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Old January 12th, 2012 #41
Mike Parker
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker

Semyon Semyonov

Semyon Semenov, NY Rezidentura X-line, 1938 - 1944

Semyon Markovich Semenov (1911 – 1986) was a Soviet intelligence agent. He was born in Odessa and graduated from the Moscow Textile Institute in 1936 with a specialty in power engineering.

Of Jewish ancestry, for which he would suffer career-wise in the Soviet Union, Semenov joined the KGB in 1937 and was sent quickly to the United States as an intelligence officer. He enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in June 1940 and shortly thereafter began working for Amtorg. Semenov had a mastery of French and English.

Semenov worked first as a purchasing agent for the Soviet agency Machinoimport and then as head of the engineering department of the Soviet Purchasing Commission during World War II, with offices both at the commission and at Amtorg while specializing in scientific and technical espionage.

A Russian Foreign Intelligence Service history quotes his KGB personnel files as stating, “While working from 1938 through 1944 in the United States, Major Semenov showed himself to be one of the most active workers in the rezidentura [station] and credits him with connecting to 20 agents along the scientific and technical line".

In 1942 Semenov persuaded Vasily Zarubin to transfer Julius Rosenberg and his contacts from the CPUSA-Jacob Golos channel to the direct control of the Rezidentura, with himself as the assigned case officer. The actual transfer occurred on Labor Day weekend, 7 September 1942, at a meeting in Central Park. Bernard Schuster brought Rosenberg to the meeting. Rosenberg was then subjected to a thorough vetting and recruitment process to include training in tradecraft and a probationary period. Alexander Feklisov was assigned to assist in managing Rosenberg. Once the formal recruitment of Rosenberg was completed Semenov used Rosenberg to conduct formal recruitments of two of Rosenberg's friends from City College of New York, Joel Barr and William Perl.

Semenov persuaded into collaboration a large group of young scientists and specialists, through whom was obtained a significant quantity of valuable materials on "ENORMOZ" (Manhattan Project), radio electronics, jet aviation, chemistry, medicine. Semenov received from Bruno Pontecorvo in January 1943 an extensive report on the first nuclear chain reaction. Pontecorvo also relayed to Semenov in early 1943 that "Fermi was prepared to provide information".

In 1943 the active intelligence operation of Semenov drew the attention of American counter espionage, and Semenov was recalled to the Soviet Union. Later he had assignments in France and in Moscow and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In 1950, in association with the Doctors' plot, the foreign intelligence agency began dismissing persons of Jewish nationality. In spite of significant positive results in his record, Semenov was discharged. He worked as translator in the publishing house Progress. Semenov was rehabilitated in the 1970s.

For the successful completion of special missions concerning scientific and technical intelligence, including on the atomic programs, Semenov was awarded the Order of the Red Star and awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

Semyon_Semyonov Semyon_Semyonov
Old January 12th, 2012 #42
Mike Parker
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker

Serebryansky, Yakov Isaakovich (1892-1956)

An operative of the Soviet state security (GB) and Colonel of the GB, who ran a special group in the 1930s known as “Yasha’s group” or “Uncle Yasha’s group.”

Yakov Serebryansky was born in Minsk to the family of a watchman’s apprentice. In 1907, while a student of the city school, he joined a student cell of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, which advocated terrorist actions. In 1909, he was arrested as a suspected accomplice in the assassination of the head of the Minsk prison. He was confined to jail in 1909-1910 and then exiled to the city of Vitebsk. Drafted into the army in 1912, Serebryansky fought as a soldier on the Russian Western front in World War I and later worked as an electrician in Baku. Following the Russian democratic revolution of February 1917, he joined the revolutionary movement in the Caucasus as a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (known as the es-er). Serebryansky moved to Moscow in the spring of 1920, where he joined the Cheka. In August 1921, he was discharged from the Cheka and worked at a newspaper. He was then arrested by the Cheka in December of that year as a member of the es-er party, but was soon released.

Serebryansky next joined the VCP (b) in October 1923. The following month he became an officer of OGPU foreign intelligence (INO) and was soon sent on an “illegal” mission to Palestine. In the Middle East, he managed to infiltrate the underground Zionist movement and recruited a group of descendants from Russian families to cooperate with the OGPU. These people became the basis of a special group which would later become known as “Yasha’s group.” From 1925 to 1928, Serebryansky served as an “illegal” resident of OGPU foreign intelligence in Belgium and France.

In April 1929, Serebryansky was appointed head of the first department of the INO (then “illegal” intelligence), while simultaneously remaining the head of his special group, which was directly subordinate only to the OGPU chairman. This group’s goal was to achieve “deep penetration” of strategic military installations by its agents – who would be activated in case of war – and to carry out subversive and terrorist operations in wartime.

In mid-1930, Serebryansky began building an autonomous agent network in various countries to conduct wartime intelligence activity. For this purpose, he went to the United States in 1932 and to France in 1934. In July 1934, he was appointed head of a special-purpose group (known in Russia as SGON – Special Group for Special Purposes) at the NKVD and was soon promoted to the rank of Major of the GB. In 1935 and1936, Serebryansky was posted in China and Japan. After the outbreak of the civil war in Spain, he took part in secret purchases of arms for the Republican Army. The special operations in which Serebryansky participated in the 1930s also include the seizure of part of the Trotskyite archive, the development of plans to kidnap Trotsky’s son, and many others.

In summer 1938, Serebryansky was recalled from France, and in November he was arrested in Moscow. Subjected to “intensive” interrogation methods, he pleaded guilty to the crimes he was charged with and implicated others in espionage on behalf of England and France, as well as in the preparation of terrorist acts against the Soviet leaders. On July 7, 1941, he was sentenced to death, and his wife was sentenced to 10 years in labor camps for her “failure to report about her husband’s enemy activities.” However, he was pardoned the next month and readmitted to both the party and the NKVD ranks – so he could join the anti-Nazi struggle. From 1941 to 1945, Serebryansky took part in a large number of intelligence operations behind the front lines and supervised intelligence and sabotage operations in Western and Eastern Europe.

In May 1946, Serebryansky was forced to retire. After Stalin’s death, he served briefly at the MVD central apparatus from May to July 1953, but was soon fired; he was arrested on October 8 on charges of participating in the conspiratorial activity of Lavrentii Beria. To substantiate the charges, his 1941 clemency was revoked and the old case against him was reopened, with the prospect of substituting a 25-year prison term for the death sentence. But on March 30, 1956, Serebryansky died in Butyrskaya Prison during an interrogation. His 1941 case was not closed until May 1971, when his death sentence was revoked. Serebryansky was rehabilitated posthumously, in 1996, by a special decree of President Yeltsyn, and his rights to his government awards were restored. These awards included two Orders of Lenin and two Orders of the Red Banner, as well as medals and honorary weapons. 1

A short time after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Central Committee of the Communist Party ordered its members to organize an armed Underground in the occupied territories, which would act against the German Forces operating in those areas.

Plans for projects such as this have been prepared even before the war.

Although the order was issued in 1941, conditions for an Underground began to appear only in 1942-43.

These conditions were identified principally in Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia.

The Partisans started to conduct Guerrilla warfare against the invaders, while winning mounting support and sympathy from the local population that was already suffering from the German cruelty.

The Partisans were comprised of “Red Army” Soldiers and Officers who had stayed behind in the territories that had been swiftly occupied by the Germans in the early stages of their Offensive, refugees who had fled other areas and joined Underground activities, and also local residents.

There were no orderly enlistment procedures to the Partisans.

Jews operated in Partisan Units throughout the occupied territories, including the Ghettos. They joined Soviet Partisan Groups and also formed Groups of their own that operated in the framework of the Soviet ones. Jewish Fighters were generally composed of young people who had run away from Ghettos or from other places where they had been living, and of Soldiers who were serving in the Army but stayed behind in territories occupied by the Germans. There were also Jews from other Countries, such as Hungary, among the Partisans; they had come to the occupied territories as forced laborers and then escaped and joined the fight against the Germans.

Most of the Soviet Partisan Forces were concentrated in Belarus, and numbered over 300,000 Fighters. Starting in the spring of 1942, these Forces caused the German Forces significant troubles and affected their operations in the area. The Partisan activity aimed primarily at disrupting the train system, gathering Intelligence and attacking the rear of the German Army. The number of German casualties, including those wounded and captured, was estimated at about 1.5 million Soldiers.

In the latter part of the war, the Partisans’ main operations were conducted in coordination with Soviet Offensives. The Soviet Army supported Partisan Forces considerably by transporting equipment and supplies to them through the air. Partisans who were operating in territories liberated by Soviet Forces joined the “Red Army” and continued to fight the enemy within that framework.

Jewish Underground activity in Belarus was most noticeable at the Minsk Ghetto and in the forests around the City.

Partisan Units were also organized in Ukraine but did not become a significant force until 1943, when their members numbered approximately 150,000 persons. In the vicinity of Bryansk, the Partisans controlled vast areas in the rear of the German Forces. By the summer of 1942, about 60,000 Partisans had control of 14,000 square-kilometers where a population of over 200,000 people was living. Partisan operations had a significant impact on the Germans in other occupied areas as well, such as Belgorod, Kursk, Novgorod, Pskov and Smolensk. Jews were active in all Partisan Units in Ukraine, in the forests and in the towns.

In the Baltic States, Partisan Forces operated under a central direction from Moscow and were primarily engaged in attacks on the train system. Most evident were the activities of the Underground Organization at Kovno and Vilna Ghettos, which had been established by Communist activists and Zionist Jews under the leadership of Yitzhak Wittenberg and writer Abba Kovner. (See “The Fighters” section.)

Partisans in U.S.S.R. territories caused the Axis Armies hundreds of thousands of casualties and contributed greatly to the Soviet victory over its German-Nazi enemy.

The total number of Jews in the various Partisan Groups is estimated at approximately 50,000 men and women. Many of them reached command positions in their respective Units.

Many Operatives in the Soviet Partisan Movement’s Intelligence Array during World War II were of Jewish descent. Their activities in the German occupied territories, under constant life-threatening conditions, yielded a degree of fruit that certainly contributed to the Soviet Union’s overall Intelligence effort. The most famous of these Jewish Partisans was Hero of the Soviet Union, Dmitry Medvedev.

The Soviet Partisan Intelligence Array’s inception dates back to the early months of the German Army’s invasion of the U.S.S.R. Despite the initial shock from the military defeat, numerous Partisan Groups started to form spontaneously in the rear of the occupier.

Elements of the Communist Party, the Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) and Military Intelligence (GRU) managed to take control over most of these Groups and establish a wide operational infrastructure on their basis, upon which a Soviet Partisan Movement was already emerging by late 1941.

In May, 1942, the Movement’s Central Headquarters was established in Moscow, with operation controlling Branches in the occupied Soviet Republics (Ukraine and Belarus Staffs, and others). The Central Headquarters, as well as its subordinate Staffs, included large Intelligence Departments that, collectively, constituted what was called the Intelligence Array of the Soviet Partisan Movement.

Partisans of Jewish descent started gathering Intelligence even prior to the formation of the Soviet Partisan Movement Central Headquarters. In late 1941, after the German Offensive was halted near Moscow, Soviet Intelligence began to find a growing operative interest in Partisan infrastructure that had already existed in the occupied territories, and thus, Jews taken into its ranks were assigned to a rather varied Intelligence activity.

Conspicuous among Partisan Commanders of Jewish origin who were already active behind Front lines in the early months of the German occupation was Isay Kazinets, of the Underground Group that operated in Minsk, Capital of Belarus.

Kazinets and his men’s most significant achievement was acquiring a complete sketch of German Institutions, both civilian and military, that had been spread throughout the City of Minsk after its occupation.

The Operation, in which this sketch was obtained, was carried out by a worker in the German Administration, semi-Jewish, who had been recruited by Partisan Intelligence. According to Russian sources, Isay Kazinets’s Underground was exposed and eliminated by German preventive Intelligence, in March, 1942.

Kazinets himself and some of his men were severely tortured and then hanged in central Minsk, on 7 May 1942.

Parallel to the activity of the Partisans, whose Groups formed spontaneously in German occupied territory, were the Intelligence Services of the Soviet Union, already working in the second half of 1941 to put in place an organized Partisan infrastructure under a central Partisan command.

Two Jews in this Command stood out – Nahum Eitingon and Yakov Serebryansky – veterans of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service, who participated in large NKVD Intelligence Operations in the 1930’s. Eitingon was assigned the management of sabotage and intelligence activity behind the Front line, whereas Serebryansky was put in charge of the “Special Group” within the Organization that trained sabotage and intelligence squads and facilitated their infiltration of the occupied territories.

