This week: a model caught up in the Profumo scandal, a hijack hero, and a voice of the Holocaust

THE model Bronwen Astor, who has died aged 87, was the chatelaine of Cliveden, the estate that became notorious as the place where two figures who would become central to one of the biggest scandals of the 20th century met for the first time: John Profumo and Christine Keeler.

Brownen had been one of the most celebrated models of the 1960s and after marrying Bill Astor, the millionaire son of Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in Parliament, became a popular figure in the higher echelons of society. However, the Profumo scandal seemed to end it all: she was shunned by her high-society friends and for the rest of her life seemed to live in the shadow of the scandal.

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Bill Astor never recovered from the affair and died in 1966 following a heart attack. Bronwen went on to establish a religious community which later collapsed in 1974. She then trained as a psychotherapist and ran a respected practice for more than 20 years.

As a model, she had been the muse of the Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain who considered her one of the most beautiful women in the world. In the 1950s, she was also briefly a BBC announcer. She is survived by her two daughters.

THE police officer and commando Ulrich Wegener, pictured, who has died aged 88, was celebrated as a hero when he led a paramilitary unit which ended the hijacking of a plane by Palestinian militants in 1977.

Wegener was the first commander of the GSG-9 unit, created in response to the German security services' failure to prevent the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

GSG-9 gained international renown with the storming of the Lufthansa jet Landshut in Mogadishu, Somalia, without any loss of life among the 86 hostages or commandos.

The GSG-9 was modelled on military units like the SAS, but remains part of the civilian federal police force.

The hijacking was one of a series of attacks in 1977 linked to the Baader-Meinhof Gang or Red Army Faction, the far-left militant organisation. A series of attacks orchestrated by the gang culminated in the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181, a Boeing 737 flying from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Frankfurt. The hijackers demanded the release of 11 Red Army Faction militants.

Born in the village of Jüterborg in the eastern state of Brandenburg, Wegener was the son of an Army officer and was conscripted as a teenager into the German Army during the Second World War. He joined the police in West Berlin in 1952.

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere praised Wegener as an outstanding policeman who did enormous amounts for Germany's security.

THE writer Aharon Appelfeld, who has died aged 85, was an esteemed Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor who became a leading voice in Holocaust literature.

Appelfeld was born in Romania before the rise of the Nazis, lost his mother in the mass murder of Jews during the Second World War and was only reunited with his father 20 years later.

He later rose to become one of Israel's most prolific Hebrew-language writers, even though he only learned the language as a teenager.

He wrote dozens of books which were translated into many languages and received the country's top literary awards.

Acclaimed American-Jewish author Philip Roth called him a displaced writer of displaced fiction, who has made of displacement and disorientation a subject uniquely his own.

Appelfeld is survived by his wife and three children.