The Beautiful Spy

I have been researching the life and career of this lady since 2004.

The more I discover the more I glimpse the underlying mystery.  There is a great mystery here.  A mystery that deepens with every passing year. 

One well-known historian has called her the ‘most outstanding German woman spy’ of WWII.

Born in Siberia in 1912, she was a spy for the White Russians, the Soviets, the German Abwehr possibly for MI6, and almost certainly for MI5.  Femme fatale, caberet dancer, drug addict, hunted at one time or another by the NKVD and the Gestapo, her life reads like a spy novel - a cross between Ian Fleming and John le Carre.

Over 60 years after her capture in Scotland in September 1940, MI5 still refuse to release all their files on ‘the beautiful spy’.


The Beautiful Spy in 1942 shortly before she was debriefed by MI5 agent ‘Klop’ Ustinov (the father of the actor, Peter).

The lady’s name is Vera Schalburg.

Officially, MI5 claim she was a minor player whom they ‘turned’ in 1942.  According to MI5 she was deported to Germany in 1945 and thereafter, disappeared without a trace.

Her male accomplices on her last mission to England were executed for treason - Vera never even stood trial.  One rumour says she was a double agent all along, another that she was the lover of a prominent member of the British establishment, by whom she had a child before the war.  Either way, she survived.  But then surviving was what Vera did best.

Mata Hari or the victim of the spying game?  After 1945 did she vanish for ever into the ruins of post-war Germany?  Or did MI5 find her a new name, a new life in England?  Did she live to a grand old age on the Isle of Wight, or die young and anonymously?  So many questions, so many lies, so many false trails.


Some other facts about ‘the Beautiful Spy’.

Her brother died leading the Danish Freikorps battalion of the Waffen SS on the Eastern front in 1942.

English members of the Schalburg family fought for the Allies - her Uncle and a nephew were in the RAF. 

Presently, I am following a number of lines of inquiry about what happened to ‘the Beautiful Spy’ after MI5 ‘lost’ track of her in October 1945.  For what it is worth I think Vera was given a new identity and lived out her life in England. 

If you think you have any information which may help to resolve the mystery of ‘the Beautiful Spy’ I would delighted to hear from you.

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Vera - within hours of her capture in 1940.

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