Often described as `the most beautiful spy', Vera Eriksen could almost rival First World War spy Mata Hari and the various `Bond girls' who followed her. Perhaps the archetypal `femme fatale' of the Second World War, her story is less well-known than it should be. Like most spies, nothing about her background is clear-cut, or straightforward.
Many of the facts surrounding her life are contradictory; some are speculation, or simply fantasy; the rest have been expunged from her files, and few can be verified absolutely. The reasons why have remained hidden to this day and may never be uncovered. Yet in spite of her alleged involvement in espionage, she was a somewhat tragic figure who was yearning for a lost love.
When she set out on her spying mission in September 1940, the love of her life had just been killed. It is a story shrouded in mystery and intrigue, and clouded by the mists of time. Even her fate at the hands of British Intelligence was contentious.
We will probably never know who the real Vera was or who she became in later life. It suited her to be enigmatic - and that is the way she will remain.