Shortly after the end of World War II in September 1945, Robert Maxwell (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch) was transferred from the British Army to the Berlin headquarters of the UK’s Foreign Office (FO). It’s not long before the FO suspects there is a problem with him and launches an investigation (exact date unknown).
Reports of Maxwell’s suspicious activity and ties to foreign intelligence agencies begin hitting the FO’s covert Information Research Department (IRD) by the end of 1949, if not years earlier. At the time of this writing, there is not a clear timeline of the investigations, which the department files under “Captain Ian Maxwell.”
The files describe Maxwell as “a thoroughly bad character and almost certainly financed by Russia.”
After the former Mirror newspapers chief and ex-Labour MP died at sea on November 5 1991, there was widespread speculation that he might have been a double or even a triple agent…
Correspondence between various members of the IRD reveal that the Czech-born Maxwell had been considered to be a suspicious figure directly after the Second World War, when Maxwell, then a lieutenant in the British Army, was working for the British Control Commission in Berlin – an allied administrative body.
Digby Ackland, of the IRD, wrote in a 1959 report that “Capt Maxwell’s questionable activities have been brought to the notice of the Foreign Office on several occasions over the past 10 years”.The Telegraph
Maxwell, father of Ghislaine Maxwell, joined the Czechoslovak Army on May 13, 1940, and was transferred to the British Army three years later after protesting against Czech military leadership. By 1946, he was serving in the press department in the Berlin headquarters of the UK’s Foreign Office.
At some point in the ’40s, Maxwell became friendly with the Land of Israel, Czechoslovak communist leaders, and very likely Soviet Russia. Maxwell’s friends at the Foreign Office began investigating him around 1946.
In late 1947 or early 1948, he covertly smuggled aircraft parts into Israel, giving them a leg up in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1947-1949 War of Independence.
Israel’s sudden air superiority played a major role in Czechoslovakia’s decision to provide them with weapons, jets, and other military aid in Operation Balak. Officials later say that the war might have been impossible without Czechoslovakia’s help — and therefore, Robert Maxwell’s help.
Russia publicly announced its support for the partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel in May 1947, but Stalin was quietly supporting Israel’s efforts as early as 1944. He believed that the new country would improve his efforts to diminish Britain’s influence in the Middle East.
By the time of his death, Robert Maxwell is known to have worked for he Czechoslovak Army, the British Army, the British Foreign Office, and the Semion Mogilevich Organization; he’s also believed to have worked for the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Israel’s Mossad, and likely the KGB.
After his death, he is buried in Israel. Six Israeli intelligence leaders and Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir attend his funeral. Shamir eulogizes Maxwell and compares him to a hero. Maxwell, Shamir says, “has done more for Israel than can today be told.”
The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus and Mark Aarons
1948 Arab-Israeli War, Archived
Maxwell’s Czech military join date, Archived
Telegraph – F.O. Investigations, Archived
Israel-Russia Relations, Archived