A Secret Life - The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission and The Price He Paid To Save His Country

A Secret Life

Ryszard Kuklinski was a Colonel in the Polish Army, a military planner and aid to General Jaruzelsk, who from 1972 to 1981 was also a spy for the CIA. He passed thousands of top secret Warsaw Pact documents detailing Soviet military plans to the American intelligence agency.

A Secret Life - The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission and The Price He Paid To Save His Country
Benjamin Weiser
Published in 2004 by PublicAffairs
ISBN 1586483056

Available from Amazon (UK), Amazon (US), Abe Books (2nd Hand)


Radek Sikorski, National Review (USA) 19 April 2004, wrote in Pride of Poland

[Kuklinski] was the West's most important source in the Warsaw Pact between the time of Oleg Penkovsky's reports during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the end of the Cold War...Kuklinski joins Claus von Stauffenberg in the pantheon of tragic heroes who betrayed their state to try to save their country. Benjamin Weiser's book — lucid, authoritative, and unputdownable — is a must-read for scholars of the Cold War, and for all of us who lived in the shadows of totalitarianism and enjoy the fruits of the ultimate triumph of liberty.


Ryszard Kuklinski died on 10 February 2004 in the USA from a stroke. He is buried in the Powazki military cemetery in Warsaw.

Anne Applebaum, Newsweek (USA) 1 March 2004, wrote in An Honorable Soldier - Cold-war Spy Ryszard Kuklinski Had Patriotic Motives

Kuklinski's name has become, in Poland, a byword for the country's continued confusion about its communist past...Former communists consider him a traitor, a man who was disloyal to the Army whose uniform he wore. Former opponents of the communist regime consider him a hero...To the very end, Kuklinski, an honorable soldier, was tortured by the thought that his countrymen still questioned the purity of his motives.

James Risen, New York Times (USA) 12 February 2004, wrote in Ryszard Kuklinski, 73, Spy in Poland in Cold War, Dies

Colonel Kuklinski under the code name Gull, became one of the C.I.A.'s most productive agents, handing over thousands of secret documents as well as insights into the plans and intentions of the Warsaw Pact...In a statement on Colonel Kuklinski's death, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to President Carter, praised Colonel Kuklinski and said that he ''decided to help America better understand Soviet planning, thereby increasing America's ability to deter Soviet aggression.''

This page was added on 13 April 2008.