The Man With the Poison Gun

The Man With the Poison Gun

A Cold War Spy Story

Book - 2016
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"In the fall of 1961, a KGB agent defected to West Germany. The slim 30-year-old man in police custody had papers in the name of an East German, Josef Lehmann, but claimed that his real name was Bogdan Stashinsky, and he was a citizen of the Soviet Union. On the orders of his KGB bosses, he had traveled on numerous occasions to Munich, where he singlehandedly tracked down and killed two enemies of the communist regime. He used a new, specially designed secret weapon--a spray pistol delivering liquid poison that, if fired into the victim's face, killed him without leaving any trace. Wracked by a guilty conscience, Stashinsky escaped with his wife under the tragic cover of their infant son's funeral, and crossed into West Berlin just hours before the Berlin Wall was erected. In 1962, after spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case in Cold War history. Stashinsky's testimony, implicating the Kremlin rulers in political assassinations carried out abroad, shook the world of international politics. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders, the former head of the KGB and Leonid Brezhnev's rival, Aleksandr Shelepin. In West Germany, the Stashinsky trial changed the way in which Nazi criminals were prosecuted. Using the Stashinsky case as a precedent, many defendants in such cases claimed, as had the Soviet spy, that they were simply accessories to murder, while their superiors, who ordered the killings, were the main perpetrators."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2016]
ISBN: 9780465035908
Branch Call Number: 327.1247 PLOKHY
Characteristics: xiii, 367 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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emmakaye
Mar 20, 2017

This nonfiction title reads like a spy thriller. It is also topical as it recounts the days of the KGB after WW2 and into the cold war. With the current interest in Russian shenanigans, it is a great read.

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