missiles. The document also raised fears among Israeli experts that the Egyptians’ true aim was to arm the missiles with radioactive and chemical warheads. Ben-Gurion convened urgent meetings with his top defense ofﬁcials. Harel had a plan. Sort of. The intelligence collected so far revealed a weakness in the missile project: The guidance systems were lagging so far behind, they were borderline nonfunctional, which meant the missiles could not go into mass production. As long as this was the case, Egypt would need the German scientists. Without them, the project would collapse. Harel’s plan, then, was to kidnap or to eliminate the Germans. ‘We’ll Finish You Off’ toward the end of august 1962, harel went to europe to put his plan into action. The weather was getting cold, heralding the worst winter in many years. After two weeks of trying and failing to surveil Pilz, Harel decided to act against Krug. On September 10 at 5:30 p.m., a man who introduced himself as Saleh Qaher called on Krug’s home in Munich. He said that he was speaking on behalf of Colonel Said Nadim, Khalil’s chief aide, and that Nadim had to meet Krug “right away, on an important matter.” Qaher added, in the friendliest of tones, that Nadim, whom Krug knew well, sent his regards and was waiting for him at the Ambassador Hotel in Munich. The matter at hand, Qaher said, was a deal that would make a tidy proﬁt for Krug. It was impossible to discuss it at the Intra ofﬁce because of its special nature. 20 NEWSWEEK.COM These missiles are intended to open the GATES OF FREEDOM for the Arabs. Krug didn’t see this as unusual, and he accepted the invitation. What he didn’t know: Qaher was actually an old Mossad hand, whom we’ll call Oded. Born in Iraq, he had been active in the Zionist underground there, ﬂeeing the country in 1949 after almost being caught. He’d gone to regular schools in Baghdad, with Muslims, and could pass for Arab. Krug met him in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel. “We, Colonel Nadim and I, need you for an important job,” Oded said. The next day, he went to the Intra ofﬁces to pick up Krug and take him in a taxi to meet Nadim at a villa outside the city. “He never suspected for a moment that I wasn’t who I said I was,” says Oded. “I ﬂattered Krug and told him how we, in Egyptian intelligence, appreciate his services and contribution.” The two arrived at the house where Krug believed Nadim was waiting for him. They got out of the car. A woman opened the front door, and Krug went in. The door closed. Oded, as planned, remained outside. Three other operatives were waiting inside. They stunned Krug with a few blows, gagged him and tied him up. When he came to, he was examined by a French Jewish doctor recruited by the team. He thought Krug was suffering from slight shock, so he recommended not giving him sedation shots until later. A German-speaking Mossad operative told Krug, “You are a prisoner. Do exactly what we say, or we’ll ﬁnish you off.” Krug promised to obey, and he was placed in a secret compartment built into one of the vehicles, a Volkswagen camper, and the whole squad, including Harel, set out for the French border. By the time, they reached Marseille, Krug had been sedated, and he was soon placed on an El Al plane ﬂying Jewish North African immigrants to Israel. The Mossad handlers told the French authorities he was a sick immigrant. Meanwhile, the Mossad launched a wide-ranging disinformation operation, with a man resembling Krug and carrying documents in his name traveling around South America, leaving a paper trail indicating Krug had simply grabbed the money and run. Simultaneously, the Mossad leaked disinformation to the media saying Krug had quarreled with Khalil and his people and had apparently been abducted and murdered by them. In Israel, Krug was imprisoned in a secret Mossad installation A PR I L 20, 2018 MOSSAD Who Can Kill More Germans? THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA Ben-Gurion, Israel’s ﬁrst prime minister. ABR AHA M PISAREK/ULLSTEIN BILD/GET T Y Egypt’s missile program caught him and other top Israeli leaders by surprise. It was a terrifying reminder of the tiny nation’s vulnerability. and subjected to harsh interrogation. At ﬁrst he remained silent, but he soon began cooperating, and over the course of several months he “yielded much fruit,” according to a Mossad report. “The man had a good memory and he knew all of the organizational-administrative details of the missile project.” The documents that were in his briefcase were also useful. The report concluded, “This data made it possible to build up an intelligence encyclopedia.” Krug even volunteered to go back to Munich and work as a Mossad agent. Eventually, though, after it seemed that Krug had told his interrogators everything he knew, the Mossad pondered what to do with him. Complying with his offer to go back to Munich would be very dangerous—Krug could betray his new controllers, go to the police and tell them how the Israelis had abducted a German citizen on German soil. Harel chose the easier way out, apparently without informing his boss, the prime minister. He ordered one of his men to take Krug to a deserted spot north of Tel Aviv and shoot him. When it was over, an air force plane picked up the body and dumped it into the sea. the success of the krug operation spurred ben-gurion to approve more targeted killing operations. He authorized the use of Military Intelligence (AMAN) Unit 188, a secret outﬁt that put Israeli soldiers under false cover inside enemy countries. Harel resented Unit 188. Since the mid-1950s, he had been trying to persuade Ben-Gurion to transfer it to the Mossad or at least to put him in charge of it. But the army was vehemently opposed to this idea, and Ben-Gurion turned him down. The head of AMAN, Major General Meir Amit, didn’t believe the German scientists were as grave a threat to Israel as Harel did. Yet because of the interorganizational rivalry with the Mossad, he demanded that his unit also be permitted to act against them. An intense competition over who would kill more Germans began. During that time, Unit 188 had a veteran operative under deep cover in Egypt. His name was Wolfgang Lotz, and he was the perfect mole. The son of a gentile father and a Jewish mother, he was uncircumcised and looked German—tall and blond with pale skin. He created a cover story as a former Wehrmacht ofﬁcer in General Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps who had become a horse breeder and returned to Egypt to start a stud farm. Within a short time, Lotz, a gifted actor, had become an integral part of the growing German social circle in Cairo. He supplied Unit 188 with many details about the missile projects and its personnel. He could not, however, eliminate them in actions that would require his direct participation, for fear he would be exposed. Yosef Yariv, the head of Unit 188, decided that the best way to do away with the German scientists would be to use letter and parcel bombs. Yariv ordered Natan Rotberg, the assassination explosive expert of Unit 188, to start preparing the bombs. Rotberg was working on a new type of explosive: thin, ﬂexible “sheets of explosive material, developed for civilian purposes, which were meant to fuse two pieces of steel when they went off ” and would allow him to make more compact charges. “We had to develop a system that could be kept unarmed and safe during all the shufﬂing that a letter goes through in the mail system, and then go off at the right time,” Rotberg explained. “The envelope’s mechanism thus worked in such a way that the bomb was armed not when it was opened, which would make the whole thing very explosive, but only when the contents were drawn out.” (French intelligence collaborated on the research and development.) The ﬁrst target to be sent one of the letter bombs was Alois Brunner, a Nazi who had been an Adolf Eichmann deputy and served as commander of a concentration camp in France, sending 130,000 Jews to their deaths. Unit 188 located him in Damascus, Syria, where he’d been living for eight years under an assumed name. The Arab countries gave asylum to more than a few Nazis, and in exchange they received various services. Brunner helped train the interrogation and torture units of the Syrian secret services. NEWSWEEK.COM 21 22 NEWSWEEK.COM ‘This Is the Target—Go Kill Him’ the blasts frightened the scientists and their families but didn’t make them give up their cushy jobs. Instead, Egyptian intelligence hired the services of an expert German security ofﬁcer, a former SS man named Hermann Adolf Vallentin. He visited the Intra ofﬁces and the project’s suppliers, advising them on security precautions, from replacing the locks to securing their mail deliveries. The next target on Harel’s hit list was Hans Kleinwächter and his laboratory in the West German town of Lorch, which had been hired to develop a guidance system for the missiles. Harel sent the Birds—an operational unit used by both the Mossad and the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service—to Europe to abduct or kill him if necessary. Harel set up his headquarters in the French city of Mulhouse. Birds commander Eitan recalls: “It’s the middle of the winter, horrible snow, bone-chilling cold.