John, Otto

   One of the most bizarre—and still unresolved— stories of the Cold War is the defection of Otto John. John was a member of the German resistance and was able to flee to neutral Portugal after the failed assassination of Adolf Hitler in July 1944. John made his way to London and cooperated with British intelligence. Following World War II, he helped the Western Allies in their prosecution of German war criminals.
   In 1950 John became head of the BfV (Bundesamt fur Verfassungschutz), West Germany’s new counterintelligence service. But he became increasingly discouraged with West German rearmament and the employment of former Nazi officials. He shared his feelings with friends, who happened to be agents of the MGB, the Soviet Ministry of State Security. John was offered the opportunity to meet with senior Soviet officials, and on 17 June 1954 he crossed into East Berlin. He appeared at a news conference a few days later to say that he had voluntarily entered East Germany and intended to remain in the East. Over the next few months, he traveled to the Soviet Union to be debriefed by the MGB. John, however, was not a happy defector, and the East Germans and the Soviets agreed to allow him to redefect to the West. On 12 December 1954, John was spirited out of East Germany by friends who may or may not have been in the pay of the Stasi, the East German security service. Tried by a West German court, John was sentenced to four years in jail. He spent the rest of his life trying to get his reputation back, claiming that he was not a defector but had been kidnapped and drugged. On five occasions he unsuccessfully sought to have the German higher courts quash the verdict, and the John Case became a West German equivalent of the Alger Hiss case in the United States. Shortly before his death, he flew to Moscow in an effort to get documents that would prove his innocence.
   The most recent accounts of the case seem to reach a verdict of “not proven.” The documents do not definitely prove that John entered the East Zone on his own volition. He did not give the MGB the names of any BfV agents. On the other hand, conservative Germans believe that his work in the war suggested he was a man capable of changing sides all too easily. One also can make the argument that angry about the decisions being made in Bonn, he decided after a few too many drinks to try a little individual diplomacy and the initiative went horribly wrong.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Otto — Datos generales Nombre real John Everett Otto Nacimiento 22 de marz …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Otto — John Otto, 2006 John Otto (* 22. März 1977 in Jacksonville, Florida als John Everett Otto) ist ein US amerikanischer Rockmusiker und Schlagzeuger der Nu Metal Band Limp Bizkit. Leben John Otto spielt seit seinem 17. Lebensjahr …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Otto — may refer to:* John Otto (drummer), an original member of the band Limp Bizkit * John Otto (FBI acting director), the acting director of the FBI in 1987 * John Otto (park ranger), the first superintendent at Colorado National Monument * John Otto …   Wikipedia

  • John Otto — est un musicien américain. Il est né en 1977. Connu en étant membre du groupe Limp Bizkit comme batteur. Il est le cousin du bassiste du groupe Sam Rivers. Biographie Il grandit comme son cousin Sam Rivers à Jacksonville, Floride. Il grandit en… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Otto (drummer) — John Everett Otto (born March 22, 1977 in Jacksonville, Florida) is the drummer and an original member of the band Limp Bizkit. Limp BizkitOtto, along with his cousin Sam Rivers, and Fred Durst, founded Limp Bizkit in 1994. What started as a… …   Wikipedia

  • John Otto (park ranger) — John Otto (December 30 1870 June 19 1952) was the first park superintendent at Colorado National Monument, and had been a key advocate for its creation and its later inclusion in the National Park Service.A self professed trailbuilder described… …   Wikipedia

  • John Otto (radio personality) — John Otto (1929 1999) was a radio talk show host in Buffalo, New York. He began his broadcasting career in the 1940s, and hosted programming at three Buffalo radio stations; WBNY 1400 AM (which has since changed call signs), WGR, and WWKB. He… …   Wikipedia

  • John-Affäre — Otto John, 1954 Otto John (* 19. März 1909 in Marburg; † 26. März 1997 in Innsbruck) war von 1950 bis 1954 der erste Präsident des Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz in der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otto John — Otto John, 1954 Otto John (* 19. März 1909 in Marburg; † 26. März 1997 in Innsbruck) war von 1950 bis 1954 der erste Präsident des Bundesamtes für Verfassungsschutz in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In An …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otto Hermann Kahn — Born February 21, 1867(1867 02 21) Mannheim, Germany Died March 29, 1934(1934 03 29) (aged 67) New York City, U …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.