Nazis 'planted spy in MI5 during World War II'
Posted on: 07:59 AM IST Feb 18, 2012
London: German dictator Adolf Hitler managed to plant a Nazi agent in British spy agency MI5 during the initial years of the Second World War, but failed to utilise him, de-classified documents have revealed.
According to the documents, Dutchman Folkert Arie van Koutrik was the first German agent ever to infiltrate MI5 when he was employed by them in 1940.
Koutrik had already worked for Abwehr, the German secret service, before the war, as a double agent with MI6 in Europe and exposed some of the UK's top agents. But, incredibly after he moved to the UK and joined MI5, all contact appears to have broken off, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
He was sacked by the British spy agency in 1941 for having an "abrasive personality" but continued working for MI6 for another year and later for the Dutch intelligence based in London, according to the MI5 files released by The National Archives.
However, his pre-war treachery was only revealed after the conflict and during interrogation of German spies.
Under the code name Walbach, Koutrik worked in Holland in the 1930s and gave up two of MI5 and MI6's top German agents in the late 1930s and arranged for the kidnapping of two MI6 officers by the Gestapo in 1939, according to the documents.
After he "fled" the German advance and moved to the UK in 1940 he told MI6 that "I am proud to say that for my part not a piece of paper which could lead to the arrest by Germans of our agents was left in my house", according to the documents.
MI5 took him on but his "antagonistic" attitude to other officials led to his dismissal a year later, although his true identity still did not come to light. It is unclear what happened to Koutrik, but by 1948, it appears he had not been charged with anything due to lack of evidence.