… Isser is furious, sitting in some boarding house in France, beyond the Rhine. He shows me some A PR I L 20, 2018 FROM TO P: PAUL FE ARN/ALAMY; EXPR ESS/ARC HIVE PHOTOS/GE T T Y He was found with the help of Eli Cohen, one of the unit’s top agents, who was active inside the upper echelons of the Syrian defense establishment. After Ben-Gurion gave his approval for the elimination of Brunner, Yariv decided to try out one of Rotberg’s devices on the Nazi. “We sent him a little gift,” said Rotberg. On September 13, 1962, Brunner received a large envelope in Damascus. It exploded after he opened it. He suffered severe facial injuries and lost his left eye, but he survived. Still, encouraged by having gotten the bomb delivered to the target, Unit 188 was eager to use the same method against the German scientists. The Mossad objected. As Raﬁ Eitan, a senior operative of the organization, explained to me, “I oppose any action that I don’t control. The mailman can open the envelope, a child can open the envelope. Who does things like that?” Getting to the Germans in Egypt turned out to be a very complicated matter; they didn’t receive their mail directly. Egyptian intelligence collected all of the mail for the project and its personnel at the ofﬁces of EgyptAir, where it was sent on to Cairo. So the Mossad and Unit 188 decided to break into the airline ofﬁce at night and place the exploding envelopes into the mailbags. Using a new method for opening locks with a sophisticated master key, Mossad operatives entered the Frankfurt ofﬁces of EgyptAir on November 16. The break-in specialist was half-hidden behind a female operative as they leaned together against the door like a couple of lovers. The team went inside the ofﬁce but failed to ﬁnd the mailbag. The next day, they tried again. While they were busy with the door, a janitor appeared, totally inebriated. There were no women with the team this time, so two of the men pretended to make out and managed to escape without arousing the janitor’s suspicion. The next night, the operatives tried again, and this time it went smoothly. The pouch of mail was on one of the desks. The team inserted the booby-trapped envelopes into the bags. The Israelis had selected Pilz as the prime target. The intelligence gathered about him indicated he was divorcing his wife so he could wed his secretary, Hannelore Wende. The wife lived in Berlin, but she had hired a lawyer from Hamburg. So the letter bomb targeting Pilz was designed to look as if it had come from that lawyer, with his logo and address appearing on the back. “The planners of the project assumed that such a personal item of mail wouldn’t be opened by Wende,” said the ﬁnal report on the operation. But the planners were wrong. Wende, who received the letter on November 27, opened it. The envelope exploded in her hands, blowing off some of her ﬁngers, blinding her in one eye and ripping some of her teeth out of her gums. The Egyptian authorities realized what was going on. Using X-ray machines, they located the other booby-trapped mail items, then handed them over to be defused by specialists from Soviet intelligence in Cairo. The Israeli operation had ended in failure. MOSSAD SPIES AGAINST ARMAGEDDON Harel, the Mossad chief, became obsessed with the German scientists behind Egypt’s missile program, believing they were attempting to carry out a second Holocaust. The obsession ultimately cost him his job. pictures and says, ‘This is the target—go kill him.’” But the Birds, who had been helping Unit 188 in previous months, were exhausted. Eitan recalled telling Harel that the circumstances were not ripe for a targeted killing, that they needed “to wait a bit and create a trap of our own, not just shoot people in the street.” But Harel wouldn’t listen. On January 21, 1963, he dismissed the Birds and called in Mifratz, the Mossad targeted killing unit commanded by Yitzhak Shamir (a future prime minister of Israel), to have Kleinwächter taken care of. What Harel didn’t know was that Vallentin had ﬁgured out that Kleinwächter would be the Mossad’s next target. He gave him a series of brieﬁngs, made sure he was constantly accompanied by an escort and gave him an Egyptian military pistol. On February 20, a Mossad lookout saw Kleinwächter alone on the road from Lorch to Basel, Switzerland. They decided to make their move when he got back. Shamir, who, together with Harel, commanded the operation in the ﬁeld, assigned the job of ﬁring the shots to a trained assassin named Akiva Cohen. Harel also sent a senior operative, the German-speaking Zvi Aharoni (who, two years earlier located Eichmann in Argentina and later helped bring him to face justice in Israel). They waited for the target to get back in the evening. But he didn’t show up, and the Israelis called the operation off. A few minutes later, Kleinwächter ﬁnally appeared, and the operation resumed. The Mifratz operatives’ car blocked Kleinwächter’s, Aharoni got out and went up to Kleinwächter, pretend- He began leaking stories to the press about NAZIS building weapons for Arabs to kill Jews. ing to ask for directions. The idea was to get him to open the window. He began doing so. Cohen, who approached Aharoni from behind, drew his gun, tried to aim it through the open window and ﬁred. The bullet hit the glass and shattered it, then hit Kleinwächter’s scarf, but it missed Kleinwächter’s body. For some unknown reason, the pistol didn’t ﬁre again. Aharoni saw that the plan had failed and yelled at everyone to abscond. But the way both vehicles had stopped on the narrow road prevented the Mossad men from ﬂeeing in their car, so they ran off in different directions. As they ﬂed, Kleinwächter drew his pistol and began ﬁring at the Israelis. He didn’t hit anyone, but the operation was yet another missed opportunity. The Butcher of Buchenwald harel then launched a number of operations aimed at intimidating the scientists and their families, including anonymous letters threatening their lives and visits in the middle of the night offering similar warnings. These also failed when the Swiss police arrested a Mossad operative named Joseph Ben-Gal after he threatened Paul Goercke’s daughter, Heidi. Ben-Gal was extradited to Germany, convicted and sentenced to a short term in prison. By the spring of 1963, Harel’s Mossad hadn’t slowed the Egyptians’ progress. So Harel began leaking stories to the press— some true, some embellished, some outright lies (that the Germans were helping Egypt produce atomic bombs and deadly lasers)—about Nazis building weapons for Arabs to kill Jews. Harel was totally convinced that the German scientists were Nazis, still determined to complete the Final Solution and that the German authorities were aware of their activities but doing nothing to stop them. In reality, according to the 1982 Mossad report on the affair, they had become accustomed to wealth under the Third Reich, had become unemployed when it fell and now were simply trying to make money off the Egyptians. But Harel dragged the whole country along with his obsession. To prove his claims, Harel presented information gathered in Cairo about a Dr. Hans Eisele, the Butcher of Buchenwald, who’d been involved in appalling experiments on Jewish inmates. He was designated a war criminal but escaped trial and found a comfortable refuge in Egypt, where he became the physician of the German scientists. Harel also ﬁngered a number of other Nazis in Cairo, though none of them belonged to the group of missile scientists. His goal was to publicly vilify Germany, with which Israel had a complicated relationship. Relative moderates such as Ben-Gurion and his chief aide, Shimon Peres (also a future prime minister) disagreed with Harel’s approach. At a time when the United States was reluctant to provide Israel with all the military and economic aid it asked for, the ﬂedgling nation, they maintained, could not NEWSWEEK.COM 23 MOSSAD afford to jeopardize the economic and military assistance it was receiving from the West German government. Hard-liners such as Golda Meir and Harel, on the other hand, rejected the notion that the Federal Republic of Germany was a “new” or “different” country. History, to their minds, had left a permanent stain. Harel also called in the Editors Committee, a unique Israeli institution, then composed of the top editors of the media, that self-censored items at the government’s request. He asked the committee to provide him with three journalists, whom he subsequently recruited. They were sent to Europe, at the Mossad’s expense, to gather intelligence about the front companies that were buying equipment for the Egyptian project. Harel claimed he needed the journalists for operational reasons, but he wanted to use their involvement and the materials they collected to launder information he already possessed; as such, it could be disseminated to the foreign and Israeli media to manufacture newspaper reports and HIT JOB After kidnapping and interrogating Krug, top right, Harel’s Mossad killed him in a deserted spot north of Tel Aviv. Later, Amit, bottom right, took over the intelligence service and changed its approach to Egypt’s missiles. Below, Cairo December 1962. create a climate suited to his purposes. Harel’s stories generated a media frenzy and a growing sense of panic in Israel. Ben-Gurion tried to calm him down, to no avail. “He [Harel] was not, in my opinion, quite sane,” said Amos Manor, the Shin Bet chief at the time. “You couldn’t have a rational conversation about it with him.” It ended, as most obsessions do, in Harel’s own destruction. His publicity campaign, the frenzied newspaper stories he’d planted about Hitler’s minions rising again, badly wounded Ben-Gurion. Critics such as Menachem Begin, the opposition leader, attacked the prime minister for not having done enough to stop the threat posed by the German scientists—a threat Israelis saw as a danger to their existence—and for leading his country into a conciliation with West Germany, which now seemed to be at least indirectly responsible for a new Final Solution. On March 25, 1963, Ben-Gurion summoned Harel to his office; the Mossad chief had carried out some of his media operations without the prime minister’s approval and now his boss was upset. The prime minister reminded Harel that he was supposed to implement government policy, not set it. Offended by the rebuke, Harel offered his resignation, confident the Old Man, as Ben-Gurion was CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: ROGER WOOD/CORBIS/VCG/GETTY; COURTESY OF RONEN BERGMAN; DAN PORGES/GETTY They know how to persuade a person to BETRAY EVERYTHING and everyone he believes in: his friends and family, his organization, his nation. known, couldn’t manage without him and would beg him to stay. Ben-Gurion thought otherwise. He accepted the resignation on the spot. Harel’s once brilliant career ended in a failed bluff and utter defeat. He was immediately replaced by Amit, the chief of AMAN. But it was too late for Ben-Gurion, too. Harel’s campaign had played into the hands of Begin, among others. Less than two months after replacing Harel, Ben-Gurion resigned, convinced he’d lost the support of his own party. He was replaced by Levi Eshkol. 