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A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich: The Extraordinary Life of Fritz Kolbe, America's Most Important Spy in World War II
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A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich: The Extraordinary Life of Fritz Kolbe, America's Most Important Spy in World War II

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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A work of remarkable scholarship that moves with the swift pace of a John le Carre thriller, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich is a chilling addition to the literature of espionage. In 1943, a young official named Fritz Kolbe from the German foreign ministry arranged to meet with Allen Dulles, then an OSS officer in Switzerland and later the director of the Central Int ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Tantor Media (first published February 28th 2004)
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Patrick
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn good history lesson and incredible story of non-fiction. I have heard of Allen Dulles and Bill Donovan of course but not the spy Fritz Kolbe. FK literally and almost singlehandedly sped up the end of WWII. I also didn't realize that Switzerland played such a large part for both sides as a neutral country. One might say the Swiss were good guys and others not so much. In any event, the story moves quickly and highly recommend the audiobook....outstanding.
David
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich: The Extraordinary Story of Fritz Kolbe, America's Most Important Spy in World War II by Lucas Delattre was written based on government documents declassified in 1998 and the personal archives of Fritz Kolbe. During the Third Reich workers were strongly encouraged to join the Nazi party in order to enhance career advancement, or to avoid stalling your career. In this environment, Fritz Kolbe, a worker in the Foreign Ministry, declined to join after seeing wh ...more
Converse
Fritz Kolbe held fairly low-ranking positions in the German foreign ministry. He had joined the ministry in the 1920s because of the opportunity to travel. Never a Nazi party member, he became increasingly unhappy with his government. During World War II, he was able to make contact with Allen Dulles, at the time the head of station for the Office of Strategic Services in Switzerland; Dulles was later director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the Eisenhower and the beginning of the Kenn ...more
Dan Dundon
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When an individual decides to put his personal morality above the corrupt needs of the Nazi state you get people like Fritz Kolbe. Lucas Delattre's fascinating book about Kolbe, one of the highest-level Germans in the Nazi government to spy for the Allies, is a portrait in courage. The author has done a very good job of illustrating the dangers Kolbe encountered as he smuggled information to the Allies during the height of World War II. The author doesn't stop there, however, but goes on to expl ...more
Dianeparente62gmail.com
An amazing story 9f courage and perseverance

Fritz Kolbe could not tolerate the Nazis, their ideology and their actions. For several years he sought ways to free the German people from the madness of Hitler's regime in his position as a low level emp.oyee of the German Foreign ministry. His story is one of unshakeable personal sacrifice as he bravely carrie's Nazi secrets to the head if American intelligence in Bern Switzerland, one Allan Dulles, who ultimately became director of the CIA.

The aut
...more
Matty Rob
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich is a good novel for people who like to learn about history in the most direct way. The novel tells what happened one season at a time, the chapters might look something like “Berlin, summer 1942,” so most of the major events in the novel are described with the utmost detail. Although it is a slow novel, with some parts being quite boring to read through, it is still an interesting read. The reason it’s a slow novel is that for many chapters in a row, it tell ...more
Ddoddmccue
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The result of a seriously deep dive into more recently released classified intelligence, Kolbe's story is well told and a revelation on the foundations of US intelligence as driven by Allen Dulles. Kolbe was an uncomplicated man given to both heroic actions and very human flaws. An accidental spy, Kolbe was driven by an unwaving anti-Nazi stance, though not an overly sophisticated embrace of dogma or prior training. As a "volunteer spy," his credibility was underestimated by many in US and Briti ...more
Alan Cook
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an important book about the success of American and British spying during World War II. Fritz Kolbe came to their organizations voluntarily, and used his position in the German government to supply them with large amounts of information not obtainable from any other source. Allen Dulles was stationed in Bern, Switzerland for the OSS, predecessor to the CIA, and he had a relationship with Kolbe that lasted for many years. It was difficult for the allies to believe that Kolbe didn't want a ...more
Catherine Wojtkun
His code name was "George," his bravery unsurpassed, his nationality, German.... his reward?...having to be called a traitor to Germany by his fellow Germans after World War II for providing the Allies with vital information that greatly aided the end of World War II in both the European sector and the Pacific sector. The United States did not come to his aid after he risked his life to bring these Nazi secrets to Allan Dulles in Switzerland. I learned so much more about the truth behind the WWI ...more
Lee
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good history of an undertold espionage event in Nazi Germany.

