News & InformationMarkus Wolf was so clever a spymaster that bulking and toning at the same time fact he worked for East Germany, a repugnant regime that rightly disappeared into history's dustbin, never dented the massive ego that had driven his success. He attended elite party schools in the Soviet Union, was trained for east german spies romeos work, returned to Germany as a journalist covering the Nuremburg trials and joined the East Germany spy service at its inception. As the central front in the Cold War, traumatized by Naziism and defeat, with plenty of families and loyalties divided between East and West, Germany was a target-rich environment for espionage. Wolf's foreign intelligence section of east german spies romeos Stasi he claimed not to east german spies romeos involved in its pervasive organs of domestic repression, though critics doubted this ran as many as 4, agents at a time. They penetrated the top ranks of business, government, parliament, the trenbolone acetate douleur injection and the intelligence services in West Germany and beyond. Wolf developed a particularly effective line in "Romeo" spies, handsome men who would befriend lonely secretaries working for senior officials and spymasters.
Romeo Spies — Central Intelligence Agency
She was accused of obtaining her intelligence by seducing prominent French politicians and officers. But men too have been used as honey traps to steal secrets. Neither side trusted the other and both were anxious to know what the other was conspiring. Because of the war, many women of marrying age had taken jobs in business, government, parliament, the military, and the intelligence services in West Germany, and they often had access to highly classified government secrets.
With the shortage of eligible men—another consequence of the war—single West German women, eager for male companionship, became frequent targets for East German male spies who were only interested in them for one thing: Wolf was born in Germany but grew up in Moscow, where he learned the tradecraft of spying.
His mission was to infiltrate West German political, military, and security institutions. His weapon of choice: The idea of the Romeo spy developed out of practicality. Romeo spies were a cost-effective way to steal secrets. Wolf believed that one woman with the right access and motivation could provide more intelligence than 10 male diplomats.
Of course, not just any man could be a Romeo spy. There was a rigorous screening process that weeded out 99 percent of the candidates. Of those chosen, most were between 25 and 35 years old, well educated, and had good old-fashioned manners, which many women found irresistible. The men selected for this program were trained in espionage and given false identities, typically of a deceased citizen or an immigrant. Then they were sent to West Germany with a specific espionage task to complete.
They created a chance encounter, began an affair, and then propositioned the women to pass them secrets. Before being deployed to West Germany, however, Romeo spies were warned that they were prohibited from marrying their assets, even if they developed genuine feelings for them, which many of them did.
West German authorities conducted background investigations of anyone seeking marriage to an employee of the state who had access to classified material. Therefore, the Romeos had to insist that they were not the marrying type. The women the Romeos picked were all West German citizens. Many of them had upper-middle-class backgrounds and strong personalities.
The majority were employed by the government when they were approached by a Romeo. The men did their homework and knew the likes, dislikes, and vulnerabilities of a particular Juliet prior to setting up a chance encounter. Despite an advertising campaign by the West warning women of these Stasi tactics, many Juliets fell hard for the good-mannered, well-intentioned young men claiming to work for humanitarian organizations.
Initially, most of the women were naive about the true intentions of their Romeos; however, more often than not, as the relationship developed, Juliet began to suspect that her Romeo was working for the other side. While there were many women who terminated the relationship when asked to spy, by this point in the relationship, some women had fallen in love and agreed to spy to keep their affairs going; some relationships lasted for decades.
For those women who fell in love with their Romeos, their espionage careers ended when the affairs did. These women spied for their one true Romeo, and when that relationship ended, so did the espionage. Other women agreed to spy for love as well, but not for the love of a Romeo. These women fell in love with the excitement of espionage: In this case, these women often would accept a replacement Romeo if the first vanished for security reasons.
From time to time, a Romeo would go missing, captured by the West. For years, the East could not figure out how the West was identifying their men.
Turns out it was their haircut. The Romeos all had short and tight cuts, while the young men in the West grew their hair long. He was eventually persuaded and began work as a Romeo in the s. He moved to West Germany, where he devised a plan to meet the ladies who worked at the chancellery.
