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Spies - The Case of Karel Richter Main page

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Karel Richter was a 29 year old Sudeten German who was caught and executed in 1941 for being a spy. He had parachuted into England on 12 May 1941 and was captured just two days later after hiding out in a field. It was his first mission.

Richter became a spy after trying to escape from Germany. He was deported from Sweden because he did not have the right papers. When he arrived back in Germany he was sent to a concentration camp. Richter was then offered his freedom if he agreed to become a spy.

Richter's first mission was to pass some equipment to another spy in England, check whether this spy was really a double agent and then gather information on roads and railways, use of gas masks and National Identity Cards. After hiding for two days without food, Richter felt very ill and decided to find help. He wandered on to a busy road where two lorry drivers spotted him. The lorry drivers later reported him to a policeman who took him to the station for questioning. Richter was found to be carrying forged documents and other suspicious items so the police handed him over to the Security Service.

After many hours of questioning, when confronted by another German spy Richter admitted that he was a German spy and gave the Security Service full details of his mission. A search was also made of the field where he landed and other items such as a radio transmitter, torch and automatic pistol were found. Richter was tried in October and November 1941 and was executed on 10th December.

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