By FOIA Research
on April 27, 2019 - Last updated: December 23, 2020

Rudolf Werner

Rudolf Werner (alias Kempe) was an agent of the German secret service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), and served as its liaison in Washington in the mid-1990s.1

An undated declassified document gives some biographical background to Werner:2

"Rudolf Werner was born 5 January 1934 in West Germany. He has a PhD in Philosophy and studied history, theater and newspaper science. He entered service with the BND in 1963. Dr. Werner is currently the Chief of Department One/Human Collection. He is married and has three daughters. Werner's previous career was in Field Operations in Germany.  For many years he specialized in clandestine operations into Poland. He was promoted to his present position over a number of other more senior officers. He is representative of a new generation of BND officers who are experienced and competent in field agent operations. He isdynamic and innovative in his approach to operations, and has been very receptive to encouragement and advice from CIA officers in Munich and Headquarters.


According to another declassified document, it was with the help of Ebrulf Zuber (alias ACKERMANN) that Rudolf Werner (alias KEMPE) made some successive leaps in his career:3

"As noted previously, there is a warm personal relationship between Kempe and Ackermann, who played instrumental role in Kempe's recent double-grade promotion and leap-frog act into his new position."

Around 1984 Werner was appointed to the rank of "Department 1 Chief" within the BND:1

"Werner has just recently been appointed to the position of BND Department 1 Chief (equivalent to CIA/DDO). Dr Werner wants to emphasize and significantly increase the HUMINT aspect of intelligence collection. He has expressed hope that the BND and CIA can deepen even more the already good, close working relationship and Dr. Werner has stated that he intends to do all he can toward that end. This visit will give us an opportunity to get to know Dr. Werner and to brief him appropriately."

In September 1984 Rudolf Werner (alias KEMPE) is initiated into the German stay-behind activities of the BND (alias CASCOPE). A declassified CIA memo from September 1984 states:4

"Kempe said he was surprised when taking on his new duties to find that CASCOPE had as many as 75 people dedicated to the staybehind program and that these people were working pretty much in isolation from the rest of the service. He has decided to end this isolation and to meld staybehind into the mainstream of his directorate. This has entailed an actual transfer of the 75 to his directorate. Kempe believed that the emphasis must henceforth be placed on active intelligence collection in both peacetime and war, as distinct from a staybehind program reserved for activation only in hostilities. His term for staybehind assets now on CASCOPE's roles is "sleepers." He indicated that these assets would henceforth be brought under the control of alias ACKERMANN [Ebrulf Zuber], who is already responsible for "in-place" reporting sources in the Warsaw Pact area. Thereafter, CASCOPE would have a single manager for both sleepers and in-place sources and a coordinated plan for using them before and during hostilities."


In 1994 Rudolf Werner came back from his BND residency in Washington.5 He became successor of Volker Foertsch as chief of Abteilung I (Operative Aufklärung) (Department 1 / operative intelligence) of the BND.6


Rudolf Werner was the responsible department chief in Munich (Referat 11A) to deal with the local execution of the Plutonium Affair.7

Declassified documents mentioning Rudolf Werner:

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