56 Burglaries and 30,000 Documents amit, one of the israeli defense forces’ brilliant young commanders, took over a Mossad in disarray. The agency was deeply demoralized. In the nine months since Egypt had announced its four missile tests, the Israelis had learned little about the program, and everything the Mossad and AMAN had tried had failed to even slow the project, let alone dismantle it. Pressuring Germany had made no difference. Amit set about rebuilding the organization, reinforcing it with the best personnel he knew from AMAN. As soon as he took over, he ordered a halt to any matters that he considered extraneous, and a drastic reduction of the resources being devoted to the hunt for Nazi criminals, explaining, “We have to produce information about the enemies of the state of Israel nowadays.” Amit knew that he needed a tactical reset, and that the Mossad had to rethink its approach to the problem of Egyptian missiles. His ﬁrst order, then, was for a shift away from targeted killing operations and for the vast majority of his resources to be focused instead on trying to understand what was going on inside the missile project. Secretly, however, with most of the top ofﬁcials of the organization out of the loop, he prepared a targeted killing project of his own against the scientists. Operations personnel were trying to ﬁnd ways to send parcel bombs from inside Egypt, signiﬁcantly shortening the time between the sending and opening of the package. They tried out the method on a relatively easy target, the physician Eisele. On September 25, 1963, there was a blast in the post ofﬁce in the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Maadi: A letter bomb that had been addressed to Dr. Carl Debouche, the false name Eisele was using, exploded and blinded a postal worker. The failure of this operation convinced Amit that targeted killings should be used only sparingly. Nevertheless, he ordered the Mossad to prepare plans to shoot, blow up or poison the scientists in case nonviolent means proved ineffective. Amit ordered the Mossad to step up break-ins at all the ofﬁces connected to the missile project in West Germany and Switzerland. These operations were enormously complex. The sites were well guarded—both by Egyptian intelligence and by the men under Vallentin, the German project’s security chief—in the hearts of crowded European cities, in countries where the law was strictly enforced. Mossad operatives burglarized the Egyptian embassies, the NEWSWEEK.COM 25 MOSSAD Egyptian purchasing mission in Cologne and the Intra ofﬁce in Munich. They broke into the EgyptAir ofﬁce in Frankfurt no fewer than 56 times between August 1964 and December 1966. The information they obtained (operatives photographed some 30,000 documents up to the end of 1964 alone) was important, but far from sufﬁcient. The Mossad had to recruit someone on the inside of the missile project. This critical task was assigned to a division called Junction, which was responsible for bringing in the bulk of the organization’s human intelligence. Unlike in Hollywood movies, most of this information is not collected directly by Mossad employees darting about in the shadows. Rather, it is gleaned from foreign nationals in their home countries. The Mossad case ofﬁcers responsible for recruiting and operating these sources are called “collection ofﬁcers,” and they are expert psychologists. They know how to persuade a person to betray everything and everyone he believes in: his friends and family, his organization, his nation. But none had been able to work on anyone close to the Egyptian program. Recruiting agents in Arab countries became a long-term priority, but in the short run, Junction would have to look elsewhere. ‘A Favorite of the Führer’ in april 1964, amit sent eitan to paris, which served as the nerve center of Israeli intelligence, to run Junction’s operations in Europe. Vallentin was becoming more of a problem, and Junction needed to take care of him. Avraham Ahituv, Junction’s coordinator in Bonn, had an idea, and he presented it to Eitan in Paris in May 1964. He’d identiﬁed a dubious character who’d sold arms and intelligence to the Nasser regime and also was close to the German scientists. “There is just one small problem,” Ahituv said. “The man’s name is Otto Skorzeny, and he was a high-ranking Wehrmacht ofﬁcer, Hitler’s special operations commander, and a favorite of the Führer.” “And you want to recruit this Otto?” Eitan asked sarcastically. “Wonderful.” In 1960, Ahituv told Eitan, Harel had ordered Amal, the unit that handled the hunt for Nazi war criminals, to gather as much information as possible about Skorzeny, with the goal of bringing him to justice or killing him. His ﬁle said he was an enthusiastic member of the Austrian Nazi Party, had enlisted in 1935 to a secret SS unit in Austria and had taken part in Kristallnacht. He rose rapidly in rank in the Waffen-SS, becoming head of its special operations units. Skorzeny parachuted into Iran and trained local tribes to blow up oil pipelines serving the Allied armies, and he plotted to murder the Big Three—Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt. He also had a plan for abducting and killing U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower. Skorzeny was even personally selected by Hitler to lead the Gran Sasso raid, which successfully extricated Benito Mussolini, the Führer’s friend and ally, from the Alpine 26 NEWSWEEK.COM BAD COMPANY Skorzeny, left, was a high-ranking Wehrmacht ofﬁcer and Hitler’s special operations commander. He later became a key agent in the most important Israeli intelligence operation of its time. villa where he was being held prisoner by the Italian government. Allied intelligence called Skorzeny “the most dangerous man in Europe.” He was not, however, convicted of war crimes. He was acquitted by one tribunal, and after he was re-arrested on other charges, he escaped with the help of his SS friends. He took refuge in Francisco Franco’s Spain, where he established proﬁtable commercial relations with fascist regimes from around the world. Skorzeny’s acquaintance with the scientists in Egypt, and the fact that he’d been a superior ofﬁcer to Vallentin during the war, was enough, in Eitan’s view, to justify trying to recruit him, despite his Nazi past. Eitan felt that if it helped Israel, it was worth it. Through a number of intermediaries, the Mossad established contact with Countess Ilse von Finckenstein—Skorzeny’s wife. She would serve as the Mossad’s entrée. The agency’s ﬁle on the countess says that she was “a member of the aristocracy. She is a cousin of the German [prewar] Finance Minister Hjalmar Schacht.… She is 45, a fairly attractive woman, brimming over with energy.” “She was involved in everything,” said Raphael “Raphi” Medan, the German-born Mossad operative who was assigned to the mission. “She sold titles of nobility, had ties with Vatican intelligence and sold arms as well.” She and her husband also had liberal ideas about their relationship. “They didn’t have children,” Medan said, “and they maintained an open marriage. Ilse always looked stunning. Every two years she underwent hormonal treatment in Switzerland in order to preserve her youth.” Medan “had had a reputation, because of his European good Medan took advantage of the German couple’s open marriage by WOOING THE COUNTESS and eventually taking her to bed. He set up a meeting in a hotel lobby that evening, where he introduced the two. The Mossad’s internal ﬁnal report on the affair, though written in dry professional language, could not overlook its intensity: “Avraham [Ahituv] is a scion of a religiously observant family, a native of Germany educated in a religious Jewish school. For him, the contact with a Nazi monster was a shocking emotional experience that went beyond the demands of the profession.” In the detailed report Ahituv submitted, on September 14, 1964, he described the talks he had that week with the former SS man: looks, for being able to inﬂuence women,” according to the Mossad report on the affair. They set a meeting for late July 1964 in Dublin. Medan introduced himself as an Israeli Defense Ministry employee on leave, looking for an opening in international tourism. He might be interested in taking part in a Bahamas development project that the countess was involved in, he said. The countess liked Medan, and when their business talk was over, she invited him to a party at her farm. This was the start of a series of meetings, including some wild partying in Europe. According to a Mossad rumor that circulated for many years and was gently hinted at in the reports