His arrest could unlock the secrets of his old network or pry open a political Pandora's Box
BONN Markus Wolf, the Cold War's most cunning spymaster, coolly walked into the hands of his old enemies Tuesday in an intriguing plot twist to a real life thriller that has spanned more than 30 years.
But it remained to be seen whether Germany's arrest of the legendary "man without a face" will finally unlock the secrets of the brilliant East German spy network that Wolf once ran or will merely pry open a political Pandora's Box.
The fate of thousands of Communist spies left out in the cold by German unification a year ago could also hinge on what happens to the crafty Wolf, who is believed to be the model for the spy chief "Karla" in novelist John le Carre's bestsellers.
Germany's highest court is deliberating whether East Germany's former spies can be prosecuted, but a decision is not expected for months. A Berlin court has already refused to try Wolf's successor on grounds that a fairness clause in the German constitution would mean prosecuting all West German agents as well.
Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government considered granting a blanket amnesty to the ex spies when the two countries united a year ago but dropped the plan under public pressure. Much of that pressure came from easterners who feared that a pardon would also wipe the slate clean for the hated secret police, under whose auspices Wolf's agency fell.
Although some of his former West German rivals have privately advocated immunity for Wolf, critics argue that East Germany's ruthless system and Wolf's support of it make him a criminal who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the torture and murder of innocent people.
"I can say pandora bracelet with charms price in good conscience... that there is absolutely no blood on my hands," Wolf said in an interview in the current issue of the weekly German magazine Bunte.
"It was the Cold War confrontation," he reportedly added. "On both sides. It is illogical to now try to criminalize my side...."
Wolf fled to the Soviet Union just before unification to avoid certain arrest, zigzagging his way across Eastern Europe and through the Ukraine by auto until he reached Moscow, where he spent his childhood with his exiled parents Communist Jews who fled Germany before Hitler came to power.
But the failed Soviet coup last month sent Wolf on the lam again, this time to Austria, where he applied for political asylum and was turned down. A how to get pandora radio in australia similar query drew the same response from Sweden. Tuesday, the 68 year old Wolf arrived at the German frontier in a dapper blue suit and red tie to turn himself over to waiting federal police, who drove him across the Bavarian Alps in an armored Mercedes Benz.
Wolf gave a tight, dimpled smile but declined to comment later as he entered the courthouse in Karlsruhe, where he spent the day behind closed doors with his attorney and federal prosecutors who hope to try him on charges of espionage, treason and bribery.
Late Tuesday evening, a magistrate ruled that Wolf could remain free on 50,000 marks (about $30,000) bail. Wolf surrendered his passport and went to pandora jewelry center dinner with his third wife, Andrea.
If prosecuted, the enigmatic "Mischa" a childhood nickname acquired in the Soviet Union has hinted that he might spill embarrassing secrets about the West German establishment that was riddled with his agents for decades. Since unification, double agents have been unmasked at the highest levels of West Germany's own intelligence services, and "moles" have been discovered in the government and industrial sectors as my pandora australia well.
It is not a threat Bonn is likely to take lightly from the man whose most spectacular coup triggered the collapse of the West German government in 1974, when Guenther Guillaume, a top aide to Chancellor Willy Brandt, was revealed to be an East German spy who had been operating in West Germany for more than 20 years.
Reached at his elegant home outside East Berlin, Guillaume politely refused to comment Tuesday about the man he described in his memoirs as a warm and compassionate boss. "I don't concern myself with that," he said of Wolf's arrest.
Wolf also masterminded the so called "Romeo" capers, sending East German operatives to seduce Bonn secretaries in government offices during the late 1970s and early '80s.
"One of our agents was assigned to the secretaries, and a genuine love affair developed," Wolf was quoted as saying in Bunte. "It made this woman a convinced socialist.".
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