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My Father, the Spy – A Family Story (Mother was Also a Spy) – A Conversation with Les Fossel, Jr. at the Camden Public Library

Sunday, March 24 @ 2:00 pm 4:00 pm

Join us for this unique event presented in partnership with the Camden Public Library and the Camden Conference, featuring Les Fossel, Jr., as he shares the remarkable story of his parents’ involvements in America’s first spy agencies during World War II. This event will take place on SUNDAY, March 24, at 2:00 p.m. in the Camden Public Library and on Zoom.

Before there was the CIA there was the OSS, and before the OSS there was the COI – the Coordinator of Information, established under President Franklin Roosevelt as the first American spy agency in WWII – and Les Fossel, Sr. was present at the creation. He was one of the first ten members of the new agency that would morph into the Office of Strategic Services in 1942. Fossel ran the Scandinavian operations of the OSS and was awarded the King Haakon Freedom Cross by the king of Norway after the war. Meanwhile his wife-to-be, Virginia Van Brunt, smuggled the first photos of Nazi concentration camps out of Germany.

“My parents ran towards trouble,” said Les Fossel, Jr. who will tell his parents’ stories in what promises to be a fascinating afternoon at the Camden Public Library in the Picker Room on Sunday, March 24 at 2:00 pm.

This is a hybrid event and will take place in person at the Camden Public Library and on Zoom. Join us in person to participate in the full discussion. To attend on Zoom, register here: https://bit.ly/lesfosselCPL

“I cannot prove everything in Dad’s resumé,” Fossel said, “but it is quite likely the truth.”

Some of the items in that resumé: Fossel, Sr. lived with Trigve Lie in London during the war; Lie would become the first Secretary General of the United Nations. Fossel served in the fledgling OSS under General William “Wild Bill” Donovan; may have conducted secret negotiations with high-ranking Nazi officials over an early peace deal; and apparently knew how close the Nazi regime came to developing the first atom bomb.

Fossel hopes that his talk will attract people who might be able to flesh out his father’s story through discussion, questions, and curiosities that may further connect the dots. Camden has been a favorite retirement community for former State Department and CIA employees, some of whom organized the first Camden Conference in 1987. Curiosities, questions, connections, and your own stories are welcome.

Fossel encourages anyone attending the event to view the following associated materials beforehand.