but not explicitly stated, Medan “sacriﬁced” himself for his country—and took advantage of the German couple’s open marriage—by wooing the countess and eventually taking her to bed. Medan, however, simply said, “There are things that gentlemen do not speak about,” and described their encounter, with a smile, as “good and even gratifying.” UL LSTEIN BILD/GET T Y ‘A Life Without Fear’ in madrid, on the night of september 7, 1964, medan told the countess that a friend of his from the Israeli Defense Ministry wanted to meet her husband “about a very important matter.” The friend was already in Europe and waiting for a reply. Convincing von Finckenstein to cooperate was not difﬁcult. Only four years before, Israel had found, grabbed, tried and executed Eichmann. Powerful forces in the Jewish world, including Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, were trying to ﬁnd and prosecute Nazis like Skorzeny. Medan was able to offer the countess—and, by extension, her husband—a “life without fear,” as Eitan put it. The next morning, von Finckenstein informed Medan that her husband was ready to meet his friend—that night, if possible. The Mossad operative called Junction’s Ahituv to Madrid. Skorzeny was a giant. A hulk of a man. He was obviously remarkably strong physically. On his left cheek was the well known scar from his pictures, reaching his ear. Two moments gave me a shock. Skorzeny was looking for a number in his phone book to give me. [H]e took a monocle out of his pocket and stuck it into his right eye socket. His appearance then, what with his bodily dimensions, the scar, and his aggressive gaze, made him look like the complete Nazi. The second incident happened after our meeting, when we were dining together in a restaurant near his office. Suddenly, someone came up to us, clicked his heels together loudly, and greeted him in German as “My General.” Skorzeny told me that this was the owner of the restaurant and he used to be one of the top Nazis in those parts. They spoke about the war and the Holocaust, among other things, and Ahituv brought up the issue of Skorzeny’s participation in the Kristallnacht pogroms. He pulled out a long list of people who had taken part in the attacks and presented it to Skorzeny, who was familiar with the document because the accusation had been raised and discussed during his war crimes trial. He pointed to an X inked next to his name. “That’s proof that I did not participate,” he said, though Nazi hunter Wiesenthal interpreted the mark as proof of just the opposite. Skorzeny complained that Wiesenthal was hunting him and that more than once he had found himself in a situation where he “feared for his life.” Ahituv decided not to stretch the point too far and did not argue. At a certain point, Skorzeny got tired of talking about the war. “It was clear that there was no point in playing hide-and-seek,” Ahituv wrote. “I told him I was in the Israeli [intelligence] service. [Skorzeny said that] he wasn’t surprised we had gotten to him. He was deﬁnitely prepared for an exchange of views with us as well.” “An exchange of views” was Skorzeny’s delicate way of saying that he agreed to full and comprehensive cooperation with Israel. Skorzeny demanded a price for his help. He wanted a valid Austrian passport issued in his real name; a writ of lifetime immunity from prosecution, signed by Prime Minister Eshkol; and his immediate removal from Wiesenthal’s list of wanted Nazis, as well as some money. Skorzeny’s conditions sparked a sharp argument in the Mossad. NEWSWEEK.COM 27 The Final Blow skorzeny’s first step was to send word to his friends in Egypt that he was reviving a network of SS and Wehrmacht veterans to establish a Fourth Reich. To prepare the groundwork, he would tell them, his organization had to secretly gather information. The German scientists working for Nasser would thus be required, under their Wehrmacht oaths, to provide Skorzeny’s phantom organization with the details of their missile research so it could be used by the new German military force in the making. At the same time, Skorzeny and Ahituv also masterminded a plan to get information out of Vallentin, the formidable security ofﬁcer, who knew everything about the Egyptian missile project. Unlike with the recruitment of the sophisticated and experienced Skorzeny, who was aware he was dealing with a Mossad man, and whom Ahituv never tried to mislead, the two decided to use some subterfuge on Vallentin. Skorzeny played his part perfectly. He summoned Vallentin to Madrid under the pretense that he was hosting a special gathering 28 NEWSWEEK.COM for his subordinates from the “glorious war.” He put the security chief up, at Mossad expense, in a luxurious hotel and presented him with his phony plan for reviving the Reich. Then he revealed that this was not his only reason for the invitation to Madrid and that he wanted him to meet “a close friend,” an ofﬁcer of the British MI6 secret service. The British, he said, were interested in what was going on in Egypt, and he asked Vallentin to help his friend. Vallentin was suspicious. “Are you sure the Israelis aren’t involved?” he asked. “Apologize!” Skorzeny ﬁred back. “How dare you say something like that to your superior ofﬁcer!” Vallentin apologized, but he wasn’t convinced. And he was right. Skorzeny’s “friend” was no Brit but an Australian-born case ofﬁcer in the Mossad named Harry Barak. Vallentin agreed to meet him but not to cooperate, and the meeting between the two led nowhere. Skorzeny immediately came up with a solution. At his next meeting with Vallentin, he told him that his friend from MI6 had reminded him that a cable Skorzeny had sent near the end of the war, in which he notiﬁed the general staff that he was promoting Vallentin, had not reached its destination. He was being retroactively promoted. The security chief ’s eyes lit up. The move was purely symbolic, but it clearly meant a lot to him. He stood up and gave the “Heil Hitler” salute and thanked Skorzeny profusely. THE NAZI HUNTER Wiesenthal, above, refused to take Skorzeny off his list of Nazi war criminals, despite a request from the Mossad. Below, Jewish women in Linz, Austria, during Kristallnacht. A PR I L 20, 2018 FRO M TOP: FRANÇ OIS LO CHON/GAM MARAPHO/GET T Y; GALER IE BILDERWELT/GET T Y Ahituv and Eitan saw in them “an operational constraint and a requirement for the success of the operation.” Other senior ofﬁcials argued that they were “an attempt by a Nazi criminal to cleanse his name,” and they demanded a new look at Skorzeny’s past. This new investigation revealed further details about the role he played on Kristallnacht, “as the leader of one of the mobs that burned synagogues in Vienna,” and that “until recently, he was an active supporter of neo-Nazi organizations.” Amit, practical and unemotional as always, thought that Eitan and Ahituv were right, but he needed the moral support of the prime minister. Eshkol listened to Amit and consulted some of the high-ranking Mossad members who were Holocaust survivors (unlike Amit, Eitan and Ahituv, who were not), hearing their vehement objections. Nevertheless, he ﬁnally approved giving Skorzeny money, a passport and immunity. The prime minister also approved the request concerning Wiesenthal, but that wasn’t his decision to make, or the Mossad’s. Wiesenthal was an opinionated and obstinate man. Although he had close links to the Mossad, which ﬁnanced some of his operations, he wasn’t an Israeli citizen, and he worked out of Vienna, outside of Israel’s jurisdiction. In October 1964, Medan met with Wiesenthal to discuss, without elaborating about the operation, why Skorzeny had to be removed from his blacklist. “To my astonishment,” Medan recalled, “Wiesenthal said, ‘Herr Medan, there is not a chance. This is a Nazi and a war criminal, and we will never strike him from our list.’” Skorzeny was disappointed but still agreed to the deal. The Führer’s favorite, a man wanted all over the world as a Nazi war criminal, had become a key agent in the most important Israeli intelligence operation of its time. Two of the men pretended to be homosexuals making out, and they MANAGED TO ESCAPE without arousing the suspicion of the drunken janitor. MOSSAD The latter told Vallentin he was ready to give him a written document confirming his promotion. Vallentin was grateful to his new friend from British intelligence for the information he had provided, and he agreed to help him as much as he wanted. In time, Skorzeny invited other former Wehrmacht officers involved in the missile project to Madrid. They attended lavish parties at his home, billed as gatherings of Waffen-SS special forces veterans. His guests ate, drank and enjoyed themselves late into the night, never knowing that the Israeli government was paying for their food and drinks and bugging their conversations. The information provided by Skorzeny, Vallentin and the scientists who came to Madrid solved most of the Mossad’s information problem regarding Egypt’s missile program. It identified who was involved in the project and what the current status of each component was. Thanks to the information from this operation, Amit’s Mossad managed to destroy the missile project from the inside, using a number of methods. The intel agency, for instance, was able to identify a secret Egyptian plan to recruit scores of workers from the Hellige aircraft and rocket factory in Freiburg who were about to be dismissed. Amit decided to take advantage of the momentum to carry out a quick move aimed at preventing their departure for Egypt. On the morning of December 9, 1963, Peres, then deputy defense minister, and Medan carried a locked case containing a number of documents in English