CIA talks 'amorous arts,' Romeo spies on Valentines Day


The CIA used Valentine's Day Wednesday as an opportunity to talk about the “amorous arts” that spymasters used to obtain secrets from their targets, taking over the agency’s Twitter account to talk about Romeos, Juliets and tricks of the trade.

The Twitter account, normally a sober relation of news, updates and information, took a dip into the saucier side of spycraft as it described not only female seductresses but also East German “Romeo spies,” who engaged in relations with women and convinced them to pass over information in post-war West Germany.

It notes that 40 women were prosecuted in West Germany during the Cold War for espionage, with many falling in love with their “Romeos” who encouraged them to spy.

The tweets in turn linked to a deep dive into the practice -- one that makes for interesting reading on one of the more curious instances in post-war espionage.

“They may have been victims of Cupid’s arrow, but they were not entirely innocent,” the article reads. “However, many hearts were broken, including those of several Romeos who truly loved their Juliets. Several couples endured the charade, fell genuinely in love, and went on to marry and start new lives.”


Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.