Among the numerous Intelligence squads that penetrated across the Front, there were teams in which both the Commanders and the Fighters were of Jewish descent.

A fundamental shift in activity occurred in mid-1942, following the establishment of the Partisan Movement’s Central Headquarters in Moscow along with its Intelligence Array. Intelligence Departments began to operate throughout the entire structure of Partisan Command – from the Central Headquarters level all the way down to individual Groups in the field.

A large number of Jews served as Staff Officers and Agents in the new structure; many of them had previous experience in intelligence work.

The most senior among them was Lieutenant-General Rafail Khmelnitsky, the first Commander of the Intelligence Department in the Partisan Movement’s Moscow Headquarters.

Notable Jewish Intelligence Operatives in the field were people like Mikhail Imas Kats, a native of Kishinev, Moldova, famous for daring intelligence operations he performed among enemy Officers while disguised as a German Major; and also, I. Drakhler, for reporting the exact location of Hitler’s Field Headquarters in the Region of Vinnitsa, Ukraine.

The most famous of Jewish Partisans was Dmitry Medvedev, Hero of the Soviet Union, who reported about the Germans’ intention to assassinate world leaders Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in the course of the Tehran Conference, in 1943.
Old January 12th, 2012 #43
Mike Parker
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker

KGB Master Spy

Iosif R. Grigulevich

Friends in England have asked me about the main character of one of my books, a man I personally refer to as “my spy”. They want to read the story but, most of all, they wonder if what I wrote is pure fiction, or if there is some truth to it. Since there is no English edition of the book yet, I think this is a great place to answer their query.

Micro synopsis: Multi-talented Soviet KGB spy travels succesfully through five different lives, hit-man and Costa Rican Ambassador, intellectual and terrorist, always loyal to his oath of allegiance to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Secret Services and Comrade Stalin.

“Third Man” in Trotsky’s Murder

Teodoro B. Castro, charming Costa Rican Special Envoy to Italy and Yugoslavia, dazzled government officials and post-war Roman political and social circles. He was a close friend to Prince Julio Pacelli -nephew of Pope Pious XII-, American Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce and many other celebrities of the time.

Shrewd bussinessman and diplomat, he was actually a veteran KGB spy, known in the Center (the Lubyanka, KGB’s headquarters) as Miguel, Juzik, Felipe, Padre, Artur, Daks, Maks, Jose Ocampo, I. P. Lavretsky, I. Grigoriev and Maximov. Until my book came out, his true identity, his missions and his involvement in key events of the 20th century had been some of the best kept secrets in the history of espionage. My book, El secreto encanto de la KGB (The Secret Charm of the KGB) told it all for the first time.

Born in Lituania in 1913 to a Jewish family, his real name was Iosif Romualdovich Grigulevich Lavretsky. He joined the Bolcheviks when he was only a boy and was jailed in his hometown for subversive activities even before he finished highschool. He was still a teenager when he was accepted into the Cheka, the Bolshevik-Soviet organ responsible for state security.

A key figure in some of the most relevant episodes of Soviet espionage during the the 20th Century, Grigulevich’s real life story surpasses fiction.

As a member of General Aleksandr Orlov’s agentura, during the Spanish Civil war, he was one of the KGB spies sent by Stalin to exterminate trotskytes and other non-communist letfists. He played a key role in Operation Nikolai, Andreu Nin’s assassination. Nin was Leon Trotsky’s former secretary and leader of the independent Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista (POUM).

As “Felipe”, the so-called “third man”, the “French Jew” that both the Mexican police and the FBI failed to identify, the spy was one of the leaders in Operation Duck and Operation Mother, that resulted in Leon Trotsky’s assassination in Mexico in 1940.

Venona failed to identify him

During World War II, under the cover name “Artur”, Grigulevich built a powerful espionage, sabotage and desinformation network against the Axis, a support network operating from Argentina. He ran agents in South America, Spain and Italy. In three years, his spy-rings completed 150 successful sabotage operations against Nazi properties and vessels that carried cargo for Hitler’s army.

“Artur” was a great enigma for U.S. VENONA Project cryptanalysts, who decoded thousands of Soviet intelligence messages in the 1940’s. Even though several messages either sent by him or addressed to Grigulevich by his superiors were decrypted, the American code-breaking project failed to identify him or “Aleksandr”, Mexican Communist Leopoldo Arenal, his immediate collaborator.

Grigulevich was Chilean writer Pablo Neruda’s and Mexican painter José David Alfaro Siqueiros’ comrade and controller, and his spy-rings included several other renown artists and writers.

Costa Rican Ambassador and Hitman

In the Cold War years, when he infiltrated Costa Rica’s diplomatic service, Stalin and Beria personally gave him his last mission. He was to use his diplomatic cover as a means to get near Almiral Iosif Broz Tito, Yugoslavia’s ruler, and assassinate him. The plan was cancelled in 1953 after Stalin’s death. Later that year, his superiors in Moscow called him back to the Lubyanka, since his cover was thought to be in jeopardy and he was perceived as a security risk by Soviet espionage apparatchiki.

The agent suddenly dissapeared from Rome leaving no traces and surfaced a year later in Moscow under his mother’s maiden name, Lavrestky. His ties with Soviet espionage officially severed, he obtained a doctoral degree in World History in the sixties and became one of the best known Soviet experts in Latin American studies, and editor in chief of two Soviet magazines dealing with Latin American issues. As a member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, he wrote several books on the Papacy, and the biographies of Simon Bolivar, Francisco de Miranda, Che Guevara and Salvador Allende. He died in 1988.

Incredible as it may seeem, every single line is true. And, yes, after ten years of spying on him for the book, I can rightfully call him “my spy”

Professor Laurence Whitehead’s Review

“The Cold War generated an entire literary genre, including many outstanding novels and thrillers about espionage, double agents, and conspiracies to eliminate political enemies.

But this true story surpasses the most successful fiction. It begins with the unexplained disappearance of an eminent Costa Rican diplomat.

The mystery is never resolved, and eventually forgotten. Except by one determined writer and investigator. Only after the collapse of the Soviet system was Marjorie Ross able to piece together the true identity and trajectory of this extraordinary Russian agent –even establishing his subsequent successful career as an academic specialist on Latin America, who eventually died peacefully in Moscow.

What a contrast between his fate and that of those he conspired against for over twenty years (both in Europe and in Latin America).

To reconstruct this hidden story required great expertise in the history of the Cold War and the international communist movement.

To uncover the truth behind so many famous episodes that have until now been misconstrued required the forensic skills and patience of a top quality investigative reporter –(one with an international vision and the ability to check obscure sources all over the world).

To tell the story so well required the talents of a fine writer.

Marjorie Ross has unraveled the secrets of one of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary political agents.” Professor Laurence Whitehead (Nuffield College), Oxford University, England.

-Ross, Marjorie. “The Secret Charm of the KGB. The Five Lives of Iosif Grigulevich” (San José, Farben/Norma, 2004, edited in Spanish). Literary non-fiction

Last edited by Mike Parker; January 12th, 2012 at 08:58 AM.
Old January 12th, 2012 #44
Mike Parker
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,311
Mike Parker

George Koval: Atomic Spy Unmasked

Koval in an undated photograph from his FBI file.

Iowa-born and army-trained, how did George Koval manage to steal a critical U.S. atom bomb secret for the Soviets, that is only now coming to light?

By Michael Walsh
Smithsonian magazine, May 2009

The old man had always been fiercely independent, and he entered his tenth decade with his mind clear, his memory keen and his fluent Russian still tinged with an American accent. His wife had died in 1999, and when his legs began to go he had trouble accepting help from his relatives in Moscow. He gradually withdrew from most human contact and died quietly on January 31, 2006, at age 92, taking his secrets to the grave.

A singular confluence of developments forced Zhorzh Abramovich Koval out of obscurity. First, over the past decade Western intelligence analysts and cold war historians began to grasp the role of the GRU, the Soviet (now Russian) military intelligence agency, in the development of the USSR's nuclear weapons program in the 1940s. Then in 2002, Russian historian Vladimir Lota published The GRU and the Atom Bomb. The book, which has yet to be translated into English, recounts the exploits of a GRU spy code-named Delmar, who, with the exception of the British scientist Klaus Fuchs, may have done more than anyone to help the Soviet Union achieve its sudden, shocking nuclear parity with the United States in 1949.

Most tellingly, in November 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded Koval, who had mustered out of the Red Army as a lowly private in 1949, a gold star marking him as a Hero of the Russian Federation—then publicly named him as Delmar. The spy's identity had been such a closely held secret that Putin himself, a former KGB officer, may have learned of it only in 2006, after he saw the man's portrait at a GRU museum opening and asked, in effect: who's that?

Ever since the award ceremony effectively blew Koval's cover, Western scholars have been revising the narrative of cold war espionage to account for his activities during the two years he worked at top-secret nuclear laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Dayton, Ohio. Beginning in the 1940s, intercepted Soviet intelligence cables helped implicate such KGB-run spies as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Harry Dexter White, a senior Treasury Department official under President Franklin Roosevelt who died of a heart attack shortly after he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1948. But except for Whittaker Chambers—the American writer who spied for the GRU in the 1930s but became a prominent anti-Communist and a principal in the 1950 perjury conviction of former State Department official Alger Hiss over his Communist ties—"we knew next to nothing about the extent of the GRU's espionage operation against the Manhattan Project until the Koval thing came up," says John Earl Haynes, a historian at the Library of Congress and an authority on the cold war.

What can be gleaned so far—from Western and Soviet archives, FBI documents, current scholarship and interviews with Koval's surviving former colleagues in the United States and his relatives in Russia—is that he was perfectly positioned to steal information about one of the most crucial parts of the bomb, the device that initiates the nuclear reaction. This required not only careful planning, rigorous training and brazen lying, but also astounding turns of luck. And in contrast to the known KGB spies, Haynes notes, "Koval was a trained agent, not an American civilian. He was that rarity, which you see a lot in fiction but rarely in real life—a sleeper agent. A penetration agent. A professional officer."

Most unsettling, he was born in the United States. Scholars knew that much from Lota's book. Now, after Koval's unmasking, it is possible to trace the roots of his betrayal of his native land all the way back to Sioux City, Iowa.

Its official name was Central High School, but the red-brick Victorian fortress in Sioux City was better known as the Castle on the Hill. Built in 1892, it was a monument to the city's sense of itself at the turn of the century, when Sioux City seemed poised to become another Chicago, a center of culture and commerce that attracted migrants from back east and immigrants from Europe and Russia.

Those newcomers included a sizable Jewish community of merchants and craftsmen, who quickly erected synagogues and formed groups to support the chalutzim ("pioneers," in Hebrew) who were already beginning to settle in what would become Israel. Others brought with them some of the political and ideological movements then swirling across their homelands—including communism. Among these was Abram Koval, a carpenter who emigrated in 1910 from the Belorussian shtetl of Telekhany, near Minsk. He and his wife, Ethel Shenitsky Koval, raised three sons—Isaya, born in 1912; Zhorzh, or George, born on Christmas Day, 1913; and Gabriel, born in 1919—in a comfortable house not far from the Castle on the Hill.

In the 1950s, when the FBI assembled a dossier on Koval that ran to more than a thousand pages, neighbors recalled that young George spoke openly of his communist beliefs. In 1929, when he graduated from the Castle at the age of 15, he was in the Honor Society and the leading member of the debate squad. (That June he also had a prominent role in the class play: Nothing But the Truth.)

After graduation, George studied electrical engineering at the University of Iowa for two and a half years. But about the time the Great Depression put an end to Sioux City's hopes of becoming another Chicago, Abram Koval packed up his wife and sons to seek his fortune elsewhere. He was secretary of an organization known as ICOR, a Yiddish acronym for the Association for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union. ICOR was a communist organization that functioned as a rival to the Zionist movement's hopes for a Jewish homeland in the Middle East, and it was to the Soviet Union that the Kovals moved in 1932.

"They had a different view of patriotism," Ronald Radosh says of the expatriate Russians. "Communism may have been a bad dream, but it was a dream that had merit in their eyes," adds Radosh, co-author (with Joyce Milton) of The Rosenberg File and a leading scholar of Soviet espionage during and after World War II. "It was, in part, a legacy of the czarist past and the pogroms—the czar was the enemy of the Jews."

