Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kim Philby

Harold (Kim) Philby, the son of the diplomat, John Philby, was born in Ambala, India, in 1911. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. While at university he met Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt. All of them became secret supporters of the Communist Party.

After university Philby went to Vienna where he met Litzi Friedman, a member of the Austrian Communist Party. With the emergence of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, Friedman was in danger of being arrested. Philby married Friedman and was then able to take her to England. Soon afterwards Philby became an agent of the Soviet Union.

To provide a cover, Philby began openly expressed right-wing opinions. Philby and Guy Burgess, who also renounced his communism, joined the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group. Philby got himself appointed as a reporter with The Times and on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he was sent to Spain. Over the next couple of years he provided articles that were very sympathetic to General Francisco Franco and the Nationalist Army. Franco was grateful for the support Philby gave to the Nationalists and on 2nd March, 1938, awarded him the Red Cross of Military Merit.

These reports convinced those on the right-wing of British politics that Philby had abandoned his former political views. In 1939 Guy Burgess suggested to Marjorie Maxse, chief organization officer of the Conservative Party, and chief of staff of MI6 Section D's training school for propaganda, that she should recruit Philby. Maxse agreed and he was given security clearance by Guy Liddell of MI5.

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