The New York Times has just published a nice overview of the life and times of Aline Griffith, one of the greats who helped fight the Nazi’s in World War Two as part of the OSS.
From their overview:
Aline Griffith, a former model from suburban New York City who transformed herself into a dressed-to-kill self-proclaimed spy and Spanish countess, died on Monday in Madrid. She was in her mid-90s.
“I’ve been jailed in Malaga, kidnapped in Madrid and attacked in Switzerland,” the countess was quoted as saying in The Boston Globe in 1987.
She wrote that after being abducted as she was leaving a dinner at a Madrid country-club dinner with high-ranking Nazis in 1944, she shot one of the kidnappers, who turned out to be a double agent. She was uncertain, though, whether she had actually killed him.
“Naturally, I didn’t wait to take his pulse,” she recalled.
She said that before her marriage in 1947 she promised her fiancé, a Spanish nobleman, that she would retire as a spy.
But the job was irresistible. By her account she later traced stolen Nazi art; enlisted Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, in 1966 to help ferret out a Soviet mole who had infiltrated NATO; was assigned to prevent the assassination of King Hassan II of Morocco in 1971; and was dispatched to war-torn El Salvador in the early 1980s
“Espionage becomes like a drug,” she told People magazine in 1990.
For more see:
Model, Countess, Author, Spy: Aline Griffith Is Dead