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Romeo Spies: “honey traps,”

Romeo Spies: “honey traps,”

Romeo Spies  CIA

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle
7 August 1876

Lengthy earlier than the traditions of Valentine’s Day sprang forth, spymasters worldwide used the amorous arts to acquire secrets and techniques from their enemies. Recognized within the commerce as “honey traps,” rivals ensnarled their adversaries on this recreation of affection, lure, and lies. The most effective recognized seductresses was Mata Hari, a Dutch unique dancer convicted of spying for the Germans throughout WWI. She was accused of acquiring her intelligence by seducing outstanding French politicians and officers. Simply the point out of the phrase ‘temptress’ conjures up photographs of Cleopatra or Jezebel; not often does it produce the picture of Casanova. However males too have been used as honey traps to steal secrets and techniques.

After the top of World Conflict II, the East German authorities constructed the Berlin Wall in 1961; dividing East Germany from West Germany. Neither aspect trusted the opposite and each have been anxious to know what the opposite was conspiring. Due to the struggle, many ladies of marrying age had taken jobs in enterprise, authorities, parliament, the army, and the intelligence providers in West Germany, they usually typically had entry to extremely categorized authorities secrets and techniques. With the scarcity of eligible males—one other consequence of the warfare—single West German ladies, longing for male companionship, turned frequent targets for East German male spies who have been solely desirous about them for one factor: secrets and techniques. These males from the East earned the nickname “Romeo Spies.”

four.11.89 Berlin: Demonstration 500.000 Bürger beteiligten sich an einer Demonstration für den Inhalt der Artikel 27 und 28 der Verfassung der DDR. Auf dem anschließenden Assembly auf dem Alexanderplatz ergriff auch der Schriftsteller Markus Wolf das Wort.

The Man with no Face

Markus Wolf was the mastermind behind the East German Romeo Spies. Western officers referred to him as “the man without a face,” since they have been unable to determine him for many years. Wolf was born in Germany however grew up in Moscow, the place he discovered the tradecraft of spying. He returned to Germany and on the age of 30 and have become the chief of the overseas intelligence division of the Stasi, East Germany’s Ministry for State Safety. His mission was to infiltrate West German political, army, and safety establishments. His weapon of selection: males.

“Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?”

The thought of the Romeo spy developed out of practicality. Romeo spies have been an economical strategy to steal secrets and techniques. Wolf believed that one lady with the proper entry and motivation might present extra intelligence than 10 male diplomats. In fact, not simply any man might be a Romeo spy. There was a rigorous screening course of that weeded out 99 % of the candidates. Of these chosen, most have been between 25 and 35 years previous, nicely educated, and had good old style manners, which many ladies discovered irresistible. The lads chosen for this program have been educated in espionage and given false identities, sometimes of a deceased citizen or an immigrant. Then they have been despatched to West Germany with a selected espionage process to finish. As soon as there, they recognized a possible “Juliet” who had entry to the knowledge they have been after. They created an opportunity encounter, started an affair, after which propositioned the ladies to cross them secrets and techniques.

Earlier than being deployed to West Germany, nevertheless, Romeo spies have been warned that they have been prohibited from marrying their belongings, even when they developed real emotions for them, which lots of them did. The Romeo’s true id and intentions would most probably be found: West German authorities carried out background investigations of anybody in search of marriage to an worker of the state who had entry to categorized materials. Subsequently, the Romeos needed to insist that they weren’t the marrying sort.


The ladies the Romeos picked have been all West German residents. Lots of them had upper-middle-class backgrounds and powerful personalities. The bulk have been employed by the federal government once they have been approached by a Romeo. The lads did their homework and knew the likes, dislikes, and vulnerabilities of a specific Juliet previous to establishing an opportunity encounter. Regardless of an promoting marketing campaign by the West warning ladies of those Stasi techniques, many Juliets fell exhausting for the good-mannered, well-intentioned younger males claiming to work for humanitarian organizations.

Initially, a lot of the ladies have been naive concerning the true intentions of their Romeos; nevertheless, most of the time, as the connection developed, Juliet started to suspect that her Romeo was working for the opposite aspect. Most girls weren’t shocked once they have been requested to spy for his or her males (though this proposition virtually all the time occurred in a impartial nation, outdoors West Germany, simply in case the Juliet wasn’t receptive and the Romeo wanted a fast escape).

