Espionage: Case of the Shoplifting Spy

Case of the Shoplifting Spy

East and West Germany were ensnarled last week in the kind of case that makes the two countries the spy center of Europe. The main character was Herbert Meissner, 59, a leading East German economist, who was discovered shoplifting a bathroom fixture in West Berlin. After requesting to speak with West German federal intelligence service officials, Meissner signed statements declaring that he had been spying for East Berlin since 1978, and sought to defect to the West on his own free will.

The economist then disappeared and was not heard from again until East German television broadcast an interview with him...

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