“Österreichs Geheime Dienste” (Austria’s Secret Services) is the first source-based, historical account of the Austrian intelligence services since 1945. Rather than focusing on organizational developments, it provides a captivating account of ‘case history’: from the emergence of the film classic The Third Man more than 70 years ago in Vienna, the search for Nazi War criminals, and the ‘treasure hunt’ in the Toplitzsee to the fight against threats such as international terrorism, arms trade, and espionage.
The primary sources viewed for this study come from both domestic and foreign archives: the ÖStA/CoR, the Foundation Bruno Kreisky Archive (StBKA), the authority of the Federal Commissioner for the Files of State Security (BStU), and various other agencies. All in all, it is a journey into the depths of the so-called ‘Island of the Blessed’ – Austria.
As peaceful and benign as Austria might appear, for more than seven decades it has been the scene of politically motivated attacks, abductions, espionage operations, and arms smuggling. Despite the reluctance to discuss these issues publically, Austria’s intelligence services have had to deal with a multitude of threats. It is time to tell this secret story.