File:Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F042453-0011, Niedersachsen, Brandt im Wahlkampf.jpg

Guillaume with Willy Brandt, 1974

Günter Guillaume (February 1, 1927 – April 10, 1995), was an intelligence agent of East Germany's secret service, the Stasi.

Guillame was born in Berlin. During the Hitler era, he was a member of the Nazi party NSDAP. In 1956, he and his wife Christel emigrated to West Germany on Stasi orders to penetrate and spy on West Germany's political system. Rising through the hierarchy of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, he became a close aide to West German chancellor Willy Brandt.

In 1974, West German authorities discovered Guillaume's spying for the Communist East German government. The resulting scandal, the Guillaume Affair, led to Brandt's resigning the chancellorship. Guillaume was sentenced to a thirteen-year prison term for espionage, and his wife to an eight-year term. Guillaume was released to East Germany in 1981 in exchange for Western spies caught by the Eastern Bloc.

In East Germany, Guillaume was received and celebrated as a hero, worked as a spy trainer, and published his autobiography Die Aussage in 1988. Guillaume and East German spymaster Markus Wolf have said that Willy Brandt's downfall was not intended, and that the affair is among the Stasi's biggest mistakes. After Die Wende and German reunification, the reunified Germany granted Guillaume immunity from any further prosecutions. He was a supportive witness in Wolf's trial of treason in 1993.[1]

The Brandt-Guillaume story is told in the play Democracy by Michael Frayn. It follows Brandt's astonishing political career as West Germany's first left-of-center chancellor in forty years, and his fall because of his assistant.

Guillaume's wife died in 2004.

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