7 stories about famous traitors

People commit betrayal is a fact. Some do it for the sake of money, others out of fear, and still others under the pressure of circumstances. It makes no sense to judge people who have died long ago, but history has preserved the names of some traitors.

1. Judas Iscariot

The story of Judas is known to everyone: originally being one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, Judas was in charge of all their common money and, possibly, loved money. In the writings of John Chrysostom, there are references to the fact that Judas, along with the other apostles, performed miracles: he raised the dead, healed the sick, but later “lost the kingdom of heaven, ” for he betrayed the Lord.

The Bible contains some information about the childhood of Judas: his parents threw the child into the sea in the ark, because they had a dream that the son would be their death. And so it happened: Judas, like the ancient Greek Oedipus, after many years, returning to his hometown, killed his father and entered into an incestuous relationship with his mother. After repentance and repentance, the Lord forgave Judas all sins, and he became one of the 12 apostles of Christ.

Judas betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver - exactly the same amount he received from the high priests. After Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion, Judas repented of his deed and tried to return the coins back, but the chief priests told him that they did not care about his repentance. Then Judas threw coins in the temple and committed suicide - he hanged himself. An interesting fact: it is believed that the tree on which Judas hanged himself was an aspen, and that is why in many fantastic works a vampire can be stopped by thrusting an aspen stake into his heart.

It is impossible to say with certainty whether Judas actually existed. However, the same cannot be said about the rest of the apostles, as well as about all the people described in the Bible. However, in 1978, the so-called "Gospel of Judas" was found in Egypt, allegedly written by himself. In it, Judas Iscariot appears as the only disciple of Christ, to whom he revealed all the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. Nevertheless, the Christian Church does not recognize the document as authentic, and it is not included in the list of canonical gospels.

2. Mark Junius Brutus

Marcus Junius Brutus Cepio was a Roman senator living in the 1st century BC. e. He came from a respected and wealthy Roman family, whose members were traditionally part of the Senate. Nevertheless, the antiquity of his family was questioned by some Roman citizens of that time.

Initially, Brutus was a supporter of Pompey, but after Caesar's victory at the Battle of Pharsalus, he joined the Roman general. Caesar received Brutus with honors and even transferred one of the provinces under his control - Cisalpine Gaul. Not the least role in the approach of Brutus to Caesar was that his mother, Servilia, was Caesar's mistress for many years.

Meanwhile, Caesar gradually turned from the main military leader into the emperor and sole ruler of Rome. Then the quaestor Guy Cassius Longinus attracted Brutus to his side with the help of both promises and threats.

There is evidence that Longinus repeatedly reminded Brutus of his origin - allegedly Mark Junius Brutus was a descendant of Lucius Junius Brutus, who overthrew the last Roman emperor Tarquinius the Proud: since the ancestor did a similar act and freed the Empire from the dictator, then the descendant is destined to do the same. So Brutus stood at the head of a conspiracy against Julius Caesar, which was joined by several more senators, as a result of which Caesar was stabbed to death right in the Senate building.

Nevertheless, the conspiracy was never crowned with complete success, since the people did not follow the conspirators. As a result, Caesar's nephew Octavian gained power, and Brutus and Longinus had to flee. Later, Brutus returned to Rome at the head of a large army, but was defeated by the combined forces of Octavian and Antony. Upon learning of the defeat, Brutus committed suicide, preferring death to captivity.

3. Getman Ivan Stepanovich Mazepa

Hetman Ivan Mazepa was an advisor to Peter I's sister Sophia and her favorite Golitsyn. When the young emperor Peter I ascended the throne, Mazepa did not lose his influence and managed to gain confidence in the new monarch, and later become his close friend.

Peter respected the old commander, and not without reason: Mazepa managed to drive the Tatar troops away from Ukrainian cities, and later participated in both campaigns to Azov. His career in the service of the imperial throne was very successful: Mazepa received several orders and awards from Peter's hands, and also enjoyed the unconditional trust of the sovereign and eventually became one of the richest and most respected people in Russia at that time.

