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HISTORY

The Son Who Never Was

60' (ENG, GER), 45' (GER)
The tragic story of a Polish man whose identity was assumed by a spy for the Polish secret service, who infiltrated West Germany's civil service, where he remained active for years.

As an extraordinary untold chapter of Cold War espionage, this documentary reveals how secret services in the Eastern Block systematically stole the identities of orphaned and abandoned children and used them to create aliases for their foreign agents.

Jerzy Kaczmarek was recruited as an agent in 1977 when he was in his early twenties, and given the identity of Janusz Arnoldt. Arnoldt was the illegitimate son of a Red Army officer; he was abandoned in an orphanage at the age of one. Later adopted by a Polish family, Arnold came across his original birth certificate in the early-1980s and decided to track his birth mother down. However, when he contacted the German Red Cross for information, he was told the request had already been made years earlier, and that he and his birth mother Hildegard had been reunited long ago. An extraordinary untold chapter of Cold War espionage, this documentary reveals how secret services in the Eastern Block systematically stole the identities of orphaned and abandoned children and used them to create sophisticated aliases for their foreign agents.

Pictures © WDR, Family Archive Institute for National Remembrance, Warsaw

Original Title: Meine Familie und der Spion - Eine Geschichte aus dem Kalten Krieg / Im Namen des Anderen
Year: 2013 / 2015
Length: 60' (ENG, GER), 45' (GER)
Resolution: HD
Film by: Rosalia Romaniec, Beate Schlanstein
Produced by: WDR

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