Traveling on a U.S. family passport, the Kovals had planned to return to Minsk, "but the Soviet authorities did not allow them to do that," says Maya Koval, George's 28-year-old grandniece, who lives in Moscow. "They were forced to stay in the Vladivostok area," in the so-called Jewish Autonomous Region that Stalin had established in the 1920s. They settled in the town of Birobidzhan, near the Soviet border with Manchuria. In 1936, an American named Paul Novick, who edited a Communist Yiddish-language daily in New York City, visited the town and met the Kovals. The family, he would assert to his readers, "had exchanged the uncertainty of life as small storekeepers in Sioux City for a worry-free existence for themselves and their children," according to a book Canadian political scientist Henry Srebrnik is writing on ICOR and Birobidzhan.

Working on a collective farm, Isaya, the eldest Koval son, became a champion tractor driver and married a Jewish girl from Kiev, with whom he had three girls and a boy. (He died in May 1987, in a village near Birobidzhan.) George, after improving his Russian on the collective, was accepted in 1934 to study at the Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology in Moscow; there he met and married Lyudmila Ivanova, a fellow student whose father owned a small chocolate factory in Moscow. Five years later he graduated with honors, and he received Soviet citizenship along the way. His brother Gabriel also attended Mendeleev, but was killed in August 1943, fighting with the Red Army.

Exactly how and when the GRU recruited George is unclear, but after he received his degree he left Moscow as part of a subterfuge: "I was drafted into the army in 1939 to cover up my disappearance from Moscow," Koval would later write to Arnold Kramish, an American scientist he would befriend. "I did not accept an offer of military training and service as an army officer at that time, was never sworn in, or wore a uniform here." Kramish is now 86 and living outside Washington, D.C. after a long career at the RAND Corporation and the Atomic Energy Commission. Partly out of a professional interest in Soviet nuclear programs, he re-established contact with Koval in 2000 and kept in touch by letter and e-mail over the last five years of Koval's life.

One thing Koval's correspondence does explain is how he returned to the United States in 1940, even though his parents had relinquished their U.S. passport: "I entered the U.S. in October 1940 at San Francisco," he wrote to Kramish. "Came over on a small tanker and just walked out through the control point together with the captain, his wife and little daughter, who sailed together with him."

Koval made his way to New York City and, Kramish says, assumed deputy command of the GRU station there. The station went under the cover of the Raven Electric Company, a supplier to General Electric and other U.S. firms, with two Manhattan offices. Koval told colleagues he was a native New Yorker, an only child and an unmarried orphan. Standing six feet tall, with a penetrating gaze and a bohemian's distracted air, Koval came across as a baseball fan and an overall boon companion. "I don't know anybody who hated George," Kramish says.

On January 2, 1941—just months after he walked into the United States—Koval registered for the draft, listing a Bronx home address. Raven secured him a job-related deferment for a year beginning in February 1942; according to the Russian historian Lota, Koval's Soviet handlers wanted him to steal information about chemical wea*pons and believed that his ability to do so would be compromised if he were drafted. But the deferment expired, and on February 4, 1943, George A. Koval was inducted into the United States Army.

After basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Private Koval was sent to the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, to join the 3410th Specialized Training and Reassignment Unit. And on August 11 of that year he was admitted to a new unit, the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). One of his colleagues there, Duane Weise, believes Koval scored particularly high on the Army's analog to the IQ test. The move marked Koval's first step toward the nation's nuclear labs.

The Army had established the ASTP in December 1942 to provide academically talented enlisted men with an undergraduate education and specialized technical training at colleges and universities across the country. Koval was sent to study electrical engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY); his surviving former ASTP fellows say he became something of a role model, even a father figure, to them. "At the time his classmates believed there was no better man than George," says Kramish, who was also in the program. "He was superb at every job he had."

Koval was a decade older than the others, Kramish says, and acted more maturely. "That was one of the anomalies about him," Kramish recalls. "In retrospect, there were mysteries that made him stand out." One, he says, was that Koval never seemed to do any homework. ("Of course, that was because he was already a college graduate back in Moscow, although we didn't know that at the time.") Another talent was helping his chums evade bed check by arranging pillows and blankets into "sleeping" bodies. ("He was famous for that," Kramish says.) And he smoked his cigarettes down to where they almost burned his fingers as he pinched the butt. ("That was a very distinctive Eastern European habit," Kramish adds, "which I never knew about until I went to Europe after the war.") Koval's surviving classmates (who at the time knew nothing of a wife in the Soviet Union) also say he was a notable ladies' man.

Stewart Bloom, 86, another CCNY trainee, recalls that Koval lacked a New York accent. "I always thought he was straight out of Iowa," says Bloom, a Chicago native. But in the urgency of war, Bloom says, he gave it little thought until nearly a decade after the war ended, when FBI agents showed up at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, where he was then working, to ask about his former colleague.

The ASTP proved short-lived. Toward the end of 1943, just a few months after Koval enrolled, the war was tipping in favor of the Allies and the military was demanding ever more combat troops for a final push to victory. In early 1944, the program was dissolved and most of the participants were sent to the infantry.

Not Koval. He, along with Kramish and about a dozen others from CCNY, was selected for something called the Special Engineer Detachment (SED). It was part of the Manhattan Project, the covert enterprise that organized the talents of U.S., British and Canadian scientists at facilities across the United States for the purpose of designing and building an atomic bomb.

By the time Koval joined the SED in mid-1944, Manhattan Project scientists were pursuing two very different bombs. One was based on a known and relatively simple technology that required a rare, enriched form of uranium. (Indeed, it was in such short supply that its first "test" was in the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.) The other bomb would use plutonium—an element that had not been isolated until 1941. The Oak Ridge laboratories were central to the development of both types of bombs.

Koval was assigned to Oak Ridge.

There, Koval's good fortune seemed only to build on itself, almost like a nuclear reaction: he was made a "health physics officer," charged with monitoring radiation levels throughout the sprawling facility. That, according to FBI files, gave him top-secret clearance. "He was one of the very few people who had access to the entire program," says Kramish, who worked in a different Oak Ridge lab. Still, the two saw each other frequently. In August 1944, Kramish was transferred to Philadelphia (where he was injured in a lab accident that killed two co-workers), but he returned to Oak Ridge before being assigned to Los Alamos, New Mexico.

"These things could not have been planned by the Soviets or anyone," writes nuclear historian Robert S. Norris in "George Koval, Manhattan Project Spy," a paper to be presented at a conference in Washington this month and published in the Journal of Cold War Studies. "Rather, it was just a lucky hit for the GRU."

Based on experiments conducted at Oak Ridge and elsewhere, reactors that could produce enough plutonium for a bomb were commissioned in Hanford, Washington. Meanwhile, scientists discovered that reactor-produced plutonium was too unstable for the bomb design they had in mind; the material would fizzle out. They had to come up with an "initiator" that would help the plutonium achieve the necessary chain reaction. For that initiator, they chose a form of another rare element, polonium—which was also produced at Hanford and Oak Ridge.

According to Lota, Koval was charged with keeping track of Oak Ridge's polonium. Through a Soviet contact known by the code name Clyde, Koval transmitted production information about it to Moscow via couriers, coded cables and the diplomatic pouch from the Soviet Embassy in Washington. One key fact he passed along was that Oak Ridge's polonium was being sent to Manhattan Project labs in Los Alamos—where Klaus Fuchs happened to be working as a Soviet agent.

"Fuchs passed the Soviets really detailed information on the design of the bombs," says David Holloway, a professor of history and political science at Stanford University and a leading authority on the atomic arms race. But Koval, he adds, knew that the polonium coming out of Oak Ridge "played some role in the development of the bomb"—knowledge that helped the Soviets connect the dots between Oak Ridge and Los Alamos.

On June 27, 1945, after almost a year at Oak Ridge, Koval was transferred to a top-secret laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. This may have been his most damaging placement; it was there that the polonium-based initiator went into production. Once again, Koval was designated a health physics officer, free to roam the installation.

That July 16, the initiator passed a crucial test: the world's first atomic bomb exploded at a site called Trinity within the bombing range in Alamogordo, New Mexico. This was the explosion that prompted J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, to quote the Bhagavad-Gita: "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." It gave U.S. war planners the confidence to deploy a plutonium-based bomb, in addition to the uranium-based one in their arsenal.

By then, Germany had surrendered, but Japan had not. Just three weeks later, on August 6, 1945, the uranium-based bomb was detonated over the city of Hiroshima, killing 70,000 people immediately and 70,000 more by the end of the year. And on August 9, 1945, a replica of the Trinity bomb exploded over Nagasaki. Five days later, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced his nation's surrender.

Amid the devastation of the two cities, there were widespread calls for a ban on nuclear weapons. The United States and the Soviet Union proposed an international system of nuclear arms control, but that never happened. Indeed, the Soviets intensified an atomic-bomb program they had begun during the war. As early as October 31, 1946, the CIA estimated that they would succeed "some time between 1950 and 1953"; as the months passed that estimate tilted more toward 1953.

But on August 29, 1949, the Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb, at their Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. The device was a plutonium weapon. Not until 2007 did Russian military officials disclose one crucial factor in their accelerated achievement: the initiator for that bomb was "prepared to the 'recipe' provided by military intelligence agent Delmar—Zhorzh Abramovich Koval," the Defense Ministry newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda reported when Koval received his gold star.

In 1949, President Harry Truman calmly apprised the American public of the Soviets' test. "We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the USSR," he announced on September 24, in a statement of 217 words, not one of which was "bomb" or "weapon." "Ever since atomic energy was first released by man, the eventual development of this new force by other nations was to be expected," he said. "This probability has always been taken into account by us." Behind the scenes, however, nuclear scientists, generals and policy makers were furiously debating whether the United States should push for arms control or for the next generation of nuclear weapons. Truman rendered that debate moot in January 1950, when he authorized the development of a hydrogen bomb. The nuclear arms race had begun in earnest.

Given that George Koval used his real name, it is tempting to wonder why he didn't fall under suspicion as a security risk until long after it was too late. (Klaus Fuchs was caught after the war, implicated in the same group of intercepted Soviet cables that exposed the Rosenbergs and others. Fuchs served more than nine years in a British prison and then emigrated to Dresden, where he died at age 76 in 1988.) Scholars and analysts are still trying to find out why Koval went undetected.

One reason may be that the Soviets were U.S. allies at the time; counterintelligence efforts were focused on German agents. Another is that interservice rivalry hobbled the Manhattan Project's efforts to vet its scientists. According to Kramish and others, Gen. Leslie Groves, the military director of the Manhattan Project, did not trust the FBI to do security checks on the scientists, preferring to rely on Army counterintelligence officers. A third possibility is that in wartime, the Allies chose scientific talent over pristine clearance records. "People like Oppenheimer had all sorts of questionable connections. The question was: What do you do about it?" says Jon Lellenberg, a retired policy and strategy official with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. "If Oppenheimer was as essential as he seemed, and as committed to success as he was, it was probably deemed worth some political risk for the sake of the program."

And finally, there was the timing: by 1949, when the Soviets exploded their bomb, George Koval had left the United States.

His exit was unhurried. Honorably discharged from the Army in 1946, he returned to the Bronx and to CCNY. He joined Eta Kappa Nu, an electrical-engineering fraternity, and received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering cum laude on February 1, 1948. A few months later, he told friends that he was thinking about going abroad, to Poland or Israel. According to Norris, Koval secured a U.S. passport for six months' travel to Europe on behalf of a company called Atlas Trading. That October he sailed for Le Havre aboard the ocean liner America, never to return.

It is unclear what prompted the FBI to open its mid-1950s investigation into Koval. The resultant raw files, contained in six volumes, include typically exhaustive FBI interviews with Koval's friends, relatives and colleagues, most of whose names are redacted. While the transcripts provide a few hints to Koval's whereabouts after he left the United States—a postcard from Argentina, a reported sighting in Paris—they offer no conclusions about his activities or motivations.

In the following decades, Kramish tried to find his old Army friend, even after he deduced from his FBI interview that Koval had been a spy. Around 2000, Kramish says, he was at the National Archives and by "serendipity" came across some references to Koval and the Mendeleev Chemical Institute. Kramish contacted the institute and secured a telephone number for him. Kramish called, and Koval answered. "It was an emotional moment for both of us," Kramish says. They began corresponding by letter, he says, and then Koval's grandniece persuaded him to use e-mail.

Koval's postwar life in Russia was apparently uneventful. "I'm afraid that you will be disappointed to learn that I did not receive any high awards upon my return," he wrote to Kramish in May 2003. "Life in the Soviet Union was such that my activities instead of bringing me awards, had an opposite, very strong negative effect on my life." When he left the Soviet military in 1949, he wrote, "I received discharge papers as an untrained rifleman in the rank of private—with 9 years of service in the armed forces!" This lackluster record, coupled with his academic and foreign background, "made me a very suspicious character," he wrote, especially amid "the terrible government-instigated-and-carried-out anti-Semitic campaign, which was at its peak in the early fifties." He sought work as a researcher or teacher, but "no one wanted to risk hiring me"—partly, he believed, because someone with his record might be an American spy.