Fritz Kolbe is a spy who has not gotten enough recognition in discussions of World War II. He provided Alan Dulles with important information that was crucial in defeating Nazi Germany, and he did so at great risk to his own life and purely for ideological, rather than fiduciary reasons. However, after the war, Kolbe was largely blacklisted and forgotten in Germany, because the former Nazi's who quickly wormed their way back into th
...more
Tina
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-issues
Based on declassified government documents, this book tells the story of German foreign ministry employee Fritz Kolbe, who served as a spy for the Americans during WWII. The story doesn't only highlight the risks and dangers of espionage, but also the ingratitude of the task, as spies are seldom thanked in the end, much less rewarded in any way.
Overall a very well researched book about heroism, living by a personal code of ethics, and injustice.
Devin Stockman
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a great story for a time of WW2 its crazy to think that one of the Nazis highest officials is a spy for the allies. its cool to hear the story of Fritz Kolbe who was doing a ¨Quiet Resistance¨ and is amazing that he was one of the main reasons for the winning of the war. I couldn't believe that his story was all just forgotten after his death.
John Kersley
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fritz Kolbe

Provides a different perspective on the latter years of WWII in Europe. Interesting thoughts by Kolbe on how the war could have ended sooner which would have held pack the Russians and their barbaric ways.
To a degree I feel for Kolbe who could not catch a break at the end of hostilities by either the Allies or the new Germany.
A great read.
Jane Thompson
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
World War II.Story

This is an interesting book. It tells the story of Fritze Kolbe who took great.risks to spy for the allies because he was anti
Nazi. After the war it took him ten years to get a job..in Germany because he was not considered.trustworthy.
Cathyann
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I didn’t care for this book. It took far to long to get into the main subject. The style of writing was dull and boring. This was a story I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into but it didn’t happen.
J DAVID SUGGS
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent true story. Of a dedicated spy. A must read for any history buff.

A brave unrewarded man who gave his all to the Allies in WWII. His service to our country should never be forgotten.
Lynda
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and goes to prove that all bureaucrats are blind. It took the Allied intelligence agencies years to believe Kolbe's information.
Gonzaga Escauriaza
Very interesting.

Kolbe personality is difficult to seize up.

He was a very strange person hence his rough relations with all his wives and his son.



Kellie
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well done, with a lot of good information.
Hannah
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read about a historical figure who most people may not have heard of. I'd love to see this made into a movie.
Geoff Woodland
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So rich in WW2 history, and how one man stood against the tyranny of the Nazis & how the post war system tried to forget him and restrict his life. ...more
Alyssa Bohon
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written history. One more step for me in understanding WWII. Read for interest in my possible family connection to Kolbe.
Leslie
Jun 19, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
Audiobook. Not at all interesting and narrator boring
Andy Bonikowsky
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. I knew very little, almost nothing, of life inside Germany during the War. It was interesting to learn how many there were who opposed the Nazis.
Tom Schulte
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reich foreign service minion Fritz Kolbe apparently proved to be America's chief WWII humint asset and practically built Dulles' career. Kolbe, although apparently at times audacious and reckless did so for worthy ideological reasons and at great risk. Initially distrusted and afterwards basically seen as a traitor in Germany (suggesting bombing targets undoubtedly led to German deaths, possibly even innocent ones), post-WWII Koble was even in the cold from true American gratitude. While maybe n ...more
Kevin
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This book treats the story of Fritz Kolbe (known to the American and British spy agencies as George Wood), a German diplomat who opposed the Nazi Regime. At an early point in the war, he wanted to renounce his German citizenship, however was convinced by a colleague to remain where he was, and use his patriotic fervor to help oust the Nazi Party. The book describes how he took cables and communications and secretly passed them to Allen Dulles of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS (precurso ...more
Maggie
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fritz Kolbe was born in 1900 and was a passionate German, but hated Hitler and the Nazis. Though a minor member of the Foreign Ministry in the Third Reich he refused to join the Nazi party. His refusal had economic and other repercussions for him, but he would not change his mind even if it meant imprisonment or death. As the war went on he began resisting in small ways and recruiting others to do the same. Eventually he decided to to pass Confidential/Secret documents from the Third Reich to th ...more
Mark
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good suspenseful read. Gives a little umph to the argument that, regardless of the fear an intimidation ordinary Germans might have felt against their government, the sad facts are, too few of them didn't take the sheeple way out. Kolbe was no sheeple. Thanks to the few there were like him, things did get would down to a conclusion a little faster than that would otherwise. and in all this, it is the US Government and their own refusal to accept the validity of what for Kolbe was an idealistic, ...more
Julia
Oct 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This account is very factual and somewhat dry reading. Fritz Kolbe was a member of the diplomatic service in the third Reich and provide an immense amount of information to the British and Americans in Bern, Switzerland. He acted out of ideology and took no money for his information other than to support his efforts in obtaining and delivering the information. It was at great personal and professional cost to him and no great glory.
Jennifer Eckel
Interesting easy read. It seemed to read like fiction, but had good notes and documentation to back it up. I was not aware of the spy Fritz Kolbe a foreign service officer who contributed to the war effort by handing over information to the Allies in WWII. Much like Enigma, this information came out 50 years after the war. Too bad the main actors were already gone. This biography is a translation from the French.
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Lucas Delattre is Professor of Communication/Media/Digital at Institut Français de la Mode (www.ifm-paris.com), and is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (http://www.ens.fr/, class of 1985, arts/history), and also has a Media and Communication Masters from ESCP Europe (www.escpeurope.eu), 1989.
He worked as a foreign correspondent and journalist in Germany from 1989 to 1997 (Le Monde) and
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