It has always amazed me how such a small island can attract people of such historical prominence. You will read in today’s newspaper about two people who lived on the island in the 1950s who were both involved in major headline-grabbing operations during the Second World War (on opposing sides) and it is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many others from top writers to leading spies.
Tomas Harris was a British spy who worked alongside Juan Pujol Garcia, alias Garbo, who managed to dupe the Germans into believing that the D-Day landings would take place in Calais rather than Normandy. “Garbo” was a double agent, he was Spanish and he had escaped to Britain from occupied Europe. Harris was his “handler” and their D-Day deception probably saved the lives of thousands of allied troops. He died in Majorca in the early 1950s, in a road traffic accident, under suspicious circumstances. There are claims that he was a Soviet agent but this has never been confirmed.
Harris lived in Camp de Mar. Up in Alcudia, almost at the same time, lived Otto Skorzeny, a ruthless Nazi sympathiser, who masterminded one of the most successful and daring special forces raids of the Second World war, the mountain top rescue of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, on Hitler’s orders. Like Harris, there are plenty of claims about Skorzeny, from his involvement in the Odessa group which smuggled Nazis out of Germany at the end of the war, to his espionage activities working with the CIA and even Mossad.