Since an early age, I dreamt of being called: Bond… James Bond… but it never happened!
However, it almost felt like it when I visited the newly opened spy museum. It was impossible for me to get to Berlin and not venture there…
This museum documents a large exciting time travel period of spying from the Egyptian Pharaoh in the 15th century BC arriving to today’s cyber crimes and espionage. It also features the spies, their missions, their successes and failures, some of their mysterious vanishing or death and, of course, their gadgets and equipment.
The museum has a lot of interesting gadgets that were used by international spies.
From complex machines to a lipstick gun, here are my favorite five:
1 THE NUT MESSAGE HOLDER
Not your normal spy gadget but one of the most efficient tools that were used to transfer messages and secret codes without anyone noticing!
2 THE SPY CAMERA IN BRA
Oh I wonder what did this camera film!!
A 315 degree camera hidden in a wearable bra was first used in 1986! The Socialist State Security Service developed later on a summer dress that concealed this spy camera. Until this day, this spying tool is being used but it’s developed in a much modern and unrecognizable way.
3 THE POISONED UMBRELLA
A standard umbrella was modified internally first in 1978 to inject poison into its target with the press of a trigger. Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov was the first to be killed by this deadly weapon.
4 THE WALKING STICK FOR GAZ ATTACK
This walking stick was an ingenious piece of equipment. It consisted of two parts: the grip could be screwed off and the long stick contained fixtures for poisonous gas ampoules as well as the corresponding shooting mechanisms. The trigger was operated at the grip: the poison was released at the lower end.
5 THE SPECIAL SHOE
Shoes were the most popular spy gadgets of all time.
Back in the 60’s, transmitters were installed in diplomats shoes for tracking purposes and the CIA used to listen to conversations through a special bug inserted in the shoe heel.
Many agencies and spies that marked the spying history are listed, from the world famous to the less known ones. You read their stories and ventures in that intriguing world. My favorite story was about a Spy-Cat wired by the CIA to wander around a room full of diplomats to record their conversation. Getting the cat ready and its training costed 15 million dollars. The cat was killed by a taxi on its very first mission.
If you like politics, geopolitics, international affairs, intelligence agencies and spy tools, your visit to Berlin’s spy museum is A MUST. Still, unfortunately, the museum lacks the WOW factor that I anticipated but couldn’t find….
Until our next venture…