During the Cold War and beyond, western diplomats had to constantly keep their wits about them when serving in the USSR and the eastern bloc as they were prime targets for the KGB and respective Secret Police forces, who relied on a compass of methods to get access to classified information. One of the most effective was the tried-and-true “ honey traps, ” in which beautiful, alien women were used to work clandestine to seduce and entice to get information. These honeypots, as they were besides called, were the source of patronize irritation or sometimes amusement by male diplomats but occasionally, they could result in a real breach in security, as when an admin officer at Embassy Warsaw named Irwin Scarbeck passed confidential information to Polish security to protect his polish mistress .
Jonathon B. Rickert served as the Staff Aide to the Ambassador in Moscow from 1966-1968 and describes his experiences encountering soviet women whom he suspected to be working for the KGB. He was interviewed by Raymond Ewing beginning December 2002. David M. Evans served as the Consular and Economic Officer in Warsaw from 1964-1967. He describes how during trail he was repeatedly warned about avoiding polish women. He was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy in 1996
Gifford D. Malone, who served as consular officer and then economic policeman in Warsaw from 1961-1963, recalls the Irvin Scarbeck case. He was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy beginning December 1991. Philippe Du Chateau served as the Assistant Information Officer in the Press and Cultural Section in Moscow from 1984-1987. He recalls an incidental that occurred in 1986 when a Marine named Corporal Arnold Bracy became embroiled with du Chateau ’ second Russian nanny, was subsequently sent back to the States and indicted for espionage. He was interviewed by Kennedy beginning August 2011 .
Read besides the Spy who loved ( to follow ) me, about the Clayton Lonetree matter at Embassy Moscow, and early Moments on espionage.


“I had a stroke of vodka-fueled genius”

Jonathon B. Rickert,  Staff Aide to the Ambassador, Moscow, 1966-1968

RICKERT : There was a bunch of refer about attempts to compromise american diplomats by the KGB. The beloved bunker was the most celebrated and much talked about – the only time that I had an have with that particular access. It was in the city of Ufa [ about 800 miles east of Moscow ] and there was a publications procurement trip with credibly Bill Price, a identical decent colleague and a fantastic travel company. He was the Publications Procurement Officer and I was shot-gun with him .
We went to Ufa and we went about and we went to the bookstores and bought things and then we went to the only hotel that was fit for foreigners I suppose ; entirely scantily therefore, and had dinner. We sat down in a big empty din room with a rather pathetic jazz band, nothing in presence, playing music ill. As we sat there and ordered our dinner, two young russian guys came over and said — which was coarse in the Soviet Union – “ You mind if we join you ? ” There were a lot of empty tables .
We said no and they sat there and spoke to each other in russian and we spoke to each other in English and one of them said, “ Do you speak russian ? ” And we said yes, then the conversation started. I think they were legit. They were holocene university graduates who had been sent to Ufa – they ’ ra engineers – to do some form of national service .
They were bored to tears and identical curious about the outside worldly concern. We talked about all sorts of things : the Kennedy assassination, they were convinced that it was the work of Lyndon Johnson because he was the one who benefited from it thus who else could it have been and other things of that sort .
They wanted to know about the United States. But we were sitting there and talking very affably and drinking vodka and two young ladies came all over and one of them said to me and Bill, they said, “ My friend and I have been listening to you and you speak such excellent russian but we can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate distinguish. Are you Czech or are you polish ? ”
And we said, “ No, we ’ ra Americans. ” … .
They went on and on and we tried to ignore then but they didn ’ t go away. So finally they said, “ Could we sit down with you ? ” One seat next to me and the other adjacent to Bill .
We in truth kind of ignored them in the conversation but one of them sitting future to me, finally leaned over and started whisper and said, “ This is such a bewitching conversation, why don ’ thyroxine we go to my room and continue it ? ”
I pretended that I didn ’ thyroxine understand or hear and then she tried it again and it became impossible not to respond. I had a stroke of vodka-fueled flair and I said to her in terms that she would surely understand, [ pointing to ] Bill, who looked a small older than I did, I said : “ Do you see that man over there ? He ’ second my boss and I can ’ t do anything without his permission. ”
She made a halfhearted undertake on Bill which got nowhere and that was the end of that .

