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Willi (Willy) Lehmann
Willi Lehmann
Nickname Agent A-201/Breitenbach
Born 15 March 1884
Died December 13, 1942(1942-12-13) (aged 58)
Place of birth Leipzig, Germany
Place of death Berlin
cremated Sachsenhausen concentration camp
Allegiance Germany
Years of service Germany 1911-1942
USSR 1929-1942
Rank SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain)
Unit Gestapo

Willi (Willy) Lehmann (born 15 March 1884, Leipzig; died December 1942, Berlin, age 58) was a police official and Soviet agent in Nazi Germany.

Lehmann was a criminal inspector and SS-Hauptsturmführer (captain), alias Agent A-201/Breitenbach. During World War II Lehmann was one of the most valuable sources for the NKVD in Germany.


Lehrmann joined the Berlin Police force in 1911. In 1920 he became deputy division chief of anti-espionage. In 1929 Lehmann began providing information for the NKVD. He did this not out of communist sympathy, but because he was married, also had a girlfriend, and needed money. In addition, he had a fondness for betting on horses.[1]

In 1933 Lehmann joined the Gestapo. The NKVD code name for the Gestapo was Apotheke (pharmacy). In the Gestapo Lehmann became director of the division combating Soviet espionage. Thanks to Lehmann’s information, the Soviets were able to free their agent Arnold Deutsch, who would go on to recruit Kim Philby.[2]

Lehmann entered the SS in 1934. Toward the end of June, Hermann Göring asked Lehmann to help organize the Röhm Putsch to liquidate opponents of the regime. Lehmann later told the NKVD that the murders he committed during the Night of the Long Knives sickened him. But at the same time they solidified his position with his Gestapo superiors.

In 1939 Lehmann transferred to the Reich Main Security Office, division IV. His responsibility was to prevent the Soviets from spying on the German armaments industry. This position enabled Lehmann to provide valuable information to the Soviets about German armaments. On 19 June 1941, Lehmann reported to the NKVD the exact date on which the Germans planned to invade the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa was launched on 22 June 1941. His message was telegraphed to Beria and Stalin, who noted in green ink "disinformation" on Lehmann's intelligence report.

In 1942, with the Germans’ discovery of the Rote Kapelle, Lehmann was arrested and shot without trial on orders of Heinrich Himmler, who at the same time had the entire matter hushed up.


  1. Uwe Klussmann: Stalins Mann in der Gestapo. der Spiegel. 29 September 2009
  2. Hans Coppi: Willy Lehmann; in: Hans Schafranek und Johannes Tuchel (Eds.):Krieg im Äther. Widerstand und Spionage im Zweiten Weltkrieg. Picus Verlag: Wien 2004, ISBN 3-85452-470-6