In 1706, the Polish king Augustus II was defeated in the war with Sweden and abdicated in favor of the Swedish ally Stanislav Leszczynski. At the same time, Mazepa began a correspondence with Leshchinsky with the clear intention of going over to the side of the Swedish king Charles XII, who was actually ruling Poland at that time. However, in his mind, he could not be denied: he prepared the way for a possible retreat in case Russia emerges victorious from this conflict.

One way or another, Peter began to receive numerous denunciations against Mazepa, which spoke of his betrayal. The emperor closed his eyes to all the evidence: he punished the informers, and he trusted Mazepa even more. The last straw was the denunciation of the general judge Kochubei, which Peter also did not believe, since Kochubei had personal reasons for hostility - earlier Mazepa had an affair with his daughter Matryona, his goddaughter.

Apparently, Mazepa was scared and finally decided to go over to the side of the Swedish king. Saying sick, the hetman refused to take part in the hostilities, and later fled to Karl, who was camped on the territory of Russia. Karl, with a howl, in 1709 concluded an official agreement with Mazepa, in which he promised to make him the prince of Ukraine. Peter, together with the church, anathematized Mazepa and carried out a demonstrative execution: a straw effigy was taken out to the square and his head was cut off.

In June 1709, the Swedish troops were defeated, and Mazepa fled to the city of Bender, where he soon died. His body was buried in Galati with great pomp.

4. Aldrich Ames

Aldrich Hazen Ames was the CIA's counterintelligence chief. He was born in the United States and worked for American intelligence for some time, but in 1985 he switched to the side of the USSR. The reasons for his transition to the side of the main adversary of the United States at that time are not exactly known - perhaps he was threatened, or perhaps it was simply a matter of money.

During his tenure as a double agent in the Soviet Union, it was possible to expose a huge number of secret CIA agents working in the Soviet KGB - according to various sources, there were from 12 to 25 people. Thanks to Ames, the United States lost most of its informants in the midst of the Cold War.

As for Ames, during his work as a double agent, he acquired a mansion in the vicinity of Washington, several apartments and expensive cars. On February 21, 1994, Ames was arrested by the FBI and subsequently sentenced to life in prison with confiscation of property. By the way, Ames is still alive and is currently serving a sentence in the Allenwood High Security Prison.

5. Harold James Nicholson

Another American spying for Russia is Air Force Officer Harold James Nicholson. His career in his native country was very successful: immediately after graduation, he joined the US Air Force, and was soon recruited by the CIA. For several years he successfully worked for foreign intelligence, first in Manila, then in Tokyo, and then in Bucharest. However, in 1992, no matter how trite, he quarreled with his wife, two years later divorced and was left penniless. In the meantime, he was transferred to Malaysia, and he considered it a demotion.

Of course, he could have made money while still serving the United States, and the transfer to Malaysia must have been temporary. But, one way or another, Nicholson, who had access to classified CIA documents, came into contact with Russian intelligence. He promised to share information in exchange for a large monetary reward, and the parties reached a mutually beneficial agreement.

In the period from 1994 to 1995, about $ 50 thousand “unexpectedly” came to Nicholson's account, and CIA agents could not help but compare this with the information leak, which stopped for a while after the aforementioned Aldrich Ames was taken into custody, but then resumed again.

In 1996, Nicholson was caught: the FBI traced his meeting with a Russian agent in Singapore. Nicholson could not pass a lie detector test, but it was impossible to bring any serious charges against him due to the lack of evidence of his guilt. Then he was specially transferred to the department for the fight against international terrorism, where he was caught red-handed photographing secret documents about the war in Chechnya.

In 1997, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but the proceedings in his case were resumed every now and then until recently. So, in 2011, Nicholson received another eight years in prison in a maximum security colony.

