Today I would like to devote my post to the most famous and prolific spies who changed our history. I would like to tell you some words about those who influenced the course of events being power brokers. Not many could imagine themselves at the time who these people actually were and how influential their actions turned out to be. To tell the truth I do not know much about them and that’s why it would be kind of research for myself as well. So I would like to focus my attention on two spies I have heard about but do not know about them pretty much.
So let’s start from Mata Hari. Her name is well known and seemed to be very familiar to me for a long period of time. But what did she do in reality? Well, actually she was an exotic dancer and…a lady of easy virtue. Her actual name was Margaretha Geertruida (Grietje) Zelle but later she changed it to Mata Hari that means “Eye of the Dawn”. And by the way she pretended to be a princess of Java. She started her career as a dancer after divorce and later she became a mistress and courtesan to influential and significant politicians and even military men. Evidently from that time she started her espionage career gathering intelligence. The point is that she was Dutch and during the World War I the Netherlands kept neutral. That’s why she could easily cross the borders and it attracted attention of the Allies. It is still unknown whether she spied for Germany or for France during World War I. Her personality later served as a prototype of femme fatale image exploited in literature and cinema of the time. Unfortunately she came to no good and was executed by firing squad in 1917 for spying ostensibly for Germany. She was mysterious woman indeed and recognized as influential one.
The less we know about people the more they attract our attention and intrigue arousing interest in their lives. It concerns the personality of the most gifted and talented spy of the 20th century. His name was Richard Sorge, who was communist spying for the Soviets. His second identity was a professional journalist. Richard Sorge worked during the World war II and spied for the Soviet Union mainly in Japan operating under the cover of Nazi reporter. This outstanding man was ideologically oriented person and obviously this could explain his bravery and fearlessness. All his warnings about different military actions and missions were simply ignored by Stalin as well as by Communist Party. If they had paid attention and taken to heart all his reports then there would have never ever been Pearl Harbor attack, Fascist invasion of territories of the Soviet Union and many other war attacks. In 1944 Richard Sorge was captured and arrested by Japanese army and he was executed never revealing his actual identity and the fact he had been spying for the USSR. His capture was a mistake which cost him his life. He just didn’t destroy a note warning he had been watched. This note served as a evidence of his espionage activity.
There were many other outstanding and skilled spies of the 20th century who deserve our attention. Maybe later I would write about them also. But these two changed our history undoubtedly.