“He had done a lot of foolish things and been entrapped”

Gifford Malone, Consular Officer, Warsaw, 1961-1963

malone : The Scarbeck subject : Doc Scarbeck ( pictured ) was the General Services Officer at the Embassy when I arrived. Of course we all knew him. We knew his wife who was a very decent lady. He had been identical nice to us as brand new junior newcomers in helping us to get set up, etc. We didn ’ thyroxine know, of course, any of this stuff that was going on .
One day my wife and I were sitting in our kitchen having breakfast listen to the Voice of America. The announcer said, “ An american Foreign Service military officer has been arrested. ” I remember thinking to myself, “ I wonder if that is anyone I know ? ”
It was Scarbeck. It was the first base meter I ever saw my wife ’ south jaw literally drop. We looked at each other. He had done a bunch of anserine things and been entrapped in a rather classic way by the secret patrol. They claimed they would do atrocious things to this womanhood with whom he had become imply if he didn ’ t give them materials, so he did give them some stuff .
Everyone was shocked. They were horrified that anyone would do a thing like this. naturally there was a batch of sympathy for Scarbeck ’ south wife. He had two little children. She was a german woman. I think we were all wholly surprise. But at the same time it was a moral that these people, the unavowed patrol, are active and doing things and what our own security people were telling us was dependable. here was an example… .
I can remember driving elsewhere in Poland and sometimes having a car follow me through a town or something like that. One of the giveaways was that they all used Mercedes. They would sit out in a adult square which was near this old Embassy all day long. What they were watching we wouldn ’ thyroxine know. I had one colleague who took great delight in going out and standing in the in-between of the hearty with a eminence pad and pencil taking down their tag numbers and then they would all speed off in unlike directions. There was a certain total of amateurish quality to it .

“Never get into an elevator with a Polish blonde”

David M. Evans, Consular/Economic Officer, Warsaw, 1964-1967
EVANS : I was assigned to the german desk [ at the State Department ], and I think I had some sort of another course at FSI [ Foreign Service Institute ], prior to going to the german desk… .
I had not even reported to the german Affairs Office, when I got a telephone call. The telephone caller said, “ Would you like to go to Warsaw ? ” I said, “ Would I like to go to Warsaw ? ” absolutely, this was beyond my dreams. The cause was that a U.S. diplomat named Irwin Scarbeck had been arrested for espionage. He was late to be sentenced to 10 years at Ft. Leavenworth, the first U.S. diplomat to be sentenced for espionage. They needed an excess body in Warsaw .
He was a GSO, General Services Officer, I would not go into his job, but I would go into the Consular section and person in the consular incision would be moved to the GSO military position. I said, “ When do you want me ? ” They said, in about six weeks. well, at this time, I knew Russian, and serbo-croat, but no Polish. so, they gave me six weeks of polish trail. My wife was very dysphoric about going to Poland….

I besides went through, intensive security briefings, because the Scarbeck thing had shaken up not entirely Embassy Warsaw but the hale Foreign Service. This was big stuff. Scarbeck had been trapped by a polish girlfriend, a polish blond. [ Ursula Discher, pictured ] So, I studied polish and prepare to go out there in six weeks .
I was besides told that I was the first junior officer to be sent to an Iron Curtain post without having foremost served in another foreign mail. This was a bang-up honor, as it were. I was given these intensifier security briefings, where pictures of polish blondes were flashed on the screen and I was shown maps of the area .
They were concerned [ about honeypots ] all right, and I was taken aback by the saturation, about ferociousness, of this security brief. As I say, polish blondes were seen as the foe, quite distinctly. I was shown pictures of typical polish blondes they wanted you to avoid and told stories of entrapment scenarios that had happened. Of course, they told about the Scarbeck case : how he was married and the contain over him was that if he didn ’ t give the blond NATO [ North Atlantic Treaty Organization ] secrets, she would be sent to a prison clique to be a prison prostitute .
To avoid that, as he thought he was doing, and to help her, he did steal classified NATO documents, copy them, and then give them to her for her bosses. finally he was caught. so, that was one way .
But one floor, in especial, seemed relevant former. That was a report about a Warsaw elevator and an american diplomat. An american diplomat gets into an elevator in Warsaw. On the next floor, a beautiful polish girl gets in the elevator in a impinge coat. They go up another two stories and the elevator stop. There seems to be a problem with the elevator. Two people look at each other, sleep together for help, call for help oneself, and in due course, they hear people coming to open the trapdoor at the top of the elevator .
The diplomat thinks, “ Ah, help is here. All is well. ” As the ambush doorway opens on the top of the elevator car, the blond on the spur of the moment throws her coating off and is standing there austere naked and lunge herself on the diplomat. Whereupon the “ technicians ” who were coming to save them, turn out not to be technicians, but photographers, and are snapping pictures .