6. Prince Andrey Mikhailovich Kurbsky

Andrei Mikhailovich Kurbsky was the closest adviser to Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The Kurbsky clan originated from the Yaroslavl princes, its descendants traditionally had the boyar dignity, but during the time of Grozny they were not honored, since they supported the opposition to the tsarist government.

Andrei chose a military career: he took part in campaigns against Kazan, and later fought with the Tatars in the vicinity of Tula - the prince earned the trust of the tsar, as he proved himself to be a brilliant commander. Some sources indicate that he and Ivan the Terrible were friendly, but at the same time Andrei became close to the priest Sylvester, who later became one of the leaders of the Chosen Rada.

Grozny was known for his tough temper and did not tolerate such moods in his country, so during the Livonian War, persecution began against Sylvester and his closest supporter, voivode Alexei Adashev. And, although Andrei Kurbsky himself did not fall under suspicion, he nevertheless, knowing the character of the tsar, had every reason to assume that the same fate awaited him.

In this regard, Kurbsky fled to Lithuania under the wing of the Lithuanian king Sigismund. There he was granted several estates, Sigismund trusted him, and subsequently, since Kurbsky knew the defense system of the western borders of Russia very well, the Lithuanians repeatedly raided these places.

Andrei's relatives - mother, wife and little son - were taken into custody, where they died, and his closest relatives were killed by order of Ivan IV. The tsar accused him of many crimes, including an attempt to subjugate Yaroslavl, which was already sheer madness.

To tell the truth, it is rather difficult to call Kurbsky an insidious traitor: yes, he, of course, switched to the service of the Lithuanian sovereign, but he did it out of fear for his life.

7. Friedrich Paulus

Friedrich Paulus is famous for the Barbarossa plan, according to which Germany was to invade the USSR. Combat operations under this plan were conducted by Germany at the very beginning of the Great Patriotic War.

In adulthood, Paulus married the Romanian aristocrat Elena-Constance Rosetti-Solescu, which significantly helped him move up the career ladder. After the outbreak of World War II, in 1939, Paulus was appointed chief of staff of the Tenth Army, later renumbered the Sixth. In 1942, he led the operations of the Sixth Army on the Eastern Front and was awarded the Knight's Cross for military services.

However, in September of the same year, German troops failed - the Soviet Union won the battle at Stalingrad. Paulus wanted to leave the besieged city and repeatedly wrote about this personally to Hitler, but the Fuhrer forbade him to surrender and promised that in the near future the Sixth Army would receive help - ammunition and food would be delivered to the German troops locked in the city by air. Paulus did not wait for help - all attempts to support the army failed, and after a while Hitler abandoned his intention to recapture the city.

Paulus received a letter from his Fuehrer stating that no German officer had the right to be taken prisoner - in other words, Hitler actually offered Paulus to commit suicide. He did not want to die, and on January 31, 1943, he turned to the Soviet commanders with a request for surrender. On the same day he was taken to Colonel General K. K. Rokossovsky, he was interrogated, and two days later the last resistance in Stalingrad was broken.

Until 1944, Paulus was faithful to his political views and flatly refused to do what they wanted him to do, namely, to tell everything he knew about Germany's future plans. However, the events that happened in 1944 finally broke him: Germany was defeated on several fronts, Hitler was assassinated by his own officers and, in addition, Paulus's son died. And the military leader surrendered: he laid out everything he knew, and also wrote a letter to the German officers, in which he spoke of the need to eliminate Hitler, and later actively opposed Nazism. From that day on, he began to defend the ideals of socialism.

This affected the members of his family: they were taken into custody, but Paulus never saw his wife again. After the victory of the Soviet Union in the war, already in 1951, Paulus fell seriously ill, suffered from depression, but remained faithful to his new ideals until the end of his life. It is not known for sure whether he blamed himself for "renouncing" his former beliefs, but in Soviet history he appears not as a cruel Nazi or a traitor, but as a person who admitted his mistakes.