Skip to comments.British woman who gave Soviets nuclear secrets dies at 93
Posted on 06/28/2005 12:32:48 PM PDT by Borges
LONDON (AFP) - Melita Norwood, who passed on secrets to the Soviet Union believed to have helped them speed up development of the atomic bomb, died earlier this month at the age of 93, her daughter said.
Anita Ferguson said her mother died on June 2 but declined to comment further.
Described as the most important British female agent recruited by the KGB intelligence service, Norwood spied under the codename "Hola" and passed British nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union in the years after World War II.
Norwood's activities were finally exposed when KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin defected to Britain in 1992, bringing thousands of files he had meticulously copied.
The supporter of Soviet-style communism spied for almost 40 years while a secretary at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, handing over details of the project to build Britain's first atomic bomb.
She took top secret documents from the Tube Alloys project -- the cover name for the nuclear weapons programme -- copied them and passed them to her KGB handlers.
The information she passed to Stalin's government is said to have helped the Soviets build an atomic bomb two or three years earlier than they otherwise would.
Her security clearance was revoked in 1951 because of concerns that she might be a spy.
But after she was publicly unmasked in 1999 she said idealism, not money, had inspired her.
After she was exposed as a spy, Britain's Security Service MI5 was strongly criticized by the parliamentary committee overseeing the intelligence agencies over the failure to prosecute her.
Isn't she cute, too bad she and Mark Felt couldn't get together ...
I despise communists.
And yet, she is probably lionized by the very people who hate Reagan for "bringing us to the brink of nuclear war."
Enjoy hell, bitch.
But she took the money anyway.
Imagine living so long and doing nothing of any worth.
Fifty-six years too late.
Hope you got a swimsuit, ya dingbat! It's going to be hot where you are for a while... Don't ask for icewater, you won't get any...
Contrast her deeds to this fellow, who also died recently:
It was a big mistake to give the a-bomb secret to the Brits.
Yes she should have been hanged in 1951.
Hey granny Hot enough for ya?
It's frustrating that she was allowed to live so long without having a stake driven through her heart. The Soviet Union was a murder machine and anyone who assisted it is a murderer.
I wonder if I can donate to the cause?
That "I've never been right about anything in my life, and I'm proud of it, because reality is a conspiracy of rich multinational corporations so I'm not participating in it" look.
"After she was exposed as a spy, Britain's Security Service MI5 was strongly criticized by the parliamentary committee overseeing the intelligence agencies over the failure to prosecute her."
The Europeans can't bring themselves to prosecute anyone for anything, can they?
Except that they would gladly prosecute GW Bush for nothing.
Or suffered burns while sitting in a chair at Sing Sing.