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Der Fall des Generalstabschefs Redl (German)

Der Fall des Generalstabschefs Redl (German)

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Der Fall des Generalstabschefs Redl (German)

Der Fall des Generalstabschefs Redl

is a book by Austrian journalist and historian Hans Schafranek. It was first published in 1984 and tells the story of Alfred Redl, a high-ranking officer in the Austro-Hungarian military who was discovered to be a spy for the Russian Empire in the early 20th century.

Alfred Redl was born in 1864 and rose through the ranks of the Austro-Hungarian military to become the head of the General Staff’s intelligence division. However, in 1913, Redl was exposed as a spy for the Russians and committed suicide shortly thereafter.

Schafranek’s book explores the circumstances leading up to Redl’s exposure and the consequences of his betrayal. He draws on a wealth of primary sources, including Redl’s personal diaries, intelligence reports, and court martial documents, to paint a detailed picture of Redl’s life and the world in which he operated.

One of the key themes of the book is the culture of secrecy and paranoia that dominated the Austro-Hungarian military in the early 20th century. Schafranek argues that the military was deeply suspicious of outsiders and was highly hierarchical, with officers competing for power and influence. Redl, in particular, was an ambitious and talented officer who used his position to amass power and influence within the military.

However, Redl’s homosexuality made him vulnerable to blackmail, and he was eventually caught passing secrets to the Russians. Schafranek suggests that Redl’s betrayal was not simply a matter of greed or ideology, but was also the result of his personal circumstances and the culture of secrecy and paranoia in which he operated.

The book also examines the broader social and political context in which Redl operated. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a complex and diverse society, with multiple ethnic groups, languages, and religions. Schafranek argues that the military played a central role in maintaining the stability of the empire, but that this stability came at the cost of individual freedoms and democratic values.

“Der Fall des Generalstabschefs Redl” is a gripping and detailed account of one of the most notorious spy scandals in European history. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the Austro-Hungarian military and the complex social and political context in which it operated. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of espionage, military history, or European history more broadly.

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