In his early teens, he spent some time with the Bedouin in the desert of Saudi Arabia. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge , where he studied history and economics. He graduated in with a degree in Economics. The World Federation for the Relief of the Victims of German Fascism was an organization that attempted to aid the people victimized by fascism in Germany and provide education on oppositions to fascism. Philby admired the strength of her political convictions and later recalled that at their first meeting: A frank and direct person, Litzi came out and asked me how much money I had.

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To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. It had been reported that Greene had made some cryptic annotations in the margins of the Philby book, and I hoped they might provide a clue to the strange story I was pursuing.

A story about a possible deathbed revelation Graham Greene had had about Philby. Greene had first come to know Philby when the two were working for the British Secret Intelligence Service during World War II and Philby was the brilliant, charming counterintelligence specialist who disguised his intellectual arrogance with a disarming stammer.

And still later -- after Philby had been exposed as a long-term Soviet mole, indeed the ur-mole, the legendary Third Man, the most devastatingly effective known double agent in history, after Philby had surfaced in Moscow in , a hero of the K. Greene seemed to pride himself on being the one Westerner who truly understood the endlessly enigmatic Philby; knew him with all the masks off.

But then, in , as Greene lay dying of a blood disease in a Swiss hospital, a letter reached him throwing all that into question. Pursuant to that, Sherry had been conferring in Washington with Anthony Cave Brown, the espionage historian then researching a forthcoming Kim Philby biography. It had been whispered about before in the West; it had been debated we now know in the inner sanctums of the K. But the theory the two biographers were weighing was deeply shocking: Kim Philby, famous for deceiving the British by posing as a loyal agent of the Crown while really working for the K.

Could it be, Sherry wrote Greene, that Philby, regarded as the most destructive and demoralizing Soviet penetration of the West, was actually a Western agent penetrating the K.

A man whose belief in Communism Greene memorably -- and maddeningly to many -- compared to the faith of persecuted Catholics in Elizabethan England, who clandestinely worked for the victory of Catholic Spain. Greene portrayed Philby as someone who served the Stalin regime the way "many a kindly Catholic must have endured the long bad days of the Inquisition with this hope.

Some speculate his pro-Philby stand cost Greene a knighthood, and a Nobel Prize. Greene had gone out on a limb to portray Philby as a passionate pilgrim, a sincere devotee of the Marxist faith -- radically innocent rather than radically evil.

But if, in fact, his friend had all along been an agent of the Empire, a hireling of Colonel Blimp, it would mean that Philby had been laughing at Greene. Not merely laughing at him, but using him, using him as cover. With little time left to live, Graham Greene was in a race against the clock. Dante reserved the Ninth Circle of Hell for the Betrayer. Even in an age jaded by serial killers, the crime of treason still has a primitive power to shock, treachery a still-compelling ability to mesmerize.

The mole, the penetration agent in particular, does not merely betray; he stays. All his friendships, his relationships, his marriages become elaborate lies requiring unceasing vigilance to maintain, lies in a play-within-a-play only he can follow.

He is not merely the supreme spy; he is above all the supreme actor. If, as le Carre once wrote, "Espionage is the secret theater of our society," Kim Philby is its Olivier. He revealed dark shapes beneath the surface only dimly glimpsed before, if at all -- depths of duplicity, subzero degrees of cold-bloodedness that may not even have been there until Philby plumbed them. Even before James Bond, the spymasters of the British Secret Service enjoyed a worldwide reputation for infinite subtlety, invincibility and aristocratic elan.

Although British officialdom pooh-poohed this assertion at the time, it was confirmed to me in London this spring by Sir Patrick Reilly, the former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, the board of spy mandarins that oversees the selection of "C," the chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

Philby was no less a nemesis of the American spy establishment. In the final act of his active duty career in the West, before the spotlight of suspicion fell on him in , Philby was stationed in Washington, where, as chief British liaison with American intelligence agencies, he charmed the C. And in an incredible final act that closed the circle of deceit, in what may have been his last operational mission, Philby indirectly collaborated with Aldrich Ames in solving a high-level mole case for the K.

What is less well known is that Philby was, in effect, talking to Hitler, too. Cave Brown recalls a memorable conversation he had with Sir Ronald Wingate, a key member of the secret Churchill Cabinet department that formulated elaborate strategic deceptions like the one that kept Hitler guessing wrong about the D-Day landing.

As head of the Iberian section of M. In fact, Kim Philby was the real ex-Pfc. Wintergreen -- talking to Stalin, talking to Hitler, listening to Hitler through his command of the Ultra Secret, the code-breaking material produced by the famous "enigma machine" that read the ciphers of German military intelligence. And just to complete the circle, Philby was also influencing Churchill. Similarly, Philby could manipulate F.

Without a doubt, the mind of Philby was a key junction box, a node, a filter through which some of the most secret messages of the war were routed. But the question remains: Was Philby merely a courier or was he a creator? He remains a one-man enigma machine whose true aims and motivations have yet to be fully decrypted. Angleton had turned the C. I suggested the possibility that there never was a real mole, not of the stature of Philby, not while Angleton was there anyway.

What struck me in looking back on it, in reviewing the vast Philbian literature and mole war chronicles, was that, like many writers on the subject, like James Angleton himself, I had been seduced on the basis of fragmentary evidence by the image of a Notional Philby: an image of Philby in his post Moscow period that Philby himself had assiduously cultivated in his memoirs and correspondence with Westerners.

An image of Philby as the peerless mastermind, the Ultimate Player in the East-West intelligence game, always operating one level deeper than anyone else. It was a romanticized, almost cinematic image: Philby still the unflappable Brit aristo waiting for the cricket scores to arrive at the Moscow post office, then returning to the K. How much truth was there in it? In the aftermath of the collapse of the system he sold his soul for, with the opening of the K.