that was based on material supplied by Skorzeny and Vallentin, among others, and flew off for a meeting with one of West Germany’s senior politicians, former defense minister Franz Josef Strauss. The information Peres presented to Strauss was far more detailed and grave than anything that had been presented to the Germans previously. “It is inconceivable that German scientists would help our worst enemy in such a manner, while you stand idly by,” Peres told Strauss, who must have grasped what leaking this material to the international press would mean. Strauss looked at the documents and agreed to intervene. He called Ludwig Bölkow, a powerful figure in the German aerospace industry, and asked for his help. Bölkow sent his representatives to offer the Hellige scientists and engineers jobs under good conditions at his plants, as long as they’d promise not to help the Egyptians. The plan worked. Most of the group’s members never went to Egypt, where the missile program urgently needed their assistance with the balky guidance systems—a development that fatally crippled the project. The final blow came when a representative of Bölkow’s arrived in Egypt to persuade the scientists already working there to come home. One by one, they deserted the program, and by July 1965 even Pilz was gone, having returned to Germany to head one of Bölkow’s airplane component divisions. The German scientists affair was the first time the Mossad mobilized all of its forces to stop what it perceived as an existential threat from an adversary, and the first time Israel allowed itself to target civilians from countries with which it had diplomatic relations. In its 1982 report, the Mossad analyzed whether it would have been possible to resolve the affair using “soft” methods—generous offers of money from the German government to the scientists—without “the mysterious disappearance of Krug, or the bomb that maimed Hannelore Wende, or the other letter bombs and the intimidation.” The report concluded that it would not have been possible. The Mossad believed that without the threat of violence directed at them, the German scientists would not have been willing to accept the money and abandon the project. This story is based on an excerpt from the New York Times best-seller rise and kill first: the secret history of israel’s targeted assassinations (Random House 2018). While writing the book, the author met with 1,000 sources—from Israeli prime ministers and heads of the Mossad to the assassins themselves. He also obtained thousands of new, relevant documents about the Israeli spy agencies. NEWSWEEK.COM 29 Greece’s 30 NEWSWEEK.COM Dirty Secret A PR I L 20, 2018 THE EU HAS CREATED JOBS IN THE COUNTRY’S COAL MINES, BUT AT SERIOUS COST TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT Photographs by ANNA PANTELIA by DANTE A. CIAMPAGLIA BIRD’SEYE VIEW Years of coal extraction have left areas like Ptolemaida, in northern Greece, unrecognizable. “You feel like you’re no longer on Earth,” says Pantelia. “I couldn’t ﬁnd anything to make a connection with, to say, ‘Oh, this reminds me of this thing.’ It’s very sad.” he belching smokestacks of ptolemaida’s coal-ﬁred energy plant are a sign of opportunity for Greeks who lost their jobs after the country’s financial meltdown in 2007. For many others, however, they’re a symbol of the European Union’s hypocrisy. In April 2017, the EU approved new regulations aimed at cutting toxic emissions from burning dirty fuels, such as coal. “Air pollution is the prime environmental cause of premature death in the European Union,” Enrico Brivio, a spokesman for the European Commission, told Reuters. Yet ﬁve months earlier, as part of its continuing austerity measures, the bloc provided Greece with 1.75 billion euros ($1.85 billion) to build two new coal plants. Per The Guardian, they would emit more than 7 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. A major backer: Germany, the EU’s most powerful member and a self-proclaimed green energy leader. “The EU is trying to get everything from poor European countries like Greece and the Balkans,” says photojournalist Anna Pantelia. “Give them all the refugees. Take all the coal from there.” Pantelia, whose work includes photographing Greece’s refugee 32 NEWSWEEK.COM crisis, spent ﬁve days at the Greek Public Power Corp.’s Ptolemaida mine last year documenting the human and environmental toll coal extraction has taken on her nation. PPC has dominated Greek energy production since the 1950s, and over the decades its 625-square-mile mine—which will expand thanks to the EU’s investment—has gobbled up villages, homes and lives in northern Greece and Western Macedonia. Thousands of people have been displaced since 1976, and seven out of 10 deaths in Ptolemaida are due to cancer or thromboembolic disease, according to the deputy regional health manager for Western Macedonia. Yet coal mining has created an estimated 10,000 jobs in a region hard hit by the ﬁnancial crisis. Men employed in mines and plants get guaranteed contracts and salaries (some earn as little as 680 euros ($837) per month, and the dignity of work is enough to set aside the potential hazards of extracting lignite. “I really appreciate these workers, and I know their value,” says Pantelia. But her images are also powerful evidence that there’s more at stake than jobs—even if well-off EU states can’t, or won’t, admit it. A PR I L 20, 2018 GREECE GRAY’S ANATOMY The attitude of the workers Pantelia met is one Americans reeling from the loss of mining and manufacturing opportunities will recognize, and which Pantelia has compassion for. “These men, they haven’t studied anything, and they’re old now,” she says. “They have worked with this company since they were very young. So they won’t ﬁnd any other jobs. They feel like they have security, and they’re happy for that.” NEWSWEEK.COM 33 HELL IS FOR HEROES Greece’s Public Power Corp. was unhappy with how Pantelia presented the mines and their impact, complaining her reportage was one-sided. But the PPC and photographer were in agreement when it came to the workers. “We both believe these people are heroes,” she says. “It’s a very, very difﬁcult job. Even if it wasn’t the pollution, the environment inside the mines is very difﬁcult. I keep telling them I really appreciate the work that they do because they give electricity to the whole country.” 34 NEWSWEEK.COM A PR I L 20, 2018 GREECE OUT OF SIGHT… Because the jobs at the mines provide steady incomes in one of the most distressed regions of Greece, a sense of gratitude can blind the workers to the health risks. “When they don’t see something immediately, they don’t care so much,” says Pantelia. “Nobody can prove that if someone there has cancer, or asthma or strokes, it’s because of the coal mining. They see the money that they get into their accounts every month—they don’t see because of this job they have all these health problems. They believe they would have them wherever they were living.” NEWSWEEK.COM 35 HAUNTED HOUSES Mining and excavation have turned surrounding villages into abandoned wastelands. “I went inside houses, and you could see beds with pillows. You could see paintings. You could see books,” Pantelia says. “Now, it feels like nothing. It’s like all life can be erased that easily.” The image that shocked her the most was a decaying Orthodox church in Charavgi, below, left standing because of the deep ties Greeks have to Christianity. “They destroyed the whole village, but they kept the church. In general, I don’t believe in God, but when I saw this church, I went inside, I felt something.” GREECE COLLATERAL DAMAGE Kostas, above, is a security guard at PPC, as was his father, who died of cancer when Kostas was 12. “Four other men from his shift lost their lives to cancer,” says Pantelia. But he, at least, made a choice to stay. “The inhabitants of the surrounding areas— and the people who lost their houses and have been relocated—didn’t choose to have this life or to have this pollution in their land,” she says. “This is more tragic, if you think about that.” NEWSWEEK.COM 37 SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY + HEALTH H E A L TH Duel in the Sun Tangled government regulations are keeping Americans in the dark about how best to protect themselves from cancer-causing UV light SKIN DEEP An illustration of stage 1 malignant melanoma, meaning the cancer hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. 