He asked his contact at the GRU for help finding a job—"the only time I ever did." The contact delivered—but, Koval wrote, "even the orders of the Minister of Education brought me nothing better than a job as a laboratory assistant." That was at the Mendeleev Institute. Eventually, he worked his way into a teaching job there. According to a longtime Mendeleev colleague, Yury Lebedev, Koval's students would sometimes giggle when he pronounced the Russian words for "thermocouple" and other technical terms in an American accent. Lebedev says Koval made frequent trips to Khabarovsk to see relatives and, in 1966, brought his nephew Gennady to Moscow to live with him and study at Mendeleev.

Grandniece Maya, a marketing communications manager, came to live with Koval in his Moscow apartment four years before his death. "George was the head of our family—clever, wise and very, very kind," she said in an e-mail interview. "We admired his intellect, his knowledge and his sense of tact. We knew about his work for the GRU. No details—we just suspected that it was somehow related to the nuclear bomb, that's it. George never told us about his work. That was a forbidden topic."

During Koval's decades as an academic in Moscow, the fact that his service to his adopted homeland went unacknowledged rankled him. In 2003 he wrote to Kramish that he had received a minor medal after he returned to Russia, but bigger rewards "went to the career men." Fuchs "got his award, not a very high-ranking one (and was disgruntled about that) only when he was already released and was working as a physicist" in East Germany. And "only quite recently, when Lota began digging in the archives and brought my story to light, was I presented with a rarely awarded medal" for service in foreign intelligence, at a closed ceremony.

Still, despite the perceived slights and his uneasy return to Soviet life, George Koval ended his e-mail on a stoic note: "Maybe I should not complain (and I am not complaining—just describing how things were in the Soviet Union at that time), but be thankful that I did not find myself in a Gulag, as might well have happened."

To the end, he remained unapologetic about betraying the country of his birth. His ASTP colleague Duane Weise, looking back on Koval's turns of luck, offers the theory that he was actually a double agent. "It's just a hypothesis, but there are too many coincidences," Weise says. Kramish, however, sees the matter more directly: "Koval never had any regrets," he says. "He believed in the system."

Michael Walsh covered the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe for Time magazine and other publications from 1985 to 1991.

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Old January 12th, 2012 #45
Mike Parker
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Grigory Kheifets

Grigory Kheifets, also known as Grigori Kheifetz, was the San Francisco KGB station chief, or Rezident, from December 1941 until July 1944.[1]

California on the Crimea

In 1943 a world-famous actor of the Moscow Yiddish State Art Theater, Solomon Mikhoels, together with well-known poet Itzik Feffer, toured the United States on behalf of the Jewish Antifascist Committee. Before their departure, KGB Chief Lavrenti Beria instructed Mikhoels and Feffer to emphasize the great contribution of Jews to science and culture in the Soviet Union. Their assignment was to raise money and convince American public opinion that Soviet anti-Semitism had been crushed as a result of Joseph Stalin's policies.

In 1944 and the first half of 1945, Stalin's strategic motivation was to use the Jewish issue as a bargaining chip to bring in international investment to rebuild the war-torn Soviet Union and to influence the postwar realignment of power in the Middle East. Stalin planned to use Jewish aspirations for a homeland to attract Western credits.

Intentions to form a Jewish republic actually existed, based on a letter addressed to Stalin from the Jewish Antifascist Committee. Part of the letter, published for the first time in 1993, stated:

The creation of a Jewish Soviet republic will once and forever, in a Bolshevik manner, within the spirit of Leninist-Stalinist national policy, settle the problem of the state legal position of the Jewish people and further development of their multicentury culture. This is a problem that no one has been capable of settling in the course of many centuries. It can be solved only in our great socialist country.[2]

The letter, whose existence is officially admitted in the journals of the Communist party,[3] is still not declassified. Kheifetz said the letter was a proposal with details for a plan to make the Crimean Socialist Republic a homeland for Jewish people from all over the world.

Coordination and execution of Stalin's plans to lure foreign investors was entrusted to Kheifetz. The Soviet plan was for him to lay the groundwork for American investment in the metal and coal mining industries in the Soviet Union. It was rumored that Mikhoels might be offered the post of chairman of the Supreme Soviet in the proposed new republic. Apart from Molotov, Lozovsky, and other high-ranking officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mikhoels was the only one aware of Stalin's plans to establish another Soviet republic. Stalin hoped to receive $10 billion in credits from the U.S. for the restoration of the Soviet economy after the war.

The plan to lure American capital was associated with the idea of a Jewish state in the Crimea was called California in the Crimea. Kheifetz widely discussed the plan in America.

Grigory_Kheifets Grigory_Kheifets

Grimeril’: Birth name of Grigory Markovich Kheifets.

Grimeril’ was not the birth name of Heifets (correct spelling.) Grigorij Markovich (Mendelevich) Heifets was the son of Mendel’ Ya. Heifets , who was a prominent figure in the Russian and European Social Democratic movement and an active member of the Jewish “Bund.” “Grimeril’” was the name, which Grogorij Heifets used in 1927-1929 during his “special missions” in China, Germany and other countries for the Department of International Communication (OMS) of the Comintern. At that time, he was giving himself for a refugee student from India. A reference on Grigorij Heifets from July 1938 in Alexander Vassiliev’s notebooks is misleading. It says that “Heifets (Grimeril’) Grigorij Markovich, 1899, was born in Riga. His father had an office (sic – “kontora”) that manufactured woolen cloth and used hired labor (5 people.)”
Old January 12th, 2012 #46
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Arthur Adams (spy)

Arthur Aleksandrovich Adams (October 25, 1885, Eskilstuna, Sweden – January 14, 1969) – a Soviet spy, Hero of the Russian Federation, who passed to the Soviet Union critical information about the American Manhattan Project.


Adams was born in the city of Eskilstuna in Sweden in 1885 to a Swedish father and a Russian Jewish mother. Following the death of his father. Adams's mother with her children returned to Russia, where she died in 1895. Adams entered military navy school in 1896. In 1903 he graduated from a school of mining technology in Kronshtadt.

While in college, Adams joined the Bolshevik party and actively participated in 1905 Russian Revolution at Russia's South. The Tsarist police arrested him and sent him into exile in 1905, Adams escaped from his place of exile and successfully emigrated to the United States in 1913. His Russian biographers claim he served in the United States army during World War I and eventually achieved the rank of Major.

In 1919 Adams was included to the Martens' mission (de facto American trade mission in Soviet Union).

In situation of acute lack of qualified personnel (situation partially created by bolsheviks themselves) Adams as a man with strong engineering background immediately became a top bureaucrat.

In 1925 Adams became deputy head of the Main Board of Aviation Industry of the USSR, and worked at that position for 10 years. Adams was responsible for supplies of imported equipment and materials for the aviation industry and therefore often made trips abroad. That's when he was noticed by experts of surveillance agency of Red Army (future GRU).

Adams, an educated engineer, established personal relationships with other scientists during his frequent trips abroad. He often visited enterprises in Europe and America. Adams collected technical and industrial information which he shared with the Soviet military.. As Adams was successful in completing tasks of the surveillance agency, it was decided to accept him as staff intelligence worker. In 1935, in the age of 50 Adams was enlisted to serve in the Chief intelligence service of Red Army's headquarters.

Adams was sent to the U.S. for illegal work. Shortly he managed to get a legal position, established his own firm and his own agent network involving over 20 experts from the American military industrial enterprises.

In 1938 Adams was summoned to Moscow, being accused in a false denouncement. Luckily enough, the falsified case against Adams was closed and in 1939 he moved to the U.S. again, creating his intelligence network anew.

Atomic Espionage

Arthur Adams was one of the first Soviet spies to receive information about the American Manhattan Project. Contemporary Russian sources state that Adams (Codename: Achilles) was in contact with an agent (Codename: Eskulap) who was associated with the Chicago Met Lab. In June 1944 Eskulap reportedly gave Adams 2500 pages of documents relating to the development of the Atomic Bomb. In July and August he provided another 1500 pages and specimens of weapon-grade Uranium, Plutonium, and Berillium, Eskulap did not appear at the September rendezvous and Adams learned he was terminally ill. The existence of the covernames Eskulap and Achilles is proven by their appearance in a single Venona decrypt dated August 1943. However, the only information that can be gleaned from this message is that Eskulap's wife worked for "Chicago University." The identity and occupation of Eskulap, as well as his association with Adams, if any, remains unknown, although the use of the covername "Eskulap" ("Asclepius"), suggests he may have been a Doctor of Medicine.

It is known that, in 1943, U.S. Military Intelligence received information from confidential sources linking Adams to scientists working at the Met Lab. In the spring of 1944 they observed clandestine meetings between Adams and Met Lab scientist Clarence Hiskey. The FBI and Military Security performed an illegal search of Adam's New York apartment and discovered sophisticated camera equipment, material for constructing microfilm, and notes on experiments being conducted at the atomic bomb laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. They also observed him climbing into an automobile driven by Pavel Mikhailov (Codename: Molière) the GRU station chief in New York. The U.S. Military decided to neutralize Hiskey by drafting him into the army in April 1944. Before reporting for duty Hiskey introduced Adams to two other prospective sources, John Hitchcock Chapin and Edward Manning, both of whom would later deny, before Congressional Committees, passing secret information to Adams. The military assigned Hiskey to an outpost near the Arctic Circle where he held a job counting winter underwear. While en route, Hiskey's bags were searched and found to contain seven pages of notes on secret work at Oak Ridge. There are a number of Venona decrypts which refer to Hiskey, (Codename: Ramsey) but they are concerned with Soviet attempts to re-establish contact with him once he had been drafted. Hiskey may originally have had the codename Eskulap. His wife also had a communist background.

Another Adam's operation to penetrate the Manhattan Project occurred in the winter of 1944. A counterintelligence officer caught one of Adam's agents, Irving Lerner, an employee of the Motion Picture Division of the OWI, attempting to photograph the cyclotron at the University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory.. The cyclotron had been used in the creation of plutonium and Lerner was acting without authorization. Lerner resigned his job and went to work for Keynote Records in New York, a jazz label which also employed Adams as a technician.

Early in 1945 Adams eluded FBI surveillance while taking his dog for a walk. The FBI picked-up his trail in Chicago where he was seen boarding a train for the west coast accompanied by Eric Bernay, owner of Keynote Records and a well-known comintern agent. The FBI prevented Adams from boarding a waiting Soviet vessel in Portland, Oregon, but were under orders not to arrest him in order to avoid a diplomatic incident. Adams returned to New York and escaped to the Soviet Union in 1946.

After retirement from the GRU in 1948, Adams worked for a long time as political observer at TASS. He died in 1969 and is buried at Moscow's Novodevichy Cemetery.

On June 17, 1999 Russian President Boris Yeltsin posthumously awarded him the title Hero of the Russian Federation "for courage and heroism shown during the performance of special assignments".

Last edited by Mike Parker; January 12th, 2012 at 09:01 AM.
Old January 13th, 2012 #47
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Boris Bukov

Boris Yakovlevich Bukov, also Boris Bykov ("Sasha") Regiment Commissar (15 November 1935) was a member of the Communist Party member since 1919. Bykov was head of the underground apparatus with which Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss were connected.

Early career

Bykov graduated from Commanders' Upgrading Training School of RAZVEDUPR of the Red Army Staff in 1929. He received further training at the Red Army Military Academy of Chemical Defense, the Military-Industrial Department (September 1932 - February 1935), and the Red Army Stalin Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization. As he was fluent in German, Bykov served as an Officer of Soviet Military Intelligence (GRU) from 1920-1941, working in Germany. In 1928 Bykov became the section chief of the 2nd department of the RAZVEDUPR; later he was appointed Assistant Chief of the 2nd Department of the RAZVEDUPR.

Soviet illegal resident

In 1935 Bukov left abroad and served as Illegal Rezident of RAZVEDUPR in the United States from 1936 to 1939.[1] After leaving the United States, he became a Lecturer (agent-operation cycle) of the Higher Special School of the Red Army Staff from July 1939 to September 1940, followed by a post as Senior Teacher of the chair of intelligence from September 1940 to June 1941.

Wartime service

After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Bukov headed the chair of foreign countries study of the Second Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages which later became known as the Institute of Military Interpreters.

Boris_Bukov Boris_Bukov

Old January 15th, 2012 #48
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Jew behavior must be rationalized within the reality and limits of their
attributes of existence.
Jews have no country that is earned as their own, they are truly the
vagabonds of a innately parasitic collection. They have no national
alliance or patriotism to a nation, all in The Jews path is analogized as
germ nutrient. The Jew is incapable of shame or fortitude, you are
dealing with a collective network of wealth hungry insects.
Old January 15th, 2012 #49
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Smile Disk Size Warning

This thread is going to be a big one. Are we sure that the VNN hard drive can hold the data? I expect to see [out of memory] error.
Old January 24th, 2012 #50
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Lost in the gulag

A new book uncovers the fate of a forgotten American who spied, and died, for Stalin

By Ann Blackman
August 10, 2008

The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service
By Andrew Meier
Norton, 402 pp., illustrated, $25.95

On a snowy night in Moscow in February 1939, three men wearing badges that identified them as members of Josef Stalin's secret police walked through the double doors of the Moskva Hotel, overlooking Red Square, took an elevator to the top floor, and knocked on a door. They knew that the man they had come for carried a Czech passport - fabricated for him by someone in their organization - and that he spoke fluent French and German, though little Russian. They also knew the name on his passport was an alias.

The man's real name was Isaiah Oggins, and he was one of the first Americans to spy for the Soviet Union. Born in 1898 to a family of Russian Jews who had immigrated to New York from Lithuania, Cy Oggins, as he called himself, spent more than a decade gathering intelligence for the Soviets across three continents, North America, Europe, and Asia. He was arrested as part of Stalin's paranoid purge of suspected anti-Stalinists and sentenced to eight years in a labor camp in Siberia. In 1947, when his sentence was up and the United States was seeking his return, Stalin ordered Oggins put to death.

In a new book, "The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service," journalist Andrew Meier tells the tragic tale of this brilliant and idealistic Columbia University graduate, a Jewish intellectual who felt ostracized by the Ivy League's WASP world and sought solace with young Communists in New York City. With them, he dreamed of a "world revolution" that would spread from the Soviet Union through Europe to the United States. Oggins and his wife, a radical Soviet emigrée named Nerma Berman, ran a safe house in Berlin for Soviet agents and spied on the Romanovs in Paris and the Japanese in Manchuria. "He envisioned a utopia on earth," Meier writes, "a realm of harmony and justice, not a world ruled, as he and his comrades saw it, by the lust for profit and violence. He imagined himself an American Robin Hood among the Bolsheviks, and he risked all for the good fight."

Oggins's story was barely a footnote in the history of the Cold War until Boris Yeltsin handed his censored dossier to US diplomats in September 1992. Yeltsin explained that although Oggins had been found innocent of charges trumped up against him, he had been "liquidated" because Stalin feared that if the spy were repatriated to the United States, as the US government had requested, he would spill Soviet secrets about the gulag and perhaps name other spies. "The Kremlin had spy networks - in America, Europe and Asia - to protect," Meier writes. Yeltsin, then the first president of a democratic Russia, wanted a case he could show his new friends in America to demonstrate he was determined to air past sins of the Communist Party.

Meier, a former Time correspondent in Moscow, spent six years digging through FBI and KGB archives to piece together the puzzle of Oggins's life. He describes a bright young man growing up in the early 1900s in Willimantic, Conn., a New England mill town rocked by labor strife. After enrolling in Columbia University just before the United States entered World War I, Oggins got caught up in the world of New York's radical left and joined the American Communist movement about seven years after the Russian Revolution, which brought the Communists to power in 1917. Living in Greenwich Village, the heart of Bohemia, he became friendly with other young intellectuals who believed that workers around the world would unite and overthrow capitalism. He broke all ties with his increasingly bourgeois family in Connecticut.

Unlike FBI agent Robert P. Hanssen, who many years later fed US secrets to the Soviets for a quarter-century, Oggins turned out to be a rather insignificant agent with no access to any government's secrets and little training in the art of spycraft. As a result, this exhaustive biography is more a curiosity than exposé of a long-hidden scandal.

Meier is a diligent researcher, but instead of letting Oggins's tale spin out in a straightforward manner, the author has a maddening way of jumping back and forth in time, sometimes describing the spy's travels or his life in the gulag, then skipping ahead to insert the reactions and observations of Oggins's only child, Robin, now a retired professor in his 70s. The son had known little about his father's life until Meier approached him a few years ago with his findings. As a result, the book is an interesting but disjointed narrative. Ironically, Cy Oggins, who sacrificed everything, including his family, for "the cause," died a lonely man in the country his parents had fled in order to provide a better life for their children.

Ann Blackman, a former Time correspondent in Moscow, is the author of biographies of former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Confederate spy Rose Greenhow. She is co-author of "The Spy Next Door," a biography of turncoat FBI agent Robert P. Hanssen.
Old January 24th, 2012 #51
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Sergey Spigelglas

Sergey Mikhailovich Spigelglas or Spiegelglass or Shpigelglas (Russian: Серге́й Миха́йлович Шпи́гельглас) (29 April 1897 - 29 January 1941) was acting head of the Soviet foreign intelligence service, then part of the NKVD, from February to June 1938.

Spigelglas was born into the family of a Jewish bookkeeper in Mosty in present-day Hrodna Voblast, Belarus. After graduating from Warsaw Technical High School, he entered the law school at Moscow University. In 1917 he was drafted into the Russian Army and served as an ensign in the 42nd reserve regiment. Following the October Revolution, he joined the Cheka, and because of his facility with languages—he spoke French, Polish, German, and Russian—he became a member of the Foreign Department. In 1926 he was stationed in Mongolia, perhaps reporting to Yakov Blumkin, where he conducted active intelligence work against China and Japan.

In 1930 Spigelglas became the chief undercover agent of the OGPU, later the NKVD, in Paris. As a cover for his operations, he worked as the bourgeois proprietor of a fish store near the Boulevard Montmartre. Spigelglas's main task was spying on the White Russian and Trotskyist organizations in Paris, where he controlled the penetration agents Mark Zborowski and Roland Abbiate. He successfully recruited the double agent Nikolai Skoblin and his wife Nadezhda Plevitskaya.

Spigelglas returned to Moscow, where he trained new agents in counterintelligence and acted as deputy director of the Foreign Department reporting to Abram Slutsky. His particular forte was the liternoye (top secret) or liquidation operation. He engineered the assassination of the Ukrainian nationalist Yevhen Konovalets in Rotterdam in May 1938, the execution of the defector Ignace Reiss in Switzerland in September 1937, and the kidnapping of the leader of Russian All-Military Union (ROVS), General Evgenii Miller, in France in September 1937. It has also been suggested that he was the mastermind behind the murder-decapitation of the Trotskyist leader of the Fourth International, Rudolf Klement, in France in July 1938, and the murder of the defector Georges Agabekov in France in 1937. When Slutsky died in February 1938, poisoned by order of Nikolai Yezhov, Spigelglas became the acting director of foreign intelligence.

The head of the NKVD, Lavrenti Beria, had Spigelglas arrested seven months later on November 2, 1938. He was held in Lefortovo prison and attempted a hunger strike which failed once his jailers began a regimen of intravenous feeding. After "strong pressure," a euphemism for torture, he began to make a confession in May 1939, and a tribunal convicted him of treachery on November 28, 1940. (In his confession, Spigelglas claimed that Lev Sedov died of natural causes, not the victim of NKVD foul play.) He was executed on January 29, 1941.

Historical opinion on Spigelglas is divided. Some, following the lead of Alexander Orlov, portray him as a "careerist" ready to liquidate dozens of honest people to advance himself, a man who could disingenuously claim that the deaths of those he murdered were necessary in the Bolshevik's struggle against their enemies. Others, following Sudoplatov, believe he was polite, business-like, intelligent, and a patriot. The Russian government rehabilitated him in 1991.

Sergey_Spigelglas Sergey_Spigelglas
Old January 24th, 2012 #52
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Slutsky, Abram Aronovich (1898-1938)

A Soviet Cheka-OGPU official who headed Cheka-OGPU foreign intelligence from May 21, 1935 to February 17, 1938.

Slutsky was born in 1898 to the family of a railway conductor in the village of Parafievka, in the Chernigovskaya gubernia of the Russian Empire. After graduating from a gymnasium (Russian high school) in the city of Andizhan (now in Uzbekistan), he worked first as a locksmith’s apprentice and later as a clerk in a cotton mill before he was drafted into the army in 1916. In 1916 and1917, he fought in World War I as a volunteer with the 7th Siberian Rifle Regiment of the Russian Army. In 1917, he joined the Bolshevik party. That August, he returned to Andizhan and took part in establishing Soviet power in Central Asia. During 1918 and 1919, he was a member and then chairman of the Andizhan committee of RCP (b) and chairman of the district court-martial. From October 1919 to June 1920, he served as a member of the Revolutionary and Military Council of the Andizhan fortified region.

In September 1920, Slutsky began his service at the Cheka in the city of Tashkent. Later he served as chairman or head of district and regional Cheka offices in the Central Asian part of Soviet Russia and then the USSR. In June 1922, Slutsky was appointed assistant chairman of the Supreme Court Martial of Turkestan and then the chairman of its Judiciary Board. A year later, he was transferred to Moscow to work as chairman of a court martial in the Moscow military region. In 1925, Slutsky was shifted again – this time to the position of chairman of the revisory commission of the State Fish Syndicate, which was part of the Supreme Council of the People’s Economy (VSNH) – the highest agency managing the Soviet economy in that period.

In June of 1926, Slutsky shifted to the Economic Directorate of the OGPU to be an assistant section head and then section head. In December 1927, he was promoted to head of the OGPU’s 2nd section; a year later, he was appointed to serve simultaneously as head of its 2nd division. In July 1929, Slutsky became assistant head of the entire Economic Directorate. In 1928, he took part in the investigation of the ill-famed Shahtinsky case – the trial from May to July of 1928 of a group of engineers and technicians who were falsely charged with creating a counterrevolutionary sabotage organization in the coal-mining Donbass area (now part of Ukraine).

In January 1930, Slutsky shifted to the OGPU Foreign Intelligence Department (INO) as an assistant to its head, Arthur Artuzov. From 1931 to 1933, Slutsky was reportedly the chief resident of the INO in Western Europe. Using the cover of an employee of the Soviet trade mission in Berlin, he traveled with special missions to Germany, Spain, France, Sweden and, allegedly, the United States. Among other things, Slutsky is credited with directing an operation which procured the process of ball bearing production from the Swedes.

In July 1934, Slutsky became deputy head of the INO, where he supervised the work in the field of scientific-technical intelligence (later known as the XY.) On May 21, 1935, he succeeded Arthur Artuzov as the head of the INO (then part of the GUGB NKVD), with the rank of the Commissar of the GB. After December 1936, when the divisions of the GUGB were assigned numbers for security reasons, Slutsky signed on as head of the 7th department, which stood for the INO at that time. Slutsky’s tenure was the heyday of the INO’s “illegal” operations, which were launched by his predecessor, Artuzov. For his service, he was awarded two Orders of the Red Banner and two “Honorary Chekist” breastplates.

The last year of Slutsky’s tenure saw the mass purges that struck a heavy blow to the service: all Slutsky’s predecessors in the INO leadership were executed, one after another; among the INO staff of 450 (including its foreign field operatives), 276 were purged. On February 17, 1938, Slutsky died in the office of Mikhail Frinovsky, the first deputy to the Commissar, or Narcom, of the NKVD. At the time, the cause of Slutsky’s death was reported as heart failure, and he was buried with honors in the prestigious Novodevichy Cemetery. In his final years, Slutsky did have heart troubles and often received visitors lying on a couch in his office, hence the explanation was quite plausible. But two months after his death he was posthumously expelled from the Communist party ranks as “an enemy of the people.” After his arrest, the former head of the NKVD department of technical services admitted in the course of interrogations that he himself had given Slutsky an injection of cyanic acid – on the orders of the NKVD head, Nickolai Ezhov. After his arrest in April 1939, Ezhov confirmed this accusation during interrogations. Slutsky’s official biography indicates poisoning as the cause of his death, but the evidence is ambiguous, since not a single witness to his death survived the great purges. Moreover, Slutsky’s younger brother suffered from the same heart ailment and died in 1946 – at the same age Slutsky was when he died in 1938.

Abram Slutsky

Abram Aronovich Slutsky (Russian: Абра́м Аро́нович Слу́цкий) (July 1898 - 17 February 1938, Moscow) headed the Soviet foreign intelligence service (INO), then part of the NKVD, from May 1935 to February 1938.


Slutsky was born in 1898 into the family of a Jewish railroad worker in a Ukrainian village, Parafievka, in the Chernigov region. As a youth he worked as an apprentice to a metal craftsman, then as clerk at a cotton plant. In the First World War he served in the Tsarist army as a volunteer in the 7th Siberian rifle regiment. In 1917 he joined the Bolshevik party. During the Civil War he fought for the Red Army and afterward, in 1920, moved to the organs of the GPU/OGPU, where by dint of his affable personality he rose rapidly through the ranks,

Originally, Slutsky worked in the OGPU's Economic Department engaged in industrial espionage. He received the first of two Orders of the Red Banner for his role in directing the apparatus which stole the process for making ball-bearings from the Swedes. In another clandestine operation he extorted $300,000 from Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish Match King, by threatening to flood world markets with cheap matches made in the Soviet Union. In 1929 he was appointed as the assistant to Artur Artuzov, head of the Foreign Department. In May 1935, Genrikh Yagoda, chief of the secret police, replaced Artuzov with Slutsky.

During Slutsky's tenure, the Foreign Department was principally engaged in tracking down and eliminating the opponents of Stalin's regime, essentially emigre White Russians and Trotskyists. Major operations included the kidnapping of General Evgenii Miller, the burglary of the Trotsky archive in Paris, the assassination of Ignace Reiss, and the liquidation of numerous Trotskyists and anti-Stalinists in Spain during the Civil War. Slutsky's illegals in Great Britain, Arnold Deutsch and Theodore Maly, were responsible for recruiting and developing the infamous Cambridge Five. In August 1936 he participated in concocting the evidence used in the first Moscow Trial, the so-called "Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre." The task of extracting false confessions from Sergei Mrachkovsky and Ivan Smirnov fell to him. The voluble Slutsky described his methods for "breaking-down" these Old Bolsheviks to his subordinates, Alexander Orlov and Walter Krivitsky, who subsequently recounted these episodes in their memoirs.

In character, the defector Orlov, who worked directly under him and knew him well, thought Slutsky was "distinguished by laziness, a propensity for window dressing and by subservience to his chiefs. He was gentle by nature, cowardly and double-faced." Elizabeth Poretsky, who met with him frequently in 1936, thought he "was a person of many contradictions ... he would weep while telling of the interrogation of some of the defendants at the trials and bemoan the fates of their families; in the same breath he would denounce them as 'Trotskyite fascists.'" But, as she noted, he might have been stage-acting, hoping that others "would betray themselves when he feigned sympathy for the victims of the trials." Poretsky adds that he courageously interceded with his superiors to save the families of condemned bolsheviks.

When Nikolai Yezhov assumed control of the NKVD in 1937, he began to arrest and liquidate the department heads whom he knew were close to his deposed predecessor, Yagoda. Slutsky was spared, even though he was implicated in confessions as a "participant in Yagoda's conspiracy," because Yezhov feared that Slutky's arrest would cause Soviet agents who were operating abroad to defect. Nevertheless, Slutsky's days were numbered, and his end came on February 17, 1938.


There are two unofficial accounts of Slutsky's death. The first appeared in Orlov's Secret History of Stalin's Crimes (1953) and presumably is based on gossip Orlov heard in France or Spain in 1938. In Orlov's version, Slutsky was invited to a meeting in the office of Mikhail Frinovsky, head of the GUGB, in the Lubyanka. Shortly afterward his deputy, Sergei Shpigelglas, was called into the office and he observed Slutsky slumped in a chair with tea and cakes at the table beside him. Frinovsky said Slutsky had died suddenly of a heart attack. The chief of the NKVD, Nikolai Yezhov, ordered Slutsky's body put in the main hall of the NKVD club and surrounded by an honor guard of NKVD officers. But the embalmers neglected to cover the tell-tale spots on Slutsky's face which indicated to the mourners that he had been poisoned with hydrocyanic acid.

The second account comes from Frinovsky's confession, obtained before his execution, in which he claims Yezhov ordered him to "remove Slutsky without noise." Accordingly, Frinovsky invited Slutsky to his office for a conference, and while they were talking another deputy slipped into the room and covered Slutsky's nose with a chloroform mask. Once Slutsky passed out, a second deputy, who was hiding in an adjacent office, entered the room and "injected poison into the muscle of his right arm." Frinovsky summoned a doctor who confirmed that Slutsky had died of a heart attack. None of the witnesses to this crime survived the Great Purge.

Two months after his death, Slutsky was posthumously stripped of his CPSU membership and declared an enemy of the people. Although he has been rehabilitated, the Russian government's official position is that Slutsky died while working in his office.

Abram_Slutsky Abram_Slutsky
Old January 24th, 2012 #53
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Yakov Blumkin

Yakov Grigoryevich Blumkin (Russian: Яков Григорьевич Блюмкин, Ukrainian: Яків Григорович Блюмкін; 1898 – 3 November 1929) was a Left Socialist-Revolutionary, assassin, Bolshevik, Cheka agent, State Political Directorate (GPU) spy, and adventurer, executed as Trotskyist.

Early life

He was born into a Jewish family, was orphaned early in his life, and was raised in Odessa. In 1914 he joined the Socialist-Revolutionary Party.

Cheka employee

After the October Revolution, in 1917 he became head of the Cheka's counter-espionage department working for Felix Dzerzhinsky. During the Red Terror, Blumkin was known for his brutality.[citation needed] The following story is recounted about the poet Osip Mandelstam by his biographer Clarence Brown[1]:

"One evening early in the Revolution he was sitting in a cafe and there was the notorious Socialist Revolutionary terrorist Blumkin… at that time an official of the Cheka… drunkenly copying the names of men and women to be executed on to blank forms already signed by the head of the secret police. Mandelstam suddenly threw himself at him, seized the lists, tore them to pieces before the stupefied onlookers, then ran out and disappeared. On this occasion he was saved by Trotsky's sister."


Like many Cheka employees at the time, Blumkin was, politically, a Left Socialist-Revolutionary rather than a Bolshevik. Since this party was opposed to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Blumkin was ordered by its executive committee to assassinate Wilhelm Mirbach, the German ambassador to Russia; they hoped by this action to incite a war with Germany. This event was timed to occur at the opening of the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. On the afternoon of 6 July 1918, Blumkin – along with an aide, Nikolai Andreyev – went to the residence of the German Ambassador on Denezhny Lane. Blumkin gained entrance to the embassy by presenting forged documents. When Mirbach entered the drawing room, Blumkin pulled a gun from his case and shot the ambassador at point blank range, killing him. At the same time, the Left SRs launched a coup attempt in Moscow, which was quickly quelled. The members of the Left SR party at the Bolshoi Theater were arrested and the party was forcibly suppressed. Blumkin, however, escaped and went into hiding.

He fled to Petrograd and then to Ukraine where he joined the LSR Cheka. In Kiev he organized an assassination attempt against the Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi and fought in the LSR insurrection against the reactionary government of Symon Petliura. In April 1919 Blumkin surrendered to the Bolsheviks, who still had a warrant for his arrest. Dzerzhinsky pardoned Blumkin, due to his voluntary surrender, and ordered him to return to Ukraine to assassinate Admiral Kolchak. While forming a combat group, Blumkin survived three assassination attempts made by his former LSR comrades. He joined the 13th Red Army as director of counter-espionage and worked under Georgy Pyatakov.


In the spring of 1920, Dzerzhinsky sent Blumkin to the Iranian province of Gilan, on the Caspian Sea, where the Forest Party under the leadership of Mirza Koochak Khan had established a secessionist government called the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic. On 30 May 1920, Blumkin, with his penchant for intrigue, fomented a coup d'état which drove Koochak Khan and his party from power and replaced them with the bolshevik controlled Iranian Communist Party. The new government, nominally headed by Kuchak Khan's second-in-command, Ehsanollah Khan, was dominated by the Russian Commissar, Abukov. He commenced a series of radical reforms which included the closing of mosques, confiscating money from the rich. Blumkin became chief of the General Staff of the Persian Red Army. An army was raised with the intention of marching on Tehran and bringing Persia under the Red Banner.

In August 1920, Blumkin was back in Petrograd where he was entrusted with the command of an armored train that conveyed Grigory Zinoviev, Karl Radek, Béla Kun, and John Silas Reed from the Second Congress of the Communist International[2] to the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities in Baku.[3] Their journey took them through parts of Western Russia where the Civil War still lingered. Blumkin claimed he served as a member of the Persian delegation, perhaps incognito because his name is not listed in the published rolls. At the congress, the delegates enacted the proposal of Zinoviev, leader of the Comintern, which called upon the bolsheviks to support the uprisings of native peoples from the Middle East against the British. Lenin shortly abandoned this policy, in order to sign a treaty with Great Britain.

Vagabond Agent

After his adventure in the Caucasus, Blumkin returned to Moscow and became a student at the military college. He befriended Leon Trotsky, becoming a secretary, and helped over the next two years with the "selection, critical checking, arrangement and correction of the material" in Trotsky's Military Writings (1923).[4] Trotsky noted in particular the irony of a former Left SR conspirator editing the volume describing the Left SR conspiracy. Blumkin introduced his friend, the poet Sergei Esenin, to Trotsky, hoping that Trotsky would sponsor and promote a literary journal. This sharing of friendship, scholarship, and political ideas with Trotsky would later cost Blumkin his life.

In 1924 the OGPU made Blumkin an illegal resident in the Arab peninsula. From the summer of 1924 until the fall of 1925 he worked for the OGPU in Tiflis and was the Assistant Chairman of the Soviet delegation in the mixed Soviet-Persian Border commission and a member of the Soviet delegation in the mixed Soviet-Turkish Border commission. In his autobiography, the Soviet diplomat Alexander Barmine provides a glimpse of Blumkin, whom he met along with Esenin on a train from Moscow to Baku in the spring of 1924. The two friends, Blumkin and Esenin, "got along well and never went to bed sober." Esenin was "suffering from an overindulgence in alcohol and woman," and "had turned into a sot." Blumkin shouldered the burden of pulling Esenin together, which according to Barmine, "was more than anyone could do!" In general, Blumkin was often seen maundering about in Moscow with poets as an adherent of the Imaginism literary movement to which Esenin belonged, boasting a gun and a notorious reputation.[5] Nevertheless, part of "Blumkin lore" has it that Esenin's eventual suicide was actually a murder committed by Blumkin either out of jealousy for his wife, or on Trotsky's orders, or both,[6] although no evidence confirms such a claim.

Blumkin's Eastern adventures soon became a byword and attained mythical proportions, making him something of a Soviet James Bond. Thus, it is claimed that in 1924, he travelled secretly to Afghanistan or Pamir in order to contact the Ismailites and the local representative of the Aga Khan for the purposes of "anti-imperialist struggle" against the British, after which he disguised himself as a dervish and travelled with an Ismailite caravan, exploring the British military positions in India as far south as Ceylon.[6] In 1926, Blumkin was supposedly the secret representative of the GPU in Mongolia, where he ruled for some time as a virtual dictator (and occasionally travelled on missions in China, Tibet and India) until he was recalled to Moscow because the local Communist leadership had tired of his reign of terror.[6][7]

In his book, The Storm Petrels, Gordon Brooke-Shepard relates that the GPU sent Blumkin to Paris in October 1929 to assassinate the defector and former Stalin personal secretary, Boris Bazhanov. In fact, this information comes from Bazhanov himself.[7] Although it became common gossip among the inmates of the labor camps that Blumkin had indeed killed Bazhanov, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn repeats this legend in The Gulag Archipelago, the truth is that Bazhanov only died in 1983. Bazhanov at the time was also aware of the rumour of his own murder and wrote that Stalin had probably planted the rumour himself in order to instill fear.[7]

Le Vivant est Mort

In 1929, Blumkin was the chief illegal resident in Turkey, where he was allegedly selling Hebrew incunabula that he collected from synagogues all over Ukraine and Southern Russia and even from state museums such as the Lenin Library in Moscow, in order to finance an espionage network in the Middle East. While he would supposedly travel personally to Ukraine to look for rare Hebrew books, he also spent time in Palestine and elsewhere organizing the network, posing as a devout Jewish laundry owner or as a Jewish salesman from Azerbaydzhan. Eventually he was deported from Palestine by the British.[6]

It is known that during his work in Turkey, Blumkin met with Trotsky, who was living there after his expulsion from the Soviet Union. Trotsky gave Blumkin a secret message to transmit to Karl Radek, Trotsky's former supporter and friend in Moscow, which was seen by Stalin as an attempt to set up lines of communication with "co-thinkers" and "oppositionists" in the Soviet Union. Information about the meeting reached the GPU. Trotsky later claimed that Radek had betrayed Blumkin to Stalin, and Radek would later acknowledge his complicity, but it is also likely that the information was passed along by a GPU informer within Trotsky's entourage.

After Blumkin met with Radek in Moscow, Mikhail Trilisser, head of the GPU Foreign Section, ordered an attractive agent named Lisa Gorskaya (aka Elizabeth Zubilin) to "abandon bourgeois prejudice" and seduce Blumkin. The couple carried on an affair lasting several weeks and Gorskaya revealed their pillow-talk to Trilisser. When agents sent to arrest Blumkin arrived at his apartment, he was getting into a car with Gorskaya. A chase ensued and shots were fired. Blumkin stopped the car, turned to Gorskaya and said: "Lisa, you have betrayed me!" Following his arrest, Blumkin was brought before a GPU tribunal consisting of Yagoda, Menzhinsky, and Trilisser. The defector Georges Agabekov claims: "Yagoda pronounced for the death penalty. Trilliser was against it. Menzhinsky was undecided." The matter was referred to the Politburo where Stalin, ending the deadlock, declared himself in favor of the death penalty.

In his Memoirs of a Revolutionary (1941), Victor Serge fancifully relates that Blumkin was given a two week reprieve so that he could write his autobiography. This manuscript, if indeed it ever existed, remains undiscovered. The defector Aleksandr Mikhailovich Orlov writes that Blumkin stood before a firing squad and shouted, "Long live Trotsky!" The Russian Government has never rehabilitated Blumkin.

Yakov_Blumkin Yakov_Blumkin
Old March 11th, 2012 #54
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Default Two Congressional Leaders Call On Obama To Free Pollard In Support Of The US-Israel Special Relationship

March 2012

Two Congressional Leaders Call On Obama To Free Pollard In Support Of "The US-Israel Special Relationship "

"In the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s recent meetings with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, two prominent members of Congress have called on the President to release Jonathan Pollard.

Congressmen Gary Ackerman of New York and Barney Frank of Massachusetts Recently wrote to President Obama and asked that he commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served(the full text of the letter appears below and a copy is attached)"

Last edited by littlefieldjohn; March 11th, 2012 at 12:08 PM.
Old March 19th, 2012 #55
Mike Parker
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Maurice Halperin

Maurice Hyman Halperin (March 3, 1906 – February 9, 1995) was an American writer, professor, diplomat, and Soviet spy (NKVD code name "Hare").


Halperin was born on March 3, 1906. He studied Latin American issues, and in 1935 traveled to Cuba with the League of American Writers to investigate possible human rights abuses. Sometime during this period, Halperin joined the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA). In the late summer of 1941, Halperin went to work in the Office of the Coordinator of Information which later became the Research Division of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), itself the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. Halperin became head of the Latin American Research and Analysis Division and Special Assistant to the Director of the OSS, Duncan Lee. During this period, he became an espionage agent and agreed to provide intelligence for the Joseph Stalin-era Soviet intelligence service, the NKVD. Halperin's NKVD code name was 'Hare', and he became a member of the Golos spy network operated by the NKVD's chief of American espionage operations Gaik Ovakimian.

With access to the OSS cable room, Halperin could secure copies of secret U.S. reports from any part of the world. Through the Golos spy network, Halperin provided Soviet intelligence with a large quantity of sensitive U.S. diplomatic dispatches, including reports from Ambassador John Gilbert Winant in London on the position of the Polish government-in-exile towards negotiations with Stalin, Turkey's foreign policy toward Romania, the State Department's instructions to the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, the U.S. embassy in Morocco's reports on that country's government, reports on the U.S. government's relationship with Vichy and Free French factions and persons in exile, reports of peace feelers from dissident Germans passed to the Vatican, U.S. attitudes towards Josip Broz Tito's Communist Front activities in Yugoslavia, and discussions between the Greek government and the United States regarding Soviet ambitions in the Balkans. Halperin also distorted OSS reports with false information in order to reflect the views of Stalin, the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party of the United States.

Bentley allegations

In 1945, defecting Soviet espionage courier Elizabeth Bentley told agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that from 1942 to 1944, when he was an official of the OSS, Haperin delivered "to MARY PRICE and later to myself mimeographed bulletins and reports prepared by OSS on a variety of topics and also supplied excerpts from State Department cables to which he evidently had access." She added that "some time early in 1945 'JACK', [Soviet agent Joseph Katz][1] the Russian contact at that time, told me that Halperin had been accused by General WILLIAM DONOVAN [head of OSS] of being a Soviet agent..."[2]

The next day, the FBI notified Harry S. Truman's White House that "according to a "highly confidential source," among those "employed by the government of the United States" who "have been furnishing data and information to persons outside the Federal government, who are in turn transmitting this information to espionage agents of the Soviet government," was "Maurice Halperin, Office of Strategic Services." Subsequent surveillance of Halperin disclosed that he was in contact with Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, Lauchlin Currie, Philip and Mary Jane Keeney, and others.

After the OSS was dissolved in 1945, Halperin transferred to the State Department and worked as an adviser to United States Secretary of State Dean Acheson on Latin American affairs. Halperin was an advisor to the United Nations at the first conference in San Francisco. He resigned from the State Department in 1946 to take the position of chair of Latin American studies at Boston University.

In 1953, after Soviet cables were secretly decrypted by U.S. counter-intelligence, Maurice Halperin was called before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to defend himself on charges of espionage. Halperin denied the charges, but nevertheless fled to Mexico and then, to avoid extradition,[citation needed] to the Soviet Union. Among the friends he made there was the British traitor Donald Maclean as well as Cuban revolutionary leader Che Guevara.

Disenchanted with communism in the Soviet Union, Halperin accepted Guevara's invitation to come to Havana in 1962. There he worked for the Fidel Castro government for five years before political tensions forced him to leave for Vancouver, Canada. He then became a political science professor at Simon Fraser University, and wrote several books critical of Castro's government and the socio-political situation in Cuba.

He died in Canada on February 9, 1995.[3]


After Halperin's death, the release of the Venona project decryptions of coded Soviet cables, as well as information gleaned from Soviet KGB archives, revealed that Halperin was involved in espionage activities on behalf of the Soviet Union while serving in an official capacity with the United States government.[4][5][6]

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Old March 19th, 2012 #56
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Jews are Spies and aim to infiltrate the media so as to protect Jewish terrorist acts such as 9/11.

Красным цветом в России будет цвет коммунистических еврейств

Old March 19th, 2012 #57
Yevgeny Morozov
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Originally Posted by Celtic_Patriot View Post
Jews are Spies and aim to infiltrate the media so as to protect Jewish terrorist acts such as 9/11.
Kel'tsky Patriot mnye, I'm a little bit confused by that statement. Do you mean that they don't already own and control it and require to infiltrate it first...?
The "the White Nationalist movement" and its "leaders" are a joke ... on Whites. | Donating to deadbeats is the equivalent of nigger handouts. | What's the difference between the Shoah business and the White Nationalism? Reach and shekel flow.
Old March 20th, 2012 #58
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Jews are typically anti-race. They deny that there is a White Race. You see to the Jew, only the Jew race or entity exists, all other humans are "animals".

That is the Jew anti-race mentality.
Красным цветом в России будет цвет коммунистических еврейств

Old April 13th, 2012 #59
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e-Dossier No. 11 - Was Oppenheimer a Soviet Spy? A Roundtable Discussion with Jerrold and Leona Schecter, Gregg Herken and Hayden Peake

Last year, Jerrold L. and Leona P. Schecter presented findings from their recently published book: Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History, at a Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) seminar. Comments to the presentation were provided by Kai Bird (author of a forthcoming biography of Oppenheimer and former Wilson Center Fellow), R. Bruce Craig (National Coalition for History), Ronald Radosh (co-editor of Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War) and Hayden Peake (Joint Military Intelligence College)

Much of the discussion during the meeting focused on a previously unknown Russian document obtained by the Schecters, which raised the question as to whether Robert Oppenheimer, one of the leading scientists of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, had been a Soviet spy.

The document in question is a letter by Merkulov to Lavrenti Beria, the head of the Soviet atomic project, 2 October 1944 (click to read the document).
Below we present three analytical commentaries on the Merkulov letter:

The Merkulov Letter, by Jerrold and Leona Schecter

The Merkulov letter to Beria raises the question of whether Robert Oppenheimer was a spy for the Soviet Union during the wartime period when he directed the Manhattan project. The letter must be read in the context of Soviet intelligence operations in the United States during World War II. Robert Oppenheimer's long time membership in the Communist Party of the United States was made secret in 1942 because he was being used as a Soviet intelligence asset by the Communist Underground to help obtain atomic secrets. Oppenheimer was being run through the American Communist Party and the Comintern, the Communist International until 1944. Soviet intelligence decided that such operations were too risky because of increased FBI surveillance of Communist Party operatives. At the time that Stalin acceded to President Roosevelt's request and dissolved the Comintern in 1943, Soviet intelligence had to reorganize its espionage channels in the United States. The letter addresses that problem, among others.

The letter is questioned by Gregg Herken,whowrote in Brotherhood of the Bomb "it is difficult to know whether this cable is evidence of Oppenheimer's complicity or reflects the (understandable) desire of Kheifetz and other NKVD operatives to curry favor with their boss." (p.93) Gregory Kheifetz was operating under cover as Soviet vice consul San Francisco from late 1941 to the summer of 1944. Herken argued in a posting on H-Diplo: " I suspect Kheifetz, who was recalled to Moscow in mid-1944, of ‘padding his resume' by claiming that he had recruited Oppenheimer. Kheifetz's motive was simple: he was trying to avoid execution for failure to perform while he was the NKVD's main spy in the Bay area."

Herken is mistaken. Kheifetz was not recalled for failing to perform nor for inactivity. Nor was he sent to the gulag. He was recalled because he was named in a secret letter to Stalin by an NKVD officer in the Washington, DC rezidentura. He was accused of being part of a ring led by the rezident Vasili Zarubin, supposedly working for the Germans and the Japanese. Stalin ordered them all recalled to Moscow to investigate the charges, which were dismissed. The officer, Lieutenant Colonel Vasili Dimitrovich Mironov, also sent an unsigned letter to J. Edgar Hoover, exposing the intelligence activities of the Zarubins and Kheifetz, which the FBI named the Anonymous Letter. The author of the letter to Stalin was revealed only in 1994 by Lieutenant General Pavel Sudoplatov in his memoir Special Tasks (pp.196-197). It is clear from the contents that both the letters to Hoover and Stalin were sent by Mironov.

For those interested, the Anonymous Letterto Hoover, received on August 7, 1943, in the Russian original with English translations, can be found on pp. 51-53 in Robert Louis Benson and Michael Warner, eds, VENONA Soviet Espionage and the American Response 1919-1957, NSA, CIA. Washington, DC. 1996.

Soviet intelligence, furious at Sudoplatov for revealing a damaging secret, refused to confirm the story or make Mironov's letter to Stalin public. Instead, Soviet intelligence presented the disinformation that Kheifetz was recalled for "inactivity" and that Sudoplatov had not been in charge of atomic espionage during the critical period of World War II. This line, unfortunately, has been perpetuated by Herken, Amy Knight and others. In fact, Kheifetz was cleared of the charges against him, promoted and given a medal. He was chief of section of Department S, atomic espionage, until he fell victim to the anti-semitic purge of 1947 (Sacred Secrets, p.81.) Mironov's letters to Hoover and Stalin hurt Soviet atomic espionage efforts, but by then the bulk of the damage to the Manhattan Project had been done.

Former intelligence officers we interviewed in Moscow stressed that Oppenheimer's assistance was of great importance during the 1942-1944 period. After that the question of who would run him and how he would be contacted produced competition between the NKVD and GRU. Neither group succeeded because their purpose was overtaken by events. By the end of the war the Soviets had what they needed to build their own bomb and in 1946 Beria called an end to all contacts with American sources in the Manhattan Project . When the Baruch plan to share control of atomic energy was rejected by the Soviet Union in 1947, Oppenheimer, disillusioned, wanted nothing more to do with the American Communist Party or Soviet intelligence.

Why did the NKVD begin an effort to recruit Oppenheimer in 1944 if Oppenheimer had already been working for the NKVD since 1942? The answer is simple. Oppenheimer was never formally recruited as a Soviet agent. He was asked, as a friend of the Soviet Union, to help the American Communist Party obtain information on nuclear secrets. Oppenheimer's role was that of a facilitator, which the document from Merkulov to Beria notes in detail. ("provided cooperation in access to research for several of our tested sources including a relative of Comrade Browder." Sacred Secrets, pp.315-317). Soviet intelligence's appeal to Oppenheimer and other Manhattan Project scientists was to aid a wartime ally to build an atomic bomb before the Germans could build their own.

Both the GRU and the NKVD wanted to recruit Oppenheimer after Kheifetz and the Zarubins were recalled. However, their contacts were broken when Earl Browder and the Communist underground, through Comintern agent Steve Nelson, no longer could work directly with Zarubin and Kheifetz. Kheifetz had served both as the NKVD and the Comintern coordinator for Soviet espionage. When the Comintern was disbanded in 1943 Soviet intelligence was looking for a new channel to contact Oppenheimer. This is the problem Merkulov was trying to solve in his letter to Beria.

Does Oppenheimer's cooperation make him a spy under American law? Yes, if there is documentary evidence or testimony to back the assertion of Oppenheimer's cooperation in Merkulov's letter to Beria. The Soviets say Oppenheimer was helping a wartime ally, but they knew the materials to which he provided access would make him guilty of espionage if revealed and prosecuted. The Russians are still protecting Oppenheimer's reputation.

The Oppenheimer files in Soviet Intelligence Archives and the Presidential Archives remain under seal. The critical 1944 and 1945 documents in the Soviet history of atomic energy have not been published although earlier and later materials have been released. Oppenheimer is mentioned as an unlisted member of the American Communist Party in a Soviet intelligence document dated January 7, 1946. The document, "The State of Work in the Utilization of Atomic Energy in Capitalist Countries," is published in "Atomic Project in the USSR, Volume II, 1938-54" (Moscow: Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russia, 2000).

President Putin admitted on CNN's Larry King Live (September 8, 2000) that American scientists cooperated in Soviet atomic espionage , but he did not name names. Russian intelligence still protects its assets.

Jerrold Schecter is a historian, journalist, and award-winning author. He spent eighteen years with Time, including service as the bureau chief in Tokyo and in Moscow, as the White House correspondent, and as a diplomatic editor. He served on the National Security Council for the Carter administration. He is the author of or collaborator on eight books, including Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes and The Spy Who Saved the World.

Leona Schecter, a historian and literary agent, co-authored Special Tasks with her husband Jerrold. Together with their five children, they wrote about life in the Soviet Union in An American Family in Moscow and Back in the USSR. The Schecters live in Washington, D.C.

A Response, by Gregg Herken

The Schecters write that the Merkulov letter to Beria "raises the question of whether Robert Oppenheimer was a spy for the Soviet Union…" Indeed it does. But it does not answer that question. Before one accuses the chief scientist of the Manhattan Project of treason—and treason is what it would have been—there needs to be more, and better, evidence than the single, contradictory document the Schecters have produced.

The key to understanding that document, I think all agree, is the source of Merkulov's information: Gregori Kheifets, the NKVD/KGB's rezident in San Francisco from 1941-44. As the Schecters themselves acknowledge in Sacred Secrets, Kheifets had been in trouble with his bosses at Moscow Center before: "In June 1938, Kheifetz was recalled to Moscow, discharged from the service, and sent to work as an officer in the labor camp in Vorkuta. Five months later, he was fired from state security because of ‘poor health,' another euphemism of the purges." (pp. 81-82)

Earlier in the book, relating the story of a 1997 "spy tour" of KGB headquarters, the Schecters quote former agent Oleg Tsarev's explanation for Kheifets' recall in 1944: "He was sent home for inactivity…" (p. 2). Subsequently, however, the Schecters claim that Tsarev's account was actually KGB disinformation, and that the real reason Kheifets was recalled was the letter that Mironov had sent to J. Edgar Hoover more than a year earlier. (Since Mironov accused Kheifets of being a double agent, the hapless spy had even more desperate reason to prove his loyalty—and rebut the charge of "inactivity"—by claiming to have recruited Oppenheimer.)

Additional evidence that the Kremlin's spy masters were unhappy with Kheifets' performance comes from the only other book to produce a KGB document that mentions Oppenheimer—a document, incidentally, which confirms that Oppenheimer was not working for the KGB as late as February 1944: The Haunted Wood, by Allan Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev. Weinstein, president of the Center for Democracy, and Vassiliev, a former Soviet agent who had access to KGB archives, write: "The fact that station chief Grigory Heifetz was recalled to Moscow in 1944 because of his failure to bring any of 'Enormoz's' scientists into the fold suggests, however, that Oppenheimer never agreed to become a source of information for the Soviets, as some recent writers have asserted." (p. 184). In a footnote, Weinstein and Vassiliev cite an unpublished KGB document as the source for their conclusion: "File 25748, Vol. 2, pp. 116, 148."

The fact that Kheifets, according to the Schecters, ultimately received praise and rewards for his spy work suggests that Merkulov and Beria "bought" his story. (Kheifets must have been quite a tale-teller. In their previous book, written in cooperation with Russian spy-master Pavel Sudaplatov, the Schecters wrote that, based upon information received from his agents in America, Sudaplatov believed that Enrico Fermi and Niels Bohr were also cooperating with the Soviets.)

While it is notoriously difficult to prove a negative, perhaps the best evidence that Robert Oppenheimer was not a spy is the fact that, had he been, the Russians would have had every secret of the atomic bomb—and had it a lot sooner—than we now know they actually got it. The blueprints of Fat Man and other key secrets were sent to Moscow late in the war by the two men who have been positively identified as Soviet agents at Los Alamos—Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall. Contrary to the Schecters' claim, Oppenheimer had nothing to do with bringing either man to the wartime lab.

In brief, the case for Oppenheimer as a traitor and a spy is not convincing. Absent additional and better evidence, the question raised by the Schecters deserves only a Scotch verdict: not proven. But if the Schecters and their allies are indeed interested in pursuing the truth about Kheifets and Oppenheimer, the KGB file cited by Weinstein and Vassiliev might be a good place to start, the next time they are in Moscow.

Gregg Herken is a historian and curator at the Smithsonian Institution and author of "Brotherhood of the Bomb: The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller."

A Response, by Hayden Peake

The authenticity of the so-called Merkulov letter in Scared Secrets (reproduced on pp. 315-7) has been challenged by analysts who have accepted as authentic another Merkulov letter cited in Weinstein's Haunted Wood (pp. 183-84) which is neither reproduced nor scheduled to available at any time for independent authentication. This may be convenient but it is inconsistent.

The content of the Sacred Secrets Merkulov letter is also questioned on the point of whether it is or is not "smoking gun" evidence that Robert Oppenheimer was a Soviet source or agent while he worked on the atom bomb project during WWII. Some have argued that the dates are inconsistent with what the Schecters have written concerning when Oppenheimer informed the Soviets of the decision to proceed with an atom bomb program. That may be true, but the date in the letter 1942 is not inconsistent; attention is better paid to the dates in the text (6-7 Dec 1941). On the point of whether Oppenheimer was a source for the NKGB, the letter states he was if one accepts that antecedent of the "he" in 4th paragraph is Oppenheimer. Providing "cooperation in access to the research" of "tested sources" to a man he knows to be a Soviet agent or officer, makes Oppenheimer a knowing NKGB source. Whether one wishes to call him an agent is semantic quibbling.

Finally, the fact that others in the NKGB were arguing for greater efforts by the atomic net in the United States, is not in my judgment inconsistent with the Merkulov letter. One source may get positive comments, while other elements of the program are criticized or urged on.

Questions have also been raised about the severing of ties between the CPUSA and the NKGB, due in part to the "Mironov Affair" as mentioned in the Merkulov letter. As to the former point, that action was entirely consistent with NKGB operational policy and would have raised more questions if it had not been done since by late 1944 the Soviets had good reason to consolidate their operations as for example, they had been trying to do so with Elizabeth Bentley for some time. That the "Mironov Affair" was a factor in that decision comes as no surprise. Mironov was a deranged NKGB officer, so much so that even in Stalin's NKGB he was not shot immediately, but put in a mental hospital. When he was recalled he wrote a letter to Stalin. Whether he mentioned the letter to the FBI is doubtful since he was not summarily executed. Likewise he apparently didn't mention giving up other Soviet assets since they were not disturbed. But he must have mentioned some charges against his boss (Zarubin), either in the letter or interrogation, in the States or in Moscow, since the latter was recalled.

In short, I accept the letter and its implications.

Hayden Peake, formerly with U.S. Army intelligence, has published widely on intelligence issues and co-authored the memoirs of Rufina Philby, The Private Life of Kim Philby: The Moscow Years with Rufina and retired KGB officer Mikhail Lyubimov (New York: Fromm International, 2000). Peake serves as an adjunct professor at the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, DC.

Click below to read the document discussed:

Letter from Boris Merkulov to Lavrenty Beria

Oppenheimer was born in New York City on April 22, 1904, to Julius Oppenheimer, a wealthy Jewish textile importer who had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1888, and Ella Friedman, a painter.
Old July 6th, 2012 #60
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Default Netanyahu Worked Inside Nuclear Smuggling Ring

Counterespionage debriefing reveals how Israel targeted U.S.
quote Grant Smith
On June 27, 2012, the FBI partially declassified and released seven additional pages [.pdf]
from a 1985–2002 investigation into how a network of front companies connected to the Israeli Ministry of Defense illegally smuggled nuclear triggers out of the U.S.* The newly released FBI files detail how Richard Kelly Smyth — who was convicted of running a U.S. front company — met with Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel during the smuggling operation. At that time, Netanyahu worked at the Israeli node of the smuggling network, Heli Trading Company. Netanyahu, who currently serves as Israel’s prime minister, recently issued a gag order that the smuggling network’s unindicted ringleader refrain from discussing “Project Pinto.”

As revealed in previously released FBI files and the tell-all book Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, the Hollywood producer was recruited into Israel’s economic espionage division (LAKAM) in his 20s and learned how to establish front companies and secret bank accounts for smuggling operations. Arnon Milchan encouraged Smyth, a California engineer, to incorporate MILCO in 1972 and serve as a front for the Israel-based Heli Trading’s (also known as Milchan Limited) acquisitions of sensitive military technologies on behalf of the Ministry of Defense. Smyth fled the U.S. after being indicted for violating the Arms Export Control Act in the mid-1980s. In July 2001, Smyth was arrested in Spain by Interpol and returned to the U.S., and in November, he was convicted of exporting 800 nuclear triggers (called krytrons).

FBI agents interviewed Smyth on April 16-17, 2002, at the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. The secret interview report details how during a trip to Israel Smyth was “spotted” by Milchan, who claimed he worked as an exclusive purchasing agent for the Ministry of Defense. Smyth was introduced around to high military officials including then-general Ariel Sharon. Smyth was also put in contact with Benjamin Netanyahu, who worked at Heli Trading Company. According to the FBI report, “Smyth and [Netanyahu] would meet in restaurants in Tel Aviv and in [Netanyahu's] home and/or business. It was not uncommon for [Netanyahu] to ask Smyth for unclassified material.”

Milchan pulled Smyth into his glamorous, star-studded movie circuit. “While in the United States [Smyth] met with [Milchan] numerous times in Los Angeles. … Milchan and Smyth would have dinner frequently and would visit one another’s house often … it was quite common for [Milchan] to invite [Smyth] to various Hollywood parties and introduce [Smyth] to celebrities.”

During the 2002 Smyth counterintelligence debriefing, the FBI learned that the Ministry of Defense ordered and paid Heli Trading for krytrons. Heli in turn sourced them from MILCO in a clandestine operation codenamed Project Pinto. The report reveals how MILCO illegally shipped prohibited articles under general Commerce Department export licenses rather than smuggling them out via Israeli diplomatic pouches. The last time Smyth saw Milchan was in 1985. The Ministry of Defense issued a burn notice on Smyth after discussions with U.S. officials about the krytron smuggling. According to the FBI report, “Shortly thereafter, [Smyth] fled the United States.”

A March 2012 statement by the co-authors of Confidential claims that “Hollywood mega-producer and former secret agent Arnon Milchan has been asked directly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres to avoid any public discussion of the book Confidential, asserting that the matter is too sensitive at this time.” Although the book’s authors point to the escalating tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu’s own hands-on involvement in nuclear weapons–related covert action against America is presumably a far more compelling reason for the gag order.

* The FBI referred an additional 164 pages of the Mandatory Declassification Review to another government agency — presumably the CIA — for further review. The additional pages will likely never be released. The CIA has refused requests for similar documents in order to preserve intelligence sources and methods abroad.

dual loyalty, every jew a spy, jewish spies


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