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Hermann Kastner (1886-1956)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Hermann Kastner (1886-1956)

Description: Hermann Kastner (Code Name: Helwig; 1886-1956), at right, Deputy Prime Minister of East Germany, who, for years, secretly supplied reports on East German (Soviet) cabinet meetings and other sensitive information to Reinhard Gehlen (April 3, 1902-June 8, 1979), German officer, who served as chief of German Military Intelligence on the Eastern Front during WWII. Following the war, Gehlen surrendered to U.S. forces, offering the U.S. his intelligence services. He was accepted and established a spy network directed at the Soviet Union in Germany and elsewhere, which was known as the Gehlen Organization. He later headed West German Intelligence (BND), becoming the first President of its Federal Intelligence Service in 1968. Gehlen was a methodical and effective spymaster, who served his own ends well. In the closing months of WWII, knowing Germany would lose that war, Gehlen had all of his extensive archives that dealt with the Soviet Union put on microfilm and later turned over those archives (fifty steel boxes), along with his top experts, and himself, to U.S. Military Intelligence, so that, by the beginning of the Cold War, West Germany and the U.S. had a deep portrait of Soviet Intelligence. Funded with $7 million by the U.S., the Gehlen Organization controlled tens of thousands of paid spies in Eastern Germany, then under Soviet control, with Gehlen correlating and evaluating all their information, many of these secret agents holding high-level positions within Soviet Intelligence. Gehlen identified SMERSH as the assassination arm of the KGB and helped the CIA to dig the Berlin Tunnel, where West German, U.S. and Allied intelligence agencies could electronically monitor Soviet activities in East Berlin. Gehlen and his organization was severely damaged in 1963 when it was exposed that one of his top agents, Heinz Felfe, was a double Soviet agent working in Gehlen's headquarters. In 1968, Gehlen resigned and retired, but remained an adviser to Western Intelligence agencies.

Category: Intelligence

Keywords: Hermann Kastner, Deputy prime ministers, East Germany, cabinet meetings, Reinhard Gehlen, Gehlen Organization, West German Intelligence, BND, CIA, Central Intelligence Agency, KGB, Soviet Intelligence, SMERSH, Berlin Tunnel, Heinz Felfe, spymasters, spy networks, spy organizations, spies, spying, espionage, Intelligence, German Military Intelligence, secret agents, Soviet Union, Soviet Russia, East Germany, West Germany, United States

Orientation: Landscape

Dimensions: 1650 x 945 (1.56 MPixels) (1.75)

Print Size: 14.0 x 8.0 cm; 5.5 x 3.1 inches

File Size: 4.49 MB (4,710,702 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000004561

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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