Soviets longest serving agent dies

#1
From The Times:

Suburban superspy dies at 93
By Sean O'Neill and Michael Evans

Secretary who gave nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union never regretted betrayal

THE Soviet Union’s leading female British spy has died and her funeral has taken place amid the kind of secrecy that surrounded her career.

Melita Norwood passed away peacefully at a nursing home in the West Midlands almost four weeks ago. She was 93. Her family organised a private funeral service after which there was a cremation.

Over 40 years, Mrs Norwood systematically passed detailed information about Britain’s nuclear weapons programme to the KGB spymasters who gave her the codename Hola.

She remained committed to the Soviet cause and to “peace and socialism”. She shopped at the Co-op, drank her tea from a Che Guevara mug, and took the Morning Star every morning until her death on June 2.

Mrs Norwood’s secret life was revealed by The Times in 1999 after resarch by Christopher Andrew, the Cambridge historian, into the files of Vasili Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist. Professor Andrew said yesterday that Mrs Norwood had been an “extraordinarily motivated Soviet agent right to the end of her life”. His research revealed that Mrs Norwood had been recruited as an agent in the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB, in 1937.

Five years earlier she had taken a job as a secretary in the British Non-Ferrous Metals Association which came to be involved in the research underpinning the UK’s nuclear programme. She would remove files on the top-secret Tube Alloys programme from her bosses’ desks, photograph the papers inside and pass the photographs to her Soviet handlers at drops in the suburbs of southeast London.

Hola recruited at least one other senior agent and the Soviet regime came to view her as more significant than the Cambridge spy ring.

The Soviet Union granted her the Order of the Red Banner and a £20 per month pension payment.

After her double life was exposed, when she was 87, there were calls for her prosecution as a traitor. The Government resisted and allowed her to live out her life peacefully.

David Burke, whose biography of Mrs Norwood is due out next year, said: “As a woman she was everybody’s favourite granny. She was very kindhearted. Until she was in her late 80s she kept an allotment. She was in good health and the end came quite suddenly.”

Dr Burke visited Mrs Norwood regularly to talk about her life, history and politics. He said: “She was a lifelong member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which some might think ironic, given her history of giving away secrets about the atomic bomb.

“But she thought that there should be some balance in the world. One power was holding complete control over the bomb which was, to her, a dangerous imbalance. She feared a pre-emptive strike on the Soviet Union. Melita didn’t feel that she was doing anything treacherous. Indeed, although she was a member of the Communist Party she would always vote Labour.”

Professor Andrew said: “What struck me at the time (of her exposure as a spy) was how extraordinarily resilient she was. For the majority of 87-year-olds, waking up to find the British press outside their door would have been somewhat intimidating. But she just calmly asked them to wait while she went to get her notes and then spoke to them in her rose garden.

As far as is known, he said, she was “the longest-serving Soviet agent in British history”.

Mrs Norwood was born Melita Sirnis in Bournemouth in March the daughter of a Latvian father, at whose knee she learned revolutionary politics, and an English mother.
The full story, which I posted here because I think it's is actually quite interesting, is here.
 
#4
Its appalling that she went completely unpunished for her treason.

Since she loved the Soviet ideal so much, she should have been stripped of her UK citizenship and put on a plane to Moscow. In Russia she could have lived the socialist dream - starving in her decrepit bedsit, surrounded by social decay, and rendered penniless by currency crashes caused by Communists-turned-gangsters stripping the economy.

Ah, but of course true socialist idealists prefer to live in the comfort created by the capitalist system....
 
#5
Should have been done, served her time in jail (life for treason?), and if she ever got out, stripped of citizenship and sent to North Korea to live with her red mates.

Tw*t
 
G

Goku

Guest
#6
A communist who voted for labour, why am I not surprised.
When she was identified as a traitor at the grand old age of 87, she should have been sentenced to life in prison.
Lets hope she’s berried in Russia or at least in an unmarked grave over here.
 
#7
And one who a Labour government decided not to prosecute when the revelations came out. Well, what do you expect from a party chock full of Soviet sympathisers and "ex-" communists :roll:
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#8
Have to agree with the sentiments here-treason should never be left unpunished-I recall from the time the story broke that some of her family disowned her-she should not be mourned.

Interestingly enough-I got the news story from the Russian Language service of BBC news on line-as at now (1140 BST) there is still nothing on the English news page. Why might that be...?
 
#9
If she had of been giving secrets to the French or anyone else (non red, non Labour fan base) she would have been locked up, the Soviets only slightly worse than the frogs.

A traitor no argument.... but hey its ok, most of the cabinet are fellow travellers :evil:
 
#10
Putting aside with difficulty her obvious treason and the punishments not handed down, this really was an extrordinary woman and it's one hell of an "achievement" to keep schtum and not get caught for all those years. Can't help admiring the lass for that. Seemingly, she also had a fantastic line in British understatement:

“I loved Lenin. But old Joe, well, he didn’t turn out so good. He wasn’t a hundred per cent.”

Quite a woman, whichever side of the curtain you were on.
 
#11
Photographing docs after the boss has gone home and keeping quiet about it because she may have spent the rest of her life in prison does not IMHO make for any respect.

Traitor pure and simple, but on that note this crime is not seen as a "crime" any more the post modernist notion of everything being ok and relative, nothing is right or wrong....unless it goes against the fools in universitys, the media and the left
 
#12
They let off a woman who leaked our nuclear secrets, and tried to prosecute the GCHQ woman who leaked details of Blair's scrabbling attempts to find ammunition for his war by bugging Kofi Annan and others - bugging at the UN is an open secret anyway!

So, it just shows where the priorities of the new Nazi party lie.

She should have been offered a choice - die in prison or in a Moscow apartment.
 
#13
Gentlemen, console yourselves with the fact that this woman and many like her lived to see the triumph of decadent western capitalism and the death of the Soviet empire. They must all have been well and truly gutted by that!
 
#14
AndyPipkin,

Somehow I doubt it. When has reality ever encroached on a, "True Believer"?

There are still myriads of them in my part of the UK.

Just this morning, Embra has banned the sale of petrol in jerrycans until G8 is over - they ken fine who they're dealing with.
 
#15
Just this morning, Embra has banned the sale of petrol in jerrycans until G8 is over - they ken fine who they're dealing with.
Yes, what a load of nonsense! Lip-service policing to inconvenience the majority. If I were a petrol-bombing soap-dodger, I would drive in, fill up the tank, decant the petrol into bottles using a siphon and repeat as required.

Why not ban glass bottles?
 
#16
She was a traitor in my eyes. And nobody respects traitors (in any country). Fate of traitors is sad.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/4096439.stm

A former KGB defector living in Northumberland has begun a hunger strike because he claims he has been mistreated by the British government.

Viktor Makarov, 49, spent five years in a labour camp in Russia after being caught spying for Britain.
Really he was used to disinform MI6 and he got exactly what he deserved.
 
#19
Spying Bitch Melita Norwood said:
I loved Lenin. But old Joe, well, he didn’t turn out so good. He wasn’t a hundred per cent.
Didn't turn out so good!!??? He killed more than Hitler.
 
#20
petermtm said:
The old dear was 87, didn't she deserve some leniency? After all, they let Pinochet off, and he killed thousands of people...
No, 87 or not, quite simply she was a Traitor. She should have done time and then sent to good old 'Mother Russia' where she could have 'enjoyed' her retirement, I'm sure she would have been well recieved!

The only regret really is not having caught her before 1959/60 when the best deterent available was still on the books and available for use, then on conviction she could have had the one way trip....
 

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