INGA ARVAD : THE SCANDALOUS SCANDINAVIANBY ANN MARIAGER
Inga Arvad – the Scandalous Scandinavian is a biography of the life and times of the beautiful and adventurous Danish born newspaper columnist in Washington. In 1941-42, she was suspected by the FBI to be a Nazi spy while having a romantic affair with John F. Kennedy, a young ensign at the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Arvad, a former Miss Denmark and world explorer, was a young, enterprising freelance correspondent in Berlin in the mid-30s and covered Hermann Göring’s wedding and interviewed Adolf Hitler twice for Danish newspapers. The Fuehrer called her a “perfect Nordic beauty”. In the Spring of 1936, a Berlin news agency distributed an unfounded news item to American newspapers announcing that Hitler had appointed Inga as his propaganda chief in Denmark. Five years later, this mysterious announcement resurfaced in Washington and dogged Inga Arvad’s life as the U.S. entered WW II.
In a war hysterical Washington, Arvad’s past and her affair with Jack Kennedy raised the FBI’s suspicion and J. Edgar Hoover and his staff embarked on a relentless surveillance of her, encouraged by President Roosevelt’s animosity towards Arvad’s newspaper, isolationist Washington Times-Herald, and Arvad’s connection to blacklisted Swedish tycoon, Axel Wenner-Gren. Young Kennedy was relocated to Charleston, S.C. Their affair continued, closely watched by the FBI.