Blake, George

Blake, George

▪ British diplomat and Soviet spy
original name  Georg Behar  
born 1922, Rotterdam, Neth.

      British diplomat and spy for the Soviet Union.

      After escaping from The Netherlands at the beginning of World War II, Blake served in the Royal Navy until 1948, when he entered the Foreign Office and was appointed vice-consul in Seoul, South Korea. Blake was interned (1950–53) after North Korean troops captured Seoul and he secretly became a communist. After his repatriation (1953) he was assigned to the British military government in Berlin (1955), where he had access to information of the British secret service. Recalled in 1959, he worked for the intelligence branch of the Foreign Office (MI-6) and then was sent to the Middle East College for Arabic Studies, Lebanon (1960). After his arrest in April 1961, he admitted being a double agent, having given every important document that had come into his possession since 1953 to his Soviet contact and having betrayed many British agents (at least 42 by his captors' account, some 600 by his own account). Sentenced to 42 years in prison in May 1961, he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs Prison in October 1966, aided by two peace advocates, Patrick Pottle and Michael Randle. Blake fled to the Soviet Union.

▪ British writer
born Oct. 28, 1893, Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scot.
died Aug. 29, 1961, Glasgow

      writer whose most interesting books are the novels he wrote about Clydeside shipbuilders. He describes their life with a realism that played a part in overcoming the tendency of Scottish letters toward a sentimental portrayal of the local scene.

      Blake worked as a journalist and in a publishing house before becoming a full-time writer. Among his many novels are Vagabond Papers (1922), The Shipbuilders (1935), David and Joanna (1936) and the semiautobiographical work Down to the Sea (1937).

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Universalium. 2010.

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