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Colonel Alfred Victor Redl
(March 14, 1864 - May 25, 1913) Austria

Alfred Redl

Soldier diplomat, and double agent


Born in Lemberg, in Austrian Galicia (now Lwíw in Ukraine), Colonel Alfred Redl pursued a brilliant career in the Austrian army, organizing the Counter-Intelligence efforts of Austria directed against Russia.

His story (which formed the basis of the 1985 film "Colonel Redl") had a tragic ending. To support his extravagant lifestyle - and due to blackmail regarding his homosexuality - he became a double agent, selling his services to Russia for several years.

Confronted by evidence of his treason - and photographic evidence of his homosexuality and transvestism - Redl took advantage of the opportunity to shoot himself rather than face exposure and trial. It is the Redl case that has formed the basis in later years for the contention that homosexuals are inherently security risks in the military.


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