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You're reading: Kseniya Kirillova: In the footsteps of Schellenberg

At the end of May, an interesting article about the methods that German agents working abroad used on the eve of and during World War II appeared on one of the Ukrainian websites. The source for this article is “Total Espionage,” a book by German journalist Kurt Riesz.

Quite a lot of attention in the article is paid to the activities of Walter Schellenberg in America, starting with anti-war rallies under the slogan “America first” and ending with the establishment of a spy network.

“Domestic help, grocery store clerks, hairdressers, nurses, chauffeurs, opera singers, accountants – they all sent weekly reports to regional offices. Even fakes, gossip and anecdotes weren’t beneath them. Schellenberg put everything to work. Snatches of overheard conversations led to the disclosure of a major business transaction, helped assess the morale of the army and the people, or divulge the exact departure date of a ship with a strategic cargo… Shellenberg’s efforts were so successful that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels stated that there is nothing easier than “organizing a fascist coup in the United States,” the article says.

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