Following in his father’s footsteps … at first

Our protagonist, the late CIA officer Henry Hecksher, initially followed his father into a career in the law. In Elizabeth Sears' journal article “The Life and Work of William H. Heckscher”, which is centered on Henry's art historian brother, we learn that Siegfried Heckscher was a lawyer at the law firm Monckeberg & Heckscher. We've already … Continue reading Following in his father’s footsteps … at first

The start of a Heckscher family portrait

Our hunt for information on the life of our protagonist, CIA officer Henry Hecksher, again takes us to his brother, acclaimed art historian William Heckscher. In a journal article entitled "The Life and Work of William H. Heckscher", fellow art historian Elizabeth Sears mentioned Henry only once. But we learn some details of the background … Continue reading The start of a Heckscher family portrait

An ambassador and a station chief at odds in Laos

Here's a breadcrumb on Henry Hecksher's CIA career from the notebooks of aviation historian William M. Leary, which are available to the public by the Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas. Why is our protagonist mentioned in the notes of an aviation historian? Because Leary wrote on Civil Air Transport, the … Continue reading An ambassador and a station chief at odds in Laos

Some words of advice on exiled Cuban rebel Manuel Ray

On September 20, 1963, someone had some advice for Henry Hecksher. The name on the memo in the CIA's files is blanked out, but from the tone, it seems to be another agency officer. "I regret that I wasn't able to spend more time on this case, interesting as it was," the person wrote in … Continue reading Some words of advice on exiled Cuban rebel Manuel Ray

Gathering information on the Soviets in post-war Germany

In August of 1946, we find our protagonist, Henry Hecksher, digging into the files on the NKVD, the Soviet Union's sweeping law enforcement agency that included its secret police, in the German city of Weimar. Working for the Strategic Services Unit, a CIA predecessor, in the American Zone of Germany, Hecksher wrote a top secret … Continue reading Gathering information on the Soviets in post-war Germany

An apparent success in 1964 election – but at what cost?

Before Henry Hecksher, the CIA officer at the center of this project, became station chief in Santiago in the late 1960s, the agency had been involved in other efforts to influence the outcome of Chile's elections. The first chapter of Kristian Gustafson's 2007 book, Hostile Intent: U.S. Covert Operations in Chile, 1964-1974, focuses on the CIA's … Continue reading An apparent success in 1964 election – but at what cost?

The art historian and the spy: the diverging and convering paths of the Heckscher brothers

Henry Hecksher, the CIA officer at the center of this project, and his brother William S. Heckscher took somewhat different paths out of Germany, and their professional lives took very different courses. They even spelled their last names differently. And yet they always seemed to end up in the same place: Princeton, New Jersey. A … Continue reading The art historian and the spy: the diverging and convering paths of the Heckscher brothers