Albert Jolis

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Person.png Albert Jolis   PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(spook, businessman)
Albert Jolis.png
Born1912
Died2000 (Age 88)
Member ofInternational Rescue Committee/Directors and Overseers
Diamond dealer with Oppenheimers, OSS and CIA ties.

Albert Jolis was a diamond dealer with ties to US intelligence. He was a close friend of George Orwell.

Background

R. Harris Smith describes Jolis as an international jeweler and ex-journalist of Belgian descent.[1] According to Edward Jay Epstein;

His father, Jac Jolis, had once worked for De Beers, and for three generations the Jolis family had a close business relationship with the Oppenheimers.[2]

The younger Jolis had close ties to the Ernest Bevin wing of the Labour Party.[3]

OSS

In January 1945, he was serving as assistant chief of the Secret Intelligence (SI) branch of the Office of Strategic Services in Paris. Along with Arthur Schlesinger, he rejected Noel Field's proposal to use Soviet backed exiles to infiltrate Germany.[4]

International Rescue Committee and CIA

After World War Two, Jolis was recruited to the board of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) by Sheba Strunsky, "a very close personal friend". He recruited Arthur Schlesinger to the board in 1947.[5]

In a letter to Arthur Koestler on 19 March 1946 George Orwell wrote that "Bert Jolis is very much of our way of thinking”. They were planning to set up an anti-totalitarian League and Orwell had been talking to an American acquaintance about the sister organisation in the USA, the International Rescue Committee.[6]

Jolis served as a CIA operative during some of the agency's earliest years, and was seriously considered for a job as the CIA's liason with Averell Harriman in 1950.[7]

When the IRC's Leo Cherne sought a meeting with incoming CIA director Allen Dulles in 1953, Dulles said he had already been receiving reports on the committee's work from Jolis and another OSS veteran on the board, William Casey.[8]

Diamonds

According to Edward Jay Epstein:

in the late 1940s, Sir Ernest had encouraged Jolis's father to establish a diamond-cutting factory in Los Angeles, and he had promised him a supply of uncut diamonds for the venture. Then, without any prior warning, Oppenheimer decided against the Californian venture and refused to provide any diamonds for it. No explanation was ever tendered, and the Jolis family was expected to take the loss without asking any questions.[2]

Determined to break his family's dependence on De Beers, Jolis' firm, Diamond Distributors, Inc., or DDI, won a concession in the French African colony of Ubangi, later the Central African Empire, and established diamond-buying offices in Venezuala and Brazil.[2]

After Portugal withdrew from Angola in 1975, Jolis negotiated a concession with Kalandala Chipanda, the natural resources minister in the transitional government. However, the deal fell through when Unita, of which Chipanda was a member, was ousted from the government at the outset of the Angolan Civil War.[2]

In 1977, Central African dictator Jean-Bédel Bokassa declared himself emperor and asked Jolis, to present him with a diamond ring. Jolis succeeded in passing off a $500 dollar diamond as a $500,000 stone.[9]

Anti-Communist front organizations

In the early 1980s, he helped to create the American Foundation For Resistance International and the National Council to Support the Democracy Movements along with Jeane Kirkpatrick, Vladimir Bukovsky, Martin Colman, Richard Perle, Midge Decter and others. The aim of Resistance International was to coordinate the activities of anti-communist movements in the Socialist bloc.


References

  1. R. Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Intelligence Agency, University of California Press, 1972, p.228.
  2. a b c d Edward Jay Epstein, Chapter Nineteen - The War Against Competitors, The Diamond Invention, edwardjayepstein.com, accessed 16 August 2012.
  3. R. Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Intelligence Agency, University of California Press, 1972, p.228.
  4. R. Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America's First Intelligence Agency, University of California Press, 1972, p.228.
  5. Eric Thomas Chester, Covert Network, Progressives, the International Rescue Committee and the CIA, M.E. Sharpe, 1995, p.61.
  6. https://books.google.com.au/books/about/A_Clutch_of_Reds_and_Diamonds.html?id=OYl3AAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y
  7. Eric Thomas Chester, Covert Network, Progressives, the International Rescue Committee and the CIA, M.E. Sharpe, 1995, p.61.
  8. Eric Thomas Chester, Covert Network, Progressives, the International Rescue Committee and the CIA, M.E. Sharpe, 1995, p.117.
  9. What are the most famous diamonds?, Baunat, accessed 16 August 2012.
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