Yaron Svoray bigraphy, stories - Israeli journalist

Yaron Svoray : biography

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Yaron Svoray is an Israeli author and investigative journalist whose six-month infiltration of Germany’s neo-Nazi groups was documented in his book In Hitler’s Shadow, co-written with Nick Taylor.

Svoray's father, Yehuda Sobersky, was born in Germany, and moved to Mandate Palestine with his family in 1938. His mother, Rachel Stern, was born in Egypt and moved with her family to Romania when she was a child. Most of her relatives were killed in the Holocaust, and she fled to Mandate Palestine with some of her family in 1943. Svoray was born in Israel, and was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces. He did his military service in the Paratroopers Brigade, and later worked as a detective in the Israeli Central Police Command.

In the early 1990s, he spent six months in Germany masquerading as a neo-Nazi and infiltrating neo-Nazi groups. Svoray's investigation brought him into contact with key neo-Nazi leaders, and his book revealed a surprisingly large network of seemingly normal middle-class citizens who subscribe to the Nazi platform of racial hatred and superiority, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. In addition Svoray discovered several instances of police collaboration with the extremists. Furthermore, there was evidence that the German groups had managed to forge links with similar groups in South America and the United States.

Svoray’s book In Hitler’s Shadow was later adapted into a 1995 HBO special, The Infiltrator, starring Oliver Platt as Svoray.

To the general public Svoray is probably best known for his hunt of Nazi era diamonds. Svoray’s search was documented on the History Channel’s special Blood from a Stone, which was based on the book, Blood from a Stone, written by Svoray and Richard Hammer and published by the Tor Books division of St. Martin’s Press.

Svoray also wrote the book Gods of Death with screenwriter Thomas Hughes, published in 1997 by Simon & Schuster. The book is a lightly dramatized account of Svoray’s hunt for the source of and sense behind the snuff film he saw while writing his first book. Svoray presented himself as a middleman first for buyers and then for dealers of snuff films, trying to fake his way into the highly secretive industry, at several points running afoul of the Russian mob in Israel and various criminal organizations in the US and Southeast Asia.

Svoray has found a dumping ground for the destroyed remains of Jewish property plundered during Kristallnacht. The dump, situated in a forest in Brandenburg, is the size of four football pitches. It is thought to contain an extensive range of personal and ceremonial items, although only a small number of items have been dug up so far.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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