Whether the Soviet resident, or an American spy: a trivial story of a double agent

Journalist and intellectual, a KGB officer and defector. Whether the Soviet resident, or an American spy, or Latvian, or German, or Imants, whether Peter Friedrich. Still at his grave under the Washington fake name, according to ‘the Present Time‘.

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

In his native Riga, only a couple of declassified documents in the national archives and conflicting memories of relatives and friends. Former friends – spies are no others. The untold story of the oath and betrayal, escape and betrayal, told by the daughter of a former Soviet intelligence officer, sought political asylum in the United States – a documentary film by Gints Grube and Jaak of Cilmi.

The film is available on the website until April 6.

The cemetery of the small town of Vienna, West Virginia. Peter F. Dorn. Years of life: 17 Dec 1931 – 23 Dec 1985. Even though these numbers don’t lie.

Here is buried Imants Leszczynski, who passed away suddenly before he turned 54. The woman at the grave of his daughter, Ieva Leszczynski-Habere. In her memoirs, records in diaries, travel to archives and places of memory, a piece of shrapnel recovered, going from a broken family service the story of a girl who became an unwitting victim of spy games.

Still no clear version of the death of the double agent Leszczynski. An autopsy was not performed. The funeral took place in secret. And his lifetime memoirs and is mysteriously disappeared. Hardly the iron curtain collapsed, the fans of historical conspiracy began to race wondering – killed scout people from Lubyanka or still classified by the CIA? What secrets did he take with him?

“I was not particularly happy. It’s like, you know, when you walk down the street, and everything you say – smile! Well, you’re smiling. Just because I have to,” she says.

What was her childhood, Ieva remembers the bad. Born in Latvia, and then – the most “European” of the Soviet republics. Socialist Riga – probably the only place where you can feel like a “Western” man, and a cafe on the carpeted cobblestones of the streets could be heard the jazz. Ieva’s parents divorced when she was six. She stayed to live with mom. But in the family album there are photographs where the whole family is together. There are very early photographs little Ieva smiling in the stroller. This black-and-white frame more than half a century. Edge stripped story.

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

Innocent photos. One detail – they are not made by a loving father, and specially trained officers from the individual services to create myths and legends for undercover KGB agents. All the extra cut, missing persons – paste. Collage life.

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

“I didn’t have much of a relationship with my dad – except my imagination. I saw him once in two or three months. We went together to a cafe or restaurant. He was always well dressed in a nice suit, a good hat, smelling of expensive perfume. But who was he? What was he doing? All I knew is that my father was an important person”.

Recruited intellectual, a lover of literature and history Imanta Leszczynski back in the 50s. then it was not even thirty. First, he and his family had to go to Germany under the guise of born in Koenigsberg Germans. To spy on the Soviet state. But the true story was not meant to be.

“When was 7 months old – my parents took me in his arms and moved to Moscow. To pass the training and become KGB spies. My mom told me that his father worked for the KGB, just when I was about sixteen years old. On a huge secret. But she never told that I too was part of the KGB.”

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

Old audiotape. The inscription on the tape: March 30, 1984. Washington. The recording of daddy’s voice. He speaks English quite without the Soviet accent:

“I had three spy missions related to the Olympic games. My mission was to gather intelligence, establish contacts with influential people…”

In 2003 in Latvia published a book Janis liepiņš “I was working with a double agent of the KGB and the CIA Imants Leszczynski” – bestseller, spyware, detective, based on real events. First there was the story of the double agent.

Recruited by the KGB in 1956, Leszczynski, had volunteered to cooperate with the American CIA in 1960, when he was in Rome as part of the Soviet delegation at the Olympic games. That is, in fact, all the work of security officers in the line of the Latvian emigratsii from the very beginning was controlled by the Americans.

What did Leszczynski? After the annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union, the local intelligentsia EN masse left their homeland. Many went to the United States. To promote among them the Soviet idea and to build loyalty to the Soviet Union – was a key challenge Leszczynski. First from Riga, regularly visiting Western countries and meeting with prominent representatives of the Latvian emigration. Then from new York.

The identity of Iman Leszczynski, an employee of the UN mission. Expires in 1981. Issued in 1976 for the first time. In that year he was transferred to work in the States. Intellectual with horn-rimmed glasses, have long led the magazine for immigrants Dzimtenes Balss (“Voice of the Motherland”), lectured in Latvian Lobach around the world. Quickly rose through the ranks and became Chairman of the Committee for cultural relations with compatriots abroad. A very high position in the hierarchy of the “propaganda Department” of the KGB. Being a double agent, tried to persuade the most popular Latvians from the Diaspora to return to the Soviet Union. Then in his diaries, he recalled:

“I let the Genie out of the bottle and now I have to take it back.”

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

Still concerning the role of the object Leszczynski among the Latvian intelligentsia is very ambiguous. One of the most emotional scenes of the film – as Ieva calling her father’s friend. But do not have time to introduce ourselves, how to hear in response (politely, but categorically): “I do Not think that you will like to speak with me. Nothing good about your father I won’t tell you”. Short beeps.

In the fall of 1978 Imants Leszczynski makes an incredible act. Suddenly the Soviet mission to the UN, for his leadership of the KGB, he asks for political asylum in the United States. It forced to a confrontation with the Soviet Embassy. Those trying to persuade him to think again. But he “chooses freedom.” Shortly before this act, he prepares the documents for her visa to America, and permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union. Daughter, the first being in the US, suspecting nothing about his father, remains in the United States.

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

“I believed the Soviet propaganda, from what I saw on TV – these stories about the fact that every American carries in his pocket a pistol, what is there every step of the way – the sex show”.

America in the eyes of Soviet girls – what is it? One storey and poor in the province, depraved and dirty – among the skyscrapers of new York, where among sex workers in torn stockings scurry police with batons.

Of course, all was not so. “It was like I was in Paradise” – these words Ieva recalls first impressions of the city of liberty. And the smell – somehow the soap in the shower.

Probably one of the most striking scenes of the film – the description of the arms. As you’re welcomed by a spy? Even if he is your father? Not too emotional. It seems to be warm. But still detached. If you’re the daughter, though an enemy agent, the movement of the hands of the security officer – or CLA – is always perfected and memorized. Such is their work that the warmth and the love have to leave about the same place where his real name.

То ли советский резидент, то ли американский шпион: нетривиальная история двойного агента

A screenshot from the movie “My father the spy”

On the same day – no waiting, no preparing for this, Ieva Leszczynski also had to become a different person. The father chose the name Peter Friedrich Dorn. Dorn translated from the German ship, he wanted to be the thorn that pricked the Soviet Union. Allegedly engaged in publishing. Ieva according to legend, was born in East Berlin after the wall moved to the West. She became Evelyn Dorn, abbreviated to be called “Eve” almost real name “Ieva”. And that’s it – Eveline Dorn – Ieva Leszczynski was until his father’s death. And until the death did not ask him questions about why he chose to be a spy, why did a prisoner of her decisions and it also, without asking permission. The answer to the question – and she, and you too will be able to find in the film.

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