Whereas there have been many ladies who terminated the connection when requested to spy, by this level within the relationship, some ladies had fallen in love and agreed to spy to maintain their affairs going; some relationships lasted for many years. For these ladies who fell in love with their Romeos, their espionage careers ended when the affairs did. Sometimes a “replacement” Romeo can be deployed, however she would sometimes not settle for him. These ladies spied for his or her one true Romeo, and when that relationship ended, so did the espionage.

Different ladies agreed to spy for love as properly, however not for the love of a Romeo. These ladies fell in love with the thrill of espionage: their Romeos have been simply a part of the method. On this case, these ladies typically would settle for a alternative Romeo if the primary vanished for safety causes.

Dangerous Hair Day

Occasionally, a Romeo would go lacking, captured by the West. For years, the East couldn’t work out how the West was figuring out their males. Seems it was their haircut. The Romeos all had brief and tight cuts, whereas the younger males within the West grew their hair lengthy. When Western counterintelligence officers noticed a person with a brief “do,” they might comply with the suspect and arrest the Romeo at his first mistaken transfer.

Cupid Strikes

The Unique Romeo: The very first Romeo—codenamed “Felix” by the East Germans—was an engineering scholar reluctant at first to desert his research for the pursuit of affection, lies, and secrets and techniques. He was ultimately persuaded and commenced work as a Romeo within the 1950s. He moved to West Germany, the place he devised a plan to satisfy the women who labored on the chancellery. He hung across the bus cease, hoping to have an opportunity encounter with one of many secretaries. His plot was profitable, and he struck up a relationship with a secretary the East Germans codenamed “Norma.” She fell for her Romeo and commenced passing him secrets and techniques from the chancellery. As destiny would have it, Felix additionally fell for the secretary. They moved in collectively and commenced an affair that lasted for a number of years. Alas, their love was to not final. A mole let the East Germans know that Felix had fallen beneath suspicion. He was pulled East instantly. Norma got here house someday after work to an empty condo. She by no means discovered his true id or why he had disappeared with no hint.

The Rebound Romeo: One other unsuspecting Juliet, aged 32, met her Romeo in July 1977 on the banks of the Rhine River—it was love at first sight for the divorcee. Her Romeo was seven years her senior and performed the a part of a scientist employed by a analysis firm dedicated to world peace. The couple turned engaged three months after assembly. This Juliet labored as a translator and interpreter on the American Embassy. She met her Romeo as soon as a month and handed him hundreds of secret paperwork, greater than some other agent in her place. She was head over heels in love with him and by no means questioned him about what he did with the paperwork. Their relationship lasted for 12 years. In 1991, she and her Romeo have been betrayed by a Stasi defector. Romeo later died when his automotive was hit by a practice. In 1996, Juliet went on trial for espionage, throughout which she targeted solely on discovering out as a lot as she might about her real love, inquiring if he had, in truth, actually liked her. She was given a two-year suspended sentence and fined. The presiding decide concluded her “blind adoration” for her Romeo had led her to spy.

The Tremendous-Romeo: The East Germans referred to pick Romeos as “Super-Romeos” for his or her conquests. One such man was an clever, engaging theater director. In 1961, he was despatched to Paris, France, to strategy an interpreter at NATO’s command middle. Three different Romeos had tried and failed. The interpreter was a faithful Catholic who fell for Romeo quantity 4, believing him to be a Danish army intelligence officer. She started passing him NATO secrets and techniques when he got here to Paris to go to her. Ultimately, although, her Catholic upbringing caught up together with her, and she or he suffered from guilt about their affair and her espionage. She felt an awesome want to admit her sins and to marry Romeo if their relationship was to proceed. Romeo dodged the wedding requirement, blaming work. He did, nevertheless, organize for an East German intelligence agent, disguised as a Danish-speaking Catholic priest, to listen to her confession. Juliet confessed her sins to the “priest,” who absolved her from all wrongdoing and inspired her to hold on spying with the blessings of the great Lord.