38 NEWSWEEK.COM wear sunscreen, always. not just at the beach but at all times, even in winter. When it comes to skin care, that Michael Pollan–esque adage is one that we can all agree on: Regular use slows signs of aging and prevents exposure to the harmful ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays that cause skin cancer. But for many Americans, sunscreen remains a fraught subject. Products that use zinc oxide, the most effective barrier between the skin and cancertriggering UV light, usually leave the skin with that chalky white cast sometimes called “lifeguard face.” And products that avoid zinc oxide by using alcohol-based chemicals that the skin more readily absorbs have prompted health concerns that deter many Americans from using them. Sunbathers elsewhere—in France, Japan and Korea—have a lot more options, with access to sunscreens that absorb better, aren’t greasy and don’t leave the face tinted white. Although most American sunscreens offer sufficient protection against sunburn-causing UVB rays, European and Asian formulations come equipped with the chemicals Tinosorb S, Tinosorb M, Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL—filtering agents that also stave off signs of aging and subtler damage caused by UVA rays. Since 1978, sunscreen in America has been regulated as an over-the-counter nonprescription drug, unlike in the European Union, where it’s considered a cosmetic. To qualify as a sunscreen in the U.S., a product must contain no more than three of the 21 filtering agents that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The filters range from chemical blockers like para-aminobenzoic acid, which absorb ultraviolet radiation and convert it into heat energy, to physical blockers such as zinc oxide, which reflect and scatter the sun’s harmful rays before they can penetrate the skin. And because the FDA considers them drugs, any newly invented chemicals for repelling the sun’s dangerous rays BY go through years of testing and evaluation before they IVA DIXIT @ivadixit can hit the market. A PR I L 20, 2018 FROM LEFT: BSIP/UIG/GET T Y; R ALF NAU/GE T T Y Horizons Since 1978, sunscreen in America has been regulated as an overthe-counter nonprescription drug, unlike in the European Union, where it’s considered a cosmetic. NEWSWEEK.COM 39 Horizons Applications for the review of newer sunscreen ingredients often flounder for years—sometimes as long as a decade—in backlogged purgatory at the FDA; the last time a new ingredient was allowed into American sunscreens was 1999. In 2002, the agency established the Time and Extent Applications process to fast-track the review process on new ingredients that were already available and in widespread use overseas, but it resulted in no decisions, frustrating both skin cancer groups and dermatologists. “Even though they’re used by tens of millions of people all over the world,” says Dr. Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, “they’re still not available here.” In 2014, after aggressive lobbying from sunscreen advocates, cancer awareness groups, dermatologists and manufacturers, the Sunscreen Innovation Act made its way through the House and the Senate and was signed by President Barack Obama. The legislation required the agency to clear its decades-long backlog of chemicals under review and report regularly to Congress. It also imposed a 180-day deadline for a decision. The results were not quite what the act’s backers had wanted. By January 2015, the FDA had issued rejections for six of the eight pending applications, and by February, it had denied the remaining two. Its defense was that the act demanded the agency issue only a decision, not an approval. The FDA further claimed that it didn’t have enough scientific information on the effects of the pending molecules when absorbed into the skin to officially recognize them as safe and effective. The agency also insisted on more data from the manufacturers, effectively engineering a stalemate 40 NEWSWEEK.COM HEALTH The Golden Rules of Protection → SPFstands for sun protection factor and deﬁnes how well a sunscreen can prevent UVB rays from causing sunburn or any other damage to the skin. Choose a sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher. → Look for the words “broad spectrum,” The term was purely a marketing ploy until 2011, when the FDA, in an uncharacteristically brisk and effective ruling, began holding manufacturers to stricter standards for UV protections. SPF measures protection against UVB rays only. But if a sunscreen is labeled “broad spectrum,” then it contains agents that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation in proportion. → There is no such thing as a “waterproof” sunscreen. There are, however, water-resistant sunscreens that come in two strengths: effective for 40 or 80 minutes. → Dermatologists advise sticking to the “one ounce, enough to ﬁll a shot glass” rule when estimating how much sunscreen to use. But covering all exposed areas might require more. Sunscreen should also be reapplied every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating. Applications for the review of newer sunscreen ingredients often ﬂounder for years—sometimes as long as a decade— in backlogged purgatory at the FDA. that remains unresolved three years later. In an emailed statement, FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh notes that as of last month, no additional data for these eight ingredients, nor any additional ingredient requests, had been submitted. Some rigor is warranted. The Skin Cancer Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both recommend generous use of sunscreen as a skin cancer prevention aid, advising frequent reapplication every two hours and not just at the beach. Walsh’s email went on to say that sunscreen today is used more frequently and in greater quantities than it was in the 1970s, when sun protection was conscribed to fair-skinned people needing to prevent sunburns during the summer. Back then, the ability of UV-filtering agents to penetrate the skin was not widely recognized. The change in how we use sunscreen, Walsh says, led to questions at the agency about the safety and effectiveness of chemicals that block UV rays. But the FDA refuses to commit to a timeline for ruling on any of the eight pending compounds, and because additional data has yet to be submitted, the agency cannot proceed with its review. That delay may be interfering with our health. According to the most recent data provided by the CDC, 76,665 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2014, and the American Cancer Society estimates that about 91,270 new melanomas—the deadliest form of skin cancer—will be diagnosed in 2018. In a country where skin cancer was declared a public health crisis by the surgeon general, access to advanced sun safety should be widespread. Instead, the sunscreen industry remains frozen in time. A PR I L 20, 2018 LAB CATS Bill Nye the Science Guy, in bow tie in center, leads the March for Science down Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., on Earth Day 2017. POLITICS Election Microscope BILL CL ARK/CQ ROL L C ALL/GET T Y Scientists took to the streets last April. This year, they’re headed to the polls as a biology professor at Yale, Valerie Horsley has commanded the attention of students in lecture halls. But on April 22, 2017, she stood in front of a far larger crowd— 3,000 people—as one of the organizers of the New Haven March for Science. “It might have been the quietest march I’ve ever been to,” she says. “I don’t know if scientists just aren’t used to screaming on the streets.” Even if scientists weren’t making noise last Earth Day, they will be in towns and state capitals across the country come November. Horsley is among more than 50 candidates running in state and local races endorsed by the science-oriented political action committee 314 Action Fund. In the past year, the organization has raised $2 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Its goal: Elect more candidates with serious science cred. Traditional politicians are, of course, perfectly capable of supporting pro-science policies. But 314 Action founder Shaughnessy Naughton believes the expertise of scientists is well suited to legislature. “They are, essentially, problem solvers,” she says. “And when you look at Congress or a lot of state legislatures, we certainly could use more problem solvers and less ideologues.” That need is particularly acute when it BY comes to health-related issues, where st ate KATE SHERIDAN governments can enact @sheridan_kate real change. They run Medicaid and smoking cessation programs; they can implement paid family leave policies beyond federal requirements (a priority for Horsley, if she is elected); and they influence drug prices and energy policies. For example, the Connecticut legislature passed a bill last year that may save consumers money at the pharmacy: formerly pharmaceutical middlemen could try to stop pharmacists from telling customers if paying cash for a drug would cost less than their copay; that practice is now illegal. Connecticut is also participating in a regional cap-and-trade initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The national government has, for several decades, been characterized by stalemate, gridlock, paralysis,” says Adam Myers, a political scientist at Providence College. “Meanwhile, at the state level, we’ve seen a lot of policy dynamism.” As well as the ability to defy the party in power. California, for example, has made strengthened sanctuary city laws as President Donald Trump continues to advocate for a wall along the border with Mexico. At least two other Democrats have filed to run against Horsley in the state Senate primary on August 14, but “I’m going to win,” she says without hesitation. The government job is part time, but she’ll still have to step back from some of her campus responsibilities. Horsley has come to terms with that. “There was this moment during the science march when I had the microphone, and I had the ability to influence thousands of people,” she says. “I could keep being a professor. I could keep running my activist organization. Or I could hold the mic.” NEWSWEEK.COM 41 Culture HIGH, LOW + EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN IT’S YOUR MOVE Babitz, left, spontaneously posed with artist Marcel Duchamp at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1963—a now famous photo by Julian Wasser. The Pleasure of Her Company Eve Babitz was a legendary ’70s It girl and a dishy chronicler of Los Angeles, until the party stopped in the ’90s. She may not be writing anymore, but she still has plenty to say 42 NEWSWEEK.COM Photog raph by J U L I A N W A S S E R BO OK: C OURTESY OF C OUNTER POINT PR ESS; TOP RIGHT: DIA DIPASUP IL/GET T Y BOOKS MASTER OF DISGUISE Neil Patrick Harris ﬁnds inspiration in cheesy places. »P. 48 when eve babitz was a young los angeles Wow, I was wrong about that, wasn’t I? The