The Meinertzhagen Mystery
by Brian Garfield
Tall, handsome, charming Col. Richard Meinertzhagen was an accidental British war hero, secret agent, and a dean of international ornitology. His exploits inspired three biographies, his life has been the basis for movies, and Jerusalem dedicated a city square to his memory. Meinertzhagen was trusted by Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, T.E. Lawrence, Elspeth Huxley and a great many others.
But he bamboozled them all. Meinertzhagen was a fraud. Many of the adventures recorded in his celebrated diaries were imaginary, including meeting Hitler while he had a loaded pistol in his pocket, an attempt to rescue the Russian royal family in 1918, and a shoot-out with Arabs in Haifa when he was seventy years old. While he truly was a key player in Middle Eastern events after World War I and represented Zionism's interests in negotiations with Germany in the 1930's, he also set up Nazi front organizations in England, commited a half-century of major and costly scientific fraud, and may have murdered his wife to boot.
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