A Freedom Fighter Battles On His Own
By Paul Suszko
Most of us have heard some form of fictional spy story. We try to imagine what a real spy’s life is like. The Sequent staff had the rare opportunitv to meet a former spy.
I first heard of Boris Korczak from the GW Young Americans for Freedom, where he was to speak.
Boris is not a tall man. He is only about 5-foot-9. His jet-black hair is beginning to thin out; his features have a strong influence of European flavor, and lines of strain and suffering crease ‘his face. Yet it is something more than that. His countenance expresses an air of Slavic nobility, which is, as a matter – of fact, his heritage. His patterns of speech are equally European. He speaks with-a strong Slavic accent, but British, French, and German traces also show up.
Perhaps this comes from the fact that he has traveled around the world and can speak 11 different languages. Boris Korczak was born in 1939 in
the town of Wilno, Lithuania. He grew up during the Second World War and has many memories of patriots and invaders. Boris remembers how his father died as a cavalry officer with a sword in his hand fighting the Soviet invaders after Hitler and Stalin divided Poland among themselves. (Lithuania was then
part of Poland.) In 1945. as the war ended. young Boris and his family lost their land and their wealth to the new Communist government, so they moved further toward the center of Poland.
He remembers seeing the atrocities committed by the Soviets on the Polish people. This gave birth to his first anti Soviet feelings. After participating in the Budapest uprising in 1956 in Hungary, he was arrested and sentenced to death. However, after a year on death row, his sentence was changed to 15 years in prison. He was a stubborn prisoner, and the Soviet prison officials tortured him. The Soviet guards knew of his talent for painting, so they broke all the bones in his hands. After three years in prison he was partially paralyzed, almost blind, very ill, and near death. The prison officials thought that he would –
not live much longer, so they “paroled” him. Somehow, he managed to survive and recover.
After he was well again, Boris began to go to the State University. Since he was an “ex-criminal”, things were very hard on him, especially the school work. But he managed to do well and he received his BA. degree in Art History, Toward the end of his education. he joined an underground group that was planning to bomb the communist Party Offices. The Polish Secret Police found out about this and plotted to assassinate Boris. He found out about this and escaped from Poland to Denmark. There, in Copenhagen. he received medical care (for wounds received during his escape) and political asylum.
For quite a while, Boris was poor he worked as a dish-washer and as a singer in a nightclub. He Lived under a bridge and slept under newspapers. Than, in l965, he decided to improve the quality of his life. He became a Soldier of Fortune as a helicopter pilot in Africa and after making enough money he returned to Copenhagen to get his Masters and Ph.D. in Art. Then. in 1969, he moved to Paris, where he became an artist. He would sell the paintings and sculptures that he made and, with the money that he received, he would buy electronic equipment like radios, tape recorders, stereos, and cameras wholesale.
Soon he had enough equipment to go into the business of buying and selling electronics. This became very profitable and he soon moved his \business to Hong Kong. There, Dr. Korczak contacted the CIA. He was now a desirable person to the CIA because he was a Slavic European businessman which was considered
to be a good cover for a CIA- agent. He also had access to the electronic equipment which he bought and sold in his occupation, which could be used in intelligence gathering.
Dr. Korczak wanted to join the CIA so he could get his own private revenge on the Soviets. He also wanted to work for the CIA because he believed in America.” I loved the CIA, It impressed me ,” he says.
However, he refuses to talk about his time in the CIA, saying “I’m not in the business of exposing our operations.”
While serving as a CIA operative, he was recruited by the Soviet KGB, which was unaware that he was a CIA agent. Boris notified the CIA, which approved his working as a double agent. He then signed a contract with the CIA that would entitle him to American citizenship when he retired. Thus Boris began his double life.
Dr. Korczak was very happy with his occupation.” I am terribly proud of this part of my life”, he said.
Then on Christmas Eve, 1979, a tragic event happened to him. The CIA, under the Carter Administration, decided that he was no longer useful. In order to get rid of him without dirtying their own hands, the CIA planned for him to be eliminated by simply terminating their contract with him and by allowing the Soviets to find out about his double agent activities.
He escaped a murder attempt by fleeing back to Copenhagen with his family. After a short period of time, the loyal American spy and his son obtained visa to visit the US. He is trying now to get his U.S. citizenship papers, although he does not believe
that they are important. He does not believe that a real American is created by a piece of paper. “I already feel like an American,” he says. “That should be enough.”
For some reason, his wife and daughter are still in Copenhagen, unable to obtain visas. Dr. Korczak has had several attempts made on his life by the KGB.
He was shot with poisned pellet by the KGB while shopping in DC. suburb (see the Washington Post, Oct. 4, 1991), attacked with a knife, had a bomb placed in his car, had his brakes cut, and had a poisonous snake placed in the bedroom of his home by the KGB.
He has been followed on foot and by car and has been harassed by acts of vandalism to his home and property. Dr. Korczak devotes all his time to a group he created, known as Together International, a “patriotic research organization.” Private US. citizens are enlisted to monitor KGB agents in US. cities. The group’s purpose is a peaceful one-the Soviets only need to know that American citizens are watching them.
“The post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI virtually preclude our agents from surveillance Soviet-bloc spies.” explains Dr. Korczak. “Together International is a private group of concerned citizens who monitor enemy agents and publicize their activities to the public and the authorities.” He adds “People have a right to spy on the spies.”
Dr. Korczak has a message for Americans. He says negotiations with the Soviets are “negotiations with a criminal.” The ideology of Communism is not what the Soviets are practicing. He calls it “Sovietism.”
Dr. Korczak went on to say, “It is power that impresses the Soviets. It is power that they are seeking. It is power that they understand, and that is the only position that can be used to deal with Sovietism.”
The Soviets will see such issues as the “nuclear freeze” as a weakness that they can exploit to their advantage, not as a sign of peace. “I should know,” he says. “I worked with them.
The future is cloudy for the Korczak family. The money that he brought to America is nearly gone and he is curently unemployed. His major concern is for his group, Together International. which is in need of donations and volunteers.
Recently he was appointed Plenipotentiary Minister of the Exile Government of Poland. He has led an incredibly interesting life and he is a truly great American – even though the government refuses to recognize him as such.