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Verena Moritz Hannes Leidinger Gerhard Jagschitz - At the Centre of Power. The many faces of Maximilian Ronge, director of the k.u.k. Secret Service

Die vielen Gesichter des Geheimdienstchefs Maximilian Ronge

Maximilian Ronge was the last director of the Austrian k.u.k. monarchy’s secret service. His career shows several similarities to the one of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who headed the German military intelligence service under the Nazi regime. Ronge was an important figure in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and also later, when Austria had become a republic. He used his extended networks of spies against “all kinds of traitors”, secessionists, socialists and Bolsheviks. Before 1938, no spy in Austria could possibly evade him. Even after being released from the Dachau concentration camp, Ronge continued his activities. After the end of WW II, he cooperated with the American occupants to set up a new secret service in Austria. These are only a few milestones in Ronge’s career. In the course of his life, this man has served many masters, but at heart he remained loyal to his emperor. Finding out about Ronge’s behind-the-scenes activities required meticulous research, since he not only was an expert in espionage and intrigue, but also a master in covering his tracks. The two historians Verena Moritz and Hannes Leidinger, however, give full account of this extraordinary life, and Ronge’s grandson Gerhard Jagschitz provides a private insight. A book that will cause a stir!

Book details

2nd edition With b/w photographs
440 pages
format:140 x 215
ISBN: 9783701730384
Release date: 02.08.2007

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  • World rights available
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Verena Moritz

born 1969, studied History and Russian in Vienna. She has spent many years conducting first-hand research in Russia. Next to exhibition work, she has held a great number of lectures at home and abroad, including Ukraine and Russia. Moritz is a member of several research projects, among them investigations of prisoners of war in the First World War and Parliamentarism in Austria and Russia in the early 20th century. She has received numerous grants and awards, including: the Werner Hallweg Prize granted by German Bundeswehr and the Anniversary Award of the Böhlau Verlag granted by the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2004; The Theodor Kery Fund Award and Theodor Körner Fund Award in 2006; In 2013 her work was named “Science Book of the Year” (in the category Humanities, Social Studies & Cultural Studies) by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research. She has written numerous scientific articles and publications and authored a series of books with Hannes Leidinger, including: “Gefangenschaft, Revolution, Heimkehr”, “Schwarzbuch der Habsburger”, “Russisches Wien”, “Zwischen Nutzen und Bedrohung”, and “Die Nacht des Kirpitschnikow”.

Hannes Leidinger

born 1969, studied history, classical archaeology and primeval and ancient history in Vienna.  He is an exhibition curator, an advisor for radio broadcasts and TV documentaries and directs scientific research projects. He also teaches at the Department of Contemporary History of the University of Vienna. Leidinger has published widely and is head of the Vienna branch office of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung. Most recently published by Residenz Verlag: “Habsburgs schmutziger Krieg” (2014). He has co-authored the book “Hitler - prägende Jahre” with Christian Rapp. 

Gerhard Jagschitz

was born in 1940, historian. Since 1985 University Professor in Vienna. Next to scientific publications he wrote many historic Non-Fiction Books. Gerhard Jageschitz died in 2018.


Remarkable that in over 50 years after Ronges death the contemporary historical research has never seriously dealt with his life. Ronge, after all, has been the last director of the secret service of the emperor. He has hunted down the traitorous colonel Redl, has spied upon socialists as well as Nazis and after 1945 he helped build a new secret service in Austria. (…..) An unsparing statement about a cold order fetishist. PROFIL, Herbert Lackner

That life writes more exciting stories than can ever be invented is a commonplace and not only for writers. But one rarely finds a story that contains all elements of a thriller on the first pages of a scientific work. […] In this early field of research the authors talk modestly about their work as a 'beginning' - but one can confidently talk about a milestone. DIE PRESSE, Bettina Balàka

…an impressively unrolled biography FALTER, Erich Klein

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