Top 10 Spy Heroes

Many spies listed here have become national or international heroes. They provide the world with an example of someone who can change society and their beliefs.


1. Ethel & Julius Rosenberg:

They are viewed as the heroes of the Cold War by some Americans. According to Susan Web of People`s Weekly World, they made a sacrifice because they believed that a better world was possible and necessary. They refused to sign the loyalty oath and to lose their jobs like many people who were deemed communists. The execution of these two individuals was a struggle US faced for democracy and peace.


2. Eli Cohen:

Cohen was an Israeli Spy who worked in Syria and developed close relationships with the Syrian state and military. In fact, he was the third in line to become President of Syria when he was found by the Soviets. On May 18, 1965 he was executed by Syria for being an Israeli spy. He is deamed the person who saved Israel and prevented it from being destroyed. It was because of him that Israel was able to win the 6 Day War in 1967 when it was attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria.


3. Omar Nasiri:

This man was a Moroccan spy who infiltrated al-Qaeda for Britain and France. He admitted to warning the UK intelligence about the threat of al-Qaeda in 1990s. He provided pertinent information that could have been used to prevent al-Qaeda from ascending into power and causing 9/11 and is thus considered a hero.


4. Klaus Fuchs:

This man was a German born physicist who spied for Soviets during and after World War II while working on the atomic bomb project and Manhattan Project in both Great Britain and United States between 1941 and 1947. He felt that the Soviet Union had the right to know what Great Britain and the United States were up to.


5. Sidney Reilly:

This Ukrainian born was an Ace of Spies. He is the basis of the famous James Bond films and Ian Fleming`s books. He was often able to move across borders under assumed aliases to steal secrets, plans and aircraft prototypes. He is most notably known for trying to stage a coup against the Russian Revolutionaries in 1917 and for trying to assassinate Vladimir Lenin. He was committed to bringing democracy and to eliminating threats. Sadly he was killed by an undercover OGPU agent who tricked him into thinking he was anti-communist.


6. Nathan Hale:

He was a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He volunteered to spy on British troops and their movements during the Battle of Long Island. Unfortunately he was discovered by the British and was hanged for his crime. He is deemed a national hero in Connecticut today for his work for the America nation.


7. Pauline Cushman:

She was an actress who was disguised as a spy. She was an agent who was offered money to toast Jefferson Davis in a performance. After her toast, she would follow the Confederates and would also report back to the Union. She was caught with the documents in her hands for spying and sentenced to die by hanging. She was saved 3 days before the hanging. She is deemed a hero for trying to save United States from being divided.


8. Oleg Penkovsky:

This man is known as the Agent Hero. He caused the Cuban Missile Crisis when he supplied Americans with information about the Soviet Union in 1950s and 1960s. He may have prevented an attack that would have been deadly to Americans. Sadly, he was tried and convicted for treason and espionage and hanged.


9. Jan Kowalewski:

This lieutenant and colonel was a cryptologist, intelligence officer and engineer. He and other cryptologists broke Soviet military codes and ciphers and allowed for Poland to win the war between Poland and the Soviet Union in 1920. He is deemed a national hero in Poland.


10. Kurt Gerstein:

Gerstein was a Nazi ranking official who infiltrated his party to get to the bottom of the actions. Before the war, he was involved in anti-Nazi activities and was arrested for distributing literature to colleagues in the mining industry. When his sister-in-law died in 1941 of supposed natural causes in the Hadamar mental hospital, he decided to see to bottom of the witchpot. Joining Waffen SS, he was assigned to the medical service’s hygiene section. In 1942, he was appointed head of Technical Disinfection Department. It was at this position he saw the horrors of the Holocaust. Seeing what he saw (i.e. gassing, mass murder), he would bury all Zyklon B canisters he was to deliver. He did his part to resist the Nazi. He is thus considered hero by some. At the end of the war, he shared documents he compiled with the Allies.


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