Mark Almond

Spy State

The Stasi Files: East Germany's Secret Operations Against Britain

By

The Free Press 461pp £20 order from our bookshop

Whether serving democracies or dictatorships, secret services never like opening up the archives. According to a well-known (possibly apocryphal) story, after the revolution in Romania in 1989 a naive Westerner asked the head of the country’s freshly minted post-Communist secret service, restyled the Romanian Information Service, to do just that. ‘Why do you ask me?’ was the spy chief’s response. ‘Aren’t you the head of the Information Service?’ replied the puzzled Westerner. ‘Yes,’ retorted the Romanian. ‘But I get information, I don’t give it out.’

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