truth is, socialite, dropping LSD with Yoko Ono at a you have to grow up. As much as I fought it, there it party thrown by Andy Warhol, writing for Rolling is…life. And if you don’t grow up, the world grows up Stone, sleeping with Jim Morrison and, once, playaround you. Then you still have to grow up anyway. ing chess in the nude across from Marcel Duchamp, she was sure she would die before 30. For Babitz, The stories in Black Swans contain anxiety about the point of life was to fill it with as much pleasure the political landscape shifting with Ronald Reagan’s presidency. What did the ’80s and ’90s as possible. “Death, to me, has always been the last represent to you? Was it a wake-up call, and do word in people having fun without you,” she wrote you think we’re in the middle of another? in her first book, Eve’s Hollywood, a collection of short stories published in 1974. Slow Days, Fast To me, the ’80s were all about money—who has it Company: The World, the Flesh and L.A. (1977) and and who doesn’t and why do they and don’t they. People started measuring people by their bank Sex and Rage (1979) followed. After the intoxication of the ’60s and ’70s came accounts. That was very different from anything in the sobriety of the ’80s and ’90s, and Babitz, finding my life. Of course, the world is more somber [now]. herself still very much alive, had something to say I hope we’re in the middle of a wake-up call, or at about it in L.A. Woman (1982), the newly reissued least I don’t know, yet. That’s the scary thing about a wake-up call: You don’t know that it’s happening. Black Swans (1993) and the nonfiction Two by Two: Tango, Two-Step and the L.A. Night (1999). The L.A. of these years was roiled by the tragedy In the story “Free Tibet,” the main character shacks up with of the AIDS crisis and 1992’s race riots. a lover in Hollywood’s Chateau A free-wheeling, quintessentially BY Marmont as the L.A. riots rage Babitz character runs through Black outside. What did that moment Swans’ stories, one that bears a strikMARIE SOLIS signify for you? ing resemblance to Babitz (as do all @msolis14 of her female protagonists). But she When I wrote Black Swans, I felt there is not, as the author carefully notes, was no turning back. The party had autobiographical. “My life and the life of my chargone on for too long, and, like all parties do at the acters are often conflated, but they aren’t the same,” end, the magic goes out. Eventually, the sun comes up Babitz says of her fictive memoirs. “The characters and you look around and see dirty ashtrays, spilled I write about are what I focus on, not my own life. drinks and dead flowers. Of course, I knew that time That belongs to me.” had passed and we had changed decades, life had Babitz hasn’t published a book since 1999, but gone on, but the riots were a defining moment for with each reissue (Black Swans is the sixth) come us, and certainly for people in L.A. Fun was no longer new fans. “I wrote when I had something to write the objective. To me, it seemed the time had come for about,” says the 74-year-old, who still lives in Hollyawareness, grace, respect and dignity. wood and vows never to leave. “Maybe I will again.” Babitz denies she is a recluse—a reputation fueled Your characters often refer to their own beauty by her refusal to make author appearances or even and sexuality, much as your own beauty and sexuality was commented upon. Were you do phone interviews—but she did agree to the folunderestimated or resented for those qualities? lowing email exchange. Oddly enough, I never had any idea of people’s expectations of me. And I don’t know if anyone In your ’70s work, you wrestle with whether it’s resented me because I was a writer. I don’t even possible to live by simply having fun, without having to do the serious work of growing up. Have know if I was beautiful. I just felt like I was…maybe you been able to accomplish that? that’s enough to be beautiful. And, as I’ve said NEWSWEEK.COM 43 Culture many times before, everyone is beautiful when they’re young—that’s the whole point of being young. Would social media have changed your view of yourself? Absolutely! There is no more mystery, no more romance—even that word is probably dead. Everyone looks and dresses alike. Selfishly, I’m glad more people can find my reissued books, but other than that, I hate social media. People don’t know how to talk to each other anymore. I could go on about this forever, but I won’t. How do you feel about your sexual history and list of notable lovers endlessly discussed? Well, by now I’m used to it. I guess it’s my fault, because in Eve’s Hollywood I wrote about it. But, at the time, it didn’t seem like a big deal. It didn’t seem like “history” to me. It was my life. It never occurred to me that my books would be read all these years later. And, remember, those are characters. I still have some secrets! Did you realize the extent to which sexual abuse was an issue when you were younger, among actors, musicians and artists? That was embedded in the culture at the time, on both sides. It was a complicated time, I realize now, but for me, and I’m only speaking for myself, I never wanted anything in exchange. Sex was just it. I was never going to get a record jacket cover or book deal if I slept with anyone. Decades after Sex and Rage, what advice would you give to young women looking to have fun? Be yourself and don’t doubt or second-guess yourself—though I don’t feel I’m in any position to give advice in 2018. It’s not my world anymore. 44 NEWSWEEK.COM MOVIES Lady Shoots the Blue With Blockers, Kay Cannon joins the smallest club in Hollywood: women directing R-rated movies kay cannon was on vacation to her husband and his parents that in Maine when she was offered she wouldn’t work on her first fama new job: directing Blockers, an ily break in six years, so she read the R-rated comedy about parents tryentire script on her phone in the ing to “cock-block” their daughters. middle of the night. It would be her directing debut after It was as funny as some of her favorite boundary-pushing comea decade of writing scripts nonstop, dies. “I will never forincluding three Pitch get my first experience Perfect movies and backwatching American Pie to-back gigs on 30 Rock, BY in a sold-out theater in New Girl and the shortKansas,” says Cannon, lived Netflix series GirlANNA MENTA who doesn’t like the boss. Cannon had sworn @annalikestweets A PR I L 20, 2018 FROM LEFT: COR EY NICKOLS/C ONTOUR FOR PIZZA HU T; LIFEST YLE PI CTURES/ALAMY phrase “raunchy comedy” because it undersells the genre. “Everyone was laughing so hard, and they were so happy when they left the theater. Isn’t that what you want?” If she directed Blockers, she would be adding her name to a very short list of women who have helmed R-rated comedies: Lucia Aniello, for 2017’s Rough Night; Jamie Babbitt, for 2000’s But I’m a Cheerleader; Tamra Davis, for 1998’s Half Baked; and Amy Heckerling, for 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And Cannon did agree to the job, but with extensive caveats, particularly regarding the teenage girl characters. “They were basically interchangeable,” she says. She started updating the script, working closely with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the producers behind Superbad, This Is the End and Sausage Party. “They are amazing at writing male friendships,” says Cannon, but clueless about the kind of jokes or situations that can lead to scathing feminist takedowns. Blockers stars John Cena, Leslie Mann and Ike Barinholtz as parents who uncover a “sex pact” made by their high school daughters to lose their virginity on prom night. “There was a big conversation about consent,” says Cannon. “I said that before one of the girls can take a sip of alcohol, she has to say that she wants to have sex that night. [Some of the male producers] were like, ‘Well, no, they can be partying….’ I was like, ‘No! She has to say it before she has a sip. As soon as she’s drinking, it’s no longer consent. We have to be that clear.’ That was eye-opening for them. Men just don’t have to worry about the things we do.” Cannon also had to point out the “antiquated but still very real” double standards young women face when it comes to sex—issues she wanted the script to address. This included Cannon’s favorite line in the movie, delivered to Cena by his on-screen daughter, who doesn’t understand his obsessive protectiveness: “Why is sex bad?” she asks him. Cannon was told to cut the line; she refused. “I said, ‘No, this is really important to me.’ That’s the question young women are asking their parents: Why is the thought of me having sex so crazy terrifying to you?” With a 4-year-old daughter, Cannon sees both sides. “I’m a progressive parent; my child will have to make her own decisions. However, if Jack from Vanderpump Rules started dating her, I’d lose my mind.” Cannon was coaching track at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, when she started doing improv in Chicago’s comedy scene. She met Jason Sudeikis there and eventually married him; when he landed Saturday Night Live, they moved to New York. Not long after Tina Fey read Cannon’s half-done spec script for an episode of The Office, she was hired as a writer on 30 Rock. (Cannon and “Women laugh at the same things men do. I ﬁnd buttchugging hilarious.” Sudeikis split in 2010; she’s now married to comedy writer Eben Russell.) “I owe Tina everything. I learned to trust my instincts by watching her trust her own,” says Cannon, who then went on to work with Liz Meriwether on New Girl. “I don’t know how Liz will feel about me saying this, but she’s dirty! She’ll go there— as much as she can for a Fox show.” For female creators, going from TV to film is like leaving the oasis for the desert. Cannon is one of three women directing a studio film in 2018, along with Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) and Jennifer Yuh Nelson (The Darkest Minds). That works out to just 3.3 percent of the films from Hollywood’s six major studios. Cannon had thought the turning point for women was in 2015. “We had Spy, Pitch 2, Trainwreck, Hot Pursuit, Mad Max. We broke records with Pitch 2—I was the writer, and Elizabeth Banks directed it. You would have thought that would translate into lists getting longer, more chances for the ladies. But the numbers went down!” Cannon’s seen an uptick in studio interest since the beginning of the year (“Ever since Frances McDormand mentioned inclusion riders” at the Oscars, she claims), but actual jobs offers follow strong box office, and that’s doubly true for women. While it’s doubtful Blockers will make history, like Deadpool or The Hangover (still the top-grossing R-rated comedies of all time), don’t underestimate an underserved audience. “There’s this idea that women don’t find this genre funny,” says Cannon, “but women laugh at the same things men do. I find butt-chugging hilarious.” DRINK UP Barinholtz plays one of three parents attempting to keep a teenage daughter from losing her virginity at the senior prom. NEWSWEEK.COM 45 Culture ART Profiles in Courage With his new show, conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas asks a simple question: Would you stand up for what you believe in? hank willis thomas came across the photo in 2014. The artist, whose work deals with identity, history and popular culture, often employs vintage images in his art. This one, taken in 1936, is of a crowd of Germans in a Homberg shipyard. Adolf Hitler has arrived to christen a ship, and as thousands “Seig Heil” the Führer, one man stands, arms folded, a solitary figure of defiance in a sea of complicity. Willis learned the man’s name, August Landmesser, and that he was married to a Jewish woman. Somehow, Landmesser survived the war, and his gesture, captured nearly 80 years ago, was a spark for “What We Ask Is Simple,” Thomas’s latest show. “What I think about when I look at the photo is that if I had been standing in that place, would I have that cour- STAND UP AND BE COUNTED For his latest show, Thomas, right, in his New York studio, was ﬁrst inspired by a 1936 image of a German man unwilling to salute Hitler. “Refusal,” above, incorporates that image. 46 NEWSWEEK.COM age?” the artist says. “When everyone around me is doing the same thing, would I stand up for what I believe in? That is what this whole body of work is about.” The show, divided between Jack Shainman’s two Chelsea galleries in New York and running through May 12, features 15 works based on photographs of 20th century protest movements around the world. (“What We Ask Is Simple” is a phrase from an American Civil Rights protest sign.) Images include the 1913 funeral procession of militant suffragette Emily Davison; a black 15-year-old who carried the American flag 54 miles through Alabama, from Selma to Montgomery, in BY 1965; members of the American Indian MARY KAYE SCHILLING Movement seizing Wounded Knee in 1973; and South Africa’s 1976 Soweto uprising. In that last devastating work, a black student holds up his arms in supplication as snarling police dogs strain at their leashes. Thomas became familiar with many of these images when he was a child. His mother, Deborah Willis—a photographer, photo historian and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient— worked as a curator at New York’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Thomas spent hours in the archives, as entranced by 20th-century photography as other children are by Legos. When he grew up, he trained as a photographer, and his conceptual work often entails years of patient research. “As my mother’s son, I’m very interested in looking at the past through the lens of the present.” For his 2010 show at the Brooklyn Museum, “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968–2008,” Thomas appropriated ads from the year of Martin Luther King’s assassination through the election of Barack Obama, stripping away text, logos and any branding to showcase how advertising has commodified the African-American male body. He repeated the idea in 2015, this time focusing on white women. That advertising is racist and sexist wasn’t surprising; the revelation was how insidious and political that messaging can be, and how much of it we miss or take for granted. “All my work is about framing and A PR I L 20, 2018 CLO C KWISE FRO M TOP RIGHT: COU RTESY OF HANK W ILLIS THOMAS/JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY; COURTESY OF BEN BROWN FINE ARTS/LEVI MANDEL; COURTESY O F H ANK WI LLI S TH OMAS/JACK SH AI NMAN G ALLERY WHAT LIES BENEATH In Thomas’s “We Want Equal—but...(II),” retroﬂection hides the white mothers picketing desegregation at a Baltimore high school in 1954, below, instead highlighting the heroic black students being escorted by the Reverend James L. Johnson. perspective, history and context,” Thomas says. “And I thought, How do I shine a light on history in a different way, making the moments feel current and allowing a new relationship to them? And then I was looking at this material called retroflective— even the name implies looking back.” The material is the coating commonly used to increase the nighttime visibility of traffic signs and clothing. For the new show, Thomas employed a process of silvering, half-tone “It’s almost like the revelation of the dark room experience, where the images come out of nowhere.” screen printing and 3-D image capture (“I still barely understand how it works,” says Thomas with a laugh) that allows each work to be viewed in multiple ways. When dimly lit, only selected elements or figures, like Landmesser, are visible, surrounded by a ghostly field of white; as the light brightens, or if you take a flash photograph with your phone, the entirety of the original image—its context— is revealed. The retroflective, while dramatically highlighting moments of extreme courage, also, to some extent, allows the viewer to step into the role of image-maker. It isn’t lost on Thomas that the result recalls the dying art of film processing, which began disappearing with digital photography. “For me, it’s partly about making these images fleeting and precious in a way that I used to feel emotionally when I was printing,” he says. “It’s almost like the revelation of the darkroom experience, where the images come out of nowhere.” Thomas’s work often emphasizes the perennial fight for equality, and how perception can trump reality when it comes to change. “What We Ask Is Simple” is certainly timely, as intolerance and extremism surface yet again. And, yes, asking yourself if you have courage is simple enough. It’s the answer that’s hard. You can’t know “until you’re tested,” says Thomas. “It’s often people in the weakest positions who choose to put themselves on the line. And they are so easily erased—some might say whitewashed—and written over.” NEWSWEEK.COM 47 Culture Illustration by B R I T T S P E N C E R P A R T ING SHOT Neil Patrick Harris “he can do it all” gets thrown around a lot, but neil patrick Harris kind of can: comedy, drama, song and dance, game-show hosting. He probably makes a perfect omelet. Among the 94 film and TV roles we’ve counted, Harris highlights include four seasons of starring in Doogie Howser, M.D., beginning in 1989, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in 2008, hosting the Tony Awards four times and playing the dearly lamented Barney on How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014). Currently, Harris is hosting the NBC game show Genius Junior—which pits two teams of smart 8- to 12-year-olds against each other—and starring on Season 2 of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which adapts five through nine of the Lemony Snicket books. As the operatically dastardly Count Olaf, Harris adopts various identities in his frenzied pursuit of the Baudelaire children and their fortune. His favorite disguise this season: a rapping, scatting hipster detective in stretch pants and a straw hat. “A delicious dish,” says Harris, who found inspiration in an unlikely place: “He’s like that Cheetos cat from the commercials. Everything is cool, man, groovy, baby!” “As Olaf’s desperation grows, I get to be even more operatic and pathetic.” Why host a game show? I’ve been trying to do content that can be appreciated by more than one demographic. As a parent myself, I get that time spent in front of a screen is best served together. Parents can watch Genius Junior and feel amazed and ineffective; kids can feel inspired. And, hopefully, kids respond to the celebration of education and take that enthusiasm back to school. During the 2008 writer’s strike, you played another supervillain in Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Any truth to rumors of a reunion? I would be so excited if that were to ever come to pass, but from what I hear, Joss is busy doing other massive, time-sucky, ﬁnancially remarkable endeavors. What about a How I Met Your Mother reunion or reboot? I feel like nine seasons of that show was exactly right. The structure of the show was terriﬁc—a ﬂashback tale that had a conclusion. And the duality of it: the ridiculous comedy, mixed with the heartfelt pathos, intertwined with this mystery we’re trying to unravel. I think we did that. But should there be a reboot, would you participate? I would be hard-pressed to ﬁnd any sort of equation that would equal success. [Laughs.] —Anna Menta A PR I L 20, 2018 Conquest V.H.P.