Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ghost Of British Master Spy And Traitor Kim Philby Returns To Cambridge

Neil Tweedie at the British newspaper the Telegraph offers a piece on the Cambridge Spies conference.

Give me the child and I’ll give you the man, said the Jesuits. The KGB, on the other hand, believed that indoctrination could wait until a little later in life. But there was no disagreement between the two regarding the best place to recruit spies. From the time of Elizabeth I, when Roman Catholic zealots plotted the Protestant queen’s downfall, to the 1930s, when it incubated the so-called Magnificent Five of Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross, the University of Cambridge has been a breeding ground for treason and espionage.
This weekend, that tradition will be celebrated – if that is the right word – at the first-ever conference on the Cambridge Spies to be held in Cambridge. An audience of academics, laymen and intelligence officers will gather at Trinity College, which produced four of the five, to listen to Kim Philby lecture on the art of betrayal.
The most notorious traitor produced by Britain in the 20th century will speak from beyond the grave on a tape smuggled out of Russia to the West. In a recorded address to an audience of KGB officers, Philby, a long-term Soviet mole at the heart of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, instructs them in how to handle agents in the field. Speaking through an interpreter, the man who sent hundreds of agents to their deaths behind the Iron Curtain, even manages a joke or two.
“The most important thing the tape does is to provide a possible answer to the biggest unanswered question about Philby’s exile in Russia,” says Professor Christopher Andrew, Britain’s leading historian on intelligence and a keynote speaker at the conference. “Here is this man, a super hero, who even has his face on Soviet postage stamps, and yet he is denied the supreme honour of Hero of the Soviet Union, an award bestowed on KGB agents of much lesser significance. Why?”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: Ben Macintyre has a good book on the notorious spy coming out soon in the U.S. called A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal.

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