We have more information, but do we have more answers? It was an odyssey that led me eventually to the bookshop basement in South Kensington and the tip-off about the hush-hush cache of Philby papers in London.

The nephew, a friendly, intelligent fellow named Nicholas Dennys, confirmed that the annotations consisted of passages that had been suppressed in the British edition of the book by the British Official Secrets bureaucracy but had survived in the American edition.

A false trail perhaps, but then Dennys let slip a clue to a real one. Why, he asked, had I chosen this time to come to London to pursue a Philby story. Was it because of the papers? What papers? How did I find out?

Who had I talked to? In addition, they were nervous about reception of the news of the Philby sale -- scheduled in London for July 19 -- about charges of profiting from the fruits of treachery. And, in fact, when word of the sale did become public, the heat from the Tory press was so great the auction house decided to withdraw some of the more frivolous Philby items, among them his pipes, Homburg and martini shaker. What I found, when I got to see the consignment from Moscow, was a strange mixture.

There were letters, diaries, memoranda, a secret speech to K. There were tributes and tacky trophies from K. John Philby. There was correspondence between Philby and Graham Greene, filled with catty comments about Brit Lit contemporaries like Malcolm Muggeridge and grandiose geopolitical pipe dreams the two old spies cooked up, most notably a Greene scheme for a joint U.

And a detailed request to a K. And then there was the unfinished autobiography. Five chapters in manuscript pages whose publication the K. One moment, one childhood memory in particular, stood out from the rest. A moment I came to think of as a kind of metaphysical Rosebud of the Philby psyche.

A moment of communion between Philby and his colorful, eccentric explorer father. One that probably leapt out at me because fresh in my mind was a remarkable vision of Philby and his father in the flesh that had been vouchsafed me shortly before I left for London.

Dawn outside the Kit-Kat Klub. It was the shamal, the wind from the Arabian desert. And out of the ocher mists of dawn, staggering up the street came the two Philbys, arm in arm, singing an obscene song.

There was Philby the Elder, Harry St. John Bridger Philby, then near 70, "potbellied and satanic looking," Cave Brown recalls. Soon to die but still a living legend, St. John was one of the great Arabian explorers and intriguers, a rival to Lawrence of Arabia and the first Westerner to have traversed and mapped the vast, forbidding and forbidden Empty Quarter of the Saudi interior. Adventurer, scoundrel, convert to Islam, St. At the time of the Kit-Kat Klub sighting, St. John, known then as Hajj Abdullah, was living in a villa in a mountain village with his Saudi harem-girl, still up to his neck in Mideast intrigue.

As was his son. Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, two highly placed British diplomats who were Cambridge classmates of Philby and recruits to his Cambridge "Ring of Five" spies, defected just before Maclean was to be arrested on suspicion of espionage.

Part of the subsequent sensation over these "spies who betrayed a generation" was that a mysterious, unidentified Third Man had tipped them off. Of course, he did both, playing and being played in a doubly complicated game in which he served as a two-way conduit for disinformation.

That eerie ocher dawn in Beirut, the two Philbys were walking, staggering arm in arm, but were they working hand in glove? They were, in any case, harmonizing together that morning on an old R. Cave Brown sees a factual, even genetic link in their taste for treachery.

The empire, like Lulu, might be dead and gone, but the two Philbys survive, two successful predators sending out an obscene howl of triumph and defiance before setting off in search of fresh treacherous pleasures. Indeed, he goes further, asserting in his book due out from Houghton Mifflin this fall that Philby the Elder, regarded by most until now as far right politically, may have been recruited by Soviet intelligence in the Red Sea port of Jidda shortly before his son was approached in England.

Cave Brown says he was told by a former K. John Philby was a "Soviet asset. He almost goes so far as to suggest the father was running the son, that Kim was his agent.

John Philby did recruit his son into the Great Game. In the opening pages of his unpublished memoir, Philby depicts himself as a wistful loner of a child -- collecting butterflies, spending long hours drawing imaginary maps.

Map making was his only real passion. Not ordinary Atlas-type maps, but "maps that could be invented," Philby writes. My grandmother criticized me for calling all of them Spy Glass Hill. But the true apotheosis of his map-making obsession, the moment that blissfully, sublimely united him with his long absent father, came on the occasion of St.


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After reading about a third of the book my dilemma was resolved, he appears to have been a right berk. I always assumed that it must have taken an uncommonly sharp mind to do what Philby did, but you start to think that just maybe, rather than being incredibly clever, he was actually just another over educated member of the establishment, who only got away with it for so long because the people around him were exactly the same. He appears to have decided or been told to say nothing whatsoever about what information he passed on, or what activities he undertook on behalf of his Soviet bosses. The book becomes a procession of run-ins with staff at various levels of the UK secret services. It feels like being trapped talking to a particularly dull civil servant on the night of his retirement, who is determined to relate to you every detail of the times he bested some rival in a petty bureaucratic dispute. The story is called "My Silent War" but Philby is entirely missing from the book. As previously noted, he perhaps understandably says nothing of one side of his work at all.


Kim Philby and the Age of Paranoia

While a student at the University of Cambridge , Philby became a communist and in a Soviet agent. He worked as a journalist until , when Guy Burgess , a British secret agent who was himself a Soviet double agent, recruited Philby into the MI-6 section of the British intelligence service. By the end of World War II , Philby had become head of counterespionage operations for MI-6, in which post he was responsible for combating Soviet subversion in western Europe. In he was sent to Washington to serve as chief MI-6 officer there and as the top liaison officer between the British and U.


My Silent War: The Autobiography of a Spy


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