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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Lucas Delattre
Narrator: Michael Prichard
Genres: Military
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Published In: March 2005
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 10 hours
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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 Intelligence Agency.
Kolbe had decided to betray his country. Over the next two years, Kolbe passed on countless valuable documents about German war efforts by tying the pages to his thigh and praying to avoid customs searches. He described the location of munitions factories and relayed diplomatic reports on Germany's intelligence operations and relations with other Axis nations like Romania and nominally neutral countries like Spain.
Viewed by many Germans as a traitor, he was erased from the history books and, after Hitler's fall, his diplomatic career came to an end. Drawing on recently declassified materials at the National Archives in Washington and Kolbe's personal archives, Lucas Delattre has written an extraordinary tale of an ordinary man who knew the most valuable service he could provide his country was to betray it.

Reviews (3)


Written by CENTER 50 on July 20th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5


Interesting but too long

Written by Anonymous on September 26th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The book was very interesting. Kolbe was a very courageous individual, and it's interesting to hear about Dulles and the preceding organization to the CIA. However, the book is too long and drags unnecessarily at times. If it were about 3/4 the current length and cut down to the necessary details for the story/history to piece together, it'd be a 4 or 5 star.

Sty at the Heart of the Third Reich

Written by Richard Percy on June 28th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Excellent representation of the frustrations experienced when bureaucratic red tape prevents the use of good intelligence material. Well written. Fascinating.

Author Details

Author Details

Delattre, Lucas

Formerly longtime German corespondent for the French newspaper Le Monde and assistant editor in chief at Le Monde des Debats, Lucas Delattre now works for the Council of Europe.