The Two-Timing Romeo: Some Romeos have been fortunate in love twice. Though not essentially thought-about good-looking, this Romeo was trustworthy. He met his first Juliet in 1960 on the “secretaries’ sandpit” in Paris, so named by the East for the plethora of West German Authorities staff despatched there to study French. Romeo charmed his approach into the guts of a 19-year-old secretary and revealed his true id. Their relationship blossomed and continued for a number of years. At his suggestion, she transferred to the Bonn Overseas Workplace, the place all telegrams from embassies overseas have been deciphered. She would stuff the paperwork into her bag and stroll out of the workplace to satisfy her Romeo.

5 years later, she was transferred to Warsaw, the place the lengthy distance wreaked havoc on their affair. She started consuming closely after which confided in an undercover Bonn agent disguised as a West German journalist. The agent satisfied her to admit her crimes. She did, however first she warned her Romeo, giving him time to flee to East Berlin. The secretary was tried for espionage and acquired a three-year sentence, shorter than the standard as a result of she had cooperated, disclosing particulars of her work with the East.

Romeo escaped and was despatched to the Black Sea in Bulgaria to recuperate. Whereas there, he met a possible Juliet—codenamed Inge by the East. He invented a canopy story and launched himself and commenced an affair. Sadly for him, an article within the newspaper revealed his true id in connection together with his earlier Juliet’s spying. He was pressured to return clear to Inge. She additionally appreciated his honesty, and the connection continued. Since Romeo was persona non grata within the West, Inge needed to journey to East Berlin on weekends. The East paid for her to study French and stenography, and she or he was then capable of land a submit within the chancellery, the place for a number of years she handed details about the interior workings of the management. Inge had a fame as a hard-working secretary amongst her colleagues. Little did they know, she was staying late at night time to photocopy and microfilm paperwork.

Inge was in love together with her Romeo and needed to marry him, so the East Germans staged a wedding. The couple stated their vows, exchanged rings, and signed the marital register. It wasn’t till her arrest in 1977 that she came upon the marriage was a hoax. She was tried for espionage and sentenced to 4 years and three months in jail.

The Excessive-Attaining Romeo: This Romeo managed to seduce probably the most extremely positioned lady in West Germany’s overseas intelligence company. They met in East Germany the place she was engaged on her doctoral thesis. He was disguised as a mechanic. They spent the summer time collectively, after which Romeo revealed his true id. Juliet was fascinated. She returned to West Germany however went east each three months to obtain espionage coaching and to satisfy her Romeo. The couple turned engaged. In 1973, she started working as a political analyst for the West’s overseas intelligence company. When nobody was wanting, she would microfilm paperwork and conceal them in pretend deodorant bottles. Initially, she hid these bottles in the bathroom tanks of trains touring from Munich into East Germany. This was later deemed too dangerous and ineffective, so she as an alternative met a feminine go-between at a Munich swimming pool and handed the knowledge between their altering rooms. Juliet was in love, however not together with her Romeo. She had fallen for the thrill of espionage.

In early 1990, the East realized that unification between East and West was inevitable, in order that they destroyed all documentation of their belongings. Sadly for Juliet, a senior officer betrayed her id to safe immunity for himself. She was arrested in 1990 as she crossed the Germany-Austria border for a last assembly together with her handlers.

“Stop in the Name of Love”

Forty ladies have been prosecuted in West Germany over the course of 4 many years in the course of the Chilly Warfare for committing espionage. They could have been victims of Cupid’s arrow, however they weren’t completely harmless. Nevertheless, many hearts have been damaged, together with these of a number of Romeos who really beloved their Juliets. A number of couples endured the charade, fell genuinely in love, and went on to marry and begin new lives.

Markus Wolf fled to Moscow when Germany reunified. Three years later, he surrendered at a rural border crossing in Bavaria. He was sentenced to 6 years in jail for treason, however the conviction was overturned on the grounds that East Germany had been a sovereign state for which he had been entitled to spy. The identical was true for the Romeos, who have been by no means convicted, though a number of have been apprehended by the West previous to unification

“The ends did not always justify the means we chose to employ,” Wolf wrote in his autobiography, “however, so long as there’s espionage, there can be Romeos seducing unsuspecting Juliets with entry to secrets and techniques. In any case, I used to be operating an intelligence service, not a lonely-hearts membership.”

Wolf died on the age of 83 on the 17th anniversary of the autumn of the Berlin Wall.