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George Blake
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    (November 11, 1922-December 26, 2020)
    Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Birth name was George Behar
    Joined the British intelligence service MI-6 (1948)
    As a member of the British embassy staff in Seoul, was captured and imprisoned during the Korean War (1950-53)
    Became a double agent for the Soviet Union
    Received a 42-year sentence for espionage (1961)
    Escaped from prison and defected to the USSR (1966)
    Wrote the autobiography 'No Other Choice' (1990)
    Awarded the Order of Friendship by Russian president Vladimir Putin (2007)
    He revealed to the Soviets hundreds of agents, at least 40 of whom were executed.
    He provided multiple explanations for his working for the USSR.
    According to one account, he decided to bring down the British establishment after his fiancee's aristocratic parents forbade her from marrying a Jew.
    In another explanation, he switched sides after observing US bombers destroying 'completely defenseless Korean villages.'
    Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union he remained a committed Marxist, saying, 'I was helping in building a new society in which there would be equality, social justice, no longer any war, no longer any national conflict.'
    He sued after the British government tried to stop him from profiting from his autobiography and won 5,000 pounds. (Aren't Marxists supposed to be above petty monetary concerns?)
    During World War II he worked for the Dutch resistance.
    In an interview with NBC, he said he regretted the deaths of the agents he had betrayed (1991).
    He inspired the book and movie 'The Manchurian Candidate.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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