Elyesa Bazna, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Elyesa Bazna

German spy

Date of Birth: 28-Jul-1904

Place of Birth: Pristina, Pristina District, Kosovo

Date of Death: 21-Dec-1970

Profession: spy

Nationality: Turkey

Zodiac Sign: Leo

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About Elyesa Bazna

  • Elyesa Bazna (Turkish: ['eljesa 'bazna]), infrequently referred to as Iliaz and Ilyaz Bazna (Albanian: [iliaz bazna]; 28 July 1904 – 21 December 1970), was a secret agent for Nazi Germany during World War II, operating under the code name Cicero. Born in Pristina, Bazna attended a military academy, and joined a French military unit at age 16.
  • He was caught stealing cars and weapons, for which he served three years in a penal labor camp in France.
  • Bazna held a number of manual jobs in Turkish and French cities before obtaining work for foreign diplomats and consulates as a doorman, driver, and guard.
  • He spoke several languages fluently, including French, which was the predominant diplomatic language at the time.
  • In 1943, Bazna was hired as a valet by Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, the British ambassador in Ankara, Turkey.
  • He photographed British documents in Knatchbull-Hugessen's possession, and sold them to the Germans through their attaché Ludwig Carl Moyzisch in what became known as the Cicero affair. As Cicero, Bazna passed on important information about many of the Allied leaders' conferences, including the Moscow, Tehran and Cairo Conferences.
  • The details for the Tehran Conference were important for Operation Long Jump, the unsuccessful plot to kill Franklin D.
  • Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill.
  • He had also conveyed a document that carried the highest security restriction (BIGOT list) about Operation Overlord (the code name for the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944).
  • It included intelligence that the British ambassador was to request the use of Turkish air bases "to maintain a threat to the Germans from the eastern Mediterranean until Overlord is launched." The information about the Normandy Invasion was not known by the Germans until after the war.
  • Had it been provided in time, Operation Overlord (the preparations for D-Day) could have been compromised.
  • He also provided intelligence that might have made the Germans believe that there was no danger of attack in the Balkans.
  • The information that he leaked is believed to have been among the potentially more damaging disclosures made by an agent during the Second World War.
  • The German Foreign Office questioned the intelligence provided by Cicero due to the large quantity of transmitted documents, which meant that little, if any, of it was acted upon.Once the British became aware that there was a spy operating within the Turkish Embassy, they investigated Bazna, installed a new alarm system, and initiated an unsuccessful sting to catch him selling intelligence.
  • He stopped selling information to the Germans by the end of February 1944 and left the embassy within a month or so.
  • After the war, Bazna was questioned for war crimes, but he was never charged with espionage.
  • He attempted to buy and operate a hotel in Ankara with the proceeds of his spying career, but it was discovered that much of the money was counterfeit.
  • He served a brief prison sentence for circulating forged notes.
  • Bazna lived in Ankara with his family for many years and obtained work doing odd jobs.
  • He moved to Munich in 1960 and worked as a night watchman before dying in 1970 of kidney disease.
  • Bazna published a memoir of the Cicero affair in 1962.

Read more at Wikipedia