Spy Trader: Germany's Devil's Advocate and the Darkest Secrets of the Cold War

Spy Trader: Germany's Devil's Advocate and the Darkest Secrets of the Cold War

by Craig R. Whitney
     
 

Wolfgang Vogel was one of the most legendary of the mysterious figures of the Cold War. A meticulous East German lawyer, Vogel moved effortlessly through the Iron Curtain, & masterfully manipulated the back-channel world of spy trading & other covert deals between East & West. Whitney uses Vogels secretive career to create a fascinating, unique view of the Cold War &…  See more details below

Overview

Wolfgang Vogel was one of the most legendary of the mysterious figures of the Cold War. A meticulous East German lawyer, Vogel moved effortlessly through the Iron Curtain, & masterfully manipulated the back-channel world of spy trading & other covert deals between East & West. Whitney uses Vogels secretive career to create a fascinating, unique view of the Cold War — the forces that created it, ended it, & ultimately made Vogel a pariah in the new era that followed. Here Vogel goes public for the first time with the full story of his negotiations on scores of cases from Rudolf Abel & Francis Gary Powers in 1962 to Anatoly Shcharansky in 1986.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Throughout the Cold War, East German lawyer Wolfgang Vogel, now 68, made a career out of brokering spies, political prisoners and dissidents, a unique practice that purportedly led to the release of some 200,000 people. Among his more famous cases were the swapping of Soviet spy Rudolph Abel for downed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in 1962; the 1981 release of East German spy Guenter Guillame, the spy whose presence on Chancellor Willy Brandt's staff led to Brandt's resignation; and mediating the release of Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky in 1986. With the collapse of communism in East Germany, though, Vogel became a target for reformers seeking to punish him for his close association with Communist Party leader Erich Honecker and with the East German secret police, as well as for his wealth (Vogel is one of the communist world's rare millionaires). In this balanced study, Whitney, diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times , thoughtfully conveys the moral ambiguities and complexities of Vogel's brilliant career, a career not unlike that of the Cold War itself. Photos. Author tour. (June)
Library Journal
During the Cold War, East German lawyer Wolfgang Heinrich Vogel acted as the go-between for spy swaps and other confidential exchanges between East and West. While deals involving Francis Gary Powers, Rudolf Abel, and Anatoly Shcharansky made the headlines, more importantly Vogel arranged for the transfer to the West of thousands of East Germans in return for large payments to the East German government. While these activities have been noted before in the news media, New York Times correspondent Whitney offers a much fuller account of Vogel's role. The collapse of the Communist regime led to investigations of Vogel's obvious contacts with the secret police (Stasi and KGB). What is most interesting here are the intricate little details of the negotiations, actual operations, and personalities of officials on both sides, particularly the corrupt East Germans. Recommended as a fast and interesting read, but this is certainly not filled with any ``darkest secrets of the Cold War.'' Index and photos not seen.-- Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Roland Green
For a quarter of a century, Wolfgang Vogel acted as middleman in many major East-West spy trades. He amassed a fortune, may have been a triple agent, and acquired a good many enemies who may now speak out, since, with the end of the Cold War, Vogel's work is no longer necessary, and his various former employers are busily comparing notes. Vogel's is a story of the byways of the Cold War, thoroughly researched and clearly written by a highly qualified senior correspondent of the "New York Times".

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812922219
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/1993
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
375

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