so, the moral of that floor is, never get into an elevator with a polish blond. I used that later to write a narrative that appeared in a national cartridge holder, with an enticing cartoon of a polish blond in a furred coat, with a daunt diplomat. That was one story .
There was another history against the backdrop of Big Red [ Communism ], because that was what we were dealing with, Big Red, and Big Red extended from all of Asia and Eurasia and Soviet Union, right down into Eastern Europe. Big Red was what we had to be mindful of, and be careful of .
The other history was real. I won ’ thymine reveal his list. An american diplomat and his wife were going to a party in Moscow, I think, and the babysitter, at the survive minute, called in and said she was disgusted, which turned out not to be the case .
As a result, the wife had to stay home with the children. He went to the party entirely. There was a lot of toast. When he didn ’ t show up, his wife was concerned. Let ’ s say it was Friday night, Saturday good morning, when his wife woke up, and he hadn ’ thyroxine come family. So a imbue and cry was raised. last the embassy security people tracked down where this party had been, in some russian apartment .
They burst in and found bottles and glasses and dirt all over the station, from obviously a huge party. But no matchless was there except the american diplomat, stripped naked, except for his underwear, which had been taken off and put over his drumhead. He had been given some sort of “ Mickey ” [ a drug concoction to knock out an unsuspecting victim ] in his drinks. He subsequently left Moscow and pursued a career in another geographic sphere. such were the stories .
But the fundamental message was : Avoid Polish blondes at all costs .

“She was working for the Soviet government, reporting on us”

Philippe du Chateau, Assistant Information Officer (Press and Cultural Section), Moscow, 1984-1987

DU CHATEAU : At that time, I guess it would have been in mid-1986, we were living in a very little, not very elegant, apartment, way out on Leninsky Prospect. My wife…was working for ABC News. Our fourth dimension to go on home leave came and as was normally done, we arranged for person to live in our apartment in order to keep the bad guys out. We knew that the Soviets were going to ferret through our stuff when we weren ’ triiodothyronine there .
For once I ’ megabyte not being paranoid at all — we saw the things we lost, little things, some of my daughter ’ mho clothing, pairs of shoes, that kind of thing, when we went out of town to Finland. It would be hard to spot sometimes, but you would notice these things just disappear. But the guys who came in would never be nasty, they were just light fingered when they were going through our apartment. other embassy family had things damaged sometimes, but possibly they were more of a target .
so one of my wife ’ sulfur colleagues at ABC News, he was glad to get a better home to live for the calendar month while we were gone. sol he agreed to stay in our apartment, and we left on vacation. But then soon after we came back, a calendar month would have passed, the ridicule from ABC approached my wife at workplace and said, “ You know, the strangest thing happened to me and I didn ’ t know what was going on, but when we moved into your apartment, we came in the front doorway and we heard some commotion in another room, in the bedroom, and one of your Marines came out with a unseasoned dame and said he was doing an inspection of the apartment and they left. ”
There ’ s some backdrop needed here. In the years of all the increased security in the embassy, for a long time the Marines employed soviet cooks who would come to their quarters to work. The Marines lived in the old embassy build [ pictured ], the same place where we all worked, but on a lower deck. then, because of tightening security, the cooks were let go .
I guess the Marines had to start cooking for themselves, or more likely they brought in cook from Finland or the U.S. Anyhow, one of the cook was a favorite with the Marines. She was highly recommended, the Marines loved her, she was a decent dame, we needed a nanny, my wife was working broad fourth dimension, and indeed she became our nanny, Nanny Galia. I don ’ thyroxine remember her survive name. She spoke English .
She was a identical, very healthy young lady, identical thoroughly with my daughter. I sincerely want to be very complimentary about her in anything I say as she was a adept person and I have no reason to think she was anything else. however, she was, as we know, working for the soviet government, reporting on us .
Of run she was and we didn ’ thymine mind that, we were very used to it, we knew what was going on. Working in the Soviet Union, we expected it. Who wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate ? unfortunately, one of the Marines, a Corporal [ Arnold ] Bracy, did get involved with Nanny Galia, who was a very attractive young lady .

I don ’ metric ton recall how we knew who the Marine was in our apartment, but we did, it was Bracy. And indeed deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon as my wife and I learned of what was going on, we got in refer with the embassy security officeholder and had a fiddling discussion in one of the secure rooms in the embassy .
Poor Bracy, I don ’ triiodothyronine know what happened to him, but he was such an innocent. He was a decent guy. We actually liked him, we very like Galia. This all suffering.

Corporal Bracy by and by went on test, I think, and possibly he did some fourth dimension. They, whoever they were, they were looking for such compromising connections involving the Marine Security Guards in Moscow after the Lonetree affair earlier in the year, and we gave them one .
It was a work presumption that these things were going on. Everyone was looking for spies. I have no idea what happened to Nanny Galia. Golnar and I haven ’ t forgotten her. She was a good lady and my daughter very liked her .
[ note : In a June 13, 1987 New York Times article, Bracy said he was approached in June 1986 by a soviet cook who worked in the Moscow embassy and was obviously trying to recruit him as a descry. He said he immediately rebuffed the womanhood and later reported the incident to his commander. About three weeks after the master meet with the cook, the bodied said, he went to a diplomat ’ s home, where the cook worked, to tell her he was angry that soviet officials would tied consider him as a electric potential spy. He said he failed to report that incident to his commanding officer. The charges against Corporal Bracy were dismissed in 1987 because the Marines were ineffective to corroborate the confession that he belated recanted. ]

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