Günter Guillaume

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Günter Guillaume (February 1, 1927April 10, 1995), was an intelligence agent of East Germany's secret service, the Stasi. Guillaume emigrated with his wife, Christel to West Germany 1956 with orders to penetrate the West German political system and report on it. He rose through the hierarchy of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, eventually becoming a close aide to West German chancellor Willy Brandt.

In 1974, Guillaume's spying for the Communist East German government was uncovered by the West German authorities. The resulting scandal, which is known as the Guillaume Affair, led to Brandt having to resign the chancellorship. Guillaume received a thirteen-year prison term for espionage, and his wife an eight-year term. Guillaume was released to East Germany in 1981 in return for Western intelligence agents caught by the Eastern Bloc.

Back in East Germany, Guillaume was celebrated as a hero, worked in the training of spies, and published his autobiography Die Aussage in 1988. Guillaume and East German spymaster Markus Wolf have said that the resignation of Brandt was never intended, and the affair counts among the biggest mistakes of the Stasi.

The story of Brandt and Guillaume is told in the play Democracy by Michael Frayn. The play follows the astonishing career of Willy Brandt, the first left-of-center chancellor in West Germany in 40 years, and his downfall at the hands of his trusted assistant.

Guillaume's wife died in 2004.

[edit] External links

[edit] See also