Former Nazis in German Intelligence Politics: The Exposure of Moles and Reckless Decision Making, 1959–1962

Danny Orbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The early history of the postwar West German foreign intelligence service is replete with accounts of former Nazi security officers who were recruited by the newly founded service thanks to their professional experience, connections, and anti-Soviet credentials, only to later be exposed as Soviet moles. Focusing on the case of Heinz Felfe, this article puts forward the argument that the reaction of a secret service to the impending exposure of moles can be even more harmful than their actual activity. Enemy moles in intelligence organizations are dangerous in more than one way. They cause damage, of course, when they operate in the dark, but also cause just as much, and even more, damage when exposed. The fear of public scandal incentivizes irrational behavior, aggravating rather than decreasing the dangers facing the service.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20-40
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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