Colonel-General Markus Wolf was born into a family of vegetarian nudists in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in 1923. His father, a naturopathic physician-cum-playwright, moved the family to the Soviet Union prior to WWII to escape the persecution of political radicals. After high school, Wolfe was sent to a COMINTERN school in southern Russia where he was taught spycraft and guerilla warfare. At the end of the war he returned to Germany and was soon appointed to head the foreign intelligence wing of the Stasi, the state security service of East Germany. Wolf held this position until 1986 during which time he became known as ‘The Man Without a Face’ as no photograph of him was known to exist. In his 1997 memoirs he commented on the 1986 bombing of La Belle disco in West Berlin.
What did the Americans know, and could they have prevented the bombing? It took less than one day for President Reagan to announce that the United States had definite proof of Libyan involvement. Even if the so-called proof that this was true was merely the result of a Russian tip-off, there were other curiosities. The main organizer of the bombing, a man named Chreidi, had easily traveled back and forth between East and West Berlin during a period of heightened security measures at Checkpoint Charlie. More ominously, PLO sources, quoted in documents kept at the ministry, implied that Chreidi was no mere Libyan terrorist, but in fact in the secret employ of the United States.
Wolf, Markus, and Anne McElvoy. Man without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism’s Greatest Spymaster. New York: Times, 1997. Print.
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