For the 100th birthday of ex-spy Peter Sichel from New York

At home in New York: Peter Sichel answers e-mails first thing in the morning – even at 100 years old.
Image: Tobias Everke

Peter Sichel fled Germany as a Jew, worked for the CIA during the Cold War and later as a wine merchant in New York. Now he is 100 years old - and only regrets two things in his life.

Peter Sichel's life would make a Hollywood film, even several. One about the young man who, as a Jew, had to flee Germany with his family from the National Socialists. One about the man who worked as a secret agent for the Cold War CIA worked in West Berlin. One about the man who became a successful wine merchant after leaving the secret service in New York. And finally one about the man who survived two corona infections and is celebrating his 100th birthday this Monday. "Many people live to be 100 years old," says Peter Sichel. And then he has to laugh a little himself.

Sofia Dreisbach

North American political correspondent based in Washington.

It's just over a week until his birthday, September 12, and his nurse has just wheeled him into the dining room of his New York apartment, at the head of the long table where Sickle's silver MacBook lies and next to it the corded phone and his pillbox. The Upper East Side apartment building where Peter Sichel lives is five years his junior. “The problem is,” says Sichel in his own tone, “people live so long now. But they don't know how to live."

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