Real-life James Bond spied on Cold War Poland

Files from the Polish archives show details of the real-life Bond, a 36-year-old British agent from Devon

Reuters September 26, 2020
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Poles were left shaken and stirred by news that a suspected British agent called James Bond was on Her Majesty’s secret service in the country in the 1960s, after the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) posted about him on social media.

According to the institute’s archive James Bond came to Poland on Feb. 18, 1964 and was officially employed as an archivist for the British Embassy Military Attache. He soon came to the attention of Polish counter-intelligence officers.

“We know he was in Poland ... in 1964 and 1965,” Marzena Kruk, director of the IPN’s archive, told Reuters.

“He travelled a bit around Poland ... he liked women, the same as his literary namesake, but there is not even a word about Martini,” she said, referring to the fictional character’s favourite tipple. “However, there is information that he liked Polish beer.”

Bond was under strict surveillance, and visited the Bialystok and Olsztyn regions of northeastern Poland to try and “penetrate military facilities” in the Soviet satellite state, according to the files.

However, he was found not to have made contacts with Polish citizens, which would have had serious consequences for any Poles suspected of working with agents from the other side of the Iron Curtain.

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