Wednesday 31st August 1960 is a day Dalkey Literary, Historical & Debating Society probably don’t like to mention much. That evening the society, based in one of Dublins most affluent suburbs, had as their guest speaker none other than former Nazi commando Colonel Otto Skorzeny.
Skorzeny, dubbed by the US General Dwight D Eisenhower as “the most dangerous man in Europe”, gained widespread notoriety after he organised and lead the raid that freed Benito Mussolini from captivity in 1943. This had seen Skorzeny glide into a mountain top hotel where Mussolini was being held. This was then followed up in late 1944 with an audacious kidnapping of the son of Hungarian dictator Miklos Horty. The captive was used to force Horthy to cede power to the Nazi symapthisers The Arrow Cross that year. After the defeat of Germany Skorzeny spent 3 years in prison camps before escaping in 1948.