Guillaume, Gunter

   One of the KGB’s greatest successes in the Cold War was the infiltration of an agent of influence into the West German chancellor’s inner circle. Guillaume, whose cover was that of a dedicated socialist who had defected from East Germany, became Willy Brandt’s personal assistant and alter ego. His wife, Christl, was a no less important agent, serving as Brandt’s private secretary. As Brandt, who served as chancellor from 1968 to 1974, moved the West German regime toward full diplomatic relations with East Germany, the Guillaumes reported every move to their masters in Moscow.
   To what degree Guillaume influenced Brandt is open to debate: the German chancellor had already decided to push rapprochement with the East before his association with the Gillaumes. There is no doubt, however, that they were important agents with access to German and NATO secrets, and their information helped Moscow carefully craft its policy toward Germany. Following their betrayal by a Soviet defector, Guillaume was sentenced to 13 years in prison, his wife to nine. Both were later traded for Western agents.
   The Guillaume case became—paradoxically—a defeat for the KGB. Following the Guillaumes’ arrest, Brandt was forced to resign, and his policy was attacked as naïve at best and treasonous at worst by his opponents on the right. The net result was that Moscow lost the one West German politician able to push rapprochement with the East.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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