Why Berlin is still the Spy Capital | Spy Documentary

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Berlin is the scene of countless agent stories. Just before Christmas 2022, a scandal rocked the German Federal Intelligence Service @Bundesnachrichtendienst. An employee allegedly spied for Russian secret services and reported directly to Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s network of agents is considered the strongest weapon against the West. Berlin has been already the scene of countless spy stories, real and fictional, from the Cold War to today.

Its history as a spy-craft hotspot began after World War 2. The Allies ended Nazi rule and divided the capital into four sectors. Nowhere else did the superpowers of West and East meet as closely as in the divided city, making it a perfect place for spies. Whether they were working for the Russian KGB, the American NSA and CIA, the British MI6 or the East German “Stasi”, the respective agents lived secret lives with fake identities, spying on the other side. The island of West Berlin, surrounded by the socialist East Germany, also inspired countless thrillers, be it Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies”, the James Bond film “Octopussy” or “The Bourne Conspiracy”. Berlin is simply a must for top-class spooks!

On this episode of Arts Unveiled, we explore the covert side of Berlin in search of espionage locations: Checkpoint Charlie, the Friedrichstraße train station, the Teufelsberg and the Glienicker Bridge. Along the way, we meet ex-agents with unbelievable stories, such as Mr. and Mrs. Schevitz. For years, the American couple lived in West Berlin as top spies for East Germany. Their highly explosive goal: to spy on the German chancellor. We learn how famous double agent George Blake sabotaged secret projects like the tunnel construction of “Operation Gold”. And we show why Berlin remains a hotbed of espionage: in recent years, for example, NSA wiretapping scandals and a contract killing attributed to people with ties to the old KGB have made headlines. It seems Berlin is still a popular playing field for intelligence agencies.

00:00 Intro
00:57 Berlin – The Frontline of the Cold War
03:44 Spy Stations: Journey into Darkness
04:42 Friedrichstrasse Border Crossing
06:35 The Stasi
07:26 Normannenstrasse: Stasi Headquarters
08:35 Glienicker Bridge: Agent Exchange
10:52 Teufelsberg Listening Station
12:26 Marienfelde Refugee Processing Center
15:17 Berlin-Gatow Airfield: Spies in the Airspace
17:50 Allied Museum Berlin
20:40 Checkpoint Charlie Border Crossing Point
22:40 What happened after the Fall of the Berlin Wall?
23:48 German Spy Museum Berlin
24:14 Berlin Spies Today

For the German version:

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