ebook ∣ Secret Police, Spies, Sleepers, Assassins
By Douglas Boyd
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After the guns fell silent in May 1945, the USSR resumed its clandestine warfare against the western democracies. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin installed secret police services in all the satellite countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Trained by his NKVD – a predecessor of the KGB – officers of the Polish UB, the Czech StB, the Hungarian AVO, Romania's Securitate, Bulgaria's KDS, Albania's Sigurimi and the Stasi of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) spied on and ruthlessly repressed their fellow citizens on the Soviet model. When the resultant hatred exploded in uprisings – in GDR 1953, Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968 – they were put down by brutality, bloodshed and Soviet tanks. What was at first not so obvious was that these state terror organisations were also designed for military and commercial espionage in the West, to conceal the real case officers in Moscow. Specially trained operatives undertook mokrye dyela or 'wet jobs', including assassination of émigrés and other anti-Soviet figures. Perhaps the most menacing were the sleepers who settled in the West, married and had children while waiting to strike against their host countries. Many of them are still among us. Here, historian and author Douglas Boyd explores for the first time the relationship between the KGB and its ghastly brood of 'daughters' – a true family from hell.