He hung around the bus stop, hoping to have a chance encounter with one of the secretaries. As fate would have it, Felix also fell for the secretary. They moved in together and began an affair that lasted for several years. Alas, their love was not to last. A mole let the East Germans know that Felix had fallen under suspicion.
He was pulled East immediately. Norma came home one day after work to an empty apartment. She never learned his true identity or why he had disappeared without a trace. Another unsuspecting Juliet, aged 32, met her Romeo in July on the banks of the Rhine River—it was love at first sight for the divorcee. Her Romeo was seven years her senior and played the part of a scientist employed by a research company devoted to world peace.
The couple became engaged three months after meeting. This Juliet worked as a translator and interpreter at the American Embassy. She met her Romeo once a month and passed him thousands of secret documents, more than any other agent in her position.
She was madly in love with him and never questioned him about what he did with the documents. Their relationship lasted for 12 years. In , she and her Romeo were betrayed by a Stasi defector. Romeo later died when his car was hit by a train. In , Juliet went on trial for espionage, during which she focused solely on finding out as much as she could about her true love, inquiring if he had, in fact, really loved her.
She was given a two-year suspended sentence and fined. One such man was an intelligent, attractive theater director. Three other Romeos had tried and failed. The interpreter was a devoted Catholic who fell for Romeo number four, believing him to be a Danish military intelligence officer.
Eventually, though, her Catholic upbringing caught up with her, and she suffered from guilt about their affair and her espionage. She felt an overwhelming desire to confess her sins and to marry Romeo if their relationship was to continue. Romeo dodged the marriage requirement, blaming work. He did, however, arrange for an East German intelligence agent, disguised as a Danish-speaking Catholic priest, to hear her confession. Some Romeos were lucky in love twice. Although not necessarily considered handsome, this Romeo was honest.
Romeo charmed his way into the heart of a year-old secretary and revealed his true identity. Their relationship blossomed and continued for several years. At his suggestion, she transferred to the Bonn Foreign Office, where all telegrams from embassies abroad were deciphered. She would stuff the documents into her bag and walk out of the office to meet her Romeo. Five years later, she was transferred to Warsaw, where the long distance wreaked havoc on their affair.
She began drinking heavily and then confided in an undercover Bonn agent disguised as a West German journalist. The agent convinced her to confess her crimes. She did, but first she warned her Romeo, giving him time to flee to East Berlin.
The secretary was tried for espionage and received a three-year sentence, shorter than the usual because she had cooperated, disclosing details of her work with the East. Romeo escaped and was sent to the Black Sea in Bulgaria to recover. While there, he met a potential Juliet—codenamed Inge by the East. He invented a cover story and introduced himself and began an affair. He was forced to come clean to Inge. She also appreciated his honesty, and the relationship continued. The East paid for her to learn French and stenography, and she was then able to land a post in the chancellery, where for several years she passed information about the internal workings of the leadership.
Inge had a reputation as a hard-working secretary among her colleagues. Little did they know, she was staying late at night to photocopy and microfilm documents. Inge was in love with her Romeo and wanted to marry him, so the East Germans staged a marriage. The couple said their vows, exchanged rings, and signed the marital register. She was tried for espionage and sentenced to four years and three months in prison. They met in East Germany where she was working on her doctoral thesis.
He was disguised as a mechanic. They spent the summer together, after which Romeo revealed his true identity. She returned to West Germany but went east every three months to receive espionage training and to meet her Romeo. The couple became engaged. When no one was looking, she would microfilm documents and conceal them in fake deodorant bottles. Initially, she hid these bottles in the toilet tanks of trains traveling from Munich into East Germany.
This was later deemed too risky and ineffective, so she instead met a female go-between at a Munich swimming pool and passed the information between their changing rooms. Juliet was in love, but not with her Romeo. She had fallen for the excitement of espionage. In early , the East realized that unification between East and West was inevitable, so they destroyed all documentation of their assets. Unfortunately for Juliet, a senior officer betrayed her identity to secure immunity for himself.
She was arrested in as she crossed the Germany-Austria border for a final meeting with her handlers.