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Nazi agent suspect and the spies who loved her

A glamorous suspected German agent caused a scandal when she developed a “most undesirable familiarity” with British intelligence officers in Cairo during the Second World War, MI5 files show.

One married UK officer asked Sophie Kukralova to be his wife and a second threatened to have her arrested as a spy unless she slept with him, according to newly declassified documents.

Kukralova was arrested and interned by the British in Palestine during the war after arousing suspicion for her close interest in military matters, unexplained wealth and claims of top-level links to the Nazi regime.

A March 1944 report to MI5 noted there was no definite proof that the glamorous Kukralova was a German spy.

But it concludes: “With her cosmopolitan and unscrupulous character, her interest in espionage, her unusual knowledge of armaments and military affairs, Sophie would, if released, be a potential menace to security wherever she was.”

German documents uncovered by British intelligence after the war suggested that Kukralova was indeed a spy, codenamed R 37 49, who had planned to get herself adopted by UK citizens to acquire a British passport so she could travel to Bombay to arrange contacts for another Nazi agent.

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