The “Black Book” was what the British called the Sonderfahndungsliste G.B. (“Special Search List Great Britain”), a list of 2820 individuals to be rounded up and placed in “protective custody” by the Gestapo following a German invasion of Britain in World War II. The list was compiled by the RSHA, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (“Reich Central Security Office”). Charged with overseeing the operation was SS officer Frank Six, formerly dean of economics at the University of Berlin. After the war, Six was in prison for unrelated war crimes until 1952.

Many of the British citizens included bragged about their placement on the list, and even their “ranking”, though the list was alphabetical. Among the politicians, authors, and others included were Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Noel Coward, H.G. Wells, E.M. Forster, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, C.P. Snow, Robert Baden-Powell (Boy Scout founder and former intelligence operative), David Low (a cartoonist noded for his satirical depictions of Adolf Hitler), and Lady Astor.

Among the more puzzling inclusions were Bernard Baruch (an American political advisor), Paul Robeson (an American living in Europe), Aldous Huxley (a Brit living in America), and Sigmund Freud (not living anywhere because he was dead). Perhaps the most prominent exculsion was George Bernard Shaw, on the grounds that he had written an essay promoting peace.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Espionage, ed. Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen, 1997.