Ohio University historian Norman Goda discussed records showing how former Nazi SS intelligence officer Heinz Felfe, who was recruited by the Soviet KGB after the war, was able to join the West German intelligence service set up by the United States. He eventually rose to become chief of the division responsible for surveillance of the Soviets, the records show.The NY Times has more detail from the press conference:
"He was no common mole," Goda said in a press briefing at the National Archives Building. Felfe was in charge of operations against the Soviets while "he took his orders from the Soviets."
Goda said Felfe caused "massive damage ... as large an intelligence disaster as occurred during the Cold War."
Norman J. W. Goda, an Ohio University historian who reviewed the C.I.A. material, said it showed in greater detail than previously known how the K.G.B. aggressively targeted former Nazi intelligence officers for recruitment after the war. In particular, he said, the documents fill in the story of the "catastrophic" Soviet penetration of the Gehlen Organization, the post-war West German intelligence service sponsored by the United States Army and then the C.I.A.Interested? Go buy the book.
Mr. Goda described the case of Heinz Felfe, a former SS officer who was bitter over the Allied firebombing of his native city, Dresden, and secretly worked for the K.G.B. Felfe rose in the Gehlen Organization to oversee counterintelligence — placing a Soviet agent in charge of combating Soviet espionage in West Germany.
The C.I.A. shared much sensitive information with Felfe, who visited the agency in 1956 to lobby for West German involvement in C.I.A. operations, Mr. Goda found. A newly released 1963 C.I.A. damage assessment, written after Felfe was arrested as a Soviet agent in 1961, found that he had exposed "over 100 C.I.A. staffers" and seen that many eavesdropping operations ended with "complete failure or a worthless product."