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

Craig R. Whitney, Author
Craig R. Whitney, Author Crown Publishers $25 (375p) ISBN 978-0-8129-2221-9
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 978-0-8129-2461-9
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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)
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