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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

 

Kim Philby, British double agent, reveals all in secret video



A previously unseen video of one of Britain's most infamous spies describing his career as a Soviet agent has been uncovered by the BBC.

The tape is of Kim Philby giving a secret lecture to the Stasi, the East German Intelligence Service, in 1981.
It is the first time the ex-MI6 officer can be seen talking about his life as a spy from his recruitment to his escape.
He describes his career rising up the ranks of MI6 whilst providing its secrets to the Soviet Union's KGB.
He ends with advice to the East German spies.

"Dear Comrades."
With those two words spoken in an impeccable upper-class English accent, one of Britain's most famous spies and its greatest traitor begins a masterclass in betrayal to a select audience of East German spies.

Philby's hour-long address was preserved on video tape and never seen in public until now.

The BBC unearthed it in the official archives of the Stasi in Berlin.

It was never made for public consumption (and the grainy video and poorly synchronised sound shows the limits of technology at the time), but that means the former MI6 officer is open about his career in a way never heard before.
'Enemy camp'

After an introduction from East German spymaster Markus Wolf, who was so elusive to western spy agencies that he was known for many years as "the man without a face", Philby makes his way to the lectern to a hero's welcome.
"I must warn you that I am no public speaker," Philby says.

"I've spent most of my life trying to avoid publicity of any kind."

That much is true. Previously the best known video of Philby was him giving a 1955 press conference in his mother's London flat.
On that occasion he said very little, only denying he was a communist.

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