KGB, Jack Barsky, East Germany discussed on I Spy
My name is Jack Barsky. I came here in. Nineteen nineteen seventy eight on behalf with the KGB as a undercover sleeper illegal agent and then ten years later I decided to to stay here at another like fifty years became an American citizen. So that's my background from foreign policy. Welcome to ice by real life. Spice Stories told by the people who were there. Each week we feature one former intelligence operative from somewhere around the world describing one operation. I'm Margo Martindale on Today's show Albert Dittrich Aka Jag. Barsky who was born in east. Germany recruited by the KGB and sit to the United States to influence American policy-making Barsky began again is mission to the US at nine hundred. Seventy eight at an especially fraught period of the Cold War within a short time the Soviets would invade Afghanistan. The US would boycott the summer Olympics in Moscow. And Americans with elect the staunch anti-communist Ronald Reagan as president. Barsky risky was one of hundreds of sleeper agents. The Soviets planted in the United States over the years history begins at the University of Vienna in East Germany. Where Barsky risky was a college student? I'm sitting in my dorm room. I was Zeh third year student of chemistry and it wasn't a Saturday. I was doing some homework Ready to you know finish it up and eventually have my night of carousing and drinking and all that and it doesn't work on the door and I said come on This short little guy who quickly introduced himself as a representative of the big company in town called size which still exists. Today is one of the one of the best optics ex company in the world and in those days was split half of it wasn't East Germany and West. So he said you know I'm from that company and I would like to talk with you about what you would want to do after you graduate. That was one heck of a stupid story because in those days no company ever recruited in in in College University. You were assigned to your next job or if you were in the top five percents you could pick. But uh-huh but companies just didn't come so his cover story was idiotic so I knew right away that something is up here. He is not from Kansai Zena again. He's not from this company. He is most likely East German intelligence because he was German. And we talked a little about fifteen minutes and ended was like Blah Blah Blah. I already knew sort of what he was after. He didn't know that I know. And after those was fifteen twenty minutes however long it took he he changed his tune. He said you know. I'm not really from Kasey with government Could you possibly imagine to work for the government. In the future I saw nobody was was asking. So I said Yeah. But not as a chemist Bingo we were communicating sort of between the lines. I know what he was asking for and he had the right answer so he said okay. That's wonderful We should meet again and then when we met again A weekly Ta in the Best Restaurant in town. Where a steak with French fries? I five marks which was a lot of money and so he invited me to have a sort of a it was like a mid mid afternoon dinner And this was great man. I'm going to get a free meal and the Best Restaurant in town so I'm walking in there. They're not. I see another person next to this Guy Blonde Taller and so I didn't can. I approach him so my Recruiter Cruder got up and says come come on okay. He introduces the other fellow. He says this is Herman. And by the way we're working we're working without Soviet friends BINGO. I knew it was. KGB in the meantime we ate the meal we talked a little bit about this that and the other nothing special Then the fellow who You know I got in touch with me at the dorm excused himself. And say okay. You guys you know you just like and from then on I worked with the KGB guy the word KGB was probably never even stated it was clam and not only that it was clear that I was was not recruited to be an informer on you know internal enemies of the state. I was recruited had to do espionage in the West and that was very intriguing. The way this was played with. You can have your cake and eat it to. You can be a fighter for communism and enjoy the privilege the village of a reasonably wealthy capitalists. Hello on top of it. Immediately you get elevated to a very very special in sort of people and that that was intriguing on top of it just the the whole idea that somebody comes to you as hey. We think you're really good enough to do this. So I was flattered. I might my eagle. The went through the roof oof and on top of it. I knew I would be able to travel to the West. Well so I moved to Berlin. That's where my training started. Once I got into this training reading my cover story was that I was working for the State Department of East Germany But obviously you don't go to work every day you don't meet a lot of people every day day And every one you do meet you have to lie to so I. I didn't have a lot of inter action that I had while I was still a student at the university and so it was quite lonely but the whole idea of where I was going carried me along a long way. I had no problem lying to my mother. I have no. I had no problem lying to my brother. I had no problem lying to anybody. Yeah I met. I knew I was going to be somebody Berry special and I knew that I was GonNa do great things my goodness when you had twenty two twenty three years sold. There's nothing else that that that could motivate you any more particularly if you're wired the the way I was There wasn't a lot of emotions in me. It was all about success. It was all about doing better. It was all about pleasing my parents. Even though they were not physically present I was always wired to do. Do better than the rest.