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Veteran Spy Hans V. Tofte, 76; Was Dismissed From CIA Post

September 13, 1987

Hans V. Tofte, whose celebrated spying career was cut short when classified documents were found in his home in 1966, has died at the age of 76.

The New York Times reported that Tofte died of heart failure at his Gilbertsville, N.Y., home on Aug. 24.

A veteran spy whose undercover activities ranged from Denmark, Albania and the Far East in World War II and to Guatemala and Cuba afterward, Tofte had listed his Washington home for sale in 1966 when, without his knowledge, a fellow CIA agent was shown through.

The agent did not realize that he was being shown through the home of a fellow member of the CIA until he by chance saw some classified material in one of the rooms.

He reported the find to the CIA, which conducted an investigation and then dismissed Tofte.

Tofte defended the papers that fellow Agent Kenneth R. Slocum had seen in his house, contending that it was customary for CIA employees to take documents home.

Born in Copenhagen, Tofte escaped from Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1941 and eventually joined a clandestine British agency in an anti-Nazi underground. He later went to Australia, where he took commando training and then was placed behind the Japanese lines in Burma, running a supply line into China.

Tofte joined the American Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, in 1943 and was sent to Yugoslavia, where he joined the resistance efforts of Josip Broz Tito. At war's end he joined the staff of Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, then director of Central Intelligence and during the Korean War collected intelligence on North Korean and Chinese activities.

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