STREAMING PROGRAM INFORMATION
- This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
- Platform: Zoom
- Online registration is required.
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
In the mid-1930s just as the United States was embarking on a policy of neutrality, Nazi Germany launched a program of espionage against the unwary nation. Hitler attempted to interfere in American affairs by spreading anti-Semitic propaganda, stealing military technology, and mapping U.S. defenses.
In a fascinating illustrated presentation, historian Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones offers insights into the role of espionage in shaping American perceptions of Germany in the years leading up to the country’s entry into World War II and sheds light on a significant episode in the history of international relations and the development of the FBI.
Using recently declassified documents, he examines how Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Abwehr, was able to steal top-secret American technology, such as a prototype codebreaking machine and data about the latest fighter planes.
He gives a special focus to Leon Turrou, the FBI agent who helped bring down the Nazi spy ring in a case that quickly transformed into a national sensation. The arrest and prosecution of four members of the ring was a high-profile case with all the trappings of fiction: fast cars, louche liaisons, a murder plot, a Manhattan socialite, and a ringleader codenamed Agent Sex. He examines how the rise and fall of Turrou, whose talent was matched only by his penchant for publicity, was an essential part of the breaking of the Nazi spy ring.
Jeffreys-Jones is emeritus professor of history at the University of Edinburgh. His book The Nazi Spy Ring in America (Georgetown University Press) is available for sale.
Book Sale Information
Listen to the Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones interview on the Not Old Better podcast